Are you planning a trip to Switzerland and want to spend it actively? Do you dream of a cycling holiday or hiking in the mountains? You have plenty of options to choose from, including... ski resorts. Yes, see for yourself that they are teeming with life not only in winter, when the snow crunches under your boots. Go to the glacier and capture beautiful views in photos! Explore the Aletsch Arena with us!
Some people think that if you go on vacation in the mountains, it's in winter. Today we will prove to them that Swiss landscapes associated with frost also captivate in the summer. We will take you to a place that is adjacent to the Jungfrau region. It cannot compete with it in the number of ski slopes, but it is not inferior to it in terms of beauty and options for year-round activities. We are talking about the Aletsch Arena, an area by the Aletsch Glacier, which you can also get to in the summer season. Buy a ticket, take the panoramic train and see you in Wallis!
Aletsch - the longest glacier in Europe
Aletsch is the longest glacier in the Alps - it is 23 km long. Its average width is 180 m, and the area is about 100 km². Many find it hard to imagine a giant that weighs 27 billion tons, but that's what Aletsch is like. It continues down the valley to Wallis, and its origins lie in the northern flank of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau massifs. In 2001, the landscape of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch region was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In terms of nature , the Aletsch Arena is considered the most beautiful center of the Swiss Alps. If you love mountain views, want to breathe crystal-clear air, and above all, cut yourself off from the hustle and bustle of the big city (including car traffic), you don't have to wait until winter. On the contrary, you do not need skis or a board to go to meet the mountain peaks. Appropriate shoes, clothing and provisions are enough. A camera will be useful, because there are waiting for you, among others. eggishorn viewpoint. You will be able to admire the glacier and the surrounding peaks from it. Besides Jungfrau or Mönch you will see Weisshorn and Gross Wannenhorn. The panoramic 360° view will be remembered by everyone.
Aletsch Arena – a stop on the train route
The Aletsch Arena is one of Southern Switzerland's biggest tourist pearls. The glacier itself stretches along the border with France and Germany, from the cantons of Bern to Valais. You will reach your destination if you use the panorama train network. It is worth going to the glacier if you are staying nearby - for example, you are visiting Interlaken, Bellinzona or Locarno. On the occasion of your holiday you can go to Brig and the Goms region.
Hikers are delighted with the landscapes, which is easy to understand, because they make a big impression on tourists, especially in summer and autumn. You will see mountain pastures, green slopes and lots of flowers. In addition to the picturesque nature, visitors' eyes are drawn to the characteristic buildings of villages such as Bettmeralp , Riederalp or Fiescherelp . They lie on the southern slopes of the Eggishorn range. What needs to be emphasized is that they are not only beautiful, but also peaceful. There is no car traffic in the towns, so you are guaranteed no horns and exhaust-free air. You can move around them by bike, electric vehicle or golf cart.
Aletsch Arena - Hiking in the mountain villages
The Aletsch Arena region is an area that has a lot to offer tourists on holiday - families with children, groups of friends, young and slightly older, as well as seniors. It will appeal to everyone, from fans of close contact with nature, blissful relaxation in the forest, to sports enthusiasts, including mountain biking. You can get to the car-free village by cable car or on foot. In the second case, beautiful routes await you, e.g. you can get to Fiescheralp with a 9 km long trail. The starting point is in Bettmeralp. On the way you pass meadows and pastures, the slopes of the Laxeralp and the Martisbergeralp until you reach your destination.
We recommend Bettmeralp , a town located on a sunny slope practically all year round. From it you will have a wonderful view of the Matterhorn, Corno Bianco and the Rhône valley, the river into which the waters of the glacier flow. The village has a reputation for being family-friendly. You have the opportunity to ride a scooter on the track and access a number of other entertainment.
The third village, Riederalp , is also car-free and welcomes the youngest guests. If you've ever wondered where the golf carts on the Swiss hillside come from, you've got the answer. One of the highest situated golf courses in Europe is located here. An additional attraction that will surely tempt many lovers of monuments is the Alpine Museum. It is housed in a 17th-century Nagulschbalm hut. You will see how the peasants living in this area lived in the past.
A walk by the lake
In addition to the mountain villages, you have plenty of other options for hiking. Among other things, we recommend relaxing on the beach at the Bettmersee lake. It lies at an altitude of 2006 m above sea level, and a nice trail leads to it. The views of the reservoir and its surroundings, which you can admire while walking along the shore, are also pleasing to the eye of the holidaymaker. The route is well prepared, so you can go on it even with a pram. Get off the Bettmeralp cable car, then go east. On the way you will pass a chapel and a few buildings. The walk should take about a quarter of an hour.
What to do after circling the lake? In summer, until mid-October, you can rent a boat, SUP board or pedalo. On hot days you can cool down by swimming in clean, cold water. There are plenty of places to sunbathe or picnic on the shore. In addition, there are benches on which you can sit down during a break between exploring the area.
We recommend a trip to Lake Grengiola , beautiful in itself, but also offering a view of the Saflisch Valley. Another option is Lake Halsesee , located in the center of one of Switzerland's most important peat bogs. Another proposal is the Geisspfad lake with a rather harsh landscape - it is surrounded by ground covered with stones.
From the Eggishorn viewpoint mentioned above (at an altitude of 2926 m), you can admire three ice blocks. This is the best location to observe the ice massif, but it is also worth exploring others, such as the Bettmerhorn . If you come here in the summer, be sure to take the route to Moosfluh and Hohfluh. In the summer season it captivates especially, and it runs among mountain pine trees and by alpine lakes. You will have plenty of opportunities to take pictures of the glacier.
When you get off at the Bettmerhorn station, you are only a few minutes from the Gletscherblick viewpoint. Aletsch can be seen from it in all its glory. If you dream of enjoying the view of four-thousanders, you will see as many as 32 of them here.
We recommend a trip to the Gola della Massa (gorge), which is one of the many evidences of the geological activity of the glacier. It is 6.5 km long and can be overcome e.g. using a special footbridge hanging at a height of 80 meters. You will certainly not run out of emotions!
Aletsch Arena - trails for mountain bikes
The region abounds in places ideal for walkers, fans of hiking in the mountains and relaxing by the water. It will be loved by enthusiasts of two-wheeled riding, from users of electric models to MTB bikes. It is a real paradise for cyclists - they have over 100 km of routes of various difficulty levels! Among other things, you can go on a family trip from the Riederalp Mitte mountain station via Bettmeralp, Martisberg, Fiesch and back to the station. You can also opt for the demanding Stoneman Glaciaria trail, long and difficult, for experienced cyclists. It is 127 km long and the elevation reaches 4,700 meters. If you are fit enough, you can divide it into several sections and complete it in a few days.
This is just a fraction of the trails for those interested. On the spot, you can easily choose the one that suits you best. We hope that we have encouraged you to spend your holidays on the glacier. Welcome to come!