European
                   Backroads
                   Tours, Inc.
 
                                Dennis Hartranft, Tour Leader

 

 

 

Trips
 



SWITZERLAND
18 August – 1 September, 2020

$3,900 per person, ppdo, cash cost, credit cost + 3%

Includes Transfers to and from airport, roundtrip transatlantic airfare, train pass, Most luggage transport, private ensuite accommodations, most breakfasts, most cable cars and gondolas…we will have a guide for those seeking more hiking…she will be with us for the entire trip

Tuesday, 18 August
Charter bus departs from Elite Coach, 1685 W. Main St., Ephrata at 1:30 pm…drive to Philadelphia PHL for non-stop flight on American Airlines flight #92 to Zurich…Meals included on flight.

Wednesday, 19 August
Arrive Zurich Airport at 8:55 am... we will have our luggage transported by a van…2 hour train ride to Engelberg…Engelberg is a small ski/hiking resort at the end of a valley framed by the glacial bulk of Mt. Titlis…Engelberg has 360 km of marked hiking trails set in gentle and gorgeous scenery…It has several cable cars, from the famous revolving cable car climbing to 3,020 meters over the stunning Titlis Glacier to more modest cars transporting farmers to their alpine meadows…Engelberg town has a nice pedestrian village and a 12th century Benedictine Abbey…stay two nights at a 3 star hotel like the Engelberg Trail Hotel (www.hotel-engelberg.ch)

Thursday, 20 August
Options include one 6 hour hike into beautiful alpine lake scenery and two 2-3 hour hikes where hikers can decide to do one hike and not the other… those not hiking can take a short train ride to Lucerne for exploration of old town and/or lake steamer excursions, included in our travel pass…stay in Engelberg.

Friday, 21 August
Depart Engelberg at 9:00 for 2 hour train ride to Meiringen…luggage transport between hotels… then, one hour twisting postal bus on alpine pass to Grosse Scheidigg, our introduction to the Berner Oberland, the most famous mountain region in the country…1.25 hour hike from Grosse Scheidigg to First… then, some may take cable car to Grindelwald, a town famous for its view of the region’s 3 peaks, the Jungfrau, Eiger, and while others take a 1.5 hour round trip hike the beautiful alpine lake of Bachalpsee… then we take the train for a 30 minute ride to our hotel in Lauterbrunnen, a village famous for its waterfall… www.Lauterbrunnen.ch …3-Star Hotel Oberland…(www.hoteloerland.ch)...Lauuterbrunnen is a great base from which to explore this region. We will stay in Lauterbrunnen for 4 nights

Saturday, 22 August; Sunday, 23 August; and Monday, 24 August
The next 3 days are interchangeable as dictated by the weather… this is the best region for independent travel for those who do not want more walking…

The next days may include:
• Short cable car and cog train ride to Murren, a pedestrian only village…exciting cable car journey to the Schilthorn, a revolving restaurant made famous in a James Bond movie after the Schilthorn we will take a 3-4 hour hike on the North Face Trail from Allmendhubel…For a pleasant, mainly downhill, two-hour hike (4 miles, from 6, 385 feet to 5,375 feet), ride the Allmendhubel funicular up from Mürren …You will enjoy great views, flowery meadows, mountain huts, and a dozen information boards along the way, describing the fascinating climbing history of the great peaks around you.
• Short train ride to Wengen, another pedestrian only village… cable car up the mountain to the Männlichen-Kleine Scheidegg Hike- easy Alpine hike (2.5 miles, 1.5 hours, 900-foot altitude drop to Kleine Scheidegg). It’s entertaining all the way, with glorious Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch views… for those wanting to continue we will have a 3 hour hike with beautiful alpine views all the way to Wengen … for those not wanting to hike, there will be time to enjoy Wengen and the Lauterbrunnen valley, including waterfalls… also, for those not wanting to hike, options include possible ride on Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest train ride and possible 1.5 hour train ride to Bern, the beautiful Switzerland capital… we will wander the old town’s atmospheric cobbled streets, dipping in and out of the arcades on a street plan unchanged since medieval times… Bern is so beautiful, it is designated a UNESCO sight

Tuesday, 25 August
1.5 hour train ride to Kandersteg… luggage transport… Kandersteg is a small town in an amphitheatre of spiky peaks studded with glaciers…its jewel colored lakes create a sublime natural backdrop to the rustic village of dark-timber chalets…we will Stay 3 nights in the 4 star Hotel Alfa Soleil, (www.alfasoleil.ch) … we will have time to ride a cable car from Kandersteg to Oeschinesee for a 40 minute down hill hike to see the extraordinary view of the Oeschinesee and the Blumlisalp…. Those who want to hike more can see great vantage points of the lake and hike down the valley… those who do not want to hike can ride a cart back to the cable car station and take the cable car down to Kandersteg.

Wednesday, 26 August
Private shuttle transport to nearby Gasterntal Valley, a beautiful valley unknown to most Americans… 2.5 hour walk on gravel roads… then, cable car ride high in the mountains and hike up to 2-3 hours more… those who do not want to hike more can take a cable car and return to our hotel by bus or a level valley hike…stay in Kandersteg..

Thursday, 27 August
Short train and bus ride to the next valley to town of Adelboden… take cable car and then hike over the mountain on any number of trails to return to Kandersteg… could be an all day hike for some, but option exists for other hikers to enjoy Adelboden and return to Kandersteg

Friday, 28 August
Train ride to Fiesch to take cable car ride to visit the gigantic Aletch Glacier, the longest glacier in the Alps and a UNESCO site… the village of Fiesch has lifts up to the vantage point of the Eggishorn, offering the finest views of the glacier…luggage transport…2 hour train ride to world famous Zermatt, home to the Matterhorn…Zermatt is a pedestrian only village with old brown chalets and twisting alleyways in the Hinterdorf quarter… shopping opportunities abound… we will stay in Zermatt for 3 nights… stay at a 3 star hotel like Hotel Testa Griglia (www.testa-griglia.com )

Saturday, 29 August and Sunday, 30 August
Choices include cable cars and cog railways and hikes… one day will include a ride on the Sunegga lift to Blauherd and making a day hike from the 2.5 hours 5 lakes hike, featuring reflections on the Matterhorn, the 1.75 hour Nature Walk, and the 1.5 hour Riffelalp Walk…one day will include a ride on the Schwarzee cable car ride which offers the most picture-perfect views of the Matterhorn at close quarters…then, we will take the 3 hour Matterhorn Trail which will take us into a variety of terrain and into mountain hamlets…for those not wanting to hike as much, the Gornergrat is famous for its views of the Matterhorn as you climb over 3,000 meters… beautiful cable car rides to Rothorn summit, viewing alpine lakes along the way… walking opportunities abound… overnights in Zermatt

Monday, 31 August
Time to return to Zurich…our luggage may be transported by the Swiss Rail System…stay at 3 star Zurich Airport Holiday Inn Express Hotel…

Tuesday, 1 September
shuttle bus to Zurich airport…our non-stop American Airlines flight #93 departs at 11:45 am and arrives at PHL at 3:30 pm…return to Ephrata

This itinerary is subject to change. Thank you.

Sources: Lonely Planet Switzerland, Rough Guide Switzerland, Rick Steves Switzerland, various Swiss hiking brochures and maps

 

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