Trekking in the Alps

In this section we present a chapter from the book "Per Alpes, Discovering the Alps in 20 circular walks". Read the tour description below and check other publications of the Alps Convention.

  • Matterhorn-Cervino tour
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Tourist info

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006 m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time:61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Route descriptions: There surely can be no other mountain that features in pictures and postcards as often as the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino in Italian). Rising above its surrounding glaciers, this rocky giant attracts thousands of visitors every year and could be considered the iconic emblem of the Alps. Matterhorn/Cervino has also a very interesting geological formation, it could in fact be considered like Africa’s most extreme northern point. Many alpinists wish to climb its 4478m summit at least once, but not many know that all around the mountain thrives an extremely varied and interesting landscape as well as an unparalleled cultural heritage. As you change perspective you discover all the different “faces” of this fascinating mountain. This experience will surely be unique. The trekking routes around Matterhorn/Cervino were inaugurated in 2002 and they cross Switzerland, France and Italy, allowing you to come into contact with different cultures. The tour as described here lasts 11 days and takes you to 3000m from where you will enjoy a spectacular view of the Pennine Alps. However the duration can be shortened by opting for alternative routes or by using public transport.

Skills required: Throughout the tour you will encounter passes reaching over 3,000 meters in altitude. Also the tour involves crossing two glaciers; so it is therefore highly recommended you bring appropriate climbing gear, that is, harness, rope, ice axe and crampons. However, this means that your rucksack will be considerably heavier. The tour is approximately 220 km and on some days you will be walking for 8 hours. Fitness, stamina and careful footwork are essential!

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time:61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Breuil-Cervinia – Fenêtre de Cignana – Rif. Perucca-Vuillermoz


Travel time: 5,5-6 h.

On the first day, the route is already very demanding, though there are buses available from Breuil-Cervinia (2006m) to Perrère, a distance of about 2 km. As you walk up towards Fenêtre de Cignana (2445m) you find that some parts are quite steep. As you reach the col, the path starts snaking up towards Alpe Cignana. For the last 600m, the path ascends steeply to the Rif. Perucca-Vuillermoz (2878m).

Accommodation:
Rif. Perucca-Vuillermoz (2878m): Tel. +39-338-4264705, e-mail: info@rifugioperuccavuillermoz.it; www.rifugioperuccavuillermoz.it, open from the end of June to mid September, private.
For further information: Ufficio Turistico Breuil-Cervinia.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Rif. Perucca-Vuillermoz – Col de Valcournera – Rif. Prarayer

Travel time: 4,5-5 h

Today you are not crossing a glacier, although the steep ascending slopes require careful footwork. Pay particular attention when crossing the Col de Valcournera (3072m), this part requires very good climbing skills. The most difficult points are equipped. Follow a stony zigzag path to Alpe Valcournera (2170m) and then descend to the Prarayer hut (2005m).

Accommodation:
Rif. Prarayer (2005m): Tel. +39-0165-730040, e-mail: info@rifugioprarayer.it, www.rifugio-prarayer.it, open from the beginning of April to the end of September, private.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Rif. Prarayer – Alp Oren – Rif. Nacamuli – Col Collon – Plans de Bertol – Arolla

Travel time: 6,5-7 h

Today’s journey is not only long but also involves crossing a glacier. Ascend to the Nacamuli hut (2818m) and on upwards to Col Collon (3032m). The route is steep in places and partly equipped. At Col Collon you enter Switzerland. Rope down the Haut Glacier and eventually reach the scenic Plans de Bertol. Less experienced climbers should descend the Haut Glacier with an alpine guide (see “Useful information”). Finally you rapidly descend to Arolla (1998m).

Accommodation:
Rif. A. Nacamuli (2818m): Tel. +39-0165-730047 or +39-339-5378454, open from the end of June to mid September, private.
For further information: Evolène Région Tourisme.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Arolla – Lac Bleu – Mayens de la Cretta – Evolène

Travel time: 5-5,5- h

Today’s journey can be done by bus, but those who do it on foot will be rewarded with ravishing views and landscapes. The tour begins by gaining about 200m tomaiensäss da Pra Gra (2164m). You then descend to Lac Bleu (2093m), a hidden treasure where you should really take your time to enjoy the dramatic scenery. The path then slopes down gently all the way to Mayens de la Cretta (1895m), and from here starts rising again. Take either of the two trails leading to Evolène (1371m).

Accommodation:
Chalet du Lac Bleu (1845m): Tel. +41-(0)27-2831166, e-mail: pensionlacbleu@bluewin.ch, open almost all year, private.
Hotel Hermitage (Evolène, 1371m): Tel. +41-(0)27-2831232, www.hermitage-evolene.ch, open almost all year, private.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Evolène – Villa – Col de Torrent – Lac de Autannes – Lac de Moiry

Travel time: 6-6,5 h.

From Evolène follow the waymarked trail to the Col de Torrent (2916m), taking you through lush meadows covered in edelweiss. The descent from the col leads you to the idyllic Lac des Autannes (2686m), from where you can see the clefts and crevasses of the Moiry glacier. Continue steeply down to the Lac de Moiry (2250m) and today’s destination.

Accommodation:
Gîte d’Etape Lac de Moiry (2250m): Tel. +41-(0)27-4751548, e-mail: clems@netplus.ch, www.moiryresto.ch, open from mid June to the end of September, private.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Lac de Moiry – Corne de Sorebois – Alp Sorebois (cableway) – Zinal

Travel time: 4-4,5 h

Ascend from Lac de Moiry (2250m) all the way to Corne de Sorebois (2896m). The next part is not particularly scenic as it involves crossing a small skiing area. At 2438m you can choose to take the cableway to Zinal. However, since today’s route is fairly short, it is preferable to descend 770m on foot.

Accommodation:
Cabane de Sorebois (2438m): Tel. +41-(0)27-4751378, open from June till the end of September, private. Hôtel Le Trift (Zinal, 1675m): Tel. +41-(0)27-4751466, www.trift.com, open from mid May till the end of September, private.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Zinal – Hotel Weißhorn – Meidpass – Meidsee – Gruben

Travel time: 7-7,5 h

Follow the path sloping steeply uphill from Zinal (1675m) taking you through lush pastures and thriving larch forests. After a few ups and downs you reach the nostalgic Hotel Weisshorn (2337m). A short descent to Alpe Le Chiesso (2201m) is followed by an ascent to the Meid pass (2790m). This col represents a “linguistic border” between German and French. After you reach Meidsee at 2261m, you should take a break near Lake Chleis Seewji, where you can admire the image of four-thousanders reflected in its waters. Finally, cross woodland to the village of Gruben (1818m).

Accommodation:
Hotel Weißhorn (2337m): Tel. +41-(0)27-4751106, www.weisshorn.ch, open from mid June to mid October, private.
Hotel Schwarzhorn (1818m): Tel. +41-(0)27-9321414, e-mail: hotelschwarzhorn@tele2.ch, www.hotelschwarzhorn.ch, open from June to October, private.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Gruben – Augstbordpass – Augstbordtal – Alp Jungu – St. Niklaus

Travel time: 6,5-7 h

From Gruben, which is inhabited only during summer months, traverse the Turtmanntal, followed by the Güobtälli and fi nally the Augstbordpass (2894 m). After the col, take the steep path winding through the Augstbordtal reaching a cross (2358m) and then head to Undri Läger (2255m). If you still have the energy, from Jungu (1955m) you should avoid using the cable car and walk to St. Niklaus (1116m) so that you will not miss the so called “chapel trail”.

Accommodation:
Jungerstübli (Alp Jungu, 1955m): Tel. +41-(0)27-9562101, e-mail: info@jungerstuebli.ch, www.jungerstuebli.ch, open from the beginning of June to the end of September, private.
For further information: Tourismusverein St. Niklaus und Region.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

St. Niklaus – Gasenried – Galenberg – Europahütte

Travel time: 6,5-7 h

From St. Niklaus (1116m) follow the path till you see the beautiful village of Gasenried (1659m). The following ascending slope is steep in some parts and runs along some bizarre rock formations. Take a break, then walk towards Galenberg (2690m), on to Miesboden and fi nally to the Europahütte (2265m).

Accommodation:
For information (Gasenried): Tourismusverein St. Niklaus und Region. Europahütte (2265m): Tel. +41-(0)27-9678247, e-mail: fam.brantschen.europahuette@ freesurf.ch, open from mid June to mid October, private.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Europahütte – Täschalp – Sunnegga – Zermatt

Travel time: 5-5,5 h

From the very start the path is exposed, but for safety, there are fitted cables and tunnels to protect climbers from falling rocks. After the rocky crest, follow the track descending to Ober Sattla at 2340m. After a few ups and downs the path takes you to the Ristorante Sunnegga (2288m). From here you can take the cable railway “Metro Alpin” and shorten the journey. However, if you prefer to enjoy the scenic view over Zermatt then you need to descend on foot (one hour’s walk).

Accommodation:
Täschalp (2214m): Tel. +41-(0)27-9672301, open from June to mid October, private.
For further information: Zermatt Tourism.

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Zermatt – Trockener Steg – Rif. Teodulo – Plan maison – Breuil- Cervinia

Travel time: 5-5,5 h

On the last day you are going to witness the effects of tourism on the landscape. The path leading to Trockener Steg (2939m) runs through a skiing area. You could shorten this part by using the cableway. From Trockener Steg, you need to rope up again to traverse the glaciers Furgggletscher and the Teodulgletscher. As you descend the pass of Teodulo (3301m) you unfortunately witness once again the terrible effects of mass tourism on the landscape. Finally you can take the cableway to Plan Maison (2548m).

Accommodation:
Gandegghütte (3029m): Tel. +41-(0)79-6078868, open from the beginning of July till the end of September, private.
Rif. Teodulo (3317m): Tel. +39-0166-949400 o +39-338-3267009, e-mail: rifugioteodulo@libero.it, www.caitorino.it/teodulo.htm, open from mid June till mid September, CAI.

Alternative route on the Piccolo Cervino (Small Matterhorn)
Due to the high level of urbanisation Zermatt and Breuil-Cervinia are not very interesting from the point of view of natural landscape. However, you can still enjoy a stunning alpine landscape at 4000m, where it is still intact. Reach Piccolo Cervino (Kleinmatterhorn, 3883m) by cableway, and from here it should not be very demanding to rope down to Passo Teodulo in one 1-1,5 hours at most (570m height loss). For inexperienced climbers it is advisable to go with an Alpine Guide (see “Useful information”). Finally, in two hours, you descend to the cableway station of Plan Maison (2548m, 770m height loss).

The most beautiful mountain profile in the Alps


Matterhorn-Cervino tourr

Trailhead: Breuil-Cervinia (2006m, regular buses connections from Chatillon/Saint-Vincent station)
Highest point: Passo Tedoulo (3301m)
Total travelling time: 61,5-67 h
Overall height gain/loss: + 9200m - 8207m
Alp Convention

Useful information

Organised Trekking Tours around Matterhorn-Cervino Cervino’s Guide’s Society: +39-0166-948169 e-mail: info@guidedelcervino.com, www.guidedelcervino.com
Vereinigung Walliser Wanderwege (Valrando): Tel. +41-(0)273-273580 e-mail: info@valrando.ch, www.valrando.ch

Tourist information
Ufficio Turistico Breuil-Cervinia: Tel. +39-0166-949136 e-mail: breuil-cervinia@montecervino.it, www.cervinia.it
Tourismusverein Grächen: Tel. +41-(0)27-9556060 e-mail: info@matterhornvalley.ch, www.matterhornvalley.ch
Tourismusverein St. Niklaus und Region: Tel. +41-(0)27-9563663, E-mail: info@st-niklaus.ch, www.matterhornvalley.ch
Zermatt Tourismus: Tel. +41-(0)27-9668100 e-mail: info@zermatt.ch, www.zermatt.ch
Wallis Tourismus: Tel. +41-(0)27-3273570 e-mail: info@valais.ch, www.valais.ch
Evolène Région Tourisme: Tel. +41-(0)27-2834000 e-mail: evolene-region@coeurduvalais.ch, www.evolene-region.ch
Office du Tourisme Zinal: Tel. +41-(0)27-4751370 e-mail: zinal@sierre-anniviers.ch, www.zinal.ch

Alpine Guides
Società delle Guide del Cervino: Tel. +39-0166-948169 e-mail: info@guidedelcervino.com, www.guidedelcervino.com
Società delle Guide della Valpelline: Tel. +39-0165-78559 (Etroubles) or +39(0)165/713502 (Valpelline), E-mail: info@guidevalpelline.com, www.guidevalpelline.com
Alpin-Center Zermatt: Tel. +41-(0)27-9662460 e-mail: alpincenter@zermatt.chwww.zermatt.ch/alpincenter

Maps
Map IGC - Cervino Matterhorn Breuil Cervinia Champoluc Sheet 108: 1:25.000
National map of Switzerland, Sheet 273 (Montana): 1:50.000 National map of Switzerland, Sheet 274 (Visp): 1:50.000
National map of Switzerland, Sheet 283 (Arolla): 1:50.000
National map of Switzerland, Sheet 284 (Mischabel): 1:50.000
National map of Switzerland, Sheet 293 (Valpelline): 1:50.000 Kompass map Breuil-Cervinia Zermatt, Sheet 87: 1:50.000
Wanderkarte/Carta escursionistica/ Hiking Map, Matterhorn Tour/Giro del Cervino: 1:50.000

Alpine clubs
Swiss Alpine Club (SAC-CAS): Tel. +41-(0)31-3701818 e-mail: info@sac-cas.ch, www.sac-cas.ch
Club Alpino Italiano (CAI), Sezione di Aosta: Tel. +39-0165-40194, www.aosta.caivda.it/sito/default.htm

Public transport:
SAVDA: www.savda.it

Websites
www.europaweg.ch
www.herens-montagne.ch
www.tourducervin.ch