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.
Alpenwild, a leader in walking, hiking, trekking, culinary, and rail tours in the Alps, is offering over 70 tours this summer—many of which are especially appealing to Millennials.
Here are the top ten picks for unforgettable moments in the Alps:
1. Trek the Haute Route. On a high-level route from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn you cross mountain passes, skirt glaciers, and come within view of the highest peaks of the Alps.
2. Discover Digital Detox. Silence the earbuds, escape social media, and give your little laptop a rest. Digital detox is life unplugged—the ultimate freedom. An alpine chalet, with a garden, a brook, and dazzling views is the perfect place to reboot the soul.
3. Learn Fly Fishing at the Matterhorn. Above Zermatt, with jaw-dropping views of the Matterhorn, you’ll hook your trout. Then walk to a lodge where your prized catch is prepared for you—the freshest fish you’ve ever eaten.
4. Create Your Own Artisan Chocolate. Immerse yourself in the world of fine chocolate with instruction from a master chocolatier.
5. Climb a 4000-meter Peak. For experienced climbers, the Matterhorn or Mont Blanc await. But for starters, try a non-technical morning ascent of the Breithorn—and be back in Zermatt for fondue that afternoon.
6. Retrace the Footsteps of JRR Tolkien. The inspiration for Middle Earth came from the Swiss Alps when Tolkien was a lad. Recapture the magic of misty mountains, underground waterfalls, and the towering cliffs that inspired Lord of the Rings.
7. Make Your Own Cheese. You’re up for the pre-dawn milking of the cows. Then with a little culture, wood-fired heat the magic happens. Your cheese goes to the cellar for the affinage, while you enjoy a perfectly-aged round from last year.
8. Pick up Plein Aire Painting. Find your undiscovered artistic side with the majestic Alps as your mountain muse. Return with original watercolors that you painted with the guidance of your art instructor.
9. 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, and discover why these fungi fetch hundreds of dollars per kilo.
10. Cross the World’s Longest Footbridge. This ribbon of steel is just 25 inches wide, a third of a mile long, and hangs 282-feet above the ground. Not for the faint of heart, but the payout is the spectacular view of the Weisshorn and its glaciers.