Our Trip Philosophy
Our goal is to provide our guests with a unique and fun filled experience while touring and hiking in the Swiss Alps. After a day of hiking alpine trails we expect to be tired, but we still want our guests to have energy left to enjoy their evening. And, since we stay in one place, our guests are free from the hassle of packing and unpacking due to a change in location. We stay in the quaint mountain village of Evolčne nestled in the canton of Valais. Evolčne is a wonderful vacation spot even if you decide not to hike one day as you can wander in the village, go on a mountain bike ride, shop or simply relax and read a book. There is always something fun to do.
We Are Different From Other Hiking Tours
Elaine, Aldo and Dan are on-site during the whole tour to ensure that our guests have a great time. We’ll be there to help with everything from choosing restaurants, to guiding the hikes. We love what we do, and wouldn’t think of putting our guests in the care of anyone but us!
Evolčne: Truly a hiker’s paradise!
This quaint mountain village is a hidden treasure, nestled in the beautiful Val de Herens surrounded by stunning mountains. Here the streets are lined with traditional wooden buildings with flowers decorating every window. It has the feel of a small village, yet it is large enough to offer the services we need. A selection of hotels, restaurants, stores and shops ensure us an enjoyable and comfortable stay. Yet just minutes from our hotel we can be out of the village and onto a trail. Other spectacular trails start in the little mountain station of Arolla. Arolla is a short ride on the famous Swiss “Post Buses” and is where we start many of our hikes!
Swiss Hiking: It’s just different!
Hiking in Switzerland is very different than hiking in the United States. People have been living in the Alps for thousands of years and the Swiss have been walking in the mountains on trails that often started out as paths used by herdsmen or crystal hunters. Over this time the herdsman’s trails have developed into thousands of miles of hiking and climbing trails. During the last century-and-a-half a large network of services including transportation, valley hotels and mountain hotels has been developed for hikers to use making the Swiss Alps the finest supported hiking destination in the world.
Switzerland has a full range of accommodations that vary from dormitories to four star luxury hotels. Our guests stay in one of two small, quiet European style hotels just like the locals. These are family run bed and breakfast type establishments with both single and double occupancy rooms available, some with full bathrooms and some with shared facilities. The rooms are always spotlessly clean, quiet and very comfortable.
Our groups will be no more than 8 guests per week. Smaller groups are just more fun!
We'll be meeting in the Airport in Zurich on July 21, 2013. You may want to consider Swiss International Airlines if you are traveling from the U.S. and depending upon your departure city. Interestingly, USA Today reports that Zurich is one of the more economical detination airports in Europe.
You may want to consider arriving a day or two earlier to allow your inner clock time to adjust. Past guests have found that doing so enhanced their experience greatly, especially on the first day of hiking. We have plenty of recommendations for you should you decide to extend your trip prior to or after hiking with us.
Switzerland is remarkably well organized as evidenced by the fact that the Swiss have developed one of the best public transportation systems in the world. You can take a train, bus, lake steamer or ski lift to almost anywhere you want to go. We supply all of our guests with a Swiss Pass which allows for unlimited use of all of the trains, buses and lake steamers in the country. It also gives us discounts on mountain railways and ski lifts as well as entry to many museums. In fact, we will start using our Swiss Pass at the Zurich airport, where we will take the train from the station located in the terminal.
Two Culture Hiking
There are four official languages spoken in Switzerland; German, French, Italian and Romanch. Each language carries with it a variety of its original culture into the Swiss confederation. When you cross the language borders you will not only hear the difference in the language spoken, but you will see changes in the architecture of the towns, the restaurant menus and the attitudes of the people. Out itinerary will immerse us in two of those cultures.
We will spend most of our time in French speaking Switzerland with some time in the German influenced areas. English is spoken by many but not all Swiss people, so be ready for some communication adventures. The Swiss are very tourist friendly and are eager to work with us. Luckily, Dan Smyers, our lead guide speaks French and acts as our interpreter.