Spring is a special time to explore Switzerland. There is no other season when narcissus, cherry blossoms, dandelions, and other wildflowers are in bloom! It is also the perfect time for hiking in lower elevations while most of the snow is still melting in higher places. During spring, hiking can easily be combined with other outdoor adventures like biking, camping, swimming, river rafting, and a lot more!
Hiking is pleasant in these months between March and June although a bit tricky with the constantly changing weather. Make sure to pre-plan and check the local weather on sites like https://www.meteoswiss.admin.ch.
Here are some of the best spring hikes in Switzerland:
Lauterbrunnen Valley Walk, Jungfrau Region
Explore the 72 famed waterfalls of Lauterbrunnen! One of the best spring hikes in Switzerland to enjoy while other trails are still covered in snow.
The trail is dotted with iconic waterfalls. The most notable ones are Staubbach Falls, Trümmelbach Falls, and Mürrenbachfall, the highest one in Switzerland. These are just 3 out of the 72 waterfall spectacles that create the thunderous background accompanying your hike from Lauterbrunnen until Stechelberg. When you complete the hike at Stechelberg, you can then take a postal bus back to Lauterbrunnen.
This hike is perfect for beginners and for children and only takes around 2 hours to complete. A huge treat of panoramic views for such an easy and relaxing walk and why it’s among our best spring hikes in Switzerland.
Distance: 8 km
Average hiking time: 2 hours
Mount Rigi Panorama Trail
Mount Rigi’, the ‘Queen of the Mountains’ is its befitting title. A reputation from its unique location where three majestic lakes meet – Lakes Lucerne, Zug, and Lauerz. With a constant stream of visitors, hiking to and around Mount Rigi is not a quiet one. Nevertheless, it is among the best spring hikes in Switzerland.
Along the surrounding cliffs and mountains, there is no shortage of amazing views featuring the classic, unchanged beauty of this country. This hike starts from the top of Rigi Kulm at 1,752m high. You have to get to the top by train and then hike down to Rigi Scheidegg and then take the Rigi Scheidegg-Kräbel cable car ride.
Start: Rigi Kulm
Finish: Rigi Scheidegg
Average hiking time: 2 hours
Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful gorges in Switzerland, the Areuse Gorge in Neuchâtel is a favorite hiking destination. Starting from the idyllic village of Noiraigue, the trail follows the course of the Areuse river. It passes through cliffs, gigantic rocks, waterfalls, and stone bridges with Saut de Brot being the most notable one.
One of the best spring hikes in Switzerland, the Areuse Gorge is simply more spectacular this season. From the melted snow, a thunderous volume of water fills the river and the surrounding views are filled with pretty new greens.
Distance: 11.5 km
Average hiking time: 3 hours
Creux du Van is one of the country’s natural wonders and is also among the best spring hikes in Switzerland. This rock arena with vertical rock faces reaching up to 160 m high and stretching up to 4 km long is tagged as the ‘Grand Canyon of Switzerland’ and is certainly a must-see!
The enclosed basin is over one kilometer wide and on its own a thriving ecosystem of wild flora and fauna. The surrounding area adds to this fascinating landmark. Many hikers start early and catch the breathtaking sunset at Creux du Van.
This hike can be combined with Areuse Gorge making up one epic hiking adventure! Take a peek at Touring Monkey’s hike into these two amazing places.
Finish: Les Rochats
Distance: 13 km
Average hiking time: 4 hours
Jura Crest Trail
Although Areuse Gorge and Creux du Van have earned their distinctive spots in our list, they are known parts of the Jura Crest Trail. In its entirety, the Jura Crest Trail is a perfect hiking destination in spring. When most mountains and passes are still covered in snow, the Jura Crest Trail is beautiful and perfect for this season.
Its length totals 320 km and is broken down into 16 stages, giving you a lot of trail choices. A considerable part of the Jura Crest Trail is still considered ‘wild’ if you prefer to hike quietly.
This iconic long-distance trail showcases Switzerland’s diverse landscapes. Spanning from Zurich to Geneve, and passing through Switzerland’s German-speaking to French-speaking regions, the trail is also a chance to enjoy local specialties and get a glimpse of regional differences.
Distance: 320 km, 16 stages
Chemin des Narcisses
Photo by: Donatella Vadacca
In spring, the heights of Montreux Riviera turn into a sea of daffodils. “Neige de Mai” or May Snow as referred to by locals where the area looks like it’s blanketed with snow. Although this area is worth checking out at any time of the year, it’s one of the best spring hikes in Switzerland and a must-see at this time of the year!
Narcissi is a considerable part of Montreux’s history with grand festivals taking place in May when the flowers are in full bloom. Unfortunately, the number of narcisses has constantly been declining ever since and compelled the protection of these symbolic flowers.
This favourite spring hike starts and ends at Les Avants, a Belle Époque-style village. The sound of the funicular in the background will accompany you in this real fairy tale hike in the midst of blossoming daffodils.
Start: Montreux, Les Avants
Finish: Montreux, Les Avants
Distance: 6 km
Average hiking time: 1.5 hours
Bellinzona Castle hike
Bellinzona’s strategic location is reflected in its rich history. Its three mediaeval castles are now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular hiking route in the area. This is one of the best spring hikes in Switzerland partly because all three castles, Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro are open. Although Castelgrande is open year-round, the other two are only open from mid-March to early November.
Built in the 13th century, visiting the castles is a journey back in time when they were used as the country’s important barricades and defence. As UNESCO aptly cited,
“The fortified complex of Bellinzona is an extraordinary example of a late medieval defence structure located at a key strategic point in the Alpine landscape. The Bellinzona castles are some of the most enchanting examples of fortified medieval architecture of the Alps.”
Distance: 5.5 km
Average hiking time: 1.5 hour
Photo by: Claudio Schwarz
Switzerland’s very own version of the Grand Canyon is the gorgeous Rhine gorge. Its marvelous limestone rock formations, cliffs, forests, and the Rhine river snaking within the gorge have made this a popular attraction. There are various hiking options in the Rhine gorge ranging from a few kilometres to up to a 21km trail hike.
The train that regularly runs to the gorge plus strategically located access & exit points makes hiking convenient. The Rhine gorge viewing platform gives the best-overlooking view of the whole gorge. Hiking down and through the gorge is another exciting way of experiencing the Rhine gorge. This is an excellent spring hike in Switzerland when nature within and around the gorge is alive and has lots of opportunities for river rafting, dipping, picnics, and exploring.
Start: Castrisch train station
Finish: Versam Safien train station
Distance: 9 km
Average hiking time: 3 hours
Seerenbachfälle, Walensee Lake Hike
Seerenbachfälle is Switzerland’s tallest free-falling waterfall cascading 585 metres in 3 tiers. This is one of the best spring hikes in Switzerland. During this season, the waterfall usually has a bigger volume fed by melted snow of the Churfirsten mountain range.
Hikes in the area require a ferry ride so checking the ferry schedule beforehand adds to a more convenient adventure. The trails are well-marked and there are a lot of hiking options to choose from.
The deep water of Lake Walensee is amazing and perfect for swimming. The Swiss villages around are inviting and cosy. The varied sceneries ranging from mountains, waterfalls, cliffs, forests, lakes, and rivers make this a memorable and must-do hike in Switzerland!
Distance: 7 km
Average hiking time: 2.5 hours
Photo by: Marvin Meyer
The Verzasca Valley is a treasure and a landmark of the Italian canton of Ticino and is no doubt worth exploring. The double-arched 17th-century Ponte dei Salti bridge has been the icon of Verzasca and can’t be missed.
In springtime, the valley is even more alive with the emerald-green river flowing through the valley creating fascinating views and exciting adventures for its visitors. The whole hiking valley trail is divided into 2 stages. The second section between Corippo and Mergiosca is historically rich and impressive. This is a long hike and not too easy but is truly rewarding and undoubtedly one of the best spring hikes in Switzerland.
Distance: 21 km
Average hiking time: 7 hours
The most beautiful flowers in the country can be found in Wildhaus, a city in St. Gallen. Especially late in the season, the area is certainly among the best spring hikes in Switzerland. Depending on difficulty and time, there are a lot of walking options to choose from.
The Toggenburg High Trail catches the attention of many hikers for the adventure and countless views along the trail. Totaling 88km, the trail is divided into six stages that can be independently hiked. The Toggenburg High Trail spans from Wildhaus to Wil SG where hikers can enjoy cosy mountain huts, a number of spectacular lakes, valleys, villages, mountains, and of course, the pretty blooms of spring.
Finish: Wil SG
Distance: 88 km, 6 stages
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
These are just some of our recommended spring hikes in Switzerland. There are tons of other beautiful trails and destinations that are perfect for hiking in spring. Touring Monkeys’ organises day and multi-day hikes as well as private bespoke tours for groups and companies.
We’ll be glad to show the amazing nature of Switzerland in spring and other times of the year.