High in the Swiss Alps and not far from the Italian border, Ecomuseum Simplon encompasses a series of historic buildings, castles, and museums linked together by the Via Stockalper (Stockalperweg) hiking route. Follow some or all of the 22-mile (35-kilometer) trail to discover the history and heritage of this remote alpine region.
The Ecomuseum Simplon sites are dotted throughout the alpine villages and valleys between Brig and Gondo. There are five museums to visit—the baroque-style Stockalper Castle in Brig; the Old Guesthouse (Alter Gasthof) and Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne) in Simplon, which detail life along the old trade route; Gondo Fort, which houses a military museum; and the Gold Museum of Gondo, which focuses on the region’s 16th-century gold mines.
Things to Know Before You Go
There is an admission fee for Stockalper Castle and Gondo Fort, but the other sites are free.
Opening hours for each site can vary, and it’s best to check ahead. The two sites in Simplon are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Maps and information on the Stockalper Trail are available from the tourist office in Brig.
How to Get There
The sites of the Ecomuseum Simplon are typically reached on foot by hiking the Stockalper route, which begins in Brig. Direct trains run to Brig from Zermatt, about a 40-minute journey.
When to Get There
Hiking the Stockalper route is possible from May to October. The Ecomuseum Simplon sites are closed throughout the winter months, except by advance reservation.
The Stockalper route runs along an early 17th-century merchant track used by Prince Kaspar Jodock Stockalper. Setting out from Stockalper Palace in Brig, the route follows the Simplon Pass to Gondo, about a 22-mile (35-kilometer) trail that is typically hiked over two days. Another trail continues over the Italian border to Domodossola, home to the Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Stockalper Palace
- Glacier Express
- Aletsch Glacier
- Zermatt-Matterhorn Ski Paradise
- Zermatt Mountain Railways (Zermatt Bergbahen)
- Gornergrat Railway (Gornergrat Bahn)
- Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory (Sphinx-Observatorium)
- Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
- Mönch Peak
- Glacier Canyon
- Grimsel Pass
- Wengen-Männlichen Aerial Cableway