If you only have time for a quick trip to Switzerland, and would like to see as much as possible while you’re there, our 8-day Best of Switzerland self-guided tour may be just the tour for you! We’ve put together what I think is the best week-long introduction for independent travel to Switzerland. It combines stays in two of Switzerland’s prettiest and most interesting cities – Lucerne and Zürich – along with visits to 2 of the most incredible mountain areas anywhere – the Matterhorn region (Zermatt) and Jungfrau region (your choice of Wengen or Mürren). It’s a good balance of seeing as much as you can, without feeling like your whole trip is spent on trains.
Your typical day will start with a buffet breakfast at your inn – delicious fresh baked bread, local cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice – giving you a good start for a full day of sightseeing. Then you’ll be out, seeing the sights such as Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge or Mount Pilatus, Switzerland’s highest train station – the Jungfraujoch, or breathtaking Gornergrat in Zermatt. Many days will include a scenic train ride between villages. In the mountains you’ll finish with a multi-course dinner at your hotel restaurant, while in the cities we’ve left evenings free for you to explore some of the many restaurants in Lucerne and Zurich.
Choose between a deluxe option with luxurious 4-star hotels and a 1st class railpass (5-star hotels and suite upgrades are also available), or our standard option with more modest inns, 3-star hotels, and a 2nd class railpass. As always, you can count on your hotels being the best in their class – charming, family run inns with perfect locations, great food, and professional service. We’ll take care of all the details: get you the most appropriate rail pass, find the best hotels, recommend our favorite sights, and link them together in an itinerary that gets the most out of your week in Switzerland!
Zermatt - Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to Zermatt, the atmospheric mountain village nestled up at the foot of the Matterhorn.
Zermatt – You have a second day in Zermatt to take in the sights. The historic cogwheel train ride of up the ridge at Gornergrat is a must, with gorgeous views of Monte Rosa (Switzerland’s highest mountain), the Gorner glacier, Matterhorn and more.
Wengen or Mürren - A beautiful 4 hour train ride brings you to the Bernese Oberland to the Jungfrau region, where you’ll stay in your choice of car-free villages, Wengen or Mürren.
Wengen or Mürren - A second day in either Wengen or Mürren gives you a chance to fully appreciate this incredible region, my favorite in Switzerland.
Lucerne – The scenic Goldenpass train route takes you through Interlaken, past beautiful glacial-fed lakes, and into Lucerne (called Luzern in German), Switzerland’s prettiest city.
Lucerne - A second day in Lucerne gives you a chance to further explore this beautiful city and region.
Zürich – Take the train back to Zurich, Switzerland’s main city with a surprisingly quaint and walkable city center.
depart – A 10-minute train ride from the city center brings you to the airport for your post-tour destination.