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High Passes of Valais East: Simplon to Zinal

High Passes of Valais East: Saas-Fee to Grimentz

Overview

This 6-day self guided tour connects some of the most beautiful valleys in the canton of Valais. Your adventure starts in the deservedly known as ‘the Pearl of the Alps’ Saas-Fee and ends in the valley of Val d’Anniviers. Enjoy the view of the Mischabel mountains with the 4545 metre Dom, the grand vistas of glaciers and the solitude of mountains off the beaten track.

Click to view map

*This map is only for general reference; detailed route maps will be provided in your pre-departure package.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Saas-Fee

Arrive at your accommodation in Saas-Fee. The resort village is a significant glacier village at an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level, nestled between the towering mountains of the Swiss Alps with 13 peaks reaching the height of four thousand meters.

Day 2: Saas-Fee – Grächen | 20 km

The trail from Saas-Fee to Grächen is spectacular, extremely exposed in parts with steel cables providing secure holds on precarious sections and demands a certain head for heights. Begin by hiking through larch, stone pine and spruce trees. The surroundings become rockier and rockier, and the drop next to the path is steep down the mountain. Walk along the Saas Valley at 2,000 m above sea level. Dizzying views deep into the Saastal and enthralling views to the Fletschhorn, Lagginhorn and Weissmies. Take the cable car from the Hannigalp towards Grächen.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 20 km / 7 h ↑1250 m ↓1450 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Eden*** in Grächen

Day 3: Grächen – Gruben | 13.5 km

By bus to St. Niklaus and with the cable car up to the hamlet of Jungu, perched like an eagle’s nest above Switzerland’s deepest valley. After Jungu, the trail continues uphill through sparse forest. After a while, the forest ends, and hikers pass over the mountainside of Troära and a little downhill over a field of scree. This standpoint affords some truly glorious views of the 4000 m peaks around the Dom. Another steep climb follows to the Augstbord Pass, at 2,894 m. The path now goes uphill and down dale, crossing cow pastures and going through forests on the 1,000 m descent down to Gruben in the Turtmann Valley.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 13.5 km / 5.5 h ↑1025 m ↓1200 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Schwarzhorn* in Gruben

Day 4: Gruben – Saint-Luc | 11 km

Today, your luggage will be transferred directly to Grimentz, so make sure to have all needed in your day pack. Walk along the Meidsee lake, not far to the Meidpass, which also takes you over the linguistic border. German is spoken in the Turtmann Valley, while Val de Zinal is French-speaking. During the ascent, you will be able to spot the summits of the Bishorn and Weisshorn mountains, two proud 4,000 m peaks in the Valais. From the pass, descend onto a marshy plateau with several small lakes. After Combavert, the climb is amidst blueberries, juniper and a few larch trees until you reach the historic Hotel Weisshorn.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 11 km / 4.5 h ↑1160 m ↓645 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Weisshorn* near Saint-Luc

Day 5: Saint-Luc – Grimentz | 12 km

After breakfast, descend into the Val d’Anniviers along the trail of Pointes de Nava. Pass the village of Ayer and then back up to the Ancien Bisse de Morasse.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 12 km / 4 h ↑530 m ↓1290 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Alpina*** in Grimentz

Day 6: Departure

Return home or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in a mix of nice hotels, guesthouses and pensions in double or twin private en-suite rooms, except at the Pension Hospiz in Simplon Pass and Hotel Weisshorn, where no en-suite rooms are available. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view our default hotels for this trip

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

All breakfast and one dinner (in Hotel Weisshorn) included. Picnic lunches are optional at an extra charge and can be ordered locally. You can have dinner at your hotel or the nearby restaurants.

Difficulty & terrain

Some difficult walks, especially the one from Saas-Fee to Grächen. Very good physical condition is required. Please check the kilometres and the altitude change in the day-to-day itinerary above (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from July till September. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

The climate is moderately continental, with cold winters and warm summers. In autumn and spring, and sometimes even in winter, the foehn can blow from the south In summer, the temperatures are generally pleasant and lend themselves to outdoor activities. However, sometimes there can be rains and thunderstorms.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Zurich (ZRH) or Geneva (GVA).

By train or bus
  • Take the train from Zürich Airport to Visp and then bus or taxi to Saas-Fee. For more information and timetables, please visit Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) or use the Omio planner above.
  • By car: Parking spaces in Brig (CHF 8 per day). Return journey by bus and train from Grimentz via Vissoie and Sierre to Brig. Duration approx. 1.5 hours.

Inclusions

Included

  • 5 overnights with breakfast as detailed in the itinerary
  • Dinner included in Hotel Weisshorn
  • Luggage transfer on all walking days, except on Day 4 – in the morning your luggage will be transferred directly to Grimentz where it will join you on next day (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
  • Detailed route notes (1 x per room) & GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners (except at Hotel Weisshorn), drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Extra charges may be applicable for last-minute bookings for this specific tour!
  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
  • Extra nights in Saas-Fee and Grimentz are available upon request

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