The BEST of Switzerland – hikes from gentle to gigantic!
"We have traveled with Ryder-Walker in the past, based on the recommendations of my brother Leonard Bloom. The front-end service is excellent. The hikes give us the rigor and interest we want during the day and a quality experience in the evenings."- David B.
"The accommodations and food were great, the trek itself was the right level of strenuousness, and there was a good amount of time to rest and recuperate. And the guides were wonderful -- fun, informative and very helpful. We liked our fellow hikers as well, and the size (7 hikers, 2 guides) was perfect, as far as we were concerned. We've been on other, similar, guided hikes. But yours was the best, and we not only are thinking about signing up for another one, but would highly recommend your company to others."- Pam Fessler
"This was out seventh Ryder Walker trip; we know you are a top notch operation. Why mess with success!"- Diane A.
Visit Sils Maria, one of the most peaceful towns in Swizerland.
Travel on the Palm Express through the Italian Lakes District.
Snap photos of the Iconic Matterhorn from the window of your plush room in Zermatt.
The Highlights of Switzerland is designed to provide exceptional hiking with a broad range of physical challenge. This makes it perfect for families and parties with different interests and abilities. It is also designed to please those who prefer to unpack and stay unpacked for a few days at a time.
We begin in Sils Maria, one of the loveliest mountain towns on the planet. Nestled between two lakes at 1800 meters and dominated by high peaks all around, Sils Maria may be the Alps’ most peaceful mountain town.
Transfer on the magical Palm Express, through the Italian Lakes District, to the canton of Ticino, the heart of Italian speaking Switzerland. One of the great charms of the Ticino is the region’s culture, Locarno is a blend of Italian passion with a hint of Germanic influence. We’ll spend three nights in this bustling, yet charming lake resort town, with its lake front promenade, arcaded shops, Piazza Grande, and winding cobbled streets; home to many artisans shops and ateliers. Explore ancient, time forgotten hill towns and historic pathways from our superb lakeside accommodations.
The final stage has us transfer to Zermatt, the quintessential mountain town nestled at the base of the iconic Matterhorn. Explore the wild expanses of this heavily glaciated pocket of the Alps, and each day return to the comforts of our fantastic hotel in a quiet neighborhood and park-like setting beneath the magnificent Matterhorn.
Travel independently to Sils Maria, Switzerland and meet your guides for orientation and dinner in our outstanding hotel in the heart of this tiny and quiet village.
Explore the mystical Val Fex and Muott ‘Ota, a charming valley that descends into downtown Sils. Hikes in this itinerary are options only. The guides will tailor each day to the interests and abilities of all individuals in the group.
Cross to the far side of the Silsersee and ascend to the micro hamlets Grevasalvas (where the movie Heidi was filmed) and Blaunca before descending to Maloja where a lakeshore ramble returns us to Sils, or summit the Piz Lunghin for those seeking a bigger day.
Transfer through Italy and Menaggio on the shores of the Lago di Como and back into Switzerland and the ancient canton of Ticino. Arrive in Locarno on the shores of Lake Maggiore. This ancient town boasts a vibrant lakeside vibe with colorful cafes and pubs. Intoxicating trails connect antique hill villages offering stunning glimpses into life in times long past.
Visit the serpentine, glacial and waterworn granite valley of the Verszasca. The waters of the river that snakes down this glistening valley are alternately emerald green and ultramarine. It is truly visually stunning.
Ascend by funicular, cable car and chairlift to the Cimetta where a delightful ridgewalk ensues with endless views in all directions. Finish in the charming village Mergoscia for transfer back to Locarno.
What a fun transfer day! The slow journey through the Valle Maggia to the Italian border town Dommodossola could not be more memorable. Finish with the spectacular cog rail crawl up the Mattertal to Zermatt. That afternoon, ascend to the Gornergrat for the most inspiring views in the Alps.
Both challenging and gentle options are offered to explore the vast terrain on the flanks of the North Face of the Matterhorn.
Wander to the remote hamlet of Taschalp beneath the towering Dom (highest peak entirely in Switzerland) or hike to the legendary Hornli Hut at the base of the most popular route up the Matterhorn (for those in need of a touch more adrenaline).
Awake to a delicious breakfast then depart.