Everyone in Switzerland seems to hike, and once you’ve experienced a week in the Alps, you’ll understand why. You’ll have new panoramas every day: hike through fields of wildflowers and tiny alpine hamlets, past waterfalls and alongside cold, clear mountain streams.
A week of Alpine hikes on a small, friendly, gay group tour.
The Matterhorn is a constant yet ever-changing presence in the alpine village of Zermatt. One day coyly hiding behind the clouds, the next, a proud white pyramid against a blue sky.
Our gay hiking trip in Switzerland introduces travelers to the beauty of the Valais region surrounding Zermatt. We will go far and high into the alps on all-day hikes. Our group will stay in the lovely mountain village of Zermatt, just a few hours’ travel from Geneva or Milan, yet a world apart. Each day, you can join a larger group on a hike, or head out independently. Most people find it enjoyable to stay with the main group for some days. Then also do some more independent hiking, with one or two friends, a few times.
We’ll spend one night at a mountain hut, allowing us to reach some remote locations that would be inaccessible on a single day’s hike.
June 27 to July 04 – $3798 USD
Duration: 8 Days
Starts In: Zermatt, Switzerland.
Ends In: Zermatt, Switzerland.
Required: $500 Deposit
7 nights lodging in a comfortable hotel; Continental breakfast each day; Four memorable dinners; An overnight stay at a mountain hut, subject to availability (huts have shared sleeping accommodations; the hotel remains available on this night, for those who prefer); Welcome packet with map; Peak Pass which covers the various modes of transportation up the nearby mountains from Zermatt – but no other locations in Switzerland. Therefore, if only visiting Switzerland for our tour, we recommend that you buy point-to-point tickets after arriving in Switzerland (allows you to pick your route and maybe less expensive than a pass). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Transportation to and from Zermatt (easily accessible via excellent public transportation); Meals not listed here; Gratuities for guides.
The schedule below relates to a typical week. Our actual sequence of hikes may change based on weather and other conditions. And, of course, you always have the choice of trying a different itinerary, alone or with new friends.
The track ends in Zermatt, a car-free village of just 4,000 year-round residents. Our hotel is a 10-minute walk if you’re traveling light, or take a small electric taxi. We’re staying in a lovely hotel built-in 2009.
Early arrivals will enjoy exploring Zermatt. You’ll share the streets with tourists just up for a day of mountain air, European hikers dressed in the traditional knickers, mountain climbers gearing up for an expedition, and the occasional herd of goats. At 6:00, we’ll meet for a reception and orientation, followed by a traditional Swiss dinner.
A short after-dinner walk ascends one of the trails overlooking Zermatt. As the Milky Way and thousands of stars twinkle above, and you gaze down on the lights of our little village, you’ll feel a bit of the magic that lies ahead this week.
From Sunnegga, we pass through the small hamlets of Ze Gassent and Findeln and hike past Mosjessee (a dammed lake), on our way to Riffelalp, where we usually have lunch.
After lunch, you have a choice of taking the train down from Riffelalp or hiking on one of several paths back to Zermatt.
We’ll all meet up at Taschalp for lunch. On a clear day, you can see several peaks from here including Zinalrothorn, Schalihorn, and the largest, Weisshorn.
After lunch, we’ll head to Tufteren, where you have the choice of starting your descent to Zermatt or continuing on to the Sunnegga station to descend by the unique in-the-mountain funicular.
Dinner is on your own this evening.
For the descent, you’ll have several choices, depending on whether you want to hike all the way back to Zermatt at the bottom of the valley or use a combination of lifts and hikes. Whichever route you choose, the scenery is superb in every direction, and you’ll be able to see several of the locations of our earlier hikes.
As dusk approaches and for one last time you watch the sunset line start at the floor of the valley and gradually work its way up the eastern slopes, you’ll be able to take a deep breath of the clear air, and bring back memories of your invigorating hikes amidst the splendor of the Swiss Alps! A reminder of why we chose this location for our gay hiking trip!
If you’ve got extra holiday time to spend in Europe, we suggest you save it for after the trip, rather than before. Chances are, others from this week’s adventure will welcome the company as they travel and explore the culture and gay life in Geneva, Zurich, Berne, and other Swiss cities.
“Pierre [our guide] put great thought and effort into making sure that we had an excellent experience that made the most of our time in Zermatt – spectacular trails and views from the first day, and it even got better after that.” — Chad Nelson, Neward, DE
“Each day I looked forward to more breathtaking scenery, good exercise, a hearty meal, and the company of interesting travel companions of all ages and from many parts of the world.” — Kyle Thompson, Honolulu, HI
“If you ever imagined a world where being gay is the norm, this is the closest you will ever get. Great exercise, great discussion on the trail, great scenery. I’ve taken this trip three times, and invited friends to join me.” — Justin Hecht, San Francisco, CA
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts and ends in Zermatt, Switzerland. As for most of our trips, the official starting time is 6:00 pm on our official “start date”. At that time we’ll have a reception and orientation, followed by dinner. It ends after breakfast on the last day. You can arrive earlier or depart later, but please note that (as of this writing) check-in time is 3:00 pm and check-out time is 10:00 am. Our pre-trip newsletter will keep you posted on any changes in these times, as well as tips on what to do with luggage if your travel schedule allows you to fit some activities on your arrival or departure dates.
Alpenglow has been set up to be most enjoyable for people with hiking experience, who are comfortable on all-day hikes (6 or 7 hours a day), with frequent breaks, over rolling terrain. By splitting off from the group, or simply enjoying some of the other activities offered in Zermatt, you could still enjoy the week. You’ll love this hand-curated gay hiking tour.
We currently offer two gay hiking trips in Switzerland: Alpenglow and Grindelwald.
Each is designed so those wanting shorter/easier hikes can have a good time, while avid hikers will never run out of new trails to explore. However, there are differences that may help you select the best holiday for you. Typically, most of our group heads out together in the morning. Then during the day, our guide suggests options for those who want a shorter, or longer, day.
Grindelwald easily accommodates both lower and higher levels of hiking energy and enthusiasm. It’s notably well situated for anyone who hopes to take several day trips that don’t involve hiking. From Grindelwald, it’s simple to catch a train to the medieval town of Thun, to nearby Interlaken, or for a steamship ride on Lake Brienz.
Alpenglow was planned to take advantage of trails around Zermatt that go further from the cog-rail and tram lines. The hiking routes we plan will be more fun for those able to hike five/ six hours a day, with stops. If you want shorter hikes, however, that’s not a problem. Some days you can start out with the group and our guide will suggest ways to easier routes. Other days, our guide will help you plan a shorter but scenic hike you can do independently.
For answers to your additional questions, please email email@example.com or call 305-294-8174
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