Region Overviews: Europe Travel Guide: Overview
Encapsulating 50 nations and a dizzying amount of cultural and natural diversity, Europe is a traveler’s playground.
Prepare to be awestruck. Exhilarated. In this place where trails lead to remote hamlets, glacial lakes and green pastures, over hidden mountain passes and beside sparkling glaciers. Where chalets welcome you with a cold beer or a rich hot chocolate. Prepare for the height of Switzerland. Prepare for the Swiss Alps.
THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels
Start Interlaken / End Zermatt
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Experience quintessential Switzerland with breathtaking hikes | Begin with a ridgeline walk above the Adelboden Valley | Ascend by gondola to the Wildflower Trail and Hahnenmoos Pass | Alpine pastures, tumbling waterfalls and glistening glaciers stretch out before you.
Spectacular views of the Bernese Oberland surround us at this mountain retreat with modern design sensibilities. (pool, spa)
Trek from high mountain passes to wildflower-strewn meadows | A challenging route to Leukerbad leads past a shimmering glacier-fed lake and over Gemmi Pass | Cable cars whisk us over the toughest ups and downs | Traverse a thermal gorge on a bridge that looks onto a thundering waterfall | Discover the age-old process behind Swiss cheese at a traditional farm | Indulge in a rejuvenating soak in Leukerbad's healing waters.
An elegant hotel celebrated for its scenic setting, delightful cuisine and spring-fed thermal baths. A Relais & Châteaux member. (pool, spa)
Catch the Glacier Express train to Zermatt, a picturesque village with stunning views of the Matterhorn | Hike through the Zmutt Valley | Pause for a lager or slice of apple strudel in a historic mountain hamlet | Visit the herb garden for Ricola's world-renowned candy and teas | Admire jaw-dropping views of Gornergletscher, a glacier with bright blue pools and deep crevasses, reached by foot or cogwheel train | Listen to the ice field groan, creak and rumble | Savor crisp morning air en route to an alpine lake which offers magnificent vistas | A festive dinner featuring raclette and fondue marks the last night of this grand alpine hiking adventure.
Set in the heart of Zermatt, this landmark luxury hotel was built in 1879 under the shadow of the Matterhorn. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
SMALL GROUP? TRY RENDEZVOUS | An extra leader and van for even more flexibility | Call us to book your Rendezvous.
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip includes well-maintained paths and rugged mountain trails, with some steps, rocky sections and steep descents. Most activities on this trip take place at elevations of 4,000–7,000 feet (and up to 10,000 feet), which can make the routes feel more challenging than the mileage may suggest. Thanks to the marvels of Swiss transportation, no support van is needed on this trip; we often use cable cars to access the best high-altitude hikes.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Due to Switzerland's rugged terrain, you can look forward to some exhilarating—but steep!—climbs along rocky and sometimes uneven paths. Please note that there's no van support on this trip (you can imagine why!), so you should be comfortable with the alpine elevation and remote routes.
We ordinarily staff our trips with three leaders: two leaders out on the trail offering support—allowing everyone to have the experience they want, whether it's an easygoing interpretative walk or a rigorous hike—while the third leader moves the van from trailhead to trail end. This trip is a little different in that we use a variety of local transportation, including gondolas, trains and local drivers, instead of Backroads vans. This means that you'll still have the same two leaders providing excellent trail support without the need for a third leader to move the van.