When you think of Switzerland, several classic icons come to mind – not so much as a cliché, but these are the things that have defined Switzerland’s reputation throughout the world. Watches, trains, chocolate, cheese – and you can experience all of them on a trip through the Alps.
Precision, detail, and craftsmanship – all of these are essential in creating a product that is as legendary as the Swiss timepiece. Learn about the process on an exclusive tour of one of Switzerland’s oldest watch manufacturers. Or have a guided tour of the Musée International de Horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds, or the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. You’ll never look at a watch the same after understanding the work that goes into the creation of one of these mechanical masterpieces.
Just as famous are the trains that crisscross this alpine countryside, as ambitious an undertaking as any engineering feat in post-industrial times. The Jungfraujoch rises high above the Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald valleys, pierces the mighty Eiger for over 30 minutes, and arrives at the top station, Europe’s highest gare at 3454m. Just as impressive is the Gornergrat, built 120 years ago, taking passengers high above Zermatt up to 3000m, for a view of the Monte Rosa and Matterhorn. Or the venerable Glacier Express train, which runs between Zermatt and St. Moritz, crossing the Oberalp Pass, with incredible views from its glass-roofed panoramic cars.
The countless cablecars and ski lifts are just as accessible for sightseeing in any season. The views from the top of the Klein Matterhorn (3883m) stretch from Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean on a clear day, an extraordinary sight.
And don’t forget the chocolate Matterhorn, the world-famous Toblerone bar. No trip to Switzerland would be complete without a visit to one of the celebrated chocolate houses like Cailler or Lindt & Sprüngli. Take a tour of the factory, or try your hand at making your own chocolates in a private atelier. We have also sourced many small artisanal chocolatiers who offer private visits and a window into their specialized craft.