Testimonials

There were choices at each village or stop along the way—mountain walks, shopping, or sight-seeing. Rene, our guide, knows the locals and made great suggestions to make the most of each day. - A. L. - New Mexico

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Lucerne -- Mt. Pilatus

After meeting the other tour members, (typically at 13:00), you will ascend to the top of the 7000 ft. Mt. Pilatus via the cable car in Kriens. At the top you will enjoy the beautiful Central Swiss Alps panorama and Lake Lucerne below you. You will then descend via the world's steepest cogwheel train and return to Lucerne. Overnight in Lucerne. D

Day 2 – Swiss Alps in the Historic Heart of Switzerland -- Gotthard Express Line

Lucerne--Gothard Pass -- Lugano

Ride a historic paddle steamboat along the Wilhelm Tell express route to Fluelen on Lake Lucerne.  In the afternoon you will take a train to Lugano through the historic beginnings of Switzerland where you see the Ruetli meadow where Switzerland was founded in 1291 and ride through the 15 km Gotthard tunnel first opened in 1888. This 13th century Gotthard pass became the shortest North-South route through Europe and still one of the reasons for Switzerland's economic success. You can enjoy an early lunch in the dining room on this historic boat. Once in Lugano you will be delighted to enjoy this Italian speaking part of Switzerland called Ticino, representing 10% of the Swiss population. Overnight in Lugano. BD

Day 3 – Italian Lake Como and Swiss Alps Postcard Views -- Bernina Express Train

Lugano -- Bernina Express Bus and Train -- St. Moritz

You will begin with a morning Swiss bus ride through the Lake Como region of Italy and wonder how the steep hillside vineyards are harvested. You stop in the Italian village of Tirano where you will transfer to the Bernina Express train. Spend the afternoon experiencing the scenic narrow valley terrain as you climb from 400m/1200ft up and over the 2250m/7300ft Bernina pass summit all the while watching the 4000m/12900ft Bernina mountain range. You will see the highest alpine peaks through the panoramic vista windows that run from your elbow to the ceiling. You will be busy taking lots of pictures as the beautiful alpine scenery changes with the many twists and turns of your Bernina Express train that runs along 122 km of track passing through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges and viaducts. Overnight in St. Moritz. BD

Day 4 – Beautiful Swiss Alps, Lakes and Vistas

All Day St. Moritz to relax, discover, and enjoy

This wide Engadine valley is one of the most scenic in all of Switzerland as you see numerous alpine lakes from the Muottas Muragl funicular railway reached 2554m/7362ft summit. The vistas are inspiring as you see the snowcapped Bernina Mountain range peaks and the green pasture St. Moritz ski slopes all in the same view. You have choices to walk along the paved level St. Moritz lake situated in the midst of thick pine forests and experience the wonderful smells and beautiful sights of this world famous alpine resort. You will be amazed at the trendy fashions you see in the store windows and understand the "champagne climate" branded St. Moritz. Your Engadine card entitles you to access all the local transportation and the summit Piz Nair, Piz Corvatsch, and Diavolezza cable cars. Only 1% of Switzerland speaks the language of Romansh and you might be able to hear this spoken in this region of Switzerland. Overnight in St. Moritz. BD

Day 5 – Mountains, Meadows, and Breathtaking Scenery -- Glacier Express Train

St. Moritz -- Glacier Express -- Zermatt

The fastest 8-hour train ride you will experience! This morning you are transferred to the train station to begin one of the most beautiful stretches of railway in the world where you experience the one-of-a-kind mountain landscape in the Swiss Alps. In addition to awesome scenery, you have headphones where information in English is provided so you also hear and understand what you are seeing. You will be amazed at the engineering feats this 1930 first-time route offers as you cross 291 bridges and go through 91 tunnels while you ascend and descend 500m/1660ft through the varied and culturally changing mountain valleys. You will have the opportunity to order lunch on the train. Throughout the day there is ample room to get up and walk around as you enjoy the scenery travelling by. Overnight in Zermatt. BD 

Day 6 – The Matterhorn and The Surrounding Majestic Highest Peaks in Europe -- Gornergrat Cogwheel train

All day in Zermatt to discover and enjoy!

Today is one of the trip's highlights as we take a Gornergrat cogwheel train to 3000m/10000ft and experience the Matterhorn at the same eye level along with a 360-degree view of the surrounding 4000m/13000ft highest peaks in Europe. You are now encircled with incredible mountain and glacier views and have the time to immerse yourself in the awesome alpine snow covered peak scenery. To deepen and enhance your Matterhorn experience, options include easy hiking on signposted paths to and through tiny alpine ponds that offer great photo taking opportunities. For the afternoon, your guide offers the best afternoon Zermatt activities of a historical walk through town and a visit to the Matterhorn museum. You will be in the German speaking region of Switzerland. Overnight in Zermatt. BD

Day 7 – Swiss Valleys, Chocolate, and Cheese -- GoldenPass Rail

Zermatt – Montreux -- GoldenPass Rail Line- Gruyères

Today we will travel to the French region of Switzerland. Our first stop will be in the town of Montreux where you will have some time to stroll along the boardwalk on Lake Geneva before continuing to the walled medieval village of Gruyères. Visit the Chocolatier de Gruyères for a handmade chocolate demonstration. In Gruyères, you will also learn why they have some of Switzerland's best tasting cheese and what it takes to make it by seeing cheesemakers at work. There’s no better place to enjoy fondue than in Gruyères. Overnight in Gruyères. BD

Day 8 – Gruyères Castle, Legendary GoldenPass Rail, Jungfrau Region

Gruyères Castle - Grindelwald

This morning, we will have time to explore the 800-year-old Gruyères castle. From Gruyères, the GoldenPass Classic train car allows you to experience what it was like during the Belle-Epoque, Golden Age period when the rich and famous where the only ones traveling on such trains. The continuing alpine flower multi-colored valleys, rolling hills, green pastures, wooden chalets, Disney looking villages, cow grazing farms bring us to one of Switzerland’s oldest and still most popular resorts in the Jungfrau region which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight Grindelwald. BD

Day 9 – Magnificent Mountains with Aletsch Glacier Experience -- Jungfraujoch Cogwheel train

Grindelwald – Jungfraujoch – Zurich Airport

Today caps one of the trip's highlights with three different trains riding up to the top of the 3,400m / 13371ft Jungfraujoch. The complex was built in 1914 between the Mönch & Jungfrau mountains. You can go inside and outside to experience Europe’s largest Aletsch glacier and view mountains, snow, and ice as far as you can see. There’s time to walk outside on the hard-packed snow glacier and be part of the scenery at Europe's highest man-made splendor. Sit on one of the free-standing deck chairs or go exploring in the Ice Palace filled with ice sculptures. Following the visit to the Jungfraujoch will be a group lunch at the Eigergletscher restaurant that sits below the mountain trio with magnificent views. You will then take a final train to Zurich for your last night. Overnight at the Zurich airport - Radisson Blu Hotel. BL

Day 10 – Depart Zurich for onward travel

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out for onward destinations. B

 

Trip Videos

The Gornergratbahn cog-wheel railway ascends from Zermatt to the Gornergrat with panoramic views of the Matterhorn and other 400-meter peaks.

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 one to two miles per day. You should also be able to handle your own luggage to get to the trains when needed. On one day you will take a mountain railway to an elevation of 11,388 feet and you should be able to handle staying at this elevation for a couple of hours.