Best of Switzerland

Best of Switzerland

1,748 Views
8 Days From

$3705

$3603

Best of Switzerland

8 Days Starting in Zurich and ending in Bern

Visiting: Zurich, Lucerne, Lucerne / Mt Pilatus, Jungfrau region, Bulle, Bern

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

AMSS

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

From: $3705 $3603 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$102

NB: Prices correct on 18-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

An eight-day jaunt through the countryside and cuisine of Switzerland is 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, travel in comfort by train to lakeside Lucerne, the stunning Swiss Alps and cheese-obsessed and chocolate-stuffed Bulle before finishing in the nation's quaint capital, Bern. Here, the outdoors has never looked so good and the chocolate has never tasted so smooth, so it’s time to sample it all yourself.

Highlights

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

  • Your local group leader will provide expert advice on how 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 via the steepiest 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 capital cities in the world.

  • Choose your own adventure with two free days in the Jungfrau Region of the Swiss Alps. You can take these days as relaxed or as thrill-seeking as you want from your hotel homebase surrounded by mountain views.

  • Find out why the Swiss are known around the world for their cheese and chocolate, with opportunities to sample both in La Gruyere region.

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

  • Take in the breathtaking alpine views from the summit of Mt Pilatus with your small group, reached via 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 one of the most beautiful and laidback capital cities in the world.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Zurich

Location: Zurich

Accommodation: Hotel

Welcome to Switzerland! There's 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 5 pm in the hotel lobby for an important welcome meeting. Afterwards, take an evening orientation walk with your leader around Zurich to take in the river and lakefront by night.

Day 2: Lucerne

Location: Lucerne

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, get a taste of the world-renowned Swiss rail system – efficient and punctual – as you head to Lucerne, a small city known for its mountainous backdrop on the pristine 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. On a walking tour with your leader, take a walk past 15th-century frescoed houses and across covered 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.

Optional Activities:
-Lucerne - Spreuer Bridge - Free
-Lucerne - Church of St Leodegar - Free
-Lucerne - Swiss Museum of Transport

Day 3: Lucerne / Mt Pilatus

Location: Lucerne / Mt Pilatus

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

It's tour time! Hop on the Golden Pilatus tour – a roundtrip journey across Lake Lucerne to the summit of Mt Pilatus and back to town via boat, rail and gondola. From the shores of the Reuss river in Lucerne, hop on a steamboat ride along the lake to Alpnachstad, where you'll board the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, which takes you to the summit of Mt Pilatus at 2132 metres. Walk up to the various viewpoints or just park yourself on the panoramic viewing platform and enjoy some lunch (and perhaps even a yodelling or alphorn demonstration if you're lucky). From here, travel down the other side of the mountain via gondola. Opt to walk back to the city centre or hop aboard a public bus for an evening at your leisure.

Included Activities:
-Lucerne - Boat Cruise & Mt Pilatus Golden Circle Tour

Day 4-5: Jungfrau Region

Location: Jungfrau region

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, travel to the Jungfrau Region of the Swiss Alps and enjoy a couple of free days in this picturesque mountain paradise. From your homebase in the valley village of Lauterbrunnen, you've got a tonne of optional activities to choose from. With trains and cable car routes throughout the valley, it's quite easy to access viewpoints and hikes of all levels from the valley floor to mountain peaks. You could also visit Trummelbach Falls – Europe's largest subterranean waterfalls whose powerful glacier waters have carved a slot canyon through the mountainside. You might also opt to ride the rails from Lauterbrunnen through the villages of Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg to board the train to Jungfrauroch, aka the Top of Europe, home to the highest railway station in Europe at nearly 3500 metres. Interlaken and Grindelwald are easy day trips, too. Happy exploring!

Optional Activities:
-Interlaken - Jungfraujoch (The Top of Europe)
-Interlaken - Schilthorn Mountain
-Interlaken - Trummelbach Falls
-Jungfrau region self-guided hike - Free

Day 6: Bulle

Location: Bulle

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, catch another train to Bulle, located in La Gruyere district. Enjoy some time in this French-speaking town with an orientation walk followed by a cheese-infused picnic featuring local delicacies selected by your leader. Then, visit local chocolate shops to sample the wares. You'll have some free time later in the afternoon to wander down to Lake Gruyere to have a swim or find somewhere cosy to chill.

Included Activities:
-Picnic style cheese tasting
-Chocolate tasting leader led

Day 7: Bern

Location: Bern

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

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 follow your leader on an orientation walking tour. Head to the Old Town, explore the area where Einstein lived and developed his Theory of Relativity at the start of the 20th century and stop to check out Parliament House. Visit the famous Zytglogge - Bern Clock. On a guided tour, examine the gears and apparatus of the old clock, which dates back to the 15th century, with many original parts still in operation. Watch the perfectly timed figurines closely and don't miss out on the panoramic view of Bern from the top. 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 worldwide cuisine, Bern is a great place for dining.

Included Activities:
-Bern - Leader-led orientation walk
-Bern - Zytglogge (Clock tower) tour

Optional Activities:
-Bern - Rose Garden - Free
-Bern - History and Einstein Museum
-Bern - Minster (Cathedral) - Free
-Bern - Museum of Fine Arts

Day 8: Bern

Location: Bern

Meals Included: breaksfast

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).

What's Included

  • Bern - E-Bike Tour

  • St Gallen - Abbey of St Gall & Library

  • Lucerne - Boat Cruise & Mt Pilatus Golden Circle Tour

  • Gruyeres - Maison de Gruyere Fromagerie Cheese Factory

  • Gruyeres - Maison Cailler Chocolate Factory

  • Meals

    9 breakfasts

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (8 nights), Hostel (1 night)

  • Transport

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

  • Picnic style cheese tasting

  • Chocolate tasting leader led

show more

What's Not Included

  • International Travel

  • Tipping and Gratuities

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

Transport

  • TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
  • Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
  • SWISS TRAINS
  • On this trip you will be predominantly travelling by train. Swiss trains are most likely the best in Europe, clean, comfortable, and, you guessed it, punctual. Some of them will have restaurant carriages, but all of them have toilets. You will also be able to charge your phone or camera on the train as well (as long as you have the right adapter with you). And what is guaranteed, are the best views you can ever imagine.

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
  • OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
  • TWIN SHARE BASIS
  • Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
  • CHECK-IN TIME
  • Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
  • PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
  • If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
  • FACILITIES
  • Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is bookable on this trip. Availability is limited due to small properties we use. Please speak to your agent for further information.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    No

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are international flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • 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, Monch and Jungfrau region.

    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. You may need to make exchanges in between to reach your destination. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train and storage space for luggage on trains can be quite limited, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section.

    Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

    On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg / 33lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

Reviews of this operator

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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