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.
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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