<p>Discover the best hiking trails in the Alps and experience the beauty of the mountains in summer.</p>
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Where to go Hiking in the Alps this Summer?

Discover the best hiking trails in the Alps and experience the beauty of the mountains in summer.

Published at: 31 May 2022
Last updated at: 31 May 2022

Discover the best hiking trails in the Alps and experience breathtaking views of mountain peaks, glistening lakes and lush green pastures.

Serena Norton
Serena Norton

Hiking in the Swiss Alps

Summer Chalets in Switzerland

Zermatt Hiking Trails

Best day hike in Zermatt - 5 Lakes Walk:

Offering views of the Matterhorn reflected in three shimmering lakes, the 5 Lakes Walk in Zermatt is a pleasant hike of medium difficulty that takes around three to four hours to complete. Suitable for families, the 9.8 km route begins at Blauherd before taking you to five lakes of differing shape, colour, character and size. Go for an icy dip in the Leisee, admire the rare flowers on the shores of the Grindijisee and admire the milky turquoise waters of Lake Moosijee.

Best hike in Zermatt for Matterhorn views - Matterhorn Glacier Trail:

Get up close and personal to the Theodul and Furgg glaciers which have retreated more than 3 km over the last 150 years. Learn all about the area and the glaciers en-route via multiple information panels along the way as you negotiate the rocky terrain. The 6.5 km hike begins at the Trockener Steg cable car station and ends at the Schwarzee station and is of moderate difficulty.

Grindelwald Hiking Trails

A strenuous hike with incredible views - First to Schynige Platte:

This challenging 16.5 km hike with nearly 1000m of incline is regarded as one of the best in the region, taking in famous peaks, tranquil lakes, dramatic ridges, rocky cliffs and grassy meadows. Taking around five to seven hours to complete, you will experience some of the best views in the Interlaken region with 4,000 metre peaks soaring above Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.

Family-friendly hike with views of the Eiger - The Eiger Trail:

One of the more popular trails to explore when hiking in Grindelwald, the Eiger Trail traverses underneath the soaring north face of the Eiger with fantastic views of the Grindelwald valley and surrounding peaks. The 6 km trail starts at the Eigergletscher train station and ends at Alpiglen from where you can catch the cog railway train down to Grindelwald.

5 Lake Walk in Zermatt in summerPhoto: Thomas Aebischer
Hiking in Zermatt in summer with view of MatterhornPhoto: Pascal Gertschen
Cows in Grindelwald in summerPhoto: David Birri/Jungfrau Region Tourism

Hiking in the French Alps

Summer Chalets in France

Chamonix Hiking Trails

For casual hikers with views of the Mont Blanc Massif - Lac Blanc:

One of the most well-known Chamonix hiking trails, the Lac Blanc hike starts from Col des Montets and follows a winding path to the crossroads where it meets the Tre-le-Champ trail. Along the twisting and turning path you will enjoy an impressive 360° view between the Mont Blanc Massif and trhe Aiguilles Rouges. There is usually snow around the lake even in summer and with the peaks framing the lake, the reflection is particularly dramatic. The lake is located in the Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve so be on the lookout for ibex, chamois, marmots and deer.

For those looking for a challenge - Grand Balcon Nord:

Ticking off many highlights in the Chamonix valley, this demanding 14 km hike provides you with views of the Mer de Glace. You can also enjoy panoramic views of Mont Blanc and the Bossons glaciers as you navigate this varied trail. The trail begins at Gare de Montenvers where you can also visit the Ice Cave and ends at Aiguille du Midi.

Morzine Hiking Trails

For a relaxing stroll through picturesque hamlets - Montriond Lake:

This leisurely walk in Morzine, starting from Montriond town centre, takes you along the River Dranse through the charming hamlets of Le Lavanchy and Le Dravachet to Montriond Lake. The lake was created as a result of a landslide from Nantaux mountain and many activities take place here such as canoeing, kayaking paddle boarding and swimming. You can walk the whole way around the lake, detouring to take in Cascade d’Ardent waterfall which is an impressive sight.

Historical smuggling route with breathtaking views - Lac des Mines d”Or to Col de Cou:

This 6.3 km trail begins near the Lac des Mines d’Or which sits at the far end of Vallee de la Manche, before climbing to the Col de Cou on the Swiss border. The trail follows a historic smuggling route that was used extensively during World War II. From the Col you will be met with mesmerising views of the Dents Blanche and Dents du Midi mountain ranges. For the return journey, turn left and follow the winding trail through beautiful alpine forest to the crossroads at Le Epingly. From here, bear right and head past Ferme des Freteroles to the lake or extend your walk to Chardonniere.

Hiking on a trail in Chamonix in summerPhoto: Fabian Bodet
Hiking Argentiere Glacier in Chamonix in summerPhoto: OT Vallee de Chamonix/Celia Margerard
Lac des Mines d'Or in Morzine in summerPhoto: Ollie Godbold

Hiking in the Austrian Alps

Summer Chalets in Austria
Summer hiking in St AntonPhoto: TVB St. Anton am Arlberg/Josef Mallaun

St Anton am Arlberg Hiking Trails

For the long-distance hut-to-hut hiker: Eagle Walk

The Tirol’s best-known long-distance hike, the Eagle Walk spans 413 km all the way from the Kaiser Mountain in the east of Tirol to the border with Vorarlberg in the west. With a total of 33 daily stages, following the route traces the silhouette of a flying eagle. However, if you are short on time then the final section offers a taste of the stunning scenery, taking in the jagged peaks and lush Alpine meadows of the Arlberg region. This section begins at Kaiserjochhaus in the rugged Lechtal Alps and finishes in St Christoph am Arlberg, 17.5 km later. The hike is challenging and takes around four hours to complete. There are a number of huts along the way which provide a chance to rest and pick up refreshments.

Garden views of grazing animals in summer

Kitzbuhel Hiking Trails

For animal lovers: Wildpark Aurach

Open throughout the year, Aurach Wildlife Park in Kitzbuhel is a wonderful place for an alpine hike with around 300 animals to spot. Situated at an elevation of 1,100m, there are wonderful panoramic views to enjoy as well as a variety of wildlife from fallow deer and mouflon to ibex, lynx and yaks to name a few. A main attraction is the daily deer feeding which takes place at 14.30pm. There’s also a barn with llama, sheep, Shetland ponies, donkeys, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs - perfect for children to pet with supervised feeding taking place at 13.30pm on weekends.

Hiking in the Italian Alps

Summer Chalets in Italy

Dolomites Hiking Trails

For easy via ferrata: Gran Cir Trail

A prominent peak in the Cir Group within Puez-Odle Nature Park, The Gran Cir trail is a great introduction to via ferrata and a popular route when hiking in the Dolomites. Passo Gardena, where the via ferrata Gran Cir begins, is around a 20 minute drive from Corvara in Alta Badia and Selva in Val Gardena. It takes around 1 hr 30 min to hike to the summit of Gran Cir with awe-inspiring views of the Sella group, Sassolungo, Monte Antelao and Pelmo from the top. The route is particuarly popular at sunrise and sunset.

A historical hike close to Cortina d’Ampezzo: The Lagazuoi Tunnels

Just a 30-minute drive from the renowned resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo are the Lagazuoi Tunnels. These were constructed by the Italians during World War I in order to undermine the Austrian troops. The hiking trail up to the Lagazuoi Tunnels starts at the Falzarego pass. From here you hike on the Frontline Trail up to the crossroads that to the left leads to the tunnel entrance above the Cengia Malvezzi ledge. It is worth making a short detour to this interesting ledge with its military huts. The tunnel opens on the top of the fore-summit of the Piccolo Lagazuoi. After exiting the tunnel, you cross a military trench system that was the fortifed outpost of the Austrian army. From there you reach the top station of the Lazazuoi cable car and refuge. At 2,752m, you will feel on top of the world.

View of Sassonger in Alta BadiaPhoto: Paola Finali
Hiking in Val GardenaPhoto: ©DOLOMITESValGardena
Via ferrata in Cortina in summerPhoto: Ute Dandrea

Frequently asked questions

When is the best time of year to hike in the Alps?

The best time of year to plan a hiking holiday in the Alps is from the beginning of July until the end of August. During this time, you will find wild flowers in full bloom, warmer weather and dry conditions under foot. However both mid/late June and September are also possible with quieter trails and beautiful views as the leaves change colour. However, it is important to consider weather and accommodation limitations during this period.

What to wear hiking in the Alps in summer?

The weather can be unpredictable in the Alps so it is best to prepart for both rain and sun. Lightweight waterproofs are a must along with sturdy walking/hiking boots. Layering your clothing is the best option when it comes to preparing for hiking holidays in the Alps. Trekking poles are advisable and make sure you also have a backpack with essentials such as suncream, first aid kit, water and snacks.

Will I see wildlife when hiking in the Alps?

The Alps are teeming with wildlife in summer but tend to be the types of animals that shy away from human contact. However if you keep your eyes peeled you can expect to see everything from marmots, chamois and ibex to golden eagles and even wolves.