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Self-drive tour: France, Switzerland & Italy

11 days from £3,720pp

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Tour highlights

  • Enjoy the freedom of your own car on this self-drive trip. Audley can arrange a rental vehicle if required.

  • Sample Swiss wines in the vineyards of the Lavaux region.

  • View the Matterhorn from the Alpine resort of Zermatt.

  • Relax on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

  • Drive through Alpine landscapes.

Price includes:

  • All accommodation
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • Return travel on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Using your own vehicle for self-drive touring

  • Board the Channel Tunnel train to Calais then embark on the three-hour drive south to reach the Champagne-producing town of Reims.

  • Continue your journey south through France, passing over the Jura Mountains to cross into Switzerland. The drive to Montreux on the edge of Lake Geneva will take between five and six hours. Settle into your hotel and stretch your legs along the promenade, which is lined with sculptures and statues.

  • Your guide will collect you from your hotel this morning for a private tour of the nearby Lavaux wine region. Swiss wine is a largely well-kept secret, but with your guide you’ll learn about its production, partake in several tastings and sit down to a traditional Swiss lunch in a vineyard. Returning to Montreux, you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure with the opportunity to visit the medieval Château de Chillon.

  • Leaving the lake behind you, you'll drive along the Rhône Valley, arriving in the Alpine resort of Zermatt in just over two hours. Once settled into your hotel, you’ll meet your private guide for an afternoon exploring Zermatt, including the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and the Ice Palace.

  • Head out early this morning to ride Europe's highest cog railway up to the Gornergrat at 3,089 m (10,135 ft). The summit rewards you with some of the finest views of the Matterhorn and the Gorner Glacier. You can follow any of the multitude of hiking trails to wind your way back down to Zermatt. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to see the Julen blacknose sheep, visit the Matterhorn Museum or adventure through the Gorner Gorge.

  • Make the two-hour drive from Zermatt to Stresa on Lake Maggiore. You have the remainder of the day to yourself to relax and explore around the lake.

  • A private boat will take you to the Borromean Islands, where you’ll explore the islands' palaces and gardens with your private guide. On Isola Madre, the largest of the islands, you can admire the wonderful plants and the peacocks that strut among the gardens. Heading next to Isola Bella, you’ll visit a Baroque palace with grand formal gardens. To round off the day, you’ll wander the cobbled alleyways of Isola Superiore, also known as Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen's Island).

  • Spend a final morning at Lake Maggiore before departing for Zürich. The drive takes about three and a half hours, passing through beautiful mountain scenery. The evening is yours to explore the cobbled streets of Zürich’s old town.

  • You'll meet your guide this morning for a privately guided walking tour of Zürich's old town. You'll stroll through the historic streets and visit two of Zürich's churches: the stark white Grossmünster, and Fraumünster with its windows created by Marc Chagall. For the afternoon, you have tickets to see the natural beauty of the Rhine Falls.

  • The five-and-a-half-hour drive today takes you from Zürich to Épernay. After checking into your hotel in Reims, you have time to explore or relax.

  • Return home via the Channel Tunnel. The drive from Reims to Calais takes about three hours, followed by the 35-minute tunnel crossing.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

What our clients say about us

Audley Travel Specialist Ruth

Contact a France specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to France will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Reims
 
Montreux
 
Zermatt
 
Lake Maggiore
 
Zürich
 

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