Get your nature (and cheese) fix – Swiss style.

A 10-day jaunt through the countryside and cuisine in Switzerland is just the ideal way to see (and taste) all things Swiss. This small nation packs a punch with its mountainous landscapes, glacial lakes, picturesque cities and food staples that are so tough to beat. Beginning in Zurich, head to historic St Gallen, lakeside Lucerne, adrenaline-filled Interlaken and cheese-obsessed Gruyeres before finishing in the nation's quaint capital, Bern. Here, the outdoors has never looked so good, and chocolate has never tasted so smooth, so it’s time to test it out yourself.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Zurich, Switzerland
Finish
Bern, Switzerland
Destination
Switzerland
Style
Original
Code
AMSS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Find out why the Swiss are known around the world for their cheese and chocolate, with visits to both a cheese and chocolate production factory in the Gruyere region.

  • Your local group leader will provide all the expert advice to make the most of your free time, as well as giving you orientation walks around each place so you can get your bearings.

  • Discover the Top of Europe in the Jungfrau region. With a free day to choose your own adventure, you can take the day as relaxed or as thrill-seeking as you want to explore this highland haven.

  • Take in the breathtaking alpine views from the summit of Pilatus Mountain with your small group, reached by the steepest cogwheel railway in the world.

  • With plenty of free time to explore at your own pace in Bern, you’ll discover why this city is considered as one of the most beautiful and laidback country capitals in the world.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Some of Switzerland’s best scenery is found on walks, which can be quite steep and long. While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to take part in all activities. During the trip, you can hike one of the trails in the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau region. There are a range of difficulties and a choice will be made according to the group abilities, but it’s important to have a basic level of fitness to fully enjoy this activity.

  • You will take part in cycling trip around Bern. It will be possible to choose an e-bike, but you must be able to keep your balance and be comfortable cycling in light traffic. Just to make it clear, Bern is most cycling-friendly city in the whole world, so do not worry too much.

  • Less time spent travelling; more time to explore each destination. The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Trains are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and all have toilets, however, can sometimes be quite busy. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section.

  • During the trip, you will take a round trip to Pilatus Mountains. Part of it will be taken by steep cogwheel with some exposure on the sides, and a good head for heights will help.

Itinerary

Welcome to Switzerland, the land of the neutral that you'll only feel positive about. Meet your group at 5 pm for an important welcome meeting, and afterwards, take an evening walk around Zurich, with the option to take part in a fondue tasting. If you haven’t tasted this delicious thing already, fondue is a Swiss dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot and enjoyed by dipping bread into the gooey goodness. Need we say more?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Travel by train to Lucerne – a small city known for its mountainous backdrop, located next to Lake Lucerne. The city is a popular destination for those visiting central Switzerland thanks to its access to many outdoor activities, its breathtaking natural beauty and historic architecture. Take a walk past 15th-century frescoed houses and quaint wooden bridges and climb to the top of the medieval towers along the city walls for spectacular views of this picturesque city and its surroundings. In the tiny streets of old town (Altstadt), there’s often a craft market and dozens of shops full of unique handmade goods. Perhaps you'd like to book in on a sunset canoeing tour – a fantastic way to see the town from a different perspective.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • St Gallen Library visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that tonight’s accommodation does not offer en suite facilities. There are couple of bathrooms shared between people occupying one floor.
Travel by train to Lucerne, a small city known for its mountainous backdrop, located next to Lake Lucerne. The city is a popular destination for those visiting Central Switzerland thanks to the access to many outdoor activities, its breathtaking natural beauty and historic, medieval architecture. Take a walk past 15th-century frescoed houses and impossibly quaint wooden bridges, and climb to the top of the medieval towers along the city walls for spectacular views of this picturesque city and its surroundings. In the tiny streets of old town (Altstadt), there’s often a craft market and dozens of shops full of unique handmade goods. Perhaps you'd like to jump on a sunset canoeing tour (at your cost), a fantastic way to see the town from a different perspective.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's accommodation does not offer en suite facilities. There are couple of bathrooms shared between people occupying one floor.
It's tour time! Hop on the Golden Pilatus tour – a trip taking you to the most spectacular spots on Mt Pilatus, including its summit, by boat, cogwheel railway, aerial cableway and gondola. The trip starts in Lucerne with a boat trip on the lake before heading to Alpnachstad, where you'll board the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, which takes you to the summit at 2132 metres. Buy yourself some lunch with a panoramic view of the alps, before descending via the aerial cableway and gondola. Return to Lucerne and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Naps, strolls along the lake, cheesy food and beer are always a good way to go.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mt Pilatus Golden Circle tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, travel to Jungfrau region and enjoy a free day in this picturesque mountain paradise. You might like to spend the day in Interlaken or catch a short train ride to Lauterbrunnen village and explore the stunning valley in which it's nestled. Or why not take a train ride up Jungfraujoch to what's known as the Top of Europe. If you're feeling fit and keen to get out there, there's also the option to tackle some of the trails around the monumental Eiger Mountain. There are plenty of trails to choose from flat and easy to certified heart-pumpers, just be sure to wear your good shoes and bring some wet-weather gear as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you would like to visit Jungfraujoch, the top of Europe, we advise you book your tickets in advance. As you will be traveling from Lucerne this morning, please book your tickets leaving Interlaken Ost no earlier than 12.35 pm. Please make sure you book return tickets. For more information and timetable, please visit sbb.ch/en. For more information, feel free to speak to your group leader earlier on in your trip.
Bulle, located in La Gruyere district, is the town of your medieval dreams and, yes, it’s the home of the cheese too. Lush green fields and mountain peaks stretch as far as the eye can see, dotted with dairy cows. Arrive in town and head off for a walk with your leader to get your bearings, then visit La Gruyere cheese factory to learn more about this world-famous cheese. This afternoon, why not visit the medieval town of Gruyeres, to find out why there is a Tibet museum in the castle and to visit the quirky Alien bar. Tonight, again, is your choice – you might want to stroll the quaint streets of Bulle and sample some more cheese.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Maison Cheese Factory visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Another day; another iconic Swiss product. Today you’re off to a chocolate factory! If you haven't heard, Swiss chocolate is the real deal and one of the most delicious of all the chocolates. Take a tour of a local chocolate producer and learn some of their secrets – with some samples, of course – before a free afternoon to relax. You could stroll around town, continue tasting the local cheese, or head down to Lake Gruyere for some even fresher air and some happy snaps with the mountainous backdrop.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Bern – Switzerland's capital and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. After checking in to your hotel, grab a quick lunch and head off for an included e-bike tour around town. Bern is a very cycle-friendly city, bike paths are widely available, and e-bikes are just too easy to ride even uphill. Cycle through the Old Town, explore the area where Einstein lived and developed his Theory of Relativity here at the start of the 20th century, check out famous Bern Clock and don’t forget to stop to check out Parliament House. In the evening, why not get some of your crew together to explore the food and drink scene in Bern – from typical Swiss dishes to world-wide cuisine, Bern is a great place for dining.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • E-Bike city tour Bern
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free for you to explore on your own. Exploring the Old Town further is not a bad idea, given there are several small craft breweries spread around. If you are looking to get out of the city, there are plenty of tours to choose from. The Emmental Valley is just around the corner and can be explored in a whole range of ways – walking tours, e-bike tours and even cheese tastings! In the evening, ask your leader to show you a secret rose garden spot, just minutes away from your hotel. Take a view at the beautiful panorama of the city and perhaps walk back down into town for some dinner and drinks – your group leader will know of some great places to go.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave any time after breakfast. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend more time in Bern, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). If you wish to take an onward connection, please note that Zurich International Airport is under 1.5 hours away by train, and offers a wide network of flight options.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts

Transport

Train, e-bike, Public bus

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights)

Included activities

  • St Gallen Library visit
  • Mt Pilatus Golden Circle tour
  • La Maison Cheese Factory visit
  • La Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory visit
  • E-Bike city tour Bern

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

ARRIVAL/ DEPARTURE TRANSFERS
You will soon realise how efficient public transportation is in Switzerland. Trains run from/to airports into the heart of the cities.  For this reason, a departure transfer is not offered on this trip, as its cost we redeemed excessive and not traveller friendly. 
An arrival transfer is still available to purchase from Zurich Airport to Hotel Montana if you prefer a soft landing. Please enquire with your sales agent at the time of booking.  

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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