Switzerland A la Carte Self Drive Vacation

Electrifying – the E-Grand Tour; It crosses five Alpine passes, runs alongside 22 lakes and takes in 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, combining the cultural and scenic highlights of Switzerland – and from April 2017 it will also stand for eco-friendly touring: the E-Grand Tour. An extensive network of around 200 charging stations will electrify the whole route from April 2017, guaranteeing a comfortable and clean driving experience over more than 1,600 kilometers. Incidentally, the Grand Tour of Switzerland is the world’s first official touring route that is fully accessible to electric vehicles. This offer is certified with the myclimate label “carbon neutral journey”: We offset all CO2 emissions of your e-Grand Tour of Switzerland journey, including overnight stays & ride, by supporting myclimate’s high quality climate protection projects.


9 day/8 night Self-Drive program including Zurich, St. Gallen, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Lausanne, Interlaken and Lucerne. This itinerary includes accommodations in deluxe hotels, daily breakfast, Tesla Model S for 8 days, parking at hotels (exception: Zermatt/Tasch - public parking), VIP arrival and departure transfers from Zurich airport, round trip taxi service between Tasch and Zermatt, Grand Tour of Switzerland Road Map, Grand Tour of Switzerland Travel Guide, Swiss Coupon Pass with discounts and offers.

Includes

  • Transfers per itinerary
  • Porterage; one luggage per person
  • Rental car
  • ASTA TOP Tour operator travel funds protection program
  • Daily continental or buffet breakfast
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Private custom sightseeing per itinerary
  • Taxes and Service Charges
  • Select luxury accommodation
  • Emergency assistance

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Airport taxes
  • Optional tours
  • Customary tips and gratuities
  • Rental car gas, parking and tolls
  • Local city taxes
  • Drinks during meals
  • Flights
  • Meals, other than breakfast

Daily Itinerary

Day

1

Zurich - Arrival

Upon arrival, you will make your way to your hotel in Zurich city center to pick up your deluxe vehicle for the next eight days. A private transfer to your hotel can be arranged for an extra cost. As a metropolis of experiences by the water with a magnificent view of the snowcapped Alps on the horizon, Zurich offers a unique mixture of attractions - over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, international fashion labels and Zurich designs, and the most vibrant and lively nightlife in Switzerland. Recreational activities range from a visit to the riverside and lakeside bathing areas in the very heart of the city, to a spectacular hike on the Uetliberg mountain. One of the recommended Grand Tour attractions is the Grossmunster, an Evangelical Protestant church in the Old Town of Zurich, one of Zurich’s most famous landmarks. Construction of this Romanesque church was begun in 1100 and has since been rebuilt and renovated several times. Your evening is free to explore this metropolis or enjoy dinner at a local restaurant (not included).

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Hotel Opera or similar hotels

Day

2

Zurich - Appenzell - St. Gallen

After breakfast, depart on your Tesla drive to St. Gallen with a stop at the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall, and a stop in Appenzell. The Appenzell region is known for its rural customs and traditions, such as the ceremonial descent of the cattle in autumn, and cultural events, such as folk music and rustic dances, as well as hiking tours in the Alpstein region. St. Gallen, the compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland, has a charming, traffic-free old town. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Hotel Einstein or similar hotels

Day

3

St. Gallen - St. Moritz

Continue your drive with a stop at Heidi’s Village in Maienfeld. The town inspired the poetess Johanna Spyri to write her novel, Heidi. In the Heidi village, the story of this cheerful, nature-loving little orphan girl comes to life at the original locales of the story. Continue your journey to St. Moritz. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bain or similar hotels

Day

4

St. Moritz - Lugano

On your way to Lugano in the south of Switzerland, you have several possibilities to experience Grand Tour attractions. Tip: Relax on a train ride on the most beautiful Alpine train, the Bernina Express. The cross-border Albula and Bernina Lines between Thusis and Tirano owe their 2008 inscription into the UNESCO World Heritage list to stunning scenery such as the Schyn Gorge, Morteratsch Glacier and Brusio spiral viaduct. If you prefer to be active, go for a hike on Mount Muottas Muragl near Pontresina. The entire Upper Engadine region lies at your feet when you are perched high above the Inn River Valley. Breathtaking views of the four lakes and the world-famous resort town of St. Moritz extend far beyond the mountain ranges into the distant horizon. Continue to Lugano. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Hotel Dante or similar hotels

Day

5

Lugano - Zermatt

Leaving Lugano and continuing on to Zermatt, one must visit Monte Brè. Since 1912, a funicular rail has made its way from Cassarate by Lugano to the scenic mountain above Lake Lugano. The romantic little Brè village with its grottos has succeeded in maintaining its original character of a country settlement, further embellished by numerous works of art. Along the way, and just a footstep away, lies Ascona. The city is famous for its mild climate, its Old Town and a lake promenade which is dotted with street cafés and boasts a Latin ambience. Further north, and also on your way, you can visit beautiful Bellinzona. With its castles, walls, towers, battlements and gates, this impressive fortress is a source of wonder and amazement and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Depart Mediterranean Ticino, heading north to cross the famous St. Gotthard Pass and Furka Pass, and continue into the region of Valais. Here lies the Aletsch Glacier - the biggest glacier in the Alps, with a length of 23 km. To explore the Aletsch Glacier is a magnificent journey into a stunning world of ice and rocks, Alpine flowers and forests. Continue moving down to Täsch, where you will leave your car for the night before you continue by taxi to Zermatt. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Romantik Hotel Julen or similar hotels

Day

6

Zermatt - Lausanne

Take time this morning to walk through Zermatt, at the foot of the Matterhorn; traditional shops and wooden clad houses creating a charming atmosphere to explore. A morning trip up the exhilarating open-air Gornergrat railway is not to be missed, for unrivaled views over the 4000m peaks surrounding Zermatt. After making your way back by taxi to Täsch to collect your car, your route continues with a stunning drive up through the Valais, the surrounding views dominated by amazing peaks. The river and forests accompany you as you enter French-speaking Switzerland, heading through Sierre and Sion. After traveling through Martigny, your final leg takes you up through Aigle and along the shores of Lake Geneva to Montreux, one of the most popular holiday resorts in the Lake Geneva region. One must not miss a visit to the famous Castle Chillon, located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva. The over-water castle is the most visited historic building in Switzerland. For nearly four centuries, Chillon was the residence and profitable toll station for the Counts of Savoy. After visiting the castle, continue through the surrounding orchards and terraced vineyards of the Lavaux then further to Lausanne, the second-largest city on Lake Geneva. Sports and culture are given a high profile in this Olympic capital, so be sure to visit the Olympic Museum. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Hotel Lausanne Palace and Spa or similar hotels

Day

7

Lausanne - Gruyere - Freiburg - Interlaken

Continue your drive to Freiburg, nestled on a rocky promontory and surrounded on three sides by the Saane River. On your way, you will pass the Greyerzer (Gruyère) region, which is home to the world-famous Gruyère cheese. Continue your drive to Interlaken where you can experience the majestic Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau summits. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage or similar hotels

Day

8

Interlaken - Bern - Lucerne

If you have some time left before heading to Lucerne, you may consider spending some time on the lake and visiting lovely Bern. Enjoy a lake cruise on the turquoise Lake Brienz and neighboring Lake Thun, situated in the spectacular mountainous setting of the Bernese Oberland. The city of Bern has managed to retain its historic features as the capital of Switzerland. The old town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, thanks to its 6 kilometres of arcades, referred to as the“Lauben”, boasts one of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe. (B)

Deluxe & Superior First Hotels: Continental Park or similar hotels

Day

9

Lucerne - Zurich - Return

You will spend your last day in one of the nicest cities in Switzerland, Lucerne, the gateway to central Switzerland at Lake Lucerne, embedded within an impressive mountainous panorama. Thanks to its attractions, souvenir and watch shops, the beautiful lakeside setting and the nearby excursion mountains of Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, the town is a destination for many travel groups and individuals on their journey through central Switzerland. One of the highlights along the Grand Tour lies in Lucerne; the Chapel Bridge. This covered, wooden pedestrian walkway was built in the 14th century. In 1993, the bridge burned down in a fire which made international headlines, but was reconstructed true to the original. Return to Zurich and return your car to your original starting point. Make your way to Zurich airport for your return flight home. If you wish, you may schedule a private transfer to the airport for an extra cost. (B)