- For active travellers with a love of exploring and having fun, but prefer creature comforts.
- Stunning views on hikes without big ascents and descents on rocky paths.
- The freedom and flexibility to join a hike if you want to, or explore a local wine bar or enjoy a spa if you choose.
- Superior Lodgings with spa facilities on site
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 immense glaciers. Where chalets welcome you with a cold beer or a rich hot chocolate. Arrive in Zermatt and be stunned by the speed with which you become hopelessly obsessed with Switzerland’s Matterhorn – a hypnotic pyramid of a mountain. The shark’s-tooth Matterhorn (4478 m) is the most famous of Switzerland’s mountains; for most people, the Matterhorn stands for Switzerland like the Eiffel Tower stands for France. One reason it’s so famous is that it stands alone, its impossibly pointy shape sticking up from an otherwise uncrowded horizon above Zermatt; another is that the quintessential Swiss chocolate, Toblerone, was modelled on it.
We then journey to the spectacular Jungfrau Region, named after a grand triple-peaked ridge – the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau – which crests 4000m. Based in Interlaken which straddles the glittering Lakes Thun and Brienz, enjoy wonderful hiking and commuting the Swiss way: by chairlift!
This new RAW Travel trip offers what we think is the right mix of being active, discovering new cultures and natural wonders, and having time to relax in comfort. This is a great trip 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 can present alternatives each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Extend Your Holiday – City Breaks
Double your holiday experience by including a stopover on your journey! A city break is a great way to explore another place, indulge in some extra shopping, dining or sightseeing and is a great way to break up a long flight. Our fabulous array of RAW Travel city breaks can be tailor made to your requirements and usually include an arrival transfer, 2 nights accommodation and a city sightseeing tour.
Day 1: Arrive in Zermatt
Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. The town’s touristic development is closely linked to what is most probably the world’s most famous mountain. Zermatt is a car-free zone, has preserved its original character and offers almost unlimited possibilities as far as excursions are concerned. Today is arrival day, so there are no planned activities and you may arrive at any time throughout the day (please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2-3pm). Our hotel is located close to the train station and the centre of town. Meet your guide and fellow travelling companions at a short meeting at 5pm this evening followed by our first opportunity to try some alpine specialties in a typical restaurant.
Day 2: Zermatt – The 5-Lakes Walk (10km)
Today we will undertake our first hike – the 5-Seenweg (Five Lakes Walk) which is in a class of its own among hikes in the Zermatt mountains. The views of the mountain lakes are superb (with the Matterhorn reflected in three of them), and the trail is full of variety. Our path leads past the lakes of the Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee and Leisee. Each of these mountain lakes is very different in terms of shape, colour, character and size, and has its own special attraction. Return to Zermatt where this evening is at leisure.
Ascent 600m / Descent 600m (4 hours for full walk back to Zermatt)
Meals: B L
Day 3: Zermatt – The Schonbielhutte (22km round trip)
This hike offers a fantastic point-to-point hike with stunning views of the Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, the Ober Gabelhorn massif and the Zmutt Glacier. The day starts with a gondola ride to Schwarzsee, a popular overlook with amazing views of the Matterhorn and the high peaks surrounding the Zermatt valley. After lunch, the return to Zermatt is via the Schonbielhutte trail, which travels through pretty meadows, mixed larch and pine forest and alpine pastures along the north side of the valley to the small hamlet at Zmutt.
Ascent 572m / Descent 1526m (approx 6.5 hours walking)
Meals: B L
Day 4: Zermatt – The Gornergrat (10km)
Our day starts after breakfast with a ride from the centre of Zermatt to Riffelalp, where we set off on our stunning hike which ascends to the fabulous summit of Gornergrat. The panoramic view is among the finest in the world. The views take in the Monte Rosa massif with Switzerland’s highest peak (Dufourspitze, 4,634 m); the second-largest glacier in the Alps, the Gorner Glacier; and a total of 29 mountains above 4,000 m, including, of course, the Matterhorn in all its glory. After soaking in the views and enjoying a picnic lunch, after a scenic hike, we have a short descent and then we take the dramatic cog railway back to Zermatt – the perfect end to a fantastic day’s hiking.
Ascent 1100m / Descent 800m (1-2 hours walking)
Meals: B L
Day 5: Zermatt to Interlaken
Today we will take a train and leave the Matterhorn behind as we escape towards greener pastures, where waterfalls tumble, alpine lakes dazzle in outrageous shades of blue, and gondolas carry you around glaciated peaks. Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland lies between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and is presided over by the three mighty mountains, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Upon arrival in Interlaken, we will check into our hotel and then take a local train to Lauterbrunnen and the Trümmelbach Falls, which are the world’s only glacier waterfalls that are accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms. They alone carry the meltwater of the glaciers from the Jungfrau down to the valley – up to 20,000 litres of water per second. The Trümmelbach Falls are part of the Lauterbrunnen Valley 72 waterfalls, among them also the imposing Staubbach Falls. We return to Interlaken where this evening, you may dine at leisure.
Day 6: Interlaken – Free Day
Today is a free day for you to do as much or as little as you wish and your guide is available to help you design your day. You may choose to stroll around town, enjoy a coffee or simply enjoy a relaxing massage. For the more adventurous, we highly recommend an excursion to the Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe – for what is quite simply an unforgettable experience! Travel through the foothills of the Alps to Lauterbrunnen and onto Kleine Scheidegg where the journey on the iconic Jungfrau Railway begins. On the way, the train pauses at two observation stops that have been hewn out of solid alpine rock between the rail tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, each offering spectacular views down the valley. The final destination is the Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station, which is more than 3,400 metres above sea level. With free time at the summit station, you can explore the Ice Palace and its many ice sculptures. Later, descend via the charming mountain resort village of Grindelwald before returning to Interlaken. Another option is an excursion to the famous Schilthorn mountain, which has the world’s first revolving restaurant – Piz Gloria – and boasts the most amazing views of the Jungfrau region, including the famous UNESCO World Heritage trio of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. It is even famous for being host to one of the 007 James Bond films ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and there is an exhibition dedicated to the film with Bond World showing you extracts of the movie. The Schilthorn offers the most spectacular 360 degrees panorama in the Alps. This evening you’re on your own to sample the fare at a local restaurant.
Day 7: Interlaken – Schyige Platte – First (16km)
Our final hike is in a class of its own. With a combination of local train and cablecar, our trail starts at the Schynige Platte summit station, leads past the mountain huts at Oberberg on its way to the western slope of the Loucherhorn and passes the mountain’s summit to the south. The panoramic views you will see are unrivalled: the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz shimmer to the north, beyond them the pre-Alpine mountain chain with the Brienzer Rothorn, Hohgang and Schrattenfluh peaks. To the south there are views of eternally the ice-capped Alps in all their splendour, including the highest Bernese peak, the 4274-metre-high Finsteraarhorn. After a final picnic lunch, we return to Interlaken where there is time to freshen up before we savour a final dinner together.
Ascent 910m / Descent 725m (6.5 hours walking)
Meals: B L D
Day 8: Departure Interlaken
The tour concludes this morning after a leisurely breakfast.
Accommodation: The hotels used on this trip are comfortable 3-star family-run hotels located close to the centre of Zermatt and Interlaken. The hotels have private facilities and also spa/wellness facilities for some well-deserved pampering!
Transfers: Please note that Zermatt is a car-free zone and any transfers to/from each day’s hike are shared and will usually involve a cable car. Your guide will be able to give you more information regarding schedules and timetables.
Itinerary: RAW Travel understands that you have your own idea of the “perfect” trip—the right mix of being active, discovering new cultures and natural wonders, and having time to relax. This trip is designed to be flexible, giving you the freedom to experience the best of the region the way you want. Feel like you’re ready to go, go, go? We can show you the way! Want some downtime or prefer to head out on your own? No problem! Your guide will make sure to tell you the best days to take time for yourself (if you want it) without feeling like you’re missing out.
Terrain: 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, so you should be comfortable with the alpine elevation.
02 Sep 2017
09 Sep 2017
Guaranteed to Depart
01 Jul 2018
08 Jul 2018
22 Jul 2018
29 Jul 2018
09 Sep 2018
16 Sep 2018
- 4 nights in Zermatt, 3 nights in Interlaken with breakfast
- Small group max 12 people
- 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
- Local transportation as per the itinerary
- Guaranteed to depart with 4 people
- Travel insurance
- Single supplement
- Optional activities on Day 6
- All items of a personal nature
Map & Guide
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