If you have unlimited time and money, one of Europe’s greatest pleasures is getting lost in the Swiss Alps, wandering about at random, making new discoveries off the beaten path, and finding untrampled villages deep in the mountains.

But vacations are getting shorter, the Swiss franc isn’t getting any less competitive, and you might have to plan your trip with the kind of precision and efficiency the Swiss themselves are known for. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

The first two itineraries in this chapter (“Switzerland in 1 Week” and “Switzerland in 2 Weeks”) skim all the highlights. If you’ve already explored the well-trodden likes of Zurich, Bern, Geneva, and Lucerne, consider our route through the less crowded Alpine regions of Graubünden, the Engadine, and Ticino. We also suggest an itinerary for families.

Switzerland’s highways are some of the best-maintained in Europe, but veer off into the mountains and you’ll find narrow, twisting passes that are not for the inattentive or weak of stomach. In winter, some high Alpine roads are closed or require snow chains.

Then again, you may not need to drive at all: Switzerland is blessed with one of the world’s most efficient rail systems. Zurich and Geneva are the main hubs, and you can get to nearly anywhere from either one.

If the pace here starts to feel a bit breathless, remember you can always skip a sight to have some chill-out time—after all, you’re on a holiday.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.