Swiss TopwalkRegional hiking tour

Keen runners use the Swiss Topwalk as a training course. Regular hikers, too, enjoy the trail, which begins gently in the forest before leading along the scenic Aussichtsweg path up to the Gornergrat.

Best season

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Sweeping panoramic views accompany hikers all along this beautiful trail. Highlight: the reflection of the Matterhorn in the Riffelsee lake.

For athletes keen to boost their red blood cell count, this trail with its vertical climb of 900 m offers excellent altitude training. One attraction is the option – good for the joints – to head back down to the village afterwards on the Gornergrat Bahn cog railway, enjoying panoramic views along the way, Matterhorn included.

  • Observation platform on the Gornergrat
  • Intermediate stations on the Gornergrat Bahn cog railway line, for a leisurely alternative to walking/running
  • Part of route same as for Zermatt Marathon (held every July)
  • Interesting alpine flora
Riffelalp - Riffelberg - Riffelsee - Gornergrat

(Hiking time in reverse direction: approx. 2h)

We recommend:
  • Good footwear
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof)
The mountain landscape around Zermatt, with 38 summits above 4,000 metres, offers breathtaking panoramic views and is home to a wealth of fauna and flora.

Additional information and recommendations are available from the guest information centre on Bahnhofplatz (by the railway station).
  • Plan every mountain tour carefully and adapt to participants’ fitness level as well as the weather and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
  • Inform others of planned route, and whenever possible avoid going alone.
  • Do not leave the marked routes; do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • It is forbidden to walk on the ski pistes.
  • Please be considerate to other walkers and to plants and animals.
  • Take note of the warning signs drawing attention to the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs.

Caution! In spring the path may not be passable because of snow.

Zermatt is car-free. Private vehicles are permitted only as far as Täsch (5 km before Zermatt). The Täsch–Zermatt road is closed to the public.

Onward travel to Zermatt is either by private taxi or shuttle train. Trains depart every 20 minutes; the journey takes about 12 minutes, and ends at the Bahnhofplatz in Zermatt.
Täsch has car parks with both covered and open-air parking – e.g. at the Matterhorn Terminal or privately operated facilities.

Onward travel: see “Getting there”.
By train to the Matterhorn village: 3½ hours from Zürich airport or 4 hours from Geneva airport. Change at Visp onto the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (Matterhorn Gotthard Railway). From Visp, the railway leads through the Mattertal valley past idyllic small villages to Zermatt.

Zermatt is also the start and finish point for the world-famous Glacier Express panoramic train journey (Zermatt to St. Moritz or Davos).
"Bergblumenwelt von Zermatt – Alpine Flowers around Zermatt", Hanspeter Steindle, edition punktuell, CH-9101 Herisau, 2009, zweisprachige Ausgabe Deutsch und Englisch. ISBN 978-3-905724-15-8
A walking map (1:25,000) is available from Zermatt Tourism’s guest information centre, along with brochures containing tips and recommendations.

Map and arrival





Difficulty hard
Distance 6,3 km
Ascent 928 m
Descent 63 m
Duration 3,0 h
Lowest point 2212 m
Highest point 3080 m

Starting point of the tour:

Riffelalp (2'211 m)

Destination of the tour:

Gornergrat (3'089 m)


  • Nice views
  • Geological highlights
  • Faunistic highlights
  • Tour route
  • With refreshment stops
  • Botanical highlights
  • Mountain railway ascent/descent


Tour map (PDF)
Google-Earth (.kml)
GPS-Track (.gpx)

You might also be interested in

Find the best deals

  • Best price guaranteed
  • Real guest reviews
  • 100% secure booking
Snow report
Daily activities