Via Francigena in Switzerland

Lausanne to Grand-St-Bernard Pass

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. Let us help you plan your Via Francigena pilgrimage in Switzerland for 2019!

  • Sigeric's Stopovers in Switzerland

Itinerary for Via Francigena in Switzerland

Day 1:   Jougne to Orbe (19 km)
Day 2:   Orbe to Romainmôtier (10 km)
Day 3:   Romainmôtier to Cossonay (16 km)
Day 4:   Cossonay to Lausanne (25 km)
Day 5:   Lausanne to Vevey (25 km)
Day 6:   Vevey to Aigle (27 km)
Day 7:   Aigle to Saint-Maurice (23 km)
Day 8:   Saint-Maurice to Martigny (17 km)
Day 9:   Martigny to Sembrancher (20 km)
Day 10:  Sembrancher to Orsières (11 km)
Day 11:  Orsières to Bourg-Saint-Pierre (19 km)
Day 12:  Bourg-Saint-Pierre to Grand-St-Bernard Pass (15 km)

2019 Itinerary

Choose an option for walking the Via Francigena in Switzerland to suit your time and budget. Here are some options:

  1. Walk for 2 weeks beginning in Jougne, France and finish at Grand-St-Bernard Pass near the Italian border.
  2. Walk for a week from Vevey to Grand-St-Bernard Pass.
  3. Spend a weekend  walking around Lac Léman from Lausanne to Montreux.

Please go to Contact and let us know what part of the Swiss Via Francigena interests you. Then we can help you work out an itinerary and estimate a price.

Via Francigena in Switzerland Details

Day 1:  VFS02   Jougne to Orbe (19 km)

Jougne in France is Sigeric’s stopover, LVI, or 56, Antifern. Historically the Jougne Pass enabled passage through the Jougena Valley between France and Switzerland.

The walk begins with a visit to the Church of Saint Maurice near the Port Nord. Then down to the Chapelle Saint Maurice with its Carolingian crypt near the Entefer River.

After a scenic 6 km walk you walk across the border into Switzerland! And next you can walk on the ancient Roman road at Baillagues. Then continue along the Swiss plane to Les Clées, Moncherand and Orbe.

Sigeric’s stopover LV, or 55, Urba, is known today as Orbe in the Vaud Canton. The Hôtel Mosaiques is a comfortable place to rest after your walk. And it is a convenient distance from the famous Roman mosaics!

Day 2:  VFS03   Orbe to Romainmôtier (10 km)

From Orbe it is a pleasant walk to Romainmôtier through the Nozon Valley Forests. Then you pass through Bretonnières to Romainmôtier Abbey. The Abbey is Switzerland’s oldest and was founded in about 450 AD. At the peak of Middle Ages pilgrimages it was a significant mansion. The Prior’s House still retains many of its impressive features. And the church is filled with many interesting features dating from the 5th century to 15th centuries. It is well worth staying at the Abbey Ermitage and enjoying the history, culture and landscape of this unique Abbey.

Day 3:  VFS03   Romainmôtier to Cossonay (16 km)

Leaving Romainmôtier you follow the Huguenot Trail heading towards Cossonay. Half way through the journey you can visit La Sarraz Castle. Then follow La Venoge River to Cossonay.

Day 4:  VFS04   Cossonay to Lausanne (25 km)

Lausanne is Sigeric’s Stopover LIV or 54, Losanna, in the Vaud Canton. You can begin your walk at Lausanne Cathedral and then continue down to Lac Léman visiting castles, gardens and historic places.

Day 5:  VFS05   Lausanne to Vevey (25 km)

The walk along the shores of Lac Léman is spectular! There are numerous vistas of the Alps, the Lake, the vineyards and the old towns. Then a lengthy walk through the UNESCO listed ancient Roman vineyards enjoying the magnificent lake views.

Vevey is Sigeric’s stopover LIII or 53, Vivaec, in the Vaud Canton. The old town, lakeside walk, famous sculptures, museum and exquisite cuisine will keep you very busy.

Day 6:  VFS06   Vevey to Aigle (27 km)

Leaving Vevey follow a combination of lakeside and road sections to Montreux. The lakeside views and sculptures are spectacular. But the Castle de Chillon is a must-do visit!

Leave Montreux and follow the lake to Villeneuve and visit its old town. Then continue through the Rhône Valley to Aigle.

In Sigeric’s day, his resting place LII or 52 was at Burbulei, today Versvey in the municipality of Yvorne, near Aigle. There are many interesting sights of historical importance in Aigle including the Napoléon Bridge, the medieval outdoor washing area and historic Jerusalem street. But, don’t miss a tour of Château Aigle, now a Vine and Wine Museum and the nearby Church of Saint Maurice.  And last, but not least, enjoy the local food and wine!

Day 7:  VFS07   Aigle to Saint-Maurice (23 km)

Saint-Maurice in the Valais Canton, is Sigeric’s stopover LI or 51. 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.

It is a 23 km walk to Saint-Maurice through the vineyards, into the Alps, and along the River. You can enjoy a visit to the Basilica, the Archaeological Museum and the Treasury. You can also cool off in the Lavey Baths and then enjoy the local food and wine.

Pilgrim accommodation at the Abbey is highly recommended as is the Hôtel du Nord.

Day 8:  VFS08   Saint-Maurice to Martigny (17 km)

It is a pleasant, level walk along the Rhône Valley towards Martigny   You can see the Chapel of the Martyrs in Vérolliez where Saint-Maurice and his Thebian companions were executed in 300 CE. Then on to Rhonetal with its famous Pissevache waterfall and 200 m deep Trient Gorge.

There are many wonderful things to see in Martigny. The Barry Foundation is a great place to stop for lunch, see the Saint-Bernard Dogs and read about Via Francigena history in the Museum. Nearby is an ancient Roman amphitheatre and you can walk along the Roman Via Poenina. The Fondation Pierre Gianadda usually has a very good art exhibition. Then take a walking tour of Martigny and a well-deserved taste of local food and wine. There is a wide variety of accommodation in Martigny.

Day 9:  VFS09   Martigny to Sembrancher (20 km)

The walk to Orsières is a lengthy and steep 30 km. It follows the River Dranse and passes through the medieval villages Bovernier and Sembrancher. The walk has several steep sections and can be done over two days to make it easier.

Leaving Martigny you arrive at Martigny-Bourg, and then Martigny-Croix. Then the trail goes into a steep ascent, then a descent into the valley and the river Dranse. You cross the river and continue walking to Bovernier. Then another steep ascent in the alps on the way to Sembrancher.

Accomodation is available in Sembrancher. So it is possible to stay there overnight, or continue on to Orsières.

Day 10:  VFS09   Sembrancher to Orsières (11 km)

Orsières is Sigeric’s stopover L or 50, Ursiores in the Valais Canton.

The alpine trail to Orsières passes through forests and villages with some steep sections.

Arriving at Orsières, 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. You can dine in the famous Restaurant des Alpes or have a traditional raclette made from locally produced cheese and wine. Both pilgrim and hotel accommodation is available.

Day 11:  VFS010  Orsières to Bourg-Saint-Pierre (19 km)

At higher altitude is Bourg-St-Pierre, Sigeric’s stopover XLIX or 49, Petrecastel in the Valais Canton. This is the first place in Switzerland where Sigeric rested because the Hospice at Grand-St-Bernard Pass did not exist in 990 AD.

The 19 km walk begins a reasonably steep ascent to the alpine destination, Bourg-Saint-Pierre. Here you can visit the old town and the ancient Romanesque church. There is comfortable accommodation at the Bivouac de Napoléon.

Day 12:  VFS011  Bourg-Saint-Pierre to Grand-St-Bernard Pass (15 km)

  • Lac des Toules

The trail from Bourg-Saint-Pierre follows the Dranse d’Entremont with a mix of steep and level sections. After walking around Lac des Toules you are above the tree line. Then you follow the high alpine tracks to the Hospice at Grand-Saint-Bernard. The walk takes from 4 to 5 hours.

The Pass is open to traffic, including a bus, from June to September. If you are unfamiliar with alpine walking our guide, Sarah, is available to lead you to the Pass.

At the Hospice you can enjoy genuine pilgrim hospitality, visit the Hospice Museum, and in summer see the Grand-St-Bernard dogs. Both pilgrim and hotel accommodation is available at the Pass.