Choose Your Pace: Hiking the Swiss Alps in Appenzell & Arosa

Step into a fairytale with every footstep along the Swiss Alps as you hike the breathtaking landscapes in Appenzell and Arosa, learning about local history and culture along the way.
Program No. 23648RJ
10 days
Starts at

At a Glance

As the Alps weave their way through the Swiss countryside, a beautiful landscape emerges filled with verdant valleys, mountain villages and quaint dairy farms. During an enriching week-long educational adventure, you’ll explore one of the best countries in Europe for hikers. On expert-led alpine walks and hilltop hikes, choose the paths perfect for your own level of desired physical challenge. Then, step back in time to learn about storybook towns with medieval wooden homes. Search for local wildlife, like red deer and golden eagles, and learn about the over 900 different colorful plant species in picturesque meadows. As you hike historic paths with expert instructors, you’ll discover that there’s just no better way to connect with your surroundings than by exploring green pastures on foot.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn about local environmental conservation on a hike through the forest or hike through the Fondeier Tobel gorge to discover historic timber buildings.
  • Deepen your understanding of Switzerland’s dairy industry on a field trip to Appenzeller dairy show and a local farm.
  • Study local history at St. Gallen’s Baroque cathedral and at the Abbey Library, which contains 8th-century literature.
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.
Asterix in Switzerland
by Rene de Goscinny
This entry in the Asterix series of comic books features excellent drawings of the Swiss Alpine landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69
by Edward Whymper
Edward Whymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps.
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.
Why Switzerland?
by Jonathan Steinberg
A masterly overview of the idiosyncrasies of Switzerland, its history, language, politics and identity as a naysayer at the center of Europe.
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.
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.
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.
Culture Smart! Switzerland
by Kendall Maycock
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture.
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.
Appenzell: Pure Democracy and Pastoral Life in Inner-Rhoden. A Swiss Study
by Irving Berdine Richman
This reproduction of a book (with its imperfections) published before 1923 explains the Swiss system of “Direct” democracy. In the canton of Appenzell Inner-Rhoden, the People’s Assembly (Landsgemeinde) still chooses its representative in the Council of States by a show of hands. Read to understand the rich backstory of Swiss democracy.
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.
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.
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."

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback