VERBIER TO ZERMATT
225 km || 14.000m+/-
Linking two iconic Swiss mountain towns, Verbier and Zermatt, the Via Valais winds high above the most beautiful valleys of Switzerland's Valais region. The trail follows long sections of flowing singletrack, climbs up and over high passes, and has the option of daily bonus peaks.
Starting in the French speaking Valais, the route travels among the region's famous 4000ers and glaciers, through villages and valleys with distinct dialects and charms, crosses the Röstigraben into the Swiss-German speaking side of the region and finishes below the Matterhorn.
Start: Getting to Verbier
The closest airport is Geneva Airport (GVA).
From either Geneva or Zurich airports, the connecting point is Martigny. Martigny is a 1 hour 45 minute journey from Geneva or 3 hours from Zurich.
From Martigny a regional train, the St. Bernard Express, travels to Le Châble just below Verbier. From there, a cable car or a post bus goes up to Verbier.
By road, Verbier is around 2 hours drive from Geneva, 3 hours from Zurich, and 1 hour each from Chamonix, France or Aosta, Italy.
Finish: Leaving Zermatt
Returning to the airport from Zermatt, it takes 3.5 hours to Zurich and 4 hours back to Geneva. Change trains in Visp.
Zermatt is a car-free village. Driving can only get you as far as Täsch, where a 12 minute train shuttle connects Zermatt with Täsch every 20 minutes.
Interested in running the Via Valais with a guide?
We can connect you to our network of guide services. For more information, contact:
225 km || 14.000m+/-
STAGE 1 VERBIER TO CAB. D’ESSERTZE
STAGE 2 CAB. D’ESSERTZE TO CAB. AIGUILLE ROUGE
STAGE 3 CAB. AIGUILLE ROUGE TO CAB. BECS DE BOSSON
STAGE 4 CAB. BECS DE BOSSON TO CAB. DE MOIRY
STAGE 5 CAB. DE MOIRY TO ZINAL
STAGE 6 ZINAL TO TURTMANN HUT
STAGE 7 TURTMANN HUT TO RANDA
STAGE 8 RANDA TO MOUNTAIN LODGE ZE SEEWJINU
STAGE 9 MOUNTAIN LODGE ZE SEEWJINU TO ZERMATT
140 km || 8.200m+/-
Starting from Crêt du Midi, this 6 stage option merges with the official route close to the end of STAGE 3 on the way to Becs de Bosson, continues through STAGE 4 to Moiry, and then follows the itinerary for STAGES 5-9.
If you only have 1 week and don't want to double up the stages, this is a great option.
Info on arriving to Vercorin and the Crêt du Midi lift station here.
STAGE 1 CRÊT DU MIDI TO CAB. DE MOIRY
STAGE 2 CAB. DE MOIRY TO ZINAL
STAGE 3 ZINAL TO TURTMANN HUT
STAGE 4 TURTMANN HUT TO RANDA
STAGE 5 RANDA TO MOUNTAIN LODGE ZE SEEWJINU
STAGE 6 MOUNTAIN LODGE ZE SEEWJINU TO ZERMATT
The overnights alternate between mountain huts and hotels in the valley towns. The huts are very comfortable, offer the ability to wash up, and provide great food and drinks. The first 4 nights are in huts, high above the valleys. They aren't exactly roughing it, and are incredible places to start and end the day.
Nights in town give you a chance to shower, have more flexibility with your food, and even indulge in some wellness if you choose.
Zinal - hotel in town
Randa - hotel in town
Zermatt - hotel in town
You can use the Swiss train system (SBB) to send bags by train for holding at stations. Using this system, there is the option of having bags transferred to Zinal, that way you’d have fresh kit about midway through, and then transfer all your bags, along with the dirty clothes, on to Zermatt for pick up. Visit the Luggage Section of the SBB site for details, planning, and costs.
There are several stages of the Via Valais that stay high in the mountains, traveling from hut to hut without passing through a town. These wild stages are part of the beauty of the route, but often require some planning ahead for food. Below is a list of the towns you will pass where you can restock your day food supply.
Verbier: You can get everything you need for starting out in the resort town. Be sure to pack enough day food to last until the middle of Stage 3 when you'll pass through Evolène. The huts provide dinner and breakfast. You can also purchase day food and there are a few restaurants near ski infrastructure, but out on the trail you are on your own for food and water.
Evolène: Midway through Stage 3, you'll pass through the town of Evolène before a strenuous uphill to Becs de Bosson. This is a great place to stop for lunch and to purchase extra day food from the Coop or other stores.
Zinal: Finishing Stage 5, you reach the town of Zinal, well known for being the finish line of the Sierre-Zinal trail race, the race of the 4000ers. Besides its flowing trails and huge views, you can also buy extra food before starting out on the next stage.
Randa: The end is getting close, Stage 7 stops here, in the Mattertal. From Randa, you'll climb up to the Europaweg, which is your approach to Zermatt. You'll run a victory lap high above town on some of the best single track imaginable before descending to Zermatt.
Zermatt: You did it! Time to indulge.
Each stage includes the option of a bonus peak. These not only add distance and altitude to the route, they also add some scrambling, and always fantastic views.
Le Crepon Blanc (2713m)
Mont de l’Etoile (3370m)
Becca de Lovégno (2769m)
Becs de Bosson (3148m)
Pigne de la Lé (3396m)
L’Omen Roso (3031m)
Üssers Barrhorn (3610m)
Each of the valleys has a unique architecture, character, and cuisine. For more info on the valleys that the Via Valais passes through, visit their individual Tourism offices.