Switzerland hiking; lake lugano; ticino; engadine; gourmet food; alpine hiking in Europe; Switzerland adventures

Adventuring in Switzerland

Switzerland has much to offer, from the Mediterranean atmosphere of Lake Lugano to the alpine trails of the Engadine. On our adventure, we sample the gourmet delights of each region.

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From Ticino to the Engadine route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5895  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Lugano, Switzerland
Depart: Chur, Switzerland
Lodging: 8 nights in hotels
Meals: All meals and wine 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), team of up to 3 Trip Leaders
3

Highlights

  • Explore and hike in Ticino, where forested mountains plunge into sparkling lakes, and colorful towns line the lakeshores
  • The Engadine, with its wild narrow valleys and houses with colorful facades
  • The famous resorts of Lugano, Ascona, St. Moritz, Davos, and Pontresina
  • Dine at Gault Millau and Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy fine wines


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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Enchanting Ticino may lie in Switzerland, but it has an undeniably romantic Italian flair. The palm-fringed shores of its sparkling lakes are dotted with colorful towns that convey a joyful Mediterranean ambiance. And in the Engadine, the chic mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Davos beckon with their wild valleys and alpine atmosphere. We’ve created a beguiling journey combining great hikes and the incomparable cuisine of these two delightful regions. Come along as we savor stunning alpine panoramas, shimmering blue lakes, charming villages, and wonderful food, including local wines, cheeses, pastries, and, of course, chocolate! Two gourmet dinners in Gault Millau or Michelin–starred restaurants, a 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 / Morcote

From Lugano, we ride the funicular to the summit of Monte Bré for a walk to the artists’ town of Bré, followed by a hike along the Sentiero degli Olivi to the shores of Lake Lugano. Our gourmet adventure begins with dinner at Arté, a Gault Millau and Michelin-starred lakeshore restaurant. The next day we catch the funicular to Monte San Salvatore, offering views of the Swiss and Savoy Alps. Descending through sheltered forests to Morcote, we enjoy wine tasting near a 15th century castle surrounded by vineyards.

Days 3-4
Malcantone / Ascona

Our choice of hikes in Malcantone, a lovely area of hilltop villages, includes a walk along the Sentiero delle Meraviglie past old stone walls and a ruined castle. We visit a chocolate factory (a must on any Swiss trip), then head to Ascona, an artists’ town on the shores of Lake Maggiore. After exploring its Old Town and lakeside promenade, we hike to the village of Arcegno, stopping for a special farm lunch along the way. Later, we dine at renowned Seven, whose innovative young chef creates a spectacular dining experience.

Days 5-6
Ascona / St. Moritz / Pontresina

Heading toward the Engadine, we stop for a hike along a castle-lined trail, then travel to sunny St. Moritz. The next day we hike right from our hotel to the wild and romantic Val Roseg and on to Pontresina, noted for its 17th and 18th century houses with sgraffiti (decorated walls).

Days 7-9
St. Moritz / Davos / Chur

A beautiful village-to-village hike in the lower Engadine brings us to Lavin, where we sample the wares of a popular patisserie. We then head to Davos, reaching our hotel by funicular and savoring breathtaking views over town. Our hikes lead right from the hotel, and one afternoon we enjoy a cooking lesson from Sardinian chef Antonellu Pisseddu. 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 & Leaders

2014
Sep 6-14, 2014

2015
Jun 27-Jul 5, 2015  Tania Masi
Aug 22-30, 2015  Gianluca Canalicchio

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$5895 (12-16 members)
$6195 (9-11 members)
$6495 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $290
Forced single supplement: $145
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in comfortable 3- and 4-star hotels
  • All meals and wine included except 2 dinners
  • 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.

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

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 Laudinella

Hotel Laudinella

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), St. Moritz, Switzerland

This comfortable hotel, with its nice views of Lake St. Moritz and the surrounding mountains, offers clean and spacious guest rooms with an alpine ...
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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).

Gianluca Canalicchio

Departure Dates: August 22-30, 2015

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: September 6-14, 2014

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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Tania Masi

Departure Dates: September 6-14, 2014, June 27-July 5, 2015

Tania Masi is a journalist and travel writer who has published various hiking, city, and regional guidebooks in Europe. Born in Florence, Italy, of an American mother and proud Florentine father, she was raised with an appreciation for both American and European cultures and has lived in New York ...
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