Since 1967 we've been creating expertly planned school tours - helping groups get more from their time away...
Geography school trips to the Swiss Alps
This area offers superb opportunities for field studies with the hanging Saas Valley, the Matterhorn Peak and the Aletsch Glacier all close at hand. The international traffic-free resorts of Saas Fee and Zermatt provide excellent tourism and settlement case studies. Our Educational Guide and Educational Resource Pack will truly enhance your tour too.
You’ll find our most popular itinerary choice(s) below, but we can tailor-make yours from scratch to meet your exact requirements…
Swiss Alps - 6 day inclusive itinerary package from only £429pp*
Travelling October 2013
|*Price shown based on 40 paying passengers departing from England & Wales and is subject to availability. Entrance fees for some of the visits featured may be payable locally, but are included in the price shown.|
Our most popular visits in the Swiss Alps for Geography school trips
Here are some of our most popular visits in the Swiss Alps for Geography groups. We can tailor-make an itinerary to your exact needs. Call us to create your itinerary from scratch today.
The Saas Valley, with Grund at its centre, is situated on the Italian border and has traditionally been an important trade route. The settlements now boast the international ski resorts of Saas Fee and Zermatt. This option provides a good introduction to the surrounding landscape and the history of the area. It gives students an opportunity to soak up the awe and wonder of their surroundings.
The Aletsch Glacier
The longest glacier in Europe, the Aletsch forms part of the largest continuously glaciated area in the Alps. The glacier and the surrounding area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From a number of vantage points above the village of Riederalp, the Aletsch stretches into the distance. Your Educational Advisor will assist your students to identify the numerous landscape features and processes here. The best glacier viewpoints can be accessed by return cable car.
The Mattmark Dam
STUDY THEMES: DOWNSTREAM RIVER MANAGEMENT
The Dam forms part of a hydro-electric scheme that transports the water from the surrounding glacier into a holding lake, which is contained by the largest natural earth dam in Europe. From here the water is released and used to provide power for the whole region. The controlling scheme has allowed the development of villages and the ski industry. The view from the dam across the Saas Valley is stunning.
Allalin – Outwash Plain Studies
STUDY THEMES: OUTWASH PLAIN STUDIES
Below the Mattmark Dam the outwash plain of the Allalin Glacier provides a chance for some hands-on field studies. Measurements of the glacial streams on arrival and departure provide a good introduction to measurement techniques and illustrate changing flow rates through the day and sediment studies can also be carried out. This option can be extended to a full day by following the managed river channel from Saas Almagall to Saas Grund.
STUDY THEMES: LAND USE CONFLICTS & SOLUTIONS
Until 1954 it was only possible to reach the village of Saas Fee by foot. Since the construction of the road, an international ski resort has been built. The village is known as the ‘Pearl’ of the Alps and is surrounded by 4,000m peaks. Trains and public galleries run under the ice and all village vehicles are electric. Saas Fee provides excellent examples of impacts of tourism on the natural environment and also provides some innovative management solutions.
Kreuzboden & Hohsaas
STUDY THEMES: ALPINE VEGETATION CHANGES
The Kreuzboden ski area is accessed by cable car from Saas Grund. A higher cable car can be taken to Hohsaas for a spectacular overview of the entire valley and the surrounding glaciers. This area is recognised for its variety of wildlife and Alpine vegetation. Yet it is also heavily utilised by the skiing industry which is pushing higher up into the mountains every year. A transect looking at vegetation, climate and landscape changes from Kreuzboden at 2,400m to valley floor in Saas Grund at 1,500m passes through the textbook stages of Alpine zonation.
Saas Fee & The Chapel Walk
Saas Fee is the main tourist resort in the valley. Until 1954 there was no road access and it was only possible to reach it via the Chapel Walk, a scenic route which follows the edge of the gorge descending between the two villages. Saas Fee with its pedestrian streets lined with cafés and shops and mix of leisure pursuits provides a good location to relax and unwind on arrival or before departure.
Zermatt & the Matterhorn
STUDY THEMES: SETTLEMENT STUDIES
This classic Alpine mountain sits on the Italian border and helps attract 4 million tourists a year to Zermatt. This renowned ski area has rebranded itself as a summer adventure capital. The village, situated in a hanging valley, is accessed by a train, widely considered to be Europe’s best rail journey. The car-free streets make an excellent location for small group studies. Our educational packs outline a number of investigations which can be carried out and later presented by students. This can extend to a full day study if time and budget allows.
STUDY THEMES: URBAN STUDIES & REBRANDING
Situated in the middle of the Rhone Valley between France and Italy it has been an important trade centre for centuries. Flood control schemes have allowed a more modern town to grow and develop with small ski resorts such as Arolla. The compact nature of the town makes it ideal for town studies such as land-use zonation. The authorities have embarked on a campaign to host the Winter Olympics in 2022. As part of this option, Europe’s largest underground lake, Lac St Leonard, is well worth a visit on the outward journey.
The Brigerbad Swimming Complex
Making full use of the steep U-shape valley sides, Brigerbad boasts the longest water slide in Europe and offers everything you could wish for from hot pools to Olympic size pools. A lifeguarded, school-friendly venue.
Mittellalin & The Ice Caves
Take the world’s highest underground train to the world’s largest ice caves then relax in the world’s highest revolving café where the spectacular views change every few minutes. Set in the middle of the glaciers on the edge of the permanent snow is the Mittellalin. This is an excellent place to appreciate the power of the ice in shaping the landscape and the ability of the Swiss to engineer access into it.
Leukerbad Thermal Pools
Switzerland has a reputation as a healthy retreat and Leukerbad boasts the largest collection of thermal pools in Europe. The complex consists of a mix of indoor and other areas where water is naturally heated to different temperatures. A perfect visit whatever the weather. This complex is more suited to sixth form level students.
Bex Salt Mines & The Rhone Valley
FULL DAY MODULE
Bex is in the heart of the Rhone Valley, 30 minutes drive from Sion. An audiovisual presentation and exhibition relates the fascinating story of salt mining over three centuries and is shown in an old reservoir that was dug in 1826. A narrow-gauge train takes visitors on a journey 400m below the earth. A guided walk through caverns allows visitors to discover the effort that went into searching for salt sources and into breaking up the rock to extract the salt. This option provides a good industry case study and can be used to introduce some basic geology.
Evening excursions such as swimming can be arranged by your on-site advisor. Accommodation-based quizzes, disco and treasure trails are also possible.
Below, you'll find some of our most popular accommodation options for school groups.
This is just a sample of our full range, so for full details of all properties available, please call 0845 688 8988 to speak to one of our Educational Travel Advisors today.
Good basic hotel in Saas Grund - a popular choice for groups year after year.
A good, basic hotel that’s well-located in the Swiss Alps for both Ski and Field Study programmes.
39 10 Saas Grund, Valais
The hotel is well-situated in Saas Grund with the village centre only a short walk away. The Saas Grund ski lifts are literally a 5 minute walk with the other ski lifts to other parts of the mountain about 10 minutes by coach.
- Dining room
- Swiss rustic style function room
- Disco upon request
- Disabled facilities: This property has no specific facilities or adapted rooms for disabled clients.
- 2-6 bedded rooms
- En-suite facilities
- Twin bedded rooms
- En-suite facilities
Citizen Pass Travel Card
During the summer the ‘Saas Valley Holiday Republic – Citizen’s Passport’ has been introduced for the Saas Valley for the use of all cable cars and all local buses in the Saas Valley. This is included in the accommodation. Details as follows:
Postbus to the Mattmark alpine powerplant reservoir / free movie about the construction of the dam
- Postbus to Saas Fee, traditional Swiss Alpine Holiday Resort
- Gondola in Saas Fee, to Spielboden, the Marmot Mountain area – were you can feed the marmots
- Gondola in Saas Fee, to Hannig Alp, the Mountain Goat Mountain
- Gondola in Saas Fee, to Felskinn, the Alpine Glacier Mountain
- Gondola in Saas Fee, to Plattjen, the Geological and Ibex Path Mountain
- Chairlifts in Saas Almagell, to the Historic Smugglers Mountain and Adventure Trail
- Gondola in Saas Grund, to Kreuzboden, the Mountain Lake and Adventure Area Mountain
The Saas Fee Pass at an optional cost includes the gondola to Hohsaas, in Saas Grund (3200 mts above sea-level) and the Metro-Alpin that takes you to Mittelallalin at 3500 mts above sea-level. Europe’s highest revolving restaurant with a view towards the northern Italian capital of Milan and the famous ice-cave and exhibition.
Also includes the Alpine High Rope Park, the Adventure Forest in Saas Fee which offers different levels dependant on age.
The hotel can register with the tourist office all participants in advance on submission of a full name list including date of birth. The passes would be available for use on arrival.
The hotel conforms to all local standards, which does not require fire doors that self-close. Therefore groups are advised, for additional security, to ensure doors, including vestibule doors are shut at night. Group leaders are advised to consider this in their risk assessments/group management plan and ensure appropriate control measures are put in place.
Accompanying Educational Advisors
NST Field Studies Advisors
Prior to your trip you will be in contact with a Field Studies Advisor who will customise your itinerary to meet your exact objectives. They will travel out with you or meet you at your hotel and assist you with all aspects of your tour, from teaching fieldwork, to liaising with your coach drivers, hotelier and evening entertainment venues.
International Mountain Leaders - Explore even more adventurous locations with an International Mountain Leader
Most of our locations involve popular tourist sites. If groups wish to experience more remote and rugged places, by law in the Alps they must be accompanied by an International Mountain Guide. Half day options available are listed below:
• A walk onto the Outwash Plain of the Trift Glacier from Hohsaas and associated field studies.
• A high Alpine walk from higher cable car and train stations to Zermatt.
• A walk and associated field studies from Spielboden to Saas Fee.
• Returning on foot from viewpoints above the Aletsch Glacier to Riederalp or Bettmeralp.
These excursions involve additional costs for cable cars, trains or entrance fees. An up-to-date list of charges is available on request.
FREE Educational Resource Pack
Suitable for GCSE & A-Level
We understand that you want a study visit that delivers the curriculum. To help you achieve this, our FREE Swiss Alps Educational Resource Pack - developed by experienced Geography teachers - contains a wealth of highly relevant information for you to use before, during and after your tour.
You will be able to use its contents as a pre-visit planning aid, print off full-colour student activity sheets for your group to use at each site whilst away, or even refer to its contents post-visit to assist with case study completion.