There are not very many places in the world which you can visit all year round and still have so much fun and various interesting things to do. Well, oh well, Bellwald is such a place.
I have visited Bellwald in mid-October and was astonished by the mountain views, the weather, the village, local food, and hotels. It is a beautiful destination to visit at any time.
Bellwald is a small hidden gem of Switzerland sitting at 1560 meters in the Swiss Alps not far from the biggest glacier of the whole Alps region – Aletsch Glacier.
I have spent two days in Bellwald and would like to recommend various fun and exciting things you can do in the village so your weekend will just fly by.
Goms suspension bridge
Once you go to the Bellwald by car and just before you take the last turn up to Bellwald from the main road – right next to the main road you will see one of the longest suspension bridges in Switzerland. There is a parking spot next to the road specially made for bridge visitors.
The bridge was built back in 2015 and connects the Bellwald area to Ernen village and provides a whole year connection to a beautiful Binntal Nature Park.
The suspension bridge is 280 meters long and 1.4 meters wide. It is shaking a bit all the time once you walk on it, but no worries, it is a sturdy construction.
Once you cross the bridge, I really recommend visiting Ernen village which has a couple of restaurants where you can have a cup of coffee or some local food.
Biking in the mountains (downhill and trails)
Biking was getting more and more popular in Bellwald so back in 2016 the locals have built a downhill trail which is now attracting more and more bikers each year.
Downhill biking in Bellwald
In the beginning, the hard trail was built which is called Black Trail “National” and is constructed for experienced bikers with a fast flow and some nice jumps. The whole trail is 2.3 kilometers.
Later on, the new trail called Blue Trail “Denis X-Trail” was built and it is suitable for beginners and is 2 kilometers long.
To get on the biking trail you will need to take a skiing lift in Bellwald and in just 5 minutes you will get on the track.
If you do not have your own bike – no worries, everything you can find and rent in Bellwald.
Biking trail in Bellwald
If you are not up to downhill biking, you can simply take your mountain bike on nice trails right next to Bellwald.
The most popular one is called the Stoneman route which is 127 kilometers long and leads to the Aletsch Glacier area. It is a fascinating bike route next to the glaciers and valleys. Immensely beautiful.
If you do not have time to do it in one day, you can just bike a part of it and still get the best mountain biking experience. You can find all the information about this route right here: Stoneman route.
Skiing in winter
Skiing is always an exciting experience and in Bellwald you will get the best possible experience.
Bellwald has a skiing resort with 20 kilometers of slopes: black, red, blue – all you can wish for. But that is not the end of it: they have sledding routes (even night sledding which is a lot of fun), an exciting snow park to improve your jumps, snowboarding, and skiing school (great for first-timers), and even free-riding slopes.
But wait, there is more!
From 2022/2023 Bellwald will be directly connected to Fiesch (by gondola) village and this village is directly connected to one of the biggest skiing areas in Switzerland: Aletsch Arena. More than 100 kilometers of slopes with altitudes up to 2869 meters. An absolute skiers paradise.
Bellwald has plentiful opportunities for hikers: long and beautiful hiking trails to some easy fun and exciting routes. Believe me, Bellwald is a perfect destination for nature lovers and hikers.
Let us have a look at the most exciting hikes in Bellwald:
- Gommer Höhenweg: Münster – Bellwald.
Distance – 18km. Time – 6 hours. Elevation change: Ascent 878m, Descent 694m.
It is a longer hike but it takes you through the lush nature of Obergoms valley where you will get exclusive views of the mountain peaks and will be able to experience and learn about local history.
2. Bellwald – Ried
Distance – 4km. Time – 1h. Elevation change: Ascent and descent of 120m.
Ried is one of the most beautiful hamlets in the Bellwald region. Enjoy the beautiful local houses which are decorated with flowers and the newly restored chapel. All the time you will as well get an astonishing view of Fiescher valley.
3. Hike from Fiescheralp to Bellwald via Burghütte and Aspi-Titter suspension bridge
Distance – 14km. Time – 5h. Elevation change: Ascent 457m and descent 1108m.
It is a fascinating hike from Fiescheralp which takes you via another long suspension bridge called Aspi-Titter. On the way you will get to see Fiescher glacier – one of the biggest in Switzerland.
There are many many more hiking trails in the Bellwald area and you can find them right here: Hiking in Bellwald.
Aletsch Glacier is the longest and biggest glacier in the whole Alps region. It is 23 kilometers long, the highest point is at 4160 meters and it is even 940 meters thick.
For me personally, it is easily in the top 3 locations in Switzerland to visit. Others would be Zermatt with Matterhorn and the Jungfrau region.
To get to the viewing point you will have to take a gondola from Fiesch and go right to the top. In the summertime, the gondola goes to the top from 9 to 17 hour.
On the way to Aletsch Glacier, I highly recommend getting out in the middle station Fiescheralp – it is a small mountain village with a couple of restaurants and a very nice panorama trail leading to Bettmeralp.
Once you get to Aletsch Glacier station you will find a few viewing points and a hut/restaurant called Horli-Hitta.
If you have more time, you can take a hike to Eggishorn to get even better views of the glacier.
If you are looking for more adventures, you can do a glacier tour during which you will go directly to a glacier and walk around it with a professional guide. You can find more information about tours right here: Aletsch glacier tours.
The village was first mentioned back in 1374 and has a very long and rich history.
Once you get to Bellwald, I really recommend visiting the old town of Bellwald where you will find a lot of old wooden houses. I was really surprised how well they are kept (top condition) and how many of these houses you can still find there. Some of the houses are centuries old.
You can actually feel the life how it was 200 or more years ago as the streets between houses get very narrow and no car could cross there. It is a really tight little wooden old town.
Do visit the church which has a very beautiful interior and the little chapel next to it.
Once you exit the church, right in front of the church gates you will see a cinema sign. It is a small wooden house which you can enter for free and inside you will find a small cinema (a huge TV with a touchscreen) with many local movies about the history of Bellwald, historical pictures, and guided tours. You can learn a lot about the area in that cinema.
The whole old town tour will take you around 30 minutes, but it is one of the most beautiful wooden old towns I have seen in Switzerland.
In Belllwald you can not only find perfect snowshoeing trails but even 30 kilometers of well-prepared winter hiking routes which are perfect with hiking shoes.
The routes are being refreshed and checked every day, so you will have the best possible experience.
If you are looking for more “offroad” adventure, you can head on the snowshoe trails. If you are not experienced enough, you can join a group with a local guide which will take you to the best winter spots in Bellwald.
You can rent snowshoes in Bellwald as well.
It is a perfect attraction for families with children as you will be able not only to visit alpacas but walk with them together in nature.
Alpacas are very friendly animals and children love them for their gentle characters.
Alpaca tours take place each Wednesday from mid-July at around 4 PM.
The tour cost is just 10 CHF per person.
If you want to get an adrenaline rush, then a fast mountain cart downhill race is the right option for you.
You will have to take the lift in Bellwald which will take you up to Richinen mountain station which is at 2081 meters altitude.
In Richinen you can take a cart and head onto the road which leads back to Bellwald. The height difference between the mountain station and Bellwald is 467 meters, so the ride is really exciting and can get pretty fast.
What can be better after a long day than taking a sauna and swimming in a pool? Well, probably nothing else.
Bellwald has a top-notch spa in Onya resort right next to the cable station.
In the SPA of Onya resort, you will find three saunas: finish, steam, and UV saunas.
The SPA has a pool and resting beds with exquisite views of the village and surrounding mountains.
It is perfect in wintertime when you can enjoy white mountain peaks while sitting warmly after a sauna in a bathrobe.
The SPA is at this address: Chalet Zur Alten Gasse, 3997 Bellwald.
Various other activities
In Bellwald you can as well find many other activities like:
Fishing: you can fish in a small beautiful Fleschensee lake. You can catch up to 5 fish a day. And if you do not have a fishing rod – no worries, you can rent one in the village.
Horse riding: you can experience the local nature while riding on a horse.
Sports: Tennis, football, table tennis, mini-golf, boccia. You can find it all in Bellwald as well.
Running: if you like running, you can always head on on local trails. If you are not an experienced mountain runner, you can run down to Fürgangen, cross the Goms bridge to Ernen and later on take a gondola back to Bellwald.
Bellwald is full of attractions for couples and families, so you will never get bored in this small Alpine location.
Where to stay in Bellwald
As mentioned before, Bellwald has an excellent SPA area in the hotel called Onya resort.
There you will find a two-part hotel next to the Bellwald cable station.
The older part is 40 years old, but just recently renovated and the new part is completely newly built back in 2017.
This boutique hotel is sustainably built and has perfect views of the surrounding mountains.
In the hotel, you will find not only SPA but a mountain lodge with a pool table and a top-notch restaurant where they serve a 4-course dinner every evening.
Onya resort has an excellent and free breakfast option and is very close to all the attractions in Bellwald, right in the middle.
How to get to Bellwald?
Bellwald is reachable both by car and by train/gondola.
Bellwald is 162 kilometers away from Zürich and can be reached in 3 hours.
If you are coming to Bellwald by car in wintertime be aware that Furka Pass can be closed at night or completely closed because of bad weather conditions and the train from Realp to Obergoms goes till 21.00. So if you miss the last train in winter, you may have to turn back or spend a night in Realp. All information here: Furka pass train.
If you are coming by train, you will have to get out at the Fürgangen train stop. NOTE: Very important that the train stops in Fürgangen only if requested, so do not miss this stop and push the door button before the stop so the driver knows that you need to get out. Afterward head to the cable station which is right next to the train stop and the gondola will take you to Bellwald in 5 minutes.
From 2022/2023 Fürgangen cable station will be closed and there will be a direct connection from Fiesch to Bellwald. Fiesch has a big new train station, so that is even more comfortable.