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trip by 4* coach, on-board drinks and snacks, scenic bus tour, 6 nights in 3* hotels, including breakfast, great group of international people, a lifetime memory
guided tours, lunches, dinners
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Did you always want to visit Switzerland? See those stunning cities, the scenic landscapes, and the majestic mountain tops? This is your chance. Join Expat Club on a unique visit to this amazing Alpine country. We visit the most historic Swiss cities, the most scenic regions and the most impressive mountain tops. Lets discover many incredibly beautiful places together and learn about the things this Alpine country is famous for. We travel by highly comfortable Royal Class coach (2018 model!) with extra extra leg space, leg flaps and foot rests, so you can enjoy this trip optimally. We stay in good hotels and designed a great program for you. This will be a trip never to forget! Oh, and we are happy to announce that we will definitely make a stop in Luxembourg to pick up our friendly expat neighbours.
Everybody has front-row seats with this unique theater-style Royal Class bus.
Our transportation – Travelling in style For this trip you will travel with the most comfortable bus on the Belgian roads, namely a brand-new VanHool Astronef. This bus has all-leather Royal Class reclining seats with tons of leg space, leg flaps and foot rests. All seats have a USB port, so you will never have an empty phone or iPad. But what makes this bus really special is the inclining theater-style seat configuration, which means the seats in the back of the bus are higher than the front, so everyone sees what is happening on the road. The ultra-luxury experience is completed with the front-to-back roof window. It doesn’t get any better!
We set this trip up in a somewhat flexible way. The route and the hotels are fixed, but we are purposefully not planning visits to the mountain peaks (Titlis, Eggishorn with views on Aletsch glacier, and the Gornetgrat and Kleiner Matterhorn in Zermatt). The reason is that a too rigid schedule with only fixed program points may be disadvantageous for us. Cloudy weather conditions may make the “mountain” days not so interesting (no visibility = no fun = waste of time and money). Therefore we want to keep some flexibility and, for instance, visit the lovely Appenzell region first when the Titlis is cloudy and then go there the day after. For the same reason we also will not book any cable cars or seats in a restaurant, unless the short-term weather forecast report good visibility. Rest assured, there are many great alternatives and since we spend several days in the high mountains you’ll be guaranteed to see lots of amazing scenery.
Day 1 – Sunday 29 July
Trip to Switzerland, pick-up stop in Luxembourg City (near centre), 3* Holiday Inn Express in Zürich (3 nights, including breakfast). We depart on Sunday to prevent getting stuck in traffic on the busy “Black Saturday” on the German highways.
Day 2 or 3 – Monday 30 July & Tuesday 31 July: Zürich, Liechtenstein, Appenzell, Luzern & Titlis The 2nd and 3rd day can be switched, depending on the weather conditions around the Titlis region.
Day “a”: In the morning we visit Zürich, a city that ranks in the top of cities with the highest quality of living in the world. FYI, it’s also one of the most expensive place to live, but that aside…. We make a bus tour around the city and of course visit the old town itself. It’s great to walk along the river and the beautiful lake. It’s a true warm up for the rest of the day and the rest of the trip!
Immaculate and super expensive Zürich
In the afternoon we continue by bus to visit a few other places in this region of Switzerland, including the large Einsiedeln abbey, the historic city of Sankt Gallen, with its highly ranked University, and the picturesque Appenzell region with the famous Swiss cows.
You’ll certainly totally fall in love with Switzerland on your very first day in the country. And as an extra bonus you’ll be invited to score another “country point” by driving with us through micro-state Liechtenstein. It’s not the most “happening” place, but since we’re in the neighbourhood, let’s not let go of this opportunity before we drive onward to the lovely Appenzell region.
The impressively large Bénédictine Abbey of Einsiedeln | by Hofec (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Score another country-point in Liechtenstein | RossHelen Shutterstock
We’ll drive through the lovely Appenzell region that is famous for its typical Swiss cows with the cheerful bells
Day “b”: We spend the day South from Zürich in the Vierwaldstätter region. Its stunning lake has four “arms” and many sharp bends, a rather complicated shape compared to most other Swiss lakes. It’s situated between various mountains and on its coastline you will find many lovely cities and smaller villages.
Of course we visit the largest city: Lucerne or Luzern in Swiss German (the official name). Like Zürich it is a rather rich town, with many exclusive hotels and shops. No wonder, because the location is amazing at the very end of one of the arms.
Lucerne, one of the most beautiful Swiss cities
The historic Kapellbrücke on the Reuss river
There are many things to do in this region, and it’s up to you how you would like to spend your time here. During checkout you can indicate your preference, so possibly we can organise guided tours there. For instance:
Sonnenbergtunnel: an underground complex for 20.000 civilians in case a nuclear war would break out.
Verkehrshaus: a top-rated museum dedicated to transportation
Vierwaldstättersee boot tours: magnificent boat rides on the lake, with a possible crossing to the city of Brunnen where you can visit the Victorinox museum.
Pilatus Mountain Top: with a superb 360 degrees view over the city, the lake and the wider region (with the very high mountains as well)
The scenic Vierwaldstättersee with its four arms
Make a beautiful boat ride to the other side of the lake
We can’t do everything of course, otherwise our trip would have to be at least 4 weeks long, but we’ll spend the afternoon and evening there. In the morning we plan to ascend to one of the most famous Swiss mountain tops, the Titlis. This is an optional visit and you may decide to spend more time around the lake, or you may just go for some hiking in Engelberg, the base station for the Titlis mountain. Either way, we’ll meet in the city again in the evening.
Engelberg lies in the middle of the higher Swiss mountains
At 3.238 meters altitude the Titlis is the most impressive mountain in the Lucerne region (CHF 92). It of course offers stunning views, but what makes this mountain top so special is the rotating cable car. At the top you can visit the beautiful blue Glacier Cave, take the Ice Flyer chairlift over the snowcapped mountain (+ 12 CHF) and if you dare you can cross the super scary Titlis Cliff Walk, Europe’s highest suspension bridge 500 meters above the ground (free). You can find your host in the restaurant, because “uhuhmm”, you know, “been there done that” 😉
Day 4 – Wednesday 1 August: The best transfer day ever Today we need to travel from the Northern part of Switzerland to the Southern Wallis / Valais region, which is half German and half French speaking. But instead of just spending time on the highway, we will travel over the most impressive mountain roads of Europe.
We will be crossing 2 mountain passes, the Süstenpass and the Grimselpass, and possibly also drive up the Furka a bit, before we reach the village of Fiesch, our final destination of the day. We stay in nice 3* hotels at the foot of the mountain.
The Sustenpass leads us to over 2.200 meters above sea level
The spectacular Grimsel & Furka Passes | by Cooper.ch (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
During the day you may opt for two visits, namely a Hydro-electric plant or a super steep mountain train (Gelmerbahn). In the checkout process you can decide what you prefer. We will only make reservations once we are certain the weather conditions will be beneficial for these visits, so no worries that you will be charged.
Don’t look down if you can’t stand heights… | by Kecko (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Yes, it’s that steep! | by Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Day 5 – Thursday 2 August: Aletsch Glacier & Zermatt
We begin our day early in the village of Fiesch, at least for those who want, because at 8h25 we go up the Eggishorn (optional, about 50CHF). With 2.975 meters it is certainly a high mountain top, but with many “four-thousanders” around it you are not going up here for the altitude. It’s the views that are so spectacular. From the Eggishorn you will have an awesome panorama over the mega Aletsch glacier that runs all the way from the famous Jungfrau to deep into the valley. This visit is optional, and obviously only worth it if the weather is good, but for those who stay behind, you can stay in the village, or just go up half-way the mountain to Fiescheralp. You can indicate during checkout what you prefer.
Aletsch Glacier, you can literally hear the ice moving from a distance.
In the later morning / early afternoon we travel onward to probably the highlight of our Switzerland trip, the exquisite car-free mountain village of Zermatt. Needless to say that this place is forever connected to the awe inspiring Matterhorn, one of the worlds steepest, most dangerous and most iconic mountain tops.
Matterhorn, possibly the world’s most iconic mountain
In Zermatt we stay in highly rated 3* hotels in the village center, at just a few minutes from the railway station. That’s handy, because the bus has to stay behind in the lower village Täsch, so we won’t have to walk too far with our luggage when we arrive by train. Also it is good as many of us are likely to go up the famous Gornergrat with the Gornergratbahn (+ 92 CHF).
Endless exploring in green/white Zermatt
A trip to the Gornergrat (3.089 meters) is unforgettable. Not only is it one of the most scenic train rides in the world, but the views from the top are over-the-top breathtaking. If the weather is good, we advise everyone to take this ride up! A ticket costs about 96 CHF.
Gornergrat near Zermatt | by Johnw (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
The Gornergratbahn, facing the North side of the Valais valley
Zermatt Glacier Paradise Another amazing ride. In fact, this one leads you to the highest reachable point in Europe by cable car at a whopping 3.833 meters. You can see many “four-thousanders” (mountain tops over 4.000 m high), including the Breithorn (4,164 m), the Gran Paradiso (4.061 m) in Italy, and of course the Mont Blanc (4,810 m) in France, the Alp’s highest mountain. Also this one is highly recommended. The price is about 96 CHF.
Towards the Kleiner Matterhorn, the highest point reachable by cable car in Europe. Stunning views of Italy guaranteed! | by Papa Lima Whiskey 2, KleinMatterhorn.jpg
Things can ALWAYS get better! Fly with us around the Matterhorn and to the Jungfrau. Champagne included!
Helicopter ride Zermatt
You thought it doesn’t get any better? What about flying over the glaciers around Zermatt and around the Matterhorn itself? This is truly unforgettable! Of course it comes at a price, namely 220 CHF for 20 minutes, 320 CHF for 30 minutes and 420 CHF for 40 minutes. In fact, if enough people are interested, we may even rent a helicopter for a longer flight from Zermatt to that other world-famous Swiss mountain top, the Jungfrau. On the way we’ll enjoy stunning views of the Aletsch glacier and several other mountain tops. Of course we’ll land at the Jungfrau and spend some time there to enjoy the views, before we get back on our private chopper. The costs would be about 460 CHF per person. You can indicate during checkout whether you are interested, but actual bookings will be handled separately. First come, first serve.
Getting here by bus takes too long and the usual train ride also costs 200 CHF (with huge lines in summer), so why not just fly by helicopter to the Jungfrau? That’s much more comfortable 🙂
Day 6 – Friday 3 August: Zermatt Just one day in Zermatt is not enough, so today we spend the entire day in this beautiful mountain village.
Day 7 – Saturday 4 August: from Zermatt to Bern We leave Zermatt in the morning and drive down the mountain into the Rhône valley. Soon we end up in the French speaking part where we drive by Switzerland’s largest Lake, the Lac Leman or Lake of Geneva. The North side of the lake is Swiss and the South side is French.
We make a short stop in the beautiful town of Montreux for a little stroll on the edge of the lake, which is world famous for its Jazz festival. One of its main tourist attractions is the medieval Chillon Castle. We may optionally visit this castle, depending on the time available after our trip from Zermatt.
The Chillon Castle near Montreux with the 4000’ers in the background | by Zacharie Grossen (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Montreux lies on the North side of the lake and has been visited by the biggest (jazz) music stars
A final look at Lac Leman before we travel North again, with France on the left and Switzerland on the right | by Schnäggli (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
We end our day and Switzerland trip in the Swiss banking capital Basel, which is situated right at the border with Germany and France.
Day 8 – Sunday 5 August: Why do all good things come to an end?
On our final day we will wake up again in a nice 3* hotel in Basel, may make another stroll through the city, before we return to Brussels. We should arrive in the late afternoon / early evening (to be confirmed).
Accommodation During this trip we will be staying in good and well-rated modern or authentically local 3* hotels in Zürich, Fiesch, Zermatt and Basel. Breakfast is included. We put a lot of effort into finding high quality hotels that are both somewhat affordable (Switzerland is crazy expensive), have a good location and give you the real Switzerland experience.
Rooms We will be offering the following rooms that you can select upon checkout. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom with toilet and shower / bath.
Single rooms (one bed, often a double bed, for a surcharge)
Double rooms (one double bed, for couples. Note we cannot guarantee this because many Swiss hotels offer “twin rooms”)
Twin rooms (two single beds, for 2 friends sharing and for our room-sharing option that allows you to share the room with another lady or gentleman to avoid the single room surcharge)
Triple / family rooms (these have either three single beds, or one double and a single, depending on the hotel. If you are interested, please let us know)
Room sharing We offer special twin rooms for those who would like to share a room with 2 single beds. This could be for 2 friends or colleagues who already know each other, or for solo travellers who prefer not to spend extra money on a single room. We introduce all solo ladies to each other, and of course also all the gentlemen. This means that Expat Club does NOT assign you to a room, but you decide yourself with who you would like to share a room. From previous trips we can conclude that many people like this extra service a lot.
Families This trip is excellent for families. We would like to make sure that you will get the proper rooms (eventually larger family rooms) and that you get the right offer for your children.
Optional visits There are many nice things to do and visit in Switzerland that are for free, it is just one big open-air museum. However, for the most spectacular panoramic viewpoints it will unfortunately cost some money. As written above, many of these places are only worth it with the right weather conditions. Therefore we will not charge you in advance for any additional visits at the time of booking. If you join, we will send you in due time more specific information about these visits. From Expat Club we can only say that all these visits are highly worth it, but rest assured that there are many alternatives things to do.
Comments & special terms
The trip will be carried out by our trusted coach partner Lauwers Reizen.
This trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings and schedules indicative and may change if required by circumstances such as weather conditions.
The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation and arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know and we may consider a small discount.
You are personally responsible for getting a good travel and/or cancellation insurance that covers you for any unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses during the trip.
You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
Expat Club cannot be held liable for long delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours, traffic d-tours and delays), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during mountain walks.
If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). We organise at least one get-together before the trip so you can meet the other travellers. Also, during the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement.
The Royal Class bus may be replaced with a Princess Class bus (slightly less leg space) if our group is smaller than 35 participants.
Expat Club may “upgrade” or “downgrade” you to another hotel. In case of a downgrade, you will be refunded the surcharge. However, we have never done so in the past and it is certainly not our policy. For this trip we have the policy that those who book early will get the better rooms (e.g. with a balcony or nicer view).