It’s the dead of winter and most of our favorite Alpine hiking trails are covered with a foot of snow. As we wait for a spring thaw and those first gentians to bloom, I thought I’d check in with Alpenwild’s founder and Chief Adventure Officer, Greg Witt, to see what’s new for 2019. We tracked him down in Slovenia where he was checking out some new Alpenwild routes in the Julian Alps for 2020. So we had to divert his attention long enough to share some news for Summer 2019.
Question (Jen Stretton): I see Alpenwild has a new series of trips for 2019 called Swiss Hiking Vacations. What’s the story?
Answer (Greg Witt): In “Swiss Hiking Vacations” the operative word is “Vacation.” They might be the perfect getaway for someone who’s never considered taking a hiking vacation. Or ideal for baby boomers who want a luxurious and relaxed outdoor adventure. They’re 13-day, small-group tours that are super flexible and adaptable. There’s no rush, so you’ll have time to explore and discover beautiful sites in some of the best outdoor destinations in the Alps.
Q: What makes a Swiss Hiking Vacation different from Alpenwild’s treks and other hiking tours?
A: On our Swiss Hiking Vacations we stay six nights in one area then six nights in another. You don’t have to move every night. You can unpack and really immerse yourself in the culture and character of the base villages we’ve selected. You’ll have the unique opportunity to discover the best hiking, natural wonders, and charm of each village. There are two trip leaders on each tour, so you’ll have the luxury of choosing from at least two different route options, as well as other activities each day. One the travel day we include luggage transfers, so you don’t have to schlepp your luggage. Just relax and know your bags will be waiting for you at the hotel on arrival.
Q: Where are the base villages for Swiss Hiking Vacations?
A: Some of the destinations are well known to Alpenwild guests—Zermatt, Grindelwald, Mürren, Wengen, and Kandersteg. And then there are destinations which you might not be as familiar with—but which I promise are equally captivating. You might say these are undiscovered gems: Saas-Fee, Meiringen, Weggis, Pontresina, and Appenzell. It’s these lesser known village that are going to steal your heart.
Q: And how about the hotels?
A: We’ve spent much of the past year selecting the hotels, identifying the rooms, and reviewing the dining options in each village. There are a lot of hotels that may be fine for a stay of two of three nights. But for a six-night stay we had to have hotels which had larger rooms, features like pools, spas, and wellness facilities, and which offer exceptional quality and variety in their dining. We nailed it with some of the finest 4-star hotels in the Alps. We’re so enthusiastic about the hotels on these tours, that we’ve spotlighted them all on the trip page for each tour.
Q: Any special “extras” you want to mention?
A: We include a special event by Swiss Rail or lake steamer on Day 7, our travel day. These unforgettable special features include excursions like the legendary Glacier Express, the Jungfraujoch “Top of Europe” experience, and Rhine Falls. We request only superior and view rooms. We include a full buffet breakfast daily with special inclusions like eggs to order, meats, fresh fruits and vegetables. We focus our lunch stop on one of the wonderful mountain inns or restaurants that dot the Swiss Alps. We include dinner at the hotel or at select restaurants, where you’ll be able to order a la carte.
Thanks Greg. I see these tours are filling fast! So don’t delay in talking with one of Alpenwild’s Destination Specialists—all of whom are Certified Switzerland Specialists who are trail-tested in the Swiss Alps and ready to help make your dream of a Swiss Alps vacation a reality.