Trekking the Swiss Alps

Exploring the Birthplace of Alpine Adventure
By Karen Walker, Ryder Walker Alpine Adventures
The Fairytale Village of Ftan, Lower Engadine

If the word 'trekking' conjures up images of camping in a mildewed tent, carrying a pack equaling fifty percent of your body weight and eating canned chili mixed with freeze dried chicken a la king, then you have spent one too many summers on the Appalachian Trail. How about traveling from village to village along ancient footpaths beneath snowy peaks with only a daypack to weigh you down while your luggage goes round by public transport? How about sleeping in a pine paneled room under a fluffy white eiderdown and dining on traditional alpine fare, such as rosti and gesnetzeltes, or haute continental cuisine? Sound better? Then maybe trekking in the Swiss Alps would be more to your liking.

Within Switzerland, hiking is a national pastime, and every village is posted with yellow signs indicating wanderwegs, or hiking paths, in every direction. Indeed, it is possible to walk everywhere in the country on the network of footpaths, wanderwegs and mountain trails, but there are some point to point excursions that are particularly suited for those who want to hike the best of the Alps, all while staying in the most charming and atmospheric villages. And everywhere, the transportation system enables trekkers to travel light by sending their luggage ahead.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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