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
Theme
Explorer
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 itself 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 have the option to hike the trails in the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau region.

  • You will take part in a 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. Swiss trains are a fast (and punctual) 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.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it! Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip. Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

Itinerary

Welcome to Switzerland, the land of the neutral that you'll only feel positive about. There is much to see and do in Zurich, so we recommend you book some additional nights prior to the trip's start. This afternoon meet your group at 5pm for an important welcome meeting. Afterwards take an evening orientation walk with your leader around Zurich to take in the river and lake front by night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zurich - Old Botanical Garden - Free
  • Zurich - Swiss National Museum - CHF10
  • Zurich - Beyer Clock & Watch Museum - CHF10
  • Zurich - Cruise on Lake Zurich - CHF43
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.
Spend a free morning in Zurich, then head towards St Gallen, arriving around lunch for a chance to taste a renowned St Gallen sausage. In the afternoon, you'll visit the famous Abbey of St Gall and its incredible library. The entire abbey precinct was declared a World Heritage-listed Site in 1983, and the Abbey Library hosts a collection of medieval texts and important documents dating back to the eighth century. What you do with your evening is up to you – a trip to the surroundings hills for a view of entire city is not a bad idea at all!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • St Gallen - Abbey of St Gall & Library
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that our accommodation in St Gallen does not offer ensuite facilities. Bathrooms are shared among guests 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 its proximity 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 the 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)
Optional Activities
  • Lucerne - Spreuer Bridge - Free
  • Lucerne - Church of St Leodegar - Free
  • Lucerne - Swiss Museum of Transport - CHF56
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that our accommodation in Lucerne does not offer ensuite facilities. Bathrooms are shared among guests 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
  • Lucerne - Boat Cruise & Mt Pilatus Golden Circle Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
On today's excursion you will take a steep cogwheel railway up Mt Pilatus. There will be some exposure on the sides, so a good head for heights will help. The views are unparalleled.
Today, travel to Interlaken 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
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Interlaken - Jungfraujoch (The Top of Europe) - CHF105
  • Interlaken - Schilthorn Mountain - CHF86
  • Interlaken - Trummelbach Falls - CHF11
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 travelling from Lucerne this morning, please book your tickets leaving Interlaken Ost railway station 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.
Enjoy another free day in and around Interlaken. A boat cruise on one the two lakes on either side of Interlaken (hence the town's name) is a great way to take in the mountainous panorama. In the late afternoon catch another train to Bulle, located in La Gruyere district. Bulle 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. Tonight it's your choice – you might want to stroll the quaint streets of Bulle and sample some cheese.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today head out of town to visit La Gruyere cheese factory to learn more about this world-famous cheese and how it is produced. Then its time for another iconic Swiss product. 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 head down head down to Lake Gruyere for some fresh air and some happy snaps with the mountainous backdrop. Or return to Bulle for a stroll around town and to continue tasting the local cheese.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gruyeres - Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory
  • Gruyeres - Maison de Gruyere Fromagerie Cheese Factory
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Bern – Switzerland's capital and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. After checking into 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 at the start of the 20th century, check out the 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
  • Bern - E-Bike Tour
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! 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)
Optional Activities
  • Bern - Rose Garden - Free
  • Bern - History and Einstein Museum - CHF18
  • Bern - Minster (Cathedral) - Free
  • Bern - Museum of Fine Arts - CHF10
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).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that Bern doesn't have an international airport. Your best bets are Zurich, Basel and Geneva International Airports, all of which are under 2 hours by train. We do not offer any departure transfers on this trip as public transport is very efficient and the cost for private transfers would have been excessive.

Meals

9 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Public bus, Boat, Cable Car, cog railway, e-bike

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights), Hostel (1 night)

Included activities

  • St Gallen - Abbey of St Gall & Library
  • Lucerne - Boat Cruise & Mt Pilatus Golden Circle Tour
  • Gruyeres - Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory
  • Gruyeres - Maison de Gruyere Fromagerie Cheese Factory
  • Bern - E-Bike Tour

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.

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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