Small group guided tour with guaranteed departures, max size 14 people
Make it private! Your companions, your dates, your tour - we do the rest.
When tourists first started coming to the Alps in the 1700 and 1800’s, their travels, known as “The Grand Tour”, were always first class and included stops in Europe’s most well-known destinations. We’ve recreated that here… the best hotels in the best mountain villages in the Swiss Alps. Stay in distinctive, luxurious hotels like the 5-star Riffelalp Resort in Zermatt and acclaimed 5-star Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina. Travel by 1st class rail along the Glacier Express.
Your tour starts in Mürren, a gorgeous car-free village perched dramatically atop a cliff in the Bernese Oberland. Continue to Zermatt, a hiker’s paradise, nestled beneath the incomparable Matterhorn. Ride the Glacier Express train on a scenic cross-country journey to Pontresina, the serene jewel of the St. Moritz lakes region. If you want to do the Swiss Alps in style, you want this tour.
Mürren – The Grand Tour starts with arrival in Zürich and a train ride to Mürren, our home away from home in Switzerland. The trip takes just over 3 hours. Mürren is an idyllic, car-free village, perched atop a sheer 3000-foot cliff above the waterfall-filled Lauterbrunnen Valley. Picture Yosemite with a Swiss village on top, and you have the idea.
Take some time to explore the village and enjoy the views and fresh air before settling in to your elegant 4-star Hotel Eiger. The Eiger is warmly run by the Stahli family and is a welcoming home base. They are constantly updating rooms and spa, and enjoy views of the mountains that are second to none. You’ll be on your own for dinner tonight.
Mürren – One of our favorite hikes starts in town, and gently meanders up the hills to the pastoral fields and alp barns at Spielboden. You cross the Schiltbach stream and start a steep and invigorating ascent to the local peak of Bryndli, where you can take your lunch enjoying birds-eye views of Mürren and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, perhaps with a soaring golden eagle for company.
From Bryndli the trail levels off, and becomes a relaxing stroll through flowery meadows to a quiet Rotstock hut. Stop for a drink or lunch and gaze up into the mountains to see the Schilthorn high above you. The trail back leads over a small ridge for more great views, before dropping back down to Mürren. Dinner is included at your hotel tonight.
Mürren – The Upper Lauterbrunnen Valley curls back beneath the white-capped Breithorn – considered by many to be the most perfect mountain in the region.
It’s also a nature preserve, and contains many wonderful hiking trails. One of our favorites takes you to the small farm at Obersteinberg, where the proprietors keep cows and make cheese by the same simple methods that have been used for centuries. This part of the valley also contains some of the area’s prettiest waterfalls. Enjoy dinner at your hotel again tonight.
Zermatt – Take the train in the morning, 3.5 hrs to Zermatt, the car-free mountain village at the base of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and many other 4000 meter peaks. Once in Zermatt, you’ll have time to check out the village or perhaps going on a hike near town.
The lurious Riffelalp Resort sits in a commanding spot on a ridge above town, with an historic cogwheel train leading right to it. Take the train up to the resort, and give yourself some time to enjoy the spa and wonderful views of the Matterhorn. Dinner is not included, but the Riffelalp has a couple wonderful restaurant to choose from.
Zermatt – Taking quiet trails through alpine meadows, you have a range of choices up to the wide ridge of Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe.
The jumbled mass of the Gorner Glacier stretches out below, and behind that, Monte Rosa, Lyskamm, the Breithorn, and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop. Return to the Riffelalp in the afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight, the Riffelalp has a number of ala carte options, or you may choose to spend the evening in Zermatt and return by cogwheel train after dinner.
Pontresina – After breakfast, you’ll say good-bye to the Matterhorn and board the famous Glacier Express train for Pontresina, a mellow and pretty resort town on the eastern edge of Switzerland.
Our home in Pontresina is the friendly and classy 5-star Hotel Kronenhof, with a great pool and spa and wonderful food. The Glacier Express takes the full day, so you will arrive in the evening. Enjoy a short walk through the village or relax at the pool and extensive hotel spa. We’ll include lunch on the Glacier Express, and dinner will be on your own in Pontresina tonight.
Pontresina – From Pontresina, one of our favorite hikes anywhere is the panoramic Muragl traverse above Pontresina.
Ascending through a quiet back valley, you’ll hike up to the gorgeous views from Segantini hut. Traversing from here, pass small alpine lakes on a scenic descent back to Pontresina. Boasting quiet wooded stretches, abundant wildlife, and surprising views of the giant Piz Bernina and the paternoster lakes of St. Moritz, this hike provides a wonderful farewell to the Engadine region. Return to the hotel for a final gourmet dinner.
depart – After breakfast at our hotel, say good-bye to the Engadine region and depart for your post-trip destinations.
On this village-based self-guided tour, discover Murren and Zermatt – arguably the two best hiking destinations in Switzerland…Learn more ›
This tour covers the most scenic sections of the Bernese Oberland in style, with luxurious hotels and 1st class service.Learn more ›