Heart of Switzerland

From Lake Lucerne Across the Alps to Wine Country


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

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1
Lucerne / Rigi

In picturesque Lucerne, a classic lake steamer brings us to the village of Weggis, where a cable car carries us up Mt. Rigi (5,896'), known as the “Queen of the Mountains.” We visit an artisan cheesemaker and descend by cogwheel train to lakeside Lucerne.

Hotel des Balances
Lucerne, Switzerland
Day 1 (1 night)
Days 2-3
Lauterbrunnen Valley / Mürren

In the dramatic Bernese Oberland, where 37 mountains top 12,000 feet, we witness snow-capped peaks as we hike to the top of Männlichen (7,687'). From the car-free village of Mürren we hike on a mountain trail with views of the mighty Jungfrau, and ride a cable car to the Schilthorn summit for spectacular, panoramic views of the Alps.

Hotel Bellevue
Murren, Switzerland
Days 2 to 3 (2 nights)
Days 4-5
Kandersteg / Lake Oeschinensee

We travel by train to the quintessential Swiss alpine village of Kandersteg. Ringed by mountains, this picturesque valley of traditional chalets has attracted hikers since the 19th century. A cable car brings us above town for a short but steep climb to an amazing viewpoint overlooking turquoise Lake Oeschinensee, with a backdrop of sheer cliffs and snow-clad peaks. Our hike above the deep Gasterntal Valley brings panoramas 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 / Lavaux

A beautiful rail journey changes the scene, bringing us to 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. In famed Lavaux wine country above the lake, we hike through centuries-old terraced vineyards. Depart on Day 8 via Geneva or Zurich.

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



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, enchanting lakeside Lucerne
Picturesque alpine villages of Mürren and Kandersteg
Vevey’s charming Old Town, Belle époque lakeshore villas in Montreux, Château de Chillon
World Heritage-listed wine country of Lavaux above Lake Geneva


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $6295  
Arrive: Lucerne, Switzerland
Depart: Vevey, Switzerland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

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

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