It comes as no surprise that Switzerland is renowned for its astounding Alpine scenery, crisp snow-capped peaks and formidable panoramas. Home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, it’s said that hiking enthusiasts have come to explore the Swiss Alps since the Middle Ages. Stretching over both the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, the Swiss Alps southern ranges also encompass the Mont Blanc Massif and the Bernina Massif that cross into the French, Italian, Austrian and Liechtenstein borders. And when it comes to our Swiss Alps holidays, we give travellers plenty of opportunities to explore off the beaten tracks.
On our Cross-Country Skiing in the Swiss Alps trip, explore the heart of the Bernese Oberland, skiing on way-marked trails that are ideal for testing your distance skiing and technical skills. On this Swiss Alps tour, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the chocolate box village of Kandersteg and delve into the local culture and hearty traditional cuisine.
The Classic Swiss Alps Self-Guided Walk is a great Swiss Alp tour to discover the UNESCO-recognised Gasterntal valley, wander around the majestic Oeschinensee alpine lake and enjoy an exhilarating walk through the Nordrampe Bahnwanderweg. If you’d like to combine a Swiss Alps holiday and trekking up Mont Blanc, our Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek crosses over the border from Col de Balme to Switzerland, where you can descend into the small hamlet of Trient for unforgettable views of the Trient Glacier. On this Swiss Alps tour, you can follow historic Bovine route to the charming Swiss village of Champex with spectacular views of the Mont Blanc Massif.
Swiss Alps Holidays
15 Daysfrom£ 3,449
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
Walk the classic circuit through France, Switzerland and Italy
Cross-country Skiing: Blessed with fairytale peaks that are drenched in powdery snow, the Swiss Alps is one of the world’s best destinations for cross-country skiing. Journey between traditional alpine villages and lofty pines that soar above scenic valleys and inhale the spectacular views. Kandersteg nestles deep in the heart of Bernese Oberland and is incredibly beautiful, making it a wonderful destination for Swiss Alps holidays. The blend of open plateaux and high trails is ideal for cross-country skiing and Oeschinensee and Sunnbuel can be easily accessed by cable car.
Tour du Mont Blanc: This world-famous hiking route circumnavigates the tallest peak in western Europe and leads you on a remarkable tour of the massif. Witness some of the most breathtaking views on earth and discover the diverse scenery of France, Switzerland and Italy. Led by our expert guides, traverse six mountain passes, trek through alpine meadows and explore pretty villages.
Wildlife: The Swiss Alps are rich with wildlife and in the spring and summer verdant pastures and valleys are punctuated by shimmering glacial lakes, gushing waterfalls and colourful wildflowers such as fire lilies, lady slippers and various species of orchid. As you walk through scented pine forests and lush meadows, keep your eyes open for eagles, kestrels and buzzards.
Alpine villages: Resembling scenes from a fairy tale with their traditional wooden chalets and mountain backdrops, the villages in the Swiss Alps are truly beautiful. Kandersteg, Gimmewald and Grindelwald are known for their jaw-dropping settings made up of imposing mountains and alpine lakes. They also give you an insight into the heritage and traditions of the Swiss Alps where you can appreciate a simpler and slower way of life.
Stunning lakes: A surprising fact: you’re never more than 10 miles from a lake in Switzerland, and some of the most beautiful can be found nestled in the Alps. Our classic Swiss Alps holidays guide you among two of our favourites – Oeschinensee and the Blue Lake of Blausee. Oeschinensee is considered the jewel of Bernese Oberland with the dramatic peaks of the Doldenhorn and the Bluemlisalphorn reflecting on its cobalt waters.
I booked this trip last minute to join my mum and cousin and I have no regrets! It was an amazing week of trekking in the most glorious scenery, with an utterly lovely bunch of people. I spent lots of time in the Alps as a child, so this trip was not only nostalgic but also brought me to brand-new places. It was definitely a challenging week but in the best way possible. We were very lucky to have Mariá as our guide, he was generous, kind and patient with us all, sharing his extensive knowledge of the mountains, ecology and wildlife along the way and making us all feel part of the team. The accommodation and food were amazing, despite my awkward dietary requirements, each hotel was a delight in its own way and offered far more comfort than I was expecting. I left the week feeling heart-full and accomplished. What more could you ask for. I highly recommend this trip!
We’ve just returned from this trip and it was amazing. The views are stunning on this trip, Maria was our guide and he was just great. He got us safely round, motivated us when we needed it and was a pleasure to spend time with. The lodges are great, there’s towels and shower gel provided. Some had hairdryers but not all. After a days trekking it was great to have a few drinks and a nice meal with the group, we did the pack ups just for easiness which were pricier but good, there were more options for buying your own stuff the second half of the trek. We ended up with 8kg in our bags and we had everything we needed, packing lightly is the key as you’ve also got water and pack up to carry! Fitness wise it’s a hard but doable trip, the fitter you are the more you’ll enjoy it, the uphills are a slog but the views are worth it. We personally found walking poles a necessity, they saved my joints a lot especially on the downhills. We had a few dips in the rivers but just in our walking gear, it was cold but very refreshing at the end of the day! The last two nights we spent in Chamonix and it was great to have your spare bag for fresh clothes and a few little luxury’s. Highly recommend this trip, if your in doubt just book it, Exodus are a great company to travel with, thanks again Maria for being a great guide!
The most epic adventure of my life! Booking and traveling with Exodus was so easy. The communication and responsiveness by the agents was so very helpful in planning my trip. The packing and training tips provided were extremely helpful also. The spectacular views were non-stop. The accommodations were lovely and comfortable and our guide, Hristian, was an absolute rockstar!
Most widely known for its cheeses, Switzerland boasts delicious cuisine, but you’ll find far more than fondue and Gruyere on the smorgasboard. Much of the food is influenced by German, French and Italian cuisines with potatoes and cheese being popular ingredients. Made from fried grated potato, rosti is an iconic Swiss dish that can be found in most restaurants and is very often topped with cheese, mushrooms, onions or corn. Raclette (melted cheese served with boiled potatoes) is another major player in Swiss cuisine and is delicious!
Do I need a visa to travel to Switzerland?
If you’re travelling from either the UK, EU or US, you shouldn’t require a visa under normal circumstances. However, we always recommend that you contact your local government or embassy to check the requirements for your country. We have included some links for relevant countries below that you might find useful.
Although the Swiss Alps are arguably most well-known for skiing, these rugged peaks also provide an idyllic backdrop for walking holidays. In the spring and summer months the pretty foothills are filled with wildflowers and present fabulous walking trails with uninterrupted panoramas of the mountains and valleys. Two of the most famous long-distance routes include the Tour du Mont Blanc and Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. The alpine village of Kandersteg is another scenic destination for exploring the Alps. Nuzzled high in the mountains, the village is within easy reach of Lake Oeschinen, Blausee Nature Park and the Allmenalp region.
Where is best for cross-country skiing in the Swiss Alps?
While the more famous resorts of Verbier and Zermatt are considered meccas for skiing, Kandersteg provides a fantastic base for cross-country skiers wanting to explore lesser-known trails. Boasting incredible views over the Bernese Alps, this picturesque town is wrapped inside wide valleys and high plateaus which makes it perfect for beginners as well as seasoned skiers. You’ll find approximately 75km of well-maintained tracks that are suitable for various levels of ability.
When is the best time to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc?
Although late June to early October is considered the best time to trek the Tour du Mont Blanc owing to the drier weather conditions, mountains can be extremely unpredictable, and you should expect rain at any time. On the higher trails it can also get very cold, even in summer. One of the quieter times when there are less walkers is late June, and you’ll also enjoy the lush scenery of flower filled meadows. July and August tend to be the busier months so you’re probably best avoiding then if you prefer to go off-peak.
Is the Bernese Oberland good for walking?
Crisscrossed by stunning mountain trails, the Bernese Oberland is an exceptional destination for walking and there is a diverse range of routes to choose from. Hike along lofty alpine passes, between traditional towns and villages and below the gaze of majestic peaks such as Jungfrau, Titlis and Eiger. You’ll also be greeted with immense views, cascading waterfalls and some of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Along the way, immerse yourself in the wildlife and look out for chamois, golden eagles, red deer and bearded vultures.
Are the Swiss Alps good for cycling?
Home to mountainous and remote trails that wind through magnificent scenery where you’re often accompanied by the sound of cowbells, the Swiss Alps have endless opportunities for cycling. Whether you prefer to climb the high mountain trails or cycle along the lower valleys through pine forests and sun-drenched meadows, there’s a wealth of routes for everyone. For more challenging rides, head to the Valais Matterhorn region where contrasting landscapes of glaciers, vineyards and forests fringe the trails. You can even soothe any aching muscles at the end of your Swiss Alps holidays in the thermal springs at Leukerbad.