We know Route 66, the Trans-Canada Highway, the Mandarine Route… So many mythical routes that make travelers dream. Here is a little news that covers a country small in size, but large in the beauty of its landscapes, the extent of its heritage and its know-how: the Grand Tour of Switzerland.
Ce 1 km circuit takes you through the most beautiful regions of Switzerland and discover all its diversity, variety and spectacular beauty. You can do it in whole or in part, at your own pace, by car and / or train.
Taking the most beautiful routes and avoiding highways as much as possible, it offers a magnificent overview of Swiss towns and villages, but not only: on the menu of the Grand Tour of Switzerland, we find art, culture, architecture, nature , as well as tourist attractions steeped in Swiss tradition and history, without forget all the sites and biospheres in Switzerland listed as World Heritage by Unesco.
Not less than 22 lakes punctuate the route of this exceptional road, as well as five alpine passes. Its highest point is at the Furka Pass (2 m) and its lowest point at Lake Maggiore (429 m).
New: The Routard "Le Grand Tour de Suisse"
The Routard guide offers you a special edition in color and richly illustrated to know everything about the Grand Tour of Switzerland.
So that you don't miss a thing on your journey, the guide indicates the 44 must-see sites for a discovery of nature or a cultural visit.
All along the route, we show you good addresses to savor Swiss hospitality or taste the local gastronomy. Also with a detachable plan of the circuit, but also our favorites and anecdotes to discover Switzerland in an unusual light.
Our favorites on the Grand Tour of Switzerland
It's hard to make a choice, but here are some steps that have left us with lasting memories:
- Geneva, city of art and culture: for its famous fountain on Lake Geneva, its museums, its watchmaking know-how, its old town.
- The Lavaux, at the gates of Lausanne for its magnificent terraced vineyards tumbling down to Lake Geneva and classified by Unesco.
- Zermatt, the most famous resort in Valais located at the foot of the legendary Matterhorn (or Matterhorn in German).
- The Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps dominated by the Jungfrau mountain, one of the 50 natural wonders of the world.
- Bellinzona and its three castles (Unesco), a little gem of Ticino, Italian Switzerland.
- The Swiss National Park, in Graubünden, for its impressive flora and fauna.
- The rhine falls, spectacular especially in summer when the water flow is high.
- Zurich, for its lake, its old town, its museums, its cosmopolitan atmosphere and its alternative culture that will surprise you.
- Lucerne, a charming city on the shores of Lake Lucerne and famous for its Chapel Bridge.
- Berne, pocket capital with a charming historic center classified by Unesco.
- The Lake Brienz, blue pearl in the heart of the Bernese Oberland with nearby legendary mountains and romantic valleys like Lauterbrunnen.
- Gruyères, one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland, where the famous cheese comes from.
- Fribourg, which has one of the most extensive old towns in Europe.
- Neuchâtel, for its lake, its relaxed rhythm of life and the formidable Laténium archaeological museum nearby.
- Basel, a pleasant city of culture which houses no less than forty museums.
Consult our Swiss online guide
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The Grand Tour of Switzerland on Switzerland Tourism
When to go
The period from May to October is the most suitable for this route.
How long ?
Plan at least 7 days for the central loop, with 5 hours of driving per day. But nothing prevents you from taking your time, or from doing only one (or more) section (s) of the Grand Tour, in one or more times!
Which way to do the Tour?
The Grand Tour is passable in both directions. Switzerland Tourism recommends doing it clockwise, and more particularly in towns with one-way streets or motorway junction.