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Lace up your walking boots to explore Swiss Heritage’s Historic Trails

swiss heritage hiking trails
swiss heritage hiking trails

The Gorges de l’Arene, NE, a walking trail dating from 1875 was designed to give travellers on foot or by train a romantic vista of nature. (Reference Trail no. 10 in the booklet Sentiers Historiques/Historic Trails)

I am already a huge fan of Swiss Heritage’s “Loveliest” series of booklets that offer fans of Swiss culture, architecture, nature and lifestyle detailed guidance when they want to discover ‘must-see’ locations of cultural and historical significance across the length and breadth of Switzerland.

Now for something almost entirely different, the organization offers the first edition of its new publication “Destination Patrimoine” or Destination Heritage: Historic Trails, dedicated to connecting history and nature-lovers with the 35 most beautiful and historically significant transit routes in the country.

From visionary to pragmatic
Swiss Heritage walking trails

The Church of Madonna del Sasso, TI, (trail no. 34) is together with a spectacular view of Locarno the pinnacle of a path exploring the influence on Swiss routes of the Counter-Reformation, when the Catholic Church in Switzerland tried to attract the faithful with new strategies.


For centuries the topography of this small, alpine nation pushed architects and road builders to perform technical feats of wonder: from bridges with a daring structure, old mule tracks, and Napoleonic alpine roads to romantic Belle Époque routes through the countryside.

From visionary projects to more pragmatic ones and from colossal investments to more rudimentary financing, Switzerland’s historic trails shine a light on the country’s social and political developments as much as its architectural and technical ones.

Routes of communication are cultural property
Swiss Heritage walking trails

Historical trail no. 13 brings you along the Aare River and reflects upon the pivotal influence it exerted over the development of the federal capital, Bern. This urban walk runs along the Aare where it forms a bend and explores the many paths that connect it to the old town.


Preserving historic byways never came with a guarantee. The Swiss Confederation very early on recognized their importance as cultural and historical property and mapped them starting in the 1980s, transcribing the results in the Federal Inventory of Historic Channels of Communication of Switzerland ( IVS). Swiss Heritage has drawn upon these records in creating Destination Heritage: Historic Trails.

Practical and informative

The box set contains a guidebook and 35 inserts, one for every walking trail. Hikes last between 2 and 3 hours but can be lengthened or shortened according to ambition.


The portable box set contains a guidebook/glossary with historical and practical details relating to each trail along with 35 corresponding inserts, one for every walking trail, with a map and descriptive details on one side of the insert and photos on the other.

The hikes are between two and three hours, but can be shortened or lengthed, and are described as being “not particularly demanding”, which sounds right up my alley…or walking trail, as it were. ♣



Destination Heritage: Historic Trails
Box set of 1 brochure and 35 itineraries (maps and photos)
Format: 167 x 122 x 33mm
Languages: German/French
Price: CHF 28.- / Members: CHF 18.-
ISBN: 978-3-9524632-6-0
Order No: HSU010DF
Order online at Swiss Heritage.


  1. Martin says

    These boots are made for walking… and one can do a lot and discover a lot on foot…


  2. missgrimaud says

    I literally said, OH, MY GOD! when I saw that last photograph. I so wish I could spend time exploring these trails…


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