Strap up your hiking boots and head out on Switzerland's newest hiking trail: ViaBerna.

The new 300km hiking trail combines cities, lakes and mountains, showcasing the country's scenery to hikers of all abilities. ViaBerna has 20 stages that range in length from 10.5km to 24.3km, and are rated easy, moderate or difficult.

Charting the new ViaBerna route

The first five stages of the new route extend through the forested slopes of the Jura Mountains. The trail then passes the Swiss capital of Bern. It travels along Lake Thun and onto a spectacular trail leading through the Alps to the Susten Pass. The new trek also includes stopovers in Biel, Bern, Thun and Spiez.

ViaBerna's trailhead starts in Bellelay where hikers will get to see windmills and gorges as they pass through the Jura.

The best guide to your route will be through the official ViaBerna website which categorizes each stage in terms of length and difficulty, with directions, transport and accommodation details for each stage.

Views you have to see to believe: 9 must-do hikes in Switzerland

Explore the planet's most surprising adventures with our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox.
The abundant wildflowers you'll find throughout the Swiss Alps
The abundant wildflowers you'll find throughout the Swiss Alps © R. Tyler Gross / Getty

4 highlights along the ViaBerna

1. The 15.5km hike from Bern to Münsingen in the Aare Valley takes travelers through river landscapes. Bern is worth a visit, thanks to it Unesco World Heritage Site old town, rich history and friendly inhabitants. Berner Altstadt, Bern’s flag-bedecked medieval center, is also a great place to visit, thanks to its 6km of covered arcades, cellar shops and bars descending from the streets.

2. The summit of Mont-Sujet in the Jura offers hikers a colorful backdrop of wooded pasture, green forests and vibrant flowers. The reward for the climb is a fantastic view of the Alps.

3. The hike through the mystical Taubenloch Gorge is one of the region’s most popular experiences for the whole family. Discover the gorge and follow the Suze river, which flows as far as Biel/Bienne.

4. The alpine lakeside town of Thun has the impressive Schloss Castle, with distinctive towers that date back to the 12th century. It is crowned by a riot of turrets and affords tremendous views of the lake and Alps. The town church has an octagonal tower and baroque hall from the 14th century. The Schadau Park botanical gardens are a great place to unwind and give an impressive view of the lake and Alps.

For a full overview of the ViaBerna hiking route and its various stages, visit the official ViaBerna website.

8 of the world's most epic hikes

Buy Epic Hikes of Europe

The cover of Lonely Planet's Epic Hikes of Europe

From the sun-kissed regions of Southern Europe, including Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain, to North Europe’s history-rich heartlands (including France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia), we cover a huge variety of themes and experiences for every type of hiker.

Buy Epic Hikes of Europe

Explore related stories

view of Grenoble from the heights of the Bastille. Grenoble is nicknamed the capital of the Alps and is famous for its mountain ranges and its bubble-shaped cable car.
1434724494

Day Trip

5 of the best day trips from Lyon

Sep 8, 2023 • 5 min read