Switzerland Walking Tour in the Bernese Oberland

A leisurely vacation exploring the Lucerne and Jungfrau regions by foot, ferry and rail
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Switzerland walking tour art vacation workshop

Alpine Meadows, Glacial Lakes, and Mountain Views

Dates Art Walk: June 12-19, 2022
Dates Blue Walk: June 19-26, 2022
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Start: Zurich, Switzerland
End: Mürren, Switzerland
Locations: Zurich, Lucerne, Mürren
Cost: $3,595 USD
Single Supplement: $795
Max Group Size: 12

If you love the mountains and tranquil, pastoral scenery, you must visit Switzerland. Come along on this guided, small group tour. Experience the most scenic and uncrowded areas of this majestic wonderland. At every stage spectacular peaks and breathtaking views will surround you. Each day you can walk through gentle valleys and along rolling hiking paths. Our walking tour will take full advantage of Switzerland’s masterful system of trains and ferries to transport us to daily activities. Even better, classic cogwheel trains and high speed cable cars will do the majority of the climbing. Our Switzerland walking tour will sample the best culinary treats and meet fun people along the way. Stretch your legs, ease your mind, and enjoy the tranquility of the Swiss Alps.

Switzerland Walking Tour Overview

Our Switzerland walking vacation features slow travel and soft adventure. Every half day walk follows a leisurely pace and has options for more or less walking. Our select, 4-star hotels will welcome you home after a day of discovery. Starting with an arrival day in Zurich, our tour spends three nights in lovely Lucerne. From Lucerne, we will explore the nearby Pilatus and Rigi mountains. Next, stay your final three nights in the pristine, car-free, mountain village of Mürren at the base of the Schilthorn. In this special village you will truly feel like you have gotten away from it all. On our final day, your train travel within Switzerland is included.

About Art Walk Switzerland

This is a very special art vacation offered firstly to our Art Walk Alumni. There will not be an art teacher. Rather, students are free to create in their own style, inspired by our location and fellow students.  The itinerary will be the same as for the Blue Walk walking tour. However time will be set aside specifically for sketching and painting on-site.  Some walks may be shortened to allow for sketchbook time.

What You'll Love

* Wander the historic centers and lakeside promenades of Zurich and Lucerne.

* Half-day walks highlighting the best Bernese Oberland trails.

* We take care of the details. You enjoy your vacation.

* 4-star hotels welcome you home at the end of each day.

* Unlimited and easy use of trains, ferries, and cable cars with an included Swiss Pass.

Itinerary Switzerland Walking Tour

Program subject to change. Daily schedule may differ.

Zurich people walking in city Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 1

Arrive to our hotel in Zurich located within walking distance of the train station, waterfront, and the historic center. Your unlimited travel Swiss Pass is active on this day.

Lucerne flower bridge Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 2

In the morning, travel to Lucerne. After an orientation walk enjoy a welcome lunch on the riverfront. We will gather later that evening for a wine and cheese tasting in a historic cantina.

Pilatus Mountain path Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 3

The day begins with a paddle steamer cruise on Lake Lucerne. Then we will tour above the clouds on Mount Pilatus by rail, foot, and high speed cable car.

Mount Rigi Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 4

This day will be another fun mix of ferry, train, and gondola rides. Our walk on Mount Rigi wanders through sunny meadows and quiet paths with lake views all around.

Scenic train on Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 5

A scenic train ride to Mürren takes us past glacier-fed lakes, small villages, and groves of conifers. After an orientation we will walk to a typical beer garden in Gimmelwald.

Path to Gimmelwald on Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 6

Today our Switzerland walking tour explores the countryside above Mürren. Rolling green hills. Cowbells gently sounding.  Dramatic snow-capped peaks. You may be inspired to yodel!

Lauterbrunnen Valley Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 7

The final day of walking explores the ethereal Lauterbrünnen Valley. Walking through this bucolic, glacial valley is a bit like discovering Shangri-la.

Above Murren with Switzerland walking tour art vacation

Day 8

On departure day your included Swiss Pass will provide unlimited travel to most destinations within Switzerland.

Book Your Tour Now!

Cow near path Switzerland walking tour art vacation

What’s Included Switzerland Walking Tour

  • Carefully selected 4-star hotels
  • Daily full buffet breakfast
  • Welcome lunch
  • Farewell dinner
  • 8-day Swiss Pass for unlimited travel by train, ferry, tram, and bus
  • All transfers as program description
  • Optional free and discounted activities included with Swiss Pass
  • Orientation meeting and walk in Lucerne
  • Orientation walk in Mürren
  • Half-day guided walks through the Swiss countryside
  • Guided transfers between hotels
  • Tasting of traditionally produced raw milk cheese and wines of the region
  • Golden Round Trip visit to Mount Pilatus
  • Visit to Rigi Mountain
  • Visit to Trümmelbach Falls

Important Notes

Solo travelers and single supplements

For our guests traveling solo, if you wish to guarantee a private room, we offer a single supplement for an additional fee.

If you do not request a private room, you may share a twin room with another trip participant of the same sex (Roomshare). If you sign up and no Roomshare is available, a 50% single supplement will be due at final payment. If a roommate is found before your trip departs, you will be matched and the single supplement will be refunded.

Please note that a single supplement guarantees a private room. Whenever possible singles will be placed in the same room type as our double or twin rooms. Often European hotels have smaller single rooms available at a lesser cost. If you would be interested in this option please inform us at time of booking.

Twin / Double Rooms

Please be aware twin beds in Europe may have very little or no space between beds. Twin matteresses may be made with individual bedding in the same frame. Double beds are often two twin matteresses made with double bedding.

Fitness

It is your responsibility to know your own physical and medical condition with respect to the advisability of participating in your chosen trip. We suggest you prepare by doing some longer walks, preferably with some elevation change, prior to arrival. As with any exercise program, we recommend you consult with your physician prior to your arrival regarding the suitability of a walking tour.

Where in the World?

Switzerland is a small mountainous country located in central Europe. This landlocked country is only about the size of New Jersey. Even so, Switzerland is one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Its famously clean, fast, and timely public transportation system will carry our small group from the high plateau lakes to the Jungfrau region of the Alps.

The Zurich Airport is the most conveniently located for arrival. Our hotels will be in Zurich, Lucerne, and Murren. Zurich, Geneva, and Basel international airports may all serve your departure.

 

Tour Map Switzerland Walking Tour

Detailed Itinerary Switzerland Walking Tour

Day 1: Zurich

Arrive to Zurich. Check-in to our hotel located within walking distance of the train station, waterfront, and historic center. Checkout the open air restaurants, take a boat ride, visit a museum, or tuck in early after a busy day of travel. The day is yours to explore at your own pace.

Your Swiss Pass will be active on this day. It provides unlimited travel on most lines of public transportation within Europe including trains, boats, and busses. Additionally, it provides free admission or discounts to many museums and places of interest.

At the time of writing the following Zurich museums were included with the Swiss Pass: Zürich: FIFA World Football Museum. Focus Terra ETH*. Graphische Sammlung der ETH Zürich*. Heimatschutzzentrum in der Villa Patumbah. Johann Jacobs Museum. Kulturama – Museum des Menschen. Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst. Moulagensammlung Unispital*. Mühlerama. Museum für Gestaltung. Museum Haus Konstruktiv. Museum Rietberg. Nordamerika Native Museum (NONAM). Paläontologisches Museum*. Pavillon Le Corbusier. Schweizer Finanzmuseum. Schweizerisches National- museum Landesmuseum Zürich. Strauhof. Sukkulenten Sammlung Zürich*. Tram-Museum Zürich. Völkerkundemuseum Uni Zürich*. Zoologisches Museum*. Zunftstadt Zürich. Zürcher Spielzeugmuseum.

We are happy to book additional accommodation for you at our hotel in Zurich, subject to availability. Please inquire at the time of booking.

Hotel Location: Zurich

Meals Included: There are no meals included on this day

Special Information: Your Swiss Pass will be active on this day.

Day 2: Lucerne

In the morning your tour director will meet your small group at the hotel. After introductions, you’ll travel by train to Lucerne. There, our hotel will hold our bags if our rooms are not ready. First we will have an orientation walk to help you get your bearings. Then we will enjoy a welcome lunch and program overview along the river’s edge. The remainder of the day is free to explore in and around Lucerne. In the evening, we will have a tasting of traditionally produced raw milk cheese. Accompanied by select wines of the region, our tasting takes place in the historic cellar where the cheese is aged.

At the time of writing the following Lucerne museums were included or discounted as part of the Swiss Pass: Alpineum. Bourbaki Panorama. Gletschergarten. Historisches Museum. Kunstmuseum. Natur-Museum. Richard Wagner Museum. Sammlung Rosengart. Verkehrshaus der Schweiz (50% Ermässigung/réduction)

Hotel Location: Lucerne

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Walk Details
The orientation walk will be along flat paved and cobblestone streets. Approximately 1.5 miles.

Day 3: Mount Pilatus

Our Switzerland walking tour begins with a serene ferry ride. Then, passing alpine meadows and striking rock formations, the steepest cogwheel rail in the world carries our walking tour to Pilatus Kulm. At almost 7,000 feet elevation, the peak commands spectacular views of the Bernese Oberland. A trail walk along the ridge line path is a highlight of the day. There are many restaurants on the mountain to have lunch and enjoy the view. Afterwards, a high-speed gondola and panoramic tram will transport our group down the other side of the mountain. Lastly, a quick bus ride delivers us back to Lucerne.

Hotel Location: Lucerne

Meals Included: Breakfast

Walk Details
The trail walk from Pilatus Kulm to Tomlishorn is a little under 2 miles round trip. Walkers may choose to go back at any time and meet the group upon return. It is mostly flat except for a 200 yard switchback section to reach Tomlishorn. The trail can be narrow, with loose rock, and is at elevation. It may not be appropriate for those with vertigo or unsure footing.
If the weather is poor at the top, there is an optional, mid-mountain walk between tram stations. Here the topography softens to rolling meadows and conifer forests perfect for a sauntering stroll. The distance is less than 3 miles of groomed trails and gravel roads gently descending 1300 feet. All walks are optional. Trams may be used to reach our mid-mountain walking destination.

Day 4: Mount Rigi

This day will be another fun mix of ferry, train, and gondola rides. Bordered by lakes Lucerne, Zug, and Lauerz, Mount Rigi stands like an island high above them all. Our walk wanders through sunny meadows and quiet paths with views of brilliant green hillsides, blue water, and blue sky. Small hiking huts or traditional Swiss restaurants found along the way make excellent rest stops.

Hotel Location: Lucerne

Meals Included: Breakfast

Walk Details
The Rigi Mountain walk will be on wide, rolling, fire-road like trails. Total distance is about 3.5 miles with one section that descends 350 feet over .25 miles. All walks are optional. Trams or rail may be used to reach our walking destination.

Day 5: Gimmelwald

Transfer to Mürren. A scenic train ride takes us past beautiful lakes, blooming countryside, and conifer stands. Our charming four-star hotel in the center of Mürren has views of the glacier-capped peaks all around. After checking in, an orientation walk will introduce you to the area. Then we’ll walk down to the nearby village of Gimmelwald and visit a typical beer garden. Finally, a tram will return us to our mountain home. The remainder of the day is yours to explore nearby trails, wander through town, or just sit back and enjoy the view.

Hotel Location: Mürren

Meals Included: Breakfast

Special Details
Schilthorn Option: This peak high above Mürren was the setting for the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It is an excellent place to take in the panorama of the Bernese Alps including the North Faces of Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger. From here you can see the lakes of Interlaken, the Jura mountains and even Mont Blanc. Any clear day will offer a good opportunity to take the tram from Mürren to the top.

Walk Details
The walk to Gimmelwald descends along a steep, wide, and paved path. We will take it at an easy pace to enjoy the view. The descent is 750 feet over 1.8 miles. This walk is optional. A tram may be taken to Gimmelwald rather than walking.

Day 6: Mürren Countryside

Starting out from Mürren, our Switzerland walking tour travels through two beautiful valleys. We’ll pass small farms and rustic barns surrounded by fields of wildflowers. High above, the Schilthorn cable car quietly zips back and forth. The sound of cows and their gently clanging bells fills the air. Snow-capped mountains form a perfect backdrop. If you want a hike that captures “classic Switzerland,” this is it. You may even be inspired to yodel!

Hotel Location: Mürren

Meals Included: Breakfast

Walk Details
This may be one of the most panoramic walks we do during our time. The first ⅓ is a steady ascent on wide dirt roads and paths. Then the middle third is a mostly flat traverse on a dirt trail. Finally, the last third is a steady descent along a wide dirt path back to Mürren. The total elevation change from Mürren to the top of the trail is 650 feet. The distance of the circular walk is 4 miles. There is a self-guided option to walk only the middle section of the path.

Day 7: Lauterbrünnen Valley

Our final day of hiking explores the ethereal Lauterbrünnen valley. Walking through this bucolic, glacial valley is a bit like discovering Shangri-la. Its narrow limestone walls reach toward the Jungfrau and Mönch peaks towering above. Our Switzerland walking tour will traverse the valley floor counting as many of its 72 waterfalls as we can. We will stop at the magnificent, glacier-fed Trümmelbachfälle, a series of 10 waterfalls cocooned within the steep valley walls. In the evening our farewell dinner will be a satisfying feast of Swiss farm-to-table fare.

Hotel Location: Mürren

Meals Included: Breakfast, dinner

Walk Details
The Trümmelbach Falls are an easy 2.5 miles from the tram station in Lauterbrünnen where our walk begins. After a visit to the falls it is another 1.5 miles to the tram at Stechelberg which will return the group to Mürren. There are lots of options for more or less walking.

Day 8: Departures

Departures. There are no activities planned for the final day. You are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Your Swiss Pass will provide travel to most destinations within Switzerland. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you at our hotel in Mürren, subject to availability. Please inquire at the time of booking.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Memories: to last a lifetime

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