What Makes This the Best Summer Wildflower Hike

Explore the allure of vibrant blooms and breathtaking vistas, uncovering nature's summer secrets.

By: THURSD | 20-09-2023 | 6 min read
Floral Education Flowers
Summer Wildflower

In Switzerland, summer has always been considered the best time for hiking in the mountains. You can go away for a whole day or even a few days, stay in a small hotel in a mountain village and from there do some short hikes in the surrounding area. The strongest and most experienced hikers can spend their entire vacation in the mountains by going on the 20-day Via Alpina 1 hiking route.

The Via Alpina hiking route through the northern Swiss Alps crosses 14 beautiful mountain passes and 7 Swiss cantons with different cultures, geology, and topography.

Its total length is more than 390 kilometers. The route is relatively flat in the St. Gallen area, but as you approach Glarnerland, the road starts to climb. The route's most beautiful and difficult section passes through the Bernese Alps. In some places, it is only accessible to experienced travelers.

The Via Alpina runs between Vaduz and Montreux and has 20 stages, each with one day's travel time. You can complete them one after the other or limit yourself to just one part of the route.


Wilflower with mountain view
Picture by @Francesco Ungaro


Why Via Alpina 1 is the best summer wildflower hike?

Via Alpina 1 hiking offers an incredible opportunity to experience various natural beauty, including wildflowers, during the summer months. Here are some reasons why the Via Alpina 1 can be a fantastic choice for a summer wildflower hike:

While the Via Alpina 1 is not solely focused on wildflowers, it certainly offers an incredible opportunity to witness and appreciate the diverse and beautiful alpine flora during the summer months. To fully enjoy this hike, plan ahead, be prepared for varying weather conditions, and adhere to local regulations and trail etiquette.


Summer Wildflower hike
Picture by @farmluxe


What flowers can be met during Via Alpina 1 in summer?

The Via Alpina 1, which traverses the European Alps, offers a diverse range of wildflowers during the summer months. The alpine regions are known for their rich and colorful flora, with various species adapted to the harsh mountain environment. While the specific flowers you encounter can vary based on the altitude, location, and exact timing of your hike, here are some common wildflowers you might encounter along the Via Alpina 1 during the summer.

Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum)

Edelweiss description. Edelweiss is perhaps the most iconic of all alpine flowers. Its small, woolly white flowers are arranged in a star-shaped cluster with fuzzy green leaves. The name "edelweiss" means "noble white" in German.

Edelweiss habitat. Edelweiss thrives in rocky, limestone-rich soils and is typically found at high altitudes, often clinging to steep, rocky cliffs and crevices.

Edelweiss symbolism. It symbolizes purity and rugged beauty and is often associated with the Alps and mountain climbing.


Edelweiss flower
Picture by @kurniafatimah


Alpine Aster (Aster alpinus)

Alpine asters description. Alpine asters have daisy-like flowers with purple or blue petals and a yellow center. They often grow in clusters and can be quite showy.

Alpine asters habitat. You'll find these asters in alpine meadows, rocky terrain, and open slopes. They can tolerate various soil types.

Alpine asters attractiveness. Their striking colors make them a highlight of alpine landscapes in the summer.


Alpine aster flower with mountain
Picture by @laurenlsutton


Gentians (Gentiana spp.)

Gentians description. Gentians come in various species and colors, but they are best known for their vibrant blue or purple trumpet-shaped flowers with green leaves. They have a distinctive, bitter taste.

Gentians habitat. Gentians can be found in various habitats, including meadows, rocky slopes, and alpine grasslands.

Gentians symbolism. In some cultures, gentians are associated with healing and are used in traditional herbal medicine.


Gentians Flower with mountain view
Picture by @schilthorn_pizgloria


Alpine Arnica (Arnica montana)

Alpine arnica description. Alpine arnica features bright yellow flowers with a daisy-like appearance. Its leaves are lance-shaped and slightly hairy.

Alpine arnica habitat. It prefers meadows and open woodlands, often in nutrient-poor soils.

Alpine arnica medicinal uses. Alpine arnica has been used in traditional herbal medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties.


Alpine Arnica flower with mountain view
Picture by


Alpine Bellflower (Campanula alpina)

Alpine bellflowers description. These charming bell-shaped flowers come in various shades of blue or purple. They have delicate, slender stems and leaves.

Alpine bellflowers habitat. Alpine bellflowers are typically found in alpine meadows, grassy slopes, and rocky terrain.

Alpine bellflower varieties. There are several species of bellflowers in the Alps, each with its unique characteristics.


Purple Alpine flowers
Picture by @victormaisano


Mountain Avens (Dryas spp.)

Mountain avens description. Mountain avens are low-growing plants with white or yellow flowers that resemble wild roses. They have distinctive fern-like leaves.

Mountain avens habitat. They thrive in rocky and alpine environments, often on scree slopes and rocky ledges.

Mountain avens hardy adaptation. Mountain avens are well adapted to harsh alpine conditions and are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring.


Mountain avens flowers
Picture by @richard_beresford_harris


Alpine Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis alpestris)

Alpine forget-me-nots description. These small, sky-blue flowers have a distinctive five-petal shape. They often grow in clusters.

Alpine forget-me-nots habitat. Alpine forget-me-nots thrive in alpine meadows, rocky slopes, and damp areas near streams.

Alpine forget-me-nots symbolism. The name "forget-me-not" suggests a sentiment of remembrance and love.

Remember that the timing of flowering can vary depending on the altitude and local climate, so you may encounter different flowers at different stages of your hike. The summer months, particularly July and August, are generally the best time to see a wide variety of alpine wildflowers in full bloom along the Via Alpina 1.


Alpine Forget me not  Flower
Picture by @santijardon_c



Whether you're an avid botanist, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking an unforgettable summer adventure, the Via Alpina 1 beckons with its diversity of wildflowers and the promise of a journey filled with awe-inspiring sights, rich experiences, and a deep connection to the Alpine world. It's a hike that will leave you with cherished memories and a profound appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.




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