January 13th through January 25th , 2023
The European ski trip this year is going to be back to Grindelwald in central Switzerland. The Hotel Derby will be our Alpine home for this trip. Due to several pandemic rules and mandates associated with testing we will remain in a single country. Grindelwald and the surrounding area has an immense amount of activities to offer for skiers and leisure travelers alike. I have broadened the offering to include options for side trips for those that are not interested in skiing six straight days. Side trips to Interlaken, Bern, Gstaad or perhaps to Chateau D’Oex ahead of the Balloon festival for those that missed that several trips back. For those with a sweet tooth there is a Chocolatier tour as well. Staying in a rail village gives us the opportunity for many destinations and additional adventures, suggest you look at a short rail trip to Brig and then hop on the Glacier express for a picturesque tour of the Swiss Alps from panoramic railcars. Be certain to have your camera’s ready.
Skiers and Non-skiers alike can meet at the “Top of Europe” for lunch and a photo op beneath the famed Eiger mountain, there is access to several trails that are open year-round, some may require snow shoes. Tobogganing is an exciting option as well, this is available in the evening to be completed by torchlight with a fireside Alpen snack and libation at the conclusion. For those more athletic perhaps you will want to try your hand at truly unique Grindelwald experience; the Velogemmel. For those not familiar, A Velogemmel is a wooden bike with two small sled edges instead of tires. It’s a crazy idea that was initially designed for the local postmen going door to door years ago. It’s a fun nighttime activity for friends and family. The “bikes” can be rented during the day or night to be used on the sledge trails from the train station.
The area will not disappoint the skiers and riders of the group. The central ski area has around 100km of ski pistes and the vast majority of them are rated as intermediates. There are a plethora of long intermediate runs. It’s really great for families or novices not looking to tackle some of Switzerland’s massive ski resorts. It’s the largest section of the ski area and you get the unique opportunity to take a train back up to the mountaintop from three different rail stops along the mountain. A highlight is the world-famous Lauberhorn World Cup Race. Its origin goes back to 1930, and it is the world’s fastest and longest downhill race. The world-famous run includes a cliff jump in which skiers fly through the air up to 60m. It draws a massive crowd and is sure to be a spectacle. The village of Murren is well known for being a quaint and beautiful village with amazing views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The resort has a number of challenging runs but is small in size. Most notably it is credited with being the birth of modern skiing and held the first slalom race ever in 1922.
If racing down the mountain doesn’t get the heart rate up enough, you may want to brave your fear of heights then take the Gondola up to the First Cliff Walk. It’s a death-defying structure that allows visitors to walk out on a cliff with nothing below. First Cliff Walk lies at the top of the Grindelwald First Gondola and is open year-round. If you’re looking for the best view in the region you may have found it – just don’t look down!
History: Grindelwald, a village in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps, is a popular gateway for the Jungfrau Region, with skiing in winter and hiking in summer. It’s also a base for mountain-climbing ascents up the iconic north face of Eiger Mountain. Gletscherschlucht, a glacial gorge just outside Grindelwald, features paths with interpretive signage, waterfalls and striated limestone wall
The tourism industry began in Grindelwald in the late 18th century as foreigners discovered the scenic town. Pictures of the vistas were widely reprinted, quickly making the village internationally famous. In the 19th century many Englishmen came to the village to climb the alpine peaks around the valley. The Finsteraarhorn (4,274 m [14,022 ft]), the Wetterhorn (3,692 m [12,113 ft]), the Eiger (3,967 m [13,015 ft]), the Schreckhorn (4,078 m [13,379 ft]) and the Gross Fiescherhorn (4,049 m [13,284 ft]) were all climbed during the 19th century. The Grindelwald road was built in 1860–72, and the Bernese Oberland railway reached the village in 1890, both of which transformed an arduous journey into a simple trip and allowed tourists to flood into the village. The first resort opened in 1888, there were 10 hotels in 1889, and by 1914 there were 33 in Grindelwald. A rack railway was built to Kleine Scheidegg in 1893, and it was expanded to the Jungfraujoch in 1912. Numerous ski lifts, cable cars, hiking trails and alpine huts were built in the late 19th and 20th centuries to allow tourists to explore the mountains. Today, almost the entire economy of Grindelwald is based on tourism.
Long famed as a winter tourist destination with slopes for beginners, intermediates, and the challenges of the Eiger glacier for the experienced, there are activities for the non-skiers, from tobogganing to groomed winter hiking tracks. It is the usual starting point for ascents of the Eiger and the Wetterhorn. Nowadays Grindelwald is also a popular summer activity resort with many miles of hiking trails across the Alps.
The first person to ski there was Englishman, Gerald Fox (who lived at Tone Dale House) who put his skis on in his hotel bedroom in 1881 and walked out through the hotel bar to the slopes wearing them.
Your cost for the trip to Grindelwald is $2,985.00 You will receive:
- Round Trip air from St. Louis Kansas City to Zurich, Switzerland, on Delta Airlines;
- 7 nights with buffet breakfast and full dinner daily in Grindelwald;
- airport departure taxes and transfers.
- 5 nights in Geneva with breakfast
- all transfers and hotel taxes.
Deduct $400.00 if you are traveling only to Grindelwald and back and not going on the extension to Geneva.
This trip is limited to 30 persons!!!
Extension to Geneva