MT04: Alpine Crossing

 The “Glacier Express” is a famous, little red train, very popular among tourists from all over the world, which links the resort towns of St. Moritz in the east with Zermatt in the West.

During a journey of 7 ½ hours, it travels through a fantastic mountain scenery which includes not only green meadows with grazing cows – which Switzerland really is well known for – but also gigantic peaks of more than 4000m altitude and of course the eternal snow and ice of several glaciers. The distance that this lovely train travels in less than a day would take a regular walker about three weeks to cover. There is however a stretch in between that offers very rewarding walking on good paths away from roads with the same stunning scenery that the train passengers enjoy – perhaps with the small but important difference that walkers can stop and marvel at the view as long as they like. The “Glacier Express Trail” tour links Andermatt, a small resort town on the St. Gotthardpass, with Brig and includes the crossing of two mountain passes with views of glaciers, an exiting mountain panorama and of course lots of grazing cows.

Infos

Prices in € are an information only. The € price will be calculated at the actual rate of exchange at the time of booking.
 Andermatt > Tiefenbach > Oberwald > Münster > Fiesch > Binn > Brig.
 Category III: Mountain-Trek Tours.
 Daily 04/07/2020 through 19/09/2020.
 7 x Hotels.
 7 x Breakfast, 5 x Dinner.
 Daily luggage transfer.
 CHF 1’295.00 (€ 1’175.00) per person for parties of 2, CHF 1’110.00 (€ 1'010.00) per person for parties of 4; from Andermatt/to Brig.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1: Andermatt. Travel via Zurich Airport by train to Andermatt, passing the infamous Schöllenen Gorge. Legend says that the devil himself constructed the first bridge in this narrow cleft expecting to get the soul of the first person who crossed the bridge as a reward. People tricked him by chasing a goat over the newly constructed bridge. In his fury, the devil took a huge rock and tried to smash it on the village of Göschenen. Which he fortunately missed, but the rock can still be found, towering high above road – hard proof that the legend is true.

Day 2: Andermatt – Tiefenbach. The Urseren valley, which harbours Andermatt, is a broad, almost flat valley whose Northern flank you climb today reaching an Haute Route that leads you towards the first mountain pass of the walk, the Furkapass. The views are great and the going – once you have reached the altitude of the Haute Route – is easy. Your destination today is Tiefenbach, a lonely hotel situated amidst great scenery on the road to the Furkapass.

Day 3: Tiefenbach – Oberwald. Tiefenbach has its own train station, but unfortunately, this station is 250 meters below your hotel. Still, you may want to walk down there to have a look at the small steam train, which passes here during the summer months, before you continue your walk to the saddle of the Furkapass. From here, you walk almost level through the inner end of a small side valley, visiting the tongue of a minor glacier, before you start the long descent down to the village of Oberwald, the easternmost settlement in the long Goms valley, through which the young river Rhone flows towards the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 4: Oberwald – Münster. It’s an easy walk on a lovely track leading you above the valley ground through the airy forests of the valley with plenty of places to stop, enjoy the view and marvel at the many small details that you can find along the way. Of course, there are possible extensions for the more ambitious walker but why not enjoy the day at a leisurely pace to make sure you’ve got the strength for what’s still ahead.

Day 5: Münster – Fiesch. The day starts with a short ascent back to “Gommer Höhenweg”, the track you know from the day before. You continue on this path which frequently leads in and out of small side valleys with wild rivers and marvellous views to mighty mountains that are covered under snow and ice. Eventually, you reach the village of Bellwald – meaning beautiful forest – that sits on a sunny terrace high above the valley. Not yet your destination for the day but definitively a place worth having a look at, not only because of the views offered. The old part of the village with the many small barns made of wood darkened by the sun and built on poles to prevent mice and rat from entering is wonderful to explore. It’s a short way from here down to Fiesch, the centre of the valley, a small town that offers quite a few amenities such as an outdoor pool.

Day 6: Fiesch – Binn. Several ways lead to Binn but it’s worth following the footstep of people from the past who travelled through the Binn valley to neighbouring Italy. First you visit the small, very picturesque village of Ernen opposite Fiesch whose citizens have won an award for preserving their traditional village so beautifully. Then you enter the Binn valley by passing through an impressive, narrow gorge on the old road which is now reserved for walkers and cyclists. Binn is yet another beautiful, small village, famous for the rare minerals that can be found in its vicinity.

Day 7: Binn – Fiesch. The last walking day of your walking week, but another small challenge for you as you climb the second major mountainpass of the week. Through the wild and lovely small valley Saflischtal, you work your way up to the Saflischpass, at 2563m the highest point of your walk. Having reached this saddle, it’s downhill, but not very steep, as you cross grassy slopes on your way to Rosswald, a village situated on a broad mountain shoulder, high above the valley, with marvellous views of a broad panorama which is dominated by the impressive, pyramid like shape of the Bietschhorn in the north. A cable car helps you down to the bottom and a short bus ride brings you to the nice town of Brig where you spend the last night of this unforgettable walking week.

Day 8: Return.