Zermatt has been one of those top Switzerland destination. I was sceptical before I went to Zermatt and experienced it myself. Now I know why Zermatt is a must-visit for anyone. I went for a hike to Zermatt on June 2017, the beginning of summer. It was an eye-opening experience for me, both mentally and physically, as I hiked alone. I was also blessed with pleasant weather from morning till evening.
Before you continue reading this so-called hiking guide, I want to mention a little disclaimer. I’m a beginner in term of hiking, that’s why I’m a quite scared in making this guide. I’m not even doing hiking appropriately so don’t really take this hiking guide seriously. You probably still need to do more research if you want to camp or stuff like that in Zermatt. Bits of information about the 5 lakes walk hiking guide can be seen in Zermatt official website.
What Did I Bring For Hiking in Zermatt?
As I was saying, I’m no pro hiker. I just starter in loving hiking when I was in Switzerland. I was also kinda underestimating the difficulty level of 5-Seenweg in Zermatt. It was written “difficult” in Zermatt website. I also did look for hours at Google Map and Swiss Map (it’s an app) trying to figure out my trails. After long consideration and thoughts, here’s what I brought to my hiking in Zermatt:
- Mirrorless Camera
- Light tripods
- Phone + Powerbank
- Sweet snacks with high calories and sugar: Snickers (you’re not you when you’re hungry), granola bars, chocolates
- Water bottles
- Hiking boots
- Free map of Zermatt (just in case if everything died)
- Band aids
All of those things I put it in my medium, normal backpack. Since it said in the Zermatt Website that it’s only around 2.5 hours hike. I try to make it as light as possible. Besides, the real purpose of this Zermatt hike is for photo-hunting (and I did get great pictures). All the pictures that have me inside (the curly-haired girl), I took it by using tripod. I saw most people use hiking poles in Zermatt. You can buy or rent in Zermatt.
How to Get to Zermatt?
I went to Zermatt by train. From wherever you are, no matter which city, you definitely will have to go to Visp first before going to Zermatt. You will have to take different type of train from Visp to Zermatt. It is around 1 hour from Visp to Zermatt. I’m not sure about how to get to Zermatt by cars, but you can search it in the Internet.
How to Start the 5 Lakes Walk or 5-Seenweg?
I started my hike from Zermatt Bahnhof (Zermatt train station) and walk my way up by foot. I didn’t use train to go up or cable car, but you can. It can be expensive yo go up by cable car or train, and you should check the calendar because when I was there, it wasn’t open several days ago. I walked my way up through forest and the Google Map actually mislead my way. What I mean is the trail that I actually took is not the same as what Google Map shows. But in Switzerland, as long as you follow the yellow sign, you can reach your destination. You can also get free maps from tourist information. I’d suggest you to take the cable car if you’re not having a lot of time or don’t want to hike the whole day.
The sequence of lakes I saw is Lake Mosjesee → Grunsee → Grindjisee → Stellisee → Leisee. What I learned from this sequence is that it’s from lower to higher altitude. So it’s much more tiring to do that sequence and you should to the other way around. Lake Leisee is near the Sunnegga cable car station. And from Sunnegga, you can take another cable car to Blauherd to get to the higher point and then walk your way down. Walking down doesn’t mean it’s easier though! It can be as hard as walking uphill.
The Lakes Location
There’s actually two mountains and between them is a stream. The first mountain consists of Lake Mosjesee, Grindjisee, Stellisee and Leisee. Across the stream and going to the other mountain is where Lake Grunsee is located. I bet there’s much more going on, on the second mountain that I probably don’t know. See more in the ‘Map Itinerary’ at the bottom of this blog post if you still confused af. You don’t have to see all the lakes if you don’t want to. The most beautiful lakes (I personally think) are Grunsee and Stellisee.
I have a feeling that this is a sulfur lake (?) that’s similar with the lake in Indonesia, called Kawah Putih (see about it here). But it doesn’t emit any steam so again, I’m not sure. One thing for sure is you cannot do anything with the lake, such as no swimming or water activities. From far away, Mosjesee does have a very blue colour (I love blue <3). Based on my itinerary, this is the first lake I encountered. However, if you use the opposite of my itinerary, this probably will be your last lake you will visit.
Lake Grunsee is one of my favorite lakes among the 5 lakes. After I had to cross between two mountains (or valley, dunno the term), Lake Grunsee is the second lake I found. In here, I see signs of life such as tadpole. The water is very clear, during the afternoon, I can even see the bottom of the lake. There’s a little stream going to Lake Grunsee and I took all of my guts and drink the water from there. I saw a dog drinking water from the lake and I was thirsty and running out of water supply. It was literally the best water I had. I took some of it in my water bottle for later, and when I drink it later on it’s still very cold (I use plastic bottle).
I almost didn’t notice this small Lake Grindjisee and pass by it. It’s so much smaller than the other lakes. Lake Grindjisee gave me that cozy vibe because people are stopping by to eat and rest by the lake. This lake also seems to be safe enough to play around with. You’ll find Lake Grindjisee on the way from Lake Grundsee, then crossing between the mountain and then it is when you’re on your way up to Lake Stellisee.
Pictures of Lake Stellisee is what makes me determined to go to Zermatt and hike. I love mountain lakes so much and I thought that Lake Stellisee is the prettiest mountain lake in Switzerland. Going to Lake Stellisee is quite a hike, especially without the hiking poles. Along the way to Lake Stellisee, I found the coolest view of Matterhorn and took pictures and videos there. From Lake Stellisee, you definitely can see perfect view of Matterhorn due to high altitude in Stellisee. Let’s just say that Lake Stellisee got that picturesque vibe that you can never forget. One sad thing is I cannot get the reflection of Matterhorn because of the damn wind. Stellisee is probably the best for taking pictures altogether with Matterhorn. You will definitely get that signature picture of Matterhorn and if you’re lucky, with that Matterhorn’s reflection on the Lake Stellisee.
I saw a glimpse of Lake Leisee. Only a glimpse because Lake Leisee is situated inside a park and it’s fenced. There was no one around the area and I can’t take decent picture with the fences around. Lake Leisee is the last lake I visited and it is near the cable car. It can be the first lake you’ll visit if you take the cable car.
My Hiking Experience in Pictures
Theoretically, you just need to get your mental ready for medium difficulty type of hike. I’m not an athlete/sportsperson/hikers but it was possible and I did it until the end by foot. Although it was very, very tiring and I wasn’t exaggerating about the aftermath tiredness. I kinda cried on my way home in the train because I was hungry, sick of junk food and my feet & knees were in so much pain. The day after, I look at all the pictures and videos I took. I didn’t regret anything at all. Know I have this special memories with Zermatt and Matterhorn. This experience also taught me that everything is possible ?. Here’s some of my hike in form pictures. The editing is different than my usual (if you’ve been following my blog) because recently I learned how to edit with Lightroom :D. So please excuse the exaggeration of my editing.
Yeay! You’re at the bottom of this post already! Congrats! haha I don’t know why I feel the need to congrats you. Thank you so much for reading and hopefully you like this little guide and I really, really expect it to at least helpful for you who’s considering to go to Zermatt and do the 5-Seenweg trail. Tell me if you went to Zermatt! I wanna know your experience there. I’m a good listener 😉