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Self-guided Deluxe Grand Tour

Stay in deluxe, luxurious hotels, enjoy classic train rides, and hike three of the grandest mountain destinations in world.

Self-guided Deluxe Grand Tour

Stay in deluxe, luxurious hotels, enjoy classic train rides, and hike three of the grandest mountain destinations in world.

    Support
  • Self-Guided,
    Style
  • Village Retreats,
  • Scenic Journeys,
    Activity Level
  • Relaxed to Moderate,

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.

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 relax and do the Swiss Alps in style, you want this tour.  Live it up!

    Length
  • 8 days, 7 nights
    Departures
  • Jun 01 – Sep 30, 2023
    Cost
  • $5390 per person
  • $950 Single room

Days 1-3

Murren

Start in the Bernese Oberland, in beautiful car-free Mürren.  This is the land of fairytales, where mountains, waterfalls and wildflowers abound.

Days 4-5

Zermatt

Then it’s off to Zermatt, to the base of the iconic Matterhorn.  Stay in absolute luxury at the 5-star Riffelalp Resort above town.  Incredible!

Days 6-8

Pontresina

Now the Glacier Express takes you across the country in style, to the Engadine region, where we base in mellow Pontresina.  The impeccable Hotel Kronenhof is a fitting finale.

Your tour includes 8 nights in luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, with all breakfasts and 4 dinners. You’ll get a 4-day 1st class Swiss rail pass for your travels, with Glacier Express reservations and lunch on the train. You will also receive topo maps, detailed route descriptions, gps routes for hikes and sightseeing suggestions. We are always available by phone if you have questions during your tour.

Day 1

arrive in Mürren

Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to Mürren. The trip itself is incredibly scenic, and takes about 4 hours. Mürren is an idyllic, car-free village, perched atop a sheer 3000 ft. cliff above the waterfall-filled Lauterbrunnen valley. Picture Yosemite with a Swiss village on top… that’s Mürren.

There is a train station in both the Zürich and Geneva airports, and transferring to Mürren will be an easy introduction to Swiss precision and friendliness. Enjoy your first evening in Switzerland as you settle in at your hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel.

Hotel Eiger
  • Dinner

Day 2

Mürren, hike to Rotstock hut

One of our favorite hikes starts in town and gently meanders up the hills to the pastoral setting at Spielboden. Here you cross the Schiltbach Stream, and start a steep and invigorating ascent to the local peak of Bryndli. The Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger form a dramatic backdrop, but it is the massive Gspaltenhorn at the head of the Sefinen valley that spurs you onward.

Take your lunch enjoying birds-eye views of Mürren and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, perhaps with a soaring golden eagle for company. From here the trail levels off, and becomes a relaxing stroll through flowery meadows to a quiet alpine Rotstock hut. Stop for a drink and the views before heading back. The trail back leads over a small ridge – more great views! – before dropping back down to Mürren. You’ll be on your own for dinner tonight, and we will give suggestions for some of our favorite restaurants.

Hotel Eiger
  • Breakfast

Day 3

Mürren, hike to Kleine Scheidegg

Head across the valley to Wengen and hike to the famous Kleine Scheidegg Pass.  Walk through one of our favorite alps, a quiet little-known trail with the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains towering above.  Kleine Scheidegg is renowned for great close-up views of the Eiger North Face – perhaps the most notorious climb in the Swiss Alps.

If you have time and interest, hop on the Jungfraujoch train in Kleine Scheidegg for a fantastic journey to the glacier world high above. Return to Mürren for another night of Bernese Oberland bliss.

Hotel Eiger
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 4

travel to Zermatt, hike the 5 Lakes trail to Riffelalp

After breakfast, take a morning train to Zermatt, the lively village at the base of the Matterhorn, a towering pyramid that dominates the landscape. You’ll have a chance to check out the town, take a short walk around Zermatt, or enjoy some time at the pool or spa before settling in for your first evening with the Matterhorn.  We love the luxurious elegance of the 5-star Riffelalp Resort, perched on a clearing high above town.

If you’d prefer to hit the trails, we have you covered with a great half-day hike. Take the funicular up to Sunnegga and enjoy a beautiful walk past 5 small mountain lakes, Matterhorn reflected on their surface.  Go for a swim or take a nap on a sunny flat rock surrounded by mountains.  Just make sure to leave time to enjoy the comforts of your 5-star hotel!  Dinner is not included at Riffelalp, but they have a couple great restaurants on site.

Riffelalp Resort
  • Breakfast

Day 5

Zermatt, hike to Gornergrat

After a superb breakfast, you’ll start right from your hotel and take quiet trails through scenic meadows up the Gornergrat ridge. We’ll steer you away from the crowds on a favorite route to Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe.

From the top, the jumbled mass of the Gorner Glacier stretches out below you, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn and the Matterhorn form a glacier-clad wall separating Switzerland and Italy. It’s stunning. There are lots of options for longer or shorter hikes today. Return to Riffelalp for a final night in Zermatt.

Riffelalp Resort
  • Breakfast

Day 6

Glacier Express to Pontresina

You get to relax today, with a 1st class ride on the Glacier Express, the “slowest express train in the World”.  Switzerland’s premier scenic train ride covers almost 300 km of mountain goodness, with 291 bridges and 91 tunnels from Zermatt to the traditional Engadine region.

We’ll set you up with 1st class seat reservation and a full hot lunch served at your seat.  The Glacier Express has air-conditioned wagons and huge picture windows.  But it’s an 8 hr trip, so bring a book and prepare to relax!   Your Pontresina hotel will pick you up at the station.

 

Grand Hotel Kronenhof
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 7

Pontresina, hike to Boval hut

The mighty Morteratsch glacier is an impressive destination, and an interesting one too. Signs along the path take note of where the glacier reached in years past, so you can trace its disappearance. It’s still big though, and this is a great place to walk right up to a glacier and touch it.

From the valley, a moderate climb to the Boval hut rewards you with panoramic views of white-capped giants in every direction. On a rainy day, a mellow walk through the woods and along the lake of St. Moritz is another option.  Be sure to leave time for the Hotel Kronenhof’s famous spa.

Grand Hotel Kronenhof
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

What's great about this tour

  • Ultimate flexibility for easier or moderate hiking days
  • A relaxed village retreat-based tour with 3 stops in 7 nights
  • World-class 4 & 5-star hotels and 1st class rail
  • Scenic 1st class Glacier Express train
  • 3 classic mountain regions – Bernese Oberland, Zermatt, Engadine
  • A great choice for non-hiking spouses and friends who would prefer to spend time relaxing

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