Via Francigena in Switzerland

 

  • Sigeric's Stopovers in Switzerlalnd
    Painted Portal, Lausanne Cathedral

The Via Francigena in Switzerland begins at Jougne in France and continues to Grand-Saint-Bernard Pass near the Italian border. It passes through seven of the places where Sigeric stopped and rested in 990 AD. And, it covers a distance of about 230 km.

There is a huge variety of scenery walking across Switzerland. It begins with the alpine scenery of the Jura with its rivers, forests and plains. Then there is the walk around the Alp encased Lake Geneva with its UNESCO vineyards. Leaving the Lake there are many more vineyards and Alps lining the Rhône valley. And above the tree line, walking to Grand-Saint-Bernard Pass, the shapes and colours of the alpine rocks and foliage is truly spectacular.

It is possible to walk the Via Francigena in Switzerland in 12 days. Or you can join us on a guided tour from Lausanne to Grand-St-Bernard Pass in June, 2020. Otherwise, we can plan a pilgrimage to suit your needs.

Lausanne to Grand-St-Bernard Pass Guided Tour

Day 1:  Lausanne June 23

Our guided tour for the Via Francigena in Switzerland begins in Lausanne. We arrive in the afternoon and visit Lausanne Cathedral to stamp our Pilgrim Credentials. Then we take a tour of the old town, St Francis church and the Lake.

Day 2:  VFS05   Lausanne to Vevey (22 km) June 24

The walk from Lausanne begins at Ouchy-Olympique Centre and continues along the foreshores of Lake Geneva. There are numerous vistas of the Alps, the Lake, the vineyards and the old towns. Leaving the Lake there is a lengthy walk through the UNESCO listed Lavaux vineyards enjoying the magnificent lake views. The spectacular views continue as we arrive Vevey.

Day 3:  VFS06   Vevey to Aigle (27 km) June 25

Leaving Vevey we follow a combination of lakeside and road sections to Montreux. The lakeside views and sculptures are spectacular. But Chillon Castle is a must-do visit! Next, we leave Montreux and follow the lake to Villeneuve and visit the old town. Then we continue through the Rhône Valley to Aigle where there are many places of historic interest to visit. These include the Napoléon Bridge, the medieval outdoor washing area and historic Jerusalem street. But, best of all is a tour of Château Aigle, now a Vine and Wine Museum and the nearby Church of Saint Maurice.

Day 4:  VFS07   Aigle to Saint-Maurice (25 km) June 26

It is a 25 km walk to Saint-Maurice through the vineyards, into the Alps, and along the River. On arrival we enjoy a visit to Saint-Maurice Basilica, the Archaeological Museum and the Treasury.The famous Abbey was founded in 515 CE and it is the oldest Christian monastery in the western world. It has been a place of continuous prayer for over fifteen centuries.

Day 5:  VFS08   Saint-Maurice to Martigny (20 km) June 27

It is a pleasant, level walk to Martigny through fields, pastures, old towns and along the Rhône river.  The highlight is the Pissevache waterfall in its forest setting.  In Martigny we visit the Barry Foundation to see the Saint-Bernard Dogs and visit the Via Francigena in Switzerland Museum. Nearby is an ancient Roman amphitheatre and the Roman Via Poenina. The Fondation Pierre Gianadda has an amazing sculpture garden and art exhibitions.

Day 6:  VFS09   Martigny to Orsières (26 km) June 28

The alpine trail to Orsières passes through alpine forests with several steep sections.  We follow the River Dranse and walk through picturesque medieval villages like Bovernier and Sembrancher. Arriving at Orsières, we visit the Church of St Nicolas with its remarkable Romanesque bell tower. Nearby is an ancient bridge of historical significance for crossing the River Dranse. We dine in the famous Restaurant des Alpes or have a traditional raclette made from locally produced cheese and wine.

Day 7:  VFS010  Orsières to Bourg-Saint-Pierre (19 km) June  29

We cross the river Dranse and begin a reasonably steep ascent to the alpine destination, Bourg-Saint-Pierre. The walk continues along well marked alpine trails and unsealed roads always surrounded by Alps and pastures dotted with Swiss cows and alpine chalets. At times we walk beside the river Dranse or through forests. At Bourg-St-Pierre we visit the old town and the ancient Romanesque church. We enjoy comfortable hospitality at the Bivouac de Napoléon.

Day 8:  VFS011  Bourg-Saint-Pierre to Grand-St-Bernard (15 km) June 30

The walk begins at  Bourg-Saint-Pierre  and continues through alpine trails following the river Dranse. Then the trail meanders around Lac des Toules heading above the tree line. After this it becomes quite steep but the scenery is magnificent walking through streams and lichen clad rocks surrounded by distant Alps. The high alpine tracks lead to the Hospice at Grand-Saint-Bernard Pass with its genuine pilgrim hospitality. We visit the Hospice Museum, the St Bernard chapel and in summer see the Grand-St-Bernard dogs.

This Via Francigena tour is available as a guided or self-guided walk. If you would like the price for either option go to Contact and send us a message.