It was a trip of a lifetime—So much more than I expected. - J.P. - Ohio


Day 1 – Arrival in Lucerne, and off to Basel

Due to special events surrounding the Christmas season, the first three days of this tour may have some events placed into a different order, to maximize the ability to attend certain festivals and markets. Speak to an Alpenwild Specialist for details.

On arrival in Zurich, take off on a short train ride to Lucerne in the heart of scenic central Switzerland and set on Lake Lucerne. After checking into the hotel, we depart for an afternoon and evening in Basel. With the Rhine River flowing through it, Basel has a rich history. It's a center of European art and was a seat of learning and a focal point of the Northern Renaissance. We cross the Rhine on a reaction ferry to arrive at Basel's Münsterplatz for our first Christmas market. The three borders of Switzerland, France, and Germany come together here, and we'll have a fine view of each country from the Münster. Basel is also home to Switzerland's oldest, most popular Christmas Market where you'll meet the locals and learn of life in Basel. Then it's just a couple blocks to Barfüsserplatz for Basel's largest Christmas market, considered the most beautiful in Switzerland. We'll enjoy dinner before returning to Lucerne. (D) 

Day 2 – Lugano and Lucerne

We head south through the new Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world, and making the shortest link between northern and southern Europe and enter Switzerland's Italian-speaking region. We visit the medieval town of Einseideln to visit the Christmas market and the thousand year old Benedictine monastery. We will then continue to Lugano where the medieval city center is decked with lights.  A traditional risotto cooking class and dinner will top off the evening in Lugano, before returning to Lucerne for the evening. (BD)

Day 3 – Lucerne to Bern - Küssnacht Klausjagen

A morning train ride takes us to the capital city of Switzerland in Bern. This 12th century UNESCO World Heritage Site city retains all its charm from years past. We stroll the limestone covered walkways which create the longest covered shopping arcade in all of Europe. With its two Christmas markets and rich history, this city will surely take your breath away. This evening we take a dinner cruise across Lake Lucerne to participate in one of the most amazing and traditional Christmas celebrations in Europe—the Küssnacht Klausjagen.  (BD)

Day 4 – Lucerne to Interlaken and on to Montreux

Departing Lucerne, we cross the scenic heartland of Switzerland's Bernese Oberland along Lake Brienz and Lake Thun for a short visit to the town of Interlaken. We then take the panoramic GoldenPass line through the beautiful pre-alp villages of Gstaad and Chateau d'Oex to arrive in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland's French-speaking region, and home of Switzerland's largest Christmas market. We’ll stay at a lakeside hotel in Montreux. (BD)

Day 5 – Montreux, Vevey

We'll have a morning chocolate workshop at Läderach where you'll make your own chocolate treat. In Montreux, we visit the lovely lakeside Marché de Noël and the 12th-century Castle of Chillon, which inspired Lord Byron, Victor Hugo, and Rousseau. It will surely inspire you. (BD)

Day 6 – Montreux to Zermatt

Departing Montreux, we ascend the Rhone Valley, Switzerland's largest wine region. No visit to Switzerland is complete without an excursion to car-free Zermatt to see the majestic Matterhorn. Zermatt is the quintessential Swiss resort village. We'll have time for strolling the charming town and connecting with its historic and legendary past. We stay at a beautiful spa hotel with Matterhorn views. (BD)

Day 7 – Zermatt

We take the historic cogwheel railway to the Gornergrat summit for breathtaking views of Switzerland's highest peaks set in a glacial paradise (weather permitting). When you're not out exploring the mountain scenery and lively shopping scene in Zermatt, you'll certainly enjoy time in the spa, sauna, and heated indoor/outdoor pools. (BD)

Day 8 – Zermatt to Zurich

Our concluding day in Switzerland takes us back to Zurich with its Christmas Market set in the medieval town center as well as Europe's largest indoor Christmas Market in the main train station. We have our final dinner together to reflect on the many wonderful memories we have created. Evening at a hotel in the heart of downtown Zurich. (BD)

Day 9 – Departure

We say our goodbyes and hopefully Auf Wiedersehen as we head off to our morning departure from Zurich to catch our flights home. (B)

Trip Videos

Swiss holiday decorating and Christmas Markets

Activity Level

Alpenwild Adventures are designed for people who are energetic, active, and filled with a spirit of adventure. We rate this trip as easy. You should be capable of walking about 2 to 4 miles per day, often on cobblestone streets and with potential compacted snow and ice (so be careful). There will be times where stairs can not be avoided, so guests will need the ability to go up and down stairs.  On one day, a mountain railway will take you to an elevation of 10,200 feet.

Sign Up for Our Email Newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest Alpenwild news. You're free to opt out at any time.