Tour de Monta Rosa

An Alpine trekking holiday around Switzerland`s highest peak




From $1,780 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Crossing the Teodulo Pass in sight of the Matterhorn
  • Overnight in a succession of atmospheric Alpine refuges
  • Stunning Swiss Alps scenery
  • One of Europe`s finest trekking holidays

Classic walking holiday adventure trekking around Monte Rosa in the Swiss Alps. One of the finest long-distance trekking opportunities in Alpine Europe is the walking circuit of the huge, many-summitted massif of Monte Rosa (4634m) in the Swiss Alps. Starting out from the picturesque Alpine village of Saas Fee, our walking follows a clockwise direction, crossing from Switzerland then trekking into Italy and then back again. This undiscovered gem of a walking route around Monte Rosa keeps to the high ground as much as possible, close up beneath towering Alpine peaks, crossing airy passes and encountering snowfields and even walking over glaciers. En route, there are stunning views of many of the big peaks of the Alps, such as the Dom (4545m) Weisshorn (4596m) and particularly memorable Matterhorn (4478m). This generally overlooked area is pure Alpine magic and a real trekking paradise, with its steep forested valleys, high meadows and crown of impressive snow-capped peaks. We follow good walking trails throughout and enjoy either comfortable mountain hut or hotel accommodation, including one night in the famous Alpine town of Zermatt.

Is this holiday for you?

The Tour de Monte Rosa is one of the most challenging of the KE classic Alpine walks which does not involve glacial travel (the Classic Haute Route is tougher, but that does include lots of time spent on glaciers). It is not practicable to provide vehicle support for this circuit, as nights are spent in inaccessible mountain refuges. So, this is an unsupported trek. You will have to carry all of your own equipment from the start of the trip to the finish. In practice, especially considering that neither sleeping bag nor camping mattress are needed for this trip, you should be able to keep the packed weight of your rucksack to as little as 8kg. The Tour de Monte Rosa is a wilderness trek and there are several sections where easier alternatives are not an option, a fact which adds to the challenge. Although the trek is generally on good mountain paths and it does not involve any mountaineering, this is a trip for the experienced trekker. On average, we will walk for 6 hours each day, with some longer days. There is a considerable amount of ascent and descent on this trekking holiday.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in the village of Saas Grund (1559m) near Saas Fee.
  • Walk around Lake Mattmark, ascend to the Monte Moro Pass and descend to the village of Macugnaga.
  • Walk through Alpine pastures, cross the Colle del Turlo (2738m) and descend to the Rifugio Pastore.
  • Cross the Bocetta Delle Pisse, to the Valle d'Olen and overnight at the Rifugio Vigevano (2871m).
  • Walk via Gressoney Stafal to the Colle di Bettaforca (2727m) and descend to the hamlet of Resy.
  • Walk to the Colle Superieur delle Cime Blanche. Then, on to the refuge at the Colle del Teodulo (3290m).
  • Descend the Theodule Glacier to Gandegg with fine Matterhorn views. Overnight in Zermatt.
  • Walk down the Mattertal to the village of Randa, then ascend to the Europahutte (2220m).
  • Traverse towards the Riedgletscher, then descend to our overnight stop in the village of Grachen.
  • Walk up to the Hannigalp, then follow the high trail of the Hohenwegg back to Saas Grund.
  • Departure day.
Thu 14 Jul - Sun 24 Jul Code TMR /01/16/ Adult$1,780 Status Available Book now
Thu 18 Aug - Sun 28 Aug Code TMR /02/16/ Adult$1,780 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Geneva Airport which is approximately three and half hour's away by train/bus. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Geneva. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool & Glasgow and Jet 2 who have flights from Manchester, Leeds Bradford & Belfast. Other airports may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in the village of Saas Grund (1559m) near Saas Fee.

    The group will rendezvous at a hotel in the village of Saas Grund (adjacent to the better-known ski station of Saas Fee). Here, you will be welcomed and made to feel at home. In the evening, we will have an informal chat about the week ahead. There will also be a chance for the guide to check out your clothing and gear. After this, it will be time to sit down to dinner. KE Land Only package services begin with dinner and overnight at the hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Walk around Lake Mattmark, ascend to the Monte Moro Pass and descend to the village of Macugnaga.

    After breakfast, we set off via post bus to our starting point at Mattmark. A gentle introduction around Lake Mattmark brings us to the start of our first major col of the tour, Monte Moro. A steep climb rewards us with superlative views of the Weissmies (4023m) and the Rimpfischhorn (4198m). On arrival at the pass we are greeted by the awesome sight of Monte Rosa showing its almost Himalayan scale. Passing the Rifugio Citta di Malante, a steep descent through boulder fields and granite slabs brings us to the village of Macugnaga and our accommodation for the night.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 750m

    • Distance 15km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1590m

    • Time 6 hrs walking

  • Walk through Alpine pastures, cross the Colle del Turlo (2738m) and descend to the Rifugio Pastore.

    One of the longest climbs of the tour lies ahead of us. Deceptively, the start could have us thinking otherwise, as we wander out of town following the Anza torrent towards the lake at Quarazza, an idyllic spot for whiling your life away. However, there is a long way to go, up through spruce forest to Alpe Plana, with its wonderful pastures set against a backdrop of impressive waterfalls. Then it’s up and over the Colle Del Turlo, through boulders and glaciated slabs. At last Monte Rosa can no longer be seen, but its place is taken by the bulk of the Weissmies. From the col it’s another long and tiring descent to our overnight stop at Rifugio Pastore.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1510m

    • Distance 23km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1300m

    • Time 8 hrs walking

  • Cross the Bocetta Delle Pisse, to the Valle d'Olen and overnight at the Rifugio Vigevano (2871m).

    A slightly shorter day, albeit predominantly uphill. From the refuge, we climb firstly into the Vallon Delle Pisse, an inelegant name for an elegant spot. Here, our route follows the cascade under the glacier of the Piramide Vincent, one of the smaller peaks of the Monte Rosa Massif. From the old cable car station at Alpe la Balma, a steep and rocky path takes us over the Bocetta Delle Pisse, before descending to Alpe Pianlunga. A long, winding uphill trek through the Valle d’Olen takes us to our next mountain refuge accommodation.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1700m

    • Distance 15km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 930m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Walk via Gressoney Stafal to the Colle di Bettaforca (2727m) and descend to the hamlet of Resy.

    After yesterday’s predominantly uphill day, we have an initially easy start, crossing the Colle d’Olen and then descending on well-marked trails to the Rifugio del Lys. A pleasant track through forest and meadow then brings us into Gressoney Stafal. From the valley, we climb to Alpe Sitten and upwards on a good path to the Colle di Bettaforca, our first and only pass of the day. An easy track runs down to the charming hamlet of Resy, high above the Ayas Valley, where we stay in a refuge.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1120m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1340m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Walk to the Colle Superieur delle Cime Blanche. Then, on to the refuge at the Colle del Teodulo (3290m).

    A short descent begins our walk today, as we head off towards Alpe Varda and Alpe Mase and one of the highlights of the trek. Above us lies the glaciated bulk of the Breithorn as the inevitable climb begins towards the Colle Superieur delle Cime Blanche (2982m), high above the green waters of the Gran Lago. From the top of the pass, we gain our first views of the Matterhorn (4478m) and then contour under the western flanks of the Kleine Matterhorn, before a very steep final pull up glacial moraine to the high point of the tour at the Colle del Teodulo (3317m) and our refuge for the night.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 1650m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Descend the Theodule Glacier to Gandegg with fine Matterhorn views. Overnight in Zermatt.

    As we must today descend a glacier, we will be taken on this next section by an IFMGA Guide. While we sleep, our Guide will be setting off to climb one of the peaks we can see from the hut and we can enjoy a relaxed start to the day soaking up the sun at the refuge. After some hard climbing days this is a welcome mid-tour respite. After lunch we are joined by our IFMGA Guide and we start down the easy-angled Theodule Glacier (we are now moving back into German speaking territory - hence the change of spelling). Views are superb, with the centrepiece again being the Matterhorn, complemented by the Alphubel, Dom, Obergabelhorn, Zinalrothorn and Weisshorn, on both sides of the Mattertal. At Gandegg, we leave the ice and traverse glacial moraine heading down towards the fleshpots of Zermatt and our village hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 460m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 2070m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Walk down the Mattertal to the village of Randa, then ascend to the Europahutte (2220m).

    This morning we leave Zermatt heading down the Mattertal towards the Rhone Valley. It's a day of pleasant strolling through the larch forests and the flower meadows as we meander along the riverside. After Tasch we reach the village of Randa and there we begin to work in earnest as we climb steadily through the larch forests on a steep zig zag trail taking us ever higher, under the jagged peaks of the Taschorn and the Dom. Eventually, we reach the stunningly situation Europahutte where the guardian Marcel will be waiting to prepare your dinner. The hut is relatively new and is situated in a really prime position for views of the Weisshorn. A sunset with a beer and the alpenglow setting on the peaks opposite is to be savoured. Previously, we would have climbed out of Zermatt and taken the Europaweg all the way to the Europahutte but extensive stone fall last summer has closed this section. If it opens during your trip then we will be taking the Europaweg to the hut.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • Ascent 890m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 300m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Traverse towards the Riedgletscher, then descend to our overnight stop in the village of Grachen.

    Our traverse continues and is, if anything, even more impressive, as we cross boulder fields and pass beneath towering cliffs. Periodically, we can turn and look back to our old friends the Breithorn and the Matterhorn, before quickly giving our attention back to this exciting path. Ahead the Riedgletscher blocks our way and, rather reluctantly, we are forced to descend over steep terrain and through woods to our overnight stop at a village hotel in Grachen.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 600m

    • Distance 17km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1180m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs walking

  • Walk up to the Hannigalp, then follow the high trail of the Hohenwegg back to Saas Grund.

    Our final day takes us up to Hannigalp and on to the Hohenwegg path, high above the Saastal. Although we have dropped in height from the previous few days and there is a greener feel to the countryside, there are still some exposed sections to contend with and care needs to be taken. Again, our mountain views have changed. Directly ahead now is the snowy summit of the Weissmies and the rocky Lagginhorn which continue to dominate our view as we complete our trek full circle into Saas Grund. We check into our overnight accommodation in Saas Grund for a final, celebratory meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1220m

    • Distance 21km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1270m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs walking

  • Departure day.

    KE Land Only package services end with breakfast at the hotel.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals

  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Transfers and cable cars not part of the itinerary
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses

During this trip the group will spend 2 nights at a hotel in Saas Grund with en-suite facilities. Whilst on trek, there are 8 nights spent in village hotels, mountain huts or similar accommodation (gites). Most of the accommodation away from Saas Grund is on a non-segregated, dormitory-style basis. In some high mountain huts, washing facilities are limited. Single rooms are not available.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 11. Supplementary snacks and drinks can be purchased from the huts or supermarkets when in the valley.

As to be expected, the food available in restaurants and hotels in Italy and Switzerland is excellent. In huts food is simple and wholesome with usually a limited choice which will include a vegetarian option. Continental breakfasts and evening meals are provided by our accommodation.

You must join the group at the Pension Heino in Saas Grund on the evening of Day 1 of the trip itinerary. For clients arriving by air, the easiest way to get to Saas Grund is to fly to Geneva Airport and travel by train from there. We recommend that you make your onward booking with Swiss Federal Railways on Fares are approximately £35 ($70 / €44) each way. If you intend to book your ticket in advance, note that the Swiss Rail website defaults to the concessionary fare which is half the normal fare. You must untick the 'Reduced fare' tick box before making your purchase. The railway station is in the airport at Geneva and there is an hourly service (throughout most of the day), involving a train to either Visp or Brig and then a bus to Saas Grund. The journey takes 2.5 - 3.5 hours on the train and 45 minutes for the final leg by bus. A ticket to Saas Grund is valid for the train and the bus. There are several stops in Saas Grund listed on the website and we recommend that you opt for Saas Grund, Post. The buses provide digital displays indicating which stop they are approaching. It is only a short walk from this stop to our hotel base. We will provide hotel contact details and an emergency number for all clients with your booking confirmation.

After breakfast at our overnight accommodation, we try to get a reasonably early start. For lunch, we will carry a packed lunch and stop off for a picnic. We will generally walk for around four hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon. We attempt to reach our overnight stop by mid-afternoon at the latest. The pace of the trekking will allow us time to stop to admire the views and to take photographs.

A qualified (IML) guide will accompany the group throughout.

The package price includes all accommodation, guiding and all meals. You should make an allowance for additional snacks, drinks etc. Beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. On the tour we spend 5 nights Switzerland and 5 nights in Italy and you should take your spending money in a mix of Swiss francs and Euros. Approximately 100 Swiss Francs and 50 Euros should adequately cover typical personal spending requirements. There are ATMs in Geneva Airport where money can be drawn in either currency and cash machines in Zermatt. If you are intending to hire or purchase items of equipment, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect).

Tipping for good service has become the norm. However, it is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be seen as a 'thank you' for a job well done. There are no set rules as to how much to tip but we do recommend that the group as a whole decide on the level of tips rather than individually.

Since group members will carry all personal equipment during the trek, it is important to keep the overall weight of this equipment to a minimum. Neither a sleeping bag nor a camping mattress is needed and it should be possible to keep the weight of your pack to around 8 kg. At the start of the trip, you will leave your travel clothes and anything you do not need for the trek in your KE bag at the hotel in Saas Grund. From that point until the arrival at Saas Grund on Day 10, you will not have access to your trek bag.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers / sneakers
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Shorts
  • Thermal baselayer shirts (1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)
  • Casual shirts and/or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight down pullover or jacket
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Warmer over gloves or mittens
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - sunglasses
  • Earplugs (particularly if you are not the one snoring!)
  • Small padlock to lock trek bag
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Daypack 50 litres
  • Headtorch / headlamp and spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1litre
  • Sleeping bag liner / sheet sleeping bag
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, altitude (Diamox), plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment.

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Gaiters
  • Trekking poles
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Pocket-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Travel clothes


  • Sleeping bags are not required, as bedding is provided. However we recommend you bring a sheet sleeping bag for use in the mountain huts.

PHD Gear Advisor

PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Europe

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Regular hiking is the best preperation for a trip like this but if this is not possible you should adopt a weekly exercise regime which you gradually increase leading up to your trip. Jogging, squash and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, ranging from 15°C/ 59°F to 25°C/ 77°F. It can be cool in the evenings at our highest overnight stopping places, falling close to freezing point at night. The weather is usually stable during July and August, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and even stormy weather cannot be ruled out. You should be prepared for all eventualities!

The Grand Tour of Monte Rosa. (2 volumes). Cicerone Press. C.J. Wright. Walking in the Valais. Cicerone Press. Kev Reynolds.

Switzerland Topographic Survey Hiking Edition. 1:50,000

Sheet reference; 5028T Monte Rosa - Matterhorn. Topographic survey of Switzerland maps are highly regarded for their superb graphic relief and hill shading, providing an almost 3-D picture of the terrain. Contours are at 20m intervals. The overlay distinguishes between hiking routes, mountain routes requiring proper footwear, and alpine routes where equipment is needed. The maps also show roads with bus service and the positions of bus stops, as well as mountain huts and refuges.

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