From Lake Lucerne Across the Alps to Wine Country

Overview

In a land of fairytale mountain beauty, we’ve crafted a special 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 famed Bernese Oberland, crowned by the breathtaking summits of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau (the North Face of the Alps), a gondola whisks us to incredible high trails with views stretching across the “top of Europe.” High above pristine Lake Oeschinensee, we hike through fragrant fields of gentian and edelweiss, and our grand finale is in charming Vevey for wine tasting and hikes through the historic World Heritage-listed vineyards above Lake Geneva.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Lucerne / Pilatus and Rigi

In Lucerne, we travel by the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to the summit of Mt. Pilatus (6,994') for an easy walk with magnificent views. A classic lake steamer brings us across Lake Lucerne to the village of Weggis, where a cable car carries us up Mt. Rigi (5,896'), known as the “Queen of the Mountains.” We’ll visit an artisan cheesemaker here and descend by cogwheel train to lakeside Lucerne.

 View Lodging
Days 3-4
Lauterbrunnen Valley / Mürren

In the dramatic Bernese Oberland, where 37 peaks top 12,000 feet, we view the sheer, snow-capped faces of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau as we hike to the top of Männlichen (7,687'). From our perfect perch in the car-free village of Mürren, we hike high above the gorgeous Lauterbrunnen Valley through a hanging valley dotted with hay barns and chalets to the Schilthorn summit (9,744'), descending to the tiny farming hamlet of Gimmelwald.

 View Lodging
Days 5-6
Kandersteg / Lake Oeschinensee

We travel by train to the quintessential Swiss alpine village of Kandersteg. Ringed by mountains, this wildly picturesque glacial valley of traditional chalets has attracted hikers since the 19th century. A cable car whisks us above town for a short but steep climb to an amazing viewpoint overlooking turquoise Lake Oeschinensee, surrounded by a backdrop of sheer cliffs and snow-clad peaks. Our hike above the deep Gasterntal Valley brings panoramas of the glaciers of the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site, home to the Aletsch, the largest glacier in the Alps.

 View Lodging
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 époque villas. We walk the lakeside promenade to one of Europe’s most impressive castles, the 13th century Château de Chillon, and in famed Lavaux wine country high above the lake, we hike through centuries-old terraced vineyards. Depart on Day 9.

 View Lodging

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, Mürren, and Kandersteg
Vevey’s charming Old Town, wine country of Lavaux above Lake Geneva

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $6695  
Arrive: Lucerne, Switzerland
Depart: Vevey, Switzerland
Lodging: 8 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 3 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
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).

Other Trips You Might be Interested in: