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Walking Switzerland: From the Jungfrau to the Matterhorn

Program Number: 16543RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/12/2013 - 8/25/2013; 8/11/2014 - 8/24/2014; 9/1/2014 - 9/14/2014; 9/22/2014 - 10/5/2014; 6/22/2015 - 7/5/2015; 7/6/2015 - 7/19/2015; 8/10/2015 - 8/23/2015; 8/31/2015 - 9/13/2015; 9/21/2015 - 10/4/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Switzerland
Price starting at: $4,895.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 31; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat    

On foot and led by local experts, explore the picturesque villages and idyllic valleys of Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland and Valais regions, including areas that are only accessible by cog railway or cable car. Experience places where timeless traditions live on, Alpine peaks reach toward the sky and every turn in the path is rewarded with vistas of breathtaking beauty.




Highlights

• Cable cars and cog railways allow you to access some of the most remote, beautiful areas of Switzerland for expert-led walking excursions.
• Discover Trummelbach Falls, 10 glacier waterfalls inside a mountain that drain the mighty peaks of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.
• Visit Villa Cassel, a stately home built at the turn of the 20th century and now property of the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature.



Activity Particulars

Walking 4-8 miles per day over the course of 3-5 hours; well-marked trails and dirt roads; some uneven and hilly terrain. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Zurich, 1 night; coach to Lauterbrunnen, cogwheel train to Wengen, 6 nights; coach to Betten, cable car to Bettmeralp, 5 nights; cable car to Betten, coach to Zurich, 1 night; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Zurich
Coach to Lauterbrunnen
Cogwheel train to Wengen
6 nights

Begin your adventure with a short walk through the car-free village of Wengen, your base for exploring the Bernese Oberland. Longer walks bring you to the traditional village of Muerren, through the Lauterbrunnen Valley and to Trummelbach Falls to learn about glacial waterfalls. In the Swiss mountain region of Schynige Platte, take in sweeping views of peaks like Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau, and explore Interlaken and the botanical Alpine Garden. Along the way, partake in lectures by local experts including professors, geologists and botanists.



Coach to Betten
Cable car to Bettmeralp
5 nights
Cable car to Betten
Coach to Zurich
1 night
Departure

Walking excursions begin in the resort village of Bettmeralp in the Pennine Alps before continuing on to Riederalp and the Aletschwald. Admire views of the mighty Bietschhorn mountain and Lötschental valley on a walk from Lauchernalp to Fafleralp. Visit the palatial Villa Cassel to study the local environment, and enjoy an afternoon in the car-free mountain village of Zermatt.




Switzerland

Switzerland is synonymous with one geographical entity: the Alps. Glaciers and rock formations abound throughout the country, along with pristine alpine lakes and pastoral meadows. What is more often overlooked, however, is Switzerland’s unique blending of cultures and moods. Mediterranean-style piazzas, bustling cities, Romanesque churches, cafes reminiscent of Paris, and small villages are all well represented.



Accommodations
Zurich: Hotel near the airport. Wengen: Historic Art Nouveau-style mountain hotel with magnificent views. Bettmeralp: Lovely chalet-style hotel in the heart of the village.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Belvedere
  Wengen, Switzerland 6 nights
   Ferienhotel Waldhaus
  Bettmeralp, Switzerland 5 nights
   Hotel Best Western
  Zurich, Switzerland 1 night
 Hotel Belvedere
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Family operated hotel and situated in a peaceful area with the magnificent views of the Jungfrau and the Breithorn chain as the backdrop. Located only a few minutes walk to the city center, cable car and railway station.
  Contact info: Wengen,  3823 Switzerland
phone: +41338566868
web: www.belvedere-wengen.ch
  Room amenities: TV, radio, telephone, hair-dryer and safe.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, lounge, terrace, public lobby
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

 Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Located in the center of the village, the hotel is full of rustic comfort and warmth in the middle of nature.
  Contact info: Bettmeralp,  3992 Switzerland
phone: +41279272717
web: www.bettmeralp.ch/waldhaus
  Room amenities: TV, radio, hairdryer, telephone, small sitting area.
  Facility amenities: Hotel offers a famous kitchen known for the refined to local cuisine, dining room and bar, and wellness center including a sauna, bio-sauna, and solarium, and a garden terrace.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Best Western
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Close to the airport with scheduled shuttle service to/from the airport.
  Contact info: Oberhauserstrasse 30
Zurich-Glattbrugg,  CH-8152 Switzerland
phone: +41448094747
web: www.bestwestern.ch/airport
  Room amenities: TV, telephone, radio, private bath, minibar, AC.
  Facility amenities: 2 restaurants, bar and grill room, buffet breakfast, all major credit cards accepted. Internet "Hotspot is available in the entire hotel for a cost of CHF 24 per hour.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Zurich Airport: Meet your group at 11:15 AM for the group transfer to Wengen (approx. 3.5 hours). (Hotel check-in is at 2:00 PM.) You will be staying at Hotel Belvedere that night.
  End of Program:
Zurich, Switzerland. After breakfast on the last day. (Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM.) You will be staying at Hotel Best Western the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Passport, valid for at least 6 months upon returning to the U.S.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Local transportation from the airport, instructions are supplied in final program packet.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Wengen
  Nearest airport:  Zurich
  Transportation to site: From the airport in Zurich, take two trains to Interlaken. From Interlaken, take two trains to Wengen. In Wengen, call the hotel and the hotel porter will pick you up with the electric car and help you with your luggage. You may inquire at the airport information desk or contact Rail Europe for assistance with schedules.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Zurich
  Transportation from site: The Hotel Best Western has a hotel shuttle service that runs from 6:00 AM to 10:20 AM and 5:00 PM to 11:30 PM. Taxis are also available.
Elevation Note: Elevations will range from 3000-7000 feet during different walking days.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart the USA for Zurich, Switzerland.
(Monday, August 12)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight from USA to Zurich, Switzerland.

Day 2: Arrivals
(Tuesday, August 13)

Note: One-hour stroll through Wengen, time permitting.



   
 Morning: Arrive Zurich-Kloten airport, and then transfer by private coach (three hours) to Lauterbrunnen, and from there by cogwheel to Wengen (20 minutes) and check in at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Depending on the arrival time, a light lunch or tea and cake will be served. If time permits, you will take an introduction stroll through the village. Orientation and welcome drink before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Wengen - “The Majestic Bernese Alps”
(Wednesday, August 14)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Begin today’s field trip by taking the cogwheel down to Lauterbrunnen and the funicular to Gruetschalp (4,875 feet), and then walk to Muerren (5,373 feet). The Bernese Alps will appear right in front of your eyes.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Muerren.
 Afternoon: Continue by cable car down to the Lauterbrunnen valley. On the return, view the most impressive Truemmelbach waterfalls (the only waterfalls in Europe inside a mountain). Hear a field lecture called “Lauterbrunnen Valley & Truemmelbach Falls."
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Wengen - “The Grindelwald Valley”
(Thursday, August 15)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3-4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today take the cogwheel and train to the famous resort of Grindelwald, located at the foot of the Eiger Mountain. In Grindelwald the local bus takes us on a spectacular drive to Bussalp (6,625 feet). Walk along the Hoehenweg (contour of the mountain), with breathtaking views of the Bernese mountains, and on to Bort. Today's field lecture is called “Grindelwald and Its Famous Mountain."
 Lunch: Money will be provided for the individual purchase of lunch in an Alp hut.
 Afternoon: Return to Grindelwald by cable car or walk back down, then continue to Wengen by train and cogwheel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Wengen - “A Day in Interlaken & Beatushoehlen”
(Friday, August 16)

Note: Approximate walking time: 1 hour.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today take the cogwheel and train to Interlaken (1866 feet) then the local bus to the St. Beatushoehlen caves (2030 feet). An excursion through the caves that have covered ceilings of the beautiful drip stone formations and colors. A short walk to the boat landing for a boat ride back to Interlaken or walk along the Pilgrim Trail back to Interlaken (2 hours). Today's field lecture covers St. Beatushoehlen and Interlaken.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Interlaken.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon to pursue your own interests. Return on your own back to Wengen via public transportation.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Wengen – "The Maennlichen Walk”
(Saturday, August 17)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3.5 – 4.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk from the hotel to the cable car station and ride up to the Maennlichen (7,315 feet). This field trip is over an alpine moor to the bottom of the Jungfrau mountain, Kleine Scheidegg (6,760 feet). From this location, there is an excellent view of the majestic Jungfrau mountain range. Take in a field lecture about these mountains.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch continue walking down to the first station, Wengernalp (6146 feet). Either board the train or walk all the way back to Wengen.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Wengen - “Schynige Platte”
(Sunday, August 18)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Cogwheel to Lauterbrunnen, train to Wilderswil, and then an attractive little cogwheel takes visitors up to the Schynige Platte with its unique mountain views of the Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau. Another attraction is the botanical Alpine Garden, nearly 6560 feet above sea level with over 500 various plants. The circular trail is about 2.5 hours. Enjoy a field lecture on the Alpine Garden.
 Lunch: Picnic on the trail.
 Afternoon: Ride back to the historical village of Wilderswil, where you will walk through valleys toward Lauterbrunnen. Return to Wengen via public transportation.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Grimselpass / Transfer to Bettmeralp
(Monday, August 19)

Note: Approximate transfer time: 4 hours. Approximate walking time: 1.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Private coach via the Grimselpass to Bettmeralp. At Betten take the cable car to Bettmeralp. A short walk from the station to the Hotel Waldhaus. Enjoy a field lecture called “Energy Resources in Switzerland."
 Lunch: Light lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and then a stroll through the village to stretch your legs after a day's journey. Welcome drink and briefing before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Bettmeralp - “The Aletsch Forest and Villa Cassel”
(Tuesday, August 20)

Note: Approximate walking time: 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Following breakfast, walk to the neighboring village “Riederalp” and up the Villa Cassel, a stately home built by an English banker at the turn of the 20th century. The villa is now the property of the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature, and the first Swiss ecological center for the study of the environment. Take in a field lecture about the Villa Cassel.
 Lunch: Picnic on the trail.
 Afternoon: Continue the walk to the Aletschwald, “Forest of all Forests” on to Blausee (blue lake) and Bettmer Lake back to the hotel. Hear another field lecture on the Aletschwald.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Bettmeralp - “The Rhone Valley”
(Wednesday, August 21)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take the cable car down to Betten Station, train via Brig to Ausserberg (3,050 feet) on the sunny hillside of Loetschberg. Walk the Lizard Trail westwards to St. German (2,480 feet) surrounded by vineyards. Today's field lecture is called "The Lizard Trail and the Wines from the Wallis."
 Lunch: Visit a wine cellar for a wine tasting and typical Walliser cold cuts and cheese.
 Afternoon: Continue on to the Burgkirche (church), a historical landmark since the 13th century. Visit the grave of the famous 20th-century German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke of Prague. The walk descends along beautifully restored patrician houses of the 16th century into Raron (2,090 feet). Before returning to the station, an excursion to a church carved out of a rock. Return to Bettmeralp by train and cable car.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Bettmeralp - “Zermatt and the Matterhorn”
(Thursday, August 22)

Note: Approximate walking time: depending on individual activities.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today take a cable car and train to Brig, change trains and continue through the Matter Valley ending in Zermatt (5256 feet). This morning's lecture is entitled “Insight on Zermatt and the History of Mountaineering."
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Zermatt.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon. You may wish to take one of several funiculars to the major peaks. Return by local transportation to Bettmeralp.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Bettmeralp - “Aletsch Glacier and Maerjelen Lake Walk”
(Friday, August 23)

Note: Approximate walking time: 5.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: The final walking field trip is on top of the Bettmerhorn (8,720 feet), reached by gondola from the Bettmeralp. See breathtaking views of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps, and take in a field lecture on this incredible glacier.
 Lunch: Picnic on the trail.
 Afternoon: The walking field trip is on the famous glacier trail, which winds along the glacier to the Maerjelen Lake, to Bettmeralp. Optional walk on easier terrain will be provided. Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Transfer to Zurich
(Saturday, August 24)

Note: Approximate transfer time: 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer by cable car and private coach to the airport hotel in Zurich.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Zurich. Your program staff will give you additional ideas of what to see and do, and can advise you on how to take local transportation into the city.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Best Western
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Departures.
(Sunday, August 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Airport shuttle from the hotel to the airport for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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