Heart of Switzerland

From Lake Lucerne Across the Alps to Wine Country

Trip Level

This trip is rated a Level 3 (Moderate) according to our trip grading system. Hiking experience is recommended and all participants must be in good physical condition.

Average Hiking Day
• 3-4 hours
• 5 miles
• 800-1,000 feet gain/loss

Challenge Day
• Day 4: approximately 4.2 miles, 4 hours, 1,150 feet gain/loss, occasional loose scree; in combination with a 2 hour, 15 minute train ride

How Tough is This Trip?
• You need to be able to hike on uneven surfaces, occasionally downhill over loose scree. You must feel comfortable and confident on your feet for up to 4 hours a day. Ideally, you should have recent experience hiking 7 miles in a day.

Terrain

The trails are usually packed dirt, with occasional sections of  loose scree, over mountainous terrain that may become muddy and unstable with bad weather. There are also flat walks through historic towns or paved paths along vineyards. All hiking days are a bit different, and the weather always has the final say.

Weather

Mountain weather is fickle, and during the trip we are likely to experience a full range of weather conditions, ranging from blue skies with temperatures in the 70s°F to cloudy, wet and cold days on which rain gear and warm garments are necessary. At night, the temperature will drop quite a bit, depending on the altitude.

Accommodations

Our accommodations are in comfortable town- and village-based hotels. Although rooms are not always of uniform or of international size, our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. The hotel in Mürren doesn't have an elevator or porter services, so you should be prepared to carry your luggage up and down the stairs.

Cuisine

Lunch will usually be either in a cheese farm, a small village, a mountain lodge, or a picnic spot amidst the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Most evening meals will be taken at our hotels and will be hearty, nourishing mountain fare, often featuring cuisine the region is noted for.

Some of the items you may see on the menu include hearty soups, a variety of cheeses and dry meats from the region, cheese fondue, raclette (melted cheese served with jacket potatoes, cocktail gherkins, onions, and pickled fruit), älplermagronen (a kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream, and onions), rösti (a flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked potatoes and fried in hot butter), zürcher geschnetzelte (a veal dish, sometimes also containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with a cream sauce) and bratwurst (considered the nation’s favorite sausage for barbecuing or frying) served with onion sauce.

Please also note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Transporation

Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle. Our support vehicle will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack. We will experience the efficient Swiss network of public transport: from cable cars and chair lifts to cogwheel trains, funiculars and steamboats along lakes.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

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