22125
Switzerland

Alpine Villages & Crystal Lakes: Gentle Hikes Through Switzerland

Would a European walking adventure pique your interest? Then join us in Switzerland as we explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, alpine culture and the highest peaks in Europe!
Rating (5)
Program No. 22125RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,149

At a Glance

Experience the beauty of Switzerland’s countryside on a walking adventure that leads from its iconic mountain ranges to the warmer climates of its southern cantons. With local experts, walk along forest pathways to azure lakes and learn about the geology of these rural areas that seem like scenes from a fairy tale. Ride cable cars to the tops of mountain peaks for panoramic views of the region. In the southern cantons, learn about local history as you happen upon medieval castles, Bronze-Age sanctuaries and breathtaking botanical gardens.
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 ...

  • Learn about geology as you view the Rhine Gorge, Switzerland’s own Grand Canyon.
  • Discover the medieval castles of Bellinzona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Sample wines and learn about viticulture in the Onsernone Valley, and explore the Botanic Gardens on the Brissago Islands.
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.
The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000
by Mark Cioc, William Cronon (Introduction)
A scholarly, well-researched environmental history of the Rhine, particularly its role in European economic and German national history over the past 200 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Culture Smart! Switzerland
by Kendall Maycock
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture.
Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe
by Andrew Cleave
A colorful field guide featuring commonly encountered species of the fields and gardens of Europe.
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.
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.
The Alps Adventure Map
by National Geographic Maps
A waterproof, tear-resistant map of the Alps at a scale of 1:400,000. Includes detailed elevations and the locations of natural attractions.
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.
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
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.
Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine
by Lewis Spence
These classic tales, first published in 1915, introduce Odin, Brunhild, Lorelei, Siegfried and a host of mythic figures associated with the magic and mystery of the Rhine. Organized by chapter from source to sea, the map, illustrations and introductory chapters on history, geography and people set the stage for a river cruise.
Banner in the Sky
by James Ramsey Ullman
A suspenseful tale of a young boy determined to keep his father's mountaineering dream alive.
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.
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.
The Alps, A Cultural History
by Andrew Beattie
Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the Alps, where early pioneers of tourism, mountaineering and scientific research have each left their mark.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.





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