Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek the Matterhorn Circuit

4-day trek around the Matterhorn, through the beautiful Swiss Alps.

Location

Switzerland

Fly To

Geneva Cointrin International Airport

Perfect for

Fit hikers happy to walk between 15-20km each day with a pack on your back.

Difficulty

Challenging

Why it's much better

  • Hike a mini version of this world-famous long-distance trek
  • Summit Pfulwe Peak (3400m) for a 360 degree view of 18 peaks over 4000m
  • Visit Stellisee Lake to catch the Matterhorn reflected on its mirror-like surface
  • Traverse the longest suspension bridge in the world
  • Sleep in cosy mountain refuges surrounded by glaciers and 4000m peaks
  • Hang out with grazing Ibex that live on the slopes
  • Hike through the deep Gorner Gorge to listen to the powerful mountain rivers

What's Included

  • Guides Expert, English-speaking qualified mountain guides
  • Accommodation 1 night in a hostel, 2 nights in remote mountain refuges
  • Meals All your food is included
  • Transfers All airport transfers and train from Zermatt to Geneva
  • Permits All permits and entry fees
  • Happiness Guaranteed We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it
  • Feel Good Vibes We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to The Swiss Alps!

You’ll be picked up from Geneva airport and driven to the Matterhorn Valley. After a quick gear check you’ll start the steep and rugged path up to the Europa Trail. The hike will take around 3 hours finishing at the location for your overnight stay: the famous Europahut. Better still, you’ll reach it just before dinner is served. After a hearty three course meal, you’ll spend the night in a cosy dormitory at over 2000m above sea level.

Approx 3-4 hours trekking / 4.5km / Ascent 815m / Descent 80m

Day 2: Hike along the Europaweg to the Täschalp

Today you’ll head deep into the Matterhorn Valley. First up: the legendary Charles Kuonen suspension bridge. At 500m it’s the longest suspension bridge for pedestrian use in the world. Stand in the middle of the crossing and take in the jaw-dropping panoramic mountain scenery.

You’ll continue trekking to your overnight mountain refuge, with time for a sunset beer on the deck if you're keen. Make sure you rise early to catch the sun hitting the surrounding glaciers and circle of 4000m peaks, the kaleidoscope of colour is worth setting your clock for.

Approx 7 hours trekking / 12km / Ascent 1250m / Descent 800m

Day 3 Summit Pfulwe and Stellisee Lake

Today’s hike starts gently along the flat Täschalp path towards the Pfulwe mountain, with its small glacier. The trail is rugged, rocky and beautiful. You’ll hike up to the Pfulwe pass with the option of climbing the summit of the Pfulwe (3313m). At the top you can admire a perfect panorama of the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa (the highest mountain in Switzerland) and endless creaking glaciers.

On the way down you’ll pass the famous Stellisee Lake, one of the best locations to take pictures of the Matterhorn with a reflection in the water. Arriving back at Zermatt in late afternoon, you’ll check into your cosy bed and breakfast before heading out for a meal with your guide. Ask your guide for their secret book of the best suggestions to eat and drink.

Approx 8-9 hours trekking / 16km / Ascent 800m / Descent 1900m

Day 4: Zermatt Edelweiss Trail

Wake up bright and early after a relaxing night in Zermatt. Fuel yourself for the day ahead by indulging in a traditional Swiss breakfast; complete with local jams, marmalades, honey and cheeses. You’ll have a few hours this morning to hike up to the Edelweiss Trail. Breathe in the mountain air for one last time before hopping on the train with your guide for the journey back to Geneva Airport.

Approx 4 hours trekking / 8km / Ascent 600m / Descent 600m

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

Accommodation

You’ll be staying at peaceful mountain refuges or guesthouses high in the mountains. Accommodation is in mixed (male + female) dormitory rooms (up to 20 persons in one room). There are usually bunk beds or single beds.

All mountain accommodation features hot showers, running water, pillows, blankets and a bar serving cold drinks. Most refuges also have outlets for charging your electronics and even wifi.

In Zermatt you will stay in either the Zermatt Youth Hostel or the Hotel Banhof in dorm share rooms.

Unfortunately upgrades are not available due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip.

Location

This adventure will take you through the Alp’s most beloved peaks, valleys and lakes. The area is dotted with quiet, quaint villages and straddles France, Italy and Switzerland.

The Matterhorn, the mountain that the route passes alongside, is Europe’s most distinct mountain peak. The view of its pyramid-like summit changes as the mountain catches the light throughout the day. It’s no wonder Victorian climbers became obsessed with the peak when they first attempted to conquer the Alps in the 1850s.

Meeting Point

Start Point

Your host will be there to meet all flights scheduled to arrive in Geneva before 11:00. You are free to make your own way to Geneva if you arrive the day before. Otherwise, the transfer from Geneva Airport is included.

Finish Point

At the end of your adventure, a transfer will drop you back at the airport for 18:00. If departing that evening, you can get any flight leaving after 19:30.

Frequently Asked Questions

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 8.

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to/from Geneva
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

This trip is suitable for experienced hikers with a reasonable level of fitness who are able to hike 15–20 km each day, with as much as 1000m of elevation gain. You will be carrying your pack between the refuges so should be confident hiking with a 35-50L pack for multiple days.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Breakfasts and dinners will be served at the refuges. Breakfasts always include coffee, bread, jam and butter. Depending on the refuge, they may also include orange juice, cereal, yoghurt, fruit, cheese and meats.

Dinners are hearty and served in large portions - just what a hungry hiker needs! Typical meals include a soup starter, a main course of meat and veggies with a side of grains or pasta and a dessert, like vanilla pudding or creme brulee.

Picnic lunches will be provided each day, featuring a large main item like a sandwich or wrap, a salad and a selection of fruit, muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, etc.

Most dietary requirements can be accommodated, just ask your host upon booking.

Absolutely. You can leave anything you don't need with our host in Geneva and collect it on the last day. It must be in a closed bag, rather than loose items, so it can be properly labelled and looked after.

Summer in the Swiss Alps is generally warm and fair, but the weather can change very quickly, bringing cold rain and wind. Average temperatures range from 6°C to 24°C. It rains roughly half of the days each month, but storms generally pass through quickly.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

Our group adventures are adult only. However, if you would like to bring children along, this can be arranged by requesting a private trip with the host. This trip is suitable for children from age 14 only.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion, but it is the norm to provide something at the end of the trip for good service.

The tip amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water is freely available at the mountain huts and the guide will direct you to mountain springs while trekking.

Clothing

  • Fleece or merino pullover or sweater
  • Primaloft or thin down jacket
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood) and trousers
  • Synthetic shirts and trousers (zip-off preferable) for hiking
  • Comfortable shirt and trousers for the refuges
  • 2+ pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Comfortable shoes for around the refuge

Kit

  • Sleeping bag liner (very important!)
  • Cap with brim to block the sun
  • Sunglasses
  • Towel
  • 35 – 50L backpack with waist belt
  • Raincover
  • 2L water bottle(s)
  • Sunblock
  • Toiletries

Optional items

  • Trekking poles (can be rented for 10.00 EUR per trip)
  • Swimsuit
  • Camera (recommended)
  • Earplugs (recommended)

Host Reviews

Looks like this adventure doesn't have any reviews yet...

Dates & Prices

Bespoke trips only

There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.

Request a Quote

Similar Trips

From

Why Us?

Here’s why we’re rated the UK’s ‘Best for Experiences’

PROPER
ADVENTURES

All our adventures get you out of the city to explore the wilder side of our world

EXPERT LOCAL
GUIDES

Get places you wouldn’t yourself. Our guides know where to go, what to do and how to stay safe

HASSLE
FREE

Route planning? Transport? Accommodation? Equipment? It’s all taken care of

SMALL GROUPS
OF GOOD PEOPLE

Join a diverse global community, bound by a shared love of the outdoors