Switzerland | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Flower Fields and Bell Tower in the Swiss Alps

    Switzerland Tours: Your Friendly Neighborhood Alps

    <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Switzerland </a>has my name written all over it. At least the village of Biffig does. In traditional style, my family name Imboden is painted in curlicue letters on most of the chalets in town, right under the window boxes that overflow with bright red geraniums. My grandmother came from that speck of a place below the Matterhorn, and she used to tell me stories about riding a buggyup the mountain to school and then sledding home at the end of the day. Yes, I always thought she was exaggerating, but now I’ve seen that it was all true on Classic Journeys <a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Switzerland tours</a>. Living on an incline, the Swiss have a wonderful way of making a molehill out of the mountain next door, living normal lives in just about the most abnormally beautiful settings you could dream up.<br><br>The best place to see what that means is in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Bernese Oberland region</a> where the mountains are exactly what you want them to be: jagged and taller than the clouds. They’re natural photobombs in every view. Imagine how it must be to have peaks like the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch as real-life screen savers in the background of everything you do. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Women overlooking Alps in Switzerland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SeF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DK2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Of course, the first farmers who put down roots in Mürren weren’t there for the views. When they left their valley, they might as well have been traveling up to a different planet. Even today, the village is too high to reach by car. (It takes a cog railway and cable car for you to get there.) While you gape at the landscape, you also have to wonder about the people for whom an almost unreachable meadow was plenty of compensation for the isolation it entailed.<br><br>That vibrant green grass and clean fresh air still matter in the 21st century. You can actually taste what I mean at my favorite alpine dairy farm. They not only milk the cows you see dotting the hillside. They also make the cheese that melts into the fondue that you dip into with fresh-baked bread. A few meadows down the valley, our friends Hugo and Angelika have added goats and llamas to their herd.  A visit with them always includes lunch cooked outdoors over a wood fire. As an added benefit, our llama trek provided the 10,000 steps for the day that took away any guilt in taste-testing more than my share of the luscious, locally produced chocolate.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Bell tower in countryside of Switzerland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SeF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DKH" style="height: 247px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>What appeals to me most is that amidst all of that natural awesomeness, human connections matter to the Swiss. A lot. The heartfelt greetings you get from farmers and villagers make you feel like family. The cordial and quiet hospitality that <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Swiss hotels</a> lavish on you is second to none.<br><br>Of course, you can’t help but gasp at the sights. The thunder of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Trümmelbach Falls</a> is incredible to feel through the soles of your feet. It’s mind-blowing to eat lunch on top of an alpine peak in a revolving restaurant made famous by James Bond. The crunch of ice under your spikes as you walk on a glacier is an experience you’ll never forget. Ambling through wildflowers on the shores of a calm, high-altitude lake is just as unspeakably peaceful.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman at a lake with arms outstretched" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SeF&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012DK7" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Even if you don’t have any Swiss genes of your own, you’ll love discovering the ingenious ways the Swiss people live in a world where the vertical is as common as the horizontal. In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Switzerland</a>, the scenery blows you away, and the people draw you in.<br><br>To book one of our <a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-tours/" target="_blank">Switzerland tours</a>, call 833.387.1210 or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/reservations/" target="_blank">make a reservation online</a>.

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  • Horseback riding, Bryce Canyon

    5 Fun Ways to Travel

    <h2>As much as we love walking along scenic footpaths, we’re big fans of other forms of  locomotion, too — especially when they let us see the region from a different angle.</h2>   <p>Check out these fun ways to travel that we take advantage of on any tour we can.</p> <p><b>FUNICULAR.<br><br><img alt="Funicular" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ln&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rOC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br> </p> <p><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italianlakes/" target="_blank">Italian Lake Retreats Cultural Walking Adventure</a></b><br>The lake recedes as you glide up the mountainside from Como to the village of Brunate. At the top, we <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank">walk amid private villas and the breathtaking views</a> stretch to Switzerland.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">DOWNLOAD AN ITINERARY FOR SWITZERLAND OR ANOTHER DESTINATION YOU LOVE!</a></h3> <p><b>KAYAK.<br><br><img alt="Kayaking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ln&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rOM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br> </p> <p><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula Multisport Family Journey</a></b><br>Paddle beside <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska-tours/" target="_blank">sea otters, sea lions and past three massive glaciers</a> that spill right into the waters of Thumb Cove, an area locals call “Little Switzerland.”</p> <p><b>CAMEL.<br><br><img alt="Riding a camel in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ln&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rOR" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br> </p> <p><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">Fés to Marrakesh Cultural Walking Adventure</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Climb aboard camels for a memorable ride</a> to the soaring red sand dunes of Merzouga, the highest in the world, and arrive just in time to watch the sun set over the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Moroccan desert</a>.</p> <p><b>BOAT.<br><br><img alt="Whitewater rafting in Costa Rica" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ln&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rOW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/" target="_blank"><b>Costa Rica Cultural Walking Adventure</b></a><br>Opt for a thrilling whiter-water rafting <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costarica/" target="_blank">adventure through the Costa Rican rainforest</a>, or explore thick stands of mangrove by canoe or wooden river cruiser.</p> <p><b>BIKE.</b><br><img alt="Group of women bike riding" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ln&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rOg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-family/" target="_blank">Swiss Alps Multisport Family Journey</a></b><br>The sound of the Simme River is our soundtrack as we cruise along a gentle, slightly downhill path on mountain bikes, before boarding a train for the return trip.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/catalog/" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A CATALOG AND READ MORE ABOUT CUSTOM TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD!</a></p> <p><b>WHAT SHOES DO I NEED?</b></p> <p>Although our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/walkingtours/" target="_blank">Cultural Walking Adventures</a> feature daily walks through beautiful destinations, that doesn’t mean that we’re all about making the miles. We’re all about making the most of the miles. A pair of sturdy leather or synthetic walking shoes or walking sandals should serve you just fine on most Classic Journeys trips.</p> <p> </p>

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  • Kids riding camels in Morocco

    8 reasons to give your kids the gift of travel

    <h2>You’ll be amazed at how much your preteen and teenage children mature in the span of a six- or eight-day <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank" title="family journey vacation packages">Family Journey</a>.</h2>   <p><b>1. It Expands Their World View</b><br><br>Being present <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cubafamily/" target="_blank" title="Cuba family vacations">as Cuba emerges from isolation</a> to come face-to-face with the basic civil rights and technologies that your kids have taken for granted their entire lives. Visiting a tribal village where children know nothing of modern plumbing. These experiences give your kids an ethnographic context and perspective that television and movies simply can’t convey. They’ll be different when they come home; they’ll think about Fidel Castro every time they state their political beliefs in public; they’ll remember the villagers every time they take a drink of clear, clean water from the kitchen faucet; they’ll understand their place in the global community.<br><br><img alt="Village children in Panama" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rty" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><b>2. It Destroys Their Stereotypes and Preconceived Notions</b><br><br>Ask your kids what they know about the desert, and they’ll probably tell you two things: It’s hot, and there’s no shade or water anywhere. Imagine, then, how shocked they’ll be as they splash along freshwater stream beds; slither through cool, shoulder-width slot canyons; and duck in and out of the shadows cast by 150-foot sandstone hoodoos on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank" title="Grand Canyon family vacation">Multisport Family Adventure through Bryce, Grand Canyon &amp; Zion National Parks</a>. Our adventures around the globe give kids and teens the opportunity to shatter preconceptions they have about geography, nature, culture and religion as they take their learning from the two dimensions of a textbook to the three dimensions of the real world.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank" title="Family vacation packages">PERUSE OUR UNIQUE FAMILY ADVENTURE VACATIONS. WE’VE TAILORED THEM TO INCLUDE ACTIVITIES FOR ALL FAMILY MEMBERS!</a></h3> <p><b>3. It Revives Their Childlike Wonder</b><br><br>Remember your kids’ excitement when they first witnessed their own shadow, how they delighted in the whir of the vacuum cleaner and lived to press the elevator button? In time, their awe over those things fades, and your kids’ childlike wonder atrophies. As adults, we mourn the loss of such trivial pleasures on our children’s behalf. But travel has a unique way of reviving kids’ and adults’ senses of wonder. Who wouldn’t be enchanted while splashing among a pod of dolphins in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank" title="Galapagos family vacation">Galapagos Islands</a> or whizzing over the rain forest canopy on a zipline? Experiences like those remind us how to see the mundane with the eyes of a child and to find excitement in the places and experiences we so often overlook.<br><br><img alt="Ziplining in Panama" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002ru3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><b>4. It Fosters Curiosity and An Eagerness To Ask Questions</b><br><br>When they sit down to a meal, your teens probably don’t think too much or ask many questions about where their food came from or what significance it has for the people who farm, raise, grow or catch it. All that changes when they eat lobster with the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/novascotiafamily/" target="_blank" title="Nova Scotia family journey">Nova Scotia fisherman</a> who caught it earlier that afternoon or enjoy a slice of pizza made from scratch by the Italian baker in his farmhouse brick oven. Your kids become junior reporters as they attempt to gather as much information as they can about their meal or a castle you’ve just visited or a mountain you’ve scaled. Getting up close and personal with people and places of other countries ignites deep curiosity. Once they put on their inquisitive travel spectacles, they won’t take them off, even after they come home. They’ll come home with new questions about the things they see and do every day.</p> <p><b>5. It Transforms Your Relationship</b><br><br>At home, the kids have their schedules, priorities and roles, and you have yours. There’s a prescribed hierarchy that governs everything from daily chores to carpools to household decisions. In every occasion, one party is beholden to the other. Travel has a unique way of leveling the playing field so that each member of the family gets an equal vote in the day’s itinerary and everyone’s opinion matters. You learn as much from your kids’ observations about Michelangelo’s David as they learn from your reflections on a 15th century monastery. You begin to treat each other as companions and peers in a way life back home makes difficult.</p> <p><b>6. It Teaches Them How To Disconnect From Technology</b><br><br>Last we checked, the Sahara doesn’t have wi-fi, so your kids can’t live Tweet their camel ride to the 1,000-foot <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank" title="Morocco family journey">sand dunes of Merzouga</a>. They can’t check their Facebook feed from the deck of a luxury junk in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnamfamily/" target="_blank" title="Vietnam famliy tour">Halong Bay</a>. They might be reluctant to give up their screen time at first, but sometime between <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-family/" target="_blank" title="Family vacation in Switzerland">dog sledding in the Swiss Alps</a> and training <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank" title="Rome &amp; Tuscany family vacation">like a gladiator in Rome</a>, they’ll learn how to disconnect from their devices and plug into the world around them. And you know what? They’ll really like it.<br><br><img alt="Gladiator training" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002ru8" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><b>7. It Fosters An Appreciation for Walking (And Other Modes of Transport)</b><br><br>Here’s a fun experiment: Have your entire family wear pedometers for the week before your Classic Journeys <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank" title="Family journeys">Family Journey</a> and log your family’s collective car miles. Better yet, log your collective car hours. Make notes about what you see, hear, feel and smell during your commutes close to home. Compare that to the number of steps you’ll take as you <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank" title="Rome &amp; Tuscany family vacation">hike the Cinque Terre</a> or the rush you’ll get riding a rickshaw through <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnamfamily/" target="_blank" title="Vietnam, Laos &amp; Cambodia family vacation">bustling Saigon</a>. Propelling yourself via your own foot power and removing the windows and windshields that too often separate us from our surroundings is the best way to get to know a place. What’s more it gives us an opportunity to slow down or even stop and smell the roses, quite literally.</p> <p><b>8. It Awakens Interests They Might Never Discover At Home</b><br><br>Spending a week among the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank" title="Galapagos family vacation">blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises</a>, witnessing Darwin’s Theory of Evolution at every turn might ignite your child’s passion for biology as much as dissecting a frog in science class. Tasting <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/barcelonafamily/" target="_blank" title="Barcelona family vacation">paella in Barcelona</a> or exploring the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank" title="India travel tours">spice markets in India</a> could awaken your teen to a love of cooking.<br><br><img alt="Looking at giant tortoise" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mP&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002ruI" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>One thing’s for sure—”bored” will never be in their vocabulary when so many awesome experiences await.</p> <br> 

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