Introducing Ryder-Walker’s New Mini Treks
This year at Ryder-Walker, we have analyzed our roster of treks to pick out a series of shorter, three-hike, four-night treks that focus on bringing you straight to some of our favorite destinations in the world. All of these treks are virtually accessed within hours from some of the most romantic and historic European cities. So, whether you are traveling for business, visiting family, or looking to spend some time in Europe’s classic cities, our destination treks will provide you with the perfect opportunity to spend time hiking in the mountains.
The Berner Oberland is a group of absolutely awe-inspiring mountains situated up above the Swiss capital of Bern. In these majestic mountains, you will get to experience some of the most classic destinations in all of the Alps, including the village of Grindelwald beneath the formidable north wall of the Eiger, the precipitous waterfall valley of Lauterbrunnen, and the cliffside villages of Mürren and Wengen.
Gateways: Bern and Zürich. The Oberland is easily accessed by just a few hours of train rides from either Bern or Zürich! Bern is a stunning city built along the glacial Aare river.
The Italian Dolomites
The Italian Dolomites bring the best elements of mountain cuisine, five-star accommodation, and legendary hiking all together in one of Ryder-Walker’s most popular treks. For this short trek, we have focused on some of the villages with the best hotels and trails on the entire tour, including the Hotel La Perla in Corvara, a destination hotel so beloved that our clients return to it year after year just relive their memories in the gorgeous Italian village.
Gateway: Venice. The Italian Dolomites sit just above the Venetian Plains and are easily accessed by bus or taxi. Venice of course needs no introduction; this magical canal city completely lives up to the hype!
The Swiss Engadine remains one of the best-kept secrets in trekking. Everything from the soaring views of the Piz Bernina, the lakeside village of Sils Maria, or the bustling pedestrian plazas of Pontresina, represents the absolute most exceptional experiences the mountains can offer, all in a location largely hidden from the tourist’s eye.
Gateway: Engadine. The Swiss Engadine is best accessed via a romantic train ride through the alps starting in Zurich. Zurich itself has one of the most intact and charming old towns in Europe!
The Heart of Austria
The Heart of Austria tour focuses on the lakeside villages of the Austrian Salzkammergut. The homeland of Mozart this region has such a deep sense of alpine charm that it feels as though you’re walking through a fairy tale. The trip finishes in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Hallstatt, which sits on the shores of the Hallstättersee and has been voted the most beautiful village in Europe multiple years in a row.
Gateway: This trek is accessed within a couple of hours of traveling from Salzburg. Salzburg itself is one of the more commonly overlooked destinations in Europe, yet it is a lively and historic city that is just as magical as the Mozart Villages in the mountains above.
Chamonix to Champex
Our Chamonix to Champex trek follows the shared last three days of the Tour du Mont Blanc and the first three days of The Hiker’s Haute Route. These three days of hiking are some of the most iconic hikes in the entire world. Starting high above Chamonix, the heart of alpinism in France, you get to hike along the Grand Balcon Nord and enjoy absolutely massive views of the entire Mont Blanc Massif!
Gateway: Geneva. Chamonix is accessed by one of the most charming train-rides out of Geneva or via a shorter shuttle ride along the only road into Chamonix. Geneva itself is a lovely city famous for its history of philosophers and its massive alpine lake.
While Telluride isn’t in the Alps, instead located in the heart of USA’s Rocky Mountains, we had to include a trek in our company’s hometown of Telluride Colorado. Telluride is one of the most stunning mountain landscapes in the world, where the deserts of the Colorado Plateau crash into the southwestern flanks of the Rocky Mountains. These craggy and arid mountains are home to mystic wildlife such as lynx and massive elk herds, huge forests of golden-leaved aspen trees. A lively mountain culture offers some of the best hiking, skiing, and climbing in the world.
Gateway: Montrose Colorado. While Montrose might not be at the top of your bucket list, it is by far the best gateway for accessing Telluride and one of the only airports in the entire region. As you travel from the lowlands around Montrose up into the San Juan mountains you will be immediately struck by the unique beauty of the red sandstone cliff faces juxtaposed with the region’s proud blue spruce forests and the relief of the 14,000-foot peaks that tower high above!