Alps, Central and Eastern Europe

Alps, Central & Eastern Europe

Country Roads

Country Roads of Switzerland (Summer 2018)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: Switzerland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

An intimate journey of discovery amid stunning Alpine panoramas. This itinerary includes riding on the famous Glacier Express and staying in some of Switzerland's most enchanting hotels.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Lucerne.

    Welcome to Switzerland, a land of snow-capped summits and romantic lakes that has attracted poets, musicians and travellers for centuries. On arrival at Zürich airport, transfers leave for your hotel in Lucerne at 09:30 and 13:30. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 18:00 for drinks, followed by a pleasant Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

  3. Day 3

    Ascend the summit of Mount Stanserhorn.

    Step aboard a funicular railway and open-top cable car for a spectacular journey to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Admire unrivalled views of the surrounding mountains and, on a clear day see as far as Alsace in France and the Black Forest in Germany. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about working in this serene area filled with wildlife and natural beauty. Return to the beautiful 14th century city of Lucerne to see its storybook wooden bridges, Baroque church and sorrowful Lion Monument. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to walk along the lake or perhaps shop for a special timepiece or chocolate.

  4. Day 4

    Bern, Lake Geneva and Montreux.

    Join a local historian in Bern to see the Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace and floral displays. Gather at the clock tower to watch the mechanical procession of painted figures before viewing the Ogre Fountain. From Montreux, travel along the shores of Lake Geneva to visit Domaine Bovyand admire the stunning panorama overlooking the lake. Savour a tasting of these tantalising, local wines and delight in a delicious Farm-to-Table dinner.

  5. Day 5

    Gruyères & the Swiss Countryside.

    On the western bay of Lake Geneva, a Local Expert will show you the medieval Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, immortalised by Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon.' Keep a look out for where the writer is rumoured to have left his mark. Your travels continue as you ascend into the wide, green valleys of the Vaud Alps with snowy summits filling the horizon. Continue through vineyards and alpine meadows to the fortified town of Gruyères, that gives its name to the well-known cheese. Enjoy time on your own to explore the pretty main street and 13th century castle. return to Montreux where the rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own or relax as you wish at your quayside hotel.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Geneva and Scenic Lake Cruise Experience.

    Enjoy a morning at leisure before before following the shores of the lake to the international city of Geneva, seeing the Jet D’Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument. Next, relax in first-class comfort on the waters of Lake Geneva during a highlight cruise. Afterwards, enjoy time at leisure on the promenades of your lakeside resort.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Martigny, Sion and the Matterhorn Village of Zermatt.

    (Relaxed Start) Journey into the upper Rhône Valley to Martigny to view the Roman Amphitheatre. Continue to the town of Sion, dominated by two rocky peaks, each crowned with episcopal fortresses, and see the cathedral and Old Town Hall. Complete your journey via cogwheel train to the traffic-free mountain resort of Zermatt. This evening, take your pick from a selection a local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. Perhaps you will delight in the typical Swiss dining experience of fondue?

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Zermatt at Leisure.

    (Relaxed Start) Zermatt in summertime is a Shangri-La of leisure-time possibilities. Spend the day relaxing in the clean dry mountain air or shop for luxury goods along the famous Bahnhofstrasse or alleyways. Perhaps take a trip to the Kleiner Matterhorn, see the Matterhorn from the church bridge, take a short hike or sample the delicious cakes known as Kuchen?

  9. Day 9

    The Italian Lake District to Baveno.

    Descend to Täsch for a scenic drive through Brig where you'll commence your ascent of the Simplon Pass, taking in magnificent views over the Alps from the 2,000-metre summit. Cut through northern Italy, stopping along the shores of Lake Maggiore. This afternoon is at your leisure to perhaps join an excursion to the stunning Isola Bella?

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    The Glamour and Glitz of St. Moritz.

    Journey along the shores of Lake Maggiore, and head north to the three castles at Bellinzona to meet your Local Expert, Julia Guidotti, for a fascinating insight into this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally from the midwest of the USA, Julia was married in Ticino - the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland of which Bellinzona is the capital. Having lived in the area for many years, Julia is passionate about this city and is always keen to share her knowledge and delighted to assist with any questions you have about the region. Your travels continue through the Grison Region, travelling via San Bernardino and the town of Tiefencastel, as you follow the young Rhine River through Heidi Country. Head east towards the Julier Pass and the glamorous resort of St. Moritz, set in the Engadine Valley with the majestic Grisons Alps towering above.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Leisure Time in St. Moritz.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at leisure to jostle with the jet-set in the elegant boutiques or take an exciting train journey over the Bernina pass. To help you make the most of your day, your Travel Director will provide you with a mountain railways pass, offering free travel on all cable cars, funiculars and chairlifts (when available) in Engadine St. Moritz.

  12. Day 12

    The Glacier Express and on to Grindelwald.

    Step aboard the Glacier Express to experience one of the world’s great railway journeys. Cross the Landwasser Viaduct before heading down through the Oberalp Valley to rejoin the coach at Andermatt. Drive through the dramatic Schöllenen Gorge passing the Devil's Bridge. Marvel at the Wetterhorn Peaks as you travel along the Grindelwald Valley. Follow the sparkling Lütschine River to Lauterbrunnen, at the head of the Valley of Waterfalls, and see the Staubbach Falls plunge 300 metres from the plateau above.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Grindelwald at Leisure.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore Grindelwald further. Perhaps take a cogwheel train ride to the summit of the Jungfrau mountain?

  14. Day 14

    Rural Switzerland to Zürich.

    Take in the spectacular lake views, as you journey to Brienz, famous for its woodcarving traditions. Visit the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre to trace the history of the trade back to the early days of the 19th century. Continue over the Brünig Pass and drive alongside the lakes of Lungern and Sarnen to return to Zürich. See the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster on an orientation of the city with your Travel Director. Join your travel companions at a local restaurant. Your Celebration Dinner is accompanied with wine - raise your glass to toast your adventures.

  15. Day 15

    Depart Zürich.

    Your stylish hotel is conveniently located only a short walk to the airport terminal.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife.
  • Bern: Your exploration with a local historian through Switzerland's capital includes seeing the floral displays, Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace, clock tower and Ogre Fountain.
  • Lake Geneva: Led by your Local Expert, visit Chillon Castle, set on a rocky islet in the lake. Following his walk through the dungeons in 1816, Lord Byron wrote the poem 'The Prisoner of Chillon'. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar.
  • Bellinzona: Julia Guidotti is your Local Expert as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the capital of Italian Switzerland. Having married and now living in the region, Julia is very passionate to share her story and why she loves the area.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • St. Moritz: If you think there’s no such thing as a free ride, you’re wrong! With your inclusive pass, travel on 13 cable cars, funiculars, chairlifts and select public transport options (when available). The crisp Alpine air is included in the deal.
  • Glacier Express: Travel on-board the world-famous Glacier Express, journeying through looping tunnels and dizzying viaducts. Enjoy a glorious adventure in the scenic heart of the Swiss Alps, only possible by rail.
  • Brienz:
    Learn the history of woodcarving at the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre.
  • Swiss Countryside: Travel along valley floors covered with rich meadowland, to the pretty town of Gruyères.
  • Lake Geneva: Enjoy first-class seats as you cruise on the serene waters of the King of Lakes, inspiration to the early Romantic movement.
  • Zermatt: Step aboard the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway for a journey to the famous traffic-free Alpine resort.

SIGNATURE DINING

  • Lake Geneva: Visit Domaine Bovy, a family-run winery overlooking Lake Geneva. After a tasting sit down to a delicious Farm-to-Table dinner, of course accompanied with these local wines.
  • Zermatt: Choose between fine local restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening and enjoy an intimate culinary experience.
  • Zürich: Raise your glass and enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant for your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

ADDITIONAL 5 STAR SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Carriages & Countryside

In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.

Adult Price: CHF 67.00

Code: LUC0001

Swiss Evening

There's nothing better than convening with friends around a pot of bubbling fondue with a glass of chilled white wine and having a good yodel! Join us for a tasty Swiss meal in a typical restaurant. While you dine, enjoy a lively folklore show of flag throwing, yodelling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.

Adult Price: CHF 99.00

Code: LUC0002

Lake Lucerne Cruise

A chance to take in the wonderful mountain scenery from a different perspective. Enjoy a leisurely lake cruise, for fine views of the town and it's surroundings. The serene beauty of Lake Lucerne on a summer's day is a joy to behold, made even more enjoyable by the encompassing snow-capped mountains, green pastures and dense forests.

Adult Price: CHF 40.00

Code: LUC0003

Secret Switzerland

Incredibly, Switzerland provides all its citizens protection in case of nuclear disaster or war. Go behind the scenes for a unique tour of one of the world's biggest civilian fallout shelters! Cold War secrets of the Swiss will be revealed by our expert guide.

Adult Price: CHF 46.00

Code: LUC0004

Lausanne Fondue Evening

First enjoy a drive along the Swiss Riviera as we travel past the Olympic city of Lausanne. Then, enjoy a three-course meal of classic Swiss meat fondue, served in an historic restaurant with local wines.

Adult Price: CHF 97.00

Code: MON0001

Charlie Chaplin's World

Tread in the footsteps of the “Little Tramp” at the genius’s former mansion, perched breathtakingly amongst the vineyards over Lac Leman. All our senses are indulged as we take a journey through replica sets of his greatest films at the Hollywood-style studio. Then, we'll spend time in his family home and round it off with a peaceful walk in the glorious gardens.

Adult Price: CHF 59.00

Code: MON0007

Klein Matterhorn Excursion

A unique electric taxi service will drive us to the foot of Zermatt's highest and most spectacular mountain experience. Enjoy stunning views as we ascend to Furi and Trockener steg before boarding Europe's highest cable car to arrive on the snow-capped top of the world at 3883 m (12,740 ft). A magnificent panorama of the highest peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France will make this an unforgettable experience - one not to be missed.

Adult Price: CHF 119.00

Code: ZER0001

Lake Maggiore Experience

A short hop on our private motor launch brings us to the world-renowned hanging gardens of Isola Bella, where white peacocks preen. In the Borromean Palace, our local expert reveals the grottoes and masterpieces lovingly nurtured by this wealthy Italian dynasty. Our island hopping continues to the quaint Fisherman’s Island where we are treated to a typically local Italian meal - Buon Appetito!

Adult Price: EUR 84.00

Code: ITA0007

Bernina - Express Excursion

Enjoy one of the most exciting train rides in Switzerland as you cross the Bernina Pass to the Alp Grum. Spectacular views of the Alpine peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, green valleys and mountain villages. We then descend to Poschiavo to reboard our touring coach.

Adult Price: CHF 53.00

Code: ST 0010

Jungfrau Excursion By Cog-Wheel

A once in a lifetime chance to travel to the Top of Europe. Our round trip cog railway trip will take us from Grindelwald through the world famous Eiger Mountain to Europe's highest railway station at 3454 m (11332 ft)! Enjoy spectacular views and explore the Ice Palace which is carved inside the biggest glacier in Europe!

Adult Price: CHF 185.00

Code: INT0001

Accommodation

 

Hotel Astoria Lucerne

Lucerne (Contemporary) - Switzerland

This hotel is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.

Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic Montreux

Montreux (Traditional) - Switzerland

Located in the heart of Montreux, the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic of boasts luxurious facilities and spectacular views of Lake Geneva.

Resort Hotel Alex or Schlosshotel Zermatt

Zermatt (Traditional) - Switzerland

Resort Hotel Alex: The Resort Hotel Alex offers a hospitality experience full of surprises, by cleverly combining modern and traditional elements.
Schlosshotel Zermatt: The Schlosshotel Zermatt offers sumptuous hotel rooms, quality service and a relaxed environment.

Hotel Simplon Baveno Italian Lakes

Baveno, Italian Lakes (Traditional) - Italy

Hotel Simplon is located mere minutes from the centre of Baveno which is nestled along the banks of Lake Maggiore. Its pink façade showcases the famous local marble, while the interiors provide a classic, luxurious feel. The hotel features a permanent art exhibition of famous paintings displayed along one of it's corridors.

Crystal Hotel or The Steffani St Moritz

St. Moritz (Traditional) - Switzerland

Crystal Hotel: The elegant Crystal Hotel is located close to shops in the town centre, where all the prestigious names, including Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are lined up together.

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald

Grindelwald (Traditional) - Switzerland

The stately Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof place you minutes away from the village center and offers a range of boutique facilities.

Radisson Blu Zurich Airport

Zurich (Contemporary) - Switzerland

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10959 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 19 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A tour of a lovely country and very well presented by your tour guide and our driver was excellent

    Service: From start to finish everything was very well done. Congratulations. Our tour director Daniele was excellent and his knowledge and communications was very good and I would recomment Insight Vacations to everyone. Our driver was excellent also

  • 19 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: had a great insight into Switzerland

    Service: a very high standard of organisation from the tour directory. Great hotels chosen

  • 18 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was perfect. By circling Switzerland and dipping down to Baveno, Italy we were able to sample much that Switzerland has to offer plus the bonus of a night on Lake Maggiore in Italy. There were many highlights: ascending the Matterhorn; seeing Isla Bella in Baveno Italy; playing in the snow on Jungfrau mountain; enjoying the beautiful scenery of Switzerland; riding on the Glacier Express. Every day held a new, exciting adventure.

    Service: Customer service provided in making tour and air reservations was excellent. We appreciated that when we had questions about any aspect of the tour arrangements, the Insight staff was just a phone call away and the staff was friendly, knowledgeable and very professional. Once on the tour, the scheduling of activities was well organized down to the last detail. The tour director was top notch and always made sure everything ran smoothly and on schedule. She handled everything so well that there were no issues or problems that arose. The driver was careful and made the bus time very comfortable.

  • 18 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We really liked the pace. Staying more than one night in each hotel allowed us to appreciate the towns at which we stayed.

    Service: Our Tour Director and Coach Driver were very kind and professional. They took great care that we would enjoy everything on our trip.

  • 17 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: would have liked to see more instead of the shopping stops

    Service: top ratings

  • 16 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was fabulous! Highlights of Switzerland at a good pace!

    Service: Great itinerary, great hotels and great tour guide and bus driver!

  • 16 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: relaxing trip and good driver and tour guide

    Service: I found Switzerland a really good trip,but too many shopping day and waste of time in the afternoons before heading to our hotels Richard tried to give us a few extra things to do to fill in time, which we all said thank you. I found hotels with showers in baths are very dangerous, as some were very high to get into with no rails to hold on to, as my husband and I are not young Thank you as this trip we enjoyed very much

  • 15 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very impressed with Switzerland

    Service: Great tour leader. Very helpful.

  • 15 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Sometimes given too much free time at non resident locations

    Service: Excellent

  • 15 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: See review shown above .....

    Service: Great itinerary. Great tour director. Well organized logistics. Beautiful country. Excellent hotels. Best of our 5 Insight tour so far.

  • 15 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: the intinerary, the hotels etc etc etc. Ebony our tour director was excellent.

    Service: I loved our tour to Switzerland. Loved our tour director Ebony. What a delight.

  • 13 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The visit to Domaine Bovy and admire the stunning panorama overlooking the lake Savour a tasting of these tantalising, local wines and delight in a delicious Farm-to-Table dinner. I believe I have the right dinner. It was very spare. There needs to be more food and wine. Some people were not happy with the food. Some people had heat exhaustion issues as they were sitting inside and in the sun.

    Service: The Tour Guide was great and very considerate.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
Destinations

Destinations

Learn more about each of the destinations we visit.

New search

Explore more trips

Need more inspiration? Search through hundreds of more dream vacations.