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William Tell Legend or Reality?ECHO Trails Guide on Swiss Path William tell Day Hikeg A family vacation in Switzerland can be magical connections. Who doesn’t love legends, mountains, boats, trains, great food, and lovely Swiss chocolate?
   
Here’s the scoop. ECHO Trails is a terrific, Lucerne-based company offering English-speaking guided day walks, hikes and bike tours. Participants see magnificent Alpine scenery with half- and full-day tours have been created to meld active fun with historic and cultural connections.I like this series of tours because they have been created by a life-long family friend- Rene Welti. He loves Switzerland and his attention to detail matched with his enthusiasm make any day adventure memorable. Bonus Points: To add to the value of the Swiss experience and create a true sense of place each tour uses the efficient Swiss public transportation from Lucerne train station.   

“Every tour is designed to showcase the beauty and authenticity of the area. Even with limited time, you can have a great Swiss outdoor experience,” explains René Welti, the ECHO Trails Swiss born-USA raised, certified hiking guide.  
 
No apples or arrows are involved. William Tell is perhaps the most famous folk hero in Swiss history and a logical way fpr parents or grandparents to share Switzerlanf with young companions. ECHO Trails offers a William Tell Swiss Path Hike which combines a three-hour hike on the actual Swiss Path and relates to the William Tell story. ECHO Trails Lake Lucerne Boat ConnectionThe hike weaves through the 700-year Swiss history while walking past farmers working in their fields, quaint villages with one-of-a-kind you can only get to by foot. My daughter and I took this day excurion last summer and were thrilled by the variety of the day which inlcuded neighborhoods, a market square, a delightful bakery stop, and an energizing walk along Lake Lucerne. We had time for photo stops, refreshments and our guide made sure we stayed on time to meet our return cruise to the city. Bonus Points: The tour is crowned by a relaxing boat cruise back to Lucerne.

Hike any day - no two tours are the same. We chose to hike with ECHO Trails for three of our five days in Lucerne. The tour choices are quite tempting and inlcude not just William Tell’s birthplace and Mt. Pilaytus but also romantic castles, bio farm, and a hike in a glacier valley. Bonus Points: If walking or hiking is not your thing it is also possible to ride a Swiss-made electric bike through the countryside and make your own Swiss army knife.

Here's the deal. Kids ages five and younger go free and ages six to 16 receive a 50% discount on any tour.

Make it happen.
 To see what ECHO Trails tour best meets your interest and schedule, visit www.echo-trails.com
 
Here’s the deal. Look for the Lucerne Discount Card - a city transportation discount card available for durations of 1, 2 or 3 days. It offers visitors free public transportation within Lucerne plus provides benefits to museums and attractions.

Location on the planet. Tourist Information Lucerne's tourist office is under the train station complex: Zentralstrasse 5 CH-6003 Luzern. Tel: +41 (0)41 227 17 17 or www.luzern.com.

Swiss Family Vacation Bonus.  See “Tellspiele” a William Tell re enactments at Altdorf. Just in case your kids or grandkids think you are making up the story of the apple and the arrow, there is a solution. To mark the 500th anniversary of the enactments of the Tell legend in Altdorf, the town's Tell Ticket Center Uri Schützengasse 11 6460 Altdorfspiel- und Theatergesellschaft theatre company will be putting on Schiller's Drama Wilhelm Tell in 2012. +41 (0)41 870 92 36 www.tellspiele-altdorf.ch.

Content by Rene Welti Certified Swiss guide and founder of ECHO Trails. Images by Amanda Nelson-Duac. Updated copyright 2015. 

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