From Lake Lucerne Across the Alps to Wine Country

 

Overview

In a land of fairytale mountain beauty, we’ve crafted a fantastic journey using the remarkable Swiss system of cable cars and cogwheel trains to bring you high into the Alps for spectacular—yet moderate—hiking adventures. Around mountain-ringed Lake Lucerne, we’ll hike the panoramic trails of Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi, and in the Bernese Oberland, where many of Switzerland’s most legendary peaks are found, we’ll bring you to stunning pathways below the towering peaks of the Eiger, the Monch, and the Jungfrau (the famed “North Face” of the Alps). Our trails high above pristine Lake Oeschinensee lead through fields of gentian and edelweiss, and our grand finale is in charming Vevey for wine tasting and hikes through the historic terraced vineyards above Lake Geneva—a World Heritage Site.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Lucerne / Pilatus and Rigi / Murren

A classic lake steamer brings us across Lake Lucerne for our hike on the high trails of Pilatus and Rigi and past Swiss farmsteads. We’ll visit an artisan cheesemaker and descend to lakeside Lucerne by cogwheel train (the oldest in the Alps). In the dramatic Bernese Oberland, where 37 peaks top 12,000 feet, we’ll view the sheer faces of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau as we hike to the top of Männlichen (7,687'). Another hike brings us into the immense, U-shaped Lauterbrunnen Valley, with its 3,000-foot-high walls. Overnights are in charming Lucerne and in car-free Murren, where the only sounds are of cowbells and waterfalls.

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Days 5-6
Kandersteg / Lake Oeschinensee

From the gorgeous Swiss village of Kandersteg, a cable car carries us to a high viewpoint for a picnic before we head out on the trail circling Oeschinensee, a turquoise lake nestled in an amphitheater of jagged peaks. Our hike above the deep Gasterntal Valley brings panoramas of the summits and glaciers of the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site, home to the Aletsch, the largest glacier in the Alps.

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Days 7-9
Vevey / Lake Geneva / Lavaux

A beautiful rail journey changes the scene entirely, bringing us to Lake Geneva and beguiling Montreux, with its lakeshore lined by Belle Epoque villas. We walk the lakeside promenade to one of Europe’s most spectacular castles, the 13th century Chateau de Chillon, and in ancient Lavaux wine country high above the lake, we hike through historic, terraced vineyards. Depart on Day 9.

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Highlights

Highlights

Cable cars and gondolas do the steep climbing—you enjoy hiking and top-of-the-world views!
Spectacular rock peaks and glaciers of the Bernese Oberland, heart of the Swiss Alps
Picturesque alpine villages of Grindelwald, Murren, and Kandersteg
Vevey’s charming Old Town, wine country of Lavaux above Lake Geneva

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $6595  
Arrive: Lucerne, Switzerland
Depart: Vevey, Switzerland
Lodging: 8 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 3 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

8 hiking days on moderate trails, 2-6 hours a day, altitudes up to 7,900 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike).

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