Skip to content

How to Spend 1 Day in Riederalp

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Spending one day in Riederalp, Switzerland lets you soak in the Swiss Alps’ beauty, enjoy outdoor adventures, and explore its car-free village. Riederalp, located in the district of Raron in Canton Valais, is a picturesque village with quaint chalets and charming streets. It is the perfect destination for those looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Image of Riederalp from the Moosfluh Gondola by TouringSwitzerland.com

Riederalp is a charming alpine village with traditional wooden chalets, offering stunning views of many high mountain peaks including the Matterhorn. From various vantage points, you can also view Switzerland’s largest glacier – the Great Aletsch Glacier. We have just come back from Riederalp and I can guarantee that it’s such a fantastic destination. And I can highly recommend that you spend at least 1 day in Riederalp, Switzerland.

Here are five of the top hikes to do in one day in Riederalp, Switzerland to make the most of it:

Whether you visit Riederalp in the summer or in the winter, you won’t be disappointed. I suggest visiting Riederalp on a good day since most activities here are outdoors. One day is not likely to be enough here since there are so many things to do.

Whether you’re looking for a 1-day itinerary or a list of things to do in Riederalp, this article is for you. Here are a few ideas for how you can spend one day in Riederalp, Switzerland.

Riederalp 1 Day Itinerary: What can you do?

1.  Start Your Day With a Cozy Breakfast

Image of a Coffee Shop in Switzerland by TouringSwitzerland.com

Consider having breakfast at your hotel or apartment if possible, as there aren’t many bakeries in Riederalp. If you decide to dine outside, the top option is in Mörel-Filet down in the valley. Otherwise, there is a supermarket nearby.

  • Bäckerei Kronig Charly (Dorfstrasse 7, 3983 Mörel-Filet) – This little bakery is your best choice with tasty bread choices and delicious pastries. They also have the friendliest staff.
  • Prima Grocery Store (Aletschpromenade 3, 3987 Riederalp) – Although you cannot dine here, you can buy fresh baked goods every day as well as a wide range of local products.

After enjoying breakfast, consider strolling to your hike’s starting point. If you have an Aletsch Arena Visitor’s Card, make sure you bring it to avail of discounts for cable cars, railways, facilities, and events.


2.  Pick a Hike that Suits You Best

Image of The Hiking Trail near Riederalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

Having spent several days in Aletsch Arena, we took on various hikes. Among our hikes were the Geology Trail, the trek from Moosfluh to Hohfluh, the Aletsch Promenade, and hiking around Bettmeralp and the lakes. My recommendations are based on our last trip to Riederalp.

From Riederalp, I recommend going up to either Moosfluh or Hohfluh for awesome views of the Great Aletsch Glacier. If you prefer staying in the village, taking a stroll along the Aletsch Promenade from Riederalp to Bettmeralp or Fiescheralp, or even all three, is a great option. You might even catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn if you’re lucky.

Here is a list of the best hikes in Riederalp:

  • Geologiesteg Moosfluh (easy, family-friendly) – The geology trail, accessible via Riederalp, illustrates the impact of global warming and glacier melting on the Aletsch Glacier. The trail includes seven stations, each focusing on different aspects such as glacier marks, climate change, and the melting glacier, offering interactive experiences for children. It is not pram-friendly.
  • Aletsch Promenade Hike (easy) – The hike begins at the top station of the Bettmeralp cable car, leading west on the wheelchair-accessible Aletsch Promenade to the Riederalp mountain station, covering 3.07 km with a minimal elevation change in about an hour. Alternatively, you can start from Riederalp and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Winter Hike from Moosfluh to Riederalp (easy, winter) – Ride the cable car to Moosfluh for stunning views of the Great Aletsch Glacier and the Walliser Alps. Hike along the ridge to the cable car station. The tour comprises multiple sections; please check the winter sports report for open/closed status.
  • Moosfluh to Riederfurka Adventure Trail (moderate) – From Riederalp Mitte, head east to the Moosfluh Valley station, take the cable car to the Moosfluh viewpoint, and follow the westward ridge path via Hohfluh to Riederfurka, passing Villa Cassel. The Adventure Trail, with five stations, explores UNESCO World Heritage themes, offering beautiful lookout points along the easy-themed trail, concluding with the descent from Riederfurka to Riederalp.
  • Belalp to Riederalp via the Hanging Bridge (moderate) – Hike from Hotel Belalp to Riederalp, passing through Steigle, Aletschji, Leng Acker, and the Belalp – Riederalp suspension bridge. Highlights include views of the Great Aletsch Glacier’s ice gate. The 11.43 km moderate trail takes approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Image of the Hiking Trails around Riederalp by TouringSwitzerland.com

Several other hikes are accessible in the area, but these are the top ones I suggest. Some routes are used for skiing and snowboarding in winter, so the trails will be different. In case you want to check out more hikes, you can visit https://www.aletscharena.ch/en/activities/hiking for more information.


3. Visit a Great Aletsch Glacier Viewpoint

Image of the Great Aletsch Glacier from the Moosfluh Viewpoint by TouringSwitzerland.com

After finishing your hike, I recommend that you explore one of the glacier viewpoints. If you’ve already visited Moosfluh, I suggest checking out Eggishorn, easily accessible from Fiescheralp.

Glaciers are stunning natural wonders with their massive size and rugged landscapes. I always find these breathtaking and inspiring. There are so many glaciers to see in the canton of Valais. Riederalp, in particular, is quite near the Great Aletsch Glacier. You can admire the glaciers from the hiking trails or the mountain station viewpoints.

The best viewpoints for seeing the Aletsch Glacier are the following:

  • Eggishorn (2,869 meters) – Enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the Swiss Alps, including the Aletsch Glacier, Valais Alps, and surrounding peaks. On a clear day, you may have the opportunity to see the iconic Matterhorn, one of the most famous peaks in the Alps as well as Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.
  • Bettmerhorn (2,647 meters) – Enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps.
  • Moosfluh (2,333 meters) – Similar to Bettmerhorn, Moosfluh provides captivating views of the Aletsch Glacier, allowing you to appreciate its vast expanse.
  • Hohfluh (2,227 meters) – While slightly lower in elevation, Hohfluh still offers impressive views of the Aletsch Glacier and surrounding peaks.

I suggest having your lunch or snack at Horli-Hitta on Eggishorn. This amazing restaurant allows you to savor delicious local cuisine while enjoying the fantastic views around you.


4. Enjoy a Pleasant Walk around Riederalp

Riederalp is a charming car-free village with cute alpine chalet-style houses located at an altitude of 1,905 meters above sea level. Even though it doesn’t have a lot of shops, it’s still a lovely, traditional place with beautiful views from various spots in the village.

The Aletsch Promenade is easy to stroll along, with a wide and nearly flat path. It’s perfect for those who want a relaxed walk while soaking in panoramic mountain views. In the Aletsch Forest nearby, you can enjoy the beautiful nature by walking on winding trails and feeling the peace of the quiet alpine woods.

Here are some must-visit spots in Riederalp:

  • Alpine Museum – The 1606 Alpine Museum, based in the hut Nagulschbalmu, offers insights into historical alpine farming. Experience alpine life and explore the Aletsch Arena’s cultural side in this 400-year-old museum.
  • Lake Bettmersee – Lake Bettmersee is a small alpine lake located near the village of Bettmeralp.
  • Villa Cassel – Villa Cassel is a historic building that houses Pro Natura Center Aletsch, an environmental education center.

If you’re up for more activities, you can also enjoy biking, glacier tours, trail running, golf, climbing, yoga, mini-golf, mountain carts, and tennis. The Aletsch Arena website gives a great overview of all these activities: https://www.aletscharena.ch/en/aletsch-arena/places/riederalp.


Recommended Hotels in Riederalp, Switzerland

Image of Riederalp on the Way to Moosfluh by TouringSwitzerland.com

Riederalp offers a variety of hotels to suit different budgets. I recommend spending at least one night here, especially in the summer when you can receive the Visitor Card.

In Riederalp, there are plenty of apartments and chalets to choose from, with about 70 options available on Booking.com. Keep in mind that many of them typically have a minimum stay requirement of one week.

If you need help selecting a hotel or an apartment in Riederalp, here are some recommendations:

  • Apartment Bella Vista (Apartments) – The Bella Vista Apartment in Riederalp offers modern Alpine-style apartments with panoramic views, located next to ski slopes and hiking trails, accessible by cable car from Mörel or Ried Mörel. Guests enjoy amenities like a kitchen, and living room, and most apartments feature a balcony.
  • Alpen-Park West and Alpen-Park Ost (Apartments) – Alpen-Park provides comfortable apartments with amenities such as a restaurant, elevator, and ATM, as well as free WiFi throughout the property. Ski rental and storage are also offered, making it convenient for guests to enjoy skiing in the surrounding area. More apartments are available via Alpen-Park.ch.
  • Golfhotel Riederhof (4-star) – The Riederhof, a four-star hotel on the Riederalp has 40 hotel beds, 2 apartments, a sun terrace, a restaurant, and a wellness area.
  • Hotel Restaurant Silbersand (3-star) – The family-run Hotel Restaurant Silbersand offers direct access to summer hiking and winter skiing. The hotel has a calm and cozy atmosphere, an excellent location, spacious and modern rooms, delicious food, and friendly staff.

How to Spend 1 Day in Riederalp in Winter

If you come in winter, here are the things you can do in Riederalp on a 1-day trip:

  1. Skiing and snowboarding – In Riederalp, there are slopes for all skiing levels—easy, medium, and challenging. It’s the ultimate winter activity in the entire Aletsch Arena.
  2. Cross-country skiing – You can go cross-country skiing for free in Riederalp and nearby Bettmeralp. If you’re an experienced cross-country skier, the Goms region is one of Switzerland’s biggest areas for it, offering 100 kilometers of trails.
  3. Sledding – There are sled routes from Moosfluh to Riederalp (3.2 kilometers) or Bettmeralp (2.7 kilometers).
    You can take a longer sled ride from Fiescheralp to Lax (11 kilometers)
  4. Snowshoeing – Riederalp has many snowshoe trails, ranging from easy to difficult. They also offer Full-moon Snowshoe Tours. Trails are typically 3.8 to 5.4 kilometers long.

Some summer hiking trails are also available in winter.


More Things to Do near Riederalp, Switzerland

Riederalp has many interesting attractions worth checking out. It is highly recommended to spend at least one day there, if not a week. Here are more attractions to visit near Riederalp, Switzerland:

  1. Brig – Explore the town of Brig and the Stockalper Palace, go shopping, and enjoy the delightful blend of past and present.
  2. Furka Pass – Drive through Furka Pass, a breathtaking mountain pass known for its winding roads and panoramic views.
  3. Rhône Glacier – Experience the Rhône Glacier and its Ice Cave, a fascinating cave carved into the glacier.
  4. World Nature Forum – Visit the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site Center in Naters to learn about the region’s geological and cultural significance.
  5. Märjelensee – Enjoy the lake system at the eastern edge of the Aletsch Glacier nestled in a basin between the Eggishorn and Strahlhorn mountains.
  6. Bellwald – A quaint mountain village with narrow streets and traditional chalets, offering a peaceful escape.
  7. Ernen – Stroll through the historic village of Ernen, with its well-preserved buildings and charming town square.
  8. Goms Bridge – Cross the impressive Goms Bridge, a suspension bridge with stunning views of the Rhône Valley.
  9. Binntal Nature Park – Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Binn Valley Nature Park, the first regional nature park in the entire Canton of Valais.
  10. Fiescher Glacier – The Fiescher Glacier, though smaller than Aletsch, ranks as the Alps’ second-longest glacier (15.1 km) and the third-largest (31.2 km) after Aletsch Glacier and Gorner Glacier.

While every place mentioned above is worth a visit, my suggestion after exploring Riederalp is to also check out Brig, Furka Pass, and the Rhône Glacier Ice Cave.


How to Get to Riederalp

Image of the Riederalp Gondola by TouringSwitzerland.com

Riederalp is a small car-free village that can be accessed from Mörel. The easiest way to reach Riederalp is through the following:

  1. Coming from abroad, fly to the closest international airports: either Zurich Airport or Geneva Airport.
  2. From either Zurich Airport or Geneva Airport, take the train to Brig.
  3. In Brig, take the train or drive to Mörel. There is a parking lot in Mörel.
  4. Take the Riederalpbahn gondola from Mörel to Riederalp.

Summary: 1 Day in Riederalp, Switzerland

Riederalp may not be as large as Geneva or Bern, but it certainly is extremely charming. Riederalp is a fantastic mountain resort that offers an array of hiking trails, panoramic views, skiing opportunities, and various outdoor activities.

Given this, I strongly suggest planning your visit when the weather is favorable, as it will not be as enjoyable during bad weather conditions.

Enjoy your trip to Riederalp!

+ posts

Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.