Bring your camera and get ready to take some of the best photos of your life. We’re thrilled to be partnering with reknowned photographer Kerrick James on this special photography workshop and hiking tour through the Swiss Alps. Designed for amateur photographers of all levels, you’ll learn a variety of techniques to improve your photography skills from Kerrick, all while enjoying a world-class hike through Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland and Matterhorn regions. This is an active adventure, with 5-8 mile hikes daily, and 3 nights spent high in the mountains in remote mountain inns, but also with plenty of time to seek out picturesque viewpoints, pick up different tips and techniques, and to learn from one of the best in the field. You can read more about Kerrick James below.
The Switzerland of fairy tales resides in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. The Yosemite-like Lauterbrunnen valley is ringed by waterfalls, filled with wildflowers and quiet farms, and surrounded by famous glacier-clad peaks. Starting with 2 nights in the car-free village of Wengen, we’ll see the Eiger and Jungfrau mountains before hiking to the far end of the Lauterbrunnen valley for 1 night at the charming Obersteinberg mountain inn. We’ll continue the next day to Mürren for 2 nights there, followed by 2 nights split between the enchanting Oeschinen lake and nearby Kandersteg. Then we’ll head south to Zermatt, at the base of the mighty Matterhorn mountain, one of the most iconic sights in Europe. We’ll stay high above town at the traditional lakeside Fluhalp inn, before finishing with a walk high on the Gorner ridge, with glaciers and peaks surrounding us in every direction. Bring your tripod as we can use the waxing moon to shoot the high peaks landscape at night, including the stars, building up to a full moon on August 29!
This tour includes all meals, starting each day with a continental buffet breakfast at our hotel or inn – delicious fresh baked bread, local cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice – which gives us the energy needed for a full day of hiking and photography. Each morning, you’ll be handed a lunch to carry, and at a mid-point along the way we’ll choose a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy our picnic. We get a lot of compliments on our imaginative lunches – making them something to look forward to as well! We should finish our days by mid-afternoon, giving you time to wash up and relax. Each evening we’ll enjoy dinner together at our inn. These are multi-course feasts, featuring local specialties, and will definitely be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious.
You’ll have your own room every night, with 6 nights in 3-star village hotels and 3 nights in simple mountain inns. These inns are like rustic B&B’s with private rooms, but bathroom down the hall (one night at Obersteinberg with no showers). You’ll have luggage at each of the village hotels, but for the 3 mountain inn nights we will bring an extra set of clothes with us for a night away from our main bags.
About Kerrick James – Kerrick James has photographed the American West and Pacific Rim for over 25 years as a travel journalist, with more than 200 magazine and book covers and hundreds of features illustrated. His credits include Natl. Geo. Adventure, Arizona Highways, Sunset, Popular Photography, Conde Nast Traveler UK, Alaska Airlines Magazine, VIA, Delta Sky, EnCompass, Outdoor Photographer and many more.
In the past decade Kerrick has taught nearly 50 photo workshops in a wide variety of locations in Arizona, Alaska, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Hawaii, California, Baja California, Costa Rica, Panama and Zambia. He’s taught for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops, on cruise ship based trips sponsored by Pentax, and now, his own company, KJ Photo Safaris.
Kerrick has used Pentax cameras and optics his entire career and is a Pentax Brand Ambassador at trade shows and in numerous ads and videos. Kerrick also writes features for travel media, samples on request.
Kerrick is an active member of SATW (Society of American Travel Writers), TEOE (Through Each Other’s Eyes), and president of TJG (Travel Journalist Guild). He resides in Arizona with his sons Shane, Royce and Keanu.
Wengen – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to Wengen in the Bernese Oberland. We’ll meet and talk about our tour before a welcome dinner at a favorite restaurant in town.
Wengen – We’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Eiger, Jungfrau and surrounding mountains as we hike above Wengen from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and back on alternate trails.
Huge glaciers and waterfalls tumble to our feet at Biglenalp as we explore quiet side-trails in this classic mountain region.
Obersteinberg Inn – Our trail winds through flowery meadows and dense woods to the lush Lauterbrunnen valley floor. After a break for lunch, we’ll hike to a wild and isolated corner of the Lauterbrunnen valley for a memorable night in a remote mountain inn.
The Berghaus Obersteinberg is a simple mountain inn set in a stunning location, looking across the valley at the Jungfrau and Breithorn mountains, Rottal Glacier and the impressive Schmadribach waterfalls. There is no luggage transport, but we’ll enjoy charming private rooms and a filling and delicious meal… The next morning we’ll check out the friendly cows next door, where Hans makes cheese by hand daily in this most traditional of settings. This is always a favorite stop!
Mürren – We can take an optional morning hike to small glacial lake in the back of the valley.
Afterwards, a beautiful wooded hike brings us through sleepy Gimmelwald to the car-free village of Mürren, with its unparalleled cliffside views of the surrounding mountains.
Mürren – There are numerous dayhike possibilities around Mürren. One beautiful trail leads up to the local peak, Birg, for superb all-around views, and past a small glacial tarn.
A visit to the Blumental (“flower valley”) is a great daytrip, with small inns, moderate trails and great views.
Kandersteg – A morning transfer by train brings us to the quiet village of Kandersteg, with time for a hike up to a spectacular emerald-green lake surrounded by cliffs, waterfalls, and glacier-clad peaks.
We’ll stay in a simple inn at the edge of the lake so we can take advantage of the peaceful evening light after the crowds have disappeared.
Kandersteg – Among the great dayhikes from Kandersteg is a quiet path leading south towards the Klus gorge.
The power of the Kander river is impressive, as we climb through this narrow gorge into the hidden Gasterntal valley. This is a picture-perfect hideaway – a small, U-shaped valley, carpeted with wildflowers and guarded by savage cliffs. Waterfalls bursting from the sides of cliffs add to the scenery. We’ll stay in a 3-star hotel in Kandersteg.
Zermatt – Today we say good-bye to the Bernese Oberland and depart for Zermatt. Zermatt itself is a lively and atmospheric villages, flower-covered chalets lining narrow cobblestoned roads.
Walking through the village takes you past 400 year-old houses and into the history of this fascinating town. We’ll head high above Zermatt to Fluhalp inn, walking through larch forests and passing numerous small lakes with the Matterhorn towering in the distance.
Zermatt – Taking quiet trails through fields and forest, we will have a range of choices up to the wide ridge of Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe.
Once we gain the ridge, the jumbled mass of the Gorner glacier stretches out before us, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn, and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop. The Gorngrat train takes us back to Zermatt, where we’ll stay in a comfortable local hotel on our fantastic final evening.
depart – Today we board trains for our post-trip destinations. Please ask if you would like to extend this trip with more nights in Zermatt or another location in Switzerland on your own.
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