UNDISCOVERED VALAIS & BERNESE OBERLAND
Venture to unspoiled places in the two most popular areas in the Swiss Alps. Hike along the Aletsch Glacier, walk across the highest supension bridge in the Alps, grand landscape and wildflowers. Nights in Fiesch, Grindelwald, Meiringen.
Starting in the Valais, home to most of the 4000-meter peaks in the Alps and dotted with enchanting villages, we journey into one of the most splendid alpine environments. Hiking through a protected region, we venture into the Binntal (Binn Valley), celebrated and respected for its biology and the wealth of minerals, some of which unique to this area, found inside its mountains.
This tour takes you on an exploration of a relatively undiscovered area of Switzerland. We hike along the Aletsch Glacier, A UNESCO site and an expanse of ice of such dimensions that never ceases to leave one mesmerized and speechless. We continue to Meiringen, in the Hasli Valley, a beautiful town still relatively unspoiled by tourism and surrounded by a truly spectacular natural scenery.
Our hikes lead us away from the main tourist map, and take us to some hidden corners of this famous region. We hike to a remote valley and walk on a Himalaya-style bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the Alps spanning across a glacial lake.
We spend the last few days in renowned Grindelwald, in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where other unforgettable hikes take us across mountain pastures and to vantage points where the views of peaks such as the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau, Wetterhorn, Finsteraarhorn and Blumslisalps, or villages like Mürren, are simply superb.
Throughout the trip, plenty of opportunities to sit in reverie before this magnificent landscape allow for welcome breaks during the hikes. We will dine and overnight in total creature comfort at three- and four-star hotels. Lunches (when not picnics) will be at mountain hut/restaurants.
DAY BY DAY
Day 1 Arrival
Transfer on your own to the Valais (Wallis) and meet your guide in the early afternoon at the hotel. In the afternoon, we take a short hike in the immediate surroundings.
Day 2 Aletsch Glacier
By public transportation we reach the beginning of our hike towards the Aletsch Glacier. With an expanse of more than 45 square miles, a length of more than 15 miles, and a thickness of 900 m/2997 ft at its deepest point, the Aletsch is the largest and longest glacier in Eurasia. In December 2001, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When we reach the expanse of the glacier, we will take a break to sit in awe at this superb environment. Superb views of the Mittellegi Hornli ridge of the Eiger (its standard climbing route), the Mönch, Jungfrau, and Matterhorn.
Day 3 Binntal
Binntal (Binn Valley) enjoys great fame for one of the greatest mineral fields in Europe found in the flanks of its mountains, and for its extraordinary biology. In fact, the upper part of the valley has been a protected natural area since 1964. Our hike into the valley is a grandiose natural experience, thanks to its untapped mountainous environment. Gaining elevation gently, we reach a pass, which, at only 2409 mt/7904 ft, marks the border between Italy and Switzerland. Spectacular views open up over the Valais and Bernese Alps, as well as Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, and Italy. We then retrace our steps and transfer by private vehicle to Meiringen.
Day 4 Above Meiringen
In an effort to sustain and protect this unique high-alpine region for generations to come, in 2007 the World Heritage Committee agreed to include Meiringen to the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn World Heritage Area. Public transportation takes us to a summer grazing area above Meiringen. Hiking on spectacular alpine trail, we skirt the mountains on an open balcony with unparalleled views of the Bernese Alps, glaciated peaks such as the Finsteraarhorn, Oberaarhorn, and more. We enter verdant, glacial valleys, skirt alpine lakes and enjoy a picnic in a pristine natural environment.
Day 5 Above Meiringen
We embark on an adventure that will take us across one of the longest and highest pedestrian suspension bridges in the Alps. The bridge was built in 2004, on the model of Nepalese three-rope bridges, to get across the deep canyon carved out a glacier and water. The bridge is 170 m/558 ft long and it soars 100 m/328 ft above the gorge and the glacial lake. Lunch at a Swiss Alpine Club mountain hut.
Day 6 Meiringen to Grindelwald
Transfer by public bus to the trailhead. Hiking through pristine summer grazing pastures, filled with wildflowers, and passing charming farmhouses, we reach a saddle separating the Rychen valley from the Grindelwald valley. A panoramic trail leads us above Grindelwald, with breathtaking views of glaciated mountains and, of course the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Hiking on a less travelled trail, we descend into Grindelwald.
Day 7 Grindelwald Area – Lauterbrunnen
Today we hike in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the most impressive glacial valley in the Alps and home to the largest nature reserve in Switzerland, with waterfalls, secluded valleys and fields filled with wildflowers. Our trail takes us into an area less travelled by the average tourist, and lets us enjoy the grandeur of the Bernese Alps in quiet contemplation. The impressive panorama encompasses several peaks reaching 4000 meters in elevation. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 8 Departure
After breakfast, transfer on your own to the destination of your choice.
From SFr. 3050 per person
SFr. 450 | Single supplement
Prices are quoted in Swiss Francs and based on double occupancy.
What Is Included:
English-speaking local guide for the duration of the trip.
Guide’s expenses (hotels and meals) while with the group.
Seven nights in four-star hotels.
All breakfasts, six lunches, six dinners.
Water and coffee/tea with your group meals at hotels/restaurants.
Half-price passes for public transportation (with some limitations).
Private and public transportation, as per itinerary.
Visits to points of interest, and activities, as specified in the itinerary.
Gratuities to porters, drivers, and at restaurants.
What Is Not Included:
Any transfers on Day 1 and Day 8 from/to Zurich Airport.
One lunch, one dinner.
Any insurance other than evacuation (cancellation, medical, etc.).
Expenses due to unexpected changes to the itinerary.
Activities not specified in the itinerary.
Personal expenses (laundry, sodas or alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, etc.).
Anything else not mentioned in “What’s Included in the Price of the Trip”.
Unused transportation during the tour will not be reimbursed.
TRIP DATES & DETAILS
2016 Dates: contact us »
Season: early July to mid-September
Trip Activity [more details]:
History | Culture
Scenery | Flora | Fauna
Trip Rating [more details]: moderate
Your Guide [more details]:
The guide(s) will be confirmed about thirty days prior to the beginning of the trip.
ACCOMODATIONS & MEALS
Day 1, 2 – Family-run, four-star hotel, is situated in a panoramic position with fantastic views of the entire Goms valley. It is immersed in silence and in nature, surrounded by forest. Welcoming familial atmosphere. Spacious rooms and a wellness centre.
Day 3, 4 – Four-star hotel in the heart of Meiringen village centre, a two-minute walk from the train and bus station, and from all the shops. True hospitality and extraordinary service in an atmosphere of modern luxury and comfort. Outstanding, creative cuisine.
Day 5, 6, 7 – Four-star hotel located a very quiet area overlooking the Grindelwald valley, and a few minutes from the town center. The rooms enjoy a marvellous panorama of the mountains and of the north face of the Eiger. Wellness center, with indoor swimming pool, terrace.
Participants booked on the trip will receive a complete list and detailed descripion of the hotels.
Breakfasts – They consist of a generous spread of meats, cheeses, fruit, yogurt, juice, cereal, fresh bread, and other baked goods, accompanied by coffee or tea.
Lunches – On most days, we enjoy elaborate picnics with local meats, cheeses, olives or sun-dried tomatoes, at least one vegetable, fruit, and freshly baked bread. When not a picnic, we have lunch at a mountain hut, or at a simple mountain restaurant.
Dinners – With the exception of Day 6, when participants have dinner on their own, we dine at the hotels. Generally, meals consist of a set, three- or four-course menu. The cuisine is excellent.