Things To Do In Andermatt | Why It Should Be Your Next Summer Adventure Destination

Via ferrata, hiking, cycling and more... there's a lot of reasons to get yourself to Andermatt this summer

Surrounded by eight magnificent mountain passes, Switzerland’s Andermatt Holiday Region is situated in the heart of the Alps. Because of this, and other reasons we’ll get into shortly, we think it might just be the ideal alpine retreat for you this summer. The headwaters of four of Europe’s major rivers are situated in Andermatt, marking it as something of a starting point for nature. The area is sometimes referred to by the extremely cool nickname ‘the water castle of Europe’.

Offering up some of Europe’s finest terrain, protected climbing routes and hiking possibilities, the region has year-round adventure destination potential. Located just an hour-and-a-half from Zurich Airport, it’s also incredibly easy to get to. To help you make the most of your time here, we’ve put together a guide featuring eight of the best ways to enjoy Andermatt this summer.

Andermatt is a mountain village in the heart of the Swiss Alps, just north of Italy.
Views like this. The Furka area, near the Albert Heim Huette (Credit: Switzerland Tourism / Dominik Baur)

Climbing (via ferratas)

Andermatt is home to some of the finest and most accessible via ferrata routes in Europe. If you’re not familiar with the term via ferrata, it refers to a protected climbing route with metal fixtures and translates from Italian into English as “iron path”. They’re a great way to get to parts of the mountains that can normally only be reached by more advanced climbers. In Andermatt, you will find three exceptionally different via ferrata routes; all of which will help you get fresh perspectives on the region’s amazing landscapes. Here’s our look at the via ferratas of Andermatt. 

The ‘Devil Bridge’ (Credit: Miriam Schuler)
Get yourself on the Via Ferrata Diavolo. Credit: Martin Wabel

Via Ferrata Diavolo

Starting off at the shallower end of via ferratas, the Diavolo route will challenge beginners and fascinate experts. It’s a visually-striking route that will immerse you in the environment. The glorious granite rocks of the Schöllenen gorge, and incredible views you’ll soak up in these parts, make tackling this route a must-do outdoor activity if you’re in Andermatt. 

With plenty of grassy spots to stop, snack, and snap a shot on the way up, you’ll also have the chance to have some pause-and-take-it-in moments. The Via Ferrata Diavolo has more metalwork than a T-1000. It’s made up of 700 metres of steel cable, 265 iron pitons / rungs, and two ladders.

Adlerhorst Via Ferrata

“Arni”, Lake Arnisee (Credit: Fränzi Stalder)

For totally unique views of both Lake Arnisee and the Reuss Valley, climbing the Adlerhorst via ferrata is the way to go. As well as other various climbing routes on the Piel-Flue, the Adlerhorst Via Ferrata was built in the Spring of 2020 with family-friendly climbing in mind. This brand new route is crying out for you to be one of the first people to get to grips with it. Strap in, and soak up the views.

Krokodil Via Ferrata

This two-and-a-half hour family-friendly climb is another via ferrata to try out when you’re in the Andermatt Holiday Region. A firm steel cable supports the Krokodil Via Ferrata all the way along the base of the Bergseeschijen. The route here takes in two striking rock towers; the second of which resembles a crocodile, hence the reptilian name of the route (‘krokodil’ is German for crocodile) . After the Krokodil tower, a secure rope bridge links the 18-metre gap and makes for a thrilling finale.


Hiking near the Albert Heim Hütte (Credit: Switzerland Tourism / Dominik Baur)

If you prefer that feeling of freedom which comes when you’re putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll be glad to know Andermatt has you covered with an abundance of hiking routes. Come here and you’ll be spoilt with a seemingly unlimited choice of routes that all vary in terms of difficulty, length, and altitude. A (limited) list of hikes, advice and gerneral information can be found here, but for now here’s two walks in particular that we feel are most worthy of your time while visiting.

Lake Toma

A hike up to Lake Toma will take you no longer than two hours from the Oberalp Pass (and that’s with a lunch break factored in). Embedded in a large hollow, Lake Toma marks the source of the Rhine, one of Europe’s most famous rivers. From the Oberalp Pass, the hiking trail initially leads towards Tschamut before a narrow mountain path shoots off towards the lake. Brace yourself for alpine pastures and some beautiful flora.

An Andermatt summer serves up views like no other (Credit: Valentin Luthiger)

Four Headwaters Trail

Coming at 85 kilometres, Andermatt’s Four Headwaters Trail should take most hikers five days to complete. It’s split into equally rewarding daily stages that will help you get the most from the region. Across your five days you’ll come across the sources of the four main rivers, as well as the gushing streams and rocky ravines that follow each source. Along the way, you’ll bump into grazing cows, spot birds of prey on mountain ridges, and, depending on the time of year, see a vast and diverse range of flowers that paint the landscape in art-gallery ways. Conclude your hike with an outstanding view of the Rhone Glacier. Here you’ll find other hikers, no doubt also ready for the best nap of their lives.

You’ll hear a variety of languages throughout your five days on the trail. A bit of German will come in handy on the Oberalp Pass, and a familiarity with Romansh (Listen out for a friendly “Bien di”) will work wonders with the locals knocking about around the Maighels mountain shelter. Then, back to Italian – hiking over the Lucendro Pass will see you enter Italian-speaking Switzerland, and you already know how to say “iron path” so we’re sure you’ll breeze through that section.


Cycling the Pass, the Furka Pass (Credit: André Meier)

Wandering around Andermatt, taking in the views, engaging with nature… what more could you want? You want to absolutely bomb it down a mountain? Well, fear not, Andermatt has you covered there. Occasionally home to various stages of the Tour de Suisse, the region’s mountains aren’t just there for decorative purposes. Push yourself and a bike up the mountain ranges, powered by nothing but determination (and snacks), safe in the knowledge that the further up the mountain you get the more wind you’ll get cooling your face on the way down. The inspiring terrain here makes for a cyclist’s paradise, and we can’t recommend it enough.

For the more experienced bikers out there, we’ve got an awesome bike route for you. Linking Andermatt wih Gletsch, the Furka Pass is a well-known cycling route made famous in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. If it’s good enough for 007, it’s good enough for us. Starting at the Reuss Valley, you’ll pass through the Schöllenen Gorge (mentioned previously, up in the via ferrata section) before an unforgettably scenic route leads you to the end of the Ursern Valley, where you’ll begin your ascent up the Furka Pass road. A view of the Gotthard Massif at an altitude of 2400 metres will reward your efforts, and then it’s time to enjoy the sweet adrenaline-hit that comes with the downhill whoosh.

Eating and Sleeping

Andermatt (Credit: André Meier)

Sure, you can eat and sleep anywhere but if you’re going to do it in Andermatt you’ll want to do it right. Choose a great local place to eat from this list on the official Andermatt website. You’ll find a range of spots dotted around the Andermatt area on it. From restaurants to beer gardens, to restaurants with beer gardens, Andermatt knows how to accommodate its guests. Epic views of mountain ranges will, more often than not, be accompanying your food .

In the heart of the Swiss Alps you’ll find Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, a modern Swiss chalet-inspired place to stay and ideal basecamp for your Andermatt trip. Furnished with comfort fully in mind, the Radisson features an indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa, and a bar fronted by accommodating and friendly staff. Yes, that unbeatable Swiss hospitality is just one more reason to get yourself to Andermatt this summer.

Visit The Victorinox Store

There’s nothing more Swiss than a Swiss Army Knife, is there? Ask 100 strangers on the street to name five things they’d associate with Switzerland, and we’d wager that every single one of these people would flag up that seriously versatile bit of kit on their list. Yes, the Swiss Army Knife is a genuine icon. With that in mind, why not pay a visit to the Victorinox Store when you’re in Andermatt? Not only do they have the entire Victorinox product range on hand for you to browse, they also offer knife engraving and knife customisation. If you’ve ever been on a camping trip where there’s been a disagreement over who owns which Swiss Army Knife, this is your chance to get one that’s fully personalised for you. On a recent filming trip to Andermatt, our very own Ryan Van Kesteren, for example, got ‘Ryan Van Knife’ engraved on his knife. Don’t miss out on a trip to this establishment.


Head here for more information on Andermatt.

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