An ancient trade route connected the upper Rhône valley with Lombardy via the village of Grengiols, the Binntal valley and the Albrun Pass. Today, the lower section of the “Römerweg” (“Roman Path”) offers walkers a delightful experience of the pristine scenery of the Binntal Landscape Park, picturesque hamlets and charming Grengiols. This historical village has remained virtually unchanged since 1861, when the new Furka Pass road diverted traffic to the northern side of the Rhône valley.
The trail begins at a remote bus stop on the road into the Binntal valley, just before the main tunnel, and finishes at Betten railway station, on the floor of the Rhône valley. Along the way, it leads through fragrant pine forest and across flower-filled meadows, with glorious views of the dramatic Binntal gorges and the sweeping Rhône valley.
From Steinmatten bus stop, the trail drops down to the Römerbrücke (“Roman bridge”) across the Binn river before climbing through peaceful forest to a pair of sleepy hamlets – Blatt and Hockmatta – each with an ancient chapel.
Further on, Grengiols is known as the home of a wild variety of tulip, unique worldwide. The protected plants are known in local dialect as “Roman tulips”; about 3,000 blossom each spring, usually in the second half of May, in the village’s old rye fields.
An attractive theme trail leading to the “tulip hill” and other natural sites opened in 2009, with the addition of a brand-new path across open meadows and through forest in 2014. Our hike follows first the new extension and then part of the original trail before reaching the village heart. With its narrow, steep main alley and picturesque village square, Grengiols is a historical site of national importance.
- Ancient trail through forest, meadows and sleepy hamlets, with gorgeous views
- Theme trail devoted to the Grengiols tulip, unique worldwide
Rest StopRestaurant Bettlihorn
Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
For all hikes:
- Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
- Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
- Close gates after passing through.
- Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
- Do not leave any waste in nature.
For mountain hikes:
- Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
- Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
- Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
For high-altitude hikes:
- Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
- Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
- Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.
Tips, hints and links
More information about the destination:
Getting thereA9 motorway and main road up the Rhône valley to Betten station (railway/cable car). Park here, and travel by public transport to start of walk (train to Fiesch, and bus to Steinmatten). Note that the start of the walk is a remote bus stop with very limited roadside parking.
ParkingLarge car park at Betten station (railway/cable car); fee payable.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- good footwear
- clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
- hat or cap
- bottle for water
- binoculars (optional)
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)
For certain walks: