Hiking the Alps; Bernese Oberland
DAY 1 ~ Fly to Zurich
Leave your hometown and fly to Zurich, Switzerland, arriving on Day 2.

DAY 2 ~ Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland
Your trip leader will meet you at the airport train station at 11:00 a.m. Proceed to Meiringen by train. Evening trip orientation with the trip leader.
D…Alpine Sherpa Hotel

Note - Many international flights arrive after our recommended meeting time on Day 2. Depending on your arrangements, we suggest you arrive one day early. In addition, many international flights departing Europe require an early morning check-in. You may need to plan a layover day prior to returning home.

DAY 3 ~ Meiringen-Grindelwald
We take a bus to Schwarzwaldalp and start our warm-up hike to Grindelwald by heading up to the Grosse Scheidegg Pass (6,533'). This is a gentle hike through forests of fir and rolling pastures, with views of the Wetterhorn above us. From the pass we have our first breathtaking views of the notorious Eiger (13,042'), whose formidable 5,000-foot north face has challenged and tragically defeated many climbers over the years. Descend to the famous resort village of Grindelwald. Grindelwald - "village of the glaciers" - is set at 3,460 feet in the Bernese Oberland and surrounded by an amphitheater of impressive peaks, including the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The hiking throughout the day is easy to moderate and on very well maintained trails and/or paved paths. Elevation gain is approximately 1,700 feet and the descent is about 3,100 feet. Hiking time is about five hours (6 1/2 miles.)
B,D…Kreuz & Post Hotel

DAY 4 ~ Grindelwald-Murren
Take the train to Grindelwald Grund and up to Alpiglen, then start hiking directly below the imposing north face of the Eiger and the summits of the Monch and Jungfrau. Hike up to Kleine Scheidegg (6,863') for more outstanding glacier views. We gradually descend along a beautiful forest trail and gravel paths to the ski resort of Wengen and take a train down to Lauterbrunnen. Here we take the steep funicular up to Grutschalp, then continue hiking on a level path to Murren (5,454'). Weather permitting, we have impressive views of the north faces of the Gletscherhorn, Abeni Flue, Mittaghorn, Grosshorn, Breithorn, and Gspaltenhorn. Hiking time is about five hours (9 miles), with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet and loss of 2,600 feet.
B,D…Hotel Jungfrau

DAY 5 ~ Murren-Bundalp
Hike out of Murren on a comfortable path to Spilbodenalp (6,790'). After a series of steep switchbacks, we hike along a nice alpine trail to the Rotstock Hut, where we can enjoy a hot drink or some soup before we set out for our climb up steep scree to Sefinenfurgge (8,698'). From the pass we can enjoy the incredible view of the surrounding mountains and the last glimpse of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. We then start our long descent into the Kiental Valley. Overnight in Bundalp (5,580') at a rustic mountain inn with shared bathroom facilities. Hiking time is about eight hours or longer (6 1/2 miles) and the day is strenuous. Elevation gain is 3,250 feet, with a descent of 4,000 feet.
B,D…Berghotel Bundalp

DAY 6 ~ Bundalp-Kandersteg
We start our three-hour ascent over very steep moraine and scree to Hohturli (9,295'), the highest pass of the trip. Once at the top we'll have the glaciers and the high snowy peaks at our fingertips, and our lunch break at the mountain hut will allow enough time for contemplation. Skirting glaciers, we descend to Oeschinensee Lake (5,300') in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, then take a chairlift down to Kandersteg (3,900'). Overnight at hotel. Hiking time is about eight hours (5 1/2 miles), with an elevation gain of 4,600 feet and descent of about 4,000 feet. Today's hike is quite strenuous with challenging trail conditions.
B,D…Hotel Schweizerhof

DAY 7 ~ Kandersteg-Engstligenalp
We take a gondola to Sunnbuel (6,360') and hike along a comfortable path to Schwarenbach, an old customs house for travelers heading to the Canton of Valais over the Gemmipass. The elegant summits of the Altels and Balmhorn keep guard as we make our way up to the Rote Chumme (8,658'), where we enjoy extraordinary views reaching as far as the Valais Alps. We then continue our hike along the Talligletscher and up to the Chindbettipass (8,630'), then make a long descent into Engstligenalp (6,370'), an old glacial amphitheater that is now a summer pasture. Hiking time is about eight hours (about 7 miles), with an elevation gain of 2,850 feet and descent of about 2,630 feet. (You will not have access to your luggage tonight, so you'll need to carry some overnight items in your daypack.)
B,D…Berghaus Bärtschi

DAY 8 ~ Engstligenalp-Lenk
Today, we have a few options to reach Hahnenmoospass (6,200'), depending on the weather and the physical condition of the group members. (Your guide will select the best option for the group.) Once at Hahnenmoospass (6,200'), we are greeted by views of the peaceful Simmental Valley below and the summits of the Wildhorn (9,729') and Wildstrubel. After a typical Swiss lunch (cheese spaetzle or bratwurst) at a restaurant on the pass, we continue hiking down to Buelberg and from there into Lenk by bus (3,380'). Lenk is a picturesque village at the head of the valley. Overnight at hotel. Hiking time is three to six hours, depending on the selected trails, and the distance is 6 miles.
B,D…Hotel Kreuz

DAY 9 ~ Lenk-Zurich
Take the train down the Simmental Valley to Zweisimmen, where you connect with the train to Bern. Continue to Zurich (earliest possible arrival time is at 9:16 a.m.) and connect with homeward-bound flights. If you have time, we encourage you to spend a few extra days in Switzerland.
B…(Note-Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to leave before breakfast is available.)

It is possible for us to arrange a substitute hotel near the Zurich airport for those individuals having to depart early on
Day 9. You would need to take the evening train to Zurich on Day 8. We must have your departure information early in order for all the arrangements to be made.

What's Included

What's Included

  • expert leadership

  • accommodations

  • meals as noted (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

  • airport transfers

  • local transfers

  • sightseeing as noted in the itinerary

  • transportation within Switzerland as per the itinerary

  • baggage transport (one bag per person)

  • basic medical and evacuation insurance
  • What's Not
    International airfare; meals not noted on itinerary; insurance other than basic medical and evacuation insurance noted above (we strongly recommend you purchase the supplementary trip insurance offered by Mountain Travel Sobek, which includes trip cancellation insurance); optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; cost of medical immunizations; items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.). If you plan on meeting the group at the first hotel in Meiringen, you need to purchase a roundtrip ticket Zurich Airport-Meiringen (via Lucerne)…Lenk-Zurich Airport (via Bern). Your guide will reimburse you for the cost of the ticket. Any other unused transportation to/from tour and during the tour will not be reimbursed.

    Air Travel Options
    Air carriers impose strict ceilings on the special fares we are permitted to offer our travelers. With so many choices of air carriers and special promotional fares through newspapers, travel agents, and the Internet, not to mention "frequent flyer" miles, we suggest you call your local travel agent or the airline directly. We'll be happy to provide you with a list of toll-free numbers for some of the major air carriers after you sign up.

    Note - Please check with us before purchasing your air tickets. We need to ensure we have enough participants to operate the trip.

    What to Expect

    Expert Leadership
    Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you'd never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You'll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

    Although trip leader assignments are subject to change, the following people regularly lead this trip:

    Anna Bezzola was born and raised in northern Italy, grew up in Switzerland, and has been hiking and climbing in the Swiss Alps since childhood. In addition to being multilingual, she is extremely knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, history, and customs of the area. Anna has a deep sense for nature and her passion for the mountains is truly contagious. She leads most departures of our Ticino, Bernese Oberland, and Italy's Lake Region treks.

    Bruno Hahn, a longtime member of the Swiss Alpine Club, is an experienced mountain hiker and climber, and once guided mountaineering courses for the Swiss military. Bruno has had a long career as a professional Swissair airline pilot (he now flies part-time), and in the little spare time he has, enjoys scenic mountain flying in his single engine airplane. Bruno has a heartwarming smile and is eager to show you his country.

    Pius Hungerbühler, a Swiss living near Zurich, has been a member of the Swiss Alpine Club since he was a teenager. For many years he was a mountain instructor and tour leader. Pius retired after a long career as a commercial airline flight engineer, and enjoys spending time with his family, working in his garden, and hiking in the mountains with new friends on Mountain Travel Sobek trips.

    Pascalina Wullschleger was born in 1967 near Basel, Switzerland, and in her youth worked as an assistant guide for children on vacation. In 1988, she began her studies in psychology and education at the University of Basel. Pascalina enjoys leading our tours and has done so for the past several years. She is a real pleasure to know and brings her love for her country to our tours, making them special experiences for our guests.

    Leader assignments will be confirmed in the Final Bulletin sent to you three weeks prior to departure.

    Activity Level
    Mountain Travel Sobek trips are designed for flexible, energetic people who like to be active and intellectually involved, and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. On a scale from 1 to 5, we rate this trip as a 4. To enjoy this trip you should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. This is a strenuous hike suitable for those who enjoy hiking seven to nine hours a day, mostly on steep terrain.

    This level of fitness requires regular aerobic exercise for at least one hour 4-5 times a week. This may include aerobic fitness classes, power walking, jogging, cycling on hills, swimming, and cross-country skiing. Additionally, you must be able to sustain exercise for prolonged periods.

    We recommend that you start a moderate training program several months before departure, then slowly build up to a more strenuous level. Since training is highly sport-specific, include some hiking or running in your program. By the time you leave for Europe you should be comfortable hiking six to seven hours with a daypack weighing at least 10 lbs. Consult your physician if you have questions concerning your underlying health. We can help answer questions for you or your physician concerning required levels of fitness and health conditions at altitude. If you have concerns about your capacity to do this trip, we can suggest appropriate alternatives.

    You'll carry a daypack with water, extra food, and rain gear. Extra clothing is shipped ahead by Swissrail or postal bus, and delivered to the hotel by the end of the day. Baggage is not available on Day 7.

    Then Leave the Rest to Us
    Before you go, we provide you with extensive pre-departure information, including clothing recommendations, suggested reading lists, and other details.

    Why Mountain Travel Sobek is Your First Choice for Adventure
    Mountain Travel Sobek is the pioneer in active adventure travel. No other adventure travel company can lay claim to that title. We were the first to take Americans trekking in Nepal, raft the wild rivers of Africa, and open up many previously inaccessible corners of the world to curious travelers. We set the standard for adventure travel and have a strong reputation for excellence that we do everything we can to maintain. Since we are the leading adventure company, we have a lot to live up to, so we make sure we provide safe, quality trips and the best customer service to our passengers.

    With Mountain Travel Sobek, you'll see Switzerland as only an insider can, with friendly, hospitable guides who know the region intimately. They'll accompany you throughout the day, lending support and insights about where you are and what you see. Their close familiarity with the local geography, history, culture and traditions (plus their entertaining stories and great jokes) are the key to a superb, informative experience-one you just can't get on your own.

    Note on Itinerary
    Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed, it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. Please read the Limitations of Liability and Booking Conditions in the four-page Participant Information Form.

    Conditions of Participation
    Your participation on a Mountain Travel Sobek trip is subject to the conditions stated in the four-page Participant Information Form, which includes the Agreement and Release from Liability and the Booking Conditions. We urge you to read this information carefully, and to call us if you have any questions.

    Note on Services
    We often use local suppliers who provide services that may include transportation, equipment, logistic support, and other services (hotels, restaurants, etc.). We do not own or operate these independent suppliers. We work with service providers who share our commitment to safety and quality, and work closely with them to develop itineraries unique to Mountain Travel Sobek.

    ©2002, Mountain Travel Sobek

    CST 2014882-10
    Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

    For more information and reservations, please contact:
    Mountain Travel Sobek
    1266 66th Street, Suite 4
    Emeryville, CA 94608
    1-510-594-6000 or
    Toll Free 1-888-831-7526 (USA & Canada)
    Additional International Toll Free Numbers
    Fax: 1-510-594-6001
    Email: info@mtsobek.com

    Close This window