Self-guided Grand Tour: Mürren, Zermatt, Pontresina
(Village-based luxury tour)
Length: 8 days
Hike Rating: Moderate - Strenuous
When tourists first started coming to the Alps in the 1700 and 1800's, their travels, known as "The Grand Tour", were always first class and included stops in Europe's most well-known destinations. We've recreated that experience here with visits to three of the most classic alpine destinations. In Grand Tour style, you'll stay in absolute comfort in distinctive, luxurious hotels, including the stunning 5-star Riffelalp Resort - the best accomodations each area has to offer - and travel by 1st class rail along the Glacier Express between Zermatt and Pontresina. World-class hotels, scenic train rides, and memorable villages make this tour a great choice for non-hiking spouses and friends who would prefer to spend time relaxing while others hike.
Your tour starts in Mürren, a gorgeous car-free village perched dramatically atop a cliff overlooking the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. You then continue on to Zermatt, a hiker's paradise, nestled beneath the incomparable Matterhorn. Finally, the famous Glacier Express train takes you on a scenic cross-country journey to Pontresina, the serene jewel of the St. Moritz lakes region. All three areas contain numerous unforgettable hikes and vistas that make this tour grand in every sense! Our 8-day tour includes 3 nights in Murren, 2 in Zermatta and 2 in Pontresin, while the 11-day tour stays 4 nights in Murren, 3 in Zermatt and 3 in Pontresina.
Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at your hotel - a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs made to order, coffee and freshly squeezed juice - which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you'll be out on the trail for the day, with longer and shorter hiking options to choose from, and some of the world's greatest scenery to explore.
You should finish your hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax at the hotel, visit the pool and spa, or perhaps do a bit of shopping in town. All of our hotels on this tour have great views and gorgeous pool and spa areas, so you should look forward to having time each day to enjoy those. Later, enjoy dinner at your hotel's restaurant. These are true gourmet, multi-course feasts, sometimes centered on local specialties, prepared by some of the finest chefs in the Alps. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and our dinners will be exquisite, memorable affairs. Typically we leave one dinner in Zermatt free, so you will have a chance to explore on your own.
You'll have many hikes to choose from, but here are some of our favorites:
Day 1 The Grand Tour starts with arrival in Zürich and a train ride to Mürren, our home away from home in Switzerland. The trip takes just over 3 hours. Mürren is an idyllic, car-free village, perched atop a sheer 3000-foot cliff above the waterfall-filled Lauterbrunnen valley (picture Yosemite with a Swiss village on top). Take some time to explore the village and enjoy the views and fresh air before settling in to your welcome dinner at the elegant 4-star Hotel Eiger. (Hotel Eiger)
Self-guided Grand Tour, details:
Our self-guided prices are per person, based on two people sharing a standard double room, and include:
All self-guided tours include hiking maps, detailed route descriptions (including longer, shorter, and rainy day options), train schedules, sightseeing suggestions, and lots of useful information to help ensure a successful trip. You'll also have a local contact to call if you have any questions or problems during your trip.
Not included are lunches, drinks with dinners, extras (such as laundry, phone calls from the room, etc), travel to and from trailheads, and transportation outside of the itinerary.
Although this is designed as a luxury travel experience, we can also arrange this tour on our standard tour basis with nice 3-star hotels and/or 2nd class railpass for a more modest vacation. If you'd like to lengthen or shorten this tour, add destinations, or create a customized tour of Switzerland from scratch, let us know. We have extensive experience all over Switzerland, and will be happy to work with you to build the hiking vacation that best suits your needs.
For info on our Grand Tour and the rest of Switzerland,
call toll free: (888) 509-7810
or direct: (503) 459-3940
Or email: email@example.com
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