We Welcome Your Application to Join Us!

We build each of our groups with care, keeping the groups small (no more than twelve students), and paying close attention to age, grade, gender, and the mix of hometowns and schools. Our goal is to put together great groups — groups where nice kids thrive in a supportive, wholesome, and caring environment. Please note: availability as shown is based on students traveling without a friend; if your child is interested in traveling with a friend, please call our office for availability.

Important Information about Availability


This departure of this trip has good availability. Apply as soon as possible since availability changes quickly.


This departure of this trip has limited availability. Apply as soon as possible, and on receipt of your application, if space is still available, we’ll confirm a spot for you. If all of the spots are taken, we’ll call you to discuss options.


This departure of this trip is currently full — please call us to discuss options.

How to Apply

Apply online using a credit card for the $795 deposit (your card will not be charged until we confirm a spot for you). Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received (we do not hold spots over the phone).

When to Apply

The flow of applications starts in July and peaks in January/February. Some groups fill by the December holidays, and others will have space into the late spring. Our advice? Apply as soon as possible — it only takes a few minutes — and we’ll get to work right away to find a great spot for you.


Call (413.458.9672) or email (info@overlandsummers.com). We look forward to hearing from you.

Alpine Explorer

Hike the best of Switzerland.

Two weeks in a mountain paradise.

Alpine Explorer is a legendary trip with roots that go back to the 1980s when Overland’s founders, Tom and Liz Costley, hiked the Wasserngrat and marveled at the views from the top, then stopped at the Geltenhütte for a picnic below waterfalls of Alpine snowmelt.

Have you ever thought to yourself: I can’t believe how beautiful this is? Well, that happens a lot on Alpine Explorer.

The Alps are so beautiful, in so many ways: deep green valleys, giant snow fields (in the summer!), enormous glaciers, towering mountains. But there’s small beauty, too, and just as impressive: a flower-decked chalet, a village perched on a hillside, a high summer pasture.

The best way to see, to experience, to fall in love with the Alps is to hike them. And hike them we do. These are great hikes: a day’s worth of work on the trail will give us a summer’s — maybe even a lifetime’s — worth of beauty, fun, and satisfaction.

And we hike them together. We’ll be talking and laughing and singing, telling stories, playing games, and becoming great friends who share every moment, every mile, every laugh, every smile.

In the end, well, in the end, you won’t want to leave. But that’s okay. You’ll come back. We’re sure of it.

Good Things to Know: The 2023 itinerary has been carefully crafted to start with a series of day hikes (light packs with lunch and water) to get the group out on the trails near Gstaad to explore. Afterwards, we’ll take a day off from hiking and train to Montreux (about 90 minutes away through a landscape of mountains, hills, and villages) to catch a boat on Lake Geneva, a 60-mile-long sliver of sparkling blue snowmelt.

After a day of cruising the lake and stopping at small towns along the shore, we’ll return to Gstaad and prepare for our backpacking trip across the Bernese Oberland. This is why we’ve come here: to put together all we’ve learned about hiking and camping as we traverse the best slice of the Alps.

The backpacking trip ends above Kandersteg at the Blüemlisalp Hut — the high point of our trip. At every step along the way, whether it’s day hiking or backpacking, the camping is sweet: one of the things that’s really, really nice about hiking in the Alps is thru-hiking from village to village (where there are all the services you might need). We’ll stay in campgrounds with full facilities (and that means showers!). And, the meals? Well, even in the tiny mountain villages we’ll hike through there’s just about everything we’d like — granola and fruit for breakfast, fresh bread, cheese, sliced meats, hummus, apples, and plums for lunch, and dinners that include stir-fry and pasta and green salads with lots of great stuff tossed in.

What’s it all add up to? Maybe the best two weeks of hiking in the Alps!

Have a question about availability?

Contact Us or call: (413) 458-9672

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Overland offers introductory, hiking, language, and service programs domestically and abroad for students in 4th through 12th grade.