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 panoramic trails on Mt. Rigi, and in the famed Bernese Oberland, crowned by the breathtaking summits of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, 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 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.

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Days 2-3
Lauterbrunnen Valley / Mürren

In the dramatic Bernese Oberland, where 37 mountains top 12,000 feet, we view snow-capped peaks as we hike to the top of Männlichen (7,687'). From the car-free village of Mürren we hike through a hanging valley dotted with barns and chalets to Rockstockhütte (6,700') below the Schilthorn summit, descending to the farming hamlet of Gimmelwald.

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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.

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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.

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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, Belle époque lakeshore villas in Montreux, Château de Chillon
World Heritage-listed wine country of Lavaux above Lake Geneva

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $6095  
Arrive: Lucerne, Switzerland
Depart: Vevey, Switzerland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners (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 (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)

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