The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday
BEST FOR… FRESH PERSPECTIVES
WANDER WITH WOMEN, SWITZERLAND
There’s a subtly different dynamic on a trip led exclusively by and for women – but that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on challenges or Alpine vistas. On WalkingWomen’s midsummer tour across the heart of Switzerland, via its geographical centre at Älggialp, you will carry your own backpacks along sheer gorges and up testing ascents to peaceful mountain hotels, but also share views of the Wetterhorn, Eiger and Jungfrau with like-minded souls. WalkingWomen (01784 664063; walkingwomen.com) offers a five-night Discover the Very Heart of Switzerland guided tour from £1,139pp including B&B accommodation, lunches, four dinners and female leader, but not flights and transfers; departs June 19
ROAM ROYAL BAVARIA, GERMANY
Tucked below Salzburg lies a curious nubbin of Germany flanked on three sides by Austria. Heading around Lake Königsee (“king’s lake”), UTrack’s Walking in Bavaria holiday explores this royal playground, roaming the romantic wilderness of Berchtesgaden National Park and hopping over the border to visit the hulking medieval Hohenwerfen Castle before returning to Germany via the peak of Mt Jenner for glorious panoramic views across both countries.
UTracks (020 8875 5070; utracks.com) offers an eight-day Walking in Bavaria self-guided trip from £940pp including B&B accommodation, luggage transfers, route notes, maps and local transfers, excluding flights; three departures weekly June 10-Sept 25
EXPLORE THE JULIAN ALPS, SLOVENIA
Slovenia’s share of the Alps may be a little less lofty than France or Switzerland, topping out at 9,396ft Mt Triglav. But it’s also less tramped and expensive, yet boasts all the gleaming outcrops, wildflower meadows, wooden chalets and wonderful cheeses. Roam Triglav National Park and the Karavanke Range on Exodus’s centre-based Lakes and Mountains of Slovenia tour, skirting divine glacial lakes, exploring medieval towns and cooling off at cascades (bonus: the Slovenian for waterfall is “slap”).
Exodus Travels (020 8131 2827; exodus. co.uk) offers an eight-day Lakes & Mountains of Slovenia guided trip from £1,679pp including flights, transfers, B&B accommodation and three dinners; six departures June-September
DISCOVER A FLORAL KINGDOM, SWITZERLAND
Gentians, orchids, lilies, cowslips, primroses, avens, edelweiss… be dazzled by Europe’s greatest floral diversity. Enjoy a stroll through mountain meadows as an expert guide adds another dimension – as on Brightwater Holidays’ Alpine Flowers in Wengen tour, with moderate strolls through the Bernese Oberland led by former royal gardener and RHS curator Colin Crosbie. Highlights include the Alpine Botanical Garden at Schynige Platte, home to more than 600 endemic and native species. Brightwater Holidays (01334 766062; brightwaterholidays.com) offers an eight-day Alpine Flowers in Wengen trip from £2,495pp including flights, half-board accommodation, expert leader and local travel; departs June 30