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High Passes of Valais West: Ulrichen to Simplon

High Passes of Valais West: Ulrichen to Simplon

Overview

This 6-day self guided tour connects some of the most beautiful valleys in the canton of Valais. Your adventure starts in the uppermost valley along the Rhone River – Goms, famous for its authentic villages with wooden houses and whitewashed churches. From sunny slopes above the Rhône through the Goms Valley, through forests and Alpine meadows and tiny, picturesque villages set amidst lush pastures, the route takes you to the Simplon Pass, which links Brig (Valais) with Domodossola in Northern Italy.

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 Ulrichen

Your tour starts in Ulrichen. The Valais village of Ulrichen, with its sun-browned wooden houses, well-tended farms and lush pastures, lies at the branch-off from Goms to the Nufenenpass and the Ticino Val Bedretto.

Day 2: Ulrichen – Blitzingen | 16 km

Today you will mostly be walking in the shade of larch and spruce trees, interspersed with occasional sections out in the open. The mountainside the trail goes along is often steep, though the well-constructed pathway means this is no issue. Through the trees, you can catch a glimpse of quaint little Valais villages and the Hangend Glacier down the valley. Overnight in Blitzingen – a typical Valais village, with dark wooden huts and winding alleyways.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 16 km / 4.5 h ↑ 640 m ↓ 695 m
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse Taverne zum guten Freund in Blitzingen

Day 3: Blitzingen – Binn | 14 km

In the forest or alongside the Rotten (Rhone) river, through the villages of Steinhaus, Mühlebach and Ernen, the trail goes through the Goms Valley. It is well worth spending a little time in these villages, to take a closer look at their traditional Valais houses. The village of Ernen was awarded the most beautiful village in Switzerland in 2018. From Ernen, follow the old link road into the Binn Valley. Dry-stone walls make a home for lizards, while all kinds of different alpine flowers bloom on the meadows.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 14 km / 4 h ↑470 m ↓300 m
  • Accommodation: Pension Albrun in Binn

Day 4: Binn – Brig / Rosswald | 17 km

The attractive pass hike over the Saflischpass affords the first views of the Valais 4000-metre-mountain world. The village of Rosswald offers views down into the Rhone Valley from its scenic terrace. At the end of the hike overnight stay in Brig.

Day 5: Brig / Rosswald – Simplon Pass | 19 km

By bus and the cable car back to Rosswald. A varied stage, with panoramic scenery throughout Alpine climb to Bortelhütte, blueberry picking above Rothwald in autumn. The trail leads along with the pass road gallery from Schallbett to the Simplon Pass.

  • Walking for the day: approx. 19 km / 6 h ↑1010 m ↓900 m
  • Accommodation: Pension Hospiz in Simplon Pass

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, 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 are 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

A smooth start in the beginning in the valley of Goms. As soon as you reach the Simplon Pass area, the trails get more rugged. 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 end-June till end-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 via Brig (4h 25m). For more information and timetables, please visit Swiss Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) or use the Omio planner above
  • By car: Parking spaces in Ulrichen/Oberwald. Parking spaces in Brig (CHF 8 per day). Return journey by bus to Glis (30 min) and then train from Brig (1h 10min).

Inclusions

Included

  • 5 overnights with breakfast as detailed in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfer on all walking days (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 office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, 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!
  • Single room supplement for members of a group
  • This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
  • Extra nights in Ulrichen and Simplon Pass are available upon request

Reviews

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Rating

     

Average rating:  4 stars  from 1 reviews

Amit Shalev4 stars

Great trip in a very picturesque terrain. The luggage transfer was done perfectly. There were 2 main problems: 1. the trip from Brig to Roswald is long and necessitates a bus and a gondola trip. A better alternative is sleeping in Roswald and not in Brig. This option would enable a much better hike on the last day. 2. the maps that were supplied by the "natural adventure company" were very basic and it was impossible to navigate with them. Luckily we downloaded a smartphone app with all the maps that helped us find our way along the trail.