Country Roads of Switzerland

Alps, Central & Eastern Europe

Country Roads

Country Roads of Switzerland (Summer 2019)

Duration: 14 days Visiting: Switzerland, Italy

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • 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

    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.

  2. Day 2

    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.

  3. Day 3

    Bern, Gruyères 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. Your travels continue 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. 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 supper.

  4. Day 4

    Lake Geneva & 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 Lord Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon.' Keep a look out for where the writer is rumoured to have left his mark. 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.

  5. Day 5 - 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. This evening, enjoy time at leisure on the promenades of your lakeside resort.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Martigny, Sion and the Matterhorn Village of Zermatt.

    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?

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Zermatt at Leisure.

    Zermatt in summertime offers many leisure possibilities: try swimming, hiking or spend a whole day relaxing in the fresh alpine surrounds. Perhaps take a trip to the Kleiner Matterhorn, see the Matterhorn from the church bridge or sample the delicious cakes known as Kuchen?

  8. Day 8

    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. The afternoon is at your leisure. Perhaps join an excursion to the stunning Isola Bella?

  9. Day 9

    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 the landscapes made famous by the stories of Heidi. 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.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Leisure Time in St. Moritz.

    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 (when available), funiculars and chairlifts in Engadine St. Moritz.

  11. Day 11

    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.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Grindelwald at Leisure.

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

  13. Day 13

    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 to your adventures.

  14. Day 14

    Depart Zürich.

    Your stylish hotel is conveniently situated only a five-minute drive from the airport. Complimentary transfers to the airport, by hotel shuttle, depart every 15 minutes.

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.
  • 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

  • Zürich: Your Travel Director will show you the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster.
  • Lucerne: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the emotive Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge.
  • 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.
  • Gruyères : Travel along valley floors covered with rich meadowland, to the pretty town of Gruyères. Your Travel Director leads an orientation tour where you will see See the main street and 13th century castle.
  • Montreux: At the foot of the Alps this town boasts one of the most beautiful walks along Lake Geneva and there is free time to explore.
  • Chillon Castle: Led by your Local Expert, visit the 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.
  • Geneva: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the Jet d'Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument.
  • Lake Geneva: Enjoy first-class seats as you cruise on the serene waters of the King of Lakes, inspiration to the early Romantic movement.
  • Martigny: View the Roman Amphitheatre during your orientation.
  • Sion: Your Travel Director will show you the two fortress-churches, the cathedral and Old Town Hall.
  • Zermatt: Ride the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway up to the traffic-free Alpine resort. Should weather permit, you may even see the majestic peak of the Matterhorn.
  • Zermatt: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this picturesque village, high in the mountains.
  • Baveno: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the cobbled streets and 16th century square.
  • St. Moritz: During your orientation of this alpine resort see the spa quarter and glacial lake.
  • St. Moritz: If you think there’s no such thing as a free ride, you'd be mistaken! 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.
  • Lauterbrunnen: Enjoy your orientation of the village that takes its name from 'many fountains,' referring to the 72 waterfalls that are within the surrounding valley.
  • Staubbach Falls: In the Valley of the Waterfalls, witness these magnificent falls that plunge 300 metres.
  • Grindelwald: Explore this glacier village during an orientation led by your Travel Director.
  • Brienz:
    Learn the history of woodcarving at the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre.
  • Scenic Drives: Swiss countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy drives along Lake Geneva, passing the Vaud Alps and Rhône Valley. Continue through the Simplon Pass, Italian Lake District, Grison Region, San Bernardino, Julier Pass and Engadine Valley. Journey by the Schöllenen Gorge, Grindelwald Valley, through the Brünig Pass and pass Lakes Lungern and Sarnen.

AUTHENTIC DINING

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

STAY IN STYLE

  • Montreux: Located in the heart of Montreux, the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic of boasts luxurious facilities and spectacular views of Lake Geneva.
  • Zermatt: The unique Resort Hotel Alex is one of Switzerland's most original hotels, cleverly combining modern and traditional elements into a hospitality experience that’s full of fun and surprises.
  • St. Moritz: 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.
  • Grindelwald: The stately Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof place you minutes away from the village center and offers a range of boutique facilities.

INCLUDED INSIGHT 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 trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are 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 (Contemporary) - Switzerland

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

Resort Hotel Alex

ZERMATT (Traditional) - SWITZERLAND

Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Alex is surrounded by innumerable snow-topped mountains and offers spacious modern rooms.

Hotel Simplon

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.

Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof

Grindelwald (Traditional) - Switzerland

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

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
11450 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 05 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: as already given above .Would recommend to others. Really enjoyed it all.The areas, towns, cities, mountains visited ,The hotels were all good.The coach with extra leg room was great.

    Service: the tour director Danielo was excellent-- organized everything so well, so well informed on all areas of Switzerland, made sure every questions was answered, spoilt us with extra things,was humorous and looked after everyone so well.

  • 30 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: All iconic points of interest were icluded,

    Service: Largely due to an excellent tour director.

  • 22 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: The scenery in Switzerland is stunning and the Country Roads tour is just that mostly in country Switzerland with less time in the major cities. the time spent in the mountains were exhilarating.

    Service: We loved to relaxed pace of the tour, particularly in comparison to other faster paced tours. Our tour Director Rob was fantastic, very accommodating, well mannered, hard working and explained everything very well. The accommodation and food was very good.

  • 21 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Very full trip...saw a lot

    Service: Customer service good

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Country Roads of Switzerland had a very good itinerary.

    Service: Repeat customer who would recommend insight to others. (Would have given 5 stars BUT food could have been better.)

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Beautiful country and sights. A wonderful experience!

    Service: The trip was excellent. Our tour guide Daniele was fantastic. We had a river cruise planned immediately after our Switxerland tour. When it was cancelled 2 days before our Switzerland tour was going to end, Daniele found us an Insight tour of Eastern Europe that fit perfectly with our schedule and was able to work with Insight staff in London to get us on it. He was a great tour guide and went above and beyond to help us out of what could have been a very unpleasant experience.

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very comprehensive program. I especially want to recognize our tour director, Danielle Nannetti. He did an outstanding job! He also went above and beyond to help my husband and I when our river cruise was cancelled with Avalon. He helped us get booked on another Insight tour that started the same day that our Switzerland tour ended! We are eternally grateful.

    Service: Yes I would recommend insight

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very thorough and provided an excellent overview of the country. Scenery was spectacular, old towns were charming, lakes were beautiful, cities were stylish. Optional extras were varied in style and offered something for everyone. Tour director, Daniele was lovely - knowledgeable about each area, very helpful, very organised which made for a relaxing tour and offered special treats along the way. Accommodation was good - Montreux was definitely premium, most others were standard but charming in their own way. All included meals (except for one) were of a very high standard. Optional extras could add up price-wise but not necessary to do them all.

    Service: I had a number of questions before I was prepared to book and Juliet answered them patiently and promptly every time. The booking and payment process was very easy and the checklist was very handy to ensure I had everything organised as necessary. Changes to the accommodation were notified to me well before departure.

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Perfect tour director for an amazing tour.

    Service: We have the best tour director ever and he is very professional and full of sense of humor. I hope in my next vacation with Insight, we will get a tour director just like him. Cheers to Mr Daniele Nannetti.

  • 16 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent order of tour highlights. Just when you thought you'd seen the best of Switzerland something more amazing was just around the corner.

    Service: The Tour Director and driver worked well as a team and had the best interest of clients at all times.

  • 16 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Although I don't care for shopping and could cut some of that out I understand there are some who want it so all have to be catered for and I can go off for a walk and explore

    Service: A tour guide who knew what and where and was there for everyone no matter what people's interests. A coach driver who was friendly and knew where he was going and handled vehicle safely and well' We have already recommended this tour to other people.

  • 14 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The tour and the options!

    Service: Yes would recommend, great tour guide, hotels ,

*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.