Tour operators in the United States can arrange hut-to-hut trip in Swiss Alps

TRAVEL Q & A

March 06, 1994|By New York Times News Service

Q: My husband and I would like to go hut-to-hut hiking in the Swiss Alps. Are there tour operators who could book such a trip?

A: All of the following tour operators can book you on a hut-to-hut trip, which is for the serious hiker and not to be confused with a hotel-to-hotel trip. The mountain huts offer simple accommodations, with sleeping and eating areas (often one and the same). Blankets and pillows are supplied; you bring a sheet and a sleeping bag. Prices, which are for one person, do not include air fare.

All-Adventure Travel, 5589 Arapahoe, Boulder, Colo. 80303; telephone (303) 440-7924. The company runs a number of hut-to-hut trips, which usually begin and end with an overnight hotel stay. Their 12-day "Berner Oberland" trip leaves July 24 and costs $2,695.

Himalayan Travel, 112 Prospect St., Stamford, Conn. 06901; (203) 359-3711. The Glacier Explorer trip, under the supervision of guides from the Peter Eggler Mountain School in Meiringen and open to beginners, explores four glaciers and involves the use of an ice ax and crampons, which the company provides. The six-day trip, from Sept. 11 to 16, costs $1,625.

Hostelling International, American Youth Hostels, 733 15th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 783-6161. Hostelling International has two tours this year, an eight-day trip beginning July 9, July 23 and Aug. 6, and a 14-day trip beginning July 10 and July 24. The eight-day tour starts out in Grindelwald, hikes down the Jungfrau and goes on to Zermatt and the Matterhorn; '' the 14-day trip traverses the Bernese Oberland. Land costs are $700 for the eight-day trip and $825 for the 14-day trip. The tours are restricted to those between the ages of 16 and 30.

Mountain Travel-Sobek, 6420 Fairmount Ave., El Cerrito, Calif. 94530; (510) 527-8100. The company's "Hiking the Haute Route" tour is described as a strenuous hike between the mountain towns of Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland. The trip, offered from July 23 to Aug. 6 and from Aug. 27 to Sept. 10, costs from $2,290.

Q: Could you give me any information about folk dance classes in the Czech Republic?

A: There are a number of options. Cedok, the official Czech travel agency, offers one-week folk-dance courses for groups of at least 10 on request. The classes are held in castles around Prague. The courses, including lodging, meals and lessons, cost about $350 a person.

More information: Cedok Inter-travel, 18 Na Prikope, 111-35 Prague 1, Czech Republic; 241 971 11, fax 232 16 56 (the dialing code for the Czech Republic is 42; the code for Prague is 2).

In Moravia, in the south of the country, annual folk-dance summer schools are organized by the Armed Forces Folk Art Ensemble in the city of Brno. Program information, booking details and prices can be obtained from Vojensky Umelecky Soubor Ondras, Attention Cestmir Komarek, Post Office Box 541/A, 602-00 Brno, Czech Republic; (42 5) 411 820 46.

Artama, an organization that promotes amateur art, provides information on all folk festivals in the Czech Republic. More information: Artama, 7 Kresomyslova, 140-00 Prague 4, Czech Republic; (42 2) 438 471, fax (42 2) 438 935.

Information on all folk-art-related events in the Czech Republic may also be obtained from the Czech Folklore Association in Prague: Folklorni Sdruzeni C.R., Attention Zdenek Psenica Senovazne, 24 Namesti, 110-00 Prague 1, Czech Republic; telephone and fax (42 2) 242 146 47.

A major folk festival is held every year in Straznice (this year from TTC June 24 to 26) and would be well worth a visit. But festivals of this kind do not usually offer lessons.

Q: I will be in Tunis for a few days in April and need information on local companies that can offer two-day or three-day tours to other parts of the country, especially the south.

A: The commercial counselor at the Tunisian Embassy in Washington, whose post includes promoting tourism to Tunisia, provided the names of the following tour companies that he believes will be able to help. The embassy, at 1515 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 862-1850, can also furnish travel brochures on Tunisia.

Tunisian Travel Service, 20 Rue Ibn Khaldoun, 1001 Tunis, Tunisia; telephone (216 1) 349-666, fax (216 1) 350-745.

Transtour, 8 Rue d'Arbie Saoudite, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia; (216 1) 783-700, fax (216 1) 782-141.

Abou Nawas Travel, 8 Rue Ibn Jazzar, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia; (216 1) 780-446, fax (216 1) 781-113.

Q: I am considering a trip to Portugal and Spain in the spring. Is there a train from Lisbon that goes to Barcelona? A stop in Madrid might be a possibility, too.

A: There are no direct trains from Lisbon to Barcelona, but there are many easy connections through Madrid.

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