The Best Alpine Adventures

Europe’s shining glory, the Alps offer a glittering range of activities. World-class resorts attract waves of skiers, epic journeys like the Haute Route lure hikers, and family-friendly attractions like amusement parks and zip-lines excite the kids.

First Flieger, Bergstation Firstbahn, 3818 Grindelwald, Switzerland
For those seeking the thrill of paragliding at a much lower altitude, the Grindelwald ZipRider (known locally as the First Fleiger) provides the desired adrenaline rush. At 847 yards long, the zip-line hurtles visitors down the mountainside and over ski runs at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. The attraction gets incredibly busy during the summer so arrive early to avoid long lines—dash, and don’t forget your camera. The views of Grindelwald village, surrounded by Alpine mountains and wandering cows, are unforgettable.
3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
While Switzerland draws seasoned skiers and professional riders with off-piste slopes and snow parks, the country also has plenty to offer beginners. In particular, Zermatt features an excellent array of ski schools, which help novices cut their teeth in a fun, easy way. Ski and Snowboard School boasts the largest staff with more than 250 experienced instructors, most of whom hail from Switzerland, while Stoked offers group and private lessons with instructors ranging in age from 18 to 45. Most schools boast outstanding websites, which you can use to compare prices, view testimonials, and book lessons.
Col du Pillon, Route du Pillon 253, 1865 Les Diablerets, Switzerland
The vast wilderness of Glacier 3000 continues to beguile visitors year after year. While you can ski here, most take a snow cat or dog sled across the plateau, or hike to the precipices and look down on the surrounding area. Glacier 3000 is also home to the world’s highest rollercoaster, which hurtles around corners and dips drastically, imitating the sensation of freefalling toward the ice at heart-racing speeds.
There’s nothing quite as magical as a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy wonderland that is the Alps in winter. For the most romantic option, head to Salzburg and take a ride through the Salzach River Valley, past snow-topped Alpine chalets, quaint inns, and huge glaciers. Panorama Tours offers excellent December tours, during which guests snuggle beneath warm blankets before warming up with traditional Styrian cuisine in Ramsau.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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