Capturing the smell of the Swiss pine forests

Story 43

Auguste and Jean were excited. As regulars in Zermatt for many years, they were planning a hike for the senses from Riffelalp through the picturesque pine forests to the Grünsee lake. They had heard that the scent of the pine trees had a positive effect on well-being. Now they wanted to try it out for themselves.  

Starting out for Riffelalp 

On a sunny morning, Auguste and Jean boarded the train of the Gornergrat Railway in Zermatt. Their destination was the Riffelalp at 2,211 metres above sea level. Once there, they crossed the tracks and began the popular hike to the Grünsee lake. After a few metres, they dived into the wonderfully fragrant Swiss pine forest and marvelled at the trees, some of which are up to 1,000 years old. 

Swiss pine fragrance for well-being 

The Swiss pine belongs to the landscape of Zermatt, just like the Matterhorn and the glacier world. The wood, resin and needles of the Swiss pine contain the highly volatile active substance “pinosylvin”. This has positive effects on sleep patterns and the cardiovascular system. And it has a calming and mood-enhancing effect. The play of light in the Swiss pine and larch forests, with different shades of green depending on the weather and time of day, certainly contributed to the happiness of the two hikers.  

Cooling off in the Grünsee lake 

When Auguste and Jean hiked to the Grünsee lake, hardly anyone had ever bathed in this mountain lake. This has now changed: the Grünsee lake is an inviting place to swim and offers many hikers a welcome cooling off at the height of summer. Towards evening, the first clouds began to gather so they hurried back to Riffelalp. As they often hiked, they managed the route from the restaurant at Grünsee to the train station in 43 minutes, a few minutes faster than the stated time. They were lucky and reached the train back to Zermatt in time. 

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