Switzerland: the land of cheese, chocolate, and clocks. Or at least that’s what most travelers think before they visit this gem of a country.
The reality is that Switzerland is one of the world’s best places for outdoor adventure—and one of the worst for anyone who suffers from vertigo. This small country isn’t afraid of going big when it comes to doing dangerous things at great heights.
There are countless ways to adventure through Switzerland, but these are the five best.
1. Hike to the “Murder Wall”
The Matterhorn, Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau peaks in the Swiss alps are known to hikers and mountaineers around the world for their prize-winning combination of beauty and danger.
The Eiger has a particularly deadly reputation: its 6,000-foot sheer north face, commonly known as the “Mordwand” (“murder wall” in German), was not successfully summited until 1938, and has killed more than 60 climbers to date.
For a less perilous trek of the Alps, start in the pastureland just west of Zermatt. This area is largely undeveloped, meaning that its well-maintained trails pass through mostly pristine countryside. Summit the Mettelhorn (less than 800 feet of climbing) for panoramic views, and then descend back down to watch the sun set over the Matterhorn.
Trekkers can find many hut-to-hut itineraries in this region: some of the mountain hotels are only accessible on foot or by helicopter, but they manage to offer comfortable beds, hot showers, and delicious food.
Our friends at Carpe Mundo offer an eight-day hiking tour of Switzerland that includes treks featuring close-up views of the Matterhorn and Eiger mountains.