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Chocolates & Cheese Swiss Self-Drive: Interlaken & Zurich

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,820

FIRST-CLASS | SELF-DRIVE: Sample the visual and culinary delights of the Alps on this delicious Switzerland tour. Arrive in Zurich, then explore the charming cities of Bern and Lucerne, and spend most of your time at picturesque Interlaken, in the heart of the Alps all while travelling at your own pace.


This 8-day Switzerland journey is an easy round trip from the country’s largest city, Zurich. It combines the country’s most delightful cities and mountain regions with tastings of its best cheese, chocolate and more.

Zurich is too often bypassed by Europe travellers intimidated by its expensive reputation as a ‘banker’ city. Some of its best attractions though, such as a walk along Lake Zurich, are completely free. A night here will offer you at least a glimpse of what modern Switzerland is about before going on to Bern. With its UNESCO heritage listed Old Town, Switzerland’s capital is not only a very attractive city, but an unexpected shopping hub with six kilometres of indoor shopping arcades.

Beautiful Interlaken is your base for most of your stay, surrounded by two lakes and a comprehensive network of cable cars, chair and ski lifts and railways, allowing you to make the most of its impressive location. Spend a day at leisure, then board the Jungfrau Railway, which takes you to Europe’s highest train station and some astonishing glacier views.

Then choose between two different foodie trips, one to the cheese producing town of Gruyere and Maison Caillier chocolate factory, or the other, to the Kambly biscuit factory and Emmentaler show dairy, known for its wonderful cream cheese. Then spend a thrilling day at Grindelwald and First Mountain. Ascend the slopes by scenic gondola, then enjoy the thrills and spectacle of the ZipRider as you fly down the mountain.

Bid Interlaken farewell and make your way to Lucerne. This somewhat more traditional city offers not just amazing mountain views, but a superb concert hall and impressive Picasso collection. Return to Zurich for your departure.

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,820

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive to Switzerland

Individual arrival and pick up of rental car at Zurich Airport (or the agreed rental car location) and make your way to Zurich city centre. The hotel will provide instructions on the most suitable parking area for the rental car ($ at own expense). Zurich is the cultural and financial hub of Switzerland. This unique city enjoys a lovely location on the Limmat River, close to Lake Zurich. It offers many restaurants and shops and well over 150 museums and galleries. The 13th-century Fraumünster is worth a visit for its romanesque choir and Chagall stained glass windows, while the distinctive Grossmünster can be seen from many parts of the city. 

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Zürich

Duration1 Night
Day 2

Zürich - Bern – Interlaken

Breakfast at the hotel. Collect your car rental from the designated parking area and travel to Interlaken via Bern which is a UNESCO world heritage site. The cobbled streets and covered arcades of the Old Town are crammed into a peninsular of land, surrounded by the river Aare. A focal point is the impressive Zytglogge (clock tower) as well as the many fountains and colourful statues. Continue your journey to Interlaken, in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. This resort 'between two lakes' offers

beautiful views of the surrounding mountains including the famous Jungfraujoch. The resort has a buzz about it with plenty of shops and restaurants. On arrival at your hotel for the next 5 days, instruction will be given regarding parking ($ at own expense).

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Interlaken

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration5 Nights
Day 3

Interlaken - Lake Brienz and Lake Thun Area – Interlaken

Breakfast at the hotel. Explore the surrounding area of Interlaken on a self-drive tour along two lakes. The turquoise Lake Brienz and neighbouring Lake Thun are set amid the spectacular mountain scenery of the Bernese Oberland. Recommended places to stop along the route are the Giessbach Falls. The roaring waterfall thunders in a number of different stages down 500 meters into the lake. Popular spots include the southern bank of Lake Brienz from Bonigen and Iseltwald. As you navigate around Lake

Brienz via Interlaken you will come alongside Lake Thun. The towns of Thun and Spiez are also worthwhile stops for consideration.

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Interlaken

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Interlaken - Jungfraujoch – Interlaken

Breakfast at the hotel, and enjoy a day at the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe. The Jungfraujoch offers unbelievable views of the mountain giants Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, and of the Aletsch glacier. Take the local train from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald on the Bernese Oberland Railway. The short journey leads to the starting point of the mountain adventure. Choose to take the Eiger Express cable car or the traditional train - both offer different experiences - arrive at the highest railway station in Europe and

experience a high-Alpine wonderland of ice and snow. Return via Eigergletscher on the cable car or train.

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Interlaken

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Interlaken - A Day Of Chocolate & Cheese

Breakfast at the hotel. Today it is all about Swiss Chocolate and Cheese. An early start to the day is required to experience this extraordinary culinary journey of Switzerland's most famous produce. This self-driven tour starts by driving due northwest to Broc, which is the home of the Swiss chocolate brand Cailler. Entry to the chocolate factory and a tour are included. Later a short stop by the village of Gruyere is recommended too - the famous medieval castle dominates this picturesque village.

Continue by driving slightly northeast of Bern to the Emmentaler Show dairy, entry is included, and you will see at firsthand how Swiss cheese is made. A late lunch/early dinner is recommended and we suggest a hearty cheese fondue ($ at own expense). Return by car to Interlaken.

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Interlaken

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Grindelwald - First Mountain & First Flyer – Interlaken

After breakfast at the hotel, travel by train to Grindelwald and continue by cable car to First Mountain. One of the most scenic areas in the Jungfrau region. Not to be missed is the summit attraction - the Cliff Walk by Tissot - which consists of a suspension bridge jutting out from the side of the mountain, with an amazing 45m long observation platform. You will enjoy unparalleled views of the mountains. Also included in your ticket is the First Gider. An 800m long steel cable zip wire, up to 50m above the

ground, with speeds of up to 84km per hour! This ride is definitely for thrill seekers. The Flyer takes you from First down to the middle station of Schrekfeld. You are safely strapped into a seat with well-constructed harnesses. Up to four people can ride down separately but simultaneously on the gigantic zip lines. Return via Grindeland by train to Interlaken.

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Interlaken

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Interlaken - Lucerne – Zurich

After breakfast at the hotel, travel by car to Lucerne before continuing to Zurich. Lucerne has a wonderful Old Town, a beautiful lake, and stunning local mountains. The famous Chaple Bridge which sits on wooden stilts straddles the powerful River Reuss. The covered bridge is decorated with traditional paintings depicting scenes from Swiss history. If chocolate tasting/making is

still on your mind we recommend visiting Max Chocolatier in either Lucerne or Zurich. Details can be provided on request. Return to Zurich for a final overnight stay.

 

Accommodation: Hotel in Zürich

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 8

Departure To Airport/Swiss Border

All good things come to an end! After breakfast and ahead of your return flight home, drive to the airport to drop-off your vehicle. Bon voyage!

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily from April 1 to October 31

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 8-day car rental compact 4-door automatic or similar including insurance with airport pick-up and drop-off 
  • 5 nights in moderate accommodations in Interlaken
  • 2 nights in moderate accommodations in Zurich
  • Transfers on day 4 and 6 by rail in 2nd class Interlaken Ost - Grindelwald and return
  • Non-guided excursions to:
  • Jungfraujoch
  • First Mountain
  • First Flyer
  • "Maison Cailler and Gruyere" and "Emmentaler Showdairy
  • Interlaken Guest Card 
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1)

PRICE EXLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa fees if applicable

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB STCSWITZUR0323SG: FIT 127 M
23 Oct 2023
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