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Walking Switzerland: From the Jungfrau to the Matterhorn

Program Number: 16543RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/7/2014 - 7/20/2014; 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: 32; 12 Breakfasts, 9 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, 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
   Best Western Hotel Airport
  Zurich, Switzerland 1 night
 Hotel Belvedere
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Belvedere is a family-run hotel overlooking the magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, also known as "the valley of 72 waterfalls." Built in 1912, the hotel has preserved its character and art nouveau style while still keeping up-to-date with today's standards and comforts. The city center, cable car and railway station are all within walking distance.
  Contact info: Galliweidli
Wengen,  3823 Switzerland
phone: +41 33 856 68 68
web: www.belvedere-wengen.ch
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, safe, wireless Internet access (for a fee) and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a dining room, lobby, lounge, terrace, free wireless Internet access in the lobby and for a fee in the rooms.
  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
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The three-star Ferienhotel Waldhaus is located in the heart of Bettmeralp. The rustic comfort of the interior decor and the warmth of the surrounding nature ensure a pleasant stay for all visitors.
  Contact info: Verena Berchtold-Steinmann
Bettmeralp,  3992 Switzerland
phone: +41 27 927 27 17
web: www.bettmeralp.ch/waldhaus
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a kitchen and dining room, bar, wellness center with sauna and solarium, garden terrace and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Hotel Airport
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Hotel Airport is a comfortable hotel conveniently located near the airport. It offers shuttle service to and from the airport, allowing guests to travel with ease.
  Contact info: Oberhauserstrasse 30
Zurich-Glattbrugg,  CH-8152 Switzerland
phone: +41 44 809 47 47
web: www.bestwestern.ch/airport
  Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, mini bar, air conditioning and wireless Internet access (for a fee).
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, grill room and wireless Internet access (for a fee).
  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
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Zurich Airport: Meet your group at 11:30 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 Best Western Hotel Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  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: Traveling from Zurich Airport to Wengen requires the use of three trains and the trip takes 3-4 hours total. Please contact Rail Europe for assistance with schedules (www.sbb.ch). You may purchase tickets at the SBB ticket counter at the airport. * International train (SBB) from Zurich Airport to Interlaken Ost. * Bernese Oberland Railway (BOB) from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. * Wengeralp Railway (WAB) from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (same platform as previous train). In Wengen, call the hotel and the hotel porter will pick you up with the electric car and help you with your luggage.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Zurich
  Transportation from site: The Best Western Hotel Airport has a hotel shuttle service that runs every 30 minutes. Taxis are also available.
Elevation Note: Average elevation is 6000 feet. Day 12: Bettmerhorn, 8720 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Please see the "Walking Boots" note for additional information on proper footgear.
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: In Transit
(Monday, July 7)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight from US/Canada to Zurich, Switzerland.

Day 2: Arrivals
(Tuesday, July 8)

Note: Approximate transfer time: 3 hours. Approximate walking time (time permitting): 1 hour.



   
 Morning: Arrive Zurich-Kloten airport at 11:30 AM for the group transfer by private coach (3 hours) to Lauterbrunnen, and from there by cogwheel to Wengen (20 minutes). Check in at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Depending on the arrival time, a light lunch or tea and cake is served. If time permits, you will take an introduction stroll through the village. Enjoy a welcome drink before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Wengen - “The Majestic Bernese Alps”
(Wednesday, July 9)

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 (4875 feet), and then walk to Murren (5373 feet). The Bernese Alps will appear right in front of your eyes.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Murren. The mountains provide a stunning backdrop as you relax and enjoy your lunch.
 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, July 10)

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 (6625 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: Lunch in an Alp hut.
 Afternoon: Walk through high alpine pastures on the relatively easy Eiger trail enjoying spectacular close-up views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountain peaks. Return from the Kleine Scheidegg to the Wengeralp on foot or by train.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Wengen - “A Day in Interlaken & Ballenberg”
(Friday, July 11)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take the cogwheel, train and local bus to the open-air museum in Ballenberg. Covering an area of 660,000 square meters, learn about centuries-old buildings from all over Switzerland (reconstructed from their natural state) and traditional gardens during a field lecture. The museum presents over 100 buildings from the 14th-19th centuries and 250 farmyard animals.
 Lunch: Help prepare a typical Ballenberg picnic with homemade delicacies, including fresh bread, cheese and sausages prepared according to traditional Ballenberg recipes.
 Afternoon: Free time for more discoveries or observing local craft demonstrations at the open-air museum in Ballenberg. On the way back, make a short stop in the village of Brienz, renowned for its woodcarving. Continue to Wengen via public transportation.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wengen – "The Maennlichen Walk”
(Saturday, July 12)

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 (7315 feet). This field trip is over an alpine moor to the bottom of the Jungfrau mountain, Kleine Scheidegg (6760 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, July 13)

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: On the ride back, stop to visit the historical village of Wilderswil. Then 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, July 14)

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 (4 hours). 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 take 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, July 15)

Note: Approximate walking time: 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Following breakfast, walk to the neighboring village, Riederalp, and up to 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," then on to Blausee (blue lake) Bettmer Lake and 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 Lötschental Valley”
(Wednesday, July 16)

Note: Approximate walking time: 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Today discover the pristine Lötschental (tal means 'valley') with its majestic mountain backdrop of the Valais and Bernese Alps. This largely unspoiled valley with its picturesque villages offers an off-the-beaten-track experience. Take the cable car down to Betten Station, train to Goppenstein and then the postal bus to Wiler (4655 feet). Ride the cable car to Lauchernalp (6460 feet), situated on a sunny terrace overlooking the Lötschental. Walk from Lauchernalp to Fafleralp (6120 feet). Just opposite the mighty Bietschhorn (one of the most spectacular mountains in the Valais), the trail leads past the tiny Schwarzsee lake, timber houses, rushing mountain streams and Alpine meadows carpeted with flowers. Today's field lecture is on the Lötschental.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Enjoy coffee or tea and a piece of fruit cake at Fafleralp, a charming village with a wealth of natural beauty. Return by postal bus to Goppenstein and by train to Betten.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ferienhotel Waldhaus
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Bettmeralp - “Zermatt and the Matterhorn”
(Thursday, July 17)

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 the different 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, July 18)

Note: Approximate walking time: 5.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: The final walking field trip is on top of the Bettmerhorn (8720 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 Fischeralp and then back 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, July 19)

Note: Approximate transfer time: 4 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer by cable car and private coach to Zurich airport hotel (4 hours).
 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 easily take public transportation into the city.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Hotel Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Departures
(Sunday, July 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Independent airport shuttle transfers from the hotel to the airport for the return flight home.
   
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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The Walk


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Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss


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