collage of walkers and wine in ticino
From Ticino to the Engadine route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6195  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Lugano, Switzerland
Depart: Chur, Switzerland
Lodging: 8 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level: A mix of moderate walks and hikes, 2-5 hours a day, van support (for luggage or tired feet)
3

Highlights

  • Explore and hike in Italian-speaking Ticino, where forested mountains plunge into sparkling lakes and traditional towns line the lakeshores
  • The unspoiled Engadine, with its wild narrow valleys, glaciated peaks, and houses with colorful facades
  • The famous resorts of Lugano, Ascona, Davos, and Pontresina
  • Two special dinners at Gault Millau and Michelin-starred lakeside restaurants, enjoy fine wines including Ticino’s ruby-red Merlot, the “Queen of Grapes”
  • Boat ride across Lake Lugano for a risotto-making lesson


What a great trip! I could not have asked for more...great guides, delicious food, beautiful hikes, and a well planned and interesting itinerary with a combination of city/village activities and hiking. I loved that we hiked a variety of terrain—along lakeshores, through forests and meadows, in valleys and in the mountains. We were treated to many amazing sights—panoramic views, spectacular fields of wild flowers, a distant glacier.Dorothy D.—Denver, CO

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Enchanting Ticino lies in Switzerland, but has an undeniably romantic Italian flair with its sparkling lakes, colorful towns, and sun-drenched Mediterranean ambiance. And in the Engadine, chic mountain resorts beckon with their wild valleys and alpine atmosphere. We’ve created a beguiling journey combining great hikes and the distinctive cuisines of these two delightful regions. Come along and savor stunning alpine panoramas, shimmering blue lakes, charming villages, and wonderful food, including local wines, cheeses, and—of course—chocolate! Two gourmet dinners in Gault Millau or Michelin–starred restaurants, a risotto cooking lesson, fantastic hikes in a mountain-and-lake realm—this trip has it all.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Lugano / Monte Bré

From Lugano, ride the funicular to Monte Bré for a walk to an artists’ town, then begin your gourmet adventure with dinner at Arté, a Gault Millau and Michelin-starred lakeshore restaurant. The next day, we catch the funicular to Monte San Salvatore for a hike offering views of the Swiss and Savoy Alps.

Days 3-4
Alpe Foppa / Ascona

From Alpe Foppa, traverse a ridgetop trail with beautiful views of the Lugano Valley, snow-capped peaks, and deep blue lakes. Our hike ends at a goat farm where we sample local cheeses, salami, and wines. A special farm-to-table lunch is a highlight of our hike from Ascona, a town of artisans on the shores of Lake Maggiore, to the village of Arcegno. Later, we dine at renowned Seven, whose innovative young chef creates a spectacular dining experience.

Days 5-9
Pontresina / Davos / Chur

From the mountain resort of Pontresina in the heart of the Engadine, our hikes bring you along a castle-lined trail and into the wild and romantic Val Roseg, while a beautiful village-to-village hike leads to Lavin, encircled by mountains. In Davos, we reach our hotel by funicular, savoring breathtaking views along the way, and enjoy a cooking lesson from a renowned chef and his team. Depart on Day 9 via Chur.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3, Moderate. We enjoy day walks and hikes of 2-5 hours over variable hill and mountain trails, with occasional short, steep sections. We will carry just a daypack. Sturdy, well broken-in hiking boots are necessary for the rural trails of this area. The meals included in the itinerary will be taken at the hotels where we are staying or at restaurants in the towns. Three dinners are at Gault Millau or Michelin-starred restaurants. For dinners “on your own,” the Trip Leader will be happy to advise you on, or accompany you, to local restaurants and trattorias. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 PM.

Note on Accommodations:
In an effort to capture the spirit of old Europe, the hotels we use are often family-run converted villas or inns, full of ambiance and colorful local history. Although the rooms are not always of uniform or international size, our leaders try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

2016
Jul 2-10, 2016
Aug 20-28, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$6195 (13-15 members)
$6495 (10-12 members)
$6795 (7-9 members)
Single supplement: $990
Forced single supplement: $790
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in comfortable 3- and 4-star hotels
  • All meals included except 2 dinners
  • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
  • Entrance fees to all sites and museums
  • All transport during the trip (cable cars, funiculars, etc.)
  • Transfers to the train station at Chur at the conclusion of the trip

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day, arrival transportation, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff,additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expense of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance or passports, and other expenses of a personal nature.

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Lugano, Switzerland
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Zurich International Airport, Zurich, Switzerland (airport code ZRH) or Milan Malpensa (airport code MXP)
Suggested Flight Arrival Time: anytime the day before
Departure:
Chur, Switzerland
Date: Day 9

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Zurich International Airport, Zurich, Switzerland (airport code ZRH)
Suggest flight departure time: no earlier than 3:00 pm

Hotel International au Lac

Hotel International au Lac

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Lugano, Switzerland

This century-old, family-run hotel, set on the lakefront in the heart of Lugano, has a nice old-world feel to it. It’s listed by UNESCO as a ...
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Garni La Meridiana

Garni La Meridiana

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Ascona, Switzerland

Set in the center of enchanting Ascona in a pedestrian-only area, the stylish Garni La Meridiana offers old world charm along with modern comforts ...
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Hotel Walther

Hotel Walther

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Pontresina, Switzerland

There’s stellar service at this family-owned Relais & Chateaux property, along with beautifully appointed rooms, full spa services, and a ...
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Schatzalp Snow & Mountain Resort

Schatzalp Snow & Mountain Resort

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Davos, Switzerland

This mountain “aerie” sits on a sunny shelf high above the resort town of Davos, and is reached by a short funicular ride up the ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Giuseppe Aruta

Departure Dates:

With an extensive background in geology and deep roots in his Italian heritage, Giuseppe Aruta leads guests through the Medieval Hilltowns, the Dolomites and Italy’s Lake District, paying special attention to how people travel through their sense of taste, experiencing the wondrous world of ...
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Gianluca Canalicchio

Departure Dates:

Gianluca Canalicchio was born and raised in Rome, where his parents moved in 1960 from Umbria, when they left their life of hard work on their farm in search of new opportunities. He has a degree in accounting, speaks four languages (Italian, Spanish, French, and English), and loves dancing, ...
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Nicos Caravellas

Departure Dates:

Nicos Caravellas, born and raised in Greece, gained his love of nature early on family outings in northern Greece's mountainous countryside. During his university years, while earning his degree in teaching, he developed his mountaineering skills and decided to become a professional guide."I ...
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Marian Gibert

Departure Dates:

Marian Gibert has been a world traveler from a young age. She was born in Bilbao, Spain, grew up in Venezuela, and later lived in Britain, where she studied Business Administration at Cambridge. She also lived and worked in Engelberg, a resort in the Swiss Alps, picking up the Swiss-German and ...
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Tania Masi

Departure Dates:

Born in Florence, Italy, of an American mother and proud Florentine father, Tania Masi was raised with an appreciation for both American and European cultures. With nine languages and a Master of Geography under her belt—not to mention a career as a journalist and documentary film director ...
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