Enjoy the stunning Swiss Alps by rail
Surround yourself with unspoiled scenery in the village of Kandersteg, an Alpine gem and ideal for all levels of walking in the Swiss Alps. Enjoy scenic mountain railways with stunning vistas and visit beautiful Interlaken.
After meeting your group and Tour Manager at our St Pancras Departure Office, we board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by high-speed TGV to Mulhouse for an overnight stay. The following morning on Day 2, we travel by rail into the heart of the Swiss Alps, arriving in the mountain village of Kandersteg, in the Jungfrau region, along the valley of the River Kander.
We spend six nights at the family run Hotel Bernerhof. Idyllically located over-looking meadows in the heart of the small village of Kandersteg, the hotel boasts superb views of the surrounding mountainous Alpine scenery, and is an ideal location from which to explore the area. After dinner we meet one of our Mountain Guides for a briefing about our walks.
Renowned for its breathtaking views and scenic trails, the countryside around Kandersteg is the perfect base for a walking tour. This area is within the UNESCO World Heritage Lötschberg Area, with over 550km (330 miles) of paths. With so many trails to choose from, our Mountain Guides enable you to really get the best out of this tour. A wealth of hiking paths, all clearly signposted, makes independent walking easy too, most of which are within a short distance from Kandersteg itself.
Today our guided walking takes us through the countryside surrounding Kandersteg. There are three different walks available depending on your ability, ranging from a gentle stroll through peaceful meadows to a challenging hike up the surrounding mountains. You could join the gentle stroll to beautiful Blausee, located in the midst of a 20 hectare nature park, and return by bus to Kandersteg for a pleasant walk close to the village. Our moderate walk begins with a cable car ride to the Allmenalp, the top of a vertical cliff, and offering views over the whole valley and to the Oeschinensee. It then ascends through the striking Üschinen Valley, taking in the surrounding peaks before following the River Kander back to Kandersteg.
Otherwise, join the more challenging hike from Lake Oeschinen and through the lower foothills of the mountains to the Allmenalp, with time to admire the superb panorama before descending to Kandersteg by cable car. After each day's walking, enjoy afternoon tea and cakes at our hotel, whilst relaxing and enjoying views of the surrounding mountain peaks.
Today we travel by train to Interlaken, a wonderful town nestled between Lakes Thun and Brienz. You are free to explore Interlaken at your leisure. One of our walking guides accompanies us to Interlaken, advising on the various way-marked walking trails around Interlaken, and leading a guided walk in the area. Wherever you are, the imposing trio of peaks - the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch - provide a stunning backdrop to the day. For those wishing to explore further on foot, you may wish to take the cog railway to Schynige Platte, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy many signposted walks. The picturesque journey offers spectacular views of the Brienzersee and the Jungfrau, travelling through lush meadows and Alpine scenery.
Today we enjoy another walk with our guides. Again, there are three different walks available; each begins with a journey on the gondola to Oeschinensee, one of Switzerland's most exquisite lakes. From here, our gentle walk takes a circuitous route around the lake and back to the gondola. The moderate walk continues over the glorious verdant scenery of Unterbergli, with spectacular views of Blumisalp and Doldenhorn. Our advanced walk traverses over the charming Underbargli to the rocky ridges of Oberbargli.
The views in this part of the Alps are incredible whichever walk you choose. During your time on your walk, be sure to keep an eye out for the wildlife of the region. You may spot any of the wild mountain goats who call this part of the world home. The Alpine Ibex is a magnificent beast, possessing an ever-impressive pair of curved horns which are used to fight off rivals in mating rituals. These fascinating animal were very nearly made extinct by overzealous hunters during the 19th century. Thanks to efforts made by conservationists, the Alpine Ibex has been reintroduced to these mountains, and are now flourishing with over 40,000 Ibex in the Swiss Alps.
After your walk, you may choose to relax in Kandersteg or walk on one of the area's many other trails. It is no coincidence that this region has so many diverse walking routes, given that the awesome mountains and lush forests provide the perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll.
Again, three levels of guided walk will be on offer today. You may choose the gentle ramble through wildflower meadows around Arvesee, before descending by cable car and continuing alongside the River Kander on our return to Kandersteg. Today's moderate walk is also via Arvesee, to Schwarenbach, where we ascend on the Sunnbuel cable car. Our advanced walk today takes us on a circular route to Schwarenbach, where we continue to the sparkling Dauben Lake.
Your day is free to enjoy at leisure, perhaps by taking a final walk, or simply enjoying Kandersteg's majestic surroundings. You could venture further afield, travelling by train to visit the beautiful city of Montreux on Lake Geneva, or the charming mountain resort of Zermatt. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner.
Montreux is one of Switzerland's finest cities, with several notable attractions. Chillon Castle is a particular highlight. Standing tall over Lake Geneva, looking both imperious and impregnable, this is truly a fairytale castle, cast against a brisk Swiss sky. Inside is a marvellously well-preserved medieval castle, with rooms recreated to look exactly how they would have hundreds of years ago.
The town itself has been home to various famous figures including British comic actor and director Charlie Chaplain as well as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, a statue of whom stands proudly on the waterfront. Montreux's other enormous contribution to the world of music is the Montreux Jazz Festival, a musical extravaganza which celebrates acts and artists from both Jazz and other music genres.
We leave Kandersteg this morning, travelling by train via Bern to Lausanne. Here we board the high-speed TGV service directly to Paris. After crossing the city by coach, we connect with the Eurostar service to London.
Our guided walks are tailored to suit the general ability of the group, and our guides offer 3 choices to suit. For each guided walking day the group is split into three smaller ability groups for easy, medium and more difficult walks. Many of the guided walks offered are accessed by local bus, tram or cable car and these are also included in the price of your tour.
Guided walks described are subject to local weather conditions, and may be substituted with a suitable alternative in inclement conditions.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enjoy the stunning Swiss Alps by rail