I hiked the Via Alpina in Switzerland in sections from June – September 2017. I did it because Cam “Swami” Honan, one of the most extrem hikers alive, wrote on his website, that he loved it. He hiked it in 1997.
The Via Alpina
is one of two routes that cross Switzerland from east to west. It’s part of a European network of paths and in Switzerland there are 380 km or 236 miles on the green way. The green way itself can be used as a shortcut within the system of these European paths
. They are also called Via Alpina.
I did not like it so much. Maybe twenty years ago, the situation on the ground was otherwise? I saw many paved roads and the rest were mainly cow pastures. And I did the whole thing in seven parts. I did not start in Liechtenstein as I thru-hiked Liechtenstein earlier (an entire country in under 3 hours…).
Maybe my sections were just too long. Doing this kind of mileage over mountain passes may not be for everyone – most of the time the temperatures were about 32 degrees celsius or 90 F. Also, I hiked in rainy and foggy conditions.
If you do a real thru-hike, you may take the train to the next town and visit some town stuff on rainy days. There are hundreds of museums, you can select how touristy you want to go (Cheese, Chocolate, Watches…).
There is indoor stuff for everything you can imagine in Switzerland or you can visit even Milan, a big city in northern Italy.
Just remember, Switzerland is rich, the prices are steep for everything. Doing this with a tent or a tarp would be no problem. Just don’t try to sleep on a cow pasture. Cows could damage your tent.
Enjoy some pictures from the via Alpina: