Guided Tours

Tour S9: Matterhorn to Eiger Accessible Tour

«        »

Tour Description:

With this 11-night excursion, you’ll see from Zermatt the towering peaks above the Matter Valley including Matterhron and Monte Rosa, the highest mountain in Switzerland.  In Grindelwald you’ll see the Bernese Alps famed for glacial carved valleys and towering snow-capped peaks and amazing waterfalls.  Sils Maria has the impressive Bernina Alps plus stunningly beautiful lakes with wonderful paths.  This is an accessible adventure travel tour to three amazing areas of Switzerland.  Please see below for complete tour description. 2024 is not open to the public but we start taking reservations for 2025 in July.  This is an all accessible team hiking tour where paraplegic travelers are on a team made up of MDs, Physical Therapists, Operational Therapists, and Mountain Guides to enjoy the Alps as far as ones heart, mind, and body will take them.  Please see below for Dr. Valorie Jones’ full tour description and mission, and meet the team.

Tour Cost:

Closed Trip

    Request Information

    Which tour are you interested in? (required):

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Call 478/714-0829 to book
    your vacation or for more details.

    August 16 - August 28, 2024 - 11 Nights

    Base Villages: Zermatt, Sils Maria, and Grindelwald

    This is an all accessible team hiking tour. 2024 is not open to the public but we start taking reservations for 2025 in July. 

    • August 17: meet guides at Zürich, that evening dinner our and tour historic sections of town
    • August 18 – meet guides in Zürich by 11 a.m. and travel by train to Zermatt
    • August 19-21: explore above Matter Valley with incredible views of Matterhorn
    • August 22: take the famous Glacier Express Train from Zermatt to St. Moritz
    • August 23 & 24: enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Upper Engadine
    • August 25: travel by train to Grindelwald
    • August 26 & 27: take in magnificent views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau
    • August 28: travel by train to Zürich arriving by 10:17 a.m.

    Tour Highlights & Details:

    – Zermatt, Switzerland: Hotel Silvana
    – Sils Maria, Switzerland: Waldhaus Sils
    – Grindelwald, Switzerland: Hotel Schweizerhof

    Highlights – Zermatt: The Matterhorn and the Matter valley, surrounded by 30 peaks topping 4,000 m (13,000 ft.); the Monte Rosa massif and Dufourspitze, the highest point in Switzerland; Gornergrat, a cog railway that travels 3,089 m (10,134 ft.) to an impressive overlook, and the Klein Matterhorn, the end point of Switzerland’s highest cable car at 3,820 m (12,533 ft.) terrific.  Having such impressive gondolas and cable cars and cog trains to our trail heads helps us keep above tree line affording incredible views of an area that holds 3/4 of all 4000-meter peaks in the Alps.

    Highlights – Sils Maria: Sils Maria a small village as charming as one can be is just 20 minutes from glitzy St. Moritz.  St. Moritz is well know for good reason it is in the center of some of the best hiking and outdoor activities in Switzerland as is Sils Maria but without the glitz just unmatched charm.  The Upper Engadine is certainly one of the most impressive landscapes in Switzerland. Sils Maria The gate to the romantic Fex Valley is idyllically embedded between Lake Sils and Lake Silvaplana. With only 750 inhabitants, Sils presents itself in an introspective, familiar and inviting manner. Besides the tremendous natural experience, the cultural offerings are also exquisite.

    Highlights – Grindelwald: The Jungfrau massif (Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau); high mountain passes of Kleine Scheidegg and Grosse Scheidegg; and the hike from Grindelwald to the historic Mountain Lodge Faulhorn, with panoramic views over lakes Thun and Brienz; upper and lower glaciers of Grindelwald, Thunersee, Brienz See, and Interlaken; dairy farms and local cheeses and one of the best day hikes in the Alps the route above Grindelwald from First to Schynige Platte.

    Guides: Shannon Harris and Cristiano Berta

    Our Accessible Swiss Hiking Tours:

    Accessible Swiss Hiking Tours are the brain-child of two physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians (HCA’s Val Jones, MD, and the Shepherd Center’s Anna Elmers, MD). They believe the alps provide a unique opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts with disabilities to enjoy an immersive, life-changing travel experience. 

    On August 16-28, 2024, Dr. Jones is leading a recon mission (“recce”) to the Swiss alps with a complete rehabilitation team (rehab nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and psychologist), two local hiking guides, and a paraplegic athlete to test the feasibility of the trip for future individuals recovering from spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and strokes.

    “These tours are an exciting motivator for newly disabled individuals. The possibility of participating in something so challenging and beautiful gives hope and a reason to strive hard at the earliest stages of recovery – when it matters most” says Dr. Jones. 

    “Switzerland is ideally positioned to support people with disabilities because the mobility infrastructure is already in place. They have trains, gondolas, lifts, eBikes, recreational vehicles, and helicopters everywhere.”

    “We chose to partner with Alpine Adventure Trails and Tours because they’re a family-owned U.S. company that has been running trips to the alps since 1977. They have deep knowledge of the local trails, mobility options, as well as access to multi-lingual local guides and relationships with hoteliers and restaurant owners who have embraced accessibility” adds Dr. Jones.

    “I wanted to have a rehab expert in each medical and therapy discipline to join the first trip so they could view Switzerland though their unique lenses. Problem-solving and leveraging the natural environment for healing will be critical going forward,” said Dr. Jones. “We will work as a team to think of all the possible snags, and be prepared for any scenario.”

    “Having Rob Bereolos with us is a huge asset. He is an unflappable athlete with a big heart. His insights into how to make the trip run smoothly for those who get around on wheels, will cut a path for all those who follow. Future trips will include staff with expertise customized to the individual hikers.”

    The trip will begin in Zurich and includes travel on the Glacier Express to three base camps: Zermatt, St. Moritz/Sils Maria, and Grindelwald. 

    The Team:

    Val Jones, MD

    Dr. Jones received her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation in 2006. She has been a medical director and traveling physician for the past 17 years, with licenses in 20 states, an academic appointment at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and extensive experience with stroke, brain injury, and spinal cord injury recovery. She most recently was the founding medical director at HCA Florida JFK Hospital.

    She is an amateur athlete, whose childhood love of downhill skiing led her to attend Swiss Challenge (organized by the American School in Switzerland) where she had her first exposure to the alps in 1985. She much later planned to join the Canadian Ski Patrol, but suffered a severe knee injury during a race in Austria and switched her focus to hiking and strength training. As a “Master’s athlete” she now enjoys low-risk outdoor activities, culinary delicacies, and helping others achieve their physical and health goals. Dr. Jones believes that this recce will be the first step in unifying her rehab career with her passion for alpine activities. 

    Margaret Jones, MD

    Margaret Jones, MD, MPH, joined Craig Hospital CNS Medical Group in January 2022 after practicing as an attending physician at Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital in Nashville, TN. She was also an assistant professor for the Department of PM&R at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Jones is boarded in physical medicine and rehabilitation, spinal cord injury medicine and brain injury medicine.

    Dr. Jones attended medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and then completed her residency at the University of Washington, serving as Chief Resident during her final year. She pursued a fellowship at the Kessler Institute/New Jersey Medical School. She then returned to Seattle to provide care for patients with SCI at Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Jones moved to Tennessee to help in the building of the relatively new department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Vanderbilt in 2019.

    When not at work, she enjoys a number of outside activities including hiking and camping through road trips to the beach and mountains. Many of her outside activities include her two labradoodles, Penny and Copper.

    Robert Bereolos

    Robert James Bereolos was born in Hammond, Indiana on the 29th of August, 1966.  Rob has been paralyzed from a motorcycle accident for over 32 years.  Because he feels he has been given a “second chance” at life, he lives life to the fullest and has become an advocate for others with disabilities.  He has been a peer mentor for newly injured spinal cord-injured individuals and is a founding member of the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of South Florida.   He has been serving as the Broward Chapter Treasurer for two years and also served as the President and Vice President prior to that.  Rob volunteered at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale for 6 years working with children with special needs and has served on the leadership team for the South Florida Fishing with Friends program, which allows individuals with disabilities of all types to “catch their first fish.”  He has been a volunteer with Joni and Friends Disabilities Ministries as a Youth Leader at the yearly Family Retreats.  

    He loves to lead worship while playing the guitar, fellowship with friends, read and study the Bible, play chess, Scuba dive, water ski, sail, and attend concerts and sporting events.  He is also an active hand-cycling enthusiast with Achilles International and Shifting Gears United where he competes in Marathons and Half-marathons throughout the nation.  He has competed in the ING New York Marathon as well as the Marine Corps Marathon, Miami, Ft Lauderdale and Palm Beach Marathon which qualified him for the Boston Marathon in 2015.

    Clifford Robertson, CRRN

    Clifford has been in nursing for 13 years at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. There he has worked in most every department including Spinal Cord Injury, Acquired Brain Injury, Critical Rehabilitation Unit, and even Human Resources as the employee health nurse. Before nursing he worked as an Advanced EMT for 3 years, and before that, 18 years in business marketing specializing in permission-based email. 

    When not working Clifford participates in CrossFit, mountain biking, motorcycling, hiking, camping, snow skiing, disc golf, Ultimate Frisbee, and occasionally climbing, scuba diving, and caving. But his real passion is Motorsports where he is a performance driving and racing instructor as well as competitor in a variety of events including hill climbs, time trials, and endurance events.

    Sarah Leonard, PT

    Sarah is a physical therapist and assistive technology professional (ATP) who spent the majority of her career working at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA. During her tenure, she served as a primary therapist within the spinal cord injury program, provided mentorship across the spinal cord injury and complex rehabilitation programs, and worked within the seating and mobility clinic. As a physical therapist, Sarah has trained under industry-leading professionals, and as an ATP, Sarah has experience working for a national complex rehabilitation technology supplier.

    Most recently, Sarah brought her clinical experience, knowledge of wheelchairs and seating, and passion for education to the Sunrise Medical Clinical Education Team. Outside of work, Sarah has been an active participant in adaptive sports and recreation throughout her career; she presently serves as the coach of the Northeast Passage Wheelchair Rugby Team, assistant coach for the United States Wheelchair Rugby Association (USWRA) Low Point Team, and treasurer of the USWRA.

    Jennifer Tucker, OT

    Jennifer Tucker is an occupational therapist currently working at Atrium Health in Macon, GA. She provides trauma recovery therapy from the ICU setting to the inpatient rehabilitation hospital. She is passionate about quality of life (QOL) research related to post traumatic injury with permanent loss of physical function.  She specializes in therapeutic problem-solving in real life situations. Her goal is to help individuals with disabilities experience life to the fullest. Jennifer is also an endurance athlete and mother of 2 boys. 

    Julia Stern, SLP

     Julia Stern is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a Master’s Degree from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University. She currently works at HCA Florida JFK Hospital, conducting therapy focused on dysphagia, speech, language, and cognitive-linguistic rehabilitation. Julia believes that the best treatment sessions combine functional tasks with evidence-based practice. In addition to her career, Julia focuses heavily on her other two passions – community service and hiking!

    While completing her undergraduate degree, Julia went on a service trip to Guatemala where she was able to administer ~100 hearing aids to under-served individuals over the course of four days. In Julia’s free time, you can find her outdoors hiking with her fiancé who happens to be her high school sweetheart.

    Gabriel Ghanoum, PsyD

    Dr. Gabriel Ghanoum, PsyD, MDiv, is an author and educator; the Director of Spiritual Care Services and Palliative Care for a network of hospitals in South Eastern Florida, and an Affiliated Assistant Professor for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He holds various degrees in Psychology, Theology, and Business, is a Certified Grief & Recovery Therapist, Certified Family Recovery Coach and Interventionist, is an internationally accredited member of the Viktor Frankl Institute in Vienna, Austria, and holds several advanced training certifications in various therapy modalities. 

    Dr. Ghanoum is passionate about bringing spiritual and psychological awareness through his national and international lectures and retreats on Mind-Body-Spirit Integrative Health, the Psycho-Spiritual approach to oncology and healing, Positive Psychology, Relationships, Parenting, and Spirituality. He also provides inpatient rehabilitation counseling for adjustment to disability at HCA’s JFK Hospital in Lake Worth, Florida, where he first met Dr. Jones.

    He is deeply involved in promoting the mental health perspective within several charity programs around the world, including aiding the homeless of South Florida through bio-psycho-social-spiritual care, and Dr. Ghanoum began and fostered a program for those of who passed away without any family or friends called “No One Buried Alone” in Palm Beach County. 

    Shannon Harris

    For twenty-seven years I’ve guided small groups of  hikers in the Alps on hundreds of trails through alpine meadows and glacier carved valleys and high up where there is almost no vegetation. Through the years there has been one constant with the groups something that must happen for me to consider it a successful trip – our guests have a fun time! I enjoy hiking with those who are just getting into hiking and enjoy doing 15 mile hikes with 4000 feet up and down. I enjoy helping people get to places that takes effort but is amazingly rewarding. I enjoy seeing the friendships made during the trip and the look on faces when they see the views. Each group is unique as is each hiker something that keeps us having fun year after year. I’m also thankful for all the people i’ve met over two decades. Hiking and traveling are what I enjoy and sharing it with others makes it even better!

    Christiano Berta

     Cristiano grew up in a family of mountain guides with a long tradition of mountaineering. He comes from a little mountain town nestled somewhere in the Italian Alps close to the French border. The Alps are his natural environment, having hiked, mountaineered, skied and climbed since a tender age, and whenever he spends a few weeks away from the familiarity of his peaks, he begins to long for them. He is convinced that mountains are more than just elevations of the earth’s surface, and that hiking is more than a sport. He firmly believes that the combination of majestic mountain scenery and the act of hiking bring a sense of uplifting and self-awareness, contributing to personal growth.

    He is very knowledgeable about the Western Alps, particularly about the lesser known regions of Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. In recent years he has started exploring new mountain ranges across Europe, namely the High Tatras in Poland and the Transylvanian Alps in Romania, where he went through some memorable experiences, such as encountering brown bears or being caught in a snowstorm in the middle of the summer.

    He enjoys the company of others, and is always happy to share some of his personal stories and knowledge of the Alps.


    Medical Evacuation and Travel Assistance


    Interested in becoming a partner or sponsoring a tour, therapist, or hiker? 

    Contact: Shannon Harris at Alpine Adventure Trails and Tours: 478-714-0829 or