Hikes

Hikes

Twingischlucht

Scenic walk from the pristine Binntal to the main Rhône valley via an ancient track, pretty hamlets and historical Grengiols – home to a rare wild tulip, unique worldwide.

An ancient trade route connected the upper Rhône valley with Lombardy via the village of Grengiols, the Binntal valley and the Albrun Pass. Today, the lower section of the “Römerweg” (“Roman Path”) offers walkers a delightful experience of the pristine scenery of the Binntal Landscape Park, picturesque hamlets and charming Grengiols. This historical village has remained virtually unchanged since 1861, when the new Furka Pass road diverted traffic to the northern side of the Rhône valley. The trail begins at a remote bus stop on the road into the Binntal valley, just before the main tunnel, and finishes at Betten railway station, on the floor of the Rhône valley. Along the way, it leads through fragrant pine forest and across flower-filled meadows, with glorious views of the dramatic Binntal gorges and the sweeping Rhône valley. From Steinmatten bus stop, the trail drops down to the Römerbrücke (“Roman bridge”) across the Binn river before climbing through peaceful forest to a pair of sleepy hamlets – Blatt and Hockmatta – each with an ancient chapel. Further on, Grengiols is known as the home of a wild variety of tulip, unique worldwide. The protected plants are known in local dialect as “Roman tulips”; about 3,000 blossom each spring, usually in the second half of May, in the village’s old rye fields. An attractive theme trail leading to the “tulip hill” and other natural sites opened in 2009, with the addition of a brand-new path across open meadows and through forest in 2014. Our hike follows first the new extension and then part of the original trail before reaching the village heart. With its narrow, steep main alley and picturesque village square, Grengiols is a historical site of national importance.   Highlights: Ancient trail through forest, meadows and sleepy hamlets, with gorgeous views Theme trail devoted to the Grengiols tulip, unique worldwide

Turn-by-turn directions

Our hike begins in Binn and goes around a tunnel that has made the valley accessible all year round since 1965.  Follow the old trail through the dramatic Twingi gorge before joining the route as described at Steinmatten.

To reach Grengiols, our hike follows the new extension to the tulip trail that opened in 2014. Alternatively, hikers can follow the historical trail to the south through the hamlets of Viertel, Bächerhäusern and Oberdorf.

It is well worth allowing time to explore the full theme trail (follow signs for “Tulpenring” / “Tulip Orbit”), as well as Grengiols itself. From Grengiols, our route leads westwards across the slopes overlooking the Rhône before dropping steeply down to Betten station on the valley floor.

Start: Steinmatten (bus stop) (1399 m)
Destination: Betten railway station (829 m)

Author's recommendation

Hike the trail in the second half of May, when the wild tulips of Grengiols are in flower.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    1405 m 830 m

  • Ascent

    150 m

  • Descent

    715 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 2.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 2.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 5 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Fiesch (Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn), change on to postal bus towards Binn, and dismount at Steinmatten. At end of walk, take train (Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn) from Betten station. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch

Approach

A9 motorway and main road up the Rhône valley to Betten station (railway/cable car). Park here, and travel by public transport to start of walk (train to Fiesch, and bus to Steinmatten). Note that the start of the walk is a remote bus stop with very limited roadside parking.

Parking

Large car park at Betten station (railway/cable car); fee payable.

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)  

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

For all hikes:

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.

For mountain hikes:

  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time. 

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Additional information

More information about the destination: 

Literature

The tourist office in the Binn Valley has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1269 Aletschgletscher / 1270 Binntal