Tour de Monte Rosa - A Classic Alps Hiking Route
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Tour de Monte Rosa – A Classic Alps Hiking Route

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With ten peaks reaching higher than 4000 meters, the Monte Rosa massif if one of the most impressive in the Alps. It is fair to say that the 9 day Tour de Monte Rosa trek, around the massif, is one of the best hiking routes in the Alps.

The hike provides an epic mixture of awesome mountain-scapes across two great European states. 

From hushed mountain passes to green valleys dotted with wooden Swiss Chalets during the first half of the hike, to the tranquility of remote Italian mountain villages during the latter stages of the trek, the Tour de Monte Rosa provides a great alternative to the Tour du Mont Blanc.  

But do be aware, despite being one of the most scenic treks in the Alps, the route is strenuous, particularly the 3,295m high crossing of the Theodul Pass!

This page provides a detailed overview for the Tour de Monte Rosa Route. We recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Route Overview

The Tour de Monte Rosa is a long, multi-day hiking trail covering a total distance of 162 kilometers and gains more than 13,000 meters of altitude over 8 to 10 stages.

The highest point reached on the hike is 3,295 meters. 

Most people start their hike in Täsh, Switzerland going in an anti-clockwise direction. Resting just to the east of the Matterhorn, the stunningly beautiful Monte Rosa is situated at the border between Switzerland and Italy. 

The Tour de Monte Rosa provides a perfect opportunity to experience the different valleys in both countries. 

On the circular hike you will pass some heavily glaciated areas, be afforded many scenic views of the highest peaks in Switzerland and take on some of the highest mountain passes in the Alps. The route will bring you to famous towns such as  Zermatt, Aosta and Saas Fee, while crossing the notorious Europaweg.

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Pros and Cons

  • check
    Incredible views of the Monte Rosa massif and the Matterhorn
  • check
    Hike in two countries - Switzerland and Italy!
  • check
    Walk the amazing Europaweg between Grächen and Zermatt - this route is  considered by many to be the most beautiful 2-day hike in the Alps
  • check
    Spend the night in some of the most famous European mountain huts
  • More exepensive than standard camping hikes due to the use of mountain huts
  • Physically challenging, not for the faint-hearted

Route Map

This map illustrates the Tour de Monte Rosa.

Most people start their hike in Täsh or the Saas Fee.

The route is normally done in an anti-clockwise pattern but if you want to make the route a little easier then a clockwise plan is better as the ascents are more gradual.

You will need to cross Theodul Pass (3,295m), which is one of the highest passes in the Alps.

For an excellent guidebook and map we recommend Hilary Sharp's The Tour of Monte Rosa: A Trekker's Guide.

tour-de-monte-rose-map

Altitude Profile

In the chart below you can see the altitude profile of the full hike. It is quite clear there is a lot of altitude to be gained over the stages. The heighest point is 3,295 meters. You can see that there are a few strenuous stages reaching high mountain passes that will require great effort.

tour-de-monte-rosa-altitude-profile

This profile was produced by Trace de Trail and shows the altitude profile for the hike as well as the ultra marathon!

Trek Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable the Tour de Monte Rosa trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!

Itinerary

Below we have laid out the most popular version of the Tour de Monte Rosa route – 9 days, starting and finishing in Saas Grund. The itinerary includes approx. distances, hiking times and elevation changes.

Click each day to read more...

Day 1: Saas Grund – Macugnaga

Day 2: Macugnaga to the Rifugio Pastore

Day 3: Alagna to Col d’Olen

Day 4: Col d’Olen to Resy

Day 5: Resy to the Matterhorn!

Day 6: Theodul Pass – Zermatt

Day 7: Zermatt to the Europahutte

Day 8: Europahutte to Grachen

Day 9: Grachen to Saas Grund

tour-de-monte-rosa-pass

Video Overview

A beautiful video overview of the Tour de Monte Rosa by valsesiaincoming1.

The video is 04.50 long – enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Tour de Monte Rosa trek cost?

Are permits required for the Monte Rosa trek?

When is the best time to trek the Tour de Monte Rosa?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the Tour de Monte Rosa trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

dempsey-cappelle

Dempsey Cappelle

Expert Contributor

About the author


Dempsey Cappelle is Mountain IQ's resident adventure-junkie! Dempsey has climbed 3 of the 7 summits - Mount Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua and Mount Elbrus, as well summited Mont Blanc. He has also completed the Great Glen Canoe Trail and the West Highland Way. In 2014 Dempsey completed the Walker's Haute Route. You can find out more about Dempsey on his travel blog: www.anadventurersjournal.com

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Leave a Comment:

4 comments
Michael Wirth says June 7, 2018

I am wondering if there is a possibility of shortening the trip and what your recommendation would be to do such.

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 14, 2018

    I remember I ended the trek at Staffal (Gressoney-La-Trinité) and traveled with public transport to Milan. I liked the part crossing Theodulpass so my advice would be to follow the route clock-wise towards Zermatt. This would take 3-4 days, so you could hike further along the Europaweg towards Sint Niklaus as well, adding two extra days.

    If you have mountaineering aspirations or just want some bragging rights 😉 you can climb Breithorn along the way from Klein Matterhorn. This is an easy 4000 meter peak, which requires crampons and ice axe though, but only takes 3 hours. It gives you awesome views on Matterhorn and Monte Rosa massif.

    Reply
Tagrey says June 12, 2018

Hi. Great site. Thanks for offering help. If I fly in to Milan and have 6 hiking days, what are suggested routes? [Beginning August. Dad & Grad (son graduating high school). Fitness – I run marathons, he runs half marathons. We had a great 4 day hut to hut experience in Switz/ Bernese Oberland a few yrs ago.] I assume we can’t do full circuit. Is that right? Thank you!

Reply
    Mark Whitman says June 14, 2018

    HI Tagrey, see our answer to Michael Wirth below. Cheers!

    Reply
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