6 days
Moderate to Challenging

Wonderful walking in the Jungfrau – Aletsch UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

Enjoy stunning vantage points onto the two longest glaciers in the Alps.

Cross spectacular suspension bridges over plunging gorges.

Relax at the shore of the turquoise lake Märjelensee and take in the awesome surroundings.

Enjoy sweeping views of towering alpine summits, including the distinctive distant peak of the Matterhorn.

The Aletsch Glacier Panorama Trail: self-guided walking holiday in Valais

On this sensationally scenic walking holiday you will enjoy endless viewpoints over the two longest glaciers in the Alps. The Fiescher Glacier measures and impressive 14 km, while the Aletsch Glacier is Europe’s longest at 23 km. The Aletsch Glacier region has been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 2001 and the Aletsch Glacier itself is one of the true natural wonders of the Alps. It covers an area of 80 square kilometres, contains 10 billion tonnes of ice and is 800 metres thick at its deepest point. The sight of this immense stream of ice winding its way past the 4,000-metre-high-summits of the Valais is truly unforgettable.

Over thousands of years these glaciers have shaped the majestic high-Alpine landscape of the Jungfrau, Bietschhorn and Finsteraarhorn. The rugged beauty of the ice and rock contrasted with the soft greens of the surrounding Aletsch Forest creates scenery to take the breath away. The serene Aletsch Forest is under a conservation order and has many centuries-old Swiss stone pines and a wealth of flora and fauna to discover. Pristine Alpine lakes such as the turquoise Märjelensee invite the hiker to stop for a picnic lunch and marvel at the majestic beauty of the surroundings.

The Aletsch Glacier Panorama Trail runs from Belalp to Bellwand and focuses in turn on the Aletsch and Fiescher Glaciers. Of course, the effects of climate change are felt acutely in the Alps, and these also have implications for hikers. The route once ran across the Aletsch Glacier, but this is no longer possible due to unstable moraine slopes. Instead, a spectacular 124-metre-long suspension bridge over the Massa Gorge provides a safe link on the path from Belalp to Riederalp. This is in fact the first of two such bridges on the route. Built in 2016, the 160-metre-long Aspi-Titter suspension bridge is another highlight. At an altitude of 120 metres, this bridge spans the Weisswater Ravine at the foot of the Fiescher Glacier. Once you cross this you are not far from your final destination, the pretty Alpine village of Bellwald.

6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS From €975 per person sharing*

*A high season surcharge of €20 pp. will apply from 29/6 to 30/8.
*A single supplement charge will apply to solo walkers.

AVAILABILITY You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between June 29th and September 15th.
ACCOMMODATION 5 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.

You will stay in comfortable, 3*** hotels and mountain inns with en suite rooms.

5 x overnight stays according to the itinerary
5 x breakfasts
Luggage transportation
Entrance to the World Nature Forum in Naters (closed Mondays)
Detailed walking notes &  maps
GPS tracks
Pre-departure information pack
Access to SwitzerlandMobility App
CHF 10 Subsidy for arrival by train
24/7 telephone support
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Taxi transfers, cable cars or public transport*
Local tourist taxes
Admissions & entrance fees of any kind
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
*NOTE: To get back to Brig from Bellwald you take a cable car to Fürgangen (approx. CHF 18 with half-fare card), followed by a train to Brig (approx. CHF 6).
Additional nights in Brig or Bellwald
Single Room Supplement
DISCOUNT FOR DIGITAL ROUTE BOOK Join us in achieving greater sustainability by choosing our digital route book, rather than the printed version. As a small thank you we will give you a discount of €20 per room (let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this).
DIFFICULTY The difficulty level of this tour is rated as moderate to challenging overall. For a hike in the alpine region, you should be sure-footed and in good physical condition. For the suspension bridge over the Massa gorge you should be free from giddiness and not suffer from vertigo.

Day 1: Arrival in Brig

The pretty Alpine town of Brig is situated at the foot of the Simplon Pass in the sunny Upper Valais. It is an ideal starting point for hiking excursions in the Swiss Alps. The first man-made road in the Alps was constructed here in the 19th century by Napoleon Bonaparte.

After checking into your hotel, you can take a stroll around the historic old quarter and visit the Stockalper Palace, one of Switzerland’s most important baroque palaces.

Overnight: Brig.


Day 2: Brig to Belalp

Distance: 7 km | Ascent: 675 m | Descent: 20 m | Walking time: 2½ hrs approx.

Your first walking day is a short one, so we first recommend a visit to the World Nature Forum in Naters, the visitor centre for the Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site (entrance included). Here you have the opportunity to gain a great insight into the formation and heritage of the Alps. When you are finished at the museum, you begin your hike up to Blatten. This is an authentic and delightful little Valais village, with timber houses burnt a deep brown by the sun. From Blatten, you take the cable car up to Belalp. You spend the night here on an idyllic and sunny high Alpine plateau.

Overnight: Belalp.


Day 3: Belalp to Riederalp

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 695 m | Descent: 850 m | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

From Belalp, a wide footpath leads you first to Aletschbord. The view here is sure to stop you in your tracks: an incredibly panorama ranging from the lower part of the Aletsch Glacier to the iconic Matterhorn and the other majestic peaks of the Valais. A zigzagging descent then takes you to the next highlight of the today’s hike – you cross the Massa Gorge via a spectacular 124 m long suspension bridge. The crossing is not for the faint-hearted but it’s worth stopping half way for an awesome unimpeded view of the glacier. Once safely across, you ascend past lake Grünsee through the pines and larches of the Aletsch Forest. As you reach the Riederfurka ridge you are greeted by the sight of the magnificent Villa Cassel, a Victorian mansion incongruously perched like an eagle’s nest amid this pristine mountain environment. It was built as the holiday home of a wealthy English banker whose illustrious guests included Winston Churchill. Today it houses the Aletsch Pro Natura conservation and visitor centre.

Overnight: Riederalp.


Day 4: Riederalp to Fiescheralp

Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 1,020 m | Descent: 755 m | Walking time: 5½ hrs approx.

On today’s hike you are treated to a string of beautiful and contrasting vantage points. To the north, you will enjoy the most magnificent view of the Aletsch Glacier in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the south, you have the awesome panorama of the 4,000-metre-high peaks of the Valais. Between the Sparrhorn and Fusshörner mountains, a fantastic view opens up over the Oberaletsch Glacier, the second-largest glacier in the Aletsch area. On the gentle descent to Lake Märjelensee, soft green grasses and small tarns contrast with the rugged surroundings of rock and ice. Finally, you pass through the Tälligrat Tunnel to your accommodation for the night at Fiescheralp.

Overnight: Fiescheralp.


Day 5: Fiescheralp to Bellwald

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 640 m | Descent: 1,265 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.

You begin your final hike by descending on old Alpine paths to the Burg, a rock massif which has been smoothly polished by the glacier. Against the backdrop of the Goms mountains, the Fiescher Glacier is revealed. This is a beautiful but challenging section. A few passages are secured with cables, others navigated via steep metal stairs. The next highlight is the 160-metre-long Aspi-Titter Suspension Bridge. At a height of 120 metres, it spans the Weisswater Ravine at the foot of the Fiescher Glacier. The bridge connects the villages of Fieschertal and Bellwald and the views from halfway across are simply spectacular. On the other side of the bridge, a final ascent takes you to the idyllic Goms mountain village of Bellwald. This car-free village is the highest in the Goms region and features quaint narrow laneways of typical sunburned wooden houses.

Overnight: Bellwand.


Day 6: Departure

From Bellwald, you can reach Brig by first taking a cable car to Fürgangen and then a local train to Brig (tickets not included, to be paid locally). The journey takes approx. 45 minutes.

Getting to Brig

/ You can fly into ZurichGeneva or Bern then continue by train to Brig.

Journey times are as follows:

  • Bern Airport to Brig: 2 hrs.
  • Geneva Airport to Brig: 2½ hrs.
  • Zurich Airport to Brig: 2½ hrs.

For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around

Departure from Bellwald

From Bellwald, you can reach Brig by first taking a cable car to Fürgangen and then a local train to Brig (tickets not included, to be paid locally). The journey takes approx. 45 minutes.

From Brig, you can take a train to Geneva, Zurich or Bern airports. Please see SBB’s website for train timetables.

Aletsch Glacier Panorama Trail
The Stockalper Palace in Brig
Climbing to Belalp
Bench on the sunny high plateau, Belalp
Pausing at a mountain lake, Belalp
Alpine marmot
View from Aletschbord
Riederalp hiking trail
Suspension bridge over the Massa Gorge
The Riederfurka and Villa Cassel
Hiking at Riederalp
The Aletsch Glacier
Admiring the view over the Aletsch Glacier
Lake Märjelensee
The Fiescher Glacier
The Aspi Titter hanging bridge
The pretty Alpine village of Bellwald

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