SWITZERLAND TRIP PLANNING
What to expect on these trips
Trip Preparation: This hiking trip is challenging and designed for the experienced hiker looking for a physically rewarding adventure. Participants must be in good physical condition to participate on this tour. We will be hiking on overage 5-7 hours per day on true alpine hiking trails with some precipitous sections, uneven terrain, loose rocks and scree. You should expect some steep ascents and descents, averaging 2500-4000 vertical feet per day, at elevations between 6,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. In order to prepare for the hikes on this trip, we encourage you to exercise 4-6 days per week for 1-3 hours at a time for several months leading up to the trip. Activities such as biking, hiking, walking, skiing, and running are great conditioning. Please consult your physician about your participation on the trek if you have any concerns regarding your health. In general the key to having a great experience is having an open mind, flexible attitude and adventurous spirit!
A Day on the Trail: Our inn-to-inn hike is led by an experienced Swiss Mountain guide local to the Bernese Oberland. Luggage transfers are provided to transport additional luggage from inn to inn. The exception will be on days 3 and 4 of our hike, when we will need to be sure to carry enough for our overnight at the Blüemlisalphütte. Our hiking day typically starts around 7-9 am, following breakfast, depending on the distance and weather for any given day. We go at a leisurely pace, allowing time to take in the stunning alpine scenery, stop at a mountain hut for tea and enjoy picnic lunches along the trail. However on longer days or if there is inclement weather, we keep a good pace to be sure to keep warm and arrive at our destination on time. Typically we will have a couple of hours before dinner for some down time. Dinners are generally between 6-7pm and following dinner your lead guide will brief the group on the next day's hike.
Meals: Typical Swiss cuisine will be available throughout the tour. For breakfasts this includes a delicious spread of cereals, deli meats, cheese, eggs, fruit, yogurt, fresh baked goods and bread. All breakfasts are included at the inns and mountain hut on this hiking trip.
We primarily have picnic lunches along the trail, with perhaps a lunch or two at mountain restaurants. Lunches are each participants’ own responsibility and you will be required to carry your food. Typical lunches include fresh bread, cheese, salami, chocolate, fruits and nuts.
Our dinners are hearty fares with a variety of options including fresh salads, soups, meat and vegetarian dishes. Some dinners are included at the inns or mountain hut where we will be staying (indicated in the itinerary) and other dinners will be on your own. The nights where dinner is on your own, you may either have something light and simple at our inn, or explore one of the town’s many restaurants. You can expect to pay approximately 15-25CHF per lunch and 30-40CHF per dinner and our guide will be available for assisting with menu selections and navigating supermarkets for packed lunches.
Arrivals and Departures: You can fly into either Zurich (ZRH) or Geneva (GVA) depending on your fare options. From your arrival airport you will need to book a train ticket through SBB (Swiss Rail System) to Wengen (approximately 3 hours from ZHR and 3:45 from GVA). You can either purchase them in advance on SBB: by clicking here (FYI: the Zürich Airport railway station is called: Bahnhof Zürich Flughafen), or you can also buy your tickets at the ticket machine directly at the train station upon arrival. You can buy the tickets yourself in English at a vending machine or there is also a counter where a responsible person from SBB can assist you.
Upon arrival in Wengen, it is only a short walk from the train station to Hotel Bellevue. The hotel will transport your luggage free of charge in one of their electric vehicles if you notify them of your arrival time.
You can depart anytime after breakfast on the morning of the final day of your tour. Again, you will need to book a train ticket back to Zurich (approx 3.5 hours) or Geneva (approx 3 hours) to connect to your departing flight.
Weather: The Bernese Oberland region is ideal for hiking from mid-June through mid-September, Wildflowers are at their peak in mid-late July. Summer hiking weather in the Swiss Alps is generally very pleasant; and while you may walk in short sleeves under sunny skies on some days, there will also likely be some days that are cool and wet, especially at higher elevations. Temperatures are typically in the 70°F to 80 °F during the day and can drop down to the low 40s at night. It's not uncommon to have freezing rain or snow on the high trail one day, and T-shirt weather on the next. The following website is a good source for weather forecasts in the region: Meteoswiss