Swiss Alps: Interlaken

Swiss Alps: Interlaken

Revel in the epic beauty of nature in the Swiss Alps. Join the likes of Mark Twain and J.R.R. Tolkien as you gain inspiration from the region’s emerald green valleys, snow-dusted peaks, crystalline lakes, and cozy villages. Pass grazing cows as you ride a gondola up to the village of Kandersteg. Hike to crystalline Lake Oeschinen. In Bern, Switzerland’s delightful capital, stand in awe of the famous clock tower. Board a steam-powered train and zip to the summit of Oeschinen to witness stunning vistas. Cruise Lake Brienz and walk a scenic trail to Mürren to see Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau! Explore Grindewald, trace the Weissenbach River, and lunch at the historic Hotel Rosenlaui, a landmark that helped put the Bernese Oberland region on the map. This active, small-group adventure features seven nights at a first-class hotel in Interlaken, plus an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner.

Trip Itinerary:

August 12 Depart Gateway City

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Zürich, Switzerland.

August 13 Zürich

Arrive at Zürich Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to Hotel Carlton-Europe. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Discovery: Welcome to Interlaken!
Become acquainted with Interlaken, which sits between lakes Thun and Brienz, as your Travel Director takes you on an orientation walking tour around the town.

Gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner with your fellow travelers this evening.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

August 14 Kandersteg

Enrichment: Mountaineering.
Switzerland enjoys a long tradition of mountain climbing. Learn about this popular pastime, which draws enthusiasts eager to tackle the challenging peaks of the Swiss Alps.

Discovery: Lake Oeschinen.
Hop on a train to Kandersteg, where a gondola whisks you toward Lake Oeschinen, which sits above the town at nearly 5,200 feet above sea level. Enjoy a hike along pastures filled with wildflowers and cows grazing on the lush, green grass to the turquoise glacial lake, where you can sit and enjoy the view.

By now, you’ve surely worked up an appetite. Take the gondola back to Kandersteg, where a hearty lunch awaits you.

After lunch, take the train back to Interlaken.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

August 15 Bern

Discovery: Bern.
Visit the Swiss capital of Bern and enjoy a guided walking tour of this historic city. Some of the city’s most popular sites include the Clock Tower, Einstein House and the Cathedral of Bern, a stunning example of late Gothic architecture.

Enjoy free time for lunch in Bern. The city’s iconic choice of cuisine is the Berner Platter, a dish consisting of a variety of meats, sauerkraut, beans and potatoes. For a taste of something sweet, try meringue, which is usually served with whipped cream in Bern. After lunch, spend some time exploring the city on your own.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast

August 16 Brienz | Rothorn

Discovery: Brienz and the Rothorn.
Brienz is world-renowned for its wooden chalets and Alpine backdrop. The village is steeped in centuries of wood-carving tradition and you may encounter some of this storied practice, such as carved road signs and sculptures, during a walking tour through the pretty town. At the fairy-tale Brienz Rothorn Railway station, built in 1892, board a steam train for a breathtaking ride past forests, meadows, and rock walls to the top of the Rothorn.

Relax over lunch with a view! Breathe in fresh mountain air and take in gorgeous panoramas of glittering lakes and mountains during a tasty meal with your fellow travelers.

Return to Brienz and take a cruise on Lake Brienz to Interlaken.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

August 17 Lauterbrunnen Valley | Mürren

Discovery: Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Enjoy a train journey to the idyllic Lauterbrunnen Valley. Then take a cable car to Grütschalp. From here, hike to Winteregg and on to Mürren, a pretty car-free town, for some time to explore on your own. Mürren sits on a plateau 2,788 feet above Lauterbrunnen. On a clear day, see the iconic North Face of the Eiger peak, as well as Mönch and Jungfrau. If you are a James Bond fan, you may want to take the cable car (at an additional cost) up the Schilthorn, which was featured in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Descend from Mürren by aerial cable car and take in the majestic scenery.

Tonight, enjoy a group dinner. The cuisine of Switzerland is influenced by the country’s neighbors, including Germany, France and Italy. While dining in Switzerland, you may encounter a range of delectable flavors such as cheese fondues; Älplermagronen, a classic dish of potatoes with cheese and cream; lamb or pork stews with cabbage; and polenta mixed with cheese and served with rabbit.

During dinner, a local folkloric singing group entertains you with local folk songs and the Alpenhorn.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

August 18 Interlaken

Free Time: Enjoy a full day at leisure in Interlaken or create your own Alpine adventure. Travel to Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum, a living-history complex featuring a collection of century-old buildings, farm animals and recreated Swiss-life demonstrations. Another alternative is to take the funicular up Harder Kulm, the mountain overlooking Interlaken and lakes Brienz and Thun; walk to the edge of Two Lakes Bridge for a sweeping view of the turquoise lakes. Venture further afield aboard a train to Lucerne, where cobblestone streets and slender spires evoke the storybook image of a Swiss town.

Enrichment: Wines of Switzerland.
Sample Swiss wines as you learn about the country’s wine industry from a local lecturer. Nearly all Swiss wine remains in Switzerland, so it is difficult to find it outside the country.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast

August 19 Grindelwald | Rosenlaui

Discovery: Grindelwald.
Visit the resort town of Grindelwald. In the winter, it delights skiers, and it is the summer playground for walkers, hikers and cyclists. Explore a bit before taking a Swiss PostBus, part of Switzerland’s extremely efficient rail system, through a high mountain pass.

Local Flavor: Step into the Hotel Rosenlaui, one of the oldest Alpine hotels, for a delicious lunch of traditional cuisine. The hotel traces its history to the 18th century, when the fledgling tourism industry emerged in the Swiss Alps.

Discovery: Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge.
Tackle the trail that parallels the Weissenbach River, which rushes through the narrow gorge created by an ancient glacier. Stop in Meiringen before returning to Interlaken by train. Meiringen also is the location of Reichenbach Falls, made famous by Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Tonight, celebrate the end of an exciting journey at a special Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner

August 20 Depart for Gateway City

After breakfast, bid farewell to the Swiss Alps.

AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Zürich Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.


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