Walking holiday in Switzerland

“Fill up on classic Swiss scenery and enjoy moderate guided walks with time to admire the views on this week-long, centre-based walking holiday.”

Highlights

Small group guided walking | Kandersteg | Kandertal Valley to the Blausee – Blue Lake | Walk in the Valais Alps and to Daubensee | Oeschinensee | Free day | Gasterntal 'hidden valley' and waterfalls | Traditional, family run hotel

Description of Walking holiday in Switzerland

This walking holiday in Switzerland is a week long, small group adventure, exploring a particularly beautiful and iconic corner of the Alps. You’ll be based in the pretty village of Kandersteg, which sits right at the centre of the Bernese Oberland, home to some of the Alps’ highest and most dramatic peaks and to quintessential Alpine scenery.

Walks of four to six hours each day reveal classic Swiss landscapes – pretty green meadows, swathes of wildflowers (best in spring and summer) and a soaring backdrop of peaks and glaciers. Enjoy views of some of the Alps’ most celebrated mountains, including the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau and Matterhorn, with highlights of the walks including lofty cliffs, a secret valley, waterfalls and a deep glacial-carved gorge.

Walks are graded moderate and are not technically difficult. Paths are well maintained though sometimes narrow and you’ll take on the odd steep climb. A decent level of fitness is necessary, but the pace is relaxed and there are always plenty of stops for lunch and admiring the impressive views. There is also a free day without scheduled walks included, so you can explore under your own steam.

This is a centre based trip, with the traditional and cosy Hotel Alfa Soleil, owned and run by the Seiler family, your home for the week. The hotel has excellent facilities, including a pool and indoor gym. This is a small group break, with a maximum of 15 people.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Date
Price
Basis
29 Jun 2019
£1479
including UK flights
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06 Jul 2019
£1529
including UK flights
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07 Sep 2019
£1649
including UK flights
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21 Sep 2019
£1649
including UK flights
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Walking holiday in Switzerland

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we stay in Hotel Alfa Soleil, a traditional, cosy and family-run hotel that employs local staff and use local produce wherever possible. Additionally, anyone staying overnight in Switzerland is required to pay a local tourist tax which will be used to pay for tourist infrastructure. All of this thereby ensures that our money spent directly benefits the local community. Switzerland holds a mixture of language and tradition resulting in many regional dishes. Meals served are greatly influenced by Austrian and German traditions, where some gastronomic local delights include geschnetzeltes Kalbsfleisch (veal in a rich cream sauce), Kandersteger Bratwurst au Mad re-Jus (roast sausage with a Madeira sauce), Lammbraten gefüllt mit Kraütern (herb roasted lamb) and smoked pork with sauerkraut.

Activity:
As a walking and trekking trip, there is little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents. Though, erosion and adjacent to popular paths is a growing issue in certain places, our local guides will ensure that clients stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. On this trip, we only use local transport, specifically local buses and national rails. In addition, a walking trip like this allows easy access to the local community where clients can easily interact with the locals , visit local cafes and restaurants to foster cultural exchange.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

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