4, 6 days
Full board
Luggage transfer
Tour type
Dog friendly

Awe-Inspiring Via Spluga Adventure: Hiking through the Swiss and Italian Alps with Your Family

Imagine embarking on an unforgettable family adventure amidst the majestic landscapes of the Swiss and Italian Alps. The Via Spluga offers a unique opportunity to bond, explore, and create lasting memories while reveling in the region’s natural wonders and picturesque villages.

Tour Highlights:

  • Via Mala Gorges: Explore one of the most breathtaking hiking trails in the Alps, offering unparalleled views and a profound connection with nature.
  • Historic villages: Immerse yourself in the charm of Alpine villages like Splügen, Isola, and Chiavenna, each boasting a unique blend of history, culture, and picturesque landscapes.
  • Year-round attractions: Experience the region’s versatility, with winter skiing followed by springtime hiking in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. The pass village of Splügen is the perfect stop for rejuvenation during your Alpine walking holidays, with its well-preserved European architecture and palazzi.

The Swiss Alps, cradled between Bern, Luzern, and Lake Geneva, are distinguished by their awe-inspiring peaks, deep valleys, and crystalline blue lakes. Whether your heart is set on summer hiking or winter sports, this part of Europe beckons with its abundant natural wonders that can be cherished year-round.

Conversely, the Italian Alps, whether you find yourself in the Dolomites of Northeast Italy or the Valle d’Aosta in the Northwest, present a wealth of natural beauty. Lush valleys, dramatic mountains, and picturesque landscapes await you in this Italian Alpine paradise.

Hiking bliss in the Alps

This region stretching from Thusis in Switzerland to Chiavenna in Italy’s Lombardy region is a haven for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and culture connoisseurs. Blessed with ancient trails, idyllic Alpine towns, and some of the world’s most spectacular panoramas, the Alpine region is a magnet for hikers, mountain bikers, and lovers of the great outdoors.

Your journey may begin in Thusis, a charming Swiss settlement that provides a glimpse into the local way of life. This picturesque town, home to around 3,000 residents, is the largest in the region and offers a splendid introduction to your Alpine adventure.

For those in search of one of the most breathtaking hiking routes in the Alps, look no further than the Via Mala Gorges, located just outside Thusis. This trail reveals awe-inspiring vistas and the unparalleled beauty of Mother Nature. Another renowned ancient route in the region is the Via Traversina, which guides hikers to the delightful village of Andeer.

The settlements in this part of the world are some of the most picturesque in Europe. Destinations like Splügen, Isola, and Chiavenna boast museums, charming eateries, cobblestone streets, and a European charm that feels timeless.

Whether you are an experienced hiker or a novice, this Alpine walking holiday promises an abundance of beauty and unforgettable experiences for all. The Alps are ready to enchant you with their unparalleled natural wonders and cultural richness, making it an adventure that the whole family will cherish.

Included Services

  • Full board
  • Luggage transport
  • Support line
  • Hiking maps
  • Double room
  • Flight
  • Travel insurance

What to bring

Equipment and clothing to bring for Alpine hikes and runs
We’ve compiled a list of essential items you’ll need to take on your adventure in the Great Outdoors. While each trip has its own minimum requirements, we have split the list into “need-to-have” and “nice-to-haves”.

Need to have:

Lightweight, waterproof shell
Sunscreen with a high factor
Smartphone with a relevant trip app and a WhatsApp and code number for your local representative
Survival blanket
Thin hat, cap, and thin gloves (merino or similar)
Daypack for hiking (tours with luggage transport)
Duffel bag or similar (trips with luggage transport) — DO NOT pack in suitcases.
30 L rucksack on trips up to six days (without luggage transport)
40 L rucksack on trips of more than six days (without luggage transport)
Quick-drying inner layer
Shorts (quick drying)
Technical t-shirt (quick drying)
Fleece sweater for cool evenings
A pair of comfortable jogging bottoms or similar for the cabins
Good mountain shoes — trail running shoes or hiking boots
Light towel
Water bottle (1.5 L)
A pair of thick socks or light slippers (you can often borrow a pair in the cabins)
A few energy bars, fruits or similar snacks for the trip
Sheet liner — can also be purchased on-site (only if you are staying in a dormitory)
Small first aid kit
Comped or similar
Sleeping bag (on selected tours)

Nice to have:

Walking poles
Power bank
Sandals for the cabins
Plastic bags to keep things dry


What is your refund and cancellation policy?

If you cancel your tour 60 days or more before the departure date, you will lose your deposit. If you cancel your tour between 60 and 45 days before the departure date, you will lose 50 per cent of the total tour price. If you cancel your tour within 45 days of the departure date, you will lose the full amount. If you fail to turn up on the first day of your tour, Outdoor Italy may not be able to make arrangements for you to join the rest of the tour, and you will lose the full payment. If, for any reason, Outdoor Italy has to cancel your tour, you will be offered an alternative tour or a full refund.

How do I book my tour?

You can book your tour directly on the Outdoor Italy website. Choose the tour from the dropdown menu, select the date you would like to start, and the number of participants in your group. You can either pay a deposit (60 days or more from the start of your tour) or pay the full amount. Click ‘book’ and follow the instructions. Once we have confirmed your payment, you’ll receive your confirmed tour itinerary within 10 days. There may be seasonal variations in the time it takes us to arrange everything. Please note that programmes on the tour pages are only examples — there may be several differences in the final programme you receive.

How do I pay for my tour?

When booking your tour, you can choose to pay by credit/debit card or direct bank transfer. Direct bank transfers will generally take longer to process, while credit and debit card payments are processed instantly. You are, by default, asked to pay a deposit of 25% of the total cost of the tour. If you choose this option, you will be asked to pay the remaining 75% one month before your tour. Please be sure to follow the payment links you receive in your invoice or reminder email, which we will send you when the second payment is due.

Do I get my own room?

This depends on the individual tour and when you book it. When hiking in the Alps, most people stay in dorms or shared rooms as the availability of single, double and family rooms are limited. We can only guarantee your own room on certain tours such as in the Lys and Ayas Valleys — but only if you book in time. If this is your preference, we will do our best to ensure you get your own room, but please expect to spend some nights in shared accommodation if there is limited availability.

Is baggage transfer included with all your Alpine tours?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer this service with all our packages. Often, the huts or hotels we work with are in locations that can only be reached by foot or helicopter. Indeed, when choosing a tour that includes baggage transport, there may be one or two exceptions depending on the route. This will appear clearly on the tour page and in the program you receive when your booking has been confirmed.

How many days do your tours last?

All our tours include the day of arrival and the day of departure. This means that a six-day tour will include five nights of accommodation, a seven-day tour will include six nights, and so on. On the first day, guests are usually expected to arrive in the afternoon. And the program does not include any activities except for a briefing by our representative on the first evening. On the day of departure, guests are free to decide if they want to leave directly after breakfast or go on a shorter tour before their journey home.

What meals are included in your Alpine adventure tours?

Most of our tours will include Half Board (HB) services, which means breakfast, a three-course dinner, and a light-packed lunch. Please check the individual tour page for details, however, as variations occur with certain tours.

What is a self-guided tour?

We specialize in self-guided tours. These tours are designed for travelers who love the independence of hiking, skiing, or running on their own but want to know that everything else is taken care of. In some cases, we are able to offer luggage transport to lighten your load as you enjoy the Great Outdoors.

Do you offer group tours?

Whether you’re already a group of friends, business colleagues or a sports club looking for an active mountain adventure, we can design and organize your Alpine tour for you. We also offer guided group tours for individual participants on fixed dates.

Can you create a tour just for me and my friends?

Yes, absolutely! Outdoor Italy can design the perfect mountain adventure for you and your friends or colleagues. Whether you want to hike, ski, run, cycle or climb, we have the expertise and experience needed to create a bespoke package for any level of experience or physicality. Please contact us if you would like us to create a customized package for your group.

Are your outdoor adventure tours family-friendly?

There are few better ways to spend time with your children than with an active holiday in the mountains. Sharing a mountain adventure with your child is a memory that will last a lifetime. We try to design child-friendly variations (marked ‘family’) of all our Alpine tours. Children can hike, ski or bike a lot longer than you might expect, as long as you make it entertaining for them. However, they will respond instantly to the way you behave, so please consider whether you are able to create a safe environment for your children when faced with the many different challenges of an alpine environment.

Do you offer discounts for children?

Yes, we are able to offer a discount for children on most of our tours, provided they are not yet 13 years of age on the first day of the tour. Please see the individual tour page for our child discounts.

Can I travel on my own?

Many single travellers chose Outdoor Italy due to our high level of service and our expertise in self-guided mountain tours. And the safety of one of our representatives will only ever be just a phone call away. However, please expect additional costs, as our prices are based on two persons — the industry standard for outdoor tours of this nature. Private rooms and other services are often more expensive for individual travellers. You can find information about any additional costs for individual travellers on the tour page.

Will I manage?

We are all different. Some of our clients are 70+ and have lived an active lifestyle all their life. Others may be twenty years younger and have barely left their office chair. It is very difficult to judge the physical and mental ability of a person on the basis of a phone conversation. If you are in doubt, each tour is rated for level of physicality, which you can learn more about here. You are of course welcome to call us and we will do our best to advice you. Find your level of physicality here (link to Find your level page).

What if I get lost?

Our local partners know every square inch of this beautiful Alpine region. During the introductory briefing, you will receive an app, physical maps and a phone number to call if you need advice. In some cases, you’ll be able to forward your location to a local guide with the press of a button. This may prove helpful if you become lost.

Do I need travel insurance?

We recommend that you speak to your insurance provider to ensure your existing policy covers mountain-based activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Please note that any costs relating to emergency situations and the potential need for evacuation are the sole responsibility of the client.

Will I be able to cope with the physical challenge?

We are all different. Some of our clients are more than 70 years old and have lived an active lifestyle all their life. Others are twenty years younger and have barely left their office chair. It is very difficult to judge the physical and mental capabilities of a person on the basis of a phone conversation. If you are in doubt, each tour is rated for the level of physicality involved, which you can learn more about on our Find Your Level page. You are, of course, welcome to call us, and we will do our best to advise you.

Can I bring my dog?

Enjoying the mountains with your best friend can be a joyful experience, which is why we try to make our tours dog friendly wherever possible. Unfortunately, it is not always possible due to local rules. Selected tours are marked ‘Dog Friendly’ on the tour page. This means that your dog can stay with you in your private room or, in a few cases, the hut will have a separate or external room for dogs. Please refer to the individual tour page for more information.

*This tour is based on a minimum of two participants. Only the services mentioned above are included in the price.

Hiking the viaSpluga

This is an example of a viaSpluga six day hiking tour. Your final itinerary may differ, depending on factors such as the availability of hotels and eateries. The four day version will start at Splügen, but end in Chiavenna like the six day version.

Total distance: 71 KM
H+: 2200
H-: 2240
Level: Easy to medium.


Day 1: Arrival in Thusis

Your viaSpluga hiking trail begins in the charming village of Thusis. Meet our representatives at your hotel to receive an initial briefing and some essential documentation. We will also issue any passes and vouchers you might need during your Alps hiking trip. Then it’s off to bed for an early start the next day.


Day 2: Thusis - Andeer

Your first full day of hiking in the Alps begins with a brisk walk through Thusis and into some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. This 15 km hike takes in some truly jaw-dropping vistas and the very best of the Via Mala gorges. Running parallel to this famous route is the Via Traversina — an equally historic route that takes hikers a little higher.

Our first day of Alpine hiking ends in the charming village of Andeer, which is characterised by its quintessentially European architecture and cobblestone streets. The evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

  • 15.5 km
  •  630 m
  •  30 m
  •  5-6 hours

Day 3: Andeer - Splügen

Our second full day of hiking in the Alps begins with a walk to one of the region’s most stunning beauty spots — the Roffla Waterfalls. After spending a few minutes taking in the scenery and spectacular falls, we take a well-trodden path that runs parallel to an ancient road. This is where we leave the modern world behind, as we make our way into the forest in search of flora and fauna.

Our next stop along the way is the pretty village of Sufers. This ancient settlement was founded during the Carolingian epoch and is awash with history. Once there, you’ll be able to take in the majesty of what surrounds you — a gorgeous valley and towering mountains at every turn. Then it’s back to the ancient path as we wind our way through the valley and onto the town of Splügen. This bustling town offers all the trappings of modern life, yet its ancient character and mystique remain almost unchanged.

Hotel Alte Herberge Weiss Kreuz

  •  14.5 km
  •  730 m
  • 230 m
  • 5 hours

Day 4: Splügen - Isola

Alpine pastures with breathtaking panorama of the surrounding peaks, avalanche barrier tunnels and well-maintained, cobbled/paved mule-tracks are all set to feature along this high-altitude and expansive section, enhanced by the heady fragrance of blooms as we move up from the village on the northern slope of the Pass prior to the descent on the Italian side to the village of Montespluga, where you can breathe in the atmosphere of times past.

From the village of Montespluga the route takes on the right side of the reservoir in order to reach one of the two dams and to appreciate some spectacular views over the Cardinello Gorge: this is one of the most dramatic sections guaranteed to linger long in the memory.
It’s a route which was not created without considerable exertions over the years, with the imposing rock faces to the left and up above and the steep gorge plunging away to the right where the torrent itself courses. The descent requires a certain amount of caution but it’s not demanding and leads us gently towards the typical wooden mountain dwellings (baite) of Sosta, Mottaletta and finally to Isola.

Locanda Cardinello

  •  17 km
  • 700 m
  • 900 m
  •  6 hours

Day 5: Isola - Chiavenna

From Isola a wander through attractive fir woodland beckons and Campodolcino lies in wait.
A section which is practically all downhill in nature, following the route of the Liro torrent and
introducing the hiker to the joys of Val San Giacomo: we’re wandering along pathways
between well-tended dry-stone wall and meadow, through chestnut groves and taking in
places of considerable historical and religious interest. We approach Chiavenna along a
path with magnificent panorama over the length of Valchiavenna; from the age-old terraces
hosting traditional vineyards you catch your first glimpse of a very special Alpine community,
with its immaculately preserved historic centre.

  •  18 km
  • 930 m
  • 6 hours

Day 6: Chiavenna

Today is a day to recharge your batteries and explore everything the historic settlement of Chiavenna has to offer. Whether you simply want to sip coffee and watch the world go by or explore the town’s frescoes, ancient architecture and piazza, take the time to immerse yourself in the local way of life.

Breakfast and departure.

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