If you have unlimited time, 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 few of us have such a generous amount of time in the speeded-up 21st century. Vacations are getting shorter, and a "lean-and-mean" schedule is called for if you want to experience the best of any country in a short amount of time.
If you're pressed for time, the "Switzerland in 1 Week" and "Switzerland in 2 Weeks" itineraries may be most helpful for skimming the highlights. If you've been to Switzerland before -- exploring such well-trodden tourist meccas as Zurich, Bern, Geneva, and Lucerne -- you may want to discover a different area of the country this time. Consider our itinerary for "The Grisons, the Engadine & Ticino." We also suggest an itinerary for families.
If you stick to the main highways, Switzerland offers some of the best-maintained roads in Europe. But when you wander off the main roads -- in particular, heading up to the mountains -- you'll find your driving skills tested. And though Switzerland is one alpine-high country, it also has miles upon miles of rolling meadowland, often filled with grazing cows.
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. The itineraries here take you to major attractions such as Bern and Lausanne, but also direct you to more secluded beauty spots and lesser known resorts such as Silvaplana and Morcote.
The pace may be a bit breathless for some visitors, so skip a town or sight occasionally to have some chill-out time -- after all, you're on a holiday.