More than ever, North Americans will be heading to Europe this summer. Most of those travelers will be Millennials, the largest generation on the planet today. Millennials travel more than any other generation—more than Baby Boomers. They crave one-of-a-kind experiences, inspiration, authenticity—and a good deal. The Alps speaks to those travelers with an independent and explorative nature. It’s a place where active travelers can write their own adventure, connect with real people, and come home with things money can’t buy.
Here are the top ten picks for unforgettable moments in the Alps:
- Trek the Haute Route. As the crow flies, it’s 40 miles from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn—but you’ll be hiking. On a high-level route from Chamonix to Zermatt you cross mountain passes, skirt glaciers, and come within view of the highest peaks of the Alps.
- Discover Digital Detox. Silence the earbuds, escape social media, and give your little laptop a rest. Digital detox is life unplugged—the ultimate freedom. A pastoral alpine chalet, with a garden, a brook, and dazzling views is the perfect place to reboot the soul.
- Learn Fly Fishing at the Matterhorn. Above Zermatt, with jaw-dropping views of the Matterhorn, an alpine lake holds a healthy balance of Trout and Char. It’s just a short walk beyond the lake and toward the glacier to a mountain lodge where your prized catch is prepared and served to you—the freshest fish you’ve ever eaten.
- Create Your Own Artisan Chocolate. Bean-to-bar chocolate making starts with the best beans, perfectly roasted, ground, and conched to produce the silky confection. Immerse yourself in the world of fine chocolate with instruction from a master chocolatier and tastings.
- Climb a 4000-meter Peak. For experienced climbers, peaks like the Matterhorn or Mont Blanc await. But for starters, rent crampons and an ice axe in Zermatt for a non-technical morning ascent of the Breithorn—and be back in Zermatt for fondue that afternoon.
- Retrace the Footsteps of JRR Tolkien. The inspiration for Middle Earth came from a trip to the Swiss Alps when Tolkien was a lad. Recapture the magic of misty mountains, underground waterfalls, and the towering cliffs that inspired the Lord of the Rings.
- Make Your Own Cheese. You’re up for the pre-dawn milking of the cows. Then with a little culture, wood-fired heat, and stirring, the magic happens. Your cheese goes to the cellar for the affinage, while you enjoy a perfectly-aged round from last year.
- Pick up Plein Aire Painting. Find your undiscovered artistic side with the majestic Alps as your mountain muse. Instead, come home with original watercolors that you painted with the guidance of an award-winning art instructor.
- Hunt for Forest Truffles. With an expert truffle hunter, devoted dog, and a little luck you’ll uncover rare black summer truffles in the forests of the Jura mountains. Back at the farmhouse, spread truffle butter over crusty French bread and discover why these fungi fetch hundreds of dollars per kilo.
- Cross the World’s Longest Footbridge. This ribbon of steel is just 25 inches wide, a third of a mile long, and suspended 282-feet above the ground. Not for the faint of heart, but the payout is the spectacular views of the Weisshorn and its glaciers.
Alpenwild is the leader in active travel in the Alps with more than 30 years of experience. They deliver innovative itineraries and exclusive experiences enriched by local cultural connections, luxury accommodations, gourmet meals, culinary experiences and the unrivaled beauty of the Alps. To learn more about Alpenwild’s custom, guided and self-guided trips, visit www.alpenwild.com or call (801) 226-9026.