PAGAN WINTER TRADITIONS
February 7 - 20, 2018
Discover mystical Switzerland in winter. It's not the Switzerland of cheeses, watches and banks. It is a place of traditions that go back hundreds of years. From remote villages in the Alps to the grand city of Basel, we will participate in ancient carnival rituals and witness a Switzerland that is off the beaten path.
There is the Tschäggättu-Procession from Blatten to Ferden which is filled with costumes, masks and sounds that are unsettlingly original. Experience the disparate rituals of the Carnivals in Lucerne and Basel, which always takes place the week after Ash Wednesday and begins at 4 am, when the dark streets of the old town come to life with the sounds of piccolo flutes.
Other highlights include ascending to one of Europe’s highest peaks at 11,332-foot (3,454-meter) by cogwheel train to the magnificent region of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jungfraujoch mountain pass; taking the Bernina Express to the Italian speaking town of Posciavo, one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps. Take a long walk in a remote snow covered alpine valley, visit Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair, a UNESCO World Heritage Monastery coveted for its exceptionally well-preserved heritage of Carolingian art.
Experience the cultural diversity that exist in tiny Switzerland, a country the size of Vermont and New Hampshire. Not only are four official languages spoken, but also each region has its distinct architecture and traditions. Our Swiss tour will cover places as varied as Bern, Lucerne, Basel, Appenzell, as well as small out of the way villages in the Alps in the beautiful Kanton Graubünden and the Valais.
Lucerne is not only one of the original places where the Swiss Federation was founded, but it is also considered the Swiss heartland, bordering the magnificent Lake Lucerne.
While Lucerne is the historical heartland of Switzerland, Appenzell and the Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, situated in a singularly beautiful landscape of rolling hills, is a hinterland vibrant for its untouched traditions, music, dance, and cultural events.
The price includes lots of personal attention by your guide and photography expert Magdalena Solé in a small group of 6 - 8 participants. Magdalena was raised in Switzerland, speaks 3 of its 4 languages and has intimate knowledge of the country. You will receive a detailed itinerary with all the information. Included in the price are hotels, breakfast, many dinners, first class rail pass, and transport via small bus. Some special activities are not included, as outlined in the itinerary
To reserve a spot you need to send in your deposit of $1000 as soon as possible as this trip will sell out quickly. (Please see our cancellation policy.)
Balance due for the total trip fee is on November 1, 2017. When you fill out the sign-up form it will take you to the payment page where you can submit payment via credit card. You can also send payment by check.
PRIVATE TOUR ONLY 2-4 PEOPLE
February 7 - 20, 2018
US departure Feb 6
Single Room Supplement $800
Maximum Group Size 8
DAY 1 - 2 Bern *
DAY 2 - 5 Blatten (Carnival)
Day 5 - 6 Grindelwald
Day 6 - 8 Lucerne (Carnival)
Day 8 - 9 Bergün
Bernina Express *
Day 9 - 11 Guarda
Day 11 - 12 Appenzell
Day 12 - 14 Basel (Carnival)
* Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List (UNESCO)