Hiking in the Alps: 5 Stunning & Challenging Walks

"If It Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You"

A fitness trainer once said ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’ and at UTracks we are a big fan of these kind of inspirational thoughts on life. If you are thinking yourself to try new activities this summer, perhaps these suggestions of challenging trips for mountain hiking in the alps come in handy. From a new traverse on Europe’s second-highest peak (Monte Rosa) and a bucket-list walk in Slovakia’s High Tatra, to more classic hikes on the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, the choice is yours to make. All it now takes is your decision to try. Not only hiking trails, but also villages, beautiful views, good food, and camaraderie from other trekkers make these once in a lifetime experiences.

Monte Rosa | Italy & Switzerland

Tour de Monte Rosa, UTracks TravelGo hiking in the Alps this summer & see Monte Rosa
  • Walk spectacular sections of the challenging Tour de Monte Rosa

  • Be surrounded by an amphitheatre of 4000m peaks

  • Sharing your experience with a group of like-minded travellers

  • Discover beautiful Zermatt

Go hiking in the alps along the Tour de Monte Rosa, one of the most popular long distance walks in Europe. Especially if you are an avid trekker and seek both a challenging and spectacular route. With an experienced mountain guide, you’ll follow ancient trails (Leonardo da Vinci once walked here to study Monte Rosa) that link Switzerland to Italy on an almost circular walk. On balcony trails, the panorama of 4000m plus snow‑clad peaks, as well as the vast Monte Rosa massif, will take your breath away. With daily ascents of up to 1750m, this outstanding hike around Monte Rosa will appeal to those wanting a serious challenge in a gorgeous alpine setting. Will you decide to try? Find more information on the Tour de Monta Rosa Walk in the alps here >>

Matterhorn | Switzerland

Hiking in the alps: Matterhorn Circuit - UTracks TravelThe trail around the Matterhorn crosses between Italy & Switzerland
  • Circumnavigation of the Matterhorn

  • Exhilaration of trekking in the European Alps

  • Traversing high passes and walking through typical villages

  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette

  • Sharing your walking day with a group of like-minded travellers

The Matterhorn Circuit is one of the most challenging hikes in this list. It includes high passes and steep ascents, aided by steel ropes. If you are in a good level of fitness and have prior outdoor experience, this is an immensely rewarding traverse. On day 3 for example, you’ll walk up to the pass of Tsaté (2868m). It characterises as a long hike with numerous ascents and descents to reach Haudères in the Val d’ Hérens. Be surrounded by the famous peaks of Zinalrothorn (4221m), Obergabelhorn (4063m) and Dent Blanche (4357m) and ascend glacier and the Col Collon (3082m). The trail around the Matterhorn crosses between Italy and Switzerland, adding a cultural dimension to the journey. Will you decide to try? Find more information on the Matterhorn Circuit guided hiking in the alps trip here >>

Tyrol | Austria & Germany

Hiking in the Alps: Trans TyrolTrans Tyrol, from Garmisch to Innsbruck
  • Breathtaking scenery of the Wetterstein & Karwendel ranges

  • Schachen Castle, which can only be reached after several hours of walking

  • Charming mountain hotels & cabins brimming with warm hospitality

  • Some of the best hiking in the alps, including through impressive gorges and along balcony paths

We grade this a challenging walk because of the fact that this is a self guided walk and involves several long walking days. You will ascent up to 1500m and have days on which you will traverse a distance of 19km (12 miles). The hike from Garmisch in Bavaria to Innsbruck in Austria is demanding at times and requires a good level of experience in alpine terrain. This walk is a perfect balance of comfort and alpine hiking though. Will you decide to try? Find more information on the Trans Tyrol – Garmisch to Innsbruck self guided alpine walk here >>

Pyrenees | France & Spain

Hiking in the Alps: Haute Pyrenees in France - UTracks TravelCirque du Gavarnie
  • Cover part of the Haute Route Pyrenean in stages or in 3 consecutive weeks

  • Stage 3 includes an ascent of the mighty Pic Aneto (3404m), the highest peak in the Pyrenees

  • At night stay in simple mountain refuges serving hearty cuisine and brimming with character

  • Snowy high passes (even in summer)

  • Follow the French-Spanish frontier across wild and spectacular peaks & passes

The HRP “Haute Route Pyrenean” (HRP) or Pyrenees High Level Route, is an 800km high‑mountain trail that follows the French‑Spanish frontier. The section that we offer goes from Etsaut via Luz and Bagneres de Luchon to Tredos (and stunning Cirque de Colomers).

Stage 1 | Chemin de la Mature ‑ a pathway hewn into the cliffs. Passing the Pic du Midi d’Ossau, the Balaitous and the Vignemale, three of the most iconic peaks of the Pyrenees. Stunning views into the Cirque de Gavarnie on the final day.

Stage 2 | Cirque de Gavarnie from above with spectacular views across to the top of the Grande Cascade, crossing the border between France and Spain via the Breche de Roland, and seeing the Ordesa, Anisclo and Pineta canyons. Spanish idyll and great food at the Granges de Viados. High mountain crossing between the Soula and Portillon refuges, with an optional ascent of the Pic Gourdon, 3034m.

Stage 3 | Traverse of the Encantats National Park ‑ a beautiful wilderness of granite boulders, pure blue lakes and comfortable refuges. Ascent of the mighty Pic Aneto, 3404m ‑ the highest summit in the whole of the Pyrenees. Traverse of the Encantats National Park ‑ a beautiful wilderness of granite boulders, pure blue lakes and comfortable refuges.

At times, the trails are difficult to follow and require careful navigation over long days with rock scrambling a normal part of a trekking day and the going underfoot can be challenging. Will you decide to try? Find more information on the High Pyrenees Explorer guided walking holiday here >>

Mont Blanc & Matterhorn | Switzerland & France

Hiking in the Alps: Chamonix to Zermatt - UTracks TravelDescending to Zermatt in Switzerland
  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery amongst the highest peaks in Western Europe including

  • the Matterhorn and Dent Blanche

  • Follow the historic route from the head of the Chamonix Valley to Zermatt

  • Enjoy culinary specialties such as Raclette

  • Hiking in the alps with a group of like-minded travellers

The historic route from the head of the Chamonix Valley can be rugged at times. First taken by British climbers at the end of the 19th century, with UTracks you can today follow the so called ‘trekkers version’. The hike is suitable for experienced trekkers only: there are considerable altitude gains (between 800-1300m per day) and hikers must have a high level of fitness and endurance. Skirting glaciers you’ll ascend passes gaining breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including the 4000m+ peaks of Dent Blanche, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn. The planned itinerary can be affected by mountain weather and trail conditions and as such changes can be made along the way. Will you decide to try? Find more information on the Chamonix to Zermatt guided alpine walking holiday here >>   Anyone undertaking a challenging trip should be aware of the physical and mental demands involved. The above described trips are designed for experienced walkers who are seeking a challenge. Joining any of these trips requires an above average level of fitness, as days can involve up to 7.5 hours of strenuous exercise in rugged terrain. You need to be sure footed and have a head for heights as there are some steep drops close to the paths. If you feel like taking up the challenge and go hiking in the alps this summer, download the trip notes on the trip of your interest for more information, or contact our team of travel experts who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Alps, France, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

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