We arrived in Mürren yesterday and everything is amazing. You really outdid yourself when you set up the weather. Today we followed your very clear instructions to the Rotstock Hut and then instead of taking the gentle left to Schitalp we took the sharper left to Schiltorn (on purpose). It was about 7 hours and we took the cable car back. We are sore and a little sunburnt despite spf 70. We feel really spoiled with this apartment at Hotel Bellevue and the food has been amazing, light and fresh and also filling. Thanks for setting everything up! I am already thinking of what tours might work for my kids, and I have a fantasy about the Haute Route for our 20th anniversary (in 6 years).
To us Alpinehikers is kind of like having a friend who’s really knowledgeable about the alps and you can rely on to find some great routes, itineraries and places to stay.
The Haute Route was the most exhausting, fun, scary, and rewarding adventure I’ve ever done. Friends viewing photos and videos mentioned it looked “epic.” It was.
We loved the variety in each of the four hikes we did (we skipped the Ortisei hike because of time & weather). The combination of idyllic pastureland with rugged mountains was beautiful. It’s clear that Alpinehikers gave much thought, care and consideration to choosing these hikes; they provided us the opportunity to experience the Dolomites in its breathtaking glory. Also, every lodging and transportation detail went off perfectly–no hitches whatsoever, including anticipating Judith’s food needs. And everyone, from the taxi drivers to hotel and hut staff, was incredibly welcoming and accommodating to us. That was a big deal, since this was our first trip to Italy and we knew almost nothing about what to expect….
I want to especially thank Alpinehikers for their responsiveness at every step of the process, from answering all our preliminary questions, to providing adjustments to our scheduling needs and letting lodging staff know about Judith’s lactose intolerance. You were also very prompt in your replies, and the email correspondence made it clear that you were paying attention. You guys are first rate, and we let other hikers we met know that! (Several who’d heard of you said that they’d only heard positives.) We’d gladly use your services again–which we better do before my knees get any more creaky!
Thank you for such excellent service and support! You all epitomize top-notch customer service. And let the taxi company and hotel/hut staff know how important their support is. Even if they don’t work for Alpinehikers, we’d have had a very different reaction to the overall tour if we hadn’t felt so welcomed by them.
I have toured with Alpinehikers in the past, so I knew before starting this tour that I could expect an organized and unique adventure. Still, somehow, you all managed to surpass my expectations! This was the trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful for all of the effort that Alpinehikers put in to the logistics of the tour. What I loved most about this tour was how different each day was. From the terrain to the views, every second of the hike had memorable moments.
This was the best hiking trip we’ve done, and we’ve done quite a few. Every hotel was fine, the food was fine, and the hiking itinerary was outstanding. The daily write-ups and maps were well done. It was obvious a lot of work was put into our trip.
It was an excellent trip! The accommodations were great and our guide was excellent. The Hotel Europe had all the amenities we could want in a hotel. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The spa facilities were excellent! The dinners were amazing as well. The staff at the hotel were the nicest people. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience at the hotel. The hikes were a good length with the right amount of difficulty. The 2 huts we stayed at were very different and both great (Fluhalp and Riffelalp).
Everything was very concisely prepared and laid out, including city/town and hotel information, and maps. All questions were answered very helpfully in the planning process. I felt very comfortable working with Troy and Alpinehikers.
Everything was so well thought out ahead of time. It was wonderful to just follow directions and have someone else do the thinking for us! I particularly appreciated the time Troy spent with me on the phone to adapt the trip to our needs and the extra information he provided for Zurich, Luzern and Lausanne.
We loved being away from the crowds, walking at our own pace, taking time to see what we wanted to see, staying at small, family-run hotels.
From the first phone call I had with Abby I was impressed by your company. She was so helpful in discussing different trips and very encouraging. The information you sent ahead of time was very helpful – and I didn’t realize until I needed it – the train schedules and track numbers was so helpful to me. I liked that you added my own days before and day after onto the itinerary. I loved every day.
Each day is uniquely amazing. Each day’s hike was different – I liked staying at all the different inns and hotels. Before the trip I thought that moving each day might be tedious but it was not. I thought the places we stayed each day fit with the day’s hike – i.e. on the more challenging days we had more comfort where we stayed. The only place I didn’t like as much as the others was the inn in Griesalp. I felt it was not as clean and comfortable as the other places. Matt and Hayden were exceptional. They were extremely attentive, fun, knowledgeable, told us what was coming up the next day, took care of us. I realized during the first day that I didn’t have to think all day – everything was taken care of. I was impressed by them – getting to each town, shopping, having dinner with us, always answering questions and telling us about where we were. They were non-stop. The lunch and snack bags each day were such a treat. They got to know each person and were attentive to all of us.
I really like that your own guides are with us – that we have a direct connection to Alpine Hikers and that you have a presence in Switzerland. Other similar companies in the US – use local guides and there is no connection to them. It was comforting to me to be with Alpine Hikers the entire trip.
This was our 2nd self-guided hiking holiday with Alpinehikers and again we were extremely satisfied. All our hotel bookings met and exceeded our expectations and check-ins were timely and efficient. Hiking maps and details were again accurate and optional suggestions were perfect. The suggested order of our tour of Zermatt was well thought out and suited us perfectly.
Frankly, I would not change a thing about Alpinehikers. I have been on many group tours and this ranks among one of the best. I was concerned that the “small” (initially 5 participants and 1 guide) group size may have been too small, however it was the opposite, a larger group would have been more difficult to manage over the long days of hiking.
The route, the planning, the guides, the hotels and food – all were top notch. OK, the weather could have been better but that was out of your control! (and to be honest when I think about it, if it had been hot and sunny we would have been too hot and sunburned….). For me, being older, it worked out well that most others were in my age group. But I probably would have been fine should they all have been younger. As it turned out, my fitness level aligned comfortably with the others in my group – that was a relief to me.
The two mountain pass walks were the best, I think. I pushed myself and found I could hike to 8 and 9 thousand feet. I’ve never done that before. I’m pretty much a loner and before the trip was wondering if I could be on a trip for 9 days – all day – with strangers and that part turned out very well also. We hiked all day together, ate all meals and I never felt like it was too much company. I felt quite lonely when I checked into my hotel by myself on the day the tour ended – I didn’t expect that.
I can’t imagine trying to pull together all these details on my own. It would have taken weeks of effort and I don’t see how I could have negotiated better prices nor picked such great hikes and accommodations no matter how much research I did. Two or three of the innkeepers asked how we chose Alpinehikers. All of them said we picked one of the very best. Here’s hoping I get to use your service in the future…..SOON. So many places to go!
I usually plan all our trips so to “outsource” this was a harder choice as it is difficult to convey just “what you want” in a trip. Abby listened very well on the onset; I liked meeting Michelle during our trip. While we chose the more difficult options, it was nice to have options for weather, tired legs, etc. Our idea was to capture our idea of Switzerland; the scenery and small villages and this trip did just that while also allowing us to dine and overnight in comfort. It truly gave us a sense of being “in-country” but allowed us to explore ourselves with just the correct amount of oversight in the detailed descriptions…
The Eiger Trail from Alpenglen to Kleine Scheidegg was most memorable (we took to high trail). Above the valley to Obersteinberg was challenging yet most rewarding with views. We enjoyed being able to see where we were going and where we came from (on the East Coast, hikes are all in the trees). Eating outdoors at most of our locations and the wonderful views from the hotels where we stayed. We especially enjoyed meeting folks from different countries enroute.
I spoke with all 3 operators and chose Alpinehikers due to the friendliness and warm feeling I received over the telephone. While the others were professional, speaking to a guide who made recommendations and catered to our wants was huge. Also, a sample of a self-guided itinerary was great.
I can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed our tour. I felt that Alpinehikers created the trip “for us”; the hotels were perfect–extremely nice and comforting yet not out of place or touristy. The descriptions provided allowed us a lot of leeway in our planning yet gave good guidance for the day without being overbearing. We will be back.
The guides were phenomenal… I seriously couldn’t have asked for better guides in any way. They were extremely attentive and you could tell they truly wanted you to have a great experience.
The contact I had with Deb by phone beforehand was very helpful. Our guides, Jake & Eryka, were fantastic. They were so friendly, caring, personable and went out of their way to make sure we had a great time and that our needs were catered for. Everything went very smoothly and was very well organized. I loved all of it. Highlights were the cozy room on the first night at the Chalet Schwarzwaldalp and the beautiful meal we had there. Loved the food and the hospitality of the owners of the Hotel Baren in Wengen. Enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the way up and down from the Berghaus Obersteinberg. Enjoyed the contrasts of beautiful flowered meadows, towering close mountain peaks, forested areas, cattle with their cow bells, ski areas, cliff faces, valleys, waterfalls. Enjoyed getting to know all the people in the group.
We’re geared towards organized, independent, active travel, and have traveled over the years with at least 5 other independent travel companies. We’ve never had the need to contact our tour arrangers during our vacation. While traveling with Alpinehikers, we had the need to contact your local rep twice (not for any issue on your part), and were assisted admirably in both cases. It was extremely gratifying to know that someone nearby had our back.
Everything was top notch from the hotels, huts, hikes and recommendations for each day. I have done other self guided trips but the ones through Alpinehikers exceed them all!
All of the hikes (we did seven of the eight) were excellent and, even though all were concentrated in a tight area, the views and experiences were diverse. The hotels were better (more comfortable) than I had anticipated for hikers, and the meals were nothing short of pampering. The luggage moved seamlessly from hotel to hotel. The hiking directions were mostly clear (occasionally we scratched our heads) and printed on paper that stood up to abuse. Also appreciated the side notes about other attractions in each area, of which we enjoyed four. Beyond that, Troy was extraordinarily helpful in offering hikes that met our wishes, and Matt Brown was ever helpful and patient in responding to e-mailed questions. In Switzerland, we encountered Jake and Eryka (one or both) three times, and they were not only friendly but asking if there was anything they could do to assist. In sum, although the price gets one’s attention I thought it was an excellent value.
I had a marvelous trip! I was very satisfied with the overnight accommodations. And the hikes were amazing! The booklet that was provided prior to the trip, as well as the suggested hikes and maps were great! Much more than I expected. My favorite part of the trip was the hiking. The Bernese Oberland area is just so beautiful. I am very proud that my friend and I made the hike through the Sefinenfurke pass. The hotels were great; I loved that they are so authentically Swiss. The food at each was great. Our packed lunches were wonderful – kudos to our guides Matt and Hayden. Everyone was SO nice! The locals, the tourists, the people on our tour, and our guides!
I think Alpinehikers does a very good job of planning and executing tours. You are accessible during a tour and that is important. We called Troy during our tour with a problem and he answered immediately. One gets the feeling you really care about producing a good experience and are really invested in the people who book with you, whether self-guided or guided. Thanks for two great vacations!
I loved the mountains and the lodges where we stayed. Everyone was so friendly and pleasant to be around, the service was superb at each and every one. I actually cannot think of anything that could have been better. It was my favorite vacation ever!
Our trip to Switzerland was absolutely amazing. We knew very little about the country prior to communication with Troy, but he was able to help build our perfect self-guided tour. He set out a sample itinerary, and patiently and efficiently worked through our desires and preferences. He did a great job of keeping us on track, but also supported our ideas that were a little outside the box. In the end, we chose to spend a short time in Zurich, 3 days hiking in and around Wengen, 3 days hiking in and around Zermatt, 2 days relaxing in Lugano, and then took a flight home out of Milan.
With the help of Troy, we had an unforgettable trip. Our hikes were challenging, rewarding, and fun, and we were able to see some of the most iconic parts of the breathtaking Alps, including the Matterhorn and the Jungfrau. Troy directed us to stay and hike in smaller villages that gave us the serenity and character we were seeking, but which also had the amenities we needed.
Now that we’ve discovered Switzerland, we can’t wait to go back. We felt so incredibly welcomed by the people of Switzerland, who seemed happy to have us there. We loved the pace of life and the beautiful and exciting landscape, and we can’t wait to go back and tackle the Alps with our kids someday!
Breakfast was a special treat each day–all of our hotels had great spreads, and we really enjoyed the chance to relax in the morning before setting out.
We would probably skip the Lugano part of the trip now that we’ve experienced it. Although the lake and city were beautiful, we were very sad to be leaving the mountains behind. Troy tried to tell us, but we didn’t listen!
We might also change some of our accommodations. Although we liked all of our hotels, some of them skewed toward older clientele. We would consider giving up some of the creature comforts we received in order to stay in less formal places. In particular, we probably wouldn’t stay at the Villa Castagnola in Lugano–it was a little snooty and old-fashioned. We absolutely loved our hotels in Zurich (Hotel Kindli) and Zermatt (Hotel Europe). And though the clientele at the Beau Site (Wengen) was a little older and quieter, we still felt very welcome and content there.
We picked the Bernese Oberland trip, worked with Troy on dates, did some modifications. After that booking/paying, we received a packet with all the details of our day-2-day. We just showed up in Meiringen and each day thereafter hiked to our next destination. For each day the packet gave alternatives should there be rain or if we were too tired and that was great. It also gave ideas where to get food for lunches. Given we do lots of planning and thinking at our day jobs it was great that we could do minimal thinking/planning prior to and during the trip. Just show and go. The other thing is the price of the trip. After I received the packet from Troy I looked up each accommodation and determined what the trip would have cost if I booked it, also including luggage transfers, rail pass, …. Thereby letting me get an idea what the approximate $markup$ was. Totally worth it. In addition to the day to day itineraries, the value of having Alpine Hikers pick known good quality lodging that served great food was invaluable. If I had to figure that out via (eg) TripAdvisor it would have been a gamble and lots of pre-trip time. Alpine Hikers costs a little more than other trips (Alpine Exploratory, Macs Adventure) but I think you get what you pay for in the form of better lodging, more meals included, more personal touch, … Also having the luggage transfers worked out where each hotel entirely took care of the transfer – I didn’t have to drop it or pick it up from train stations was great.
The overall experience was great from start to finish – right from the first time Troy responded to my inquiry on “would you help organize a self guided tour,” to him suggesting the right kid-friendly places for us to stay at and visit, to planning all logistics (reservations, train passes, brochures that provided directions to hotels, suggestions on trails/nearby kids attractions, etc.), to checking on us at Murren – all of this showed that Alpine hikers didn’t want just our “business” but deeply cared about our customer experience too!
We are at the airport and about to fly home to the States. The trip that you put together for us went wonderfully. Karin was a great guide and her local knowledge was really helpful. The refugios that you recommended exceeded my expectations. The hikes were at a level that was just as I had expected, and the scenery was truly extraordinary. The weather was better than forecast which was an added plus. Thanks for doing such a great job in making all the arrangements. Everything went off without a hitch. Taxi Engel was very good with the transportation. We all had a great experience. I want to come back to finish off the Alta via 1 sometime and to spend more time around Corvara. La Perla was a great hotel to finish it all up. Good call on your part!
All the best,
We loved seeing Switzerland by rail. Although we are not big on hiking, Alpinehikers (Troy and his staff) helped create a wonderful trip for the three of us. The service exceeded my expectations. Communication was easy. I told them exactly what I wanted; type of hotels, cities to see, specific rail tickets/seat reservations, and they delivered :) We appreciated the advice on activities, and easy hiking/walks included in our itinerary booklet. Everything we received for the trip (itinerary, maps, train schedules, etc..) was detailed. Any questions I had were answered quickly.
Paragliding in Zermatt! It was amazing to launch from Klein Matterhorn.
Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe was memorable. We enjoyed the beautiful views and different activities/things to see when you reach the top.
We also enjoyed Mount Pilatus. Taking the steepest cogwheel in the world was fun and impressive to see/experience. The weather was not in our favor so once we reached the top, we could not see much, but it was still worth it and we enjoyed the experience.
We spent a month in Europe this summer, and these 8 days in Switzerland were the most fantastic part of the trip! I know Alpine Hikers had nothing to do with the beauty of Switzerland, but every detail they helped with made us relax, know the details were covered, and simply enjoy the pure beauty.
Our trip went off without a hitch. The maps and detailed written directions were just what we needed. We had comfortable lodgings and great food everywhere you booked us. The luggage transport never failed. Alpinehikers advice on preparing for the trip–in terms of fitness training and gear recommendations–was just right.
Well, what an amazing holiday we have had!!! Other than the small glitch that we had with loosing our travel wallet in security in Auckland, our trip was brilliant, and proved that we could travel around the world with just a passport!! People ask what the highlight of our 3 weeks away was, and to be honest each stage was very special in their own way.
But what was in store for us in Switzerland was better than we could have ever imagined – it was a magical part of our holiday!! From the moment we caught the first train on our way to Grindewald, we could not believe the clockwork precision with which they ran. Your notes were brilliant, and our days were made easier by them. The accommodation was superb as were the breakfasts and dinners that were included; and to have our luggage transferred from hotel to hotel was really appreciated. We felt honoured to be hiking with Alpine Hikers as every place we stayed at spoke so highly of you, Troy, and really appreciated their association with you! So we too expounded our appreciation for all that you have done for us. Your attention to detail left no stone unturned.
Weatherwise, although not fine and sunny every day, we were told that the day we hiked from Grindelwald to Wengen was the first fine day they had had in 8 days! So we were lucky and had the most spectacular views. The day we travelled to Grindewald was cloudy, so the mountain tops were not revealed until the following morning! As recommended by you we took the train to Alpiglen, but then walked the rest of the way taking the trail via Haaregg, Biglenalp, Mettlenalp and to Wengen. As we arrived in Wengen and at Hotel Baren, it began to rain, but we had had a brilliant day, with spectacular mountain views. Just loved the jingle-jangle of cow bells and cuckoos chiming as background music!
Our day walking from Wengen to Obersteinberg, although wet, was still spectacular as there were waterfalls everywhere! Looking at the vegetation, it is obviously a high rainfall area, so the rain seemed to freshen everything, and made the vegetation colours brighter. Your notes were very accurate, and although a long day (as we had walked right from Wengen), we appreciated arriving at Obersteinberg, as did a lot of other wet and cold hikers. A fascinating stay, and appreciated our conversations with Vicki, as Hans was making cheese; and with the other members of the family – one doing the laundry and another in the kitchen. The views across the valley to the dwellings set high above had us curious about their access!! Even getting cows up and down to Obersteinberg would be no mean feat!!
The weather on our day walking from Obersteinberg to Murren was perfect again. We took the high route – I was a little hesitant about your “vertigo alert” warning but I managed, and just loved some of the views, the mountains, the alpine flowers and the track. Have some spectacular photos as reminders.
Murren was a great spot for a two night stopover / recharge!! But the Eidelweiss Hotel almost needed a “vertigo alert” warning as well!! We spent our free day going up to the top of the Schilthorn, and enjoyed seeing where we had been and were to be going; and in the afternoon we took the train to Grutschalp and then walked back to Murren visiting a dairy farm en route where 78 cows were being milked.
Zermatt was our next stop and again this was a very wet stopover!! Although not raining when we arrived, it was a very cloudy day, so I think every tourist was on the street. But a heavy thunderstorm soon diminished the numbers on the street to a bearable number, and we enjoyed our walk around town, to Hinterdorfstrasse with the numerous old houses and barns; and to the museum. The Matterhorn remained hidden throughout our stay, but we did enjoy the Hotel Europe and meeting Ruedi Julen and hearing about his sheep farming (Swiss style) compared to us (sheep farming in New Zealand). A very comfortable stay for our last night in Switzerland before heading to Geneva and on to stay with friends in France.
What made this part of our holiday really special is that from the moment we found your website which was so informative, and then to have our impression reinforced by our friends Debbie and Gary from Colorado who had previously been hiking in Switzerland using your expertise, we knew our trip would be great. And it was! As I said before, your attention to detail was fantastic. Your notes and the package of maps etc that you sent were brilliant. We also appreciated knowing the cost of this trip was a first cost, last cost package, and that all our accommodation had been booked for us. We have always enjoyed tramping (or hiking) so to be able to do this while seeing such a beautiful part of the world was very special.
So to you, Troy, and to your staff at Alpine Hikers, a HUGE THANK YOU from us both – we are telling everyone about our fantastic trip, about your website and about you! If there is anything else we can do, please let us know!
We are now wandering where we will go next!!
Everything from train schedules to hotels to hikes were set out so we could follow them with very little trouble. The hotels were very comfortable and in great locations. The hikes were fabulous and made for our abilities. We could make them as easy or as strenuous as we desired for that day. This trip is one of the best we have taken and we travel a lot.
We loved every aspect of the trip. Murren was absolutely beautiful, and our hotel was lovely. I had looked online and had been completely confused about where to go. But Murren was a perfect spot to spend a week hiking. The hikes that you all laid out were well thought out and perfectly paced, so that we always arrived at lunch spot just when we needed lunch. We would not have known to do some of those hikes, without your help and insight. The directions on the hikes and travel to Murren and back were also clear and easy to follow, which made for a stress-free trip. We fell in love with the area–it was magical.
Everything worked like clockwork from beginning to end. From the beginning when I first inquired on Alpinehikers and comparing you with other companies Alpinehikers were prompt with providing all relevant information with honesty and transparency on everything including when I inquired why your pricing was a bit more expensive than others I’d compared. All arrangements for our arrival and departure pick ups/drop offs with Mountain dropoffs, accommodations and luggage transfers were all accurate, efficient and reliable. Hiking notes were detailed and accurate on all but one occasion. We really had a wonderful worry free holiday and couldn’t have asked for more. We also appreciated help when I left my iPad at Les Mottetts and getting it returned to our Chamonix accommodation.
I was very pleased with the care and effort this Switzerland travel company put into understanding our particular needs, and providing the excellent materials for each detail of our trip! Each day, we had exactly the material that we needed. The hotels were great, and the detailed train schedules and maps provided us with peace of mind.
Troy, I wanted to drop you a line and tell you that we are spending the last night of our vacation sitting on our balcony at the Hotel des Alpes in Lucern having wine. The trip that you arranged for us could not have been better. The hotel in Murren was great as was the hiking. The hotel in Zermatt was incredible and the meals in both were first rate. In Zermatt we hiked to Trift and had lunch. The next day we hiked to Hornli Hut. What an experience. The entire trip has gone off without a hitch, thanks to your planning. My wife and I agree that engaging in strenuous hikes during the day and then being pampered at night makes for a great vacation. Thanks to you this has been the best vacation we have ever taken.
We had a great time on the Bernese Oberland Traverse that Alpine hikers organized for us. there was a good mix of accommodation and the route was clearly described and easy to follow the instructions. we will certainly think of using their expertise again when we are next “venturing into the unknown”!
I used Alpinehikers to arrange a trip for me, my husband and my two college-age children to Switzerland, France and Germany this summer.
Troy arranged everything so well – from selecting wonderful boutique hotels, arranging train travel and Swiss passes, and providing detailed hiking options for each location. He also provided outlines and suggestions for each city regarding background, sightseeing and great restaurants.
Best of all, we had his contact information in Europe in case anything went wrong – but luckily, everything went exactly as he planned and we had a wonderful 2 weeks!
We love hiking in the Alps (we had hiking routes suggested by Troy that accommodated our various levels of fitness quite nicely), and the family is divided between Zermatt and Wengen for best Alpine hiking experiences.
We also loved Mont Blanc and Jungfrau for their glorious snow covered vistas and glaciers. In Munich, we loved the beer gardens, and the tour of Dachau was very memorable and important to all of us.
Our first review was from 2010. We decided to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc in 2012 and this time we shopped around various companies just to be sure we were getting the best price and itinerary. After a bit of knowledge of what others included, provided and priced I contacted Troy. The final choice was a “no brainer”. We went with Alpinehikers.
If you want to hike the Alps don’t even bother with trying to book the plan by yourself. There is no way you will be better off for less money. After having booked two trips through Troy we can say with absolute certainty you should have no worries about working with this company you found on the internet. All the reviews are accurate. The amount of local knowledge and careful planning is second to none.
Our Trek of Mont Blanc was the most enjoyable experience and hope that you too will entrust your travel concerns to Troy. You won’t be sorry.
Troy at Alpine Hikers helped us to plan an unforgettable trip to Switzerland for our 25th wedding anniversary. We love to hike, but wanted a little more freedom than what the guided tours provided and we didn’t feel comfortable booking hotels, etc on our own. Troy provided feedback and asked questions so that in the end, our trip was customized just for us. With advice from Troy on how to use the train system, we went to Montreux, Murren, Zermatt, and Geneva. We chose early June when the weather was still a little unpredictable in these areas, but the wild flowers were beautiful and the crowds were non-existent. Troy provided “rainy day” activities that were perfect. For example, when the clouds covered Murren, we took the train down to Lauterbrunnen and walked a trail lined with waterfalls so tall that that they seemed to fall from the sky.
The hotels Troy chose were unbelievable! They were in perfect locations and the views were amazing (in Zermatt, the Matterhorn was right out our window!) We chose to include the meals in Murren & Zermatt, and glad we did – this early in the season (especially in Murren) there isn’t much going on yet. The food was exceptional in both places but the the chef at Hotel Europe in Zermatt presented dishes that we won’t soon forget. All in all, the trip Troy booked for us (trains, hotels, meals, hiking trails, and other activities) was better than what we imagined. We will be contacting him again. (Thanks, Troy!)
For many years this was a dream of mine – to hike in the Alps. I could not have imagined a better vacation. The hikes were challenging without making me so tired I could not do any other exploring. The company was charming. The food was fab. The guides – witty and knowledgable. Can’t wait for my next trip!
Our Bernese Oberland hiking adventure was perfect in all respects from the knowledgeable guides to the interesting people also taking part in our guided trip to the majestic scenery. The accommodations and food were in keeping with the gracious Swiss culture, which made for a trip that took us far away from our normal daily lives and created the perfect holiday retreat. We have been on adventure trips with other larger operations but they do not compare with Alpine Hikers highly personalized approach. We plan to take other trips with this excellent company.
This was an amazing vacation. We were based out of the Hotel Stetteneck in Ortisei. This was a gorgeous little hotel right in the center of a small town surrounded by mountain views. The food was outstanding with lots of vegetarian options and fresh fruits, cheeses and homemade breads. We were on the main pedestrian road which tourists would stroll down in the evening. There was a porch in front to enjoy our grappa after dinner and watch the night scene. Mountain hiking is accessible right from the town square.
For 3 nights, we left our bags at the hotel and hiked from hut to hut in the mountains. The routes were old foot paths to summer high pastures. Each hut had excellent views and great food. One not to miss was Plattkofelhutte. This was perched high above the pastures and provided homemade spinach dumplings, home-infused grappa and great desserts. The views and routes were breath-taking. We never would have found these places on our own.
Every hotel was carefully chosen and accurately represented by Troy . We found the locations to be very conveniently located near the train station which made it easier to send our luggage ahead (which worked like a CHARM every single time). We found all the hotels comfortable and clean with friendly staffs and good food, exactly as he had promised. The walks were wonderful and every day was a treat. We especially appreciated the bus and tram lines that paralleled many of the walks so we had the freedom to choose when to walk and when to ride.
The schedule Troy outlined for us felt customized to our needs. As hikers in our 60’s it was important for us to know that Alpine hiking is manageable for go-go seniors too! The packet of maps, travel arrangements and walk descriptions was beautifully organized and easy to understand. The maps were clear and the descriptions of each walk were absolutely accurate. We never got lost or felt confused about what to expect. Our only problem was that when we were at home preparing for the walks and looking at the maps we didn’t really pay enough attention to the sentence where he emphasizes that the Alps are steep! While in Switzerland we joked about every walk being either straight up or straight down, which is of course, an exaggeration. We appreciated that the Swiss Alps do not have elevation as high as alpine venues in the USA and the lower elevation made hiking wonderfully easier than the Sierras or Rocky Mountains .
We had a wonderful trip and want to hike with Alpine Hikers again because of the care and precision and accurate portrayal of every aspect of the trip. Troy delivered exactly what he said he would deliver and we really respect that in a travel provider. Wow, it was the trip of a lifetime and I highly recommend Alpine Hikers.
Troy, Thank you for helping make our Switzerland trip successful. We had a wonderful time with only a few minor travel “bumps” — like when the train to Zermatt broke down and we had to take a bus to the end of the train line! The hotels were very nice, each with a different character but great service in common. We enjoyed watching low clouds from a thunderstorm come up the valley from our balcony at the Hotel Jungfrau and watching the climbers on the Matterhorn at sunrise through our binoculars from the Hotel Europe. We were very happy with the order of our stops from Murren to Zermatt to Pontresina. It was a nice change of pace to do the daytrip to Guarda and walk through it and some nearby villages in the middle of our stay in Pontresina.
The hikes were fantastic from the waterfalls visible on the trail to Obersteinberg, to the Eiger view and the wildflowers on the hike from Mannlichen to Wengen, to the glacier views as we climbed up to Fuorcla Surlej from the Val Roseg. We did one hike backwards — the one to the Findal glacier overlook — as we took the train up to Gornergrat first thing in the morning, spent lots of time there watching climbers on the various peaks through our binoculars, and so started the hike at Riffelalp instead of ending there. It would be difficult to select a favorite.
We had trouble with the trail directions for only one hike — the one to Zmutt/Schonbiel hut. We never did find the dark wooden sign in Zermatt near Grampi’s Pub. So we just headed up the alley there. I think we were headed the right way but got off track because we did not stay left at a trail junction as the trail sign indicated going left would take us back to the church in Zermatt. Instead we went right thinking there would be another sign for Herbrigg, Hubel and/or Zmutt. Wrong — we continued up and up, all the way to the Hotel Edelweiss/Alterhaupt. We eventually got back on track and had lunch on the “picnic table boulders” above Zmutt. But it was a tiring side trip! When we were at the Hotel Steinbock, we met a couple from Montreal who were also using your services for a self-guided tour. They also mentioned trying unsuccessfully to find the start of that hike. The detour was not a problem; it was still a beautiful place to spend some time! But I thought I’d mention the confusion in case you need to update the trail directions.
It’s hard to be back in California; as beautiful as parts of this state are, it seems terribly brown and plain compared to the Alps!
Our adventure story is filled with the unexpected. The other reviews are completely accurate ; Troy arranges a wonderful trip, at a great price. We wanted to write how accommodating he was with our changing situations and always ready to help.
First our plane got turned around after 3 hours in the air, and we had to depart the U.S a day later. Troy arranged to add a day to our tour.
Then when we arrived in Murren, we spent three days hiking in rain,snow, and dense fog. Then onward to great weather in Zermatt where we contacted Troy to change our itinerary again. We wanted to cancell our city tours and go back to Murren as we believed the weather would clear. Troy advised that this could be risky, gave us alternatives if the weather was still foul, and re-arranged our hotel stays for the little time we would be in the cities. We were willing to be on our own to find a room in Murren, or elsewhere, and that worked out fine. The weather cleared and we ended up having the “vacation of a lifetime”, thanks to the flexibility and understanding of Troy.
We wholeheartedly endorse Troy and Alpine Hikers. We asked Troy for a referral for a guide service in Patagonia,and after much research on our part, it was an easy decision to follow his advice. We will be spending Christmas in a base camp, hoping that Santa finds us at the South Pole, where we will be certain to toast to Troys health and continued success!
Enjoy your journey, you will be in good hands!
For our 2 week Self-guided tour of Bernese Oberland, Chamonix & Zermatt:
- We started out trying to plan this trip ourselves and were soon overwhelmed and lost as to who/what/when/where/how. Finding Troy/Alpine Hikers saved the day.
- Our trip was 2 fathers and 2 teenage daughters. Once we explained our goals, requirements, and budget, Alpine Hikers quickly customized a perfect suggested itinerary for us including recommended region(s), hike length/duration and degree of difficulty (based on the level of challenge we wanted to take on), a mixture of lodging style/price options (huts, mountain inns and villages), local/regional transportation options, sightseeing options, etc.
- The villages, hotels, mountain inns and huts Alpine Hikers recommended and booked for us were all exactly what we could have hoped for, all well-run, excellent places, and the remote ones were in spectacular settings with jaw-dropping scenery.
- The supporting documentation was well organized and just what we needed, no more no less. Alpine hikers supplied rail passes, maps, daily suggested itineraries, suggested hikes, etc, as needed.
- The whole planning process was fast, efficient, flexible and very user friendly.Unless you’ve been there and know the area well already, this service is indispensable. It’s an excellent one stop shop that will save you infinite amounts of planning time, and their expertise will take you straight to the most spectacular parts of the alps and alpine back-country. We highly recommend it, and would be happy to provide additional insight to those w/ questions. We had a GREAT trip. Mega thanks Troy!
My husband and I just returned from a self-guided Jungfrau and Zermatt trip arranged by Troy. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the planning and preparations and the attention to detail in our itineraries. Having never been to Switzerland, we were a bit nervous about making all the train connections, finding our hotels, etc., but everything went smoothly due to Troy’s great instructions. We loved the hikes he had recommended and were so glad we didn’t have to waste time trying to decide where to go. Our hotels were all nice and meals were good. We would definately recommend Troy’s services to others and plan to do another trip with Alpine Hikers.
Hi Mr. Haines, I cannot begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed my trip and my hikes. It was the best vacation in my life. Everything, the landscape, the mountains, the forests, the trails, cows, sheep, goats, the rich mountain vegetation, flora and fauna…….all was breathtaking. My heart melted to see such beauty. I am definitely considering of coming next year. Thanks to your excellent organization and planning, each stay at the inns was an adventure and very pleasant. The people were kind, breakfasts were great, always clean and the decorations and the extra touches that the owners added to their inns and hotels showed a lot of pride and respect for people that come to stay there. In one word, everything was organized for me and the maps and the descriptions of the hikes and basically the whole agenda were well described and planned out. The Eiger trail and the walk to Wengen, also the hike to Obersteinberg, added so much to my life experience (and of course all the others)… my eyes could not believe that it was actually what I was seeing. Everywhere waterfalls, lush forests, alps. I met some interesting people along the way and the hospitality of people at the inns and hotels was great. Again, thank you for making my trip easy to follow and the most enjoyable.
Hi Troy, We had a terrific time in Switzerland. Thanks very much for everything. For whatever it’s worth, here’s a quick summary:
Zermatt: Weather was cloudy and cold when we arrived. Miraculously, it cleared in the morning and we had a beautiful view of the Matterhorn. We tried to visit Zum See for lunch, but there is lots of construction in the meadow. The paths split often and there weren’t signs. In other words, we didn’t make it. I’m stubborn so I tried it on my own later and found the restaurant using a route that went along the river. We loved the hotel, although I might have preferred to find my own restaurants as there are a million choices in Zermatt. By the way, the servers in the restaurant told us that no service was included in our arrangement, implying we should leave a tip, which we did.
Murren: Lovely hotel run by a wonderful woman. In Murren, we were delighted to have our dinner in the hotel as there were very limited options. Again, our server told us that no service was included in our arrangement implying we should tip. I’m fine with this, but I just wasn’t sure if it was legitimate. Sadly, the weather was horrible. The fog was as thick as pea soup. It snowed overnight. It was impossible to see anything more than a few feet away from you. We did go to the waterfall inside the mountain and enjoyed ourselves.
Lucerne: A great hotel in a great location. By the way, thanks for getting us rooms with balconies. We sat out each evening drinking a bottle of wine before dinner. The weather was getting much nicer. The farmers’ market was right in front of us on Tuesday morning and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We saw the typical sites like the Lion of Lucerne and we went to a museum. We did some serious shopping, and the Swiss economy should be healthy for quite a while. We had dinner at a hotel called Montana. Their dining room has a spectacular view and the menu was incredible.
Zurich: Weather was sunny and beautiful. Another nice hotel. Incidentally, we loved the breakfasts at all the hotels and inns. In fact, that’s the first thing I missed when I got home. We had dinner at the nice place you recommended that’s in a ancient building near the hotel and it was very good. Again, we had a wonderful time. Thanks for everything.
I imagine you’re in Switzerland now and enjoying some wonderful hiking. I’ve been meaning to write to you to let you know how much I loved our trip in June. If you could hear what great things I say about it to anyone who will listen! Everything worked out wonderfully (except maybe the visibility some of the days!) and we had a fabulous time. Your directions and explanations and descriptions were right on and helped us so much as we wandered around the countryside. And what beautiful countryside it is! I loved every single step I took and was smiling almost the whole time (maybe I didn’t smile that much on the hike into Wengen because it was raining quite a bit and I was in full rain gear and we couldn’t see a single thing!). But those are the memories that stay with you, doncha think?? Our first day in Grindelwald was spectacular and we had a gorgeous day hiking through the Lauterbrunnen Valley – how we LOVED that valley. We also loved Obersteinberg and wouldn’t have missed that for the world.
Ordinarily I say that I don’t ever want to go back to places because there are so many more places to see (I have a real wanderlust) and I don’t have the inclination to repeat a place. This time I’ve not said that. In fact I’d hike the Alps again and use your help and see more beautiful places in the area. So, thanks for all your advice pre-trip and the great info you provided. The trip was unforgettable!
Hello Troy, Finally catching up from our tour. It was fabulous, Troy! Truly. Loved every minute of it…..except maybe those last few hours of decent into Gimmelwald! OMG, I’d rather climb any day. The trip, times, places, views….everything was perfect for us! It couldn’t have been better. We’re ready to return and do more. We’re discussing renting an apartment for a month each year in Murren.
The route you set out for us, starting in Grindelwald at the base of the Eiger, then around and down into Lauterbrunnen Valley to see another view, and with the water falls, up to Obersteinberg….ah, the views from there……and to end in Murren to look across now at Jungrau, Monch and Eiger. Breathtaking. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Glad I read The White Spider and Killing Dragons before our experience. Made me appreciate those mountains even more. No climbers to watch that we were aware of while there, darn it. Suggestion: Place north on the daily maps. I am sooooo directionally oriented that it was difficult to adjust to Swiss maps often not having north on the top or not indicated at all. Food challenges were not an issue. :-) Kudos!
Terrific job, Troy. The trip was everything we expected, and more. Thank you again………
Hello Matt and Troy!
I just wanted to send you an email to thank you for our wonderful vacation in Switzerland. Troy, you were right, Murren is just perfect village and it truly exceeded our expectations. And Matt was just a fabulous guide for our family he made our trip so easy and fun. We had never hiked that extensively as a family but Lily kept up and we all enjoyed all the places Matt lead us to. He was so kind and patient with our kids and always accommodated our requests. When we arrived in Zermatt, the kids kept asking why I hadn’t arranged for Matt to come along with us. All in all, the children’s first visit to France and Switzerland was both a success and the both of you made the Swiss Alps the highlight of our trip! Thank you! The kids are already asking about a “Grand Canyon” family trip so I will definitely contact you for hopefully the Spring!
Hi Troy, Want to thank you for a wonderful adventure in Switzerland! We loved every minute, and your maps/directions/choice of hotels were absolutely fantastic! We trudged along as the Swiss hiked merrily by (I’m 63), but made it to Obersteinberg in 5 hrs from Stechelberg! We’d already walked gorgeous valley for 90 min watching paragliders.
Did want to give you 2 “problem areas” – 1) After crossing river bridge en route to Obersteinberg, sign gave 2 ways – falls (straight across) or Obersteinberg (right and up). We wondered if we’d missed a r. turn, but all was well when we much later got to the cross road where signs sent us right to Obersteinberg or str. across downhill. Coming back the high route (absolutely top-of-world feeling!) we didn’t pay attention to your time. When we left junction for Tanzeboden and went thru fence, we saw Silvia’s homemade sign and left back back 10 min in, thinking it was “only one way out!”. Silvia told us we’d taken wrong trail,but we then had to go back for our packs!!
Feel free to use us as references.
Troy set up a week long itinerary for my adult daughter and I, with a perfect combination of alpine scenery and picturesque small towns, custom scaled perfectly to our abilities. Each day included detailed color maps, an informative narrative and options to increase or decrease the walking length or difficulty.
The prearranged hotels were all excellent, the meals superb and we felt welcomed at each stop. With Troy’s itinerary we were able to send a small suitcase ahead a town or two by train, so were able to walk carrying only a light backpack.
The customized self-guided walk allowed us to enjoy an “off the beaten track” experience, without missing any of the highlights.
I have recommended Troy, would certainly use his services again and hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did.
We wanted to celebrate my partner Jonathan’s 50th birthday with a special trip. The Grand Tour, which we did as a self-guided trip, did not disappoint. Our trip through Alpinehikers was hands down the best holiday either of us had ever taken.
Troy provided everything we needed to have a great time, and took care of all of the tedious details so we just needed to pack our bags and go. He even arranged for upgrades to some rooms and helped iron out a snafu with our train reservation from Switzerland to Holland at the end of the trip.
The accomodations were great and just as described. I would recommend that you allow time to take advantage of the spa facilities, as they were first class. Between the excellent maps and well-marked trails, it was nearly impossible to get lost. We even extended most of our hikes by several hours (and many miles!) a day, and this too was made easy by going to the local tourist center for maps to augment the ones Troy put together.
If you are wary of “guiding yourself,” don’t be. The package you’ll get makes getting around easy and means you can set your own schedule from day to day.
My husband and I planned this trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was truly the best vacation we have ever taken. Troy customized it to suit our wishes and he did an excellent job down to the last detail.
We love to hike and incorporate it into almost every vacation we go on. This hike topped our trips! We loved being able to carry daypacks, send our bags ahead to our next stop, and hike unencumbered by a lot of stuff.
My biggest dilemma is putting into words accurately how great this trip was. The scenery as we hiked was astoundingly beautiful, beyond words!!! The inns were each quaint and enjoyable, the innkeepers hospitable, and we felt at home at each stop. Berghaus Obersteinberg was a remote gem one must not miss! The hike up to it through the Lauterbrunnen valley, Schmadribach Falls-visible from our room, and the Oberhornsee are must-sees! Hiking up to the Schilthorn(not taking the cable car) was spectacular! Hiking over the passes and walking across the Lotschen glacier rank way up there also!
We met so many interesting people as we hiked and yet most of the time felt like we were the only ones out there enjoying this paradise!
We hope to be able to return to Switzerland again in the future and will without a doubt use Troy as our guide again! Thanks again for the trip of a lifetime!
This was a trip of a lifetime. Troy did a fabulous job with our self-guided trip through the Bernese Oberland region this past summer. His attention to detail and clear instructions and advice made our trip perfect. We hope to to have Troy plan another trip for us.
Troy arranged a “self-guided” ten day tour through the Bernese Oberland for my mom and I this past summer. Without his knowledge and planning, I am sure that we would not have had such an incredible experience. There is no way that we could have planned a trip like this on our own. The maps and directions that Troy gave us were invaluable.
If you are thinking of taking a trip to Switzerland, don’t hesitate, the scenery is spectacular. Having Alpinehikers plan your trip is the ideal way to experience the country.
We are long-time fans of Troy and Alpine Hikers. My husband and I have been out on four different tours with the company (2001-Bernese Oberland, 2003-Engadine and Italian Alps, and 2005 Matterhorn). We even spent part of our Honeymoon on a tour (two tours, actually).
Troy is an excellent hiker and guide; personable, knowledgeable, professional, skilled with logistics, and great fun. From our first tour to our most recent, our trips exceeded our expectations in all ways. The lodging was comfortable, charming, and authentically regional; no generic chain hotels. The meals were great; hearty, varied, and unique. The ease of having lodging, meals, and baggage taken care of was fabulous. It was amazing to have an expert on the area planning our hiking routes to maximize the scenery and the overall Swiss Alps experience. We are avid hikers and live in the mountains, Troy’s tours always challenge us and are always fun. The friends and family (a mixture of ages and degrees of athleticism) that have joined us on tours have gotten the same fantastic hiking experience, one suited to their abilities and full of beauty. We have so many incredible memories of our trips: the scenery, the food, the laughs, the thick down comforters on those cool nights in the high Alps, and of course the hikes. Go ahead and book your trip, you won’t regret it!
Great to hear from you! We have been thinking about you quite a bit….usually as we tell our “45 minute” story about the trip, wedding, honeymoon…. (Sometimes they get more than they wanted from us) We have a bunch of great pictures and will make some copies for you and send. As I look back on the trip, I realize what a great time we had. Every day was great! Whether in Grimentz, Zermatt or Saas Fee, your trip brought us back to nature and back to ourselves. Without the hubub of the City, daily commitments, and general mayhem of our daily lives, time seems to stretch out. We had time to “be ourselves,” let the conversations flow and explore both the people and the country around us. I think, as we consider going back, we will try to do Zermatt or Saas Fee for some skiing and snowboarding. They seem like they have to be great towns during the winter.
I must admit, there are times when the romance of living in the Alps makes me contemplate dropping everything, to live a simpler life. I hope your Alpine Adventure turns out the way you hope. With your attention to detail, commitment to your clients, and relaxed attitude, I expect to see you still guiding tours in the Alps when we all have kids. (Can you imagine that trip?)
When we were there, Johnnie was finishing her tour with the Japanese tourists. You were off to explore Saas Fee and then would meet up with her that night. Seems like a long time ago…
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