Via Alpina Trail

There is no greater adventure in the Alps than the Via Alpina. As the longest long-distance hiking trail, it leads from the Adriatic over countless peaks to the Mediterranean. It crosses the borders of eight European countries, different cultures, different natural areas and language regions.

It has 116 stages and takes you on a 2,000 kilometre journey from the Mediterranean to over 3,000 metres above sea level, during which you discover the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps on foot.

A path on which everyone embarks on their own individual journey. A trail that connects people who share the same passion. A path that belongs to everyone – 2000 km of European integration.

One trail,
expanding through
8 countries,
divided into 116 stages.

1 trail Longest long-distance hiking trail.
8 countries Hiking over the European Alps.
116 stages Over 2000 km of hiking trails.
0 - 3000m altitude Rise up to 3000 m above sea level.
Bunderchrinde/CH © Sophia Niederkofler

What does Via Alpina stand for…

Our vision

Via Alpina connects people with the same passion across borders, promotes the European idea and successfully contributes to the sustainable development of the Alps as a natural and cultural area.

Our mission

We enable people to hike through eight European countries, cross borders, share experiences and discover their love for Alpine cultures, natural spaces and their preservation.

The History of the Via Alpina

In the center of the Alps: the largest natural area in Europe, the cradle of alpinism and a refuge for unique animal and plant species; but also home to almost 14 million inhabitants, rich in tradition and for centuries the scene of cultural exchange.

For over 20 years, the Via Alpina has been showing the Alps as they really are: From blossoming nature to rocky peaks, from civilization in the valley to melting glaciers. It is a role model for the joint protection of nature and the environment and makes it possible to experience the Alps in a sustainable way.

© Sophia Niederkofler

The Via Alpina is an innovative European project in which private and public stakeholders from all eight Alpine countries have joined forces since 2000 to further develop it and share experiences across borders.

In 2022, CIPRA International, together with eight “Via Alpina Explorers”, redesigned the main red route of the Via Alpina to make it even more attractive and accessible.

The Via Alpina consisted of five different routes. From 2024, we will be focusing on the main red route. Only individual sections will change:

  • Up to stage R57, the Red Via Alpina will remain as it is until Sücka/Liechtenstein,
  • from Sücka/Liechtenstein, the Green Via Alpina leads to Lenk/Switzerland,
  • from Lenk/Switzerland, the Via Alpina rejoins the Red Route as far as the Refuge de Nice or Victor de Cessole,
  • from the Refuge de Nice there are 3 stages on the Grande traverse du Mercantour,
  • the last stages are then back on the Red Route R160 and R161 to Monaco.
© Matthieu Chambaud

Your Via Alpina adventure begins

Along the clearly marked trails you will find the Via Alpina logo, cosy places to stop for refreshments, organised hikes and other offers to help you discover the surrounding area. There is everything you need to organise your long-distance hike for a weekend, a week, a whole summer or even longer.

Always check the weather, follow the basic safety rules in the mountains and respect nature and your hosts!

On this page you will find a variety of general information useful for hiking on the Via Alpina. Our FAQs will help you prepare for your hike. You can find detailed information about the stages in the TRAIL section. In the COMMUNITY you can read the testimonials of others who have already walked the trail. We invite you to explore this marvellous long-distance hiking trail and discover the hidden treasures of the Via Alpina.

The Via Alpina team wishes you a wonderful hike full of adventure!