Fabulous, Trip of a lifetime! We are lucky to have travelled extensively over the years and we found that the value and overall experience provided by Southern Exposure Tours was the best group tour we have experienced.
Our most active walking tour in Europe takes in some of the Alps most spectacular scenery while also getting off the beaten track and giving you opportunities to get to know the locals. This is not your average tour and is designed to be a unique and personal experience in some otherwise well touristed areas. You will get to eat local food, spend time with local families and walk through areas known mostly to locals. It is not a historical, or city tour as most time is spent in alpine villages and walking in the countryside.
For maximum enjoyment of this walking holiday, you should be relatively fit and healthy, and able to comfortably walk 4 to 6hrs on hilly terrain. The trails can be rocky in places, so tramping boots are recommended, though sturdy hiking shoes with good tread will also do. Many trails are narrow, along the sides of mountains with a steep slope or drop to one side and sometimes we use cable cars to ascend or descend. All are very safe but if you have problems with heights or vertigo, this will limit the walks that the group can do and we ask you to discuss this with us prior to booking.
We travel on the European trains which are fast, clean and efficient. However this means you must be able to handle moving your own luggage around train stations, many with steps, and onto trains. There are no porters to take care of your gear and it’s very important that you can walk from platform to platform without requiring help with your bags. We also use a variety of private air-conditioned minibuses in Italy.
Typically the hotels have private facilities, though in one smaller B&B you may have an apartment style room with one bathroom for two bedrooms. Or a bathroom across the hall, this is only for Stubaital.
Be prepared to deal with what the weather has in store, sun, rain, snow or wind. It’s all part of the experience.
*All our tours are non-smoking
On our stunning walking tour of Europe – experience awesome vistas of the Alps, meadows filled with wildflowers, combined with local highlights, hidden treasures and unrivalled local cuisine.
Duration: 23 days
Trip focus: Moderately active walking tour with day hikes in the Swiss Alps and off the beaten track areas in Austria and Italy
Accommodation: 22 nights comfortable hotels and family run bed and breakfasts twin share
Transport: train, bus and boat
Group size: Minimum 6, Maximum 12 + S.E.T. tour leader
Local payment: €450 local payment (included in tour price)
Single supplement: €790 with very limited availability.
Ask us about airfares to join your trip: Packages available ex NZ.
Combine with an Amalfi Coast pre tour extension. Please email us.
- All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
- Bilingual tour leader
- Walks throughout Switzerland, Austria and Italy as specified
- All land transport during the itinerary
- The cost of entry for all scheduled tours
- All breakfasts, 4 highlight dinners, 1 lunch
- All hotel, B&B and apartment accommodation* (on a twin share basis
- including meals as specified)
* Additional accommodations can be arranged at the clients’ request
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- International airfares
- Travel Insurance
- Meals not included above
- Items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, souvenirs, etc
Most of our adventure tours involve a local payment. Paying locally allows us to keep the overall cost of our tours competitive and pass the savings on to you. These funds are put towards local expenses.
All prices are approximate and subject to currency fluctuations until final payment has been made.
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY LUCERNE
Get the most out of this walking tour of Europe with a pre-tour extension: Amalfi Food, Wine & Walks
Arrival Day Lucerne. Short welcome meeting and dinner in one of the lovely riverside restaurants.
Meals Included: Dinner
DAY 2 – LUCERNE & MT PILATUS
Traverse Lake Lucerne by boat, then ride the cog railway up to Mount Pilatus. Be rewarded with spectacular views, a couple of short hikes and a picnic lunch stop on the mountain. We take a cable car down the other side and there may even be time to stop for a beer at in a mountain pub on the way.
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAYS 3 to 5 – GRINDELWALD
Depart on a beautiful train trip over the Brunnig Pass to Interlaken and Grindelwald, our base for the next few days in the Jungfrau region. Enjoy an afternoon walk to the stunning glacier gorge of Grindelwald. From here we include a visit to the uniquely U shaped valley of Lauterbrunnen and the Trummelbach Falls, also stunning train ride up to Jungfrau Joch, the highest cog railway in Europe. At the top, the glacier stretches for miles and there are ice caves complete with sculptures. Walks in this region can include the spectacular Eiger Trail underneath the north face, or through pastures full of wildflowers.
Meals Included: 3 Breakfasts
DAYS 6 & 7 – ZERMATT
After a four hour traverse of Switzerland to the mountain village of Zermatt, arriving at the home of the famous Matterhorn. We will hopefully be rewarded with a clear view of this majestic peak. Our day walk with plenty of rests and photo opportunities takes us up the lower sunny slopes and through a forest with spectacular views of the Matterhorn.
Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and 1 Dinner
DAYS 8 to 10 – CINQUE TERRE
Our train journey today takes us into Italy and on to Monterosso, one of the five Cinque Terre villages where we stay for the next three nights. The area is so unique that it has been named a UNESCO world heritage site and is a group of five fishing villages clinging to the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Our main hike takes us along the ancient pathway joining the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. We’ll walk among the steep terraces that allow for cultivation of olives, grapes, and chestnut trees, with superb views of the ocean and villages.
Meals Included: 3 Breakfasts and 1 Dinner
DAYS 11 & 12 – LUCCA
It’s only a short train ride to the ancient city of Lucca, hemmed in by 16th century ramparts and laced with cobblestone streets. There is time for an optional visit to Pisa, only 40 minutes away by bus. For fabulous views and a great morning walk, bike or run, the 5km loop on the top of the ramparts is paved and tree lined. While there, we’ll have a special cooking class of Tuscan cuisine and head into the Tuscan hills for a delicious wine and olive oil tasting.
Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 1 Cooking Class and 1 Wine Tasting
DAYS 13 & 14 – MONTE BONDONE
A train to Trento and bus to our hotel on the slopes of Monte Bondone, takes us to an area less travelled, yet very unique. Famous for its fabulous scenery in the Three Peaks area, wine making and medieval Trento with underground Roman ruins. While here, our we spend time walking at the peaks for dramatic views, providing a very rewarding hike.
Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch and 2 Dinners
DAYS 15 to 18 – VAL GARDENA IN THE DOLOMITES
Only a couple of hours north is our next destination, the stunning dolomites in the Val Gardena of South Tyrol. We spend three days hiking around the Langkofel Dolomiti, Col Raiser, Dantercepies, Seiser Alm and the alpine village of Wolkenstein. This is some of the most amazing scenery you will encounter on this trip and is sure to be a highlight. The walks are varied and you can choose to explore the villages if you’d like to spend more time relaxing.
Meals Included: 4 Breakfasts
DAYS 19 to 21 – STUBAITAL AUSTRIA
We take the road less traveled in Austria for our stay at Neustift in the magnificent Stubai Valley. Here we stay in a lovely family owned B&B and hike to the alpine club mountain huts throughout the valley. Most of the hikes to the huts are no more than 2 hours each way. These huts are a cozy mountain retreat, accommodating up to 130 guests so it’s always a lively atmosphere and a great way to meet the locals.
Meals Included: 3 Breakfasts
DAY 22 – VIENNA
Board our train to Vienna for a scenic journey through central Austria. Our final day is spent wandering the historic center of Austria’s capital. You’ll also be treated to local Viennese cuisine, on the final night of this wonderful trip.
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 23 – DEPARTURE DAY
There is so much to see and do in Vienna, that it’s worth spending some extra days here, if you have the time to do so.
Meals Included: Breakfast
I must say you are the best travel company I have dealt with over the decades. Your correspondence and all the extras have made dealing with you a fantastic experience.I will be endorsing your company to all travellers that I meet. Again thanks.
“Silvana was an amazing guide; energetic, tolerant, patient and entertaining. Her in-depth knowledge of the places we explored was an absolute asset. Whether we were making connections with local trains or cable cars, to speaking the local language, she was a real gem. Spending time walking through each of these country’s alpine villages in a small group, was a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine. Thank you for organising a well-planned, action-packed trip. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys walking!”
This was an amazing tour. Really well organised and we had a wonderful variety of things to do and see. The places we visited and the hotels we stayed at made it a very special holiday, we didn’t feel like tourists at all. The scenery was unbelievable and every day was another beautiful day. The alpine meadows need to be seen to be believed and this tour certainly had us out seeing them. I would thoroughly recommend taking a tour with Southern Exposure Tours. Their professionalism was outstanding and we packed a lot of holiday into a relatively short space of time.
Thanks for organising such an amazing holiday, absolutely fantastic. Andrea was a great guide, well organised, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We were kept busy and active and covered a lot of ground, we would have struggled to fit in all that we did had we been on or own.
On a previous SET tour, we talked with some of our travel companions about the most enjoyable trips we had done. They rated the European Alps Tour, combined with the Amalfi Coast very highly, and we couldn’t agree more. The whole package was outstanding. If you enjoy hiking, want to explore a range of beautiful European walking tracks and see some amazing scenery, you should make this trip a priority.
|Start Date||End Date||Availability||Cost|
|16th Jun 2020||8th Jul 2020||GUARANTEED DEPARTURE||€4,875.00|
|15th Jun 2021||7th Jul 2021||AVAILABLE||€4,875.00|