I’ve enjoyed hiking locally for many years, but when introduced to hiking the Alps (French, Italian and Swiss), it was an entirely different experience. I was hooked immediately.
Most of the hiking I’ve done was either guided group expeditions or day hiking out of ski towns such as Chamonix or Zermatt. Oh, I almost forgot what really made these perfect for me – the trips I have taken are inn-to-inn hiking trips. That means you only carry a day pack, your luggage and belongings are schlepped from one lovely village inn to another, and you sleep on a soft bed, with running water, electricity and great food (which you have earned).
You can choose from a wide variety of trip providers, locations and degrees of difficulty. I introduced my partner, John, to this other love of mine, and this year we tried another variation on the theme – self-guided hiking trips. You can organize as small or as large of a group as you want, but the self-guided trips (offered by Ryder-Walker out of Colorado) give you a tour route, hiking maps, they arrange for your hotels and luggage transport, and meals (breakfast/dinner) are included.
Last summer we did a trip called the Jungfrau Loop, which starts and ends in Grindelwald, Switzerland. We were blown away by the beauty and vastness of this part of Switzerland. Each day we started off with a great breakfast (supplemented sometimes by a stop at a local Swiss bakery—who knew this is one of the hidden gems of Switzerland?!), then hiked as hard and far as we wanted, using trains and chair lifts if we got tired. Lunch might be a picnic or a stop at a café or refugio. Then we would arrive at our outstanding lodging, often with breathtaking views of the mountains, and always with a great meal!
We cannot recommend this experience highly enough!
Lesly and John