Turn night into day during Swiss Hiking Night

Have you ever hiked at night? No? Linda tested this special summer experience for you last year in Zermatt.

The time has come: On the night of 20th to 21st July 2024, the annual Swiss Hiking Night will take place for the 18th time. The second annual   This event for young and old was initiated by the Swiss Hiking Trail Federation. The organisers of the approximately 100 guided hiking tours throughout Switzerland include destinations, hiking guides and, of course, the Swiss Youth Hostels. The hostels in Scuol and Zermatt have put together some exciting tours. Linda tested the night experience for you last year in Valais.

When I arrive on Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining over the idyllic town of Zermatt. 

Als ich am Samstagmittag anreise, scheint die Sonne über den idyllischen Ort Zermatt.

Linda’s report on the Swiss Hiking Night

When I arrive on Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining over the idyllic village of Zermatt.

The youth hostel offers great and affordable accommodation in Zermatt.

What a diverse group of hikers

At 7 p.m., we meet in front of the entrance to the youth hostel. Today’s hiking group consists of 15 adults, a 10-year-old girl and Haly and Finn, two dogs. The 3.5-hour tour with an elevation gain of almost 600 metres was put together by the experienced hiking guide Prisca.

The hiking group meets in front of the youth hostel.

Fascinating information about flora and fauna

Prisca has lots to tell about the local flora and fauna. She has lived here for over 20 years. Hostel Manager Yannic is also part of the hiking group and grew up in Zermatt. He, too, shares one or two «insider stories» with us.

We now know that there are 3,000 blacknose sheep in the region. Five farmers take care of them in the Zermatt region. Far up on the slope, we even discover some at dusk.

This is what a blooming thyme plant looks like.

A varied route

The route is pleasant and has a lot to offer: wide paths, narrow trails, steps and even a suspension bridge to cross. Time flies by – the conversations we’re having are so interesting. Participants range from a physicist, an urban planner and a cruise expert to a former trapeze artist.

Crossing the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the Alps at an altitude of almost 500 metres requires a bit of courage.

Dawn is slowly breaking and we reach the Ricola-Garden

There are 13 herbs in a Ricola drop and we can see them all in the Ricola garden thanks to the headlamp we’ve put on in the meantime. Due to the origins of the region, the earth is full of minerals and therefore very fertile. And that’s why we can always ask the question: «Wer hat`s erfunden?» or «who invented it » – a saying from a cult Ricola commercial.

Close-up inspection of the herb garden.

Past Blatten and a view of Zermatt at night

The hike continues past a small village with a chapel, a mountain restaurant and a hamlet. Guests have been welcomed here in Blatten since 1850, back then still in a tea house.

In around 20 minutes hiking, Zermatt is at our feet, what a sight.

Zermatt shines at night.

A delicious surprise awaits us

We arrive at the youth hostel at around 11:30 pm, exhausted, happy and hungry. Yannic, the Hostel Manager, seats us. A traditional 4-course meal is served at a festively decorated table. The starter is hay soup and a salad buffet. As the main course, we enjoy a tasty raclette. This feast is rounded off with a physalis ice cream. Simply delicious.

Yannic, Zermatt Hostel Manager, thanks the hiking group for an unforgettable experience together.

My summary:

A truly special experience. Thanks to Hiking Night, I experienced a completely different side of Switzerland and got to know lots of interesting, kind people. I will definitely be joining the next Hiking Night on 20/21 July 2024!

Community question

Have you ever gone on a night hike? Tell us more in the comments!

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