Italian & Swiss Alps Hiking Adventure

  • 9 Days
  • Avg Group Size: 12
  • Activity Level 4
    • Activity Level 4

      Be prepared for some serious physical activity on our Level 4 trips. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it, as most hikes will be challenging.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Milan
  • Trip End: Milan
Monte Rosa Trail

Experience the kaleidoscope of colors of the Italian and Swiss Alps on this spectacular alpine adventure!

From the pink hues of the sun rising on Monte Rosa (Italy’s second highest peak), to the steely grays of the great granite cliffs, to the pure white of the snow-covered Matterhorn and surrounding glaciers, to the inky blue alpine lakes; this adventure is a treat for the senses! Experience the beauty of hiking epic mountain trails, soar above breathtaking landscapes on dramatic cable car rides, e-bike through larch-scented woodlands, and kayak pristine lakes - all the while enjoying charming alpine culture. At the end of each action-packed day, you can sit back with a well-earned drink – and we can’t travel to Italy and Switzerland without mentioning the cuisine! Fresh pasta, Swiss fondu, local cheeses, tasty traditional dishes, all washed down with Italian wines, served in delightful chalet-style hotels with stunning mountain views.

Download Our Handy Trip Itinerary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Italian & Swiss Alps Hiking Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Milan Trip End: Milan

Download our Handy Trip itenary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip

  • Day 1Arrive in Milan, visit Sacro Monte, head to Alagna

  • Day 2Spectacular cable car rides, start the Monte Rosa hiking trail

  • Day 3Hike and cable car from Italy to Switzerland

  • Day 4Hike the world-renowned ‘Europaweg’ Trail

  • Day 5Hike the Altavia in Swiss region of Saastal

  • Day 6Hike Swiss Trail, cable car over to Italy

  • Day 7E-bike to Vogogna, explore woodland reserve

  • Day 8Kayak Lake Orta, enjoy farewell dinner

  • Day 9Ciao for now!

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Milan, visit Sacro Monte, head to Alagna

    #11768

    After we meet this morning, well transfer to Varallo for a visit to the world heritage site of impressive Sacro Monte perched atop a ridge overlooking the village. We’ll enjoy a tasty snack before continuing to the beautiful mountain village of Alagna.

    After checking into the hotel, we’ll settle in with a welcome drink, and briefing session complete with a packing check in preparation for the next few days’ hiking.
    Accommodation: Hotel Monte Rosa, Alagna
    Meals: Dinner

     

  • Day 2

    Spectacular cable car rides, start the Monte Rosa hiking trail

    #11769

    It’s our warm-up day! From Alagna Valsesia we’ll transfer by cable car to Passo dei Salati at 9,514 feet (2,900 meters). After a short acclimatization stop, the descent will begin to Staffal, sitting at 6,070 feet (1,850 meters) in the Lys Valley. We’ll then board another spectacular cable car ride to ascend to Sant’Anna to start the trek, following the path upward to Colle della Bettaforca. Note there is also the option to reach this destination by lifts!

    We’ll begin the descent to our accommodations for the night, the Rifugio Ferraro where we will enjoy a wonderful local dinner.
    Accommodation: Rifugio Ferraro
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Elevation: Rifugio Ferraro - 6,798 feet (2,072 meters) 

    Hiking: 4.3 miles (7 kilometers), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,804 feet (550 meters) ascent, -2,133 feet (650 meters) descent

  • Day 3

    Hike and cable car from Italy to Switzerland

    #11770

    Awakening to the crisp mountain air, we’ll enjoy a tasty breakfast before descending to Piani di Verra. Next we’ll ascend along the beautiful Curtoz Valley to reach Colle delle Cime Bianche at 9,495 feet (2,894 meters). The ‘up and down’ continues with a short descent then ascent by cable car to the mountain of Testa Grigia - literally “gray head” – at 11,417 feet (3,480 meters). It’s time to farewell Italy for a few days as we cross the border to Switzerland by descending into the Zermatt Valley.

    After soaring over the Teodul Glethscer (Theodul Glacier) to Trockener Steg at 9,642 feet (2,939 meters), we’ll then continue by cable car to the picturesque village of Zermatt. There is the option from Testa Grigia of continuing to Zermatt using the lifts to the Little Matterhorn at an altitude of 12,740 feet (3,883 meters).

    Tonight we’ll enjoy a traditional Swiss dinner in town!
    Accommodation: Hotel Base Camp Zermatt
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Hiking: 10.6 miles (17 kilometers), 5-7 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 3,937 feet (1,200 meters) ascent, 2,789 feet (850 meters) descent

  • Day 4

    Hike the world-renowned ‘Europaweg’ Trail

    #11771

    You are in for a treat today as we transfer by minibus to Täschalp at 7,119 feet (2,170 meters) to hike along the scenic ‘Europaweg’ to Grächen. The Europaweg trail is considered to be one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, and offers panoramic mountain views including the iconic Matterhorn. Along the way we cross the spectacular ‘Charles Kuonen Bridge’ which is a third of a mile (half a kilometer) in length, and continue to the Europahütte, nestled in the heart of a larch forest.

    We’ll refuel with a snack before descending to Täsch and returning to Grächen for the night.
    Accommodation: Hotel Active Grachen
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Elevation: Grächen 5,315 feet (1,620 meters)

    Hiking: 8 miles (13 kilometers), 4-5 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,297 feet (700 meters) ascent, 4,528 feet (1,380 meters) descent

  • Day 5

    Hike the Altavia in Swiss region of Saastal

    #11772

    The picturesque Saastal region beckons today! We’ll head up the valley along the scenic ‘Altavia’ - Grächen to Saas Fee trail - at an elevation of 5,814 feet (1,772 meters).

    The trail continues to descend to Saas Grund where we’ll check into our hotel to enjoy a well-earned Swiss meal.
    Accommodation: Hotel Monte Moro Saas Almagell
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Elevation: Saas Grund 5,115 feet (1,559 meters)

    Hiking: 12.4 miles (20 kilometers), 5-7 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 4,101 feet (1,250 meters) ascent, 1,050 feet (3,445 meters) descent

  • Day 6

    Hike Swiss Trail, cable car over to Italy

    #11773

    From Saas Grund, we start the trek from the Mattmark Reservoir, following the Saastal to reach the Monte Moro Pass at 9,410 feet (2,868 meters). We’ll then take the cable car back to Italy, to descend to the charming village of Macugnaga.

    After checking into the hotel, we’ll relish some delicious Italian cuisine in spectacular alpine surroundings.
    Accommodation: Hotel Flora Macugnaga
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Elevation: Macugnaga - 4,288 feet (1,307 meters)

    Hiking: 5 miles (8 kilometers), 3-4 hours
    Elevation Gain/Loss: 2,297 feet (700 meters) ascent, -328 feet (100 meters) descent

  • Day 7

    E-bike to Vogogna, explore woodland reserve

    #11774

    The hiking boots are swapped out for some pedaling action today! After a short drive along the valley to the village of Piedimulera, we will take our E-bikes for a guided tour along the Toce River to the medieval village of Vogogna. Post-card perfect Vogogna is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, amidst the protected woodland reserve of Ornavasso and the beautiful lake of Mergozzo.

    After the ride we will drive to Orta San Giulio on the banks of the magnificent Lake Orta and celebrate with a beautiful dinner on the terrace of the hotel.
    Accommodation: Hotel Il Bocciolo Orta
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Biking: 12.4 miles (20 kilometers), 3 hours

  • Day 8

    Kayak Lake Orta, enjoy farewell dinner

    #11775

    Today we’ll take to the water kayaking Lake Orta! This is a stunning experience meandering between the lake coastline, and the sensational villas overlooking it. We’ll kayak to the island of San Giulio for a break, and then continue to Orta San Giulio.

    We’ll end that day on Bagnera Beach at the Circolo Canottieri Lago d'Orta for our last meal together, reflecting on the incredible adventure of the past eight days.
    Accommodation: Hotel Il Bocciolo Orta
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Kayaking: Approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers), 2-3 hours

  • Day 9

    Ciao for now!

    #11776

    After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to transfer to Malpensa airport where we’ll say “ciao!”
    Accommodation: Not applicable
    Meals: Breakfast

Italian & Swiss Alps Hiking Adventure Departure Dates

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Included

  • Our own highly experienced guides and leader, with you from start to finish
  • Industry-leading Guest-to-Guide ratio (averaging 6:1)
  • Your own ‘Account’, an online space with everything required for your adventure
  • Our knowledgeable Customer Service Team to answer your queries - just a phone call, email or chat away
  • Customer Service pre-trip phone calls to ensure you’re 'trip ready'
  • All accommodations for the duration of your trip
  • All meals except where indicated in the itinerary
  • Unlimited snacks to keep you fueled
  • Flights as outlined in the itinerary
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All necessary equipment (well-maintained and safe) for activities, including bikes (where bike rides are applicable)
  • All gratuities for hotels, restaurants, and activities
  • All park and other entry fees
  • Transportation in our air-conditioned vans - safe, clean, modern, and comfortable!

Trip Map

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By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. This offer is only valid for reservations where the trip is no sooner than 180 days from the departure date at time of booking.

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance - you can find details here.

*Terms & conditions apply – read more here

 

Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are the Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) at the "Juice Bar" in Terminal One, just outside the arrivals area (between exits #7 & 8), at 11am, or the Hotel Holiday Inn Express Milan - Malpensa Airport at  11:30am. You are welcome to book your pre-trip stay at either of these hotels directly or any other hotel in Milan, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

What is not included?

Flights to and from trip start/end points
Pre/Post accommodation
Optional extra activities
Travel insurance
Gratuities for your guides
Rental gear

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at the Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) at 10:30am, in time for flights below, or the Hotel Holiday Inn Express Milan - Malpensa Airport at 11am.

Is tipping expected in Europe?

Tipping is not expected in Europe however you might want to tip a little extra if you feel someone gave really fantastic service, but it's not really necessary. Many of our people also choose to tip their Active Adventures Europe trip leaders and local guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per Trip Leader/guide. You are welcome to tip an equivalent amount in the local currency. There are plenty of ATM’s and banks in the larger towns of Europe.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Milan by 9am. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Milan after 1pm for both domestic and international. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We’ve selected the accommodation on the is trip for the unique character and adventuresome feel – this trip is not designed as a tour of the fanciest hotels in Italy. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable B&B’s and mountain lodges during the overnight hike on day 2, known locally as rifugio’s.

If you've selected a single supplement for your trip, the overnight hike is not included as no single rooms are available in the rifugio's, and the single supplement price takes this into account.

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You are allowed one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage should not exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and can be anything from a duffle bag to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase. You’ll also want a good quality backpack sized 25-30 liters (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days.

You'll also need an overnight trekking pack for the overnight hike, though your daypack could double as your overnight trekking pack if you bring along a 30-40 litres size (2000- 3000 cubic inches). 

How fit do I need to be?

As an Activity Level 4 trip, you’ll need a good level of fitness for this trip. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the activities much more. Typically, hikes on this trip range between fourand six hours to complete, with a day each of biking and sea kayaking. You should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise, ideally involving some up hills, down hills and steps. With a little preparation you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip all the more.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

Tell me about the overnight hike to Rifugio Ferraro

During the overnight hike to Rifugio Ferraro you’ll be spending one night in a mountain lodge, known locally as rifugio’s. All rooms have individual beds (no double beds) and share bathrooms. All rooms have individual beds (no double beds), and share bathrooms. The rooms are mixed gender and can range from 4 beds to 6 beds, so you will be sharing a room with others, no single rooms are available. Meals are served in the restaurant and there’s a bar that accepts euros and credit cards if you fancy a drink.

You’ll only be carrying the gear on the list your guides will provide you with the night before - your excess gear and luggage will be transported directly to the accommodation in Zermatt on Day 3, and will be waiting for you when you arrive. You’ll will be provided with a pair of slippers and, for those who wish, a shower towel.

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travelers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travelers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travelers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

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Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading average 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience.

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Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

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You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. All you need to do is show up!

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Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted partners and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides.

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Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

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"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience.