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XSW SWITZERLAND TOUR

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Featuring Walking Tours & Day Hikes

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Walking in the Engadine - St. Moritz Valley; Train journey on the famous Glacier Express; Hikes at the foot of the Matterhorn; Jungfrau Region, the Bernese Alps and the base of Eiger, the most beautiful mountain scenery in the world; Exploring medieval Bern and Zurich Old Towns and scenic Interlaken and Lucerne

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Mon 14 Sep 2015Sat 26 Sep 2015 $3890
Mon 27 Jun 2016Sat 09 Jul 2016 $3890
Mon 08 Aug 2016Sat 20 Aug 2016 $3890
Mon 12 Sep 2016Sat 24 Sep 2016 $3890

Optional Single Supplement: $620 (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


This gentle guided walking tour combines some of Switzerland's medieval historic Old Towns with the top three scenic mountain walks in Switzerland. We explore the beautiful Engadine Valley in the scenic St. Moritz area in the canton of Graubunden, the land of the mountain goat and Heidi's home. This is the source of the Rhine river and Switzerland's biggest vacation region. Next, one of the world's top train journeys, the famous Glacier Express, takes us to Zermatt at the foot of impressive Matterhorn, perhaps the most photographed mountain the world. Here, surrounded by forty-seven 4000 metre or more high peaks, impressive glaciers and deep gorges, we walk along tranquil paths in the Swiss canton of Valais. Finally, in the famous Jungfrau Region, surrounded by the beauty of the Bernese Alps, we walk along alpine trails with the famous peak of Eiger beside us. Additionally, we travel to the medieval Old Towns of Bern and Zurich and visit scenic Interlaken and Lucerne.

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Switzerland


Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Zurich
Welcome to Switzerland!

Today we arrive in Zurich and transfer to our hotel.

Dinner if required.

Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Zurich: City Walking Tour
This morning we'll have a guided walking tour of Zurich, where we visit the Old Town, the world famous shopping street Bahnhofstrasse, the Augustinergasse, a beautiful medieval, narrow streets with many colourfully painted oriel windows; the Grossmunster, St. Peter Church with the largest clock face of Europe; and the Lindenhof, which provides a glorious view of the Old Town of Zurich.

Overnight in Zurich.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 Zurich - St. Moritz
We travel by train to St. Moritz, one of the world's most famous ski resorts. Chic, elegant and exclusive with a cosmopolitan ambiance, the town is located at 1,856 metres (6,100 ft) above sea level in the midst of the stunning landscape of the of the Upper Engadine lakes. The dry, sparkling "champagne" climate here is legendary and the celebrated St. Moritz sun shines for an average of 322 days a year.

We have the evening free to unwind and explore this scenic playground of the rich and famous.

Overnight in St. Moritz.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 4 Walking in the Engadine Valley
It takes us just a few minutes by chairlift to travel up to Muottas Muragl. As well as featuring a panoramic viewpoint platform, the area is home to large numbers of ibex and is a hiker's paradise. The 7 km / 4.35 mile long panorama trail between Muottas Muragl and Alp Languard is worth a special mention, as it is undulating and features the charming Munt da la Bes-cha mountain restaurant mid-way. We return to St. Moritz in the afternoon. From the terrace of the Restaurant Alp Languard, there are fantastic views over the Bernina area. Our guide will point out interesting species of birds, marmots as well as ibex, all of which can be regularly seen.

Some of us may choose to extend today's walk by descending to the Pontresina cable car station before taking the bus back to St. Moritz.

Hiking time approx 3 hours.

Overnight in St Moritz.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 5 St Moritz - Glacier Express Train - Zermatt
Today we take the spectacular Glacier Express train ride. Around every corner are mountains and more mountains, small villages, cows with clanking bells, glaciers, lakes and rushing rivers. The fairytale landscape is a magical carpet of flowers in spring and a splendid tapestry of colours in autumn. The full length of the Glacier Express route from St Moritz to Zermatt passes over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. For much of its journey, it also passes along and through the World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes.

The train is not an "express" in the sense of being a high-speed train, but rather in the sense that it provides a one-seat ride for a long duration travel. In fact it has the reputation of being the slowest express train in the world. The entire line is metre gauge, and large portions of it use a rack-and-pinion system both for ascending steep grades and to control the descent of the train on the back side of those grades. We have lunch on board with a view of the magnificent scenery going past the large picture windows (dinner on your own this evening).

We arrive in the car free village of Zermatt and transfer to our hotel at the foot of famous Matterhorn.

Overnight in Zermatt.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch

Day 6 Hiking at the foot of Matterhorn
For a close view of the Matterhorn and some enjoyable gentle hiking, we make an excursion to the foot of this much photographed peak. This is Swiss mountain walking at its best.

This morning, we take the famous Gornergrat cog railway from Zermatt across stunning bridges, through galleries and tunnels, idyllic forests, past gorges and mountain lakes with the Matterhorn continually in the field of vision, to Gornergrat located at a height of 3,089 metres. Surrounded by 29 four-thousand metre high peaks, by the highest Swiss mountain (Dufourspitz in Swiss, better known as Monte Rosa) and by the third-largest glacier in the Alps (Gorner Glacier), the location offers a mountain panorama that couldn't be more overwhelming. We have several hours of walking in this setting that has few rivals in the world.

This afternoon is free to wander the well signposted trails leading out of Zermatt. We suggest the scenic trail through larch forests and highland villages to Furi at 1865 m (6,119 feet) with cable car ride back to Zermatt. For the more adventurous, a gondola ride takes you to the plateau below Matterhorn where there is a small lake called the Schwarzsee. In this area you can walk a path around the lake drinking in the mountain vistas and savouring the fresh mountain air. There is a beautiful spot for a picnic near an old chapel by the lake. Alternatively, you could spend the afternoon exploring the alpine town of Zermatt and its well known museum on your own.

Hiking time approx 4 hours.

Overnight in Zermatt.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 7 Zermatt - Grindelwald
We leave Zermatt and take the scenic train ride down the narrow valley to Visp and then through the Lotschberg to Spiez, Interlaken and finally, Grindelwald.

We take a break from the train journey in Interlaken and soak in the atmosphere of this famous town for a couple of hours before continuing our journey to Grindelwald. Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland on an alluvial plain, sandwiched between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. By the beginning of the 19th century Interlaken had already become renowned for its impressive mountain scenery. Famous contemporaries such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Felix Mendelssohn travelled in these mountains. Interlaken's success as a tourist destination was further enhanced by the completion of the Bernese Oberland Railway in 1890 and the Jungfrau Railway in 1912.

The small alpine town of Grindelwald lies nestled in unspoilt Alpine landscape at the foot of Eiger's famous north face. The amazing backdrop of the peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau sets the scene for Grindelwald. After checking into our hotel, we spend the afternoon taking the 30 minutes train ride down to the scenic town of Interlaken and spending the balance of the day there.

Overnight in Grindelwald.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 8 Walking the Bernese Alps
A cable car takes us from Grindelwald into a breathtaking panorama. A gentle undulating trail leads us to the Bachalpsee lake, where a world-famous view of the Eiger opens up before our eyes.

In the foreground lies the Bachalpsee, while the majestic Bernese Alps with their eternal ice form the backdrop. A footpath leads between the two Bachalpsee lakes and then turns south as it continues through a wetland zone of national importance, where the Muhlebach River flows through areas of wet ground and moss. A vast variety of flora delights people along the entire walk; blue and purple gentians, pulsatilla, alpine anemone, primulas and many others lining the trail. From Bachlager to Waldspitz, a sea of mountain roses lies at our feet, with their brilliant red making a striking contrast to the green meadows of the valley and the white glaciers behind. From Waldspitz mountain restaurant, a short footpath leads through fields of alpine roses, wild blueberries, and flower-strewn meadows to the Muhlebach waterfall and on to Bort. From here, we return to Grindelwald by cable car.

Overnight in Grindelwald.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 9 Mannlichen - Kleine Scheidegg - Top of Europe
We travel to Mannlichen at 2222 m/ 7,300 ft. by cable car and then follow an easy trail in a southerly direction to the east side of the Tschuggen Ridge to reach Honegg. The trail now coils around the slopes of the Lauberhorn and eventually ends at the Rotstocki, from where the Kleine Scheidegg at 2061 m/ 6,760 ft. is within easy reach. The Kleine Scheidegg is the terminus station of the Wengernalp Railway and at the same time, the starting point for ride to Jungfraujoch on the famous Jungfrau Railway. After a break at Kleine Scheidegg, we board the train for the fantastic train ride that takes us to Jungfraujoch or 'Top of Europe', the highest railway station in Europe at 3454 m / 11,330 ft. and with views of the Aletsch glacier, the longest in the Alps glacier, also a UNESCO heritage site. All of this adds up to a truly memorable day.

NOTE: In the event of bad weather and poor visibility, we may choose to skip the Jungfraujoch train and spend more in and around Kleine Scheidegg or even in and around Grindelwald.

Hiking time approx. 1.5 hours.

Overnight in Grindewald.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Grindewald - Lucerne
This morning we take a panoramic train ride to Lucerne and then have a guided tour of this scenic town. The over 600 year old covered bridge in Lucerne is one of the most recognized symbols of Switzerland, which makes the city a major destination for travellers from all over the world. However, Lucerne and the region around Lake Lucerne are also the heart and soul of this country. It was in this region that in 1291 Switzerland was founded by the oath of the representatives of the first three cantons.

Lucerne is situated on both sides of the Reuss River where it exits Lake Lucerne. The old town is charming with narrow streets and buildings in many styles. Lucerne is particularly famous for its covered wooden bridges. The watertower on the restored Kapellbrucke is a well-known landmark. The intact Spreuerbrucke features painted scenes inside illustrating "The Dance of Death". A further landmark of the town is the Museggmauer, a wall which, with the exception only of one of its towers, has been preserved in its original, well-fortified state.

Overnight in Lucerne.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 11 Lucerne & Mt Rigi
A scenic boat ride on Lake Lucerne takes us to Vitznau where we board Europe's first-ever cog mountain railway up to Mount Rigi. Aware of the scenic location of Mt. Rigi, and driven by his pioneering spirit, 21 year old Swiss engineer Niklaus Riggenbach masterminded the construction of the Vitznau-Rigi Railway in the mid-19th century. In his own words, "I want to take everyone up into the mountains, so they can all enjoy the beauty of our glorious country". Riggenbach's invention, which would guide trains across steep climbs by means of cogwheels and toothed racks, was patented in France in 1863.

From the summit we enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view across the Alps, of 13 lakes and over the entire Swiss Mittelland through to Germany and France. After lunch, we hike along the mountain ridge with great panoramic view to Rigi Kaltbad. From here we take the cable car down to Weggis and then the boat back to Lucerne.

Hiking time approx. 2 hours

Overnight in Lucerne.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 12 Lucerne - Bern - Lucerne
A train ride from Lucerne takes us to Bern, Switzerland's capital city with a medieval town centre and a designated a World Heritage Site, dating back to 1191. Bern is the birthplace of Einstein's relativity theory, cradle of Toblerone chocolate and home to the largest Paul Klee collection in the world. The 'old town' is framed by the Aare River and offers spectacular views of the Alps. Not many cities have managed to retain their historic features as successfully as Bern, and the town, with over 6 kms of arcades, (the locals refer to them as 'Lauben'), has one of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe. The elevated Rose Garden above the Bear Pits and the platform of the 101 m high cathedral tower offer the best views of the old town round to the River Aare and beyond. The boutiques, bars and cabaret stages of the old town, many of which are located underground in vaulted cellars, and the small street cafes, attract locals as well as visitors.

A walking tour in Bern will allow us to see some of the town squares and rows of limestone buildings, medieval arcades, the Renaissance period fountains topped with colourful figures, and the beautiful Cathedral surrounded by picturesque rooftops. Bern is truly a gem of medieval architecture.

We travel back to Lucerne by train.

Overnight in Lucerne.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 13 Lucerne - Zurich - Departure
We travel by train (one hour) back to Zurich and the airport to connect with homeward flights.

PLEASE NOTE: Land only passengers must take into account today's train journey when booking flights from Zurich. Trains begin running at 5 am and can take you right to Zurich Airport. Your Tour Leader can assist all passengers in organizing airport transfers at the appropriate time; this ticket is included in the tour price for all participants. Conservatively your departure time from Zurich should be no earlier than 10 am.

BON VOYAGE!

Meal plan: breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Montana

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Zurich
Country: Switzerland

The Best Western Hotel Montana is located 300 metres from the Zurich main station and close to the Sihl River.
... offers stylish rooms, fine French cuisine and free Wi-Fi.
All rooms are equipped with a satellite TV, a minibar and a safe. All sights and attractions of Zurich can be easily reached on foot or by public transport.



Read More.

Leoneck Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Zurich
Country: Switzerland

The hotel will surprise you wiht cheerful decorations of different contemporary Zurich artist. 80 rooms with free internet connection.
... /> Leoneck is located in the heart of Zurich, a short walk from the station, shops, banks, university and hospitals. Direct tram connection from/to airport, fair ground, main railway station.

We welcome tourists and business travellers. Air conditioned rooms on request.

Read More.

Hotel Hauser

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: St. Moritz
Country: Switzerland

"In the heart of St. Moritz, our restaurant offers an excellent range of specialties such as homemade sweets and the
... patisserie from our own confectionery. We are eager to create a relaxed atmosphere for our guests at all times and to ensure that their stay is a comfortable one. Our hotel is a friendly place, where we aim to fulfill even the smallest needs of our guests in our own unique way."



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Hotel Piz

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: St. Moritz
Country: Switzerland

St. Moritz has many faces. Great slopes, a vast web of hiking trails, high end fashion boutiques, unique events such
... White Turf and the famous Engadin hospitality welcome all sports enthusiasts, jet setters and people in search of peace and quiet alike. The Hotel Piz St. Moritz is situated in the middle of this sophisticated village.

The clear architectonic statement of the building is pleasingly taken up in its interior design. The alpine chic of the atmospheric lounge warmly welcomes the guests and the clear and serene design of the generous rooms emanates a contemporary warmness. They offer every modern convenience and entice relaxation.

The hub of the house is the restaurant with pizzeria where the skilfully incorporated Swiss stone pine wood radiates invitingly, not only in the urban chic part but also in the more rustic part of the venue. The restaurant offers excellent value for money and its menu stretches from local specialities to tried classics and pizzas. 



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Hotel Hemizeus

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Zermatt
Country: Switzerland

The Aparthotel Hemizeus *** is located in the southern and quiet part of Zermatt and offers a stunning view onto
... Matterhorn.

In the mornings you can ski directly from the hotel to the cable car station of the Matterhorn Express lift and to the bus stop if there will be enough snow in the winter. After skiing you will reach our hotel by ski directly from the intermediate station Furri to Zermatt.

In the summer you will see our hotel surrounded by nature and fresh mountain air, that is an ideal for rest and relaxation! The first trails of Zermatt can be reached quickly and easily. You will reach the village center of Zermatt only in a twenty minutes.

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Hotel Jagerhof

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Zermatt
Country: Switzerland

The Hotel Jägerhof is situated just outside the village centre of Zermatt and most of the rooms offer a fantastic
... of the Matterhorn. The village centre is easily reached from the hotel on foot. It is also only a five minute walk to the Kleinmatterhorn cable-car station.

Read More.

Hotel Gletschergarten

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Grindelwald
Country: Switzerland

Grindelwald, the jewel of the Bernese Oberland, the stronghold of mountain pleasures.

The "glacier village" combines beauty, peace and
... of the particular. This is the place where everybody can recharge their batteries. In Grindelwald you can relax actively as well as passively.

Romance still exists
Time passes, but that does not bother the Hotel Gletschergarten. It
has its own nature, its own being.

The Family Michel dedicate all their time to the more than a hundred years old house combining alpine Tradition with a comfortable stay and modern amenities: Finally, a hundred summers and winters are the best age for an old country house.

Our objective is to personally cater to the Needs of our guests and to provide a unforgettable stay in probably the most beautiful valley of the world.

Read More.

Hotel de la Paix

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Lucerne
Country: Switzerland

The Hotel De La Paix city hotel with its trademark family atmosphere is to be found where the old city
... awaits, inviting you to stroll around and take in the historical sights as you travel back in time; where the lake beckons with lovely walks along the lakeshore promenade so you can take in the stunning mountain scenery. From our hotel lobby it’s only a few yards to all the attractions which Lucerne, the City of Lights, has to offer. And any one of our 39 friendly and comfortable rooms is ideal for relaxing and unwinding. We’re here to look after your well-being, and do so with personal care and attention. At Restaurant Lapin we serve market-fresh choice specialities from the region itself and from throughout Switzerland.
Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

All accommodation and transport, two meals daily (hotels & local restaurants). You will purchase your lunches from refuges, villages, or in small cafes. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for driver/s, restaurant staff, porters (if available). Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuities, one meal a day (usually lunch), drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, packing and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in early summer when temperatures are warm, though rain, mist, showers can still occur any time. Summer's long daylight hours maximize exploration; our fall date will feature cooler temperatures but less chance of rain.

Transport and Travel Conditions

We will use several forms of transport on this trip - from private bus, local bus, cable car, and various trains.

All trip members should have good hiking experience, but there is no technical climbing experience necessary. Most hiking is at altitudes between 1800 and 2500m (6,000 and 8,000 ft). Our day hikes return to our hotel at the end of the day; there is no need to carry / transport our large luggage.

Day hikes range from one to four hours. All participants must be in good physical condition. All participants must submit a medical questionnaire signed by their doctor.

Accommodation

Well-located mid-range, 3-star hotels / inns throughout. Hotels are modern and comfortable; single rooms may be smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Local Swiss Tour Leader, driver/s.

Group Size

10-16 plus Tour Leader