Grand Tour of Switzerland
- 12 Days
- From $3,299
- Explore five Swiss towns, including the famous resorts of Zermatt, Interlaken and Montreux
- Enjoy jaw-dropping journeys on the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Golden Pass
- Take a trip on the beautiful Jungfrau railway to the highest train station in Europe
- Finish your trip in Montreux, overlooking Lake Geneva
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Upgrade your journey to First Class
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations on the Glacier & Bernina Expresses and Golden Pass
- 11 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- A day trip to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Your grand tour of Switzerland starts with 2 nights at the Hotel Adler (or similar), a great base from which to explore the lakeside city of Zurich. Switzerland’s largest conurbation has plenty to offer visitors, whether you’re interested in art or history, music or shopping, or if you just want to relax. The Museum of Art’s world-class collections, which include works by Picasso and Munch, are particularly recommended but make sure to visit the 12th century Grossmünster too. Alternatively, make the most of the pedestrianised streets in the CBD by strolling through medieval neighbourhoods and indulging in Zurich’s café culture.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will head to the city-centre station to catch a service to Landquart where you will change and travel onto the traditional Alpine town of Chur.
Arriving amongst the town’s steeply-stepped roofs at lunchtime, you will be able to drop your bags at the Romantik Hotel Stern (or similar) for a 2-night stay. The afternoon is yours to explore the charms of what is reputed to be Switzerland’s oldest town.
A relatively early start but the rewards are magnificent. The Bernina Express is one of the world’s most iconic train journeys, easing up over the Alps and then down into Italy, all the while treating passengers to incredible views of peaks and valleys from specially designed panoramic carriages.
You arrive into the Italian city of Tirano in time to enjoy lunch, before starting your return journey to Chur in the early afternoon.
You will have barely recovered from the previous day’s incredible sights when you embark on your second iconic journey aboard the Glacier Express. Heading west through the Swiss Alps, you will pass through several stunning Alpine valleys before inching up to Zermatt, a resort town with views of the world-famous Matterhorn.
You will disembark in the late afternoon and after dropping your bags at Romantik Hotel Julen (or similar), you have the rest of the day to explore and to find a restaurant with a view.
Zermatt provides a wonderful base to enjoy Alpine life, irrespective of what time of year you visit. If it is winter, and the mountains and valleys are coated in crisp, white snow, Zermatt is an ideal base for skiing and snowboarding. In the summer months, the picturesque village offers wonderful hiking and throughout the year there are plenty of places to sit and eat delicious rösti whilst drinking in the views!
If you are ready for an extra scenic train journey, you could take the Gornergrat Bahn up into the mountains, with pristine views of the Matterhorn’s distinctive peak.
After breakfast at your hotel, it is time to return to Visp via the beautiful Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn and then connect with a service to Interlaken. You will arrive in Interlaken Ost station by midday and from here, it is a short walk to your accommodation, Hotel Interlaken (or similar) where you will stay for 3 nights.
Interlaken is one of the most popular bases to explore the wonderful Bernese Oberland with its great rail connections and awe-inspiring mountain backdrop.
Nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken’s traditional wooden buildings and incredible location have made it a favourite for many visitors to the Alps. There are a wide-range of walking routes for you to explore, plus plenty of shops and restaurants, and for the adventurous-spirited there are a host of adrenalin-inspired options including paragliding, rafting and bungee jumping!
Take the funicular railway up the Harder Kulm for panoramic views over the town or visit one of the two lakes for a relaxing cruise in stunning surroundings.
After a good night’s rest to recover from the previous day’s exertions, you’ll be ready for the magnificent Jungfrau. Starting from Interlaken Ost, you will travel to Lauterbrunnen or Grindlewald, changing to take another train to Kleine Scheidegg.
From here you will catch the cog-driven Jungfrau Railway which will haul you to Europe’s highest railway station, Jungfraujoch. You will emerge into jaw-dropping mountain scenery, with the very tips of snow-covered Swiss Alps towering all around you.
After your third night in Interlaken, a final iconic train journey awaits. The Golden Pass line connects Interlaken to Montreux in the French-speaking area of Switzerland. The journey can be taken by modern panoramic or Belle Epoque coaches and gently winds down via Spiez and Zweisimmen to the shores of Lake Geneva.
Upon disembarking, you will check into the conveniently located Suisse Hotel Majestic (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Montreux is a picturesque town with broad pavements courting the water’s edge. You can stroll with ice cream in hand and enjoy the views, or if you’re feeling more energetic, head out onto the lake yourself on boats of all different shapes and sizes!
There are also a wide-array of shops and restaurants for you to explore, as well as a vast network of well-signed walking routes to help you further enjoy the area’s breathtaking scenery. You might like to head into the mountains again with a rail trip up to the Rochers de Naye, offering yet more breathtaking views of the lake and distant Alps.
Leave Montreux today for your onward journey. It’s a short train ride around the lake to Geneva Airport, though you might like to extend your stay on the Swiss Riviera, or make your way in the other direction along the lake shore, past the beautifully located Chateau de Chillon and on into Italy. Let us know your plans!
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Located in Zurich’s charming old town, the recently refurbished Hotel Adler is an excellent place at which to start your tour of Switzerland. All rooms have air conditioning, minibars, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi, and there is also an on-site restaurant which offers guests the chance to enjoy Swiss specialities – including several varieties of fondue!
From its position in the very centre of town, the Hotel Stern is the ideal base for exploring. Rooms are decorated in a Swiss style with exposed beams and wooden panelling but also offer all modern creature comforts including free WiFi and digital television. On the ground floor of the hotel you will find an excellent restaurant with an impressive wine cellar.
A short walk from Interlaken Ost, the imposing Hotel Interlaken is perfectly situated, adjacent to the historic Schloss Interlaken and its surrounding park. Rooms are large and comfortable, providing guests with a desk, safe, minibar and free internet access. The hotel has an excellent restaurant serving modern Swiss cuisine, as well as a very comfortable lounge area with a bar offering you a wide-range of drinks to help you relax at the end of the day.
In a large, wooden chalet, Hotel Julen fulfils all of your escaping-to-the-Swiss-Alps fantasies! From the red shutters and steeply pitched roof on the outside, to the warm, pine-panelled rooms inside, you will feel as though you’re enjoying an authentic Swiss experience. Moreover, the hotel’s owners are a local family who are happy to organise a wide-range of unique activities for you in Zermatt, from spas to electric bike tours.
Looking every-inch the fairy tale Swiss villa, the Suisse Hotel Majestic provides guests with incredible views over Lake Geneva and the French Alps. Rooms not only offer air conditioning, desks and minibars, but also balconies from where you can enjoy the scenery. The hotel makes the most of its enviable location by ensuring the on-site bar and restaurant overlook the lake.
Upgrade your accommodation
The Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich is located opposite the railway station and offers soundproofed rooms with electrically adjustable beds. Its French restaurant La Soupière offers delicious seasonal cuisine. The Café Gourmet serves fine antipasti, salads, pastry and the Schweizerhof Bar is famous for its wide selection of whisky.
A 7-minute walk from Interlaken West train station, this luxury 19th-century hotel is elegantly furnished in traditional style. Rooms come complete with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, and facilities include two restaurants, a piano bar, spa, indoor pool and fitness centre.
The Belle Epoque Fairmont le Montreux Palace is the most luxurious hotel in Montreux, boasting 236 opulently furnished bedrooms, three restaurants (one directly on the lake shore), a wellness centre including an indoor and outdoor pool, and two bars.