Holidays are meant to lift the soul, but the tacky realities of package travel all too often keep one earthbound. Geneva-based hiking company A Different View transports its customers closer to heaven with its tours through the high-altitude areas around Geneva, and the neighboring Haute-Savoie region of France, pictured. "We customize our hikes and meals to suit guests' wishes, and focus on local points of interest: plant and animal life, as well as culinary delights," says owner Trish Thalman. Her business partner, local Pierre Zuppiroli, guides hikers up mountain[an error occurred while processing this directive] paths, through hidden valleys and down winding country roads, tailoring the pace and distance to suit the clients.
For lunch he either takes walkers to restaurants that serve locally sourced cuisine, or he chooses a scenic spot, opens his backpack and serves a hearty meal that he makes from scratch: "We had ham, melon, grilled peppers, cheese and tea prepared from herbs picked along the way," says Geneva-based writer Paul Sochaczewski. He and a friend went with Zuppiroli on a seven-hour hike to La Tournette, a 2,300-m peak above Annecy, admired "views to die for," and saw meadows of Alpine flora and a herd of wild goats along the way. What a rocky-mountain high. www.a-different-view.com