From the soaring Swiss Alps to gorgeous lakes, thriving cities to timeless villages, Switzerland is one great surprise after the next. Our 13-day Swiss Sampler tour is the best way to fully explore this amazing country! No busses and no hassles… just great train rides, fantastic destinations, charming hotels, and the best sights the Alps have to offer. This tour combines stays in 3 of Switzerland’s prettiest and most interesting cities – Lucerne, Lugano and Montreux – along with visits to 3 of the most incredible mountain areas anywhere – the Matterhorn region (Zermatt) and Jungfrau region (Mürren), and the Engadine (St. Moritz). You’ll travel every 2nd day, a sensible pace that gives you enough time to soak in the sights at each stop.
Our deluxe option pampers you with distinctive inns, 4-star hotels and a 1st class rail pass (5-star hotels and suite upgrades are also available), while the standard option includes more modest inns, 3-star hotels, and a 2nd class rail pass. 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 time in Switzerland. All of the tours include breakfast each morning, and 6 dinners, in Mürren, Zermatt and St Moritz.
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. 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 such as the Goldenpass route, Chocolate train (optional), Glacier Express and Bernina Express – all wonderful train rides that link the German, French and Italian sections together in an itinerary that gets the most out of your time in the Swiss Alps.
Lucerne - Arrive in Zurich and travel one hour to Lucerne, perhaps Switzerland’s prettiest city, where your tour will begin. The seamless connections between the Zurich airport and the Swiss train system will be your introduction to Swiss precision.
Lucerne - A second day in Lucerne gives you a chance to further explore, and there are many options.
Murren - Maybe you’ll get a chance to visit the Lucerne farmer’s market (held continuously by the river for over 800 years!), before catching the Goldenpass train on a beautiful 4 hour trip to the Bernese Oberland’s Jungfrau region, perhaps the most impressive region in the Swiss Alps, where you’ll stay in the car-free village of Mürren.
Murren - A second day in Mürren gives you a chance to fully appreciate this incredible region, my favorite in Switzerland. The area is surrounded by hiking trails, and has many cable cars and trains to viewpoints that are all stunning and worthwhile.
Montreux - Continue the Goldenpass route with a train ride through the pastoral Simmen valley to Montreux, your base on the shores of lovely lake Geneva.
Montreux - Among your many options for your second day in Montreux are a daytrip on the Chocolate train – a classic Pullman train that takes you on a ride through the gentle hills of the Gruyeres region to tours of both a chocolate factory and cheese dairy.
Zermatt - Today it’s back to the Alps with a visit to another of Switzerland’s prettiest mountain regions. A morning transfer by train through the Rhone valley brings you to Zermatt, the atmospheric mountain village nestled up at the foot of the Matterhorn.
Zermatt - You’ll have a second day in Zermatt to take in the sights, and again, there are no shortage of options.
St. Moritz – Ride the famous Glacier Express train, a comfortable and scenic 8 hr journey across the Swiss Alps to St Moritz in the Engadine region. The ride features numerous thrilling tunnels and bridges, and is comfortable and relaxing throughout.
St. Moritz – A second day in St Moritz gives you a chance to explore this beautiful and peaceful region, home to a number of pretty lakes, huge mountains, beautiful villages, as well as Switzerland’s only National Park.
Lugano - The Bernina Express route is one of Switzerland’s prettiest rides and brings you by train to Italy, then by bus along the shores of lake Como to Lugano, Switzerland’s sun-drenched, lakeside pearl.
Lugano - The options for our 2nd day in Lugano include boat rides along the lake, walks from nearby fishing villages, or a more adventurous journey to the valleys above Locarno.
depart – Arrivederci, and depart by direct train to Zurich or other post-tour destinations.