If there is one thing Switzerland is famous for, it’s the mountains. Movies have been dedicated to these beautiful landscapes, and songs have been written. Is it any wonder that the Swiss are some of the happiest people on the planet?
The stunning scenery has inspired novels, scientific discoveries, architectural advancements, poetry and art. The Alps are renowned the world over for their beauty, and millions flock here each year to take in the unique vistas and alpine basins that Switzerland offers.
With so much natural beauty and each mountain offering something different, it isn’t easy to choose the best ones. But we’ve compiled a list of best mountains in Switzerland that we feel have the beauty and the activities on offer for visitors seeking adventure.
Mt San Salvatore
Mt San Salvatore overlooks the city of Lugano. It is located in the Ticino region of Switzerland, known as the Swiss/Italian region. Lake Lugano separates San Salvatore from Italy, but the Italian culture can be felt everywhere here.
The mountain is picturesque and offers stunning views. For hikers, there are great trails and a funicular railway to take you to the peak. Mountain is popular with climbers from around the world.
There is an observation deck at the top, from which you can have stunning view of Lugano, the lake and surroundings. Restaurant on a top offers incredible atmosphere to have a lunch or a dinner overlooking spectacular vista.
Mount Lema (Monte Lema)
Mount Lema is an excellent destination for those looking for hiking and adventure. Mountain bikers and hang gliders love Mt Lema, but this isn’t all Lema offers. There are trails here that are suitable for hikers of all levels. Monte Lema is the starting point for a famous mountain hike called Traversa. The trail crosses Lema and leads to Mt Tamaro near the Italian/Swiss border.
Even though it is one of the smaller mountains in Switzerland, standing at ‘only’ 1,624 meters, Mount Lema offers many activities and amazing views from the top. Apart from hiking, mountain is popular for mountain bike enthusiasts, paragliders, and bird watchers. Additionally, there is an observatory where you can watch the skies and celestial bodies. The area is also popular with people doing aeromodelling, where they can fly and test their model planes here.
Situated in the center of Switzerland, Mount Rigi is known as the Queen of the mountains locally, and it’s not hard to see why. If you are an avid hiker, this mountain offers over one hundred and twenty kilometers of trails to choose from.
Mount Rigi is located close to Zurich and Luzerne, making it easy to visit for a day trip. The weather in this region makes it a year-round destination. It’s advisable to visit in the morning for the best views before fog blankets the peak. One of the options to get to the top is a cogwheel train, and who doesn’t love a bit of old-fashioned travel. There are also modern railways and cable cars providing transport between locations.
The mountain Rigi area offers many activities throughout the year and especially in winter: skiing and snowboarding, sledding, winter hiking and cross-country skiing. During the summertime, hiking, biking and paragliding are most popular activities there. Hotels provide excellent accommodation and there is a regional gastronomy to try whether you are going for one day trip or staying longer.
Mount Pilatus is a picturesque mountain in the Alps. It is home to the steepest and oldest cogwheel train in all of Europe. The train takes riders up the steep mountain gradient to Frakmuntegg, where the gondola, known as the dragon ride, will take climbers to the peak.
The view from the top is breathtaking, but the ride up the mountain is also spectacular, not to mention a great fun experience.
Mountain is packed with activities offered: hiking, climbing, cycling, concerts, camping and BBQ sites, observation decks and wide range of winter sports to enjoy. There is very popular route, starting from Lucerne by boat and then you board cogwheel railway in Alpnachstad to take you to the top of the mountain. On the way back, you will descend in the cable car to Kriens and then by bus back to Lucerne. This makes an amazing day trip.
Parsenn is a beautiful area in The Alps. It is best known as a ski resort by both locals and tourists. The ski runs are known for being suitable for skiers of all levels. Parsenn can be accessed by a funicular railway from Davos and offers spectacular views.
Not only it is very popular for its ski resort, Parsenn is regarded as the birthplace of skiing in Switzerland. According to history, four English tourists were lost on the Weissfluhjoch in 1895 and ended up in Küblis. As a result of this discovery, the Parsenn became popular – and an Alpine legend was born.
Today, Parsenn has a reputation of a classic ski destination, with long descents down the mountain, big slopes, and posh traditional mountain huts. Global popularity started since the Parsenn Funicular opening 90 years ago. The Parsenn Funicular in Davos and the Gotschnabahn ski lift in Klosters provide access to the 97 km of slopes in this ski area.
Situated in the canton of Berne, Mannlichen offers breathtaking views from the summit. You can see the Bernese Alps peaks, Jungfrau, Elger and Monch. Mannlichen trails are some of the easiest in the region to hike, even for beginners.
From Grindelwald Grund, you can take a gondola ride to the summit of Mannlichen. One of the most famous trails is the Panorama trail that leads from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. There are several other trails also very popular on this mountain.
There is a popular Chamois Trophy, where competitors can race against the clock on a course of 4.5 km and elevation difference of whooping 947 meters. This is obviously for a proper athlete, and not for recreational level activity.
Mount Piz Nair
This stunning mountain had to make our list of the best. The beauty alone is breathtaking, but its position in the exclusive St Moritz area adds to the attraction. Situated in the South East of Switzerland, St Moritz is surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks and sits in the shadow of Mount Piz Nair.
Many hikes are on offer here but check with the local tourist information centre before setting off up the mountain on foot. Some trails can be prone to avalanche. Checking with the local information service will ensure a safe climb.
If you want to reach the summit without the hassle of the climb. Two funicular railways and a gondola cable car are available options. Early Autumn is the best time to visit Mt Piz Nair.
This stunning but treacherous mountain is located in the Bernese Alps and overlooks the town of Grindelwald. Mount Eiger is infamous for many things. The Clint Eastwood movie that was shot here being just one of them.
The real infamy of Eiger, however, lies in its north face. Many professional and seasoned climbers have attempted this climb over the years. The north face is made up primarily of rock and ice, and many climbers have lost their lives here.
Eiger’s south face is an easier climb, but it is recommended for highly skilled professionals with challenging climbs. There are hikes lower down the mountain for the less experienced, but if you insist on hiking here, we recommend checking with local tourist information centers.
Jungfrau (‘Maiden’ or ‘Virgin’) is one of the three top summits of Bernese Alps, other two being Eiger (‘Ogre’) and Mönch (‘Monk’). At the height of 4,158 meters (13,642 ft), it is a stunning mountain, covered with snow throughout the year and it is one of the most photographed in Swiss Alps.
Jungfrau is connected with Mönch with mountain saddle, Jungfraujoch, a glacier saddle that is a part of Aletsch Glacier. Jungfrau and Jungfraujoch are popular touristic area in Bernese Alps and they are accessible via railway from Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg, The station on Jungfraujoch is the train station on the highest altitude in Europe (3,454 meters/ 11,332 ft).
First train ride was all the way in 1912 and it is an attraction for itself.
We’ve saved the best for last in this list of the best Swiss mountains. The Matterhorn is perhaps the most beautiful and most famous mountain in all of Europe and deservedly so. The Matterhorn is also one of the most photographed mountains in Europe, and it isn’t hard to see why. The whole world knows Matterhorn from popular swiss chocolate – Toblerone and their distinctive logo.
This mountain is breathtaking on a whole other level, the snow-capped mountain stands tall and foreboding in the Swiss countryside, and only seasoned climbers dare venture to the summit. The only way to reach the top of the Matterhorn is to climb, the terrain is too rugged for funiculars and cable cars, and the weather is changeable the higher up the mountain you go.
The Swiss Alps are famous the world over for their beautiful peaks, excellent ski resorts and breathtaking views over lakes and alpine basins. No matter where you visit, The Alps are sure to blow you away with the beauty of the landscape and the activities on offer. We listed most popular ones (according to us 😉) and there are several more mountains and peaks to visit and climb in Switzerland. Safe travels and see you soon!
The Best Mountains in Switzerland to visit (and climb), by allaboutswiss.com