• LTU, the German airline, has announced winter airfares from its Florida gateway cities to Germany. Flights will operate three times a week from Miami and Fort Myers and twice weekly from Orlando. Service from Los Angeles ends after October and resumes next May.
The winter roundtrip APEX fares start at $403 from Orlando, $438 from Miami and $456 from Fort Myers. Fares are about 40% higher during the Christmas season. Rates are applicable to Düsseldorf, Hanover, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart. Contact: LTU 800-888-0200.
• Hurry and you can join Wanderweg Holidays' Five-Resort Walk. This self-guided walking tour circles around five picturesque villages - Sierre, Chandolin/St. Luc, Zinal, Grimentz and Vecorin - in Switzerland's Valais. You walk between the villages and overnight in three-star, family-owned hotels. Luggage is carried ahead by van.
The seven-day price of $769 includes accommodations, all meals including picnic lunch and luggage transfers. Contact: 800-270-ALPS.
• We are frequently asked how to beat the high prices of air fares between destinations in Europe. Swissair's Eurohopper fare may be the answer. For $130 per leg you can fly economy class between more than over 100 European cities. There are restrictions. The fare is valid:
* in conjunction with round-trip intercontinental flights commencing outside IATA Europe on Swissair, Austrian Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Sabena and Air Canada.
* with a minimum of three and a maximum of eight flight segments within two months.
* for citizens or permanent residents of a country outside Europe.
• At press time, Swissair was offering a $305 roundtrip airfare on its new Miami-Zürich route and a $330 round-trip Newark-Basel fare. The fares are valid for travel through December 15. Contact: Swissair 800-221-4750
• We haven't seen it, but Switzerland Tourism has tipped us off to a new, affordable hotel in Basel's old town. Hotel Au Violon is in a converted jail.
The hotel dates to the 11th century, and over the years has been a church, a monastery, a police station and prison. All 20 rooms feature full baths and, says Switzerland Tourism, are quiet, comfortable, well-lit and individually decorated. Most overlook the courtyard, and six small suites overlook the old town, the cathedral spires and the southern hills of the Black Forest.
Single room prices are from 80 to 90 Sfr. ($53-$59) and doubles ranges from 120 to 160 Sfr. ($79-$105) Breakfast is extra and costs 10 Sfr. ($7) per person.
Contact: Erica & Emmanuel Trescher, Hotel Au Violon, Im Lohnhof 4, CH-4051 Basel, tel. +41/061/269 87 11, fax 269 87 12