Hiking the Heart of Switzerland

From Lake Lucerne across the Bernese Alps to Wine Country

Overview

In the fairytale mountain beauty of Switzerland, we’ve designed a WT-style journey using the remarkable Swiss system of cable cars and cogwheel trains to whisk you high up into the Alps for spectacular—yet moderate—hikes. At mountain-ringed Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland, we’ll hike panoramic trails above the lake. In the famed Bernese Oberland, crowned by the summits of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, a gondola carries us to incredible high paths with views stretching across the top of Europe. We’ll hike through fragrant fields of gentian and edelweiss above turquoise Lake Oeschinensee, and for our grand finale, we head to charming Vevey for wine tasting and hikes through the World Heritage-listed vineyards on Lake Geneva.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Lucerne / Rigi / Mürren

We head up the wildflower-covered trails of Mt. Rigi amid classic Swiss farmsteads for views across Switzerland’s multitude of lakes and peaks, visit an artisan cheesemaker, and make a scenic return to Lucerne by cogwheel train and boat. In the dramatic Bernese Oberland, the sheer faces of the Eiger, Monch, and the Jungfrau are the reward of our hike to 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 car-free Mürren, where we’ll hear the sound of cowbells and waterfalls.

Hotel des Balances
Lucerne, Switzerland
Day 1 (1 night)
Hotel Bellevue
Murren, Switzerland
Days 2 to 3 (2 nights)
Days 4-5
Kandersteg / Lake Oeschinensee

From the gorgeous Swiss village of Kandersteg, we take a cable car up to a high viewpoint for a delightful picnic before we hike the balcony trail above Oeschinensee, a turquoise lake nestled in an amphitheater of jagged peaks. Our hike in 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.

Waldhotel Doldenhorn
Kandersteg, Switzerland
Days 4 to 5 (2 nights)
Days 6-8
Vevey / Lake Geneva

A beautiful train ride changes the scene entirely, bringing us to Lake Geneva and lakeside Montreux, with its backdrop of the Savoy Alps and lakeside lined by Belle époque villas. From the sunny village of St-Saphorin, we hike through the ancient vineyards that rise high above Lake Geneva’s Lavaux wine country to a lovely chateau above Villette. Depart on Day 8.

Hotel des Trois Couronnes
Vevey, Switzerland
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Cable cars and gondolas do the steep climbing—you enjoy hiking and top-of-the-world views!
Spectacular summits and glaciers of the Bernese Oberland, heart of the Swiss Alps
Classic Swiss mountain villages of Mürren and Kandersteg
Wine country of Lavaux above Lake Geneva, Vevey’s charming Old Town

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $6895  
Arrive: Lucerne, Switzerland
Depart: Vevey, Switzerland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

6 hiking days on moderate trails, 2-6 hours a day, altitudes up to 7,900 feet, van support

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