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Trekking the Swiss Via Alpina

East to West across Switzerland – the Alpine Pass Route

Guidebook to the Swiss Via Alpina, a 400km trek east-west across Switzerland, with options of detouring along the Alpine Pass Route. This demanding 3-week trek crosses 16 passes, including the 2778m Hohtürli, in a total of 19 stages from Sargans to Montreux, as well as a prologue stage from Liechtenstein. Requires good fitness and experience.


From the start of July through to September. August can be wet, and an early season trek may find snow on the higher passes, so suitable additional equipment would be essential.


Sargans, Elm, Linthal, Altdorf, Engelberg, Meiringen, Grindlewald, Lauterbrunnen, Kandersteg, Adelboden, Lenk, Gstaad, Rossiniere, Gsteig, Col des Mosses, Montreux


It's pretty tough: the route amasses nearly 23,000m of ascent over 20 stages and nearly every day involves a pass crossing. Some higher passes and ridges present occasional exposure and technical difficulty.

Must See

The Todi and Titlis; Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau near Grindlewald; valley-pass landscapes every day; the Lauterbrunnen valley; the Oeschinensee above Kandersteg; Blumlisalp and Les Diablerets.
13 Jul 2023
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.30cm

A guidebook to walking the Swiss Via Alpina from Sargans to Montreux on Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Covering 400km (250 miles), this long-distance trek in the Swiss Alps takes around 3 weeks to walk and is suitable for experienced trekkers.

The route is described from east to west in 19 stages, each between 12 and 29km (8–18 miles) in length. A 27km (17 mile) prologue stage from Liechtenstein is also included, as well as detour stages via Lenk and Gsteig.

  • 1:100,000 maps included for each stage
  • GPX files available to download
  • Detailed information on mountain huts, facilities and public transport
  • Advice on planning and preparation

Table of Contents
Kev Reynolds Cicerone author REYNOL

By Kev Reynolds

Kev Reynolds was a freelance writer, photojournalist and lecturer. A prolific compiler of guidebooks, his first title for Cicerone Press (Walks & Climbs in the Pyrenees) appeared in 1978; he later produced many more titles for the same publisher. A member of the Outdoor Writers' Guild, the Alpine Club and Austrian Alpine Club, his passion for mountains and the countryside inspired a lifetime's activity, and he regularly travelled throughout Britain to share that enthusiasm through his lectures. Sadly, Kev passed away in 2021. He will be remembered fondly by all who knew him and by many more he inspired through his writing and talks.

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Jonathan Williams Cicerone author JWILL

By Jonathan Williams

A proud Yorkshireman, Jonathan first climbed a mountain before he was born. Although he first met Lesley at sea, they have spent many years exploring mountains and trails in Britain and Europe. After nearly 25 years as Cicerone's publisher and managing director, he now supports the team whilst exploring, updating and writing guides. He has developed UK guides and walked throughout Europe, but his special subject is the Alps and Switzerland. He has worked on guidebooks including Chamonix to Zermatt: the Walker's Haute Route, Trekking in the Vanoise, the Swiss Via Alpina and the Tour du Mont Blanc, as well as walking guides to Zermatt and Saas Fee, Arolla and Zinal and the Bernese Oberland.

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