Independent Self-Guided Tours and Private Guides|
(Inn-to-inn, Village-based, or Combo tours)
Self-guided hiking tours - Choose from our numerous self-guided itineraries.
Self-guided city and train tours - For independent city sightseeing and scenic train trips.
Customized self-guided tours - Work with us to build your dream trip.
Private guided tours - For those who would like to hire their own private guide.
Self-guided tours provide a great balance between a guided group tour and planning a trip on your own. It is a meticulously organized itinerary that combines the freedom to travel on your own with the support of having your own personal travel planner. We'll organize all of the reservations and logistics, buy appropriate railpasses, recommend favorite hikes and sights, and arrange a trip that meets your specifications. There's no guide and no group, so you'll make your own decisions, choose your own pace, and enjoy Switzerland at your leisure. As Swiss travel specialists, you can count on knowledgeable advice and superb vacation planning.
There are many reasons to take a self-guided tour to the Alps. Perhaps you don't want to be part of a group, maybe you have your own family or group, or just prefer to explore on your own. Many people have restrictive travel dates that don't match up with our guided tours, and a self-guided tour becomes the best option for your schedule. Plus, self-guided tours are more flexible (in the planning stages) and affordable than guided tours, generally running about 2/3 the cost of a comparable guided tour. We've designed self-guided tours as short as 2 days or as long as 3 weeks, and take pride in finding just the right itinerary for your needs. We can arrange quiet, intimate tours for two or larger getaways for groups of friends, work colleagues, or family reunions. You can stay in absolute luxury of 4 or 5-star hotels or take in the rustic ambiance of remote mountain inns or alpine club huts. The choice is yours!
We offer a variety of well-tested self-guided packages - self-guided versions of many of our guided tours that have proven to be very popular with our clients. We can also customize any of these tours to lengthen or shorten them, add inn-to-inn stretches or extended village stays, and upgrade or downgrade accommodations and railpasses. We only arrange self-guided tours in the areas we know and love best, and you'll benefit from the experience and expertise accumulated as a former year-round resident of Switzerland and long-time hiking guide. We know the inns and the locations, and will direct you to the best options Switzerland has to offer.
Consider adding nights in Lucerne, Zürich, or Geneva at the end of your trip. We have comfortable, clean 3-star hotels and luxurious 4-star hotels all in great locations, or simple, affordable airport hotels can be arranged.
Choose from these suggested self-guided options:
Do you have more travel in mind before or after your tour? We can extend your trip with train tickets, rail passes, and hotel stays to cities in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France and Germany. Let us know what you'd like to do and we'll take the hassle out of your trip arrangements for you. Some possibilities:
Switzerland: Lucerne, Zürich, or Geneva, Austria: Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna, France: Paris, Germany: Munich, Italy: Bolzano, Venice, Verona or Milan
These self-guided tour prices are per person based on 2-4 people sharing double rooms. There is a small single supplement for single travelers, and we can arrange discounted prices for larger groups.
What will your self-guided tour include?
We try to make it easy for you, so you don't have to worry about the details. Our self-guided tours typically include prepaid hotels with breakfast and dinner, an appropriate rail pass or airport shuttle for travel to and from the airport or border, train schedules, carefully written route descriptions, hiking maps with highlighted routes, a local support contact person, and lots of useful information that will help your trip run smoothly. Most of our inn-to-inn tours include luggage transfers or the option to add luggage transfers. We spend every summer in the Alps ourselves, and we're constantly updating our materials to let you know what's new, what's changed, and what's worth seeing.
Not included are lunches, drinks with your meals, some dinners, extras (such as laundry, phone calls from the room, etc), or transportation not covered by your rail passes, taxis or ticket. Exact details vary slightly from tour to tour, so see the individual tour descriptions for complete details.
Our village notes and route descriptions are detailed and descriptive, with elevation guides, longer and shorter options, ideas for rainy days, and are customized to fit your trip. You'll receive a comprehensive packet of information well before your trip to review, including suggested packing list and info on what to expect, and plenty of time contact us with any questions!
Interested in what our trips are like? Take a look at our tour overview packet to get a general idea of how we operate and the kinds of materials you can expect. For more detail, you can see a typical route description and destination notes example. We put a lot of care and detail into your tour materials, try to anticipate questions you have, and to give suggestions for things you might not have thought of.
We use maps from the Swiss Topographic Office, works of art that are the best available, and include a larger fold-out map of the region as well as page-size maps for daily use with your route highlighted. View one of our hiking maps.
Self-guided city and train tours (for the non-hiker...)
These self-guided itineraries are designed specifically with non-hikers in mind. These are independent sightseeing tours that include more city stopovers (Lucerne, Lugano, Montreux, Zurich), scenic train rides, and easy light walks in some of Switzerland's most spectacular mountain villages, and favorite sightseeing tips for each day.
The 8-day Best of Switzerland tour is designed to visit some of the absolute highlights on a quick trip, minimizing travel times and spending maximum time at each destination. The 11-day Switzerland's Scenic Trains tour adds a couple new destinations, and has generally longer travel times, enjoying Switzerland's most famous scenic train journeys, such as the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. The 13-day Swiss Sampler tour adds the scenic Goldenpass train route and a couple days in Montreux, along the shores of beautiful lake Geneva, also allowing time for the optional Chocolate train to the Gruyeres region.
All of our Swiss train self-guided itineraries are easy, enjoyable ways to see the wonderful diversity that Switzerland has to offer, and can be done by car as well as train. As always, these itineraries can be customized to fit your travel plans.
Customized self-guided tours
In addition, our self-guided tours can all be adjusted and customized at surprisingly affordable prices. If you'd like to lengthen or shorten one of our existing tours, or create a customized tour of the Swiss Alps from scratch, let us know. We have extensive experience hiking in many different areas of the Alps, and will be happy to work with you to build the dream vacation that best suits your needs. For inn-to-inn tours, we recommend the Bernese Oberland, but we can also arrange self-guided inn-to-inn tours in the Dolomites, Engadine, and along the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. For village-based tours, we can help you choose among the villages of Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren, Kandersteg, Zermatt, Zinal, Riederalp, Leukerbad, Guarda, Pontresina, St. Moritz, Chamonix, Courmayeur and Ortisei. We've arranged trips from 2 days to 4 weeks, extensions to Italy, solo hut adventures, 5-star spa getaways, and everything in between.
Small changes to our self-guided itineraries are done essentially at cost. You're not charged any extra fee for this level of customization. Examples might be adding a night or two at one of your destinations, subtracting nights to shorten a tour, changing to a different rail pass, or upgrading a hotel or room. We have a lot of great itineraries, and hopefully there is something there that will meet your needs. If you'd like a completely customized itinerary, we're happy to put together thoughtful proposals for you, and pricing in this case will be slightly higher than our comparable standard itineraries, reflecting the extra work involved in planning and organizing customized trips.
Private guided tours:
Are you looking for a private guide? If you have a small group and would like a private guided tour, Alpinehikers has knowledgeable guides available for private guided tours on a time-available basis. A group of just 6-8 people will receive pricing very similar to our scheduled group tours, and guides for smaller groups can be arranged for a small premium. One advantage of booking a private guide is the flexibility to enjoy either one of our standard routes, or to create your own personalized itinerary. Choose your own hiking companions and pace. Stay in huts, 5-star hotels, or anything in between, from a few days to a few weeks.
Private guided tours can also be arranged for itineraries that might be more complicated on a self-guided basis, such as the Haute Route, inn-to-inn tours through the Dolomites, or the Tour of Mont Blanc. See our Private Guided Tours section for some of our standard options, and give us a call or email to start working on the right itinerary for your family or group.
For info on our independent tours of Switzerland or private guides,
call toll free: (888) 509-7810
or direct: (503) 459-3940
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
329 S. Montezuma
Prescott, AZ 86303