||Switzerland, the Valais, and Italy
||Strenuous, Strenuous Plus
Aug 16, 2020 - Aug 24, 2020
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
Resting in the Swiss Alps, just east of the Matterhorn, is the stunningly-beautiful Monte Rosa. Anchoring one of the most heavily-glaciated areas in the Alps, Monte Rosa is the highest peak in Switzerland and the centerpiece of this circular hike. Beginning on the Italian side of the Matterhorn in Val Tournanche, this route dips into the Aosta and Piedmont regions of northern Italy, winding over isolated mountain passes and down into quiet villages. Circling into Switzerland and the western Valais, the route will bring us to the Swiss villages of Saas Fee and Gspon before delivering us to Zermatt.
From hushed mountains passes and isolated stone farms to immense green valleys and wooden Swiss chalets, from the buzz of thriving Swiss mountain resorts to the tranquil quiet of less-visited Italian villages, and from pasta to rösti, this trip will undoubtedly offer experiences that only an intriguing mix of landscapes and cultures can provide.
Day 1: Arrive in Aosta and transfer to Valtournanche
Rendezvous at Aosta, Italy, in the afternoon. Aosta is easily reached by train from Milan, Italy, or Geneva, Switzerland. Once we have gathered as a group, we will transfer to the small village of Valtournanche. Welcome dinner. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 2: Valtournanche to St. Jacques
Hike to St. Jacques. Our day begins with a short transfer to Cheneil, a small hamlet of stone farmhouses. From here we climb through open pastures to the Colle di Nina at nearly 9,200’ with its impressive views of the range of peaks between the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. Our long descent to St. Jacques is a classic high alpine experience: amazing views, open meadows, craggy outcroppings. Short transfer to the village of Champoluc where we spend the night. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 3: St. Jacques to Gressoney-St. Jean
A wild and timeless feeling accents today's hike. After a cable car ascent, we first hike to the tiny hamlet of Cunez with its historic buildings. Climbing up to the Colle de Pinter (9,164’) and then descending to the picturesque village of Gressoney-St. Jean, we hike through untamed pastures and past old rustic farms. This is hike breathtaking and has a real feeling of remoteness. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 4: Gressoney-St. Jean to Alagna
From our hotel in St. Jean, we will hike up the long remote valley of the Valdbbia to the pass at Colle Valdobbia at 8,184’. During the 18th and 19th centuries, this mountain pass was a busy passageway for travelers and traders. Our descent leads us to our rendezvous point at Rifugio St. Antonio. This beautiful and occasionally steep hike is wonderful as we hike between the rocky peaks of Cresta Rossa and the Corno Rossa. From St. Antonio, we will travel by van to the pretty village of Alagna where we spend the night.
Having left the Val d’Aosta, we have now entered the Piemonte region and the valley of Walsers. The Walsers, originally of German descent, migrated over the mountains from Switzerland to this region. With them, they brought their culture, language, and architecture. This small village is charming and fun to explore. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
• It is possible to skip this day of hiking by taking a bus and then a series of cable cars up and over to Alagna. This is an optional excursion and not included.
Day 5: Alagna to Macugnaga
A short transfer from the hotel leaves us at our trailhead at 4,810'. We climb to the Colle di Turlo at 9,035’. This amazing, though very long climb to the pass, is nearly entirely on a cobbled "road" built in the 1950s by the Italian Army Corps of Engineers. The scenery is rugged and unspoiled. This hike will prove to be the longest and most remote of the trip. Part of our long descent of about 4,400' is also on this cobbled road. Eventually, we arrive in Lage da Fate and Isella and walk into Macugnaga, and our hotel, where we will spend the night in a hotel.
This is a strenuous plus day. Even though the trail is well graded in long switchbacks and the footing is good, the elevation gain, descent, and distance are significant. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 6: Macugnaga to Saas Fee
We start the day with the cable car to the Passo di Monte Moro. Looking back, the views of Monte Rosa and her east wall equal the most impressive of mountain landscapes. Its precipitous rise is awesome. We leave Italy and cross into Switzerland at the pass, Passo di Monte Moro. The short uphill hike to the pass leads us by a large golden statue of the Madonna.
With the aid of handrails and stepping stones, we cross into Switzerland and begin our descent to the large lake of Mattmark. On our descent from the pass, we take an ancient "paved" trade route used by mules in the early days. Arriving at the dam at Mattmark, we then take a bus to Saas Fee. The views from Saas-Fee take in the Mischabel Range with its peaks the Taeschorn, Dom, Lenzspitz, Alphubel, and Allalinhorn all rising to over 4,000 meters (13,200’). We arrive in Saas Fee in the midafternoon, allowing some time to visit this bustling alpine village. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 7: Saas Fee to Gspon to Zermatt
From Saas Fee, we take the bus to Sass Grund and the lift to Kreuzboden mid-station. From here, we hike the high belvedere to Gspon. This is one of the classic hikes in the Alps, with stunning views of the Mischabel Range with its numerous peaks and tumbling glaciers. From Gspon, we take the cable car (2 sections) to Stalden. Once in Stalden, take the next train to Zermatt. Arrive in Zermatt in the late afternoon. Hotel with private baths. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 8: Day Hike to the Hohenbalmen
This strenuous hike is stunning, but not easy or short. What makes it special is there are no lifts, no cars, no roads, no bikes – there are only paths, open meadows, and outstanding views of the Matterhorn and the entire Mischabel Range – Monte Rosa, Dom, Dufour, Liskamm, Breithorn, Castor, and Pollux. The trail, busy with hikers at first, leads to the Edelweiss Restaurant and the Trift Hotel. Many day hikers stop at these points, but those willing to continue to climb and put in the effort will be richly rewarded. After our fill of views, we descend, sometimes steeply, and circle back to Zermatt. Farewell dinner.
Day 9: Independent departure from Zermatt.
Please allow for travel time when making plans. Allow for about 4 hours of train travel time to either the Geneva or Zurich Airports. The earliest train departs Zermatt at 5:40 am. Travel to Milan Malpensa takes about 3 1/2 – 4 hours by train and a short taxi ride for the last bit. Please plan flight times accordingly.
If you would like to spend any extra nights in Val Tournenche or Zermatt, please let us know when you book your trip and we will make reservations at the same hotel.
If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, we will not charge you extra for this “forced” single.
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts
- All dinners
- All group transfers on ski lifts, buses and trains as described in the itinerary
- Great hiking and memories!
Airfare, travel to the meeting point (Aosta, Italy) and from the ending point (Zermatt, Switzerland), lunches, optional excursions, unexpected or unplanned transfers, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, insurance, tips to guides/leaders, items of a personal nature.
This hike is not luggage supported each day; however, our extra luggage will be transferred from our hotel in Valtournanche to Alagna, to Macugnaga and to our hotel in Zermatt. In between those overnight stops, you need to carry your personal items and clothes. (See our sample packing list.) With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to about 15 – 20 lbs., including lunch and water.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES
Hotels: Comfortable 2- and 3-star hotels with private baths. The hotels will reflect the rich culture and atmosphere of the area. Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels and lunches are picnic style along the trail.
Nearest airports are Milan, Italy, or Geneva, Switzerland.
The group meets at the Aosta, Italy, train station on Day 1 at 2:00 pm.
The trip ends at the hotel in Zermatt on the last morning. From Zermatt, it will take about 4 hours to reach either the Geneva or Zurich Airports. The earliest train departs Zermatt at 5:40 am. Travel to Milan Malpensa takes about 4 hours by train and bus. Depending on your flight times, it may be necessary to plan an extra night.
If you would like to register or would like to receive a more detailed itinerary (including elevation gains, loss, and distance), please contact us. We're happy to supply you with a list of past participants happy to share their insights into this guided Tour Monte Rosa Hike.
Reserving This Trip
A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept
MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one
of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the
area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 60 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 60 days prior to
departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit and registrations, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information
pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form,
medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive trip
rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.