Switzerland | Victorian Switzerland

Mesmerizing mountains in Switzerland combined with fairytale-like remote berghauses in gnomelike settings.

Trip Highlights:

  • Gondola to Oeschinensee, the most gorgeous alpine lake in Switzerland.
  • Hike to Selden and the romantic Gasterntal situated above the charming village of Kandersteg.
  • Ramble up the Lauterbrunnen Valley to a charming berghaus situated near the wild Sefinen Valley.

An unplanned Swiss/English partnership founded mountain tourism. The start was slow as the journey was long, but by the Victorian era it was absolutely de rigeur for the upper classes to travel to the Alps and enjoy the clear air and mineral water treatments. Over time more adventuresome English travelers wondered if the icy expanses were navigable. The Swiss opened hostelries for visitors provided food, drink and transportation. As curiosity grew about the peaks around them the Swiss farmers and hunters found a cottage industry emerging guiding the cold glaciers, the distant valleys and the lofty peaks.

The farther afield the journey, climbers often found themselves staying in rude, seasonal herder’s huts. Soon the English found themselves promoting somewhat more luxurious structures deeper in the mountains. The Berghaus culture was thus born.

These are often grand but also simpler structures tucked in the most beautiful reaches of the country. Overnights in antique, wood paneled edifices serving hot and hearty food in the most stunning surroundings is an experience that cannot be forgotten. Ryder Walker has chosen the most cherished of destinations of the English traveling class and now offers a mix of superb accommodations in the most classic villages punctuated by overnights in the most charming Berghauses.

Stay in time-forgotten Kandersteg in a grand berghaus buried deep in the incredible Gasterntal below the fabled Oeschinensee and the icy Blumlisalphorn. In Wengen we stay at the foot of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau and in Murren at a wonderfully atmospheric berghaus at the head of the Lauterbrunnen Valley beneath the North Faces of the Tschingelhorn, Lauterbrunnen Breithorn, Grosshorn, Mittaghorn and Ebnefluh.

Trip Rating




Trip Profile


7 nights/8 days
Hiking up to 7 miles
Ascents up to 2000 ft.

Guided Tour

July 30-August 6, 2017
$4,150 per person double
Single (+$550)

Private Guided Tour

Mid June- Early Oct.
$4,490* per person double
Single (+$550)


5 nights charming superior three and four star hotels
2 nights berghauses (private rooms with bath and shower on the hall)

Breakfast + Dinner


Luggage Transfer

Daily except at mountain huts – two nights


All ground transportation beginning in Kandersteg included during tour


Zurich or Geneva, Switzerland

*Per person price for a private group of 4. Please contact us about pricing for other private group sizes. NOTE: Daily itineraries on all our guided treks are subject to change. Your guide(s) will make route decisions based on weather and terrain conditions as well as hikers ability.

Victorian Switzerland | Switzerland

Trip Itinerary

Independently travel to Kandersteg and meet your guides for drinks, orientation and dinner at 7 p.m.

A short gondola ride takes us to the Oeschinensee considered the most beautiful alpine lake in the country. A fun and varied circumnavigation above the lake visits rustic farms and samples classic alpine fare in remote settings.

Pack an extra shirt, socks and underwear and embark on a stunning journey up the Gasterntal to the remote hamlet of Selden. Overnight in a fabulous berghaus and sleep to the sounds of the rushing river below and under a bright and starry night above.

Hike the morning out of the Gasterntal and transfer to the Lauterbrunnen Valley and ascend through flower strewn meadows beneath the North Face of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau to the sleepy, carless village of Wengen and a fabulous hotel.

Enjoy wonderful day hikes of easier to moderate difficulty above such classic villages as Grindelwald and Wilderswil. Return to Wengen hotel.

Wander up the Lauterbrunnen Valley and ascend to a high bench near the wild Sefinen Valley. Overnight in a wonderful berghaus in what can only be called a gnomelike setting.

Ascend the Sefinental to time forgotten Murren. Enjoy your last night in an excellent hotel serving mouth watering Swiss specialties with jaw dropping views across the valley of the highest peaks of the region.

Trip Map

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