With tall mountain summits, deep valleys, countless waterfalls, and stunning mountain lakes, Switzerland is home to exceptionally beautiful nature. The vast majority of the country’s natural landmarks can be explored via hiking and mountain biking trail, making it one of Europe’s best destinations for hiking trips.
What’s even better is that the country has so many cable cars and gondolas that allow you to skip the hardest parts of many hiking trails. With so many easy hikes, Switzerland is possibly the perfect country for beginners and those who are just getting into hiking. Find out more about the best hiking trails for easy day excursions in beautiful Switzerland right here in this guide!
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Riederalp Aletsch Glacier Panorama Trail
Aletsch Glacier is the largest in Switzerland, and it’s absolutely an impressive sight. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is accessible by an easy hiking trail that’s only around 2 kilometers long, so can be completed in a rather short time. It’s worth noting that longer routes are available as well, in case you would prefer a slightly more challenging hike.
This trail includes a minimal amount of walking because there’s a cable car to take you to the best viewpoint. You need to get to Mörel, and you can do so both by car and public transport. Then take the cable car from Mörel to Riederalp-Mitte station, and walk for about ten minutes through the town. You need to reach the bottom station of the Rideralp-Moosfluh gondola, which will transport you to the absolute best viewpoint in the region.
At Mooflush top station you’ll notice that there are many footpaths that allow you to walk along the ridge. You can walk for a little while to find the best views, and it’s important to note that there’s nothing challenging about those paths. This hike is suitable for families with small children, and you can always hike back down to Riederalp to save money on cable cars and do a little more walking.
- 2 kilometers
- 1 hour
- 120 meters elevation change
Lauterbrunnen Glacial Valley
Lauterbrunnen Valley hike is my favorite trail for beginners in Switzerland. The valley is famous for its many waterfalls, and this easy hike will allow you to discover dozens of them. The path leads from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and the entire time you’re following a footpath through the valley that doesn’t include any major challenges.
The most challenging thing about this hiking trail is that you need to walk for about an hour and a half, and that’s if you’re going at a snail’s pace. The total length of the trail is 4 kilometers, and if at any point you get tired and you want to quit, you can take a bus to get back.
Another awesome thing about this trail is that you have countless opportunities for detours along the way. Step off the beaten path to visit Trummelbachfalle, the area’s most impressive waterfall situated inside a cave. Or take your time in Lauterbrunnen before setting out on this hike, to experience the fabulous Staubbach waterfall in all its glory.
- 4 kilometers
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- 100 meters ascent
Rhine Gorge River Hike
Rhine Gorge is a vast hiking area in southeastern Switzerland. It’s also known as the Swiss Grand Canyon, although there’s a touch of irony in that nickname. The Rhine Gorge area boasts many different hiking paths that range in difficulty from quick and easy hikes to challenging, multi-day excursions.
Those who are not into hiking at all can just take a train ride through the gorge to discover the sights. Travelers who want to do some light hiking can follow the path to the vast viewing platform that offers unbeatable views of the entire gorge. One of the most popular easy hikes in the area starts at Flims Waldhaus, right next to the town’s parking lot and main bus stop.
It’s a dirt path that’s very easy to follow and for the most part, you’re walking downhill. The trail is approximately 3.5 kilometers, and it boasts fabulous views along the way. You’ll first pass next to a viewpoint that offers views of Caumasee, a stunning mountain lake, and from there’s just downhill to the Rhine Gorge viewpoint.
It’s possible to go back following the same path, but you might need hiking poles for this because it’s all uphill in this direction. Another option is to hike down to the river from the observation deck and slowly make your way to the train station in Versam.
- 4.5 kilometers
- 2 hours
- 238 meters elevation change
Glacier Walk to Quille du Diable
Glacier Walk to Quille du Diable is another easy hike that rewards you with such spectacular views that it’s hard to believe you only need to walk for 2 kilometers to experience them. The glacier walk doesn’t require any special equipment or even a guide, which is precisely why it’s one of the best easy hikes in Switzerland!
The first destination to reach is Glacier 3000, which can easily be done by cable car. You can easily reach the Col du Pillon station either by car or public transport, which will take you to Cabane. From Cabane, take another cable car to Scex Rouge, where you will get access to a variety of exciting hiking paths and other fun things to do.
Scex Rouge is connected to a smaller peak by a suspension bridge, and crossing this bridge is a thrilling and unique experience. You can also hike from the cable car station to Quille du Diable, where you will experience those mesmerizing glacier views that I told you about earlier. It’s only 2.2 kilometers to the lookout point, and it shouldn’t take more than an hour to reach it.
- 4.3 kilometers
- 2 hours
- 70 meters elevation change
Oeschninensee is a beautiful alpine lake in Kandersteg. The panoramic trail near the lake offers breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings, but it’s important to note that it’s considered moderately difficult.
There’s a steep climb at the beginning of the trail, as well as some sections that feature very steep slopes on either side of the path, making the trail unsuitable for anyone with a serious fear of heights. But if you have previous hiking experience and you’re not averse to the idea of attempting a four-hour trail, this is definitely manageable.
Despite the somewhat rocky terrain, you don’t need any specialty equipment. Hiking poles could help you stay stable on the trail, but really the only thing you need is a pair of sturdy hiking shoes. The trail begins at the top station of the Kandersteg mountain cable car, and at first, you’re walking near the shore to Ober Bergli. The trail then goes uphill and you get to experience magical views while tall alpine peaks tower over you.
- 8.5 kilometers
- 3.5 hours
- 450 meters elevation change
Mount Rigi Panorama Trail & Cliff Walk
Mount Rigi is situated between the lakes of Zug and Lucerne, and it offers an impressive panorama of the surrounding landscapes. This trail is easily accessible from Zurich and Lucerne, so it’s the perfect day trip for travelers who are staying in one of the bigger cities in Switzerland.
The trail is 8 kilometers long and can be completed in approximately three hours. The terrain is easy for the most part, and the most challenging thing about this hike is walking for three consecutive hours. You absolutely don’t have to do that because there are plenty of places along the way where you can stop for breaks.
It’s a point-to-point hike from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Scheidegg. You can reach Riki Kulm by a mountain from Goldaau, and there’s a cable car at Rigi Scheidegg that will take you back into town when you’ve completed the hike.
- 8 kilometers
- 3 hours
- 320 meters elevation change
Männlichen Panorama Trail
The panoramic trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is easy, fun, and incredibly rewarding. The trail starts at the Männlichen gondola lift station, which is accessible by a short ride from the lovely village of Wengen or from Grindelwald.
The hike from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is mostly downhill and takes about an hour and 20 minutes to complete. It will take approximately two hours to hike back because the path is uphill in the other direction and it takes longer to climb back up if you choose to return that way. But you’re walking along a wide gravel path for the most part, and there’s really nothing too demanding about this trail.
Most people do this walk only one-way, downhill, and it is an easy stroll for about 1.5 hours in total
- 4.5 kilometers
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- 270 meters elevation loss
Vineyards of Lauvaux Hike
The Vineyards of Lavaux are a UNESCO World Heritage Site you can discover via easy hiking trails. This is one of the best hiking regions in the Lake Geneva region, especially for less experienced hikers who wouldn’t feel comfortable walking atop tall mountain summits.
It’s a long trail, but it follows a paved path for the most part. There’s only one small section of the trail that’s not suitable for strollers, and this entire hike is perfectly suitable for families with children, provided your child can complete a 4-hour hike.
One thing to note is that most of the trail is on exposed terrain, so lots of SPF and a hat are the only technical equipment you will need. The entire trail takes you from St. Saphorin to Lutry via Cully, and if 4 hours is too long for you, you can always end the hike in Cully. The path is along the shore of Lake Geneva so you can experience some beautiful panoramic views along the way.
This is a point-to-point hike, and you will need to either hike another 4 hours to get back to St. Saphorin or ride public transport back to the trailhead.
- 12 kilometers
- 4 hours
- 240 meters elevation change
Riffelsee to Riffelberg Zermatt Hike
Hike from Riffelsee to Riffelberg to experience one of the absolute best views of the Matterhorn. Situated in the Zermatt region, this easy hiking trail is perfect for adventurous travelers in southern Switzerland who are just getting into hiking and aren’t still comfortable with challenging steep paths and ridge trails.
First, you will need to travel from Zermatt to Gornergrat, which can be done by a 30-minute scenic train ride. I would recommend sitting on the side of the train to experience beautiful views of the landscapes you pass. Get off at the Rotenboden station, and you’re just a short walk away from Lake Riffelsee, plus the trailhead is directly at the train station. It’s also possible to make this hike longer by riding the mountain train to Gornergrat and then beginning the hike from there.
The lake is famous for the Matterhorn reflection on its surface, and it’s particularly popular for sunrise or golden hour hikes. It’s only another 2-3 kilometers downhill from Riffelsee to Riffelberg, which you can complete in a maximum of one hour and you’ll even see Zermatt along the way. At Riffelberg, you have the option of continuing to hike down to Zermatt (another 2 hours), riding the train back to the village, or descending with the cable car.
- 3 kilometers
- 1 hour
Zermatt 5 Lakes Hike
The gorgeous village of Zermatt is best known for the fabulous views of Matterhorn, Switzerland’s iconic Toblerone peak. The resort village is popular for skiing, alpine climbing, and of course, hiking. With countless trails accessible from the center of the village, Zermatt is without a doubt one of the best places to base yourself for a hiking trip in Switzerland.
Many of those trails are very easy and perfect for half-day hiking adventures and short excursions. The Five Lakes trail is one of the prettiest hikes in the region, and it just so happens to be very easy and suitable for hikers with very little previous experience.
Very little means you will need some hiking experience for this trail because it is almost 10 kilometers long, and that’s a long way to cover if you’re not used to walking on mountain terrain. The loop trail takes you along Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee (in that order), and each of the mountain lakes offers something unique to impress the hikers.
It takes some three hours to complete this point-to-point hike, which begins and ends at the two stations of the Sunegga – Blauherd cable car. The trail follows a downhill path for the most part, with a gradual ascent during the final two kilometers.
- 10 kilometers
- 3-4 hours
- 455 meters elevation change
Flumserberg Alpine Flora Trail
Situated less than two hours outside the city of Zurich, Flumserberg is a vast hiking area perfect for day trips from Zurich. The region boasts around 150 kilometers of hiking trails of different difficulties, including loads of easy trails that can be conquered by anyone.
The Alpine Flora Trail is one of Flumberberg’s easier hikes. It’s only 2 kilometers long, allowing most hikers to complete this trail in less than an hour. The hike is perfectly suitable for strollers, children, and people with limited mobility. It’s known as the Alpine Flora trail because it features countless flowers along the way, along with scenic views of the Swiss Alps.
You must ride the Tannenboden to Maschgenkamm gondola to access the trailhead, which is usually open from 8 AM until 5 PM. There’s a cafe at the top station as well as a play area for kids, but it’s worth noting that the equipment at the play area changes fairly often. The trail begins at the top station of the gondola and follows a loop path back to the lift.
- 2 kilometers
- 45 minutes
- 80 meters elevation change
Berggasthaus Aescher is absolutely an iconic landmark in Switzerland. It’s that tiny wooden house built into the side of the mountain, which you’ve probably seen in dozens of photos by now.
To get to this famous landmark, you will first need to ride the cable car from Wasserauen to Ebenalp. The trailhead is at the top station of the cable car, and from there, it’s only a 700-meter downhill hike to the restaurant.
The trail is very easy to follow; it’s a somewhat steep descent in some sections, but it’s honestly nothing you can’t handle if you have shoes that offer enough grip and traction. Hike uphill on the same path to get back to the cable car from Berggasthaus Aescher.
- 1.4 kilometers
- 1 hour
- 120 meters elevation change
Bachalpsee is a lovely mountain lake in the Grindelwald region, easily accessible by various hiking trails. One of the easiest paths in the area is from First to the lake, and if you want to make this a more challenging adventure, you can hike to First.
The hike from the First cable car to the gorgeous lake is only some three kilometers. It shouldn’t take you more than an hour to reach the lake area, where you can enjoy some wonderful panoramic vistas.
Follow the same path to return to the cable car, and then let the cable car take you all the way down the mountain.
- 6 kilometers
- 2 hours
- 150 meters elevation change
Lac De Taney
Lac De Taney is a small alpine lake in Valais, easily accessible from all cities and towns on the shore of Lake Geneva. Multiple hiking trails can take you to this wonderful mountain lake but the easiest one departs from Le Flon. The trailhead is near a car park, and there’s also a bus station close by.
The first section of the hike is the most challenging because it is mostly uphill. The ascent is somewhat steep, but it’s nothing dangerous as long as you’re wearing footwear with good traction and you watch your step.
When you reach Col De Taney, the trail evens out and is mostly flat terrain. It ends near Tanay village, where you’ll find a barbecue area as well as several restaurants. Take some time to rest, take in the views, and taste some local dishes before you make your way back following the same path.
- 4.6 kilometers
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- 400 meters elevation change
Morteratsch Glacier Trail
Morteratsch Glacier is situated on the Swiss border with Italy and it boasts exceptionally stunning landscapes. What’s amazing about this hiking area is that the glacier can be accessed by some surprisingly easy trails that lead from the Morteratsch train station. It takes less than an hour to walk to the glacier, and you follow the same path back to the train station.
The total length of the trail is just 6 kilometers, and the elevation change is only 155 meters. The path from the train to the glacier is uphill, with the steepest section at the end section of the trail at the glacier.
The trailhead is accessible by trains from Pontresina to Morteratsch, and this is the most convenient way of traveling because the trailhead is at the train station. It’s also possible to travel by car, but the parking lot is a bit further away from the trailhead.
- 6 kilometers
- 2 hours
- 155 meters elevation change
Valle Verzasca Hike
Valle Verzasca is famous for quite a few things, the most notable of which is probably the Verzasca Dam that featured in the opening of the James Bond Goldeneye film. The bungee jump performed by Bond in the opening scene has become such an iconic moment that there’s now an entire company that organizes similar bungee jump experiences for anyone who wants to do it.
The dam is at the southern shore of Vogorno Lake, which isn’t included in the hike but is a worthy detour if you have enough time in the area. The most popular hiking trail in this region is from Sonogno to Lavertezzo and it takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
The trail is 14 kilometers long and it passes through alpine meadows and forests. It features several opportunities for swimming, and although it’s a long hike, the trail is not very challenging and it’s suitable for children who are capable of hiking for several hours. There are plenty of picnic areas along the way, as well as other places where you can stop for breaks.
- 14 kilometers
- 3 hours 30 minutes
- 390 meters elevation change
Stoos to Fronalpstock
Stoos to Fronalpstock is an easy panorama hike anyone can do in the Lucerne region. The short loop hike can be done in approximately half an hour and the elevation change is minimal, making this hike suitable for travelers with minimum hiking experience.
The trailhead for this hike is near the Fronalpstock lift, and it’s basically just a wide dirt path. The entire loop trail is 1.5 kilometers long, and it’s important to note that the path is flat and wide enough for strollers. So, even though you’re high up in the mountain and you’re experiencing magical views of Lake Lucerne, there’s nothing challenging or scary about the hike.
There’s another hike in this area that I have to mention – the ridge path from Klingenstock to Fronalpstock. It’s one of Switzerland’s best mountain ridge trails and it’s absolutely worth the effort, but it is much more difficult than the panorama loop trail, and it’s not suitable for children.
- 1.5 kilometers
- 30 minutes
- 45 meters elevation change
La Tine de Conflens
La Tine de Conflens is a hiking area in the Vaud canton known for beautiful waterfall views. The trail is named after a waterfall that’s absolutely the highlight of this easy hike. You can reach this hiking area easily from Morges, a gorgeous town on the shore of Lake Geneva.
The trailhead for this hike is near an improvised parking lot just off the main road. The entire out-and-back trail is only 1.1 kilometers, and you can do this hike in less than 30 minutes. It’s worth noting that the area is popular for hiking, birding, and trail running, so it’s very possible that you’ll encounter other people on the trail.
It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to reach the spectacular waterfall, where you can relax for a little while and take in the views. You’ll need to head back following the same path you came because it’s not possible to cross the river near the waterfall.
- 1.1 kilometers
- 20-30 minutes
- 37 meters elevation change