Best Swiss Climbing Resorts

Switzerland’s top climbing destinations in 2016 and 2017.

Zermatt

Ver thirty 4000m peaks within reach, Summer skiing o...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Saas Fee

Iews from the rotating restaurant, 350km of hiking t...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Murren

00km walking trails, Visit the Trümmelbach falls, Fu...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Grindelwald

00km walking paths, 160 km mountain bike trails, Firs...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Davos

Etting zoos & campfire spots for families, Adventure...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Wilderswil

Uieter alternative to Interlaken, 13th century Unspu...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Interlaken

Ater sports on the lakes, Amazing views from the Two...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Klosters

00km marked footpaths, Paddle at the lido, Great for ...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Lugano

La freccia rossa’ tourist train, Visit Lake Como & ...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Wengen

Limbing on the Eiger, 500km+ walking trails, See the ...

Great for:

Activities & Attractions

Walking

Mountain biking

Road cycling

Top 10 Most Popular

It’s not surprising given the number of colossal peaks, that Switzerland has garnered such a sterling reputation for climbing holidays. The reverence afforded to mountains like the Eiger and Matterhorn is justly deserved – they’re a magnet for the best in the business who come here to test their technique in the summer.

There are plenty of other climbs with smaller, less stomach-turning features and a number of resorts even have indoor walls for confidence-building or just seeking refuge from a summer storm. You’ll also come across some Via Ferrate: man-made, fixed-rope and obstacle courses designed to test and entertain. As well as being great fun, they show off some of the top views in the Alps.

Holidays in the ten best Swiss climbing resorts

The rock face of the Rifflehorn is Zermatt’s prime location for climbing and is often used to train athletes for scaling the colossal Matterhorn. Seasoned climbers tend to haunt the west ridge, though the southern wall has a sweet medley of beginner and expert routes – not to mention amazing views of the Alps and Gorner glacier. In the resort, you can test new skills on the climbing wall at the Trifbachalle or strap yourself onto the Via Ferrata trail that’s a half hour walk from Zermatt centre.

The massive surrounding peaks are enough to have any experienced climber licking their lips; because so many of them stand at over 4000m they’re a daunting but exhilarating undertaking. The Allalinhorn is manageable in a single day, even though it stretches up to a lofty 4027m. It’s pretty testing, but less so than some of its neighbours – like the rocky Rimpfischhorn – and the climbing is hugely varied. Cramponing among the deep fissures of the glacier is a great way of getting up close and personal with the awesome features of the landscape. If you want to get a good view of the soaring peaks but you’re not comfortable on the ice, there are plenty of other climbing zones, including two brilliant Via Ferrate. The Jagihorn one is fairly difficult but the Mittaghorn is more manageable and both have incredible views. On top of that there’s a mini one and a climbing garden at Furggstalden for beginners.

The Via Ferrata is probably the biggest climbing attraction here - it’s a 2.2km descending route over zip-wires, stemples, bridges and heart-stopping chasms – at one point you’re just clinging onto a sheer cliff-face over a 600m drop... The final bridge, a wobbly 80m suspension, swinging 300m above the valley floor, takes a few nervous minutes to traverse. The route finishes at Gimmelwald, a pretty mountain village that happens to also be home to a massive rocky crag. This is an ideal spot for some more traditional climbing, with routes ranging from 6c to 7c it’s tricky enough to keep all but the most accomplished athletes occupied. The Riggli climbing garden, just below the Schiltorn Hut restaurant, is another must-do, it’s got 24 slightly easier rope-routes, ranging from 4 to 6b so there’s plenty of variety.

Grindelwald is an excellent base if you’ve set your sights on some of the most famous climbs in the world. Getting used to the unique rock conditions of this region is essential - warm up with two routes from First onto the Schwarzhorn: take either the south ridge (mainly grade 1 and 2 with a short section of 3) or the south-west ridge, a Via Ferrata rated at grade 4. Then there’s the Wetterhorn, the mountain that overlooks Grindelwald, the summit of which is scalable over several days. A few Via Ferrate are dotted about here: you can reach the surprisingly plush Ostegg hut on one route or climb up past the Eigergletscher station to Rotstock, in the shadow of the Eiger, on another. For experienced climbers, the main attraction is undeniable: the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau trio. Summiting these is an incredible and strenuous feat, which makes it the number one aim for any ambitious climbers in the region. Mountain weather is unpredictable so if the conditions look like they’re turning

Climbing is split between the zones around the cliffs of the Seehorn and the extensive indoor wall in the Färbi Sporthalle. Seehorn has 24 routes between one to three cable lengths, varying in difficulty between three and seven. On a clear day it’s a lovely place for a climb as you get great views from the wall. If the weather turns, head to the Färbi Sporthalle in town. There are 50 routes spread over a surface of 564 square meters to choose from – they range in difficulty from an inclined wall for beginners to tricky overhanging and horizontal faces. Färbi is completed by a zone for bouldering practice, great for training and conditioning.

The climbing is centred mostly in the forests above the village where tricky, classic routes sit comfortably alongside newer, more approachable ones. The fresh ones are a bit easier and largely kid-friendly so it’s worth clambering up those to build up the confidence. Because the rock-face is shaded by the forest, it usually stays quite cool on those hot summer days. Nearby Interlaken has an indoor climbing wall and access to loads of other climbing zones in case you want a change of scenery. To try out something different, get involved in the ice climbing up on the glacier or have a go at Via Ferrata.

This excellent adventure base has access to some of the best climbing in Europe. The mountain train line begins in town, providing great connectivity to the nearby climbs. There’s a terrific Via Ferrata at the foot of the Eiger’s north face. At this altitude you get some of the best views of the region on the roped-in climb. Closer to home, make use of the modern indoor climbing facility in the centre of Interlaken called K44, which has 800m squared of walls, providing an ardent challenge for any climber.

Visitors are faced with a tempting choice of 24 routes on the rocks of the Seehorn Climbing Garden – about an hour’s hike from the resort itself. It’s a great place to pick up the technique and there are plenty of angled areas to practise new moves. When the weather’s less than ideal, you can session the indoor wall in Kublis, meanwhile Davos’ Farbi sports centre has a massive 50 routes on offer as well as a brilliant bouldering zone.

Lugano’s fantastic climbing on the Dente della Vecchia is a fresh alternative to what you’ll find elsewhere in Switzerland. Fringed by the Dolomites, the resort’s a hotspot for rugged rock faces and has plenty of craggy terrain to work your way around. The Evolution indoor centre is one of the biggest in the country and is home to 100 climbing routes and 50 bouldering challenges. Crossing the Via Ferrata passageway on Monte San Salvatore, you’ll get some amazing views of the lake – that’s if you dare to look down...

A ten minute drive from Wengen is the fantastic Hintisberg rock face, which looks as if it was just made to be climbed on, with plenty of handy grooves and holds to grip onto. Various mountaineering schools can also be found offering sessions at the Reichenbach valley’s Glacier Gorge and Engelhorner peaks and there’s always the option to train inside if the weather’s not at its best. Interlaken’s massive indoor climbing wall is just down the road, while technical challenges can be practiced at the boulder room in Grindelwald.


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