(Walker's Haute Route Weekend) Hiking above Zinal
WALKER'S HAUTE ROUTE WEEKEND (SELF-GUIDED)   4 stages . 5 nights . Swiss Valais   Booking

Walker's Haute Route Weekend
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Modest trails and medium-length days
+ Characterful Alpine hotels and one night high-up
+ Trek with our routecards and the Swiss maps

Latest news June 2019
Please ask us about a trip. We still have good availability during our 2019 season. Thank you.

The Walker's Haute Route Weekend, formerly our Tour du Val d'Anniviers, is a four-stage circular trek, above this particularly extensive and charming Swiss valley. In the South of Switzerland, the Valais region (Valais meaning valleys) runs to the Italian border. Val d'Anniviers is a valley with several strands, each hosting villages dotted with old wooden barns.

We link up these pleasant villages, starting and finishing in Zinal in its high glacial setting. We plan this trek as an introduction to the Alps at a manageable level, so that footpaths are solid if rocky in places, and days are not too long.

Stay in our super hotels in Zinal, St Luc and Grimentz, plus one night at a hotel high on the mountainside. We book private double, twin, triple or single rooms as you prefer.


Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Walker's Haute Route Weekend self-guided walking holiday


Alpine Exploratory
HRKsg Walker's Haute Route Weekend (Self-guided)
21 July to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Popular schedules
4 stages
(5 nights)

Please ask us
Singles 120
Our main HRK
Please ask us
4 stages
1 rest day
(6 nights)
Please ask us
Singles 150
Please ask us
Baggage transfer Please ask us


Here is our normal schedule of 4 stages:

Arrival day: Arrive in Zinal
Your trip starts on arriving at your hotel in Zinal. This is a sweet Alpine village at the head of the highest branch of the Val d'Anniviers and circled by peaks. Enjoy dining out in the town centre.
Hotel in Zinal

Stage 1: Zinal to Hotel Weisshorn
Blue3 grade, 10.5km with 860m ascent, 200m descent
On the first day on trek there is time to make last minute adjustments and buy any food and kit needed before the walk takes to the pastoral hillside above Zinal. Then starts a long gentle traverse high above Val d’Anniviers, to a notable old Victorian hotel overlooking different strands of the valley.

Stage 2: Hotel Weisshon to St Luc
Blue2 grade, 7km with 120m ascent, 760m descent
Today's stage is gentle and flexible. The direct walk to St Luc is not a long way, and an optional funicular railway down into the village can shorten this. (As an option at Red grade, explore the open country leading up to the Meidpass, making the day’s total 19.5km with 490m ascent, 1100m descent and a high point of 2,625m).
Hotel in St Luc

Stage 3: St Luc to Grimentz
Blue2 grade, 8km with 480m ascent, 570m descent
The most valley-based day of the four, this stage explores the footpaths and fields, firstly in descent to Vissoie and later in ascent to Grimentz. Buses are available to skip any sections, but the day is not too demanding. We arrive in the relatively unknown but quite charming Alpine village of Grimentz, where dark-timbered barns crowd the small back lane.
Hotel in Grimentz

Stage 4: Grimentz to Zinal
Blue2 grade, 7km with 280m ascent, 170m descent
The route to Zinal runs straightforwardly through the woods today, a gently rising ascent that makes for a modest final day. (As an alternative at Red grade, climb to the Col de Sorebois which at 2,820m would be the highest point on the trek, making a day’s total of 13km with 1,310m ascent. A cable car can reduce the descent on this option.) Both routes reach Zinal, the highest village in Val d’Anniviers and a welcome sight in its calm valley setting.
Hotel in Zinal

Departure day: Depart from Zinal
After a last breakfast in Zinal, take the valley bus to Sion and change for the Swiss trains. Both Zurich and Geneva airports are easily reached. Please ask us to advise on onward Swiss travel.

Our usual schedule of accommodation might not be available, especially if there is not much time between booking and your trip. We book accommodation as closely as possible to this itinerary and present a schedule for you to check before we proceed.

Baggage transfer

Please opt for baggage transfer or not as you choose. The service gives drops at all stops except the one night in the mountains at Hotel Weisshorn. Here, your bag goes ahead to the next hotel and you carry simple overnight gear. There is not too much to carry on this short route - please ask us for more info.

Alternative routings

This trek is a short one at 4 stages. Nevertheless, there is some scope to make the route more challenging:

Stay high at Hotel Weisshorn or Cabane Bella Tola
Instead of St Luc, clients who prefer to sleep high can opt for the old Hotel Weisshorn in its high position, or Cabane Bella Tola in the same area.

Cross the Col de Sorebois
Our normal route goes through the valley to Zinal, on the last day. A more challenging finish is to cross the Col de Soreois (2,895m) and descend to Zinal. The col is grassy and relatively modest, but much tougher than the valley route. A bus or cable car can help with the ascent.

Other variations fit within the day and can be chosen whatever your itinerary, according to how you feel on the day; all variants are described in our routecards.

The route

Our approach to the Haute Route Weekend
Our route is a simple 4-stage circuit from Zinal, visiting Hotel Weisshorn then the villages of St Luc and Grimentz before returning to Zinal. Our standard schedule goes in the anti-clockwise direction for a gentler start and tougher finish. The routecards explain options for cable cars and buses; none are necessary to complete the route.

This trek above the Val d’Anniviers follows established local routes, and the good solid footpaths reflect this. The terrain in this part of the Swiss Alps is sometimes steep but mostly the uphill sections are long gradual tests of stamina. There are wide tracks through forests, the odd country lane, zig-zagging hillside paths and some rockier sections.

How to get there

Your holiday starts and ends in Zinal, the small village at the head of the Val d'Anniviers. The most convenient airport is Geneva, but Zurich and other Swiss airports work too. The transfer involves the train to Sierre in the Rhone valley and then a bus up into the Val d'Anniviers.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: Walker's Haute Route Weekend
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: HRKsg
Route: HRT Walker's Haute Route
(See our background page on the Haute Route)
(Prefer East or the full Haute Route?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 4 days' trekking
Start: Zinal in Switzerland
End: Zinal in Switzerland
Typical walk: 9km, 450m ascent
(960m ascent on first stage)
Total distance: 36km or 22.5 miles
Highest altitude: 2,523m
(2,895m altitude on optional Col de Sorebois)
Grade: Blue2 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2019

4 stages, per person:

HRKsg Classic
GBP 720 (singles 120)
Walkers Haute Route Weekend (self-guided)

Research Summer 2019

Ollie Boyd at Alpine Exploratory Keith Miller at Alpine ExploratoryAlpine Exploratory's 2019 research on the Walker's Haute Route will be led by:
Keith Miller in July
Ollie Boyd in July

Recces 2019

Looking over the Zinal area from Col de Sorebois
The Zinal area (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

5 nights, staying in:
3-star hotels (3)
2-star hotels (1)
Auberge (1)

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 1 evening meal
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards TVA1-4 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
21 July to 15 September 2019
19 July to 18 September 2020
Trek on your ideal dates

Sculptures under a house in St Luc, Val d'Anniviers
A barn in St Luc (Photo gallery)

The Haute Route Weekend in the Alps

Map of the Walker's Haute Route Weekend within the Alps

Our city information included in your info pack:
Geneva, Bern, Lucerne, Basel, Zurich

City breaks after trekking

Find out more

About our walking holidays Our FAQs page covering equipment, weather, insurance and more about how our trips work

Walking guides Our background page on the
    Walker's Haute Route

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Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
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