FAQ – Alpenwild Experience

The Alpenwild Experience

 

What's it Like to go on an Alpenwild Tour?

Alpenwild trips are built on the philosophy that the best way to discover the Alps is with a small group of friends and in the company of someone who knows and loves these gorgeous mountains and valleys. As a result, you’re not a tourist or client, but a guest and friend. As an Alpenwild guest you’ll enjoy the Alps up close and personal--the way they were meant to be enjoyed. You’ll stay in small inns, dine in fine restaurants, participate in exclusive experiences, and make personal connections--the kinds of things that would never happen on traditional large-group tours.

What Types of Trips Does Alpenwild Offer?

We’re at home in the Alps, where walking and hiking in breathtaking mountain scenery is a way of life--so we’re best known for our hiking and walking tours. Our in-depth knowledge and expertise in both the well-traveled and off-the-beaten-track regions of the Alps is unmatched. That proficiency and breadth of expertise benefits hikers and many other travelers. If your interests include food & wine, history, culture, outdoors, art, photography, winter sports or classic railway excursions, you’ll love the Alps, and we have a tour that’s perfect for you.

Are Alpenwild Trips Just for Active Travelers and Adventure Junkies?

We offer trips for all levels of activity, from strenuous alpine treks to dayhikes and gentle walks. If you’re not an active hiker or walker we offer leisurely tours such as our Scenic Alps by Rail, Christmas market tour, as well as photography and art tours, which can involve less than one mile a day of walking.

Is it Only Hiking and Walking?

No, but you will be walking every day. As needed, we include trams, gondolas, funiculars, cable cars, and of course, Swiss Trains. We make sure you see more in one trip with Alpenwild than you could in a lifetime on your own.

What Makes an Alpenwild Trip Distinctive?

1) Expert Leadership. No one knows the Alps like Alpenwild. Our highly-trained and talented trip leaders know their job is to help you have an awe-inspiring experience in the Alps that you’ll be talking about for years.

2) Innovative Itineraries. Our decades of experience and commitment to delighting our guests assure you’ll experience the best the Alps have to offer.

3) Exclusive Features. You’ll see and do things that most tourists will never experience. Our expertise, insider knowledge, and personal connections make this possible.

4) Wonderful Food. Our trips have a strong food focus using local, high quality food. We’ve cultivated close relationships with food producers, farmers and chefs. We regularly visit cheesemakers, local wineries and artisan chocolatiers, to provide Alpenwild guests with a window into rural gastronomy, Alpine cuisine, and the everyday local food scene.

5) Exceptional Service. It starts with your first call or email to an Alpenwild specialist as we answer your questions and help match you with the perfect tour and itinerary. We assist with all your pre- and post-tour travel plans. Once you’re on the tour, your trip leader is there to assist with every need. And since we travel in small groups, there is plenty of personal attention.

What do Alpenwild Trip Leaders do?

Trip Leaders are there to help you: 1. Travel and hike safely, 2. Experience breathtaking moments, 3. Discover authentic local cuisine, 4. Connect with alpine charm, and, 5. Share their knowledge of Alpine history, culture, and the outdoor environment; and 5. Love the Alps like we do. We make it happen on every tour.

Is it Appropriate to Tip the Trip Leader?

Alpenwild Trip Leaders go out of their way to make sure your trip is enjoyable and successful--everything you want it to be. While not mandatory or obligatory, tips recognizing their efforts are appreciated.

I See Some of Your Tours Offer Early Booking Discounts. What's the Deal?

It's a great deal! By offering an early booking discount we can jump-start the booking season, insuring that the tour will be a "go" months in advance. You get a great tour with substantial savings, and we are able to book the best possible arrangements and Trip Leaders before they are booked or otherwise unavailable. It also saves us having to desperately advertise late in the game to fill a tour. You'll find early booking discounts on some of our most exiciting summer tours as well as on our winter cross country skiing packages.

Are These Prices Guaranteed?

Once you are on deposit, you can have full confidence that the quoted price will not change, even in the face of currency fluctuations.

What is the Typical Group Size?

We keep our group size small-typically between 6 and 12 guests-so that you can receive the highest level of service and attention. On occasion we will have a private group with more than 12 guests and we can accommodate them on a private guided tour. 

What's the Difference Between Walking, Hiking and Trekking?

The definition varies from one location to another, but generally speaking, "hiking" is just walking outdoors on a natural trail surface. "Trekking" is a hiking journey of several days from one place to another. By that definition, our Haute Route adventure and our Exploring the Jungfrau are classic treks, while our Best of the Swiss Alps trip is a wonderful collection of day hikes.The Alps Photo Workshop includes short walks and hikes to scenic panoramas and other especially photogenic settings. By calling and talking with an Alpenwild tour specialist you'll be able to determine which option is best for you.

I'm a Vegetarian. Can You Accommodate Special Dietary Needs?

Yes. You'll find the Swiss diet is based around dairy products, with a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer season. Just let your guide know of your dietary preferences and we should be able to find excellent meals that satisfy your preferences. Over the years we have successfully accommodated guests with celiac disease, nut allergies, lactose intolerance, and many other specific allergies.

When's the Best Time to go?

It depends on the tour that matches your schedule and what you want to do. Your decision will be influenced by the season you choose. For example, hiking in Ticino is wonderful in May or October, when the Haute Route would be snowbound. And the Jungfrau is perfect in July when Ticino can be rather hot. December through March is perfect for cross country skiing and winter walking in places like the Engadine and the Upper Rhone. Call us and we can help you pick the best tour for the timeslot you have available.

Do you Offer Specialty and Custom Tours?

Absolutely--they're the best. Do you belong to a garden club and want to spend a week discovering Alpine wildflowers? We can show you over 500 species, many of which are endangered, protected, and endemic to the Alps. Are you a geology professor who wants to lead your students on a field study of glaciers? There are over 600 glaciers in Switzerland and we can show you some exceptional examples of icefall, glacial retreat, and lateral or medial moraine. We also conduct photo workshops and can arrange culinary tours (cheese, winechocolate), farm stays, or enterprise exchange programs.

I'm Ready to Hike Like a Goat and Yodel Like Heidi. What's Next?

Now that you’ve got a basic idea about who we are and what you can expect from an Alpenwild vacation, just give us a call or send us an email to reserve your place in the Alps. Or, let’s go a bit deeper and talk about which type of trip is right for you.

  • EASY: You should be capable of walking about 1-2 miles per day. On some trips you may be walking 2 to 3 hours per day on well-graded walking paths. Alpenwild tours such as Scenic Alps by Rail, Swiss Cuisine- French Inspired, and Swiss Bliss are rated easy. 
  • MODERATE: You should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. You should be capable of walking 5 to 7 hours per day on well-groomed and graded trailsLace up your boot and join us on an Alps hiking and walk tour such as our ever-popular Best of the Swiss Alps, Exploring the Jungfrau, Appenzell Inn-to-inn, or Hiking in the Engadine. Our Alps Hiking FAQ is your first step.
  • STRENUOUS: You should be an experienced hiker in good physical condition. You should be capable of walking 5 to 7 hours per day on good trails with some steep ascents and descents (averaging 3,000 to 4,000 vertical feet per day) at an elevation up to 10,000 feet above sea level. Ready for the Haute Route? How about the Tour du Mont Blanc? Get the straight scoop by reading our Haute Route FAQ or by going to Haute Route Essentials where you’ll find our one-of-a-kind Haute Route video training series.