Switzerland, France and Italy: Alpine Adventure
$3,295 + $200 Rail Pass + Airfare
Aug 1 – Aug 10
9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Annecy, Montreux, Anzere, Saas-Grund, Lake Como
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Geneva
|Optional group flight back:||
Milan to New York (JFK)
Get ready for the ultimate adventure! The Alps are legendary for their breathing beauty and adrenaline pumping activities. Set off on an unforgettable journey with Travel for Teens filled with majestic views, fresh alpine lakes, and postcard perfect mountain scenery. Our Alpine Adventure is perfect for any nature lover and includes the best outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, high altitude rock climbing, water sports, and even the opportunity to go skiing! We will also climb, jump and slide our way through natural rock formations and waterfalls during a thrilling canyoning adventure.
In addition to these exciting activities we will enjoy quaint villages nestled in both the Swiss and French Alps and discover what the mountain life is all about. During our time in Switzerland, we’ll even visit Zermatt, which is home to the gem of the Alps: the Matterhorn itself. We will finish our trip with a visit to experience the laidback Italian lifestyle in Lake Como. Here we will enjoy peaceful lakeside landscapes, hiking, a relaxing boat cruise around the lake to visit several of the towns, and even a visit to an olive oil factory!
This trip is the perfect combination of natural beauty and outdoor activities to help us appreciate the best of Alpine culture in Europe!
On this trip you will:
- Test your limits with a high altitude rock climbing course filled with panoramic views over the French Alps
- Hook up to a ropes course and conquer incredible heights
- Experience the thrill of paragliding while flying high above the French Alps in Annecy*
- Try out stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking on gorgeous Lake Annecy
- Go for a swim in Lake Geneva on the grounds of a beautiful medieval castle
- Enjoy a boat tour of two stunning alpine lakes
- Hit the mountain to go ski (yes, even in summer!) on the glacier slopes of the Swiss Alps*
- Take a mountain biking trip through the idyllic Swiss Alps (Can accommodate all skills levels!)
- Climb, slip, slide and jump your way through rocks and waterfalls on a canyoning adventure in Switzerland
- Stay in a traditional Swiss chalet and spend an evening relaxing at the spa in our quaint mountain village
- Ride the traditional mountain cog train to Zermatt for unbeatable views of the Matterhorn
- Go swimming in a pool overlooking the Swiss Alps
- Breathe the pure air of the Swiss Alps while hiking through alpine highlands full of wildflowers, with a stop at an authentic Swiss farm to sample local cheeses
- Hike up to a gorgeous Italian castle and enjoy a falconry show in Lake Como
**Skiing and Paragliding are optional excursions not included in tuition
Important Note: Keep in mind that we will be participating in physical outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and canyoning. Please come physically prepared to be active, hike in the mountains, and participate in this range of supercool activities.
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK-JFK
DAYS 2-4: ANNECY (FRENCH ALPS)
We begin our alpine expedition in the heart of the French Alps exploring the quaint town of Annecy, often referred to as the “Venice of the Alps.” We’ll be spoiled by the unbelievable mountain views surrounding us and the breathtaking turquoise blue lake in the center of this picture perfect city. We’ll wander through the enchanting old town, lined with pastel buildings covered in flowers and charming cafes, to the iconic Palais de l’Isle Chateau sitting serenely in the center of the main canal.
We’ll get the adrenaline pumping on the Via Ferrata, a high altitude ropes course where after being hooked up to a safety harness you will reach incredible heights and navigate the mountains while marveling at the views over Lake Annecy. Later we’ll enjoy a boat cruise around the lake and stop to do some hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach. The highlight of our time in the French Alps will be soaring through the air above Lake Annecy as we will have an option to go paragliding in this beautiful mountain town.
DAYS 5-7: MONTREUX & SAAS-GRUND (SWISS ALPS)
On the way to our next destination, we will make a stop in Montreux, Switzerland for lunch and shopping. Here we will visit the Chateau de Chillon, one of the best preserved medieval castles in Europe, and take a dip in Lake Geneva with a stunning view of the Chateau! Then we’ll continue on to Saas-Grund, where fresh mountain air awaits us at our chalet in the Swiss Alps, a sunny paradise of rivers, alpine pastures, forests and glaciers. Using a mountain lodge as our base, we’ll explore the area and all of the outdoor activities on hand including mountain biking, hiking the spectacular trails nearby, and canyoning through waterfalls. We will also have the option to go skiing on a glacier mountain in one of the most renowned ski resorts in the Saas Valley! Of course, no visit to Switzerland would be complete without a visit to the impressive Matterhorn! We will also hike to a local farm in the alps and meet with a family who will show us how the cheese is made and let us try some generous samples. As always, our emphasis is on safety and we will be accompanied by professional local guides as we hike, bike, canyon, and ski.
DAYS 8-10: LAKE COMO, ITALY
We’ll head to Lake Como for the final destination of our trip. We’ll immerse ourselves in rich Italian culture with a constant backdrop of beautiful Lake Como and magnificent alpine peaks. We’ll take a boat around the lake, stopping off at charming towns to explore their beauty in this alpine fairytale land. We’ll visit the Castello di Vezio, an ancient Roman fortress situation on Lake Como, and watch a Falconry Show in a surrounding town. No trip to Como is complete without a hike around the lake, marveling in the breathtaking views around every corner. There’s no better place to end our Alpine Adventure than Italy, and we’ll spend our final night dining on the best food and reminiscing on the trip of a lifetime!
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Annecy, we stay at a charming hotel in the center of the old town, just steps from the best shopping, restaurants, and beautiful canals of this medieval city. In Saas-Grund, we stay in a traditional Swiss chalet complete with absolutely stunning views of the Alps from our balconies. In Lake Como, we will stay in a top-rated hostel overlooking the lake.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT trip the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students love that they are able to explore the beautiful Alpine towns of three different countries. This program allows them to discover the similarities and differences of the unique cultures in France, Switzerland, and Italy.
What is unique about this program?
From an option to soar over one of the paragliding capitals of the world in Annecy, to our stunning accommodation in a Swiss chalet, and relaxing at Lake Como and soaking up the Italian lifestyle, this program provides unique insider access to all three places. It also provides an adrenaline pumping opportunity for adventure, and in no better place than the alps!
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, trip related activities, trip related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, rail passes, lunches, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than tap water, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not trip related such as movies, clubs and the like, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the trip description such as damage to hotels, excess baggage fees and the like, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation strikes, natural disasters and the like, personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this trip’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the trip starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on trips that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week long training session every May to prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
At Travel for Teens, our trips typically fall into 3 different size categories.
Small: 7-14 students where 14 is the maximum.
Medium: Average is between 14-21 students with 21 as the maximum.
Large: Trips 21-35 students. These are our largest trips.
Typically Alpine Adventure falls into the small range, but trip sizes differ from year to year.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our Europe programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this trip?
In a word – Delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
In France, we’ll enjoy classic French café fare, including the world-famous croissants, French bread, and a classic fondue dinner. And for the brave, escargot of course!
The cuisine in Switzerland has a French influence, and every meal during this duration of our stay is served fresh daily and specifically for our group at our accommodation. There will be fresh veggies and fruit available every day to keep us healthy for all of the activities we will be participating in!
Italian food is all about fresh, simple ingredients. We’ll sample the best of the “three Ps”- pizza, pasta, and panini! Indulging in these Italian specialities for the first time is a life changing experience, and we will be there to document every minute of it as you fall in love with the fresh mozzarella, warm Italian bread, mouth watering prosciutto, and homemade pasta. Don’t forget about gelato! After your trip to Italy, no dessert will ever be the same.
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this trip?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group nearly always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. On this trip, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas of Annecy, Montreux, Anzere, and Lake Como.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!
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