Thursday, October 31, 2013

5 Great Autumn Hikes in Switzerland

The Frau loves fall in Switzerland—when it’s not rainy and foggy, that is. After seven years of not-so-scientific observation, the fall seems to peak sometime between October 20-November 4. So when you get that rare sunny day, fellow yodelers, do not stop to collect your personal belongings—except for maybe your camera and your SBB train pass–just go as quickly as possible to one of these places:


Morteratsch Glacier hike in the Fall
The hike from the Morteratsch train station to the Morteratsch Glacier and back (about 6k in total) is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland. Especially when the orange and yellow leaves frame the icy snow against a blue sky. The wide, fairly level trail is also suitable for strollers. If you work up an appetite, the hotel next to the Morteratsch station serves up tasty lunches (pumpkin ravioli, anyone?) To extend the hike, you could also start at the Pontresina train station.

There’s a reason this 32k area along Lake Geneva is called the Swiss Riviera. In fact, there’s no place like Lavaux when the vineyards begin their magical transformation from green to gold. The perfume of fermenting grapes will fill the air so you might as well give in and have a glass of wine to celebrate your hike through this UNESCO World Heritage Site. This trail is also wide and paved, making it a great option for strollers and families.


When The Frau can’t make it to Lavaux, she settles for Schartenfels, or what she calls the Aargauer Riviera. From the castle/restaurant, Schloss Schartenfels, located a mere 500 uneven stairs above Baden, a pleasant gravel/paved trail allows you to do about a 40-minute loop through the colorful vineyards. If you want to taste the wine from this region, The Hotel Blume in Baden serves it at their restaurant.
Lej de Staz

Lej de Staz

Feeling reflective? A pleasant, stroller-friendly stroll or bike ride from St. Moritz to Lej de Staz will allow you to enjoy the fall foliage surrounding these two beautiful lakes. From Lej de Staz, you could continue hiking to either Pontresina or Punt Muragl.

Gebenstorfer Horn

A hike (or bike ride) from Baden to the Gebenstorfer horn will take you past Baldegg, where on a clear day you’ll have a wonderful view of the Alps and the option to have lunch at the Baldegg Restaurant. Then you’ll pass through woods and farmland filled with apple trees, finally arriving at the Gebenstorfer horn, where you’ll have a view of the Limmat, Reuss, and Aare rivers all coming together. You can then continue your hike to Turgi, Brugg, or return to Baden.

Where do you like to hike in Switzerland during the fall?


swisssidejewelleryetc said...

Great post Chantal - I feel like getting my hiking boots on right now. Def going to try the ones in Aargau.

Chantal said...

Great, hope you enjoy them as much as The Frau!

Keith said...

Thanks for the tips!
When I lived in Biel I loved to hike through the vineyards on the south-facing slope over-looking Lake Biel in the autumn. If the weather is good you can soak up the autumn sunshine and see all the way to the alps. If you time it right, you could combine the hike with a visit to one of the wine festivals in Twann or La Neuveville.

Hattie said...

I did not get around nearly as much as you do, because the transportation, while good when I lived there, was as nothing compared to where it will take you these days. Lucky you!
Have a wonderful time!

Chantal said...

Keith, thanks for the tip, the Biel hike was featured in Hello Switzerland this fall and The Frau really wanted to do it but sadly didn't make it. Glad to hear it's worth it. She'll try again next year!

Anonymous said...

Good evening, I am a new person here. I would reccomend the vineyards near Sion in Valais/ Wallis, which extend from Ardon to Leuk. Great view on the Swiss Alps.

All the best,


Jennifer said...

Great post...amazing facts we are getting from your blogs..Thumbs up

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