My Guide to Five Lakes Hike of Zermatt

It’s been three and a half year since I moved to Switzerland and the first time I visited one of the most famous and most magical Swiss places. I wanted to make this trip as special as possible. And so I did.

We spent 2 days in the region, walked 25 kilometers total, climbed 116 floors and spent one unforgettable night in the mountains, having Matterhorn peeking out through our window anytime I looked.

Zermatt is around 3,5 hours away from Basel – either by train or by car. We went by car, parked it in Täsch and then took a train from there to Zermatt (as it’s a car free village).  It is not necessary cheaper to get there by car if you have a Halbtax, as you have to pay for the car train (27 CHF one way) plus for the parking lot in Taesh (it costed us 23 chf for two days).


Day 1 – Five lakes hike

After arriving in Zermatt and a short stroll through the village we took a funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga (cost: 8 CHF one way). From there you have two options – either you go to Blauherd with a chairlift (and start from there is an  easier and more popular option) or you hike from Sunnega, just like we did.

At the Sunnegga station

Stunning views right from the beginning of the hike


All the lakes on the map and yellow point – our mountain hut

Lake number 1: Leisee

We reached the first lake after less than 10 minutes walking from Sunnegga. You can see the Matterhorn’s reflection in the water and also swim there during summer. There is also a playground for kids and lots of space for picnic in case you would want to make a break.

Matterhorn reflecting in the lake

Swinging with a view anyone?


Lake number 2: Moosjisee

We reached the second lake within 15 minutes – it has the most beautiful color of them all – turquoise blue. I think it was the most radiant water color I’ve seen in Switzerland so far (and yes, even comparing with Oeschinensee)).

Lake number 3: Grünsee

And here actually, after Moosjisee, is where the real hiking starts. For me, the way to Grünsee was quite difficult, as it’s a switchback trail and you climb up for over half an hour. But the climb is still pleasant as the views along the way reward the effort plus you might be lucky to meet some black faced sheep on the way, just like we did 🙂

They refused to pose for me as my Aussie Maya was barking at them and they all gathered together near the tree up there (shepherd dog…)

Grünsee is the second out of five lakes in which you can swim. We had a lunch break on the grass by the water and watched the Matterhorn’s top peeking out in the background.

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Lake number 4: Grindjisee

We hiked from Grünsee along the gravel road for another 30 minutes. The views were getting better and better :))

To me personally – Grindjisee was the most beautiful lake. Being surrounded by trees gave me the impression of being hidden from the world and the Matterhorn’s reflection on the water made me feel a pure bliss. 🙂

Lake number 5: Stellisee

We continued to the last lake and there were numerous small waterfalls coming off the side of the mountains. We were also facing the Matterhorn all the time now and it seemed to be closer and closer with every step. At the Stellisee you get the most incredible views of the Matterhorn in the middle and the Alps all around. It’s the biggest lake in this hike so you can also take some time to walk the trail around it.

Autumn colors

Stellisee and our final destination in the background

Golden tip at sunrise the next morning

Overnight at Fluhalp

Staying overnight at this mountain hut was on my bucket list for a while. I think it is the best place to stay at if you want to catch the sunrise on the lake and see the mountain’s tip getting golden in the morning (Stellisee is just 20 min walking from the Fluhalp).  The hut itself has an authentic alpine atmosphere and the hosts are really welcoming. We were staying in a double room, the accommodation was very comfortable, but basic – two beds, a table and the most important – a window with the glorious view of the most beautiful Swiss summit.

The showers are shared with other guests. Food is included – three courses dinner and breakfast – we couldn’t complain. Such a dinner was exactly what we needed after this beautiful, but long and tiring day.

And the breakfast next morning:

And the most important: the views that I really cannot describe. They were like nothing I have experienced during my Swiss expat journey. The best sunset and sunrise I have seen in Switzerland so far. Magical.

Pink sunset

At night

Cotton candy skies right before sunrise

In the afternoon


Day 2 – Marmot Trail and Zermatt

After breakfast we left the hut to continue hiking on the Marmot Trail. It’s an easy and pleasant route (definitely family friendly), you have Matterhorn right in front of you all the time. It takes a little bit more than one hour to get to Sunnegga and if you’re lucky you might see the marmots in their natural habitat or at least hear their whistles as you walk down.

We went back to Zermatt to explore the town before going back home. The town is really lovely, full of wooden chalets decorated with colorful flowers this time of the year. For some reason I had a feeling that I would like it more in the winter, so I guess I’ll have to come back again 🙂 Here are some impressions.

My tips:

-best time to  do the Five Lakes Hike is Spring – Autumn, when the trail is snow-free, but if you want to stay at the Fluhlap, just like we did, late June- end of September is the best time as they offer overnight stay only during the Summer months

-make sure you have enough water as there’s not many streams on the route and water in the guesthouses/restaurants on the way is really expensive (10 CHF per one liter)

-always have a light waterproof jacket with you! We were lucky and got spoiled with two sunny days, but the Swiss weather tends to be tricky so it’s better to be prepared for rain 🙂

-don’t forget to get a TOBLERONE so you can get this popular shot 😀

Well, we tried haha

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