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Hiking in the Bernese Oberland and More
Betty Jo Currie of Currie & Co. Travels Unlimited was inspired by an unforgettable trip she took to Switzerland with her daughters to create an itinerary that includes many of her favorite highlights in the country. It includes plenty of opportunities to explore the country's most stunning regions, like the Bernese Oberland, on foot, but also sunset cruises on lake steamers, cable car rides, and a journey aboard one of the world's most famous trains.
  • Cost
    $7,444 for two people; $14,424 for four
    Package Pricing Includes:
    • Accommodations as described including breakfast, service charge & taxes
    • Swiss half fare card
    • Private assistant at Zurich Airport
    • First-class Glacier Express, Zermatt to St. Moritz; 3-course lunch on Glacier Express, beverages not included. 
    • First-class sunset dinner cruise; 3-course dinner on sunset cruise, beverages not included
    • Tickets for full golden round-trip to Mount Pilatus
    • Additional train tickets and transfers as described
    • Pricing on all AFAR Journeys depends on final itinerary details and time of travel, and are subject to availability.
  • Itinerary
    10 days
  • Original swiss currie one.jpg?1430783153?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 1
    Zurich to Kandersteg
    You'll be met at the Zurich airport by a private assistant and then travel first-class by train to Kandersteg. This peaceful holiday resort of 1,000 inhabitants has maintained its village character with wooden chalets. It's a hiker's paradise with an extensive network of trails.
  • Original swiss currie two.jpg?1430783680?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Andreas Gerth
    Day 2
    Lake Oeschinen
    At the foot of the Blüemlisalp, Lake Oeschinen is 5,177 feet above sea level and one of the larger Alpine lakes. You can take a gondola from Kandersteg to near the lake, and then walk for a half hour across pastures and through pine forest to the shore. The mountain flora blooms with orchids, gentian, and edelweiss in the summer while herds of sheep and cows graze nearby.
  • Original swiss currie three.jpg?1430785948?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Walter Storto
    Day 3
    If you are up for a four- to five-hour hike, you'll set off this morning from Kandersteg to Leukerbad on an ancient mule track. It's an idyllic walk passing by the Daubensee. If the weather doesn't cooperate, you can take the train instead for the spa town of Leukerbad, where you can soak away any pains the thermal baths at your hotel for the night, Hotel Les Sources des Alpes. (If you choose to hike, your luggage will be delivered to your hotel.)
  • Original swiss currie four.jpg?1430787056?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 4
    You'll travel this morning by first-class train from Leukerbad to Zermatt, the car-free resort at the base of the Matterhorn. There are some 250 miles of hiking paths waiting to be explored, or if you are feeling very ambitious, you can climb one of the 36 four-thousand-meter peaks in the Valais Alps. If that sounds like too much work, opt instead to enjoy Zermatt's unique combination of mountain village life with a touch of chic and take advantage of all the excellent cuisine options.
  • Original swiss currie five.jpg?1430787801?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Robert Boesch
    Day 5
    More Lakeside Views
    Today you'll take a train from Zermatt to Sunegga, for the captivating Five Lakes Walk. As its name implies, you'll pass by five mountain lakes on your way. The Matterhorn and many colorful alpine flowers are reflected in their waters, like in the Stellisee seen here. Leisee and Grünsee are great spots for a refreshing dip on a warm day. At the end of your 4- to 5-hour hike you'll return to Zermatt.
  • Original swiss currie six.jpg?1430789495?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 6
    All Aboard
    Today you'll board the Glacier Express for St. Moritz, in first class, of course. You'll feel like you are soaring through the dramatic scenery between the Matterhorn and the Bernina Mountains. Your train ride will last 8 hours to cover a distance of 169 miles—it's an express in name only. You'll pass over almost 300 bridges and through 91 tunnels, while also enjoying a three-course lunch. When you arrive in St. Moritz, a car from your hotel for the next two nights will be waiting.
  • Original swiss currie seven.jpg?1430790256?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 7
    Heidi and Heights
    St. Moritz is set amid the lake landscape of the Engadine. It has been described as having a "champagne climate"—the sun shines 322 days a year, practically guaranteeing ideal weather for any vacation. While known as a playground of the rich, it's also famous as the home of Heidi, the protagonist of the world's most famous children's books. Your hotel will provide you with cable car tickets if you want to visit the hut used in the film or explore any of the other nearby trails.
  • Original swiss currie eight.jpg?1430848077?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christof Sonderegger
    Day 8
    Today you'll travel by first-class train to the historic city of Lucerne right on the lake of the same name, surrounded by peaks like the impressive Mount Pilatus, which you can see from the Old Town. Lucerne has been called "Switzerland in Switzerland" since everything that make the country so appealing can be found here: lake, mountains, and city life. End the day with views of the sun setting over Mount Pilatus on a paddle steamer cruise.
  • Original swiss currie nine.jpg?1430848695?ixlib=rails 0.3
    Photo By swiss-image.ch / Christian Perret
    Day 9
    Ascend to the Summit
    After a leisurely cruise on crystal-clear Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad, you'll ascend by the steepest rack railway in the world to the summit of Mt. Pilatus, at 7,000 feet. You'll be able to admire the breathtaking panorama over the Swiss Alps and Lucerne. You'll then descend by an aerial cable car to Fraekmuentegg, and switch to a smaller cable car and soar over the pine forests and mountain meadows to the village of Kriens.