loading spinner
16543
Switzerland

Walking Switzerland: From the Jungfrau to the Matterhorn

By cable car and mountain path, explore quiet meadows, sweeping vistas, glacial waterfalls and alpine villages as you learn about Switzerland from local experts.
Rating (4.92)
Program No. 16543RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,999
Flights start at
925
Switzerland

Walking Switzerland: From the Jungfrau to the Matterhorn

By cable car and mountain path, explore quiet meadows, sweeping vistas, glacial waterfalls and alpine villages as you learn about Switzerland from local experts.
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,999
Flights start at
925
Program No. 16543 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
Need airfare?
Our airfare tool can help. Check it out
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 5 - Jul 18, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Jul 19 - Aug 1, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Aug 16 - Aug 29, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Aug 30 - Sep 12, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Sep 13 - Sep 26, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Sep 20 - Oct 3, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Sep 27 - Oct 10, 2021
Starting at
4,999
Jun 13 - Jun 26, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Jul 18 - Jul 31, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Aug 15 - Aug 28, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Sep 12 - Sep 25, 2022
Starting at
5,299
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jul 5 - Jul 18, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Jul 19 - Aug 1, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Aug 16 - Aug 29, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Aug 30 - Sep 12, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Sep 13 - Sep 26, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Sep 20 - Oct 3, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Sep 27 - Oct 10, 2021
Starting at
5,399
Jun 13 - Jun 26, 2022
Starting at
5,729
Jul 18 - Jul 31, 2022
Starting at
5,729
Aug 15 - Aug 28, 2022
Starting at
5,729
Sep 12 - Sep 25, 2022
Starting at
5,729

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Walking 4-8 miles daily; well-marked trails and dirt roads, some uneven and hilly terrain. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required. Elevations up to 8,720 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • 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, Moench 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.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Neither Here Nor There, Travels in Europe
by Bill Bryson
Bryson deploys his famously cranky humor in this romp through European capitals. He's great fun to read and insightful on quirks of character.
Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps
by Fergus Fleming
Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn 150 years ago.
Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69
by Edward Whymper
Edward Wymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps.
William Tell: One Against an Empire, A Swiss Legend
by Paul Storrie
The classic tale of a Swiss hunter facing a terrible choice, as a graphic novel for ages 9-11.
Frankenstein
by J. Paul Hunter (Editor), Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The Norton Critical edition of Frankenstein features the original 1818 text, an expansive preface, annotations, illustrations and supporting sections with selected criticism. With new analysis on the novel's many film adaptations.
Hotel du Lac
by Anita Brookner
Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist seeking evasive peace and quiet at the luxurious Hotel du Lac in Switzerland. Winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Europe, A True Book
by Sandra Newman
Part of the True Book series, this illustrated, readable volume geared toward ages 9 to 12 introduces children to the geography and diverse cultures of Europe.
The Alps, A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
by Stephen O'Shea
In an entertaining narrative, O'Shea drives, hikes and climbs through 500 miles of the Alps while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. A thoughtful introduction to the Alps.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
by John McPhee
McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Swiss army, presenting an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset.
All Along the Rhine
by Kay Shaw Nelson
Subtitled "Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland" this tribute to the Rhine Valley complements its history and culture with 130 recipes.
Switzerland Map
by Michelin Maps
A colorful, shaded relief map of Switzerland at a scale of 1:400,000.
Cuisines of the Alps
by Kay Shaw Nelson
Subtitled "Recipes, Drinks, and Lore from France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia," this colorful tour of the region's rustic cuisine offers more than 140 recipes, a section on regional wines and historical information.
A Tramp Abroad
by Mark Twain, David Eggers (Introduction), Kerry Driscoll (Introduction)
Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain's second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers.
Birds of Europe
by Lars Svensson
Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide features updated text and maps.
Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island
by Diccon Bewes
An international bestseller. Diccon Bewees, a neutral Brit, covers cheese, chocolate, William Tell, bureaucracy and banks, all with humor and thorough research. His cultural portrait of the one-of-a-kind nation includes tips on local customs, greetings and etiquette. Second edition.
Banner in the Sky
by James Ramsey Ullman
A suspenseful tale of a young boy determined to keep his father's mountaineering dream alive.
Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe
by Andrew Cleave
A colorful field guide featuring commonly encountered species of the fields and gardens of Europe.
Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life
by Anne Herrmann
Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Anne Hermann’s passionate celebration of what it means to be Swiss intertwines personal revelation with cultural fact.
Asterix in Switzerland
by Rene de Goscinny
This entry in the Asterix series of comic books features excellent drawings of the Swiss Alpine landscape.
The Gilded Chalet, Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland
by Padraig Rooney
In this amusing guide, a grand tour of literary Switzerland, Rooney profiles 200 years of outstanding works and their strong Swiss influences. He argues that the land of luxury hotels, fresh air and fresh milk deserves wide renown as a literary hub.
Daisy Miller
by Henry James
A classic story of a young American woman's innocent flirtation and its misinterpretation by a sophisticated European man, set in Lac Leman and Chillon. This is James' first fictional work to gain mass popularity and one of his great American female portraits.
A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during WWI, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver. This edition collects all of the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other essential passages
Eyewitness Guide Switzerland
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, thoroughly illustrated guide, featuring over 900 photographs, good maps, and plenty of information on hiking in the Swiss Alps, natural and tourist attractions and the history and arts of Switzerland.
Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains
by Jon Krakauer
A collection of some of Krakauer's (Into Thin Air) best journalism, these stories and essays focus on the mindset and determination of world-class mountaineers, including Alpine and Himalayan climbers.
Culture Smart! Switzerland
by Kendall Maycock
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture.
The Apple and the Arrow
by Conrad Buff
Families will enjoy this spirited retelling of the famous legend of William Tell and his 12-year-old son, Walter, which won the 1952 Newbery Medal.
Heidi
by Johanna Spyri
The beloved tale of a little girl who is sent to live with her curmudgeonly grandfather in a remote Alpine village. This handsome hardback edition retains the quaint prose and buoyant disposition of Johanna Spyri's 1880 original.
The Walk
by Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
In this classic novella by the Swiss modernist, freshly translated, Walser writes that "it is on walks that the lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker."
Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart
by Diccon Bewes
Bestselling author Diccon Bewes (Swiss Watching SWZ73) follows in the footsteps of an 1863 tour group who traveled from London to Lucerne, Switzerland. In his trademark breezy, intelligent prose, Bewes traces how tourism and time have caused a sea change in Switzerland.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
14 days
13 nights
32 meals
12 B 10 L 10 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Zurich, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Wengen
L,D
Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn

Activity note: Hotel check-in at 3:00 p.m. Getting on/off motorcoach; transferring about 3 hours to Lauterbrunnen; riding cogwheel train about 20 minutes to Wengen.

Lunch: Depending on the arrival time, a light lunch or tea and cake is served.

Afternoon: Orientation, 6:30 p.m.: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European-style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water. Water is included in the program cost at all meals. Unless otherwise noted dinners on this program are typically a 3-course set menu. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Wengen, The Majestic Bernese Alps
Wengen
B,L,D
Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn

Activity note: Walking up to 5 miles for 3.5 hours on mountain trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take 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 our eyes.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Murren.

Afternoon: From the restaurant, we will continue by cable car down to the Lauterbrunnen valley. On the return, we’ll view the impressive Truemmelbach waterfalls, the only waterfalls in Europe inside a mountain. Along the way, our expert will tell us about the valley and the falls.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Wengen, The Grindelwald Valley
Wengen
B,L,D
Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn

Activity note: Getting on/off train, cable car, public transportation. Riding about 1 hour, 10 miles to Grindelwald; riding public transportation under 1 hour, 6 miles to Bussalp; riding cable car under 1/2 hour, 3 miles from First back to Grindelwald; riding train or cable car about 1 hour, 10 miles to Wengen. Up to 4 miles of walking for 4 hours on mountain trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take the cogwheel and train to the famous resort of Grindelwald, located at the foot of the Eiger Mountain. In Grindelwald, the local bus will take us on a spectacular drive to Bussalp (6625 feet). From here, we will walk along the Hoehenweg trail, with breathtaking views of the Bernese mountains, and on to Bort. Along the way, we will hear from our expert about Grindelwald and the famous Eiger.

Lunch: At a mountain restaurant.

Afternoon: We will enjoy the new summit trail consisting of a 40-meter long suspension bridge, climbing stairs, and an observation platform. From here, we’ll enjoy views of alpine pastures, lakes, and the waterfall. From the station at the summit of First, we’ll take the cable car back down to Grindelwald and enjoy a short visit of the village. We’ll then head back to Wengen by train or cable car, taking in spectacular close-up views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks along the way.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Wengen, Interlaken. Ballenberg
Wengen
B,L
Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation; riding 1.5 hours, 21 miles each way to Ballenberg. Up to 3 hours of walking and standing through the open-air museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take the cogwheel, train, and local bus to the open-air museum in Ballenberg, covering an area of 660,000 square meters. Here we’ll learn with an expert 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 to the 19th centuries and 250 farmyard animals. At the museum, we’ll help prepare a typical Ballenberg picnic with homemade delicacies according to traditional Ballenberg recipes.

Lunch: At the museum, we’ll enjoy the picnic we helped prepare including fresh bread, cheese, and sausages.

Afternoon: On your own to see and do more of what interests you most at the open-air museum in Ballenberg. From Brienz, cruise on the lake from Brienz to Interlaken and enjoy fabulous views of the mountain scenery. We’ll then continue to Wengen via public transportation.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Wengen, Schynige Platte
Wengen
B,L,D
Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn

Activity note: Getting on/off cogwheel, train; riding about 1/2 hour, 6.3 miles. Walking up to 4 miles for 3.5 hours on mountain trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll take the cogwheel to Lauterbrunnen, train to Wilderswil, and then an attractive little cogwheel will take us 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. We will enjoy learning about the garden as we set out on a loop trail here.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a picnic-style meal on the trail.

Afternoon: We will ride back to the historical village of Wilderswil and return to Wengen via public transportation.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Wengen, The Maennlichen Walk
Wengen
B,L,D
Hotel Victoria Lauberhorn

Activity note: Getting on/off cable car, train; riding between 10 minutes and 1/2 hour depending on personal preference. Up to 3.5 miles of walking for 4.5 hours on mountain trails. This walk has the possibility of being shortened.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will walk from the hotel to the cable car station and ride up to the Maennlichen (7315 feet). Our hike will be over an alpine moor to the bottom of Kleine Scheidegg (6760 feet). From this location, there is an excellent view of the majestic Jungfrau mountain range. We will also learn about these mountains from our expert along the way.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will walk to the Wengernalp railway station (6146 feet) where we can choose to take the train or walk back to Wengen.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Grimselpass, Transfer to Bettmeralp
Bettmeralp
B,L,D
Ferienhotel Waldhaus

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach, cable car; driving about 4 hours total. 10 minutes by cable car. Up to 1.5 miles of walking for 1.5 hours on cobblestones and concrete.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will set out by private motorcoach via the Grimselpass to Bettmeralp.

Lunch: Picnic en route to the hotel.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will enjoy a field lecture about energy and resources in Switzerland. We’ll then take a coach to Betten and from here taking the cable car to Bettmeralp, and a short walk to our next hotel where we’ll check in. We’ll then take a stroll through the village to stretch our legs after a day's journey, followed by a welcome drink and briefing before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Bettmeralp, The Aletsch Forest & Villa Cassel
Bettmeralp
B,L,D
Ferienhotel Waldhaus

Activity note: Up to 7.5 miles of walking for 4 hours on cobblestones and natural trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will 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. As we hike, we will learn about the Villa Cassel.

Lunch: Picnic on the trail.

Afternoon: We’ll continue the walk to the Aletschwald, “forest of all forests,” then on to Blausee (blue lake), Bettmer Lake, and back to the hotel. We’ll hear another field lecture on the Aletschwald.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Bettmeralp, The Lötschental Valley
Bettmeralp
B,L,D
Ferienhotel Waldhaus

Activity note: Getting on/off train; riding 2 hours each way. Up to 5.5 miles of walking 3 hours on mountain trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will 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. We will take the cable car down to Betten Station where we will then travel by private motorcoach to Wiler (4655 feet). From here, we’ll ride the cable car to Lauchernalp (6460 feet), situated on a sunny terrace overlooking the Lötschental. We’ll then 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.

Lunch: Picnic along the trail.

Afternoon: After our hike, we will enjoy coffee or tea and a piece of fruitcake at Fafleralp, a charming village with a wealth of natural beauty. We’ll return by private motorcoach to Betten.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Bettmeralp, Zermatt, Free Time
Bettmeralp
B,D
Ferienhotel Waldhaus

Activity note: Up to 7.5 miles of walking for 4 hours on cobblestones and natural trails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take a cable car and train to Brig, change trains, and continue through the Matter Valley ending in Zermatt (5256 feet). We will gain some insight on Zermatt and the history of mountaineering.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Zermatt.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We’ll then return by local transportation to Bettmeralp.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Bettmeralp, Aletsch Glacier, Riederfurka
Bettmeralp
B,L,D
Ferienhotel Waldhaus

Activity note: Getting on/off gondola; riding 1/2 hour total. Up to 8 miles of walking for 5.5 hours on mountain trails and the glacier.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our final walking field trip is on top of the Bettmerhorn (8720 feet), reached by gondola from the Bettmeralp. We will 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: Our walking field trip continues on the famous glacier trail, which winds along the glacier to Riederfurka and then back to Bettmeralp. An elective walk on easier terrain will be provided. We will return to the hotel.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Transfer to Zurich, Free Time
Zurich
B
Hotel Fly Away

Activity note: Getting on/off cable car, motorcoach; approximate transfer time around 4 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will transfer by cable car and private motorcoach to our Zurich airport hotel.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: On your own to see and do more of what interests you most in Zurich.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Program Concludes
Zurich
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Your Well-Being is Our #1 Priority

We’re committed to making your experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

See Our Safety Roadmap
Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback