- Name Via Alpina (VA)
- Length of trail 5,000 km, 3,107 miles
- Length in days 333 days
- Start of trail Monaco
- End of trail Trieste
- Traildino grading DW, Difficult walk, bushwalk
- Hut tour grading T3, Demanding mountain walk
The Via Alpina is a pan European trail from Monaco to Trieste, covering the entire Alps region. No less than eight Alpine countries are involved: Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France and Monaco.
All together the Via Alpina trails cover 5000km in 342 stages. There are five separate trails, of which the red trail is the longest, forming a full arc connecting Trieste to Monaco, 2500km. This can be done in about four months. The yellow trail also starts from Trieste, takes an alternative route to Oberstdorf in Germany, where it ends to meet the red trail again. The purple trail splits off from the red trail in Tržaška koča na Doliču and turns east to make a detour through Slovenia and Austria, only to meet up with the red trail again also in Oberstdorf. Further west in Liechtenstein the green trail splits off from the red trail to take a shorter route across Switzerland to Adelboden where it ends to meet the red trail. Finally, the blue trail splits from the red trail in Riale, Italy, only to be rejoined with the red trail in Sospel, southern France, near the final destination Monaco.
The Via Alpina is a stiff hike, for hardened walkers. It crosses many of the main Alpine mountain ranges. However, it is not a mountaineering expedition, and there are no glacier crossings involved nor any exposed passages.
Season for hiking the Alps is from early July until halfway September. In the lower parts, june is a fine month, full of flowers. And oktober can be very pleasant in the Dolomites and southern Alps.
To prepare, start by visiting the excellent website of the Via Alpina organisation (see under Facts).