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Matterhorn peak in the Swiss Alps.

5 Reasons You Should Hike the Alps with EF Ultimate Break

So you’ve got your eyes on our European Alps hiking trip? Nice choice. Here’s what makes our tour different—and better—than all the rest.

EF Ultimate Break

Exploring the Alps through Switzerland, Italy, and France sounds pretty crazy epic, maybe even too good to be true, so it’s natural to wonder just how damn epic it will be, and whether you will be able to handle the epic-ness of it.

Spoiler alert: You can, and will. But, just in case you need an extra nudge, we tackle some commonly -asked logistical questions below and address five of the top reasons to hike the Alps with us.

A lake surrounded by mountains in the European Alps.

Our trip is designed for people who like hiking, not expert hikers.

Are you sold on the idea of this tour, but feeling hesitation about the physical demands? You’re not alone. It’s the elephant in the room, the question everyone quietly wonders. The hikes. What are they like, and are they hard? This is the Alps, after all. Will it be a walk in the park, or does torture await upon the trail?

Let us put your worries to rest. We are not here to torture you. The whole idea of this tour is to share the beauty of the mountains, not send you running for the hills.

Our hiking trips are made for leisurely hikers—not experts!—and our trails are selected for their variety, scenery, and street cred. Sure, certain hikes will of course have their inherent challenging moments, but it’s only because a big payoff, like an incredible vista or viewpoint, is just around the corner.

For more information about how to prepare for the trip, check out our top advice when hiking the Alps from previous groups. Although people who are generally fit will have little trouble, most people find they are more confident after some simple, basic prep that puts their body and mind in the right place.

A group of hikers walking along a trail surrounded by green trees and green grass.

Map? GPS? Self-doubt? You can leave them at home.

By far, the most important thing this trip provides is the support to safely and happily experience a wide variety of trails across three countries in the Alps.

If you were to try to organize it on your own, you would have quite a bit of homework to do. You’d have to decide how to get into and out of each country, first and foremost, which would be a lot of work on its own. Then, you’d have to plot your stay in each region, decide which trails to hike, find your way to the trailhead, navigate the trail (without getting lost!), know what to bring and what not to bring, figure out where to go afterward for the best happy hour—geez, we got tired just typing it.

One thing we hear from guests all the time is how nice it is to leave these details to us. We plan the hikes, we guide you to the best lookouts, and our expert Tour Directors bring it to life. After, we lead you to the best watering holes. All you have to do is enjoy yourself—that is, you can turn off your brain, so to speak, not only before the trip, but during as well. Your focus can be on enjoyment, on making new friends; not what bus to take or what you will do if it rains.

Hikers walking down a rocky path with mountains in the distance.

Walk and talk: Form friendships that last.

Most experiences in life are better when shared, and a hike is no different. There’s something about the combination of fresh air and open space that has a way of bringing people together—you can see for miles, and everyone feels free.

But it’s more than just the scenery. The mechanics of hiking lends itself perfectly to making friends with your fellow travelers. Hiking is simultaneously a group and individual activity, where you can walk a little bit, talk a little bit, stop for a photo, take in the view, reflect on yourself, and then start up walking again—but this time alongside someone new.

The trail has a way of bringing out a genuine side of people, and the biggest surprise might be how fast you get to know someone, or the whole group! You already have something in common with them—a love of nature and support from the group helps everyone thrive in the challenging moments. Conquering the climbs together forges bonds that quickly translate into off-trail, nighttime hang outs.

A bowl of fondue.

It’s so much more than a hiking trip.

Believe it or not, tons of our travelers who identify as “non-hikers” decide to join this tour. Why? Because the itinerary outside the hikes is essentially another tour all by itself. The mornings are active and exploratory in nature, but the afternoons and evenings are all about cultural and culinary indulgence.

During your free time, you’ll have the chance to explore the attractions in Lake Geneva (lakeside beaches), Zermatt (fondue and mountain canyons), Aosta (pasta, wine, and Roman ruins), and Chamonix (white water rafting). Through these destinations and activities, you’ll mingle with locals and experience the cultural differences between the Swiss, Italian, and French Alps.

Want to know more? Check out our favorite “in between activities” to enjoy throughout our Alps tour during your free time. And when it comes to the rest days (which we conveniently bake into the itinerary), treat your tastebuds to an assortment of regional food, wine, and beer. You gotta refuel, after all.

Four girls hugging at the top of a mountain looking into the distance.

You are covered when it comes to safety and support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the trip-planning process even more complicated, as rules and restrictions are constantly in flux around the globe. It can make your head spin trying to keep up with all the different requirements between countries. That’s why we handle all of that for you. We’ll let you know ahead of your trip all pre-departure protocols—what documents you’ll need, what the guidelines are in the countries you’re visiting. And we’ll advise and assist with pre-arrival procedures, even arranging tests right there at the hotel for you if needed (hashtag VIP).

On tour, rest assured EF Ultimate Break is taking every cautionary measure possible, following the recommendations and guidance established by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and local and federal authorities worldwide. Plus, our 24/7-365 global network of offices in over 50 countries is unmatched, so if god forbid someone does get sick on tour, or something happens that forces an itinerary change—we’re well-equipped to handle it. Learn more here about how we’re traveling safely.

For an unpredictable world, that’s pretty predictable, don’t you think? From start to finish, we make Hiking the Alps easy, stress-free, and unforgettable—an experience you’ll brag about at happy hours for years to come.

Hike Europe: The Alps

12 days. 3 countries. 4 cities.

When you think of Europe, it's probably old churches and busy shopping streets. This trip is none of that. Instead, hike through vineyards, by glaciers, and up some of the most famous mountains in Switzerland, Italy, and France. You might even see a cow or two. Because this trip is all about the great outdoors. Where the air is cleaner, the sounds are calming, and you can eat endless amounts of Swiss chocolate to counteract all the calories you’re going to burn.

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