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Alpine Flowers of Wengen

7 Nightsfrom £1895.00 pp

Join alpine expert Julia Corden and RHS host Simon Cruse in the high pastures of the Bernese Oberland, where the hills are alive with a carpet of flowers.

Tour Overview

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Lying in the Bernese Oberland region at the heart of Switzerland, Wengen, at a height of some 1,274 metres, is ringed by some of Europe’s highest and best known mountains including the Eiger and Jungfrau. With breaktaking scenery, rich green alpine meadows and spruce forests below, it is a superb destination for a range of native flora as well as bird and butterfly spotting opportunities.

Once the snow retreats there is a wealth and profusion of flowers on both the high tops and in the lush pastures of the valleys.  The list of flowers is endless and included on our target list will be: Campanula cenisia, Campanula thyrsoides, Gentiana acaulis, Gentiana verna, Gentiana lutea, Globularias, Lilium martagon, Lloydia serotina, Paradisea liliastrum, Veratrum album, Primula farinosa, Androsace alpina, Aquilegias, Anemones, Pulsatillas and many more. Indeed there can be between 250 and 350 species of plants in the Bernese Oberland area, depending on season.

In Wengen, timber framed buildings and Belle Epoque hotels transport the visitor back to another century, an experience enhanced by the town’s car free policy. In the summer months, it is a popular choice for walkers and climbers attempting some of the higher peaks, but with 500km of walking trails and 15 mountain railways, accessing the alpine meadows is easy.

Each day we will walk a different route of up to five miles, sometimes taking a mountain railway to the starting point. We will also take the rack railway to Schynige Platte where we will visit the Alpine Botanic Garden which has 600 different species of local plants.

Our guide will co-ordinate our programme depending on weather conditions and naturally our itinerary is subject to change. Should you feel that you would prefer to miss certain days and relax in Wengen please let our guide know.

We have included return rail travel between Zürich Airport and Wengen, together with a 6-day Berner Oberland Pass to cover rail journeys. This pass entitles the user to six free days’ rail and bus travel and a 50% reduction on most mountain trains and cable cars.

Walking fitness: while we are not expecting any severe conditions it is expected that in order to get the most out of our holiday participants should be able to walk up to 2 - 5 miles per day in mountain conditions. Suitable footwear, i.e. walking boots and all-weather clothing will be essential.
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Tour Itinerary Back to top of page

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Tuesday 27 June 2017
We depart from London on a flight to Zürich (regional flight connections and overnight accommodation before or after the tour available on request). On arrival we board the train for Lauterbrunnen. We change trains here and continue to Wengen, a car-free village which offers stunning views of the imposing Jungfrau. On arrival at Wengen, we will be met by a representative from the hotel, and walk the short distance to the hotel. Please note that our luggage will be transported separately from Wengen station to the hotel. Our accommodation is at the Hotel Bellevue, a traditional chalet-style hotel in a spectacular location, with breath-taking views of both the Jungfrau and the majestic Lauterbrunnen Valley. All rooms have private facilities with
south-facing balconies. Following dinner the evening is free to explore your surroundings.

Wednesday 28 June 2017
Following breakfast we will depart on the first of our outings as we take the train from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg (6761 feet), gateway to the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau where the mountain farmers converge with their cattle and where some of Switzerland’s most attractive walks begin.  We will walk back to Wengernalp, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and Ibex Wood, looking for flowers on the way. From here we return by train to Wengen.

Walk – Gentle walk.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Thursday 29 June 2017
After breakfast today we take the cable car from Wengen to Männlichen and walk to Kleine Scheidegg, approaching the peak from the opposite direction to yesterday’s walk, and looking for flowers on the way. From here we return by train to Wengen.

Walk – Gentle walk.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Friday 30 June 2017
Following breakfast today we take the train to Lauterbrunnen, the bus to the end of the valley and then an exciting cable car ride to Mürren and on to Schilthorn. We will then have a moderate walk from Birg back to Mürren, seeking out wildflowers on the way. We then return by cable car and train to Wengen.

Walk – Gentle walk with the option to do a moderate – difficult walk.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Saturday 1 July 2017
Following breakfast we will have a long but most rewarding day as we take the train to Wengernalp and have a moderate walk from there down to Slipper Valley to look for the most spectacular plant of the area, the Lady Sipper Orchid and the Cypripedium calceolus.

Walk - Moderate to difficult.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Sunday 2 July 2017
After breakfast this morning we travel by cable car to the glacier village of Grindelwald.  There's a fine view of the massif that features the Wetterhorn, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, and the start of many classic walks. The Upper Grindelwald Glacier terminates a short distance from the village.  From Grindelwald we will travel to First for a gentle walk and look at the flowers in this most scenic part of the Bernese Oberland.

Walk – Gentle walk with the option to do a moderate walk.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Monday 3 July 2017
Following breakfast we will travel on the rack railway to Schynige Platte.  The Schynige Platte Railway climbs for 50 minutes to an alpine plateau (1987 Metres/6519 Feet) from Wilderswil, 4km from Interlaken Ost. This is the finest picture postcard panorama of the surrounding area overlooking both lakes and mountains. It is hoped that we will be able to enjoy a visit to the delightful Alpine Garden with its spectacular flora and fauna. Many of the 500 different species of plants in the garden have been saved from extinction and now the garden contains 80% of the Swiss mountain flora growing above treeline.

Walk – Gentle walk with the option to do a moderate walk.

Dinner is served in the evening.

Tuesday 4 July 2017
Today we must check out of our hotel – please ensure any extras are paid and take your luggage to reception. Once again our luggage will be transported separately to the station in Wengen. We will travel by train to Lauterbrunnen and on to Zürich in time for our return flight to London. On arrival our group will disperse or travel on to regional airports.

What's Included Back to top of page

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  • 7 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the 3 star Hotel Bellevue, Wengen. All rooms have private facilities
  • Return flights from London to Zürich (regional flight connections and/or overnight accommodation before or after the tour available on request)
  • Return rail transfers between Zürich and Wengen and a 6-day Berner Oberland Rail Pass, covering all local rail and bus journeys, plus a 50% reduction on mountain railways and cable cars
  • Visits/walks to Schynige Platte, Kleine Scheidegg, Wengernalp, Mürren, Schilthorn, Grindelwald and First 
  • Services of Julia Corden of the Explorers’ Garden, Pitlochry as tour leader/guide and Simon Cruse as RHS Host

Supplements Per Person Back to top of page

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  • Single supplement        £140.00
  • Insurance                      £45.00 (under 65); £90.00 (65-74); £ 135.00 (75-90)
  • Regional flight connections and/or overnight accommodation before or after the tour available on request.

Departure Points Back to top of page

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