Where to start? What to do? The Alps offer so many choices it can be overwhelming to design the perfect tour from scratch. This sampling of example itineraries can help you find the best fit for your travel style. Try out the My Trip planning tool in the sidebar, with links throughout the site. You can use it to bookmark the cities, hotels, train trips, and activities you like best. Each kind of tour below also includes links to tours on our sister site Alpinehikers.com – we welcome you to browse the detailed tour descriptions there and see what people are saying about their travel in the Alps.
Inn to Inn
Inn to Inn tours offer you the opportunity to travel from point to point, sometimes entirely on foot, with comfortable lodging at every stop. Most often, inn to inn tours include a combination of stays in village hotels, simpler mountain inns, and even more remote alpine club huts. Your luggage is sent ahead from one village to the next while you carry just a small day pack to your cozy mountain inn for the night. Rise and shine the next day and hike to the quaint village where your luggage is waiting at a 4-star hotel. You’ll be showered and ready by the time dinner is served. If you like hiking, good food, and top notch accommodations, it doesn’t get better than inn to inn hiking in the Alps!
In my mind, the Bernese Oberland Traverse is the iconic Swiss hiking tour. With stays in Meiringen, Grindelwald, Wengen, Obersteinberg, Mürren, Kandersteg, Griesalp, and Gasterntal, this tour includes quiet mountain inns, majestic mountains, waterfalls, mountain lakes, close-up views of the Eiger North Face and Jungfrau, panoramic climbs over high passes, and long strolls through flowery meadows and along wooded trails.
Village-based tours let you enjoy the amenities of quaint towns and villages with or without the walking. Add as many dayhikes as you like, or take a cable car or mountain railway to a more secluded viewpoint. Grab a beer or a coffee while you take in the astonishing vistas, then climb back on the readily available transportation or walk back down hill to your hotel. Longer train journeys can take you from one side of Switzerland to the other. Trains connect everything in Switzerland and I encourage you to include them in your trip planning.
A tour of Mürren is a great way to spend a few days or a whole week. My home base every summer, Mürren is a car-free village in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. You won’t find a better collection of peaks anywhere in Switzerland, though you might consider adding a stay in Zermatt with the Classic Peaks tour if you want to see a mountain superstar like the Matterhorn.
Switzerland is elegant and tidy – the Swiss watch is a fitting metaphor for the country’s efficiency and reliability. With rail and cable cars linking all points in Switzerland, you don’t need to be a hiker to thoroughly enjoy the Alps. Take a cogwheel train up to a beautiful restaurant for views and lunch, or a cable car up to a high alpine glacier to stroll through a cave in the ice. Visit city museums or take a relaxing boat ride on a lake. It’s all possible.
I think Mürren and Zermatt are essential features of a great trip to Switzerland. If you have more time and want to add some range to your tour, a Swiss Sampler is a great choice. This tour includes my favorite Swiss city, Lucerne, along with the wine country of Montreux, St. Moritz in the Engadine, and Lugano in the Italian-speaking region to the south.
The Best of Switzerland tour is good for a shorter stay that still offers some variety by including Lucerne and Zurich along with forays into quieter mountain villages like Wengen and Zermatt.
With a keen eye for detail, and commitment to excellence in service, cuisine and facilities, Switzerland is home to some of the best hotels in the World. It has also long been one of the jewels of ‘The Grand Tour’ of Europe. Luxury and the pampering that comes with it are readily available in Switzerland’s deluxe hotels, wellness spas, and rail lines.
Take your own Grand Tour and enjoy mountain villages and small towns in style. From Mürren in the Bernese Oberland to Pontresina in the Engadine, a Grand Tour includes 1st class rail journeys and 5-star hotels. Many tours can be upgraded from standard to deluxe by choosing 1st class rail travel and luxury accommodations. The Swiss Sampler tour is a good choice – you’ll notice that both standard and deluxe options are listed.