A Fairy-Tale Swiss Discovery
At a glance
Discover the charm of the Swiss countryside as well as its picturesque cities on this nine-day trip.
You’ll start in Zurich, Switzerland‘s commercial powerhouse but also one its most vibrant and culturally rich cities. It enjoys an idyllic lakeside location and is the perfect blend of old-world charm and contemporty edge. After two days of exploring you’ll head to Bern, via the impossibly pretty town of Lucerne and the sweeping valleys of Emmental.
Bern is a beautiful and quaint city and you’ll uncover its secrets as you stroll through the cobbled streets and bustling arcades. You’ll also get to sample Switzerland‘s world-famous chocolate and have a go at making some yourself. Not far from the city itself is Junfraujoch, a spectacular alpine view point nestled between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Take the cog train up to the highest railway station in Europe and take to the ice on an exhilaratin glacier hike.
It’s then onto the picture-perfect area of Gstaad where you’ll embrace alpine life with a visit to a local cheese maker high up in the hills, before you board the GoldenPass train to Montreux. You’ll pass through the sublime Swiss countryside before arriving in this pretty town on the shores of Lake Geneve and enjoying a wine tour.
Your final stop is Geneva, where you’ll spend two days exploring this beautiful city enjoying lakeside walks, boat trips and dipping in and out of its restaurants and bars.
Example Trip Itinerary
Meet and greet at Zurich airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Zurich
Accommodation in Zurich
- 39 rooms
- Fitness centre
Marktgasse is a boutique hotel that combines the charm of days past with contemporary innovation and comforts. With 600 years of history and many of its heritage features carefully preserved, it has plenty of charm and personality. The 39 rooms and suites are all unique, some featuring original stucco, wall panelling, tiled stoves and columns, perfectly complemented by contemporary designer furniture. For some of the best views in Zürich, opt for the junior suite with roof terrace that looks out over the city skyline. With its concise menu and cosmopolitan dishes, the Baltho restaurant is a great option for hungry guests, and the adjoining bar is perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap. Guests at the Marktgasse will enjoy use of the Fitnesspark Hamam Münstergasse, a two-minute walk from the hotel. Here you can let go, making use of the hammam, pool and mud room.
- 120 rooms and suites
- Michelin-starred restaurant
- Terrace and lobby bars
- On-site chocolate bar
Located along the shores of the city’s eponymous lake, the Baur Au Lac has been welcoming distinguised guests ever since it opened its doors back in 1844. Situated within its own park, the hotel boasts views of both the Alps in the distance and the shimmering waters of Lake Zürich. The hotel has been in the same family for six generations and in its time has played host to a number of special guests, including nobility and composers Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. There are 120 rooms and suites, individually styled in art deco, French Louis XVI, and English regency styles. All furniture is custom made and large luxurious marble bathrooms feature underfloor heating for the ultimate luxury. The Pavilion is one of Zürich’s most well-known restaurants, its innovative cuisine earning it a Michelin star. Almost completely enclosed in glass, guests will enjoy superb views of the surrounding park and river. For more casual dining, Rive Gauche serves light Mediterranean spealities which can be enjoyed on the terrace on mild summer evenings.
- 175 rooms
- Two Michelin-starred restaurant
Dolder Grand is an elegant display of opulence perched atop a hill overlooking the city of Zürich. Green thickets of forest surrounded the grounds of the hotel which carries with it airs of fairy tale mystery and historic Swiss elegance. There are 175 bright and spacious rooms and suites, many of which come with views over the city and lake. The hotel’s ‘top suites’ are inspired by artists and actors and are impeccably styled. They even come with butler service for the ultimate luxury. The Restaurant is one of the most sought-after in Zürich, it contemporary and creative cuisine earning it two Michelin stars. At the Saltz restaurant, the menu is inspired by local ingredients and offers simple yet refined dishes. For the perfecr pre-dinner tipple, the lounge and terrace are where you’ll find expertly mixed cocktails and fine wines. The award-winning spa is an oasis of calm where guests can relax in the sauna and steam baths before taking a dip in the indoor or outdoor whirlpool.
- 32 rooms
- Garden terrace
In a stately home dating from the 18th century, the Hotel Florhof makes its mark in the heart of the city of Zürich. It was once the aristocratic home of the Oeri-Lavater Family who were involved in the manufacturing of florette silk and gauze and it has maintained an elegance befitting of its historic legacy. The 32 rooms are the perfect blend of old and new with traditional parquet flooring and stylish, contemporary decor. Windows look out over the hotel gardens or Zürich’s charming old town. Enjoy seasonal cuisine alongside specially selected wines in the restaurant and lounge, or in the pretty gardens during the warmer summer months. With the tinkling of the Neptune Fountain, the garden is also the perfect place to relax with a morning coffee or a cocktail in the evening.
This majestic city stands proudly on the lower end of Lake Zurich, decorative spires piercing the clear sky. The ornate buildings of the old town line the banks of the Limmat, telling the story of the city’s past and adding to its allure, while Lindenhof, the historic heart of the city, sits perched atop a small hill on the west bank of the river.
Stroll along old cobbled streets exploring the interesting shops and boutiques, and be sure to take a moment to drink in the atmosphere at one of numerous cafés as you sip on fresh coffee and a savour the fine chocolate Switzerland is known for. The city might be filled with quaint colourful buildings, but it is also one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan with a thriving cultural scene. As well as an exceptional opera house and world-class museums and theatres, Zurich has a wonderfully forward thinking and contemporary arts scene with many factory buildings being turned into galleries and exhibition spaces.
Zurich is built between the wooded slopes of the Uetliberg and the Zurichberg at the point where the River Limmat merges with the Sihl. It is the most important financial, industrial and commercial centre in Switzerland but also offers a wealth of culture. During your walking tour you'll visit the iconic sites and well as discovering its hidden secrets.
Private transfer to Lucerne
Lucerne is a picturesque town of squares and churches, with two attractive covered wooden bridges and an octagonal tower overlooking the River Reuss. It nestles in a remarkable site at the north west end of Lake Lucerne, dominated by Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi. It became popular with intertional visitors in the 19th century after a string of high-profile visitors including Mark Twain and Queen Victoria.
The Emmental Valley is cut by the River Emme, originating in the Hohgant Massif north of Lake Brienz. It runs through an area of forests and fields dotted with flower-decked chalets which give the area its distinct alpine charm.
Private transfer to your hotel in Bern
Accommodation in Bern
- 128 rooms and suites
- 2 bars
The Bellevue Palace Hotel is a terrific display of opulent sophistication and old-world elegance. It first opened its doors in 1865 before undergoing a full renovation, ready to welcome guests once again in 1913. The hotel has retained the sense of traditional class instilled since its founding. In the 128 rooms and suites, antique furnishings and stucco ceilings offer a sense of grandeur, and large windows offer sweeping views of the Bernese Alps. Vue combines traditional Swiss hospitality with classically modern cuisine, and with large crystal chandeliers, vaulted ceilings and views of the River Aare and the Alps from the terrace, it is the perfect place for a memorable meal. Enjoy a tipple at the hotel bar and lounge – with 99 types of gin on offer, it’s not hard to find your favourite – before heading out to enjoy the beautiful city of Bern. Relax and unwind in the Finnish sauna or enjoy a session in the gym which looks out across the rooftops of Bern to the old town and the Bernese Alps.
- 99 rooms
- Cigar lounge
- Fitness centre
With its 150-year history, the Schweizerhof is among the hotels with the richest heritage in Bern. Following a comprehensive renovation, the hotel radiates an aura of great history and grand style. The symbiosis of traditional and modern is reflected in the 99 rooms and suites which offer views out over the city or quiet courtyard. A mixture of French charm and English understatement awaits guests. Restored classic chandeliers bathe the room in warm light, while the bathrooms are urban and contemporary. As with the décor, dining at the hotel also combines the traditional with the modern. The main restaurant, the legendary Jack’s Brasserie, offers market-fresh French brasserie cuisine as well as Schweizerhof classics. Whether it’s coffee and pastries, fresh sushi or a midnight snack you fancy, the Lobby Lounge Bar offers a comfortable place to relax and tasty dishes to satisfy those cravings. The large spa is a haven of luxury and harmony. Guests can enjoy the indoor pool, sauna and hammam facilities, as well as the fitness area and five treatment rooms.
A city steeped in history and legend, Bern is a beautiful time capsule dating back to the late 12th century. Flags adorned with the city’s iconic bear fly from the great stone walls and buildings, and stories tell how the city’s founder, the Duke of Zähringen, named the city after the first animal he met on one of his hunts.
Filled with sweeping squares and bustling arcades, Bern manages to capture the beauty of its past and blend it seamlessly with modern style and glamour. Cafes, restaurants, shops and delis adorn the narrow streets that wind themselves through a maze of medieval avenues. The old town is resplendent and elegant with its sandstone structures wrapped snuggly along the meandering waters of the Aare River.
Enjoy a walking tour through the beautiful city of Bern, visiting highlights such as the charming old town with the Zytglogge Tower and the Federal Palace.
Visit an atelier and learn what makes Swiss chocolate some of the best in the world. Once you've learned how the humble cacao bean is transformed into silky smooth chocolate, you'll have a go at making your own.
The Jungfraujoch is an alpine viewing point located in between the well-known mountains Mönch and Jungfrau. From Grindelwald, take the cog train to Europe's highest train station, at an impressive 3,454m where spectacular views across the surrounding mountains await. Together with your private mountain guide, you will then hike across the glacier to the Mönchsjoch hut, before returning and taking the train back to Grindelwald.
Private transfer to your hotel in Gstaad
Accommodation in Gstaad
- 100 rooms and suites
- Seven restaurants
The Gstaad Palace is a large, fairy-tale structure set amongst woodland valleys. The beautiful white visage of the building is topped by spires, bright and resplendent above rows of shuttered windows. Guests are rewarded with incredible vistas of the surrounding countryside from the large windows of the rooms and suites. All of these are beautifully furnished with wooden beams, antique pieces and luxe fabrics that give a warm and comforting alpine feel. The hotel also offers use of the Walig Hut, located on the higher mountain slopes in a charming rustic setting that has not changed much since its construction in 1786. Here, far up in these high meadows, you can enjoy lunch, dinner or even an overnight stay. Staying at the Gstaad Palace, you can indulge in a wide selection of culinary treats sure to delight the taste buds and warm the soul. Authentic Italian cuisine awaits at Gildo’s Ristorante while traditional favourites can be found at La Fromagerie. The bar is perfect for coffee or champagne and there is an outdoor barbecue restaurant for those bright summer days. After a day spent roaming the picturesque streets and boutiques, nothing is more relaxing than a session at the exclusive Palace Spa. Make use of the sauna, Turkish baths, indoor swimming pool and treatments rooms or enjoy a game of tennis or squash, or a session in the gym.
- 56 rooms and suites
- Michelin-starred restaurant
- Swiss and Japanese restaurants
- Bar and lounge
- Outdoor and indoor pool
Completed in 2012, the Alpina Gstaad was the first new hotel to be built in over a century and is fast redefining the Alpine experience. Discrete and cosmopolitan, it has received numerous awards since opening. Swiss heritage is reflected in the rooms and suites which feature classically carved ceilings and timber-clad walls as well as decorative accessories such as the traditional leather straps used to hold cowbells. Some rooms have private terraces boasting views over the foothills of the Bernese Alps or the glorious Diablerets mountains. Restaurant Sommet has been awarded a Michelin star for its innovative and immaculately presented dishes, whilst MEGU offers creative Japanese cuisine. The warm atmosphere of the Swiss Stübli is an ode to authentic local favourites such as fondue and raclette. After a day exploring the hiking trails, sit back and relax with a glass of wine or expertly mixed cocktail at the lounge and bar, where large open windows mean you will never feel too far away from the enchanting pastoral meadows and majestic mountains. The wine cellar is home to 1,700 vintages from across the world. The Six Senses Spa is a haven of peace and tranquillity, offering a range of treatments inspired by Asian wellness traditions. There is also an indoor and garden pool, hammam, a gym, two Jacuzzis and a yoga studio.
- 57 rooms
- Private cinema
Step into a world of easy-going elegance in the Swiss Alps at Le Grand Bellevue. Set in private parkland on Promenade Gstaad, the hotel has all the perks of a central location alongside the luxurious serenity of a discreet retreat. The 57 elegant rooms, of which nine are suites, offer panoramic views across the mountains and parklands, as well as light-flooded bathrooms. Inspired furnishings include playful wallpapers, intricate fabrics and the longest George Smith Chesterfield sofa ever commissioned. Most rooms also feature a private balcony. Dining at Michelin-starred Leonard’s is a gastronomic sensation, but the fashionable flagship restaurant still offers a laid-back vibe. For a more intimate experience, dine at the tree-flanked Le Petit Chalet on the Promenade. And Le Grand Bellevue Bar is as quirky as it is cool. Relax and unwind at Le Grand Spa which offers a range of treatments and features an indoor pool, steam room and herb-infused sauna. There is also a fitness centre and yoga and Pilates classes on offer.
The farmers in the Swiss mountains move up to higher altitudes with their cows during the summer months, heading to the best pastures which cannot be reached during winter. Many of them live in different alpine huts during summer, where they can take care of the cows. Instead of bringing the fresh milk down to the dairy in the valley every morning, the farmers themselves produce cheese in their huts.
You will head out early in the morning to an apline hut and unlock the secrets of cheese production using the freshest millk from local cows. You can even lend a hand yourself, before sitting down to enjoy a traditional breakfast with the farmer.
The best time for this excursion is from July and August - if you visiting outside this time then you can visit a cheese grotto upon a hill above Gstaad. A local cheese expert will welcome you and show you this monument to cheese. In the former water reservoir, 25m underground, the dairy offers the perfect conditions for maturing. Enjoy an aperitivo with cheese and wine.
Private transfer to Gstaad train station
Board the GoldenPass train and enjoy a scenic journey through breathtaking alpine scenery.
The terraced vineyards of the Lavaux site unfold above Lake Geneva for some 14km, forming a real link between Lausanne and Vevey-Montreux. Today you'll visit a local producer and learn all about wine production in the region. After you've heard what makes Swiss wine so special, you'll of course get to taste some, enjoyed with a delicious rustic lunch.
Private transfer to your hotel in Geneva
Accommodation in Geneva
- 115 rooms
- Two restaurants
- Spa and pool
- Hair salon
- Fitness centre
The Four Seasons in Geneva is found in the heart of this historic city, right on the edge of Lake Geneva. Retaining a sense of class enjoyed since 1834, this elegant hotel offers 115 rooms rich with old-world charm. Classical in style and decorated with plush blue and green fabric, rooms feature Louis Philippe-style furnishings, high ceilings and beautiful wooden finishes. The majority of suites feature step-out balconies with views out across Lake Geneva. Enjoy northern Italian cuisine at Il Lago, whose windows overlook the bustling Place des Bergues. The restaurant’s walls are decorated with beautiful frescoes, illuminated by the crystal chandeliers that hang above. Izumi is a patently different experience offering a Japanese fusion menu. It is set atop the roof of the hotel where you can savour views of the mountains and the famous lake. Its design embraces the feel of a sailboat and is inspired by the elements of light, water, air and fire. Make sure you head to Le Bar des Bergues for delicious cocktails, and enjoy alfresco dining on the terrace under the warmth of the summer sun. Begin or end your day at the Spa Mont Blanc, rejuvenating your body with an array of spa rituals. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre and indoor swimming pool.
With its picture-perfect setting on the banks of Lake Geneva, La Réserve Genève is a peaceful and idyllic retreat. Nestled with a landscaped ten-acre park, it is the perfect place to enjoy everything this beautiful corner of Switzerland has to offer. The 102 suites and rooms are the essence of refined decadence. Incorporating the best of both classic aesthetics and modern design, rooms are warm and inviting with rich fabrics and dark woods. All feature large windows, some with patios leading directly onto the grounds. Some of the larger suites have views of Lake Geneva, the Alps and Mont Blanc. For families or groups of friends, the Villa du Lac perched on the shores of the lake is a wonderful option, with three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and a terrace. With five restaurants to choose from, dining at La Réserve is a real treat. Enjoy exquisitely presented, seasonal dishes at The Loti or mouthwatering Cantonese cuisine at Tsé Fung. Make the most of the seasons by dining in the Summer Lodge or the Winter Lodge which is set up around the ice skating rink. Drift off with a treatment at the spa, and make full use of the facilities including swimming pool, hammam and sauna. There is also a fitness centre and tennis courts.
- 32 rooms
- Oldest coffee shop in Geneva
Hôtel Les Armures is located in the heart of Geneva’s old town, a former family residence that has lost none of its old-world charm. Although the hotel’s origins go back as far as the 13th century, the majority of the hotel is spread across four buildings that date from the 17th century. Inside is a treasure trove of antique furniture, original artwork, decorated ceilings and plasterwork, and frescoes. There are 32 rooms and suites which have plenty of character with painted ceilings, wooden beams, fireplaces and stone window surrounds. The hotel’s restaurant is one of the oldest in the city and guests can enjoy fine Swiss cuisine either in one of the dining rooms or on the terrace which is ideally located between the Maison Tavel and the old arsenal. You are ideally located to explore the area with the shores of Lake Geneva, the Saint Pierre Cathedral and the charms of the city on your doorstep.
- 90 rooms
- Michelin-starred restaurant
- Fitness centre and spa
Sitting on the banks of Lake Geneva, the Beau-Rivage Genève has been welcoming distinguished guests for over 150 years. Founded in 1865, the hotel has been in the same family for five generations and the team are passionate about The hotel features 72 rooms and 18 historical suites, named after iconic guests. Whether you choose to bed down in the Wagner, Maharaja of Patiala, Damerong of Siam or the Louis II of Bavaria suite, you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the lake. In both rooms and suites, decor is classic and elegant with crystal chandeliers, rich fabrics and antique furniture. Enjoy fine dining at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Chat Botté, or the exotic flavours and subtle spices of Thai cuisine at Patara. You can also take advantage of the Chef’s Table service where the chef will create a menu specially created for you. All your wellness needs are taken care of with a fitness centre and spa on-site.
Nestled between nearby Alpine peaks and the hilly terrain of the Jura, Geneva sits in the bay where the Rhone River leaves Lake Geneva. It was the site of the signing of the Geneva Convention after the Second World War and today the city houses the headquarters of many international organisations, including the UNO and the Red Cross. As such, it is often referred to as the City of Peace.
Lovers of the great outdoors couldn’t be better placed and no matter what time of year you visit, Lake Geneva provides ample opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Enjoy scenic walks along its shore, take to the water in a boat or kayak, or head a little further afield and enjoy hiking, sledding and snowshoeing on the nearby slopes.
An exceptional location makes Geneva one of Switzerland's most privileged cities. Despite its cosmopolitan and international atmosphere and sprawling residential suburbs, Geneva retains the feel of a small and pleasant town. Discover the beauty of this city on a walking tour, visiting the cathedral, the harbour and its fountain, and the shimmering shores of the lake.
Private transfer to Geneva airport
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A Fairy-Tale Swiss Discovery
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