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Best of Switzerland

10 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Zurich
Welcome to Switzerland, the land of the neutral that you'll only feel positive about. Meet your group at 5 pm and take an evening walk around Zurich with the option to take part in a fondue tasting. Fondue is a Swiss dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot over a portable stove, eaten by dipping bread into the gooey goodness. Need we say more?

Day 2 St Gallen
Spend a free morning in Zurich then St Gallen, arriving around lunch for a chance to taste the famous St Gallen sausage. In the afternoon you'll visit the famous Abbey of St Gall and its incredible library.The entire abbey precinct was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and the Abbey Library hosts a collection of medieval texts and important documents dating back to the 8th Century. Spend the evening as you wish. A trip to the surroundings hills for a view of entire city is not a bad idea.

Day 3 Lucerne
Travel by train to Lucerne, a small city known for its mountainous backdrop, located next to Lake Lucerne. The city is a popular destination for those visiting Central Switzerland thanks to the access to many outdoor activities, its breathtaking natural beauty and historic, medieval architecture. Take a walk past 15th-century frescoed houses and impossibly quaint wooden bridges, and climb to the top of the medieval towers along the city walls for spectacular views of this picturesque city and its surroundings. In the tiny streets of old town (Altstadt), there’s often a craft market and dozens of shops full of unique handmade goods. Perhaps you'd like to jump on a sunset canoeing tour (at your cost), a fantastic way to see the town from a different perspective.

Day 4 Lucerne
It's tour time. Hop on the Golden Pilatus tour, a trip taking you to the most spectacular spots on Mt Pilatus including its summit by boat, cogwheel railway, aerial cableway and gondola. The trip starts in Lucerne with a boat trip on the lake before heading to Alpnachstad, where you'll board the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, which takes you to the summit at 2132 metres. Enjoy an included lunch with a panorama of the alps before descending via the aerial cableway and gondola. Return to Lucerne and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Naps, strolls along the lake, cheesy food and beer are always encouraged.

Day 5 Lauterbrunnen
Travel to Lauterbrunnen and enjoy a free day in this picturesque mountain paradise. The day is free for you to enjoy: you could stay in the village and explore the stunning valley in which it's nestled, or why not take a train ride up Jungfrau to what's known as the Top of Europe. If you're feeling fit and keen to get out there, there's also the option to tackle some of the trails around the monumental Eiger Mountain. There are plenty of trails to choose from flat and easy to certified heart-pumpers, just be sure to wear your good shoes and bring some wet-weather gear as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable.

Day 6 Bulle
Bulle, located in La Gruyere district, is the town of your medieval dreams and yes, it's the home of the cheese too. Lush green fields and mountain peaks stretch as far as the eye can see, dotted with dairy cows and the occasional cheese-filled tourist. Arrive in town and head off for a walk with your leader to get your bearings, then visit La Gruyere cheese factory to learn more about this world famous cheese. Afternoon visit to medieval town of Gruyeres is a must. Find out why there is a Tibet museum in the castle and visit the quirky Alien bar. Evening could be spend strolling the quaint streets of Bulle and sampling some more cheese. Fondue is particularly good here.

Day 7 Bulle
Today you'll find out what Switzerland is really famous for. Other than the cheese, trains, clocks, mountains, lakes, adorable villages, Roger Federer...you get the idea. But today you're off to a chocolate factory! If you haven't heard, Swiss chocolate is the real deal and one of the most delicious milky treats getting around. Take a tour of a local chocolate producer and learn some of their secrets before a free afternoon to relax. Stroll around town, continue tasting the local cheese and chocolate (when in Rome) or head down to Lake Gruyere for some even fresher air and some happy snaps with the mountainous backdrop.

Day 8 Bern
Travel to Bern, Switzerland's capital and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. After check in to your hotel, grab a quick lunch and head off for an included e-bike tour around town. Fear not, Bern is most cyclist friendly city you can ask for, bike paths are widely available and e-bikes are just too easy to ride even uphill. Cycle through the old town, explore the area where Einstein lived and developed his Theory of Relativity here at the start of the 20th century, check out famous Bern Clock and don’t forget to stop at the Parliament House for some pictures. In the evening, explore the food and drink scene in Bern; starting from typical Swiss dishes to world-wide cuisine, Bern is a great place for fine dining.

Day 9 Bern
Today is free for you to explore on your own. Bern has plenty to offer on its own. Exploring old town further is not a bad idea, given there are several small craft breweries spread around. If you are looking to get out of the city, there is plenty of tours to choose from. Emmental valley (yes, cheese again!) is just round the corner and can be explored in numerous ways; from a walking tour, through e-bikes and cheese tasting tours. In the evening, ask your leader to show you a secret rose garden spot, just minutes away from your hotel. Take a view at the beautiful panorama of the city and perhaps walk down to the old town for your final dinner with the group.

Day 10 Bern
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you're flying out from Zurich, the train takes 45 minutes. Alternatively, why not spend some extra time in Bern because really, is there such a thing as too much cheese?
All This Included
This may be one of the few neutral countries in the world, but you won't leave Switzerland feeling anything but positive about your experience. This small nation packs a big punch with friendly, non-punching locals, incredible mountain scenery and a luxurious gastro scene that priorities cheese. Start in Zurich then head to historic St Gallen, lakeside Lucerne, adrenaline-filled Interlaken and cheese-obsessed Gruyeres before finishing in the nation's capital, Bern. From picture-perfect towns to awe-inspiring peaks, you'll get the best of the indoors and the outdoors during this ten-day trip.
  • Meals - 9 breakfasts
  • Transport - Train
  • St Gallen Library visit
  • Mt Pilatus Golden Circle tour
  • La Maison Chesse Factory visit
  • La Maison Cailler Choccolate Factory visit
  • E-Bike city tour Bern
  • Find out why Fondue was once promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union
  • Discover one of Europe's oldest, most beautiful libraries during your visit to St Gallen
  • Explore Bern by e-bike and find out why this city is so relaxed and easy going.
  • Take in the breathtaking alpine views from the summit of Pilatus Mountain, reached by the steepest cogwheel railway in the world.
  • Explore Lucerne, a fairytale town on the shore of Lake Lucerne.
  • Lace up your walking shoes and test the trails around Eiger, an iconic, imposing mountain in the adventurous Interlaken region.
Hotel (9 nights)
  • Ages: Min 15
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 12
  • Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.
  • Switzerland may be beautiful, but it sure ain't flat. Make sure you are comfortable with walking up and down hills.
  • During this trip you will travel by trains. Swiss trains are probably the best in Europe, but it’s worth remembering you will be responsible for carrying your own luggage on and off the trains.
  • On day 5 you will take a round trip to Pilatus Mountains. Part of it will be taken by steep cogwheel with some exposure on the sides, and a good head for heights will help.
  • On day 6 you'll hike the trails around Eiger Mountain. There are a range of difficulties and a choice will be made according to the group abilities, but it’s important to have a basic level of fitness to fully enjoy this activity.
  • On day 9 you will take part in cycling trip around Bern. It will be possible to choose an e-bike, but you must be able to keep your balance and be comfortable cycling in light traffic. Just to make it clear, Bern is most cycling-friendly city in the whole world, so do not worry too much.
  • A single supplement is available on this trip.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.