Switzerland

It’s impossible to travel to Switzerland without leaving a part of yourself there!

Switzerland is comprised of 26 sovereign regions known as cantons with a history that began 700 years ago. This majestic central European country is sure to delight with its stunning vistas (including 208 mountains and 1,500 lakes), quaint chalets, world-class cities, gourmet chocolate, delightful cheeses, and railway adventures you just can’t find anywhere else.

In addition to its majestic mountains, picturesque valleys, and numerous lakes, it’s also a land of rivers, waterfalls and abundant wildlife. Switzerland is known as one of the world’s best countries to live  with Geneva and Zurich listed in the top ten cities to live in the world. It is also the only country with four national languages: German, French, Italian and Rumantsch. Experiencing all this linguistically-diverse country offers is sure to please!

Ways to enrich your Swiss vacation:

  • Rent a Swiss chalet, relaxing and wandering as you see fit!
  • Enjoy the annual  Balloon Festival in scenic Château’d’Oex, the valley of Albeuve and the Castle of Gruyères.
  • Make traditional Swiss fondue in a cooking class.
  • Learn how to make Swiss pastries during a hands-on baking class.
  • Taste some of the 450 varieties of cheese made at the Gruyères Cheese Festival.
  • Ski Zermatt, a pedestrian-only village and home to the Matterhorn.
  • Horse-drawn carriage ride to Val Fex.
  • Vevey and wine tour to Lavaux where grapes have been grown since the 11th century.
  • Tour Lake Geneva by Belle Époque paddle steamers and drink in the stunning alpine views.
  • Chillon castle tour with boat ride and wine tasting.
  • Relax with spa treatments in St. Moritz after a day skiing or snowboarding.
  • Canoe or kayak Lake Lucerne
  • Toboggan in Klosters, where legend has it tobogganing was invented.
  • Stroll the narrow lanes and medieval houses of Old Town, Zurich stopping to enjoy local chocolates and relax at one of the many bakeries or coffeehouses.
  • Climb the Swiss Alps or travel the Swiss Alps by rail aboard one of the many Swiss trains. Prepare for jaw-dropping splendor! Some of the  famous rail journeys include Jungfrau Railway and the Glacier Express.
  • Learn the traditional art of Swiss watchmaking at a family business.
  • The annual Classical Music Festival in Interlaken or Lucerne.
  • The Grindelwald World Snow Festival.
  • The deeply moving Easter procession and Passion Play in Mendrisio.
  • Ascension Day Procession covering a pilgrim route that has been celebrated for 5 centuries!
  • Cuckoo clock craftsmen visits.
  • Christmas market vacations.
  • Grindelwald Glacier viewpoints.
  • Paraglide over Lake Geneva.
  • Overwater bungalow stays on Lake Neuchatel where you can paddleboard from your porch!
  • Combine a trip with other European countries for a multi-country vacation! Switzerland shares a border with Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France. The options are truly endless!

Sample Trip Ideas

*The following are simply ideas of itineraries that I’ve devised that are available in Switzerland. I am happy to design an itinerary based solely on your own vision, which of course is my area of expertise.

Is there anything more breathtaking than the Swiss alps? This customizable itinerary brings you to some of the most breathtaking areas of Switzerland including Sils, Zermatt, St. Moritz and Vevey.

You’ll begin your trip in the Alpine resort town of St Moritz, take a once-in-a-lifetime rail trip on the Glacier Express before arriving in pedestrian-only Zermatt. The adventurer in you will love the excursion to Gornergrat on the rack railway, the highest open-air railway in Europe. The trip ends in Vevey, a gem along the Swiss Riviera. Depending upon the season in which you travel you can enjoy winter sports or summer hiking and outdoor adventures. In Sils outside of St. Moritz you will relax at a lovely hotel perched above Lake Sils.

Trip highlights include: a traditional horse-drawn carriage ride (complete with authentic sleigh bells) into stunning Val Fex; The Glacier Express train journey with a 3-course meal to savor as you drink in the alpine grandeur; Gornergrat’s rack railway adventure taking you to an altitude of 10,135 feet above sea level; transfer to the last stop of your Swiss tour, Vevey where you will be nestled into the beauty of Lake Geneva. Trip highlights in Vevey conclude with a private wine tasting in the Laveaux valley between Lausanne and Montreux; this is the largest wine region in Switzerland developed by monks in the 11th-century. Return home and make sure to send me plenty of pictures of you enjoying your trip!

This itinerary assists the traveler in uncovering the classic and unique treasures of three Swiss cities: Zurich, Lucerne and Bern. You’ll enjoy mountain vistas, traditional clocks, scenic train rides, Swiss chocolate and cheese with 3 nights in each city (or more if you’d like!)

Trip highlights include: a gourmet tour of Zurich that includes an aerial cable car ride up the mountains. After arriving at the top you will walk through the woodlands to enjoy a fondue and gluhwine dinner in a restaurant nestled in the woods. If you’re traveling in the warmer months you can partake in a walking tour sampling homemade ice cream, truffles and Swiss chocolate! Travel by train (some of the best in Europe) to the lovely city of Lucerne fondly known as the second-best city to visit in Europe by Conde Nast Traveler readers. Lucerne is stunning and offers the traveler such a rich experience visually and historically; it’s the perfect location to plan little to do but wander in awe at the beauty around you. Of course, there’s plenty to do and discover, which we can discuss based on your interests. Traveling by rail you depart Lucerne and arrive in the Swiss capital of Bern,  a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights in Bern include strolling along the Aare River and the charming pedestrian-only historic center (dating from 1191); visiting Albert Einstein’s former home-turned-museum where Einstein developed his Theory of Relativity; if visiting in the summer, and you’re a strong swimmer, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the Aare river; walk to Bern’s local mountain, The Gurten, to take beautiful pictures and take a short train ride to the Emmental Valley where you can visit Swiss cheese producers or visit Oberaargau, home to the gorgeous Mutzbachfall waterfalls. Depart and return home in time  to be happy, refreshed, and ready for your next adventure.

Part of the beauty of Switzerland is the landscape blanketed in crisp white snow, however the intensity of winters here forced the locals of years past, out of necessity, to develop unique traditions particular to their locale. Today, the various regions in Switzerland maintain these age-old traditions and are available for travelers to enjoy thus deepening your travel experience. If you’re interested in the essence of a place, local customs proudly displayed through various festivals is the way to go! Switzerland is chock-full of them.

Swiss festival options include: alpine horn-sled and toboggan races; hot-air balloon festivals over the Castle of Gruyères; celebrate the victory over the Hapsburg in 1388 in Näfels with a historic procession that has been celebrated since 1389; Easter procession and Passion Play; witness open air voting, a true local experience and the oldest form of direct democracy (not exactly a festival but so very  interesting); taste some of the 450 varieties of cheese made at the Gruyères Cheese Festival; Lavaux Wine Fest where you can partake in a vintner’s lunch, helicopter over the vineyards, and dine on fondue with wine pairings; the Traditional Ascension Day Procession complete with costumed riders on horseback, musicians and singers in a spectacular festival the church here as celebrated for 5 centuries; cattle procession from Adelboden to Engstligenalp in the Alps when farmers bring their cattle to higher alpine pastures for summer.

The list of possibilities goes on! Let me know what interests you and when you can travel.

This itinerary idea allows the traveler to uncover the local treasures in exquisite Interlaken. Located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, at the base of Switzerland’s tallest peaks, Interlaken is situated between two lakes—Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.   Interlaken provides some of the most stunning views, offering an unparalleled vacation experience for those who adore both alpine lakes and mountains. Whether you desire active adventures such as hiking, paragliding, white water rafting and skiing or castles, spas and savoring Swiss chocolates, Interlaken offers something for everyone.

Trip highlights include: Uncovering the local treasures of this city gem with or without a private guide; travel to the village of Gruyères for a picnic of traditional Swiss foods; enjoy a tour of a traditional cheesemaker; sample Swiss chocolates at a Chocolaterie; take a day trip to Thun where you can explore this small Medieval lakeside village; cruise to the 13th century Oberhofen Castle on the edge of Lake Thun; explore St. Beatus Cave with its impressive gorges, inner waterfalls, stalagmites and stalactites and traditional Swiss-style house; wander peacefully amid 650 stunning alpine plant species at Schynige Platte Botanical Alpine Gardens; relax with a luxurious spa treatment before returning home. I just might come with you!

Discover the breathtaking country of Switzerland on your own  with this rail and self-drive vacation!  Travel to some of the biggest Swiss cities with time to explore  smaller towns.

Towns include: Zurich,  Neuchatel, Gstaad, Lucerne, Lugano, and St. Moritz.

Grand Swiss Rail and Drive Highlights:

-12-day rail and drive tour
-11-nights accommodations (charming 3-stars, centrally located – hotel upgrades available)
-6-day car rental with GPS (automatic transmission)
-Train from Lucerne to Lugano and from St. Moritz to Zurich
-Rides aboard the amazingly scenic Gotthard Panorama Express and Bernina Express
-Lucerne Visitor’s Card
-Swiss Coupon Pass providing discounts in 11 destinations and so much more!

This is a well-priced vacation package, especially for Switzerland which tends to be on the expensive side! Contact me for updated pricing based on your intended travel dates.

An outstanding vacation awaits on this  10-day European voyage! The itinerary begins in Paris where you have the option to extend your trip and enjoy the “City of Lights” before taking a Eurostar train to Switzerland.

Highlights and Inclusions:

-Rail travel aboard the high-speed Eurostar train
-Three scenic rail excursions: Glacier Express, Gornergrat Mountain Railroad and Drachensfelbahn Railroad
-Charming  hotel accommodations for 3 nights
-7-night river cruise on board the Amadeus Silver III
-25
meals
-Visits to Heidelberg, Speyer, Rudesheim, Koblenz, Cologne, Strasbourg and Amsterdam
Sail through the Rhine Gorge, an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Services of a professional tour manager and much more!

*You have the option to begin in Amsterdam before traveling to Switzerland should you prefer.

There are three departures for this vacation in May, June and August. If these dates do not coincide with your availability we can do our best to craft an itinerary as close to this as possible for you.

Contact me for full details!

 

Create lifelong memories with your loved ones by spending Christmas on Lake Como and celebrating the New Year in Switzerland!

Highlights and Inclusions:

-Rail travel aboard the high-speed Eurostar (option to  overnight in London or Paris before heading to Turin where the trip begins)
Gorgeous rail travel on the Jungfrau Railroad and Bernina Express
10-nights 4-Star hotel accommodations
18 meals, including a memorable Christmas dinner in Varenna and New Year’s Eve dinner in Interlaken!
-Scenic cruise to Bellagio and Menaggio (stunning villages on Lake Como)
-A New Year’s Eve sleigh ride in Grindlewald
-Services of a professional tour manager and so much more!

This tour departs on December 23rd unless you would like to extend the vacation and enjoy the beauty of Christmas in London  or Paris first!

Full details available! Let’s get planning!

This leisurely rail vacation visits the three beautiful Swiss cities of Montreaux, Zurich and Lucerne!

Highlights and Inclusions:

-Rail travel on the Swiss Travel System
-6-Nights hotel accommodations (option to extend!)
-Travel aboard GoldenPass Line – you’ll travel through the Brünig Pass into the Bernese Oberland, passing by Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
Cheese & Chocolate Train excursion with visits and tastings!
-Discover the medieval town of Gruyères
-Montreux Riviera Card – This card provides free public transportation within the region, as well as 50 %  off  admission to many sites including the 1,000 year old Chillon Castle!
-Swiss Coupon Pass
-Breakfast daily and more!

Available May – October. Full details available! Let’s get planning!

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