Switzerland: Cable Car Vistas, Fondue, & Village Hikes

Trip Overview

In May 2018, we lace up our boots for the start of our European hiking trip in Switzerland, home of glistening towers of ice and rock, the iconic Eiger and Matterhorn, rising into the clear sky like cathedral spires. With easy hikes, cable car rides up mountain peaks, Swiss cuisine, music, traditions and stays in charming Swiss villages, Switzerland will enchant and mesmerize you. Between Swiss Alp summits lie wide swaths of gleaming-green glens and meadows, dotted with crystalline lakes, and sprinkled with Edelweiss just as pictured in the timeless film, The Sound of Music. Welcome to Switzerland!

Pack your camera and join us on an easy hiking trip in Switzerland just for women and perfect for even beginner hikers. Get prepared to delight in all things Swiss: cable car rides, train rides, watches, and cuckoo clocks; cheese and chocolate; fondue and gingerbread; dairy cows and lederhosen- all set before the postcard-perfect backdrop that is Switzerland. After your first visit to this small but adventure-packed country, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to go!

While other parts of the world might be equally scenic, what sets Switzerland apart, far above all others, is the Swiss focus on efficiency and convenience, a deliberate outcome of Swiss ingenuity and engineering. Whether by chairlift, cable car, toboggan, train, tram, or sleigh, visitors to Switzerland enjoy more jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring panoramic mountain vistas, from more angles, with more convenience than anywhere else on Earth. Indeed, getting to the next vantage point in Switzerland is half the fun!

Switzerland is also the oldest living democracy in the world. It is a continental state situated in the heart of Western Europe covering 16,000 square miles and with altitudes ranging from 633 feet to 15,200 feet. The panoramic scenery ranges from the great Swiss Alps to the lower foothills to gentle rolling farmland. Switzerland is unmatched in landscape for walking and trekking. With an impressive transportation network, every district and village is easily accessible to hikers - from beginners to experts.

As you venture to a new village each day, explore the surrounding mountains and trails while you hike back to your first home base in Appenzell and then, your second one, in Engelberg.

You begin your journey in Appenzell, one of the most legendary towns in Switzerland. The center of town is well preserved, and has finely painted wooden houses and some stone buildings dating from the 16th century including the town hall, which is now a local museum. We take the train from Appenzell to Gontenbad and walk on a high plateau on trails through meadows and moor to Jakobsbad (2,850 feet). Enjoy a fun toboggan run at the bottom station, and then continue by cable car up to Kronberg Mountain (5,450 feet).

Enjoy Swiss music with "Talerschwingen", a relatively new custom which began in the 20th century in which a Swiss coin is rotated inside an earthenware bowl mimicking the sound of cow bells. Learn about yodeling, the way locals used to communicate from "Alp to Alp" and imbued with themes highlighting the Swiss love of nature.

Spend a day getting to know St. Gallen. This compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland has a charming, traffic-free old town. Colorfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. You explore Ebenalp, a hiking paradise in the heart of the Alpstein with the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Alpstein. Here you will learn how to make the traditional “Appenzeller Biber,” a traditional gingerbread with honey and nuts.

Your home base for the next three nights is Engelberg. Travel through Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, which has a view of an impressive mountainous panorama. Lucerne ranks amongst the world’s prettiest cities and you will get to take a guided walk through the “City of Lights”.

Spend time at Engelberg’s Benedictine monastery, take a walk along the beautiful Waterfall Valley and enjoy tea with a local woman in Engelberg’s oldest farmhouse.

Ride the cable car to Ristis-Brunni at 5,610 feet. The Brunni is on the sunny side of Engelberg and is an ideal destination for outdoor activities as well as just relaxing amidst spectacular mountain scenery. Walk from Ristis to the Brunni and experience the special “Kneipp Cure” by treading water, which helps your circulation.

On your last day, visit the Titlis Glacier, the jewel in Central Switzerland’s crown and the only publicly accessible glacier in the area. You will feel on top of the world as you take in the spectacular panoramic views of snow-covered mountains and unspoiled Alpine landscapes!

Don't miss this May 2018 adventure-rich hiking tour of Switzerland featuring her most scenic and beautiful views from every angle.

 

 

 

 

 

Main Attractions

  • Learn how to prepare cheese fondue and have tea with a local woman in Engelberg
  • Enjoy traditional Swiss music and dance in Appenzell
  • Hike in the Swiss Alps, seeing beautiful spring meadows and majestic mountain panoramas
  • Visit a local textile museum
  • Explore the Titlis Glacier and a glacier cave

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Cable Car Ride
  • Cooking Class
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Cultural Performances
  • Handicrafts
  • Hiking
  • Local Delicacies
  • Natural History
  • Spa Element
  • Walking
  • Women-To-Women

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Switzerland: Cable Car Vistas, Fondue, & Village Hikes

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, May 20 - Arrive in Appenzell
Switzerland is the oldest living democracy in the world. It was formed in 1291 by the “Everlasting League” of the three founder Cantons: Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. Switzerland is a continental state situated in the heart of Western Europe covering 16,000 square miles and with altitudes ranging from 633 feet to 15,200 feet. The panoramic scenery ranges from the great Alps to the lower foothills to gentle rolling farmland. Switzerland is an unmatched place to hike and walk. With an impressive transportation network, every district and village is easily accessible to walkers.

You will be picked up at Zurich International Airport and transferred to your hotel.

Enjoy an introductory walk through Appenzell with your guide.

Enjoy a welcome dinner and get to know your AdventureWomen group!
Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Adler
www.adlerhotel.ch

Set right next to the automobile-free center of Appenzell in a traditional building with quiet, relaxing rooms. Enjoy local specialities in the cafe or on the sunny terrace enjoying views of the local mountains.

Day 2

Monday, May 21 - Appenzell
Appenzell is one of the most legendary towns in Switzerland. The center of town is well preserved, and has finely painted wooden houses and some stone buildings dating from the 16th century including the town hall, which is now a local museum. The “Landesgemeindeplatz” is the square where annual outdoor voting takes place.

Take the train from Appenzell to Gontenbad this morning. Walk on a high plateau on trails through meadows and moor to Jakobsbad (2,850 feet).

Enjoy a fun toboggan run at the bottom station, and then continue by cable car up to Kronberg Mountain (5,450 feet). You will have magnificent views of the first range of the Alps with its high peak - Mount Saentis (8,300 feet).

Enjoy lunch on your own on Mount Kronberg.

Choose to take the cable car and train back to Appenzell, or, if you’d like, get off the train in Gontenbad and walk back to Appenzell.

Visit a local museum - learn why women got the right to vote in Appenzell as late as 1991!

Enjoy dinner and Swiss music with Talerschwingen. Yodeling has its origins in the call from mountain to mountain - the way locals used to communicate from Alp to Alp. The central theme of this music is the love of nature. The Talerschwingen is a game - the player holds a bowl in the palm of their hand, and a coin is thrown in. The player has to run the coin along the edge of the bowl in spirals without the money flying out of the bowl. Try your hand!
Breakfast, Dinner

Walking Time: 3.5 - 4 hours

Overnight: Hotel Adler

Day 3

Tuesday, May 22 - Appenzell
St. Gallen, the compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland, has a charming, traffic-free old town. Colorfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. The Abbey precinct with the cathedral and Abbey Library has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage listing.

After breakfast in Appenzell, take the train to St. Gallen. Enjoy the views along the way!

Explore the old town of St. Gallen with a guide this morning. Visit the Cathedral, built in the late Baroque period, and the Abbey Library, which contains manuscripts dating back to the 8th century.

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.

This internationally renowned museum houses fabrics from Egyptian grave sites, historical embroideries since the 14th century, hand-made lace from major European centers of excellence, ethnographic textiles, historical fabrics and costumes, handmade utensils, and objects of contemporary textile art.

Take the train back to Appenzell and enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Breakfast, Dinner

Walking Time: 2 - 2.5 hours

Overnight: Hotel Adler

Day 4

Wednesday, May 23 - Appenzell
Ebenalp is a hiking paradise in the heart of the Alpstein with the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Alpstein.

Take the train from Appenzell to Wasserauen. From there, take a cable car to Ebenalp (5,000 feet).

Descend from Ebenalp through the prehistoric cave of Wildkirchli. Stop at the Aescher, an amazing guesthouse built directly into the side of the mountain, to enjoy lunch during your walk.

Take the cable car back to Wasserauen, and then walk back to Appenzell.

Learn how to make the traditional “Appenzeller Biber,” a traditional gingerbread with honey and nuts.

Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Walking Time: 4 - 4.5 hours

Overnight: Hotel Adler

Day 5

Thursday, May 24 - Appenzell to Engelberg
Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland, has a view of an impressive mountainous panorama. Lucerne ranks amongst the world’s prettiest cities. Contributing to Lucerne’s cityscape alongside the world-famous Chapel Bridge and Water Tower are the Musegg Wall, the Jesuit Church, the Mill Bridge, the Lion Monument, the KKL culture and convention centre, and a host of other local sites.

Say farewell to Appenzell this morning and drive to Lucerne.

Enjoy a guided walk through Lucerne, the “City of Lights.” Enjoy lunch on your own at a local restaurant.

Arrive in Engelberg this afternoon. After checking in to your hotel, take a brief introductory walk through the village.

This evening, learn how to prepare cheese fondue. Enjoy this scrumptious dinner in Engelberg.
Breakfast, Dinner

Walking Time: 2 - 2.5 hours

Overnight: Hotel Waldegg
http://www.waldegg-engelberg.ch/en/

This south-facing Engelberg hotel offers panoramic views of the mountains as well as a pool and spa. The spa area includes aromatic baths and a sauna, and you can arrange for massage and other spa treatments. This is a perfect place to relax after spending a day exploring the surrounding mountains.

 

 

Day 6

Friday, May 25 - Engelberg
Engelberg’s Benedictine monastery was built in 1120 as the center of Engelberg. About 30 monks still live and work in Engelberg Abbey today.

Spend some time at the Engelberg Abbey this morning. This village is centered around the monastery, and the tour will help you understand the history of the area.

Walk along the beautiful Waterfall Valley this morning. This is one of the most beautiful areas to walk in Switzerland. Enjoy lunch on your own en route.

Enjoy tea with a local woman in Engelberg’s oldest farmhouse. Learn about what life is like in Engelberg and get to know your hostess.

Enjoy dinner with your group this evening in Engelberg.
Breakfast, Dinner

Walking Time: 4 - 4.5 hours

Overnight: Hotel Waldegg

Day 7

Saturday, May 26 - Engelberg
The Brunni is on the sunny side of Engelberg and is an ideal destination for outdoor activities as well as just relaxing amidst spectacular mountain scenery.

Ride the cable car to Ristis-Brunni (5,610 feet) this morning.

Walk from Ristis to the Brunni. Arrive at a hut, experience the special “Kneipp Cure” by treading water. It helps your ciruclation. Enjoy lunch at the hut.

Ride the chairlift and cable car back to Engelberg. Enjoy dinner on your own in the village.
Breakfast, Lunch

Walking Time: 3.5 - 4 hours

Overnight: Hotel Waldegg

Day 8

Sunday, May 27 - Engelberg
The Titlis Glacier is the jewel in Central Switzerland’s crown and the only publicly accessible glacier in the area. You will feel on top of the world as you take in the spectacular panoramic views of snow- covered mountains and unspoiled Alpine landscapes.

Take three different cable cars this morning, traveling part of the way on the “Rotair,” Europe’s only revolving cable car, up to Mount Titlis (10,000 feet). It is the highest point in central Switzerland, offering breathtaking views of the Alps. Visit the Ice Cave in the glacier.

Walk around the Lake of Truebsee (5,890 feet) this morning.

Join a local farmer for a cheese and wine lunch at a cheese dairy and alpine hut. Sample the delicious local fare.

Ride scooters back down the mountain to Engelberg.

Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening and celebrate the end of an exceptional AdventureWomen trip!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Walking Time: 1.5 - 2 hours

Overnight: Hotel Waldegg

Day 9

Monday, May 28 - Engelberg and Depart
Enjoy one last breakfast before heading home.
Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the Zurich airport for your flights home.
Breakfast

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Switzerland: Cable Car Vistas, Fondue, & Village Hikes

Traveling to Switzerland


Traveling to Switzerland

Arrive: Arrive at Zurich International Airport (ZRH) on May 20, 2018 before noon.

Depart: Depart Zurich International Airport (ZRH) on May 28, 2018 any time. There will be one group transfer provided after breakfast to the Zurich Airport. If you need a private transfer, this may be at additional cost.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

 If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Health Considerations

We rate this trip as moderate to high energy. You should be able to hike for four hours on varied, steep terrain. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you to ensure that you are prepared for the trip. Visit https://fitfortrips.com/ partners/adventure-women/ for more information.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Money

Swiss currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF). As of May, 2017, US$1 = CHF 1.01. Many prices are also indicated in Euros; some merchants may accept Euros but are not required to do so. You should exchange money at an authorized bank or hotel. Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express. ATMs will be accessible throughout the trip.

Suggested Gratuities: Gratuities are included in your trip.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking "Sign Up for this Trip" on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before February 20, 2018.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Switzerland: Cable Car Vistas, Fondue, & Village Hikes

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guide throughout the trip
  • A beverage (glass of wine/beer or soft drink) during dinners
  • Gratuities
  • One AdventureWomen Associate

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Switzerland
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages not included above
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Switzerland: Cable Car Vistas, Fondue, & Village Hikes

What to Bring

The climate in Switzerland is moderate - there is not excessive heat, cold, or humidity. Temperatures could rise into the low 80s, but it is cooler in the mountains. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains and layers will be important.

You must have well-broken in, ankle high hiking boots for this trip. Most activities involve walking on uneven terrain. You must also protect your legs against occasional overgrown trails. Durable, comfortable clothing is essential on this adventure. You will be spending the majority of your time in Switzerland outdoors. It is best to pack synthetic or merino clothing that can be layered. Informality and comfort are the rule.

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag or small suitcase
  • Daypack
  • Rain cover for daypack
  • 1 pair telescopic hiking poles
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are broken in!)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • 4-5 pairs hiking socks
  • 2-3 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended) -
  • 2-3 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 sets of nicer clothes for dinner
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Gore-Tex jacket
  • Gore-Tex pants
  • Hat for sun protection
  • 5-7 pairs underwear

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Prescription medicine you usually take (in original containers)
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.