All of our private tours are custom-designed with uniquely-crafted experiences made just for you and your loved ones, based on your travel priorities and interests. However, below you’ll find one of our more “classic” itineraries that will seamlessly show you our favorite hidden treasures and introduce you to our most inspiring local storytellers, without missing any of the iconic classics. While this itinerary is orchestrated with a chauffeur guide, we can also personalise self-drive tours. Just contact us by clicking here, or click here for a visual glimpse of what awaits you in beautiful Switzerland!
Number of days: 13
Why we like this itinerary: It gives you an unforgettable view of the best of the German and French-speaking alps, each with their own charm and authentic character, as well as the country’s most stunning lakes.
Even though we both live in this region, we never cease to be surprised by its beauty, and we truly believe it is a must for anyone who visits Switzerland. Just the sight of the Lavaux vineyards that dive into the turquoise colored waters of Lake Geneva, Europe’s largest lake, with the snow-capped French mountain peaks in front of you is worth the journey. But even if you’re not a wine enthusiast, you’ll be swept away by the region’s historic castles, its cultural landmarks, its tranquil lakeside towns, and its proximity to nature.
- Recommended hotel: Luxury doesn’t always come in the form of stars and marble floors… sometimes, it is best defined by privacy, sublime views and strategic location. Wouldn’t you agree? If so, you will surely love this three-bedroom bed and breakfast, set in a historic villa dating back to the 1800’s. Enjoy the 1’000m2 of private gardens, its setting on the shores of Lake Geneva and direct access to the renowned city of Montreux, just 15 minutes by foot along the promenade by the waterfront. One suggestion: don’t skip breakfast in the morning – the owner puts together a feast you won’t want to miss!
- Day 1: Upon arrival at the airport you will meet Max, your local companion who will be looking after you for the next few days. He will take you either directly to your hotel to relax or if you’re ready for your trip to get started, you’ll make a few stops along the way.
- Day 2: After a delicious homemade breakfast, our fabulous captain will be waiting for you to take you for a poetic cruise in his early 20th century saloon boat. At a very relaxed pace, you will follow the beautiful coast of the Lavaux wine region while listening to your captain’s local stories. You will disembark in the middle of the UNESCO-protected Lavaux, where lost in the vineyards, on the private balcony of a small winemaker’s hut, Max will host for you a delicious fondue overlooking Lake Geneva and the French Alps. After this magical moment, you will meet one of our favorite wine-makers, who will give you a tour of their vineyards, while telling you all about the secrets of Swiss wine-making. Don’t worry, Max won’t take you home before you taste a few of their finest “cépages”!
- Day 3: It’s time to say good bye to Lake Geneva and head towards new horizons. After breakfast, Max will take you to the famous medieval city of Gruyères to admire its castle and the majestic scenery over the region. You will then follow the river along the valley before going up to the green pastures of the Pays d’Enhaut where nature reigns. It’s in front a breath-taking view that your host of the day welcomes you in her secluded historic house for a typical homemade lunch. Before bringing you to your hotel to check in and relax, there is just one more character Max wants you to meet. In the privacy of her family-owned antique shop, a welcoming local artist will introduce you to the very delicate and fascinating paper cutting discipline, “Scherrenschnitte”. And if you’re up for it, why not give it a try yourself?
The Saanenland, a very special part of the Berner Oberland, is one of the most authentic and unspoiled alpine destinations in Switzerland, all whilst boasting charming chalet villages, breath-taking panoramic mountain views and world-class restaurants for every taste. On the border between the French and German speaking parts of Switzerland, this is the perfect place to immerse yourself in our country’s cultural heritage, while having a number of scenic hikes and fascinating activities on your doorstep.
- Recommended hotel: Where to even start with this hotel, which is probably in our top 5 favourites of the whole country? Is it the beautiful spa and outdoor pool? Is it the chalet-style rooms with a stylish twist? Is it the professional, yet friendly service philosophy that each member of the team represents? Or perhaps it’s the three exceptional restaurants offering a range of international cuisine? Oh wait no, it must be the sunning views, its proximity to the village of Gstaad, as well as to the most beautiful parts of the Berner Oberland…
- Day 4: You will start the day with a stroll around an alpine lake in a very bucolic setting at the end of a small valley… make sure you have your camera handy, you’ll need it! Max will then take you to a very unique place where the regional “treasure” is kept and matured for two to three years… We won’t say more because it’s all about the surprise, but the master of this “cheese vault” will be happy to share with you his stories around a local aperitif. Once back to the surface, you will take a cable car to reach your restaurant of the day and enjoy delicious food with sweeping vistas over the alps.
After lunch and a visit of the chalet villages of Gstaad and Saanen, Max will then bring you back to your hotel for you to freshen up and relax for a few hours. Then, in the late afternoon, he will come to pick you up for you to join him on a quick hike around a local mountain plateau. Do you hear this sound? This is the music of the most beloved Swiss instrument: the Alphorn. And the musician playing is waiting for you in front of a 180° panorama over the valley and surrounding peaks. While you enjoy your private concert and give the alphorn a try in front of the sunset, Max will set up a camp fire for you to cook your own dinner, the Swiss way: simple and delicious. After this magical evening under the stars, Max will take you to your hotel for a well-deserved good night’s sleep.
- Day 5: Today is the day that you get whisked away up to 3’000 meters in altitude! You will start with an impressive cable car ride to the top of the very famous Glacier 3000. There, you will be able to walk along the only suspension bridge to connect two mountain peaks and enjoy some of the most breath-taking mountain scenery in the country, that extends to the world-famous Matterhorn. While you’re there, kids and adults alike should not miss a thrilling ride aboard the world’s highest alpine coaster! You will then enjoy a walk in the snow to a remote cabin for a rustic but delicious Swiss culinary experience. A very uncommon type of vehicle will then take you back to the cable car to go back down in the valley. Max will then lead you to one of his favorite hidden gems of the region. Up there, hidden amidst the forest and the mountains, lays a very romantic lake where the motivated ones can take a dip, while the other cruise peacefully on a pedal boat. After a coffee break and bite in the adjacent mountain restaurant, Max will take you back to your hotel for you to relax and enjoy your last night in this heart-warming region.
- Day 6: Indeed, it is already time to say goodbye to this beautiful region and head to your next destination. But you know Max now: a transfer from one destination to the next is just the perfect opportunity for more adventures and discoveries.Today, you will skip the hotel breakfast to head to a very special place by taking one of Max’s secret roads through the mountains. There, a farmer and his wife have prepared for you a very generous breakfast made of the best local products. While you enjoy it, you will enjoy exclusive access to the different steps of the cheese making process. This inspiring experience in the middle of the nature and the cows will guarantee a morning to remember.
You will then cruise through anothermountain pass to have lunch in a very unique restaurant. In front of three of Switzerland’s most famous mountain peaks and a glistening lake, you will enjoy a culinary experience on the terrace of a romantic castle. Bon appétit!
After lunch, it’s time to hop on a train. Not any train though: a late 19th century steam cog railway that will take you up to 2’350 m to enjoy a 360° view over the lakes of the region and almost 700 peaks…
After you have enjoyed the ride and the amazing view, you will embark on a gondola down to the other side of the mountain where Max and the car will be waiting for you. Next stop: your cosy and alpine hotel set on a remote mountain plateau.
Let us whisk you away to a mountain paradise, high up above at 1’920m in the beautifully untouched region of Melchsee, known mainly by the Swiss locals. The experience starts the moment you arrive, as you get whisked away by a gondola from the station up to the car-free village. Once you arrive, you’ll find almost nothing around you except for a breath-taking lake and mountain plateau panorama with some of the most stunning hikes and biking trails in the country leaving from the doorstep of your hotel.
- Recommended hotel: This alpine-chic four-star lodge is all about the experience… the experience of staying high up in the secluded alps on a sunny plateau, with just the nature and the cows around you, all whilst having all the modern comfort you need. You’ll enjoy the peace and beauty of what’s outside your window, just as much as what you have inside: spectacular views, high-quality dining options and a relaxing spa to unwind and disconnect…
- Day 7: After a delicious breakfast on the terrace facing the lake and the mountains, you can choose amongst a broad range of family activities to do up here: from hiking to biking to giving speleology a try. Fishing your meals is also an option or simply have fun in the swimming pool of the hotel with the sound of cowbells outside… There are some great memories to be made!
- Day 8: The day after, Max will pick you up after breakfast to head to the Lake of Four Cantons in Central Switzerland, where Switzerland was born in 1291. On the way, you’ll enjoy a lunch on the top of a very unique ride before exploring the historic city of Luzern, its famous covered bridge, as well as its historic defensive walls and towers. Then, while Max takes care of your luggage, you will be picked up by one of our local captains who will sail you directly to your hotel, cruising through the fjord-like waters into the sunset.
Welcome to the heart of Switzerland, and the place where it all began back in 1291. The region of Lake Luzern is not only of great historical importance to the Swiss, but it is a truly spectacular sight, often compared to the Nordic Fjords. While the hotel is a destination of its own, there are numerous activities no matter the weather or your interest: the world-famous historical city of Luzern, the lesser-known lakeside towns, the mountains offering endless possibilities for all levels of adventure, and the unique shape and diversity of the lake ensure a holiday you will never forget.
- Recommended hotel: Few properties have captured our heart like this gem, which truly offers one of the most incredible hotel experiences in the world. It’s hard to put a finger on what makes it so magical, but let us try: Firstly, this boutique lake side jewel with only 56 rooms offers incredible views over the fjord-shaped Lake Luzern and exceptional service. Moreover, it benefits from a unique sense of tranquility and privacy, all whilst being set at the gateway of the city of Luzern, which can very easily be reached by car or by ferry in under an hour. Make sure you take some time to just enjoy its facilities… from its award-winning restaurants, to the spa, without forgetting the beauty of your own room! For more properties like this one, check out our Luxury Hotel Marathon.
- Day 9: We gladly leave you in the professional hands of one of our favourite and most knowledgeable guides in the country. And to prove it, today’s adventure will consist in hopping aboard a historic Swiss military 4×4 vehicle to drive into the high alpine mountain scenery with jaw-dropping viewpoints. Perhaps if you’re lucky, our guide will even yodel a tune or two for you on the way! A few thousand pictures later, you’ll have lunch in a very unique and surprising setting (we like to keep some surprises…!), before starting on an adventure hike in the military fortresses of World War 1 and 2… a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else!
- Day 10: Bring together emotional combination of animals and nature as you explore one of Switzerland’s most preserved regions on horseback. You will prepare your horse yourself, mount the saddle and then ride in full tranquility past farms, cheese dairies and mountain forests. At the end you will savor a well-deserved homemade picnic with a view or depending on the weather, our guide will take you to a charming traditional mountain inn. Life can be so beautiful!
- Day 11: Au revoir, Lake Luzern, it’s time for your final destination in Switzerland: Zurich in Eastern Switzerland. But before you enjoy what is often considered to be Switzerland’s most lively city, we have organised a stop you can’t miss: imagine a place, lost in the Swiss Alps, with only cows, green valleys, beautiful mountains and small villages around you. It’s in this striking setting that you’ll step into the fascinating world of our favorite chocolate makers by visiting one of their two chocolate factories. From the cocoa bean to the liquid chocolate, your guide will show you how all of the magic happens! After a delicious lunch in a scenic setting, it’s your turn to give this very local know-how a try with a private chocolate-making atelier! You’ll then continue on to Zurich, where you will discover your last but beautiful hotel of this amazing trip.
“Wilkommen” to Zurich, one of Switzerland’s most beautiful and vibrant cities, which wonderfully blends contemporary savoir-vivre with traditional architecture and heritage. Wander around the cobbled streets of the city’s charming old town, visit one of its renowned museums, go shopping on the vibrant Bahnhofstrasse and enjoy a gourmet experience in one of the city’s many celebrated restaurants.
- Recommended hotel: When you visit a vibrant city like Zurich, there’s no better place to stay than in the heart of it all: in the cobbled streets of the old town, near the renowned Bahnhofstrasse and just steps away from the lake. And that’s exactly where you’ll find this five-star boutique hotel which offers an inimitable mix of historical heritage and contemporary design. We know that you will value the comfort of the individually-designed rooms, the facilities boasting art work by the most renowned artists, and its restaurants appreciated by the local crowd as much as the travellers.
- Day 12: We suggest you take the time in Zurich to explore the lesser known nearby gems of Stein am Rhein and Stammheim accompanied by our guide. This will be your chance to discover the world-famous Swiss train system, as you hop aboard in direction of Stein am Rhein, one of our favorite fairytale villages in the country famous for its very distinct architecture. After lunch, it’s time to take the direction of Stammheim, a village that has kept its name off the tourist map, and that is celebrated for its picturesque fame work farmhouses, very typical for Zurich’s wine country. With a million memorable images in mind of your day, our guide will take you back to your hotel.
- Day 13: As your flight is only in the afternoon, we suggest that you enjoy the morning to get to know Zurich better than most of its local, with a private guided tour of the city! After a tasty lunch in one of our recommended restaurants, your private chauffeur will pick you up to take you to the airport…. Bon Voyage!
About Chantal & Max Switzerland Travel Design
Because your holidays are too precious not to be extraordinary, at Chantal & Max Switzerland Travel Design we save you the time and stress of internet research, and seamlessly connect you to the heart of Switzerland with our bespoke itineraries, private guided tours and expert travel planning services. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here for your custom luxury vacation to Switzerland that you will never forget!