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Here's how we do it:
It's our passion and our expertise, and has been for over three decades. We know the trails and the towns inside and out. We know the hoteliers and their rooms, and restauranteurs and their menus. We don't guide on any route we haven't done many times before. Our expertise gives you a richer, more enjoyable experience, and makes better use of your time, whether you're on a guided or self-guided tour.
For most tours we meet you at the hotel on the first day of the tour and are there to help throughout your stay. We provide a thorough and complete orientation, so you are fully prepared to make the most of your Swiss vacation or Alps hiking adventure. Your expert Trip Leader is with you for the entire trip. Alpenwild trip leaders, employees, and office staff are empowered to do whatever they can for our customers and guests—before, during, and after the tour.
The price includes all ground transportation (lifts, funiculars, trains, shuttles) and includes a full array of activities every day. Meals are served at excellent restaurants and hotels, and focus on local cuisine. You'll enjoy the entire trip without any out-of-pocket expenses other than personal items (souvenirs, beer and wine at dinner, or a special treat)
We shuttle your bags so you can bring everything you need and still travel light during the day. At night your bags are waiting for you at the hotel. You're on vacation to enjoy the Alps, not to schlep bags.
We have a small office in the US and an efficient operational base in Switzerland. We lock in prices with trusted hotels, restaurants, and shuttle operators long before the tour begins. We pay our Swiss hotels and suppliers directly in Swiss Francs, thereby avoiding the costly currency exchange experienced by other tour operators. As a result, you get a great value for your vacation dollar.
Our Trip Leaders, both Swiss and American, know where you'll find the best photos, most fascinating wildlife, the edelweiss on the remote mountain slopes, and the best stream crossings. We can point you toward the best bakeries, local cheeses, concerts, festivals, and special events. You'll see and discover things that you would never have encountered traveling on your own or with other less experienced guides.
We know the routes and the escape routes. We know where to go on a rain day and how to take maximum advantage of a sunny day. We know the hut and hotel managers and they bend over backwards for our guests.
You'll typically travel with a group of 6-12, although we can offer a customized guided tour for as few as 2 guests. You'll enjoy intimate hotels, wonderful personal connections, and the fun that comes in traveling with like-minded friends.
When you travel with an experienced guide you're not the one worrying about rerouting in changing weather or finding accommodations and a shuttle if a change in plans is required. Our guides have the ability, experience, and authority to make changes based on weather, route conditions, and the needs of our clients. This means you get the best possible experience no matter what the weather or route conditions may be.
We guarantee our prices in advance, so the vacation price we quote you in November is the price you pay in August. We don't leave you wondering what the final cost will be based on how many show up for the tour. Unlike some tour operators who "float" the exchange rate, then cancel the tour or increase the price if the fluctuation doesn't work in their favor, we have never cancelled a tour or changed the price once someone is on deposit. It's our commitment to you.
Our team of experts is easily accessible in the US to help with travel arrangements and special requests before, during, and after your trip. In Switzerland, we're just a local phone call away, ready to help at a moment's notice. When you're in the Alps you'll be in contact with our on-site guest support and operations team. For guided guests they are with you throughout the trip. For self-guided guests, they are just a local phone call away.
Our guides are equipped with smart phones which enable them to instantly access weather, train schedules, make restaurant reservations, and handle other services on the trail.
Great cusine takes center stage on Alpenwild tours. We love delighting our guests with our "secret finds"—some of the finest restaurants in the Alps. Many of our meals allow you to order a la carte. You're not given the basic tourist menu at the hotel where we stay. Instead, every meal is an exciting new culinary adventure. We're also experienced in helping guests with special dietary needs (gluten-free, keto/paleo, vegetarian, allergies) find great food choices for their special requests.
Arriving early? Staying for a few extra days? That's great. Most of our guests do some sort of independent pre- or post-trip travel. And we are happy to help with these custome arrangements and individual travel plans.
We encourage you to do your best. You're not obligated to march lockstep with the slowest member of the group. Instead, our Swiss Alps hiking tours are flexible and allow you to go at your own pace. Most of our tours have two guides, so we're able to provide simultaneous options. Routes can be adjusted to accommodate your health or inclinations.
We own the operation. With us there is no middleman. An Alpenwild hiking vacation in the Swiss Alps is like a family vacation with your best friends in Switzerland.
You can plan your arrival for either Geneva or Zurich and we will send you a railpass to speed your arrival to the hotel on the first day of your tour.
We're not just in the Alps during the summer. We have guides and support statff in the Alps throughout the year and are committed to giving you the best experience whenever you happen to be in the Alps. Whether you're looking for our Best of the Swiss Alps, the Haute Route, Appenzell, the Engadine, Exploring the Jungfrau, the Alps Photo Workshop, Cheese Chocolate, and the Scenic Alps, or a custom program of hiking and trekking anywhere in the Alps, give us a call for the outdoor vacation of your dreams.