• Salzburg, Austria
  • Hallstatt, Austria
  • Alpe di Siusi, Italian Alps
  • Zugspitze, German Alps
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Berner Oberland, Swiss Alps
  • Aiguille du Midi, French Alps

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

My Way® Alpine Europe in 12 Days Tour

from $2,695 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $525

See Tour Dates

This trip delivers endless opportunities for fresh-air thrills, from Austria's Sound of Music country to flower-carpeted meadows in Italy's Dolomites, fairytale castles in Germany's Bavaria, cut-glass peaks in Switzerland's Berner Oberland, and France's Mont Blanc. For a dozen free-spirited days, this money-saving My Way tour gives you the freedom to decide your own daily priorities and pace. We cut the stress by providing comfortable rooms in well-located hotels, private bus transportation to each destination, and a travel-savvy escort to help advise you along the way. Join us for My Way®: Alpine Europe in 12 Days!

Dates & Prices

2015

What's Included

  • This is an "un-guided" tour — giving you the freedom (and responsibility) to manage your daily sightseeing schedule and meals
  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people will share our big, comfy bus during the trip, but not do organized sightseeing together
  • A Rick Steves escort will manage the group's transportation and hotel arrangements, and provide advice for sightseeing, meals, etc.
  • All group transportation from Salzburg to Chamonix
  • 11 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts are included
  • All tips for escort and driver
  • Free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) featuring Rick's audio walking tours of sights, museums and neighborhoods in Germany and Austria. Also includes Rick's radio interviews with experts on destinations covered in this itinerary
  • More free stuff including My Way: Alpine Europe Sightseeing Guide; Europe Through the Back Door travel skills handbook (one per household); French-Italian-German phrase book; map; moneybelt; and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Sightseeing notes

(r) = reserve a time before you leave the USA
* = included in Rick's audio walking tours

Day 1: Welcome to Salzburg

Welcome to Austria's charming city of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. We'll rendezvous at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a group get-together. Your escort will give an overview of the days ahead, answer your questions, and offer a quick orientation to our neighborhood. Then you're free for dinner on your own, and maybe an evening stroll around Salzburg's delightful, pedestrian-friendly Old Town*. Sleep in Salzburg (2 nights). No bus today.

Day 2: All Day in Salzburg

Today is all yours for savoring Salzburg. Begin or end your day with a climb up to the fortress and its sweeping view of the city and surrounding mountains. You can also enjoy exploring the town's Baroque churches, playful fountains and colorful markets. Rent a bike for an easy ride and picnic along the Salzach River, try your hand at Doe-a-Deer by joining a Sound of Music bus tour, or take an excursion out to nearby Berchtesgaden to see Hitler's infamous Eagle's Nest retreat. No bus today.

Day 3: Heavenly Hallstatt

This morning we'll pack up, bid auf wiedersehen to Salzburg, and hop aboard our comfortable bus for a short drive to the picture-perfect lakeside town of Hallstatt. We'll arrive with plenty of free time for you to stroll around the town, take a peaceful boat trip across the mountain-ringed Hallstättersee — or go underground, tagging along on a tour of the world's oldest salt mine. Sleep in Hallstatt (1 night). Bus: 2 hrs.

Day 4: Dolomites Drive to Italy

We'll spend this morning enjoying breathtaking views as we drive into Italy, where the forested Austrian Alps give way to the chiseled 10,000-foot peaks of the Italian Dolomites. This afternoon we'll reach our cozy mountain retreat nestled at the foot of Europe's largest (and arguably most beautiful) Alpine meadow, the Alpe di Siusi. Dotted with farms and crowned by towering granite cliffs, this high-altitude plateau offers hundreds of miles of trails with an array of challenging hikes and easy walks to suit everyone's pace. Grab an evening aperitivo and toast to nature's splendor as the setting sun paints the mountains pink. Sleep near the Alpe di Siusi area (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs.

Day 5: All Day in the Alpe di Siusi

Today your options are as wide-ranging as the surrounding mountains. Chairlifts abound, providing springboards for the day's adventures. Take a leisurely stroll through rolling green pastures and befriend a free-roaming cow or two. Duck into a hut café to rub elbows with locals and sample traditionally-prepared South Tirolean treats. For those with more energy, ridge trails get the heart pumping and provide unforgettable vistas with every step. Feeling a little more cosmopolitan? Catch a convenient bus for a scenic one-hour drive to Bolzano, where cobbled lanes pave the way to a colorful street market and the impressive South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, home to 5,300-year-old Ötzi the Iceman. No bus today.

Day 6: To the Zugspitze and Bavaria

This morning we'll head northwest, into Austria's Tirol country. On the way, you'll have some free time (weather permitting) to ride a gondola lift to Germany's highest point, the 9,700-foot Zugspitze. At the top, you'll stand with one foot in Germany and the other in Austria, enjoying vistas of each. Then we're off to the charming riverside village of Füssen in beautiful Bavaria. Follow Rick's walking tour around the old town, or maybe take a woodsy walk along Füssen's Lech river to the nearby Lechfall. This evening is perfect for sitting in an outdoor beer garden, and hoisting a liter-size mug with new friends. Prost! Sleep in or near Füssen (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs.

Day 7: Bikes, Hikes and Castles

King Ludwig's fairytale Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles (r) are less than an hour's walk, or a quick bus or taxi ride, away. The Bavarian countryside is laced with wonderful bike paths, so you might rent a bike and ride to the nearby castles in Schwangau, to Tegelberg for a luge ride, or over the border into Austria to explore nearby Reutte. Be sure to break for coffee (or a cold eiscafe) with cake at a café along the way. No bus today.

Day 8: On to the Best of Switzerland

Today we'll drive across Bavaria and climb high into the heart of the Swiss Alps. By dinner time we'll be in the Berner Oberland's magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley, flanked by vertical, waterfall-laced cliffs and crowned by a trio of Switzerland's most formidable alps: the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. After settling into our creaky old chalet, you'll find hearty dinner options and spectacular views just a short walk away. Sleep in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs.

Day 9: All Day to Explore the Swiss Alps

This morning you'll wake up in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. Take off on a mountain excursion that combines the local cog railway, a gondola lift up to Männlichen, and a spectacular Alpine walk above the tree line, surrounded by a vista of cut-glass peaks. You can also book a seat on the Jungfraujoch train, which leads to Europe's best glacier panorama. Or, explore what's above the opposite side of the valley: ride a gondola lift to the top of the 10,000-foot Schilthorn, and hike back down. For a more restful day, stick closer to home and walk to the thundering Trümmelbach: a unique set of waterfalls encased behind the valley walls. No bus today.

Day 10: To the French Alps

This morning we'll head west toward France and our final Alpine destination: the resort town of Chamonix, site of the first Winter Olympics. Spend the afternoon soaking in the French Alps ambience at the foot of Europe's highest peak (at 15,780 feet), the mighty Mont Blanc. Consider taking the gondola lift to Le Brévent for a spectacular view, and end your day enjoying a traditional dinner of raclette or fondue. Sleep in Chamonix (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs.

Day 11: Aiguille du Midi Dreamin'

Today is your day to enjoy the wonders of the French Alps. You can choose between several great hiking trails with stunning views of Mont Blanc and a supporting cast of Alps that seem to stretch forever. For one of Europe's great Alpine thrills (weather permitting), take Europe's longest vertical gondola ride up to the 12,600-foot Aiguille du Midi viewpoint. From there, mini-gondolas take travelers over the snowfields and on to Italy. Or, if you prefer, simply find a café table with a view in Chamonix, and take the day off in après-ski style. No bus today.

Day 12: Tour Over After Breakfast

From Chamonix, you can book a convenient two-hour shuttle bus ride to Geneva's airport. Your escort will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Au revoir!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience.  On our My Way: Alpine Europe in 12 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  3. Be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  4. Be responsible for your own daily sightseeing, admissions, meals (except breakfasts) and non-group transportation.

Reviews

Stephanie

Grapevine, TX

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations. Knowing that experts had planned the itinerary, selected hotels and taken care of transportation gave me peace of mind and allowed us to focus on how to spend our days and pre-tour activities. It was the perfect 3-generation tour: Nana, me and daughter leaving for college. All three of us shared in the beauty of the Alps but there was always a way back for Nana via cable car or with our new friends when Olivia and I went more aggressively "wandering."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A storm moving in over Hallstatt See from the balcony of our room at the Gruener Baum. Watching my daughter communicate with grace in French. The 20-mile hike in Alpe di Siusi to Plattkofel and back to Castelrotto. So much beauty[INVALID]mountains, streams, biting ponies, a cow-bell cacophony, homemade yogurt with fresh berries at Mahlknecht Hutte, returning to Castelrotto from the hills above. Experiencing 12,605 ft at Aiguille du Midi and the stunning hike from Plan de l'Aguille to Mentenvers."

Harriet

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was perfect for us. We had the convenience of having hotels booked for us and transportation provided, but the freedom to fill our days as we wished. It was a pleasant surprise that this independent approach sttill allowed for comaraderie with fellow travelers. Our guide, Mary, was a wealth of information, sharing ideas of how to fill our days. Her sense of humor was genuine and I couldn't imagine making this trip without her. Andre, our driver, was highly competent and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow, so many wow moments! I will simply lump them together and say that each cable car ride to a mountain top was amazing. I was surprised that the scenery could be so varied atop the different mountains. How lucky we were to have clear skies for each adventure. The intense heat was a wow of a different sort, but even Rick has his limitations as to what he can arrange."

Michael

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time to Europe, so every moment added to the experience. It was a very good and sociable group and our tour leader, Mary, was great. Just enough structure and guidance so we knew what to expect and felt comfortable without having to lose a lot of time figuring out what to do or where to go. We tend to be more independent travelers when we're on our own, so the "My Way" structure provided a nice balance of guidance and independence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since it was our first time to Europe, we had a "wow" moment every day and often several in a day. The ones that stand our for me was hearing a Mozart Mass played at the Salzburg Cathedral (actually the day before the tour officially started, but we were there because of the tour); buying cheese and sausage at the "self-serve" dairy in Gimmelwald; and taking the tram from Aguille du Midi to Hellbronner. We actually saw an avalanche on the trip back."

Rose

Centralia, WA

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our goal was to visit the Alps of Europe. This tour gave us that and more. I am sure it was only good luck, but the weather, while a bit hot, was wonderful with clear skies ensuring we always had the best view. The bus and driver were top notch. I am more limited with mobility strength than most of the members of the tour, but there was plenty for me to do and see while the more mobile members were able to do their extreme hikes and enjoy the day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. Being able to take the gondola to the top of the Schilthorn and enjoy the panoramic view all around. Finding the little stone church in Chamonix that was filled with original art from well known artists. Touring the Salt Mines in Halstatt; I didn't expect the slide, but decided to go for it. I was one fast granny; clocked at 31.2 KM per hour."

Alice Elizabeth

Olympia, WA

Tour: 07/06/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way tour was great for my son and I. We were both able to do different things. I would certainly do it again. Mary was a wonderful escort.

Diane

Barstow, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Totally excellent. Tour family was the best group of people. And so refreshing to see teenagers on the tour enjoying themselves. Everywhere I went was enjoyable. In spite of the heat wave I had a blast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing Mont Blanc while hiking."

Neva

Auburn, WA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything I hoped for and so much more. It was my first "My Way Tou" after doing 9 Rick Steve's guided tours. I had been to all of the places on previous tours so as a solo traveler, I felt confident that I would know my way around. We had a great group of travelers, a good tour manager and a careful coach driver. I will continue traveling on Rick's tours because they are a good mix of group activities and free time for exploring on your own. They are perfect for a solo traveler.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every stop on this Alpine tour was a WOW moment. Seeing old town Salzburg lit up at night with a full moon above. Hiking up The Echernal Valley to Waldbachstrub Falls and seeing even more falls was a highlight in Hallstatt. Hiking in the Dolomites with carpets of wildflowers was spectacular. Doing the luge and Cablecar lift at Tegelberg and seeing the castles was fun. Lauterbrunnen I guess is my favorite and Mount Blanc is a close 2nd. I will always want to go back!"

Jody

Redlands, CA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond expectations! Ruth Ann was an incredibly knowledgable guide. She always gave impeccable suggestions for adventures to take while we were staying in each town. Her bus ride conversations were just the right amount of light humor and travel suggestions. We have incorporated her "wakie, wakie" into our personal lexicons.Ween was an extraordinary driver. We felt so safe in his hands on those often winding alpine roads meant for a moped and a smart car. HIs driving was genius! Thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments, but for me it was the 4 hour hike near Mont Blanc in Chamonix. We ate lunch at the hut and then hiked to the train in Monteverde. Incredible, breathtaking, unforgettable views every step of the way. I would suggest walking poles for this hike even though Ruth Ann hiked it pregnant and in tennis shoes - she is such a stud-dette!"

Jil

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way experience really enhanced our trip. We also felt part of a group when we wanted and were able to do what we wanted alone. The group of people were nice to travel with and there was lots space on the bus. We had a good tour guide (Ruth Anne) and Weim was a great driver. I brought my teenage son and didn't realize how nice it was to have other teenagers on the tour until we got there. My kid was able to go play games or sauna with other kids and we weren't nose to nose the whole trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a collective of experiences with my teenage son. The tour allowed me to cover more ground than I could have on my own. Probably seeing Mount Blanc in Chamonix hit the highest note...no pun intended. The Shilthorn was something we geeked out on beforehand with the Trammelbach Falls as a surprise. Breathing the air and eating the food and trying out our language skills flavored our whole trip. I wish I could have had a beer with Rick but maybe someday :)"

Trinell

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/29/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I hiked everyday we had a full day at. Salzburg I did an eighteen mile bike ride. Hallstatt I did the hike recommended to the waterfalls, glacier gardens, and then I hiked up above to the bridge overlooking the waterfall and where the mountain biking trails are. Fussen I hiked from the where the paraglider jumped and down the mountain to the mountains. The dolomites I summited Schlern. Switzerland I did the hike up to Busenalp/Obersteinberg/Obernhouse. Chamonix I hiked from the lift to the glaci

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitley in Switzerland hiking from Busenalp to Oberhouse (or whatever is the name of the back mountain glacial lake)."

Clarice

Duluth, MN

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded expectations. The scenery was spectacular, transportation was efficient, hotel staff was friendly and accommodating. And the tour guide was outstanding, as was Vim the bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several moments: Hallstadt and the church bells at 6 a.m. right outside our window; the magnificent sound of the organist practicing in the church in Casselrotto; coming around a corner and seeing the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau; walking down the narrow, twisty lanes in Salzburg, Fussen, Chamonix......"

Helen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour, we usually use Intrepid Travels to take us to the destinations. At first I worried about 28 people as being too many, Intrepid has only 12 but everything worked out quite well. All of the members of our group were interesting and nice people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was definitely the Alps, being in it and hiking around. The majesty of the surroundings were overwhelming at best. Neuschwanstein was pretty amazing too."

James

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire group was great to be with, the hotels and transportation were fine, as was the driver ("Vim"), and Martin was helpful and attentive throughout. We have used Intrepid in the past, and found this tour equal or better, and just what we wanted - the basics taken care of, and freedom to do our own thing at each location. We look forward to an increasing number and variety of My Way tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, I find it impossible to pick out a particular moment. We did several hikes, each of which was special. We had a number of memorable meals, generally at recommended restaurants. I suppose the one negative Wow was the higher prices in Switzerland, but not much you could do about that."

Lori

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded all expectations. It was a "My Way" so we made our own decisions each day as to what we wanted to do. Since this tour covered the Alps, our main interest was hiking. Martin, our tour manager, provided valuable information on which hikes to take and the details of getting to them. He knew the areas like the back of his hand. One member of our group is not much of a hiker and was perfectly content just to wander around the bucolic little towns we stayed in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is like picking a favorite child. But, the reality of hiking in the Dolomites with the beautiful snow-capped mountains, the meadow flowers, and the cows with their bells was something out of a fairy tale."

Samuel

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the first time meeting and being with Martin I had a good feeling and could tell that this was going to be a well organized and caring tour. That first evening Martin took the time to take our group up and down the main street in Salzburg to explain how to approach and what to expect from the town and of the people. The approaching people in the various towns and countries that we visited was extremely helpful and made our experience much more delightlful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pulling into each town that we visited was very exciting and seeing the architecture with each culture. The mountains were fantastic at all destinations and the travel on the bus seeing the country side was just great. Vem showed that he was a very good driver with a smooth ride. I loved hiking in the Dolomites in northern Italy."

Nancy

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are avid hikers, and we loved the active nature of the tour. Our trip took us to amazing hiking locations, and we were able to experience five countries without worrying about lodging or transportation. I enjoyed the "My Way" experience for this particular trip. We felt that we had plenty of guidance from our guide, Martin, during his daily "office hours" over breakfast, and then we could plan our daily adventures on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were in Fussen on Father's Day, and it was a Father's Day that we will never forget. We spent the morning exploring the two castles, and then we had our very nice rental mountain bikes (arranged with our guide, Martin's help) waiting for us at the hotel. We spent four hours biking on paved bike trails past gorgeous farms, cows, llamas, and the beautiful lake. Then, we stopped for a traditional German meal at an inn. It was a wonderful day."

Becca

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the trip - the places we visited, the group we traveled with, and Martin. All were exceptional! I also loved the pace of the journey. We had a little over a day in most places, and it was just enough time to get in a good amount of the opportunities available, and whet the appetite for places we would like to come back to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Alpe di Siusi was my favorite 'wow' - it offered such a beautiful landscape for hiking (and hikers of all levels), and was also smattered with great stops for cheese and snacks! The Gondola and chair rides added to the fun as well."

Janice

Malverne, NY

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are an older couple and never could have done this on our own. So we chose Rick Steves' My Way so my husband and I could plan our own day and he could take all the time he needed to take the photos he enjoys so much taking. Our overall experience was more than we could have imagined! The tour, our escort Martin, his knowledge,the hotels, the bus, the driver and our group was just what we needed to feel comfortable, safe and enjoy ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment has to be Hallstatt! I have never seen a more beautiful village. I had read Rick Steves' books and and couldn't wait to arrive there! It was as I pictured and more. First thing we did was take the boat ride around the lake, which is what I wanted to do! The sun came out and I got tears in my eyes! So thankful to be able to experience this day."

Gay

Yakima, WA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A magical, though somewhat rainy adventure through the Alps. I was too excited about everything to let the rain get me down. I am still reliving all the special memories.......

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During a very rainy day hiking from Mannlichen, the clouds broke revealing two beautiful lakes and stunning scenery. It was probably more special because it only lasted for about 30 minutes."

Robert

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 06/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided all the support needed to efficiently bus from point to point and be quickly established in a great hotel room. The "my way" format then gave total freedom to spend the day with any subset of fellow travelers interested in a similar selection among the activities superbly laid out in the tour guide and by Martin, our super guide. Loved the fellow travelers- every one!! The Alpine views were spectacular and I shot over 1000 photos. Can't wait to share on our post-tour network.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a lot of Wow moments!! Favorite was at the Otzi museum in Bolzano, examining the knots in the stitching of the ice man's leather clothing. These were made 5000 years ago by the very hands of the preserved man I had just seen in the other room. I admired the skill and artistry of his solutions to creating gear for high mountain snow travel with his limited materials and felt a collapsing of the millenia between him and me. That is a wow moment, no?"

Daniel

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary. The Alps My Way was more flexible than our prior RS trips but we still had a lot of group dynamics and get togethers. In many ways it is very similar to a regular RS trip. The hotel arrangements, bus and tour guide (Cynthia) were all outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix France in the Alps. With clear skies, the mountains were spectacular. Also, the wild flowers throughout the Alps."

Lynn

Lake Forest, IL

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having thoroughly enjoyed our previous "Traditional" Rick Steves' guided tours, I can also highly recommend the "My Way" tour concept. The locations were absolutely spectacular, areas which don't necessarily show up on other tour company itineraries. The accommodations actually ranged from very good to great. All clean, well maintained and friendly staff. Of huge importance was having our wonderfully capable, knowledgeable, upbeat and attentive guide, Cynthia. Many thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauterbrunnen Valley Hike. Even in the rain it was a spectacular hike with endless fields of wildflowers, cows with cowbells, beautiful vistas and friendly locals. Also, hiking in the Alps near Chamonix - breathtaking, literally and figuratively!"

Elaine

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, great tour guide, great bus driver, fun traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Alpe de Suisi - being up on the high ridge between the Mahlknechthutte and the Plattkofelhutte all by ourselves, hearing only a rushing river in the distance and a symphony of cowbells."

Gail

Middletown, CT

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The hotels were well located, the bus rides comfortable and the group very friendly. I easily found enjoyable companions to hike with and have meals with. It was illuminating to see the Alps through five different countries and cultures. Fog and rain did put a damper on the views in Switzerland, though. If it were anywhere else, the Lauterbrunnen Valley would be enough in itself to satisfy, but it was a bit wrenching to have to leave and not see all we came for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wish I could say the mountains in Switzerland, but they did not show themselves clearly in the two days we were there. The wildflowers along the trails were wonderful and the rain brought gusto to the waterfalls . My biggest wow was Mt. Blanc. That's a very impressive mountain and is still surrounded by active glaciers."

Jim

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an unforgettable experience. I had never traveled as part of a group,nor had I traveled to Europe by myself. Neither of these points ever became an issue. I could be part of a group when I wanted,or could be on my own when I wanted. I think after a few days,everyone in the group felt very comfortable with one another. I liked the way the tour was planned out,in that each stop got better and better. All our lodging was ideally located,clean and had a friendly staff.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After experiencing some unfortunate weather in Switzerland,my "wow" moment had to have been at the Aiguille du Midi.We were above the clouds,the sun was shining and the scenery was breathtaking."

Keith

Sloughhouse, CA

Tour: 06/08/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really enjoyed the tour, but in my opinion, I would have picked some other sites. First, this is a hiking tour experience, some of the destinations did not meet that expectation. I remember Hallstatt when I visited there in 1972 and 1986. The place is not the same. It's been discovered, and especially with the Chinese invading the place, it's not worth it. Fussen and the Kings castles is not really a hiking spot,again too many people and tour groups. Continued at item 13.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"By far the Aiguille d'Midi in Chamonix. Epic views from there. Went there 3 times (we had an extra day). I'm sure Lauter. would have had wow moments but never saw anything because of rain. In fact, it started to clear just when we were leaving - great. That's why I'm suggesting 3 nights and two days to improve odds on weather. (see below)"

Matthew

Los Olivos, CA

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stunning! Magnificent! Incredible! Every day is better than the last! Every turn offers a view more beautiful than the last. The trip of a lifetime! How can you top this? These were my reactions upon completing our My Way Tour of Italy in the Fall of 2014. How did we top that?...We signed on to the "My Way" Alpine Europe Tour....and it was nothing short of UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I am a lover of God's creation, and I was truly blown away at every stop on this amazing trip. How do you top this?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day offered more WOW than the one before..and we started our trip in Salzburg...from the Mirabell Palace to the Hohen-Salzburg Fortress and all points in between. Must mention the beers at StieglKeller and the Augustiner...WOW...and the Sound of Music tour. Every person on earth should visit Hitler's Obersalzberg complex. It was sobering beyond belief, and what was orchestrated there must never be forgotten. Hallstadt was more beautiful than Lake Como, but my big WOW were the Alps!"

Lorna

New Brighton, MN

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip. Our guide Dan was great and the tour participants were so congenial. At age 76 I wondered about the hotels (given the fact the last Rick Steves tour I'd taken was over 20 years ago) but they were very good. I so enjoy being in the midst of the European culture, unlike some tours where all you see are other American travelers. The alpine tour worked for me. The views from the bus were fantastic and I was free to do only what I was able.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was taking the lift to the top of Mt. Blanc and then riding the gondola to the Italian border and back."

Leonard

Lighthouse Point, FL

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing. The trip was well planned and everyone was very informed. I would really recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauterbrunnen/Gimmwald Switzerland was the most amazing. I may be biased because I got engaged there but it was the most beautiful place I have ever seen."

Lisa

Washington, DC

Tour: 05/25/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I normally don't join tours but decided to do the my way tour because I was very busy at work and had no time to do any of the logistics planning involved in setting up a vacation. Initially it was my plan to just do my own thing but there were 15 people on this tour and the group meshed so well that I frequently found that I preferred hanging with the other folks in the group. this is a great way to travel when you want the flexibility to do your own thing or to hang out with others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to count. The landscape got better each day and the baseline was pretty spectacular. If I had to pick one I would say my hike in Chamomix with two other tour members. Good company, good views."

Todd

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a wonderful time on the trip! Everything was well planned with plenty of options. Our tour escort Gretchen was extremely helpful, friendly and a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite experience was a valley walk we took in Lauterbrunnen. Even though it was a little rainy, we had such a nice time walking through the valley and taking in all of the beauty that surrounded us. It is really a breathtaking area!"

Joseph

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gretchen made us feel like were part of her family. Very warm, delightful person. Very informative, could not do enough for us to make our trip a success.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was having the chance to see the Alps, in all kinds of weather, as you know. [give me 5 minutes and the weather changes]."

Dorothy

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had our fair share of rain, but I've got to say it never dampened our spirits or ruined our tour experience. Our trip was all we had hoped it would be. We had everything going for us: 1. Top notch guide, Gretchen 2. Professional, personable bus driver, Derek 3. Compatible, friendly tour group members 4. Lovely hotels that were, as promised, centrally located 5. Many options for us to choose what we wanted to see and do

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a number of "wow" moments. After all, it was a "My Way Alps" tour with mountain grandeur everywhere! I can say without a doubt, though, that my most awesome experience was riding the cable car from the Chamonix station up to the Aiguille Du Midi and Mont Blanc. It was "other worldly" and seeing the paragliders midway on our journey jump off the cliffs at the Plan de l'Aiguille was quite a thrill, too. What a way to spend the afternoon...and the weather was perfect that day!"

George

Sandpoint, ID

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was well-run and smooth. A good mix of bus time and arrival at destination with adequate time to sightsee, then having the next complete day to explore made for a satisfying experience. A perfect tour for those who want to be more independant. Well-chosen destinations and well-orchestrated time-wise. Breakfasts were awesome. Our tour guide Gretchen was the best one could hope for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alps, of course ! And the bonding with our guide and fellow travelers. Also, because we were taken care of in the tour setting, we were relaxed and comfortable out on our own, reaching out to other travelers and locals we came across in restaurants and other venues, enlarging our entire experience."

William

Sugar Hill, GA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Destinations ended up being just what we wanted. Enjoyed Salzburg more than I had imagined. Crowds here I expected to be overwhelming but was very manageable.Fussen and the castles was all and more than I hoped.Must arrive early!Line was CRAZY by mid-day. The weather (clouds & on and off rain) seemed to follow us. Even without the blue skies we thoroughly enjoyed all the new places and loved being back in Switzerland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ascending up Mont Blanc in Chamonix, the views are amazing. Leaving the 70's in the valley to be in the 20s at the summit, all in a matter of minutes was unforgettable. Deathly afraid of heights. This spot, along with Switzerland, The Dolomites and Paris earlier in the tour truly helped me face the fear. Paid too much to let fear take away the experience."

Tim

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The stops and sights that we experienced were exactly those that we would have chosen if we had planned the itinerary. We had visited parts of this area of Europe about 16 years ago using the Rick Steves guide books and traveling on our own. To return using the "My Way" format relieved us of those annoying issues of housing and ground transportation. Thus letting us enjoy the sights to a fuller extent. It was a good choice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To look up toward Mt. Blanc from Chamonix and see Aiguille du Midi crystal clear against a cloudless blue sky. And the Dolomites from Castelrotto with plenty of snow and to have the chance to hike the Alpe di Siusi in a Spring Snow Flurry."

Tom

Melbourne, FL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We normally don't do "Tours" and this was our first "My Way Tour" and I really like the concept. Removing the hassle of getting from one place to another and not having to research and negotiate for hotels is a great idea as it left the onerous parts for someone else and we got to enjoy planning and executing actual tour locations, activities and sights. The Guide book was invaluable for pre-planning and useful as a reference as we went along. The tour guide Gretchen was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Due to 10 days of on/off rain it was fantastic that the sky's cleared in Chamonix and as we reached the top of Aguille du Midi by cable car the French Alps were in all the glory with a blue sky, white peaks and 20 degree weather. It was very exhilarating and we liked it so much we went back the next morning to catch morning sun on the peaks and we stayed up there even longer."

Sue

Melbourne, FL

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time and we were so happy that we decided to take our first "My Way" Tour. Our only issue was the rainy weather that seemed to follow us, but can't blame that on anyone but mother nature! Gretchen was out tour guide and she was absolutely wonderful! Would definitely do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Atop the L'Aiguille du Midi - what a spectacular view!"

Donelle

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Alpine tour could not have been better other than the fact that my husband had to see a pharmacist and later a doctor (in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the one in the book!)for a bad head cold and tick bite (in Prague, not the tour!). Each place was unique and scenic. The book was great for helping us to plan. Our guide Gretchen was fabulous, so helpful, friendly and fun. The hotels were great, locations perfect and breakfast delicious, nice variety.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to say, the Lauterbrennen Valley and Chamonix had jaw dropping views. We so enjoyed the villages Grunnewald and Mirren, so like Heidi should walk around the corner! Chamonix, just incredible to get so close to Mont Blanc, just amazing views all around us!"

Kathleen

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scenery was wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lauderbraner"

Barrie

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized.Hotels were adequate.The group got along very well.Gretchen did a good job directing the tour.She was especially good at being flexible as to the needs of the group. I liked the Alps in particular. Bus was very comfortable.Super tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving in the alps."

Amy

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing time on our trip! This was our first Rick Steve's tour, and it exceeded our expectations. Our tour escort, Gretchen, was outstanding! We loved the locations we visited, the hotels were nice, and the bus was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An unexpected fun experience for us was riding a louge. We had not planned on doing this, but when we ran into Gretchen and saw her having a great time at the louge, we decided to give it a try and had an awesome time!"

Delores

Mcminnville, OR

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour from beginning to end. The choices of stops and hotels were great. I even enjoyed the bus time to watch the countryside roll by and hear Gretchen's prep for our next stop and catch up on journaling. Weather prevented some of our hiking plans, but Gretchen always had great alternate ideas

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two: The amazing chamber music in the fortress at Salzburg with the sun slanting in to the room and the view from the top of the Aiguille du Midi gondola in Chamonix across a gorgeous panorama of snow covered alps"

Barbara

Aiken, SC

Tour: 05/18/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My-Way tour was a great way to travel. The Rick Steves group takes care of all the logistics (travel and rooms) and you're free to do what you want.

Cathy

Missoula, MT

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Alps were truly spectacular in all the countries we visited. Since we live in the Rocky Mountains, we thought we had seen mountains, but this tour took us to new heights! Of course the excellent tour guide and friendly tour participants added greatly to the experience. The itinerary was great--although it felt rushed in most places, since we our destination arrivals were late afternoon. Three additional days would have allowed time to adequately explore major destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Otsie museum in Bolzano Hiking in the Swiss Alps Mr. Blanc in Chamonix"

Donald

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As a MY Way tour we pretty much made the trip to our desire. The cancel of the stay in Fussen was a definite downgrade in what we purchased. Reutte was a poor substitute. Reutte is not ready for tours; lack of activities(castles mediocre at best), town is nothing, lacks transportation on weekends, taxis inadequate and a lot more deficiencies. Martin made arrangements for the bus to Fussen, but this resulted in lost time because we didn't know much ahead of time to plan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Zugspitze -we were there the first day of Oktoberfest- and Chamonix."

Robin

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've had a number of wonderful travel experiences, but I think this is the best one ever! My husband is no longer able to travel and I was looking for a way to go places that wouldn't be practical as a solo traveler. The My Way format was perfect, especially for the Alpine Europe itinerary. I enjoyed being able to craft my own agenda and yet always have traveling companions to do things with, and having all the logistics handled. Plus, our group was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day brought a wow moment: The sheer beauty of Hallstatt; hiking amid the stunning scenery of the Alpe di Siusi, the Lauterbrunnen Valley and Chamonix; astounding views from the tops of mountains (and the cable car rides to get there!); unexpectedly finding ourselves in the midst of a rollicking Octoberfest celebration at the top of the Zugspitze! The whole trip was like living in a postcard for 12 days, with wonderful new friends."

Patricia

Ontario, OR

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great and very stress and hassle free. We covered a lot more ground with easy then we would of on our own. Our guide, Martin, was great. He was very helpful and available. The group was congenial and fun. I found the pacing really good. We moved right along but it wasn't too much and I didn't feel we were too long or too short in any one place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Wengen and seeing the mountains."

Harold

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Martin was a wonderful Tour Guide and Host! Martin could make a tour of the Gobi Desert interesting. Fortunately for us, the Alpine Europe My Way Tour offered spectacular views of the Alps and The Dolomites. Martin briefed us thoroughly before each stop along the way. Although he held official "office hours", it seemed like Martin was always available to provide knowledge, suggestions and gentle guidance. Martin was courteous and thoughtful to everyone associated with our Tour !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"GIMMELWALD!GIMMELWALD! GIMMELWALD! I would have liked to have stayed in Wengen for four days and explored the area. I would drop "the castles" from the Tour and concentrated on spending more time in Switzerland. There was so much to see and the availability of local transportation made everything very accessible."

Lorraine

Tualatin, OR

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Alpine Tour, and the entire tour was thrilling! Our escort, Martin, was so wonderful. He provided a wonderful blend of information and personal knowledge. We always felt very confident heading out for our daily adventure! "My Way" was so perfect for this type of adventure. It was especially fun to connect with the rest of the group at the end of the day, at breakfast, or on the bus, and hear about their day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say Switzerland!!! We arrived late afternoon in Wengen, and were excited to see our view. Well, in the morning, we were absolutely thrilled to see what was behind the cloud cover!! The town was charming, and we probably had the best afternoon in Gimmelwald. A picture perfect day, enjoying a lunch of delicious cheese fondue, and just "being" in such a beautiful place. I would have like to stay longer!"

Matthew

Burlington, MA

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful and my wife and I loved all the locations we visited, very beautiful scenery and we were lucky to also get good weather to go along with it. Our tour guide Martin was great, he really cares about everyone, helping you to have the best time possible. He is so knowledgeable about the places we visited and very patient to answer any questions you may have. On a scale of 1 to 10 as a tour guide, I give him a 20!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are 2 "wow" moments... the Alps in Switzerland and in France. Both beautiful so you can't say that one was better than the other."

Larry

Vale, OR

Tour: 09/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a great success on many levels: Martin, our guide, was delightful; the locations allowed us to sample a range of European cultures; the Alps are magnificent; and the transportation and accommodations were low-stress. Three weeks afterwards, I still have a warm glow from the whole experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery around Wengen was one long "pinch me" moment."

Lynda

Brunswick, GA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific time. At first I was hesitant to join a group, thinking I could see more on my own. However, the more I thought about how much time we would have to devote to logistics, the more sense it made to join a group where lodging, transportation and luggage was taken care of. I also knew I would want to spend more time in each country than the allotted time, but if I had done so, I would have missed so much! I kept repeating Rick's advice..."assume you will return".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would consider having to pinch myself and tell myself I am actually hiking in the Alps, enjoying a crisp, fall-like day, listening to the ringing of cow bells, and seeing the most beautiful scenery ever my WOW moment."

Lawrence

Brownsburg, IN

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour and learned quickly that advanced preparation is beneficial to using the available time effectively. The Rick Steves "My Way: Alpine Tour" supplement was very helpful in [INVALID]ing items to do. The tour group was unique in that we worked independently, yet we shared with each other of what we saw and experienced. Impromptu conversations & group meals formed in venues where we met. This freedom and sharing created a unique friendship opportunity. Great hotels & bus rides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was to visit the Jungfraujock. I recalled seeing photos of an Alps location that had cog trains, ice tunnels & scuptures and a wonderful view of the mountains. Jungfraujock was everything I hoped it would be. Our hotel in Wengen was an ideal place to explore Jungfraujock or descend to the Lauterbrunnen valley."

Carol

Placerville, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very organized and Renee was the BEST bus driver ever! Chris was very approachable with ideas on what to do and see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything in Hallstadt."

Louise

Minneapolis, KS

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience of a lifetime; beyond expectations. I like the no grumpy, no bad attitude contract we sign. Our happy group bonded while seeing the most amazing sights. I used the contract as a Sunday School lesson. If we would all just take life as an adventure and not complain when things don't go our way! The people were fun and the places we visited were amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I used the tour as a hiking tool. Meaning I was hiking at every moment I could find. It was an incredible experience to be able to do sight seeing early in the morning or evening with few people around and spend my day in the mountains. Everyday, while hiking and seeing the views I'd say, "It can't get any better than this." Then we'd travel to next place and each day got better. No trip can get better than this!"

Jeanne

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour! It could only have been successful as a "My Way" tour as there were so many varied hiking and adventure opportunities. It seemed to be fairly easy for everyone to decide what to do each day, and we did seem to go in several different directions. I thought the pace was just right. We all loved our hotel in Hallstatt so much that I think we could have used a second night there! Perfect trip for fairly independent people who love to walk and hike in gorgeous surroundings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sorry but I have three WOW moments ... doing the three and a half hour walk alone all around Lake Fuschl (Fuschlsee) near Salzburg; hiking with tour companions in the Alpe di Suisi out of Bolzano; and experiencing the sauna and spa outside of Fussen in true German style."

Elvin

Princeton, IL

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was excellent. The locations [INVALID]ed were all outstanding and surprisingly different from one another. The reading and preparing for the my way trip definitely enhanced the experience at each new location. The group experience was a fun part of the traveling and I was surprised how much we interacted with one another considering it was a my way tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alpe di Suisi near Bolzano was our wow moment. Pictures and descriptions can not recreate the experience of hiking and absorbing the sites of this high altitude meadow."

Barbara

Oakland, CA

Tour: 09/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Alps My Way Tour. The Alps are so spectacular. I loved the ability to get close to the remarkable, steep, yet accessible mountains, the COWS everywhere, the skinny hiking trails, the breathtaking gondolas & cog trains. Loved the sequence: starting in Austria (Mozart home & concert!, SOM, grand palaces, gardens), then Italy (LOVED hiking UP in Alpi di Suisi), Germany (rivers, castles, forests, clouds), Switzerland (peaks, commuters on gondolas!), then shear French Alps & glacier.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking in the Alpi di Suissi was just breathtaking! To be so close to the grandeur of these mountains and hike among the clouds and peaks is exquisite. And then I would turn around and see cows with their bells even higher up than me! Just awesome and I loved it!"

Marie

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful! great bus and driver. great escort. very compatable folks on the tour. loved the hotels/ locations/ breakfasts. excellent tips and info on sights/ transportation/ etc... on what is worth seeing etc.. and contact no.'s/ times to go etc... loved all the info provided in the guidebook etc...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the view from the "needle" up at mt blanc - unbelievable!"

Sadie

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a perfect tour for us! Gretchen was very helpful when we were planning our day's activities. All the locations were breathtaking & educational. All the hotels were comfortable/clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many audible "wow" moments - from everybody, at the same time, while traveling on the bus. But MY personal favorite was Hallstatt, Austira. Postcard worthy."

David

San Marcos, TX

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "my way" tour and my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the super Pleasant combination of thoroughly worked out lodging and transportation logistics and the complete freedom to venture out in whatever direction we chose once we arrived at each destination without feeling as if we were leading the group down by not joining in with a set schedule. Gretchen was a fount of useful knowledge and set a pleasant low-key tone that made the trip particularly congenial and welcoming.Thumbs up!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many but tandem paragliding from the mountain side overlooking Chamonix on a sunny day had to rank at the top! The hotel Heliopic was also quite a treat and offered an unexpected degree of luxury!"

Katherine

Orono, ME

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good tour, good itinerary. The Alpine region is especially well suited for My Way tours because most of the activity is hiking and mountain lifts, which everyone can do for themselves and select the particular trails that they like.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going up in the cable lift to Aguillle du Midi on Mont Blanc! Very cool. Plus, the sun finally came out that day!"

Michael

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was one of my greatest trips ever because of the continued variety of experiences and surprises. The my-way option worked good for us. We didn't need to stress over driving, finding our way or finding good places to stay. I got to look out the window as we traveled along. When we got to our destination, we felt free to do what we wanted to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing for the first time, Mont Blanc. Frankly there were many wow moments. One was when we needed to step off the pathway to let agroup of goats go down to their evening stay."

Michael

Galloway, NJ

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After five tours, they just keep getting better. A combination of locations and good people, both locals and the members of the tour group, made this trip unforgettable. Friends I did not have two weeks before, I will have for years to come.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Swiss Alps, from taking the cable cars up and having smoked salmon and champagne on the top of the Schilthorn to just chilling at the pennsione beer garten in Gimmelwald."

Patricia

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned. It was a good blend of time alone and time with our trip leader. The sites chosen were spectacular. It was a good taste of the many faces of the Alps, from the green mountain-sides of Austria to the majestic peaks of the Dololmites and the spectacular views of Mt. Blanc. It's only too bad we couldn't be in each place longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If "wow" and tranquil can be in the same sentence, then Hallstatt, with its placid lake, mountain views, and serene village, holds my wow moment. If, however, "wow" means your breath has been taken away, both physically and aesthetically, then the trip up Aiguille du Midi to view Mt. Blanc gets the exclamation points."

Connie

Kennesaw, GA

Tour: 09/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best vacation I ever had! The scenery was stunning, the food was wonderful, and I loved the whole experience. It was the perfect balance between guided tour and striking out on your own. The bus was nice and spacious, our escort Gretchen provided lots of useful information, and we really enjoyed exploring at our own pace. We did alot of things that we probably wouldn't have attempted without her help, such as navigating the bus/lift/train systems. Our bus driver Jeff was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many - Alpe di Siusi, taking the lifts to the tops of the Zugspitze, Schilthorn, and Aiguille du Midi, and just wandering around in Lauterbrunnen where you can see waterfalls and mountains all around."

Mary Ann

Cameron, MO

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful group - everyone was congenial from age 6 to ???. The sites that we saw were fantastic. For my family, the My Way was the way-to-go - when any of us were tired, we could rest and not have to "keep up with the group."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The waterfalls at Lauterbrunnen. The Sound of Music tour was my initial purpose and it was a good tour--the rain got in our way a little bit."

Debra

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty and peacefulness of Halstatt was unexpected. From our hotel balcony, we loved the lake and mountain views."

Patricia

Scotch Village, NS

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip did what i wanted to do. Have people around me with work it was so peaceful doing what i want and when. I just had to be on the bus at a certain time. Everything else was my way. If i got lost I found something interesting and ended up in a totally different direction Met lots of friends which we will keep in tounch. No drama!!!! Cyntheia was very full of information and saved us alot of time by giving us better routes. I hope to do Norwegian tour next year

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Para gliding in Germany!!!!! Thats all I have to say it was breath taking and I soured like a eagle"

Catherine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great locations that kept getting more spectacular as we went along. We very much liked the My Way experience. Just the right mix of group togetherness and independent exploration. I really appreciated having the lodging and transportation logistics handled for us. Great bus. Great bus driver. Very good information provided in the travel supplement. Excellent additional information provided by our tour escort. Great personal attention from her. The whole tour had a really comfortable vibe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For some reason hearing the cow bells as we went up into the Alpe di Suisse area just delighted me. We could hear them from inside the gondola! What a lovely sound all the time we were hiking there. However, our arrival in the Lauterbrunnen Valley was spectacular! Wow. Wow. Wow."

Billy

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 08/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience exceeded our expectations, which were pretty high to start with! We loved the combination of history, culture, food, drink, hiking, music, scenery, sightseeing, and a nice and fun group of people. The amount of guidance, structure, and help was perfect. We felt well informed but in control and able to use every minute in the way that worked best for us. The bus rides were pleasant, comfortable, and the time passed much quicker than we expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip up to Auguille du Midi, across Hellbrunner, and back down with lunch at Refuge du Plan de Aiguille! Seeing the Trekkers and the views was awesome."

Nancy

Clermont, FL

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was spectacular! It was everything we expected and more! The tour was very organized and the information regarding each country and town was excellent! This was our kind of tour..we love to hike, walk and ride bikes and we did all of the above. Every day we could plan our own schedule and come and go as we pleased. We are pretty active so this tour was an excellent fit for us. The scenery was fabulous and we loved all the towns we stayed in...just beautiful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a very difficult question, we had a lot of wow moments! Mt Blanc ...Aiguille du Midi was probably the most wow moment for me! Then Jungfrau, Dolomites....Alpe di Siusi,Hallstatt and the castles were absolutely amazing! I cannot say enough good things about the sights."

Patricia

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful trip! Our guide Mary was top notch. The hotels we stayed at were charming, the people friendly and the food good. The "My Way' tour suited us well as we could do only what interested us most. We enjoyed having as much time as we did in each place. We hiked the Alpe di Siusi, marveled at the spectacular Aguille du Midi, drank bier and ate pretzels at a festival in Fussen Germany and enjoyed the cafes all along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many I am having trouble coming up with one. I think the beauty of the Alps is such a wow that alone is what sticks out. The mountains, the countryside, the flower boxes, the charming old cottages and castles all adds up to a wow that I have to say that was my favorite part of the trip."

Meredith

Medford, NJ

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire tour experience. It fulfilled a long held dream of mine to travel in the Alps. The towns we visited were beautiful and interesting to discover. The people on the trip were friendly and fun to travel with. I would love to do it again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "Wow" moment was definitely in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the surrounding area. Murren, Gimmelwald,etc., and the hikes in that area were so stunning it was hard to concentrate on walking! I did say "wow" about a thousand times those few days."

Bruce

St Louis, MO

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We picked this tour because a) we like hiking; b) we love the mountains; and c) there was little duplication between our past travels and the stops on this tour. So, we started with fairly high expectations...and we were not disappointed! The scenery was nothing short of spectacular. While we visited a few cultural sites (e.g., museums, castles) and attended some cultural events (e.g., Mosart dinner), we focused on hiking, biking, and just enjoying the outdoors.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its a tough call, but I think the hike we took in Lauterbrunnen might be the highlight for me - to Grutschalp, Murren, Gimmelwald and back. That was a nice day - great views and a decent hike. I know I had a great time hiking (overall), because how else can you drink beer and eat wurst and noodles for 12 days...and not gain an ounce?"

Gregory

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. The locations and hotels were outstanding. Many locations were no-brainers but some I'd never heard of.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably driving into Lauterbrunnen, even though it was raining. Or maybe the view of the Chamonix needles from Aiguille du Midi."

John

Medford, NJ

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was a great one. I loved visiting the small towns on the trip. It was a very well organized and friendly tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment was probably seeing the Alps for the first time. I also enjoyed visiting and walking around the small towns, and cities, especially Salzburg."

Virginia

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the way the trip eased us into hiking. Each place presented more challenging walks and hikes. The 'on my own' aspect gave us lots of time to explore on our own but yet organized us for moving on to the next place. The transportation worked beautifully, as we kept the same driver for the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard because there were so many moments of pure wonder at the beauty that surrounded us. I would say that the views on the North Face hike were outstanding. Every step would bring us into view of a 'photo moment'. The view from our hotel in Hallstatt looked onto a waterfall with snow covered mountains in the distance. That was pretty amazing. And then there was Chamonix! As you can see, the tour was full of WOW moments!"

Richard

Newton, MA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were very happy with this Rick Steves "your way" tour and it was exactly as it was advertised to us. We liked the "your way" concept because we had the travel and hotels set up but the freedom to do what we wanted during the day. The tour escort was there to tell us of opportunities in a particular city and was a valuable resource in telling us how to access them. The tour members were friendly and we had many happy exchanges.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Reaching the summit at Mont Blanc (huddled in our coats)"

Grace

Reston, VA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect mother-daughter bonding trip. My young-adult daughter got to plan all our daily adventures just the way she wanted, while I was able to relax knowing that we didn't have to worry about hotels or transportation. The added bonus was the delightful friends we made on our tour. Most of us went our separate ways each morning and afternoon, but enjoyed meeting up in the evening to share experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the tougher trails in Alpe Di Siusi was my favorite "wow" moment. Unlike my daughter, I have never been keen on physically challenging experiences, but I agreed to the hike to please her. She did have to slow down (a lot) to allow me to keep up, but the tiny wild flowers, the mountain chalets, the rushing Alpine streams and Hollywood-perfect cows complete with bells that echoed throughout the valleys changed my opinion of mountain hiking!"

Richard

Bardstown, KY

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As all members will note, we lucked out on the weather---travel days it would rain--tour days it was perfect. Mary was excellent in providing background on cities, language, and hints for getting the best out of the experience. She reminded us to be appreciative of the bus driver who was also excellent and had to negotiate some very long, uphill, curvy roads with constant vigilance. We used two of Rick Steve's audio tapes at two locations and they worked out fine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing a huge organ piece being played in Mozart's church in Salzburg(not sure if it was the actual instrument or a cd but it really reverberated). Also our day hikes through Hallstatt, Lanterbrunnen Valley, and Chamonix offered both their outstanding physical presence and discovering the variety of native plant life. The 'monsieur crox' was excellent-I'm easy to please."

Paul

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. The itinerary was excellent with progressively more scenically beautiful places with incredible vistas. The guide was superb in all respects. Most of the hotels were appropriate for a Rick Steves My Way brand hiking/walking tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The vistas from the North Face trail above Lauterbrunnen were breathtaking. At every turn of the trail was another amazing view of the Swiss Alps."

Stephen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was all we hoped it would be. We took some excellent hikes in Bolzano, Lauterbrunnen and Chamonix. The accomodations were generally very good. The bus was clean and comfortable. We like the concept of the "my way" tour and the independence that it provides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite moment would be a toss up between the north face hike in Lauterbrunnen and the aerial tram ride to the Aiguille de Midi in Chamonix. Both were spectacular."

Chris

Snoqualmie, WA

Tour: 08/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The flexibility of this tour was fantastic. Everything ran smoothly and Mary was available any time you had questions about how to proceed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aquille du Midi was the single most spectacular spot I have ever been."

John

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right balance of touring and exploring on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Excellent vistas! These were everywhere, the alps, the villages, the cities and especially while hiking. It really is that good, better than the postcard."

Heidi

Tigard, OR

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great- I loved the towns we visited, did tons of hiking, and enjoyed feeling free. I also really liked trying to pick up more of the languages of the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A lot of "wow" moments in the Alps! Maybe the Grand Balcon Nord ridge in France. Or The Schlern in the Dolomites. Also the Kristall Therme spa in Schwangau, just outside of Füssen."

Heather

Tigard, OR

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great way to experience the different regions of the Alps. We had a great time exploring the cities and hiking in the mountains

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Chamonix, France framed by stunning mountains. Hiking the Grand Balcon du Nord from Montenvers to Plan de Aiguille du Midi, the Mer de Glace, Mont Blanc, and all the Aiguilles.....and the giant ham sandwich at the end of the hike."

Jane

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the best of both worlds- advice and help from our wonderful tour guide, Cynthia, and the opportunity to go off on our own. Cynthia showed us where to find ATM's, laundromats, and bike rentals, suggested restaurants and tours, and even told us which bus to take to hike at Alpe di Suisi. The motels were clean and comfortable and most had wonderful views.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A beautiful city (Salzburg), gorgeous countryside, amazing waterfalls, castles, biking around Lake Forggensee, and interesting hiking trails throughout the Alps all added up to a WOW vacation!"

Steven

Houston, TX

Tour: 07/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The My Way Alpine Europe tour provided us a fantastic way to see up-close some of the most fantastic scenery on the planet at our own pace and schedule. Cynthia, our tour escort, was always available to get us oriented and point us in the right direction, but encourage us to find our own way and create our own adventures. The adventures were absolutely non-stop from unbelieveable all-day hiking to trying to figure out European laudromats and bus schedules.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It seemed like everyday consisted of numerous "wow" moments, but if I had to pick one, I would say it was our all-day hike on the north side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and particularly the steep little hike coming down past (and under) Sprutz Falls finally opening onto a panorama view of Gimmelwald and the surrounding mountains. I can't convince any of my family that our pictures of that area are completely real without any photoshopping or alteration whatsoever - unbelievable!"

Joe

Decatur, AL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really liked the "my way" format of being able to schedule activities on our schedule. The supplied guidebook was outstanding for providing suggestions along with our group leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Top of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Views were fantastic and weather was good."

Sylvia

Lipan, TX

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was exactly what I wanted. I had a safety net as a sole Senior traveler but plenty of room for my independent nature! Our trip leader was Outstanding. He was available and extremely helpful in taking care of a problem that I incurred. I hope to take many more Rick Steve's "My Way" Tours. Loved every minute and all the accommodations were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments but I think the one that topped it was the expertise of our tour drivers. Annie and her husband were superb and I never had a second thought about our safety, even on the narrowest mountains roads. I sat right behind Annie and her driving was simply "awesome". Hope to ride with them again."

Patricia

Auburn, AL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In spite of the weather, the trip was everything we had hoped for and more. The Alps were spectacular and we met great people in our group to hike with and enjoy meals together. It was so nice to have experienced, friendly bus drivers and a really comfortable bus. We loved being able to plan our own outings and have some guidance as needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Aiguille du Midi Gondola ride up to view Mount Blanc and the hike down from Plan de l' Aiguille."

Buckner

Auburn, AL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. We wanted the Alps and being outdoors and the flexibility to do what we wanted. We had some marginal weather days but still a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Aiguille du Midi then stopping at Plan de l'Aiguille and hike to Montenvers"

Karin

Chatham, IL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the Alpine My Way Tour! It was our first time in Europe. The information you gave us was so helpful. We did all of the audio tours and ate at the suggested restaurants. We felt completely at ease and loved our tour family as well as our bus drivers. Our tour guide, Dan, was helpful in our daily planning and very knowledgeable about the areas we toured. Thanks for making us bring one bag! I never knew I could travel so light. Can't wait to travel with you again. Looking at the My Way Spain!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment, is hard. I had so many. But, I was surprised and blown away by Chamonix, France. The beauty of Mont Blanc was spectacular. So many places to hike and adventure off to. I also loved, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland. The weather was not the greatest, so I will have to go back!"

Petra

Saint Albans, MO

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am normally not a "group traveler" and therefore opted for the flexibility of the "MY Way" tour. It was the perfect blend of independent exploration and social interaction when desired. I liked how the tour built excitement by making each subsequent destination more interesting and beautiful. The tour guide did a great job and the bus drivers were extremely competent and professional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Top of Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix!"

Richard

Aptos, CA

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed every day and every stop. The rain was a slight problem at times, but I had a ball.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My grandson, Liam, and I hit 32.3 km/sec on the saltmine slide."

Nita

Decatur, AL

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was when the clouds finally cleared in Chamonix, France, after days of rain, and I got to view those magnificent Alps. It was so moving it brought tears to the eyes of one of our tour members."

Eric

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 07/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first My Way tour after taking 6 RS guided tours. For this itinerary, the My Way tour worked perfectly. This is primarily a hiking/walking/view the Alps kind of tour. While there are a few museums and other cultural sights to see along the way (Otzi in Bolzano, Neuschwanstein,for example), this itinerary favors getting out and up to see the Alps up close. I think that's best done on your own, rather than as a group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Wow moments on this trip were driven partly by the weather. We had great weather in the Alpe di Siusi (Bolzano) and in Chamonix (Aiguille du Midi)so those two were my Wow moments. Hiking in the Alpe di Siusi is very unlike hiking in the Pacific Northwest. Walking in a huge alpine meadow where you can often see your destination in the distance, is quite unique. The view of the Alps from the Aiguille du Midi will forever be a Wow memory."

Ann

Fairfield, IA

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where can I start. The Alpine experience was wonderful. Everywhere I looked was wonderful. The great variety in the area made everything interesting. Seeing the Iceman museum was a experience. The museum had created a treasure trove of information about him as well as what was learned from him and his possessions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Lauterbrunnen Valley and its waterfalls with their ever present sound was peaceful and exciting at the same time. The rococo churches near Fussen are among the most beautiful things I have seen."

Kathy

Cary, NC

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time hiking and exploring the places we visited. I do not believe that two nights and one day is ENOUGH. We always thought we agreed with Rick's philosophy but we now know we do not. There are so many places to go and a finite amount of time and money. We will never be able to go back only forward to new places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dolomites was our favorite day of hiking with new friends, mainly because the weather cooperated. There were so many visual wows they were not countable."

Deborah

Bellvue, CO

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well-planned and organized, efficient with our time, pleasant touring companions, appreciated having lodging and transportation provided, "buddy check" is good idea. Quite the "field trip"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not just one favorite "Wow" moment. Education: (1) Hitler's Eagle's Nest Retreat and history surrounding the compound; and (2) observing the many glaciers and walking inside the glacier at Montenvers. Gorgeous views while hiking Alpe di Siusi (Italy) and breathtaking views from ALL the lifts in Chamonix, France. Love the waterfalls and hiking opportunities in Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland."

Mary

Lansing, MI

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. I like the My Way set up. It works very well when there are not major cities with popular sites to visit. We had a very good group for travel companions. Everyone seemed to have done their homework as far as planning for sightseeing. Cynthia did a good job of helping out if anything additional was needed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably hiking in the Alpe di Siusi. I had been there on a previous trip, but I still love hiking the meadow. A close second was lunch at the restaurant at the top of the funicular in Hallstatt."

Veronica

Westminster, CO

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were looking forward to returning to Lauterbrunnen - having traveled there two years ago on the G. A. S. My Way Tour. While the weather spoiled our plans to view the Swiss Alps, our disappointment was short-lived when the weather allowed perfect viewing of Italy's Dolomites and the majestic Alps in Chamonix.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both the Dolomites and the French Alps were absolutely amazing - our favorites of the entire trip. Walking inside a glacial cave at Chamonix was another highlight. I would be amiss not to mention the engineering marvel of the lift systems/cable cars in Zugspitze and Mt. Blanc. Absolutely a huge WOW!!"

Carol

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first "My Way" tour and we really enjoyed developing our own daily plans. We never had to be anywhere at specific times so this freed-up our days and evenings to do as we pleased. I feel as though this allowed a certain "flow" where we could extend or shorten our time spent in each individual activity based on our experience of the moment. This allowed more serendipitous moments!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were actually several. Hiking in the Alpe D'suisi followed by a wonderful lunch above looking down; hiking in the rain in Lauterbrunnen was also nice even though the views were unavailable, especially a glass of wine at the hostel in Gimmelwald after the hike; utilizing a two-day pass in Chamonix that allowed us to hike and use a lift to connect to the various trails."

Richard

Dexter, MI

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Love Chamonix. Everything about it. Love Halstatt & the great swim in lake. Really like the My Way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Had to be Chamonix. Such a wonderful place...beautiful, safe, enjoyable town...the mountains...the church organ music...the caramel croissant... I would like to return."

Philip

Bellvue, CO

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very positive experience with seamless travel connections to the various destinations, with an appropriate level of freedom to explore on our own. Excellent scenery, people, food,and activities! Hotels were fine with the exception of our stay in Bolzano (see below). Health & Safety was taken seriously with the buddy check system enforced in addition to our skilled and conscientious bus driver (Joe).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The combination of the dolomites, Lauterbrunnen Valley, and the French Alps was an impressive trifecta of beautiful scenery and excellent hiking trail options. Also the variety of excellent food was great (and now I will have to spend more time in the gym!)"

William

Westminster, CO

Tour: 07/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

we enjoyed the ability to do things at our own pace and view the things that were interesting to us. we really enjoyed the bus and hotels except for Bolzano, Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chamonix, France. We enjoyed the mountains and trail."

Weather

Austria / Vienna

Austria Weather


Germany / Munich

Munich Weather


Italy / Milan

Milan Weather


Switzerland / Bern

Bern Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Transportation

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. Most tour members will arrange to fly into Salzburg (Munich and Vienna are alternatives with easy train connections) and out of Geneva, using airport shuttle bus service from Chamonix (“multi-city” on flight booking websites). Booking round-trip to one city will require a connecting flight, train trip, or additional overnight stay in Europe.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing On Your Own

When you arrive in Salzburg, use your Alpine Europe Sightseeing Guide to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of German, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Walking tours make a great introduction to any town. Use your free Audio Europe™ app for Apple and Android (or get free podcast/mp3 files) which include a Salzburg town walk.

Remember, you will be in charge of your own sightseeing for ALL destinations on this trip. We strongly suggest you begin planning well before you fly to Europe! To guarantee entrance, we recommend you make reservations in advance from home for King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles in Bavaria. See your Rick Steves sightseeing guide for details on how to reserve.

Packing

There will be great opportunities for hikes on this tour. We recommend you bring a pair of lightweight hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes with good traction. The weather can change suddenly in these Alpine regions, so please pack a lightweight rain jacket. We also recommend bringing a smart phone, tablet or other device to assist in planning your activities, and to access Rick's Audio Europe app.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.