Recapture the Golden Age of Alpinism
From 1854 to1865 the attention of Europe was fixed on mountaintops during an era that came to be known as the Golden Age of Alpinism. During that eleven year span, most of the 4000-meter peaks in the Alps were first conquered, frequently by British mountaineers. It started with the ascent of the Wetterhorn in Grindelwald and concluded with the first ascent of the Matterhorn.
World-Class Hiking, Rich with Tradition
Join us as we link two mountains, both as iconic as they are fearsome. We also link two mountain ranges—the Bernese Alps and the Pennine Alps. We recapture the Golden Age of Alpinism in a traditional traverse of the Bernese Alps, over the legendary Gemmi Pass, across the Rhone Valley and into the heart of the Pennine Alps. We make a dramatic entrance into Zermatt on foot, crossing the Europabrücke, the longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the world. We experience a glorious conclusion near the base of the Matterhorn where you’ll be surrounded by more 4000-meter peaks than anywhere else in the Alps.
Follow a Classic Route Through the Alps
We start our journey in Grindelwald and ascend the Eiger Trail into the glacial realm. Our initial days parallel the Via Alpina, one of the great long-distance trails in Europe. Our route continues through the deep-cut Lauterbrunnen Valley where 72 waterfalls plunge off the upper rim. Stay the night in Griesalp, a remote alpine hamlet with a surprisingly luxurious hotel. You’ll skirt the shore of the Öeschinensee, the most beautiful lake in Switzerland, before dropping into Kandersteg for the evening. Then we follow the favored route of Jules Verne and Mark Twain over the Gemmi Pass into the resort of Leukerbad above the Rhone Valley. We cross the Europabrücke, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world before entering Zermatt where we have commanding views of the Matterhorn. We make our grand conclusion by taking the Gornergrat cogwheel railway, the highest train in Europe, and ascend to one of the finest panoramic views in the Alps. Here at the Gornergrat summit you'll be surrounded by more 4000-meter peaks than anywhere else in the Alps.
Historic Hotels, Delicious Regional Cuisine
Throughout our journey we stay in historic hotels, selected specifically for this trip. We enjoy cuisine that reflects the great culinary tradition of the region, and we travel with expert guides who unfold the legends and lore of these spectacular mountains.
Day 1 – Arrive in Grindelwald
Day 2 – Eiger Trail from Grindelwald to Wengen
Day 3 – Wengen to Lauterbrunnen Valley and Mürren
Day 4 – Mürren to Griesalp
Day 5 – Griesalp, Alpine cheesemaking, Wildwasser
Day 6 – Griesalp to Kandersteg
Day 7 – Kandersteg to Leukerbad via the Gemmi Pass
Day 8 – Leukerbad to Zermatt - Gornergrat
Day 9 – Zermatt - Europaweg Skywalk
Day 10 – Depart
View Detailed Itinerary