It is no secret that Switzerland is home to some of the most scenic natural scenery in the world. Apart from lakes, glaciers, and mountain peaks, Switzerland also has gorges. From the time Switzerland was covered in glaciers to today, gorges have formed over millions of years as the earth has changed. In this article, we will discuss the 9 most beautiful gorges in Switzerland.
In no particular order, here is the list of the 8 most beautiful gorges in Switzerland:
1. Rhine Gorge
Rhine Gorge (Rheinschlucht in German), located in canton Graubünden, is part of Geopark Sardona. This geopark is a tectonic region that also includes Glarner Overthurst. By focusing on geology, geological history, and mining (visitor mines), the Geopark itself offers educational and adventurous opportunities. Other places in the Geopark include Seerenbach Falls, Tamina Gorge, Berglistüber waterfall, and more.
The Rhine Gorge formed after the Flims landslide, when massive cubic meters of rock broke off. With over seven cubic kilometers of rock falling, it was the largest landslide in the Alps. In the years that passed, the river carved a deep rift in the massive rock. Rhine Gorge’s steep cliffs and imposing shapes are the result of this.
If you would like to read more about Rhine Gorge, you can check out our article Rhine Gorge – The Swiss Grand Canyon.
2. Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge
Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge has scenic rock and water formations, whirlpools, and waterfalls. This gorge is accessible from mid-May to October. Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is part of the Jungfrau Aletsch Alpine Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The water found in Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge comes from the Rosenlaui Glacier, a 4.5-km-long glacier in the Bernese Alps. Slate and limestone here were carved by the Weissenbach River. It’s a 30-minute walk (about 500 meters trail) from the ticket office and hut. From all the gorges that I have seen in Switzerland, Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge is probably my favorite.
If you would like to read more about Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, you can check out our article Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge – One of Switzerland’s Most Beautiful Gorges.
3. Viamala Gorge
The Viamala Gorge (also spelled Via Mala) is the deepest and most impressive gorge in Graubünden. It has a stunning stretch of rock and water that attracts tourists. It is called Viamala–Schlucht in German.
As well as being scenic, Viamala Gorge is also historically significant, as the Romans used it several thousand years ago. Viamala Gorge lies between Andeer and Thusis. The route served as an access point to Splügen and San Bernardino for mountain travelers. In spite of its narrow confines, subsiding rocks, and dangerous waters, the Viamala Gorge provided travelers with an easy access to the Alpine passes of San Bernardino and Splügen.
The rocks, which rise to altitudes of 300 meters, constitute the Viamala. It was excavated into the enormous rocks by the water of the Hinter Rhine and glacial ice several years ago.
If you would like to read more about Viamala Gorge, you can check out our article The Remarkable Viamala Gorge in Zillis, Switzerland
4. Tamina Gorge
Located in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, Tamina Gorge (Taminaschlucht in German) is a scenic gorge that is popular due to its healing properties. Tamina Gorge was created by the power of the Tamina River. The narrow rock crevice is around 750 meters long and 70 meters deep.
The entrance to Tamina Gorge is just a few meters from Altes Bad Pfäfers. As you enter Tamina Gorge, you’ll see the Tamina River flowing, and the walls of the gorge rise vertically to your left. It looks like a deep, jagged cleft in the rocks, so narrow it seems you can barely squeeze through from a short distance.
In Tamina Gorge, you can see how powerful the water is. The spring itself is located at the end of the gorge path. Up to 5,000 to 8,000 liters of water per minute or 7 to 10 million liters a day come out of the thermal springs with a temperature of 36.5 °C. To reach the spring-fed water grotto, you need to walk through a 450-meter tunnel called Saint Barbara Tunnel. This tunnel was built in 1987.
If you would like to read more about Tamina Gorge, you can check out our article The Rejuvenating Tamina Gorge in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.
5. Aare Gorge
Aare Gorge stretches 1,400 meters long and 200 meters deep between Innertkirchen and Meiringen. Known for its limestone formations, Aare Gorge is a large piece of bedrock. You can find Aare Gorge in Haslital, a valley in Central Switzerland located between Grimsel Pass and Lake Brienz.
Access to Aare Gorge has been possible for more than a century. It has been open to the public since 1888. During its first year of operation, the Aare Gorge welcomed 12,000 visitors. People were eager to visit it, that’s how keen they were.
With a system of safe paths and tunnels, you can walk through the gorgeous gorge to experience nature in a very unique way. This rock formation separates Lower Haslital, where it is mostly flat, from Upper Haslital. Kirchet is the name given to this rock formation.
If you would like to read more about Aare Gorge, you can check out our article The Aare Gorge Canyon Walk in Haslital, Switzerland.
6. Uina Gorge
Uina Gorge (Val d’Uina) is located in Lower Engadine in the Canton of Graubünden. Additionally, it borders the Vinschgau Valley in South Tyrol, Italy. Piz S-chalambert Dadaint and Piz Lischana, both of the Sesvenna Range, frame Uina. Near Sur En, not far from Scuol, the Uina river flows into the Inn river.
Despite Uina Gorge’s beauty, it is a more dangerous gorge, and accidents can occur there. This area is well-loved by mountain bikers with enough stamina, as well as hikers looking for the nearby Sesvenna Hut. There is a rock path in Uina Gorge called Felsenweg. It was blasted back in 1908 and is around 1.30 meters wide and 600 meters long. The hiking trail, which is partly carved into the rock, is especially popular among avid hikers.
To reach the gorge, you can take public transportation or drive to Sent, Sur En.
7. Verena Gorge
Verena Gorge is an idyllic gorge located in the Solothurn region of Switzerland. The gorge was named after Saint Verena, the patron saint of Solothurn. Surrounded by limestone cliffs and caves, it provides a stunning backdrop.
Visitors can take a short walk or take a bus to reach it; it is also within walking distance of the town of Solothurn. This fairytale landscape features narrow bridges crossing a rippling stream, mossy stones, and a hermitage chapel.
By following the path through the forest, you can get to Verena Gorge. It is in this romantic gorge that visitors can get away from stress and relax. The chapel here is known as St. Martin’s Chapel.
8. Areuse Gorge
Located between Noiraigue and Boudry, Gorges De L’Areuse runs along the Areuse River. It’s a great place for hikers looking to explore the Swiss countryside, offering breathtaking views along the way. It is one of the most beautiful gorge hikes in Switzerland.
At the valley floor, there is an easy walking path that leads through this stunning landscape. There is something calming and steady about walking along the Areuse River. Signs make navigation easy, and there are many photo opportunities along the trail.
Final Thoughts: Most Beautiful Gorges in Switzerland
Switzerland has many gorges to visit, but I have listed the most scenic and popular ones above. My favorite gorge is Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, but all of the gorges above are truly spectacular. Trümmelbach Falls, a well-known waterfall in Lauterbrunnen, reminds me of Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge.
The Rhine Gorge is breathtaking and enormous, though not quite as large as the Grand Canyon. Consider combining Rhine Gorge with a train trip though, such as the Glacier Express or the Adventure Train Rhine Gorge (Erlebniszug Rheinschlucht).
When we visited Viamala, it was very crowded, but I found it stunning. As for Tamina, it was less crowded, plus it was a relatively short walk back from Tamina Gorge to Bad Ragaz.
Overall, I hope you found our article to be helpful in discovering a beautiful gorge in Switzerland.