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Swiss Alpine self-drive exploration

10 days from $6,405pp

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Tour highlights

  • Discover Switzerland’s mountainous regions and larger cities at your own pace on this self-drive adventure.

  • Take a scenic boat cruise on Lake Lucerne with views of Mount Pilatus.

  • Enjoy the prestigious Alpine resort of Gstaad, haven for the world’s royals and jet set elites.

  • Breathe in the fresh air of the Swiss Alps on mountain hikes and explorations.

Price includes:

  • Fully insured vehicle rental
  • All accommodations
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

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  • Upon arrival in Zürich you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to your hotel in Lucerne. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may wish to gently explore the city — we’ll provide plenty of suggestions.

  • You’ll meet your local guide at your hotel today for a privately guided walking tour of the city’s highlights. These include its modern additions of the 21st-century KKL (arts and cultural venue), and notable historical sites like the Chapel Bridge and Jesuit church. Wander through the cobbled streets admiring the pastel-painted buildings dating back to the early 1500s while your guide enlightens you with facts and entertaining anecdotes, revealing a better understanding of the city.

  • Your morning is spent enjoying a relaxed boat cruise accompanied by a delicious three-course lunch. The boat will gently glide around the lake, allowing you to sit back and enjoy views of Mount Pilatus and peaceful lakeside residences. You'll return to the pier about two hours later and have the afternoon free to further explore the city and surrounding areas.

  • Your fully insured hire car will be delivered to your hotel this morning for you to leave Lucerne and drive the hour or so westwards to Bern, Switzerland’s capital since 1848. Bern is a compact, walkable city with an orderly medieval heart. The Aare River meanders through it, with glacial waters pure enough to drink from with numerous fountains throughout the city. You’re free to settle into your hotel and explore at your leisure.

  • Your local guide will collect you from your hotel for a privately guided walking tour of Bern, tailored to your interests. You’ll learn the city’s origins and wander its old town and historic market squares, visiting the medieval Zytglogge, the Münster Church and the Federal Square. This afternoon you’ll leave the city and drive to Grindelwald with its Swiss chalets and their neat geranium-filled window boxes, sloping pastures and craggy, white-capped mountains in all directions.

  • Today is free to explore the region at your own pace, perhaps visiting the three hiking areas — Grindelwald-Wengen, Grindelwald-First and Mürren-Schilthorn. We recommend taking the cable car up Mount First where you’ll find the First Cliff Walk, a narrow metal walkway that clings to the cliff face. It ends with a platform that juts out in the empty space over the valley and from where the views are unparalleled.

  • Leave Grindelwald today and drive to Gstaad, a prestigious Alpine resort with storybook streets and fresh mountain air which has long been a haven for the world’s royals and the jet set elite. Glacier 3000 is also accessible by public bus, with a funicular to the summit at Scex Rouge and the exhilarating Peak Walk and suspension bridge. After your adventures here, continue driving to Täsch where you'll then travel by train to Zermatt.

  • A full day exploring Zermatt with a private local guide lies ahead, including ascending Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at 3,883 m (12,739 ft) for its 360-degree views across the Alps, visiting Sunnegga and its five-lake walk, or taking a train ride to Gornergrat. Your guide will tailor the day according to your interests and fitness ability, recommend restaurants for lunch, and escort you back to your hotel at the end of the day.

  • Spend a full day exploring Zermatt itself. The Vispa River flows through the middle of the town, making for a useful landmark. In the heart of the resort is the old town, a collection of ancient wooden chalets nestled closely together. Wandering through the narrow streets here is akin to stepping back in time.

  • Leave Zermatt and travel southeast, crossing over into Italy and on to Milan and to Malpensa Airport where you return your hire car and board your onward flight.

Accommodation options

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

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Contact a Switzerland specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Switzerland 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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