See Switzerland's spectacular scenery on a coach tour
Planning

Best Switzerland Tours for travel in 2024

December 8, 2021 Last Updated on February 13, 2024

Being relatively small in size, and with a wonderful road and train network, Switzerland is easy to travel around independently. But independent travel isn’t for everyone.

If you’d rather not spend your Swiss vacation looking at timetables and maps but would prefer to have someone else work out the logistics of getting you from A to B, one of the many Switzerland guided group tours that are on the market could be just what you are looking for.

Thankfully, there are plenty of Switzerland tour packages with varying itineraries available and in this guide we compare what we believe are the best Switzerland tours.

Prefer to take a private tour? Browse our Switzerland private tour suggestions here.

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Best Switzerland Coach and Rail Tours

Tour nameOperatorDurationGroup sizeMore info
Grand Tour of Switzerland ExplorerSwitzerland Travel Centre9 daysMax. 12Click for more info
Spectacular SwitzerlandGlobus9 daysMax. 30Click for more info
Grand Tour of SwitzerlandCosmos10 daysMax. 50Click for more info
Best of SwitzerlandTrafalgar9 daysMax. 50Click for more info
Country Roads of SwitzerlandInsight Vacations14 daysMax. 40Click for more info
Festive Spirit of SwitzerlandAPT13 daysMax. 22Click for more info
Best of Switzerland rail tour Intrepid10 daysMax. 12Click for more info
Switzerland by RailAPT13 daysMax. 40Click for more info
Scenic Switzerland by TrainCosmos9 daysMax. 50Click for more info
Swiss Alps Grand Rail TourEcho Rails and Trails12 daysMax. 18Click for more info
Christmas Markets Grand Rail TourEcho Rails and Trails9 daysMax. 16Click for more info


Best Switzerland Tours by Coach

With so many escorted coach tours on the market it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.  There are varying price points and vastly different itineraries and inclusions so it can get very confusing.

To help make it easier for you to decide on the right tour for your Switzerland vacation, we’ve compared a range of options and come up with our list of the best of Switzerland tours for 2024 and 2025.

Grand Tour of Switzerland Explorer

A row boat on Lake Geneva at Montreux, Switzerland

Operator: Switzerland Travel Centre

Our verdict: A luxury, small group tour including panoramic trains, mountain excursions, and more

🇨🇭 DISCOUNT OFFER: Holidays to Switzerland readers get 5% off. More info here.

The Grand Tour of Switzerland Explorer tour is a small group trip taking in the very best of Switzerland. A small Mercedes Benz Sprinter is used to transport no more than 12 passengers. Journeys on panoramic trains are also included for the full scenic experience. 

As well as a luxury minivan and first class panoramic train travel, this small group tour operated by Switzerland Travel Centre includes four star hotel accommodation. Book this tour and overnight stays in Zurich, St. Gallen, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Montreux, Grindelwald, and Lucerne are all included. 

The panoramic trains you’ll board are the Glacier Express, the GoldenPass Line and the Bernina Express. You’ll also visit thundering Rhine Falls, and St. Gallen’s historic UNESCO World Heritage Abbey Library. The trip also includes mountain excursions to Gornergrat and Jungfraujoch. 

This tour lasts for 9 days, departing from Zurich, and includes accommodation for 8 nights. Your deluxe mini coach is equipped with a retractable roof and WiFi, and you’ll be accompanied by an English-speaking driver guide throughout. 

Trips depart on Sunday mornings during the summer from Zurich, and drop-off is a week later, also in Zurich. The first night’s accommodation is intended as a pre-tour overnight stay. 

Other places visited during the tour include Appenzell Show Dairy, Vaduz in Liechtenstein and Andermatt. The mountain excursions to Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat are self-guided, and you’ll benefit from an expert-led city tour of St. Gallen. 

Luggage transport is also included with this tour, and you can take a large suitcase plus hand luggage with you. 

Find out more about this tour here, including an exclusive discount code for Holidays to Switzerland readers.

  • Highlights: Zurich – St. Gallen – St. Moritz – Lugano – Zermatt – Montreux – Grindelwald – Lucerne – Zurich
  • Tour Length: 9 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich
  • Departures: June to October 2024
  • Group size: Maximum of 12
  • Average age: Varies
  • Accommodation style/rating: 4* hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICING AND AVAILABILITY


Spectacular Switzerland

The River Aare in Bern Switzerland

Operator: Globus

Our verdict: A premium one-week Switzerland tour with many inclusions

Combining stunning alpine locations with the Switzerland’s thriving cities, Globus’ Spectacular Switzerland tour will help you to create lasting memories.

As well as first class accommodation, you’ll enjoy a full buffet breakfast daily, 4 x three-course dinners and one lunch, making this one of the best value Switzerland guided tours on the market.

Explore Zurich, Geneva, Gstaad, Bern and Lucerne with your expert guide.

Enjoy a visit to Gruyeres Castle with lunch included, discover the secrets of Swiss chocolate – and enjoy a tasting – at the Maison Cailler Swiss Chocolate Factory, and visit Europe’s highest train station on your excursion to Jungfraujoch.

  • Highlights: Zurich – Geneva – Gruyere – Grindelwald – Lucerne – Zurich
  • Tour Length: 9 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Zurich
  • Departures: May to September 2024 and May to September 2025
  • Group size: Maximum 30
  • Average age: 55+
  • Accommodation style/rating: 4 and 5-star hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


Grand Tour of Switzerland 

Gruyeres Castle from above

Operator: Cosmos

Our verdict: An affordable tour with plenty of highlights

Cosmos Tours began in Switzerland ninety years ago so when it comes to Switzerland escorted tours they certainly know their stuff! Now part of the Globus family of brands, Cosmos offers travellers excellent value for money. 

The Grand Tour of Switzerland not only visits some of Switzerland’s most popular destinations, you’ll also get to experience the lesser-known Appenzell region, enjoy a ride on the famous Bernina Express and watch a cheese-making demonstration in Gruyeres.

Daily buffet breakfast, 4 dinners, an experienced, knowledgeable guide and transport aboard an air-conditioned coach, make this tour ideal for those who want a great experience at a reasonable price.

  • Highlights: St. Moritz – Bernina Express train – Lugano – Zermatt – Gruyeres – Bern – Lucerne
  • Tour Length: 10 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Zurich
  • Departures: May to September 2024, May to September 2025
  • Group size: Maximum 50 guests
  • Average age: 45+
  • Accommodation style/rating: 3-star and 4-star hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


Best of Switzerland

Boats on Lake Lugano at Lugano Switzerland

Operator : Trafalgar 

Our verdict: A good overview of Switzerland at a reasonable price

I have personally travelled with Trafalgar on their Best of Switzerland tour (although the itinerary has changed slightly since my trip) and found it good value.

The itinerary includes a visit to Chillon Castle, lunch at a 15th century vineyard, free days in both Zermatt and Baveno (Lake Maggiore), and a ride on the Bernina Express train from Tirano to St. Moritz.

There are orientation tours of Zurich and Lucerne, daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 3 dinners included.

  • Highlights: Montreux – Zermatt – Lake Maggiore – St. Moritz – Lucerne – Interlaken
  • Tour Length: 9 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Zurich
  • Departures: April to September 2024, April to September 2025
  • Group size: Maximum 50 guests
  • Average age: Varies but generally 55+
  • Accommodation style/rating: Mostly 3-star to 4-star hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


Country Roads of Switzerland

Zermatt alpine village and Matterhorn alpine landscape, Swiss Alps

Operator: Insight Vacations

Our verdict: A comprehensive Switzerland tour for the discerning traveller

Guests that enjoy a more leisurely pace and more luxury will love Insight’s Country Roads of Switzerland tour. 

Premium accommodation, more legroom on the coach and plenty of inclusions means you’ll experience the best of Switzerland on this two-week tour.

Orientation tours of most destinations are included along with an excursion to Stanserhorn, a visit to Chillon Castle, a cruise on Lake Geneva, a transport pass to enjoy rides on cable cars, funiculars, chairlifts at St. Moritz and a journey on the Glacier Express.

Daily breakfast and 5 dinners are included on this tour that will take you along some of Switzerland’s most scenic country roads.

  • Highlights: Lucerne – Gruyeres – Montreux – Zermatt – Lake Maggiore – St. Moritz – Glacier Express – Grindelwald
  • Tour Length: 14 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Zurich
  • Departures: April to September 2024, April to September 2025
  • Group size: Maximum 40
  • Average age: 55+
  • Accommodation style/rating: Luxury and Premium hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


The Festive Spirit of Switzerland

Aerial view of Spiez and Lake Thun with the Bernese Alps in the background

Operator: APT

Our verdict: The ideal white Christmas in Switzerland tour

Live out your own fairytale on this magical 13 day tour that visits not only some of Switzerland’s most famous sites but also some of the often-bypassed ones.

With APT’s Signature Experiences, you’ll enjoy a Leckerli cookie workshop in Basel and an excursion to Jungfraujoch with a private reception in the Glacier Bar.

Also included in the tour are 20 meals, a ride on the Glacier Express between Andermatt and Chur, visits to Christmas markets in Zurich, Basel, Vevey, Montreux and Lucerne, and a horse-drawn carriage ride in Flims.

The tour allows plenty of free time to immerse yourself in each destination or relax at your luxury accommodation. 

  • Highlights: Zurich – Basel – Montreux – Grindelwald – Lucerne – St. Moritz- Zurich
  • Tour Length: 13 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Zurich
  • Departures: November and December 2024
  • Group size: Maximum of 60 (approx.)
  • Average age: 50+
  • Accommodation style/rating: 5-star hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY

Best Switzerland Rail Tours

Fancy exploring Switzerland by rail rather than coach?  You can! There are numerous options available and below you’ll find the details on some of our favourite Switzerland train tours.


Best of Switzerland

Aerial view of Lucerne Switzerland

Operator: Intrepid

Our verdict: A fabulous small group tour of Switzerland by rail

Visiting some of the country’s most popular destinations, this small group tour of Switzerland stays in hotels (with one night in a hostel) and includes daily breakfast.

Travelling by public transport – mostly on the superb Swiss railway network – but with an experienced tour guide, means you will enjoy a more local experience.

Activities include a trip to Mt. Pilatus and a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne, cheese and chocolate tasting, an orientation walk of Bern and a tour of the historic clock tower in Bern.

With a maximum of 12 guests per tour, this is the perfect tour to discover the breathtaking beauty of Switzerland in a more intimate group setting.

  • Highlights: Zurich – Lucerne – Jungfrau Region – Bulle – Bern
  • Tour Length: 8 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Bern
  • Departures: May to September 2024
  • Group size: Maximum of 12
  • Average age: Varies
  • Accommodation style/rating: 3* hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


Switzerland by Rail

Red train crossing a bridge in Switzerland

Operator: APT

Our verdict: One of the best premium Switzerland tours by train

If you would like to see Switzerland by rail, tours like this one from APT are perfect!

With rides on Bernina Express, Glacier Express (with lunch), Jungfraujoch and GoldenPass Line all included, as well as a Mt. Pilatus excursion, this tour is a top pick.

There are 20 meals included, first class rail travel throughout, plus two of APT’s Signature Experiences: wine tasting in Spiez and a private dinner at Harder Kulm overlooking Interlaken and the Alps.

Along with plenty of alpine scenery you’ll also experience the stunning lakes of Lugano and Geneva. 

  • Highlights: Lucerne – Lugano – St. Moritz – Zermatt – Grindelwald – Montreux
  • Tour Length: 13 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Geneva
  • Departures: June to September 2025
  • Group size: Maximum 60 guests (approx.)
  • Average age: 55+
  • Accommodation style/rating: 5-star hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY


Scenic Switzerland by Train

Bernina Express train passing by Lago Bianco in Switzerland

Operator: Cosmos

Our verdict: An easy way to experience Switzerland’s panoramic trains without a full ‘tour’ experience

Savour the breathtaking scenery of Switzerland from aboard the country’s most panoramic trains.  Your tour includes First-Class travel aboard the GoldenPass Express, Glacier Express and Bernina Express. A ride on the Gornergrat cog railway to view the Matterhorn is also a highlight.

Arriving at each destination rested after your comfortable train journey, the tour allows plenty of free time for you to explore as you wish. 

Whether you prefer to go shopping, join a walking tour, take a mountain excursion or just sit and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the choice is yours.

This tour is great for those that don’t want a full-on tour experience but like the security of having a tour guide on hand and the knowledge that all transport and accommodation is arranged. 

Daily breakfast and three dinners are included in the tour price and all train travel is in first class carriages.

  • Highlights: Zurich – Lucerne – Lake Geneva – Zermatt – St. Moritz
  • Tour Length: 9 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich/Zurich
  • Pace: Medium
  • Departures: April to October 2024, April to September 2025
  • Group size: Maximum 50 guests
  • Average age: 45+
  • Accommodation style/rating: 3-star and 4-star hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY

Swiss Alps Grand Rail Tour

A red train passing through a snowy landscape in Switzerland

Operator: Echo Rails and Trails

Our verdict: A 12-day Swiss tour by bus, boat and rail, including lesser-known sites plus the main highlights

🇨🇭 DISCOUNT OFFER: Holidays to Switzerland readers get 5% off. More info here.

The Swiss Alps Grand Rail Tour is designed for those who want to experience the very best of Switzerland without rushing around. Lesser-visited locations are also included, giving you more than a mere glimpse into what this lovely country has to offer. 

An English-speaking guide and trips on some of Switzerland’s famous panoramic trains are included. You’ll travel with no more than 17 other passengers for a more intimate, instructive, and enjoyable holiday. 

Unlike some other trips, this fully guided tour involves travelling by public transport, rather than by private coach. This gives you more of a local experience. 

Rides on the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express and the GoldenPass Line, in first class, are included. You’ll also take a trip on the Furka steam train, plus excursions to Gornergrat, Mount Pilatus, and Jungfraujoch. Travel is also via mountain railway, boat, and bus. 

Anyone who wants to know more about delicious Swiss chocolate will be delighted to discover that a hands-on chocolate workshop is also included with this tour. 

The tour lasts for 12 days, and includes overnight stays in 3 and 4 star hotels throughout. Breakfast is provided daily, and 11 dinners are also covered by the tour cost. One lunch, on board the scenic Glacier Express, is also included.

Further sites visited during the Swiss Alps Grand Rail Tour include St. Gallen library, Muottas Muragl, Diavolezza, Trummelbach Falls, and a cheese-making dairy. Additional guided walks and hikes and luggage transfers are also included. 

Shorter 5 and 8 day versions of this tour are also available for those with less time to spare. Discover more about these shorter tours, and the 12-day Echo Rails and Trails tour, here. You can also access an exclusive discount code to save you money when booking. 

  • Highlights: Lucerne – St. Moritz – Andermatt – Zermatt – Grindelwald – Lugano – Zurich 
  • Tour Length: 12 days
  • Start/End point: Lucerne/Zurich
  • Departures: June to September 2024 and 2025
  • Group size: Maximum of 18
  • Average age: Varies
  • Accommodation style/rating: 3* or 4* hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY

Christmas Markets Grand Rail Tour

Basel Switzerland at Christmas time
The Christmas Market in Muensterplatz, Basel is believed to be the oldest in Switzerland. Image courtesy swiss-image.ch / Jan Geerk

Operator: Echo Rails and Trails

Our verdict: A 9-day, seasonal tour including Swiss Christmas markets, panoramic trains, and mountain summits

🇨🇭 DISCOUNT OFFER: Holidays to Switzerland readers get 5% off. More info here.

As a shorter, seasonal alternative to their Swiss Alps Grand Rail Tour, Echo Rails and Trails also offer a 9-day Christmas tour. It focuses on Switzerland’s Christmas markets, so you can see the cities in all their festive finery. This trip can only be taken during December. 

The tour cost covers travel on Swiss rail services, including mountain railways, and premium panoramic trains. For the latter, first class travel is included. There are also overnight stays in four destinations, where you’ll spend a couple of nights in each. 

3 and 4 star hotel accommodation is included, as well as a daily breakfast, 4 dinners, and a lake cruise dinner featuring Swiss fondue. You’ll also have the services of an English-speaking guide, and luggage transfers are taken care of, too. 

The Christmas markets and cities you’ll visit are Bern, Lucerne, Zurich, Küssnacht, Basel, Interlaken, Chillon Castle, Vevey, and Montreux. These are a great place to shop for unique decorations, or one-off gifts you won’t be able to buy at home.

Your tour also includes a visit to Chateau Chillon, which has a stunning setting on Lake Geneva, near Montreux. You’ll also attend the Klausjagen festival in Küssnacht, which has been running for an astonishing eight centuries!

If you’re interested in this tour, click here for more information, including an exclusive discount code

  • Highlights: Zurich – Lucerne – Montreux – Zermatt – Zurich
  • Tour Length: 9 days
  • Start/End point: Zurich
  • Departures: December 2024 and 2025
  • Group size: Maximum of 16
  • Average age: Varies
  • Accommodation style/rating: 3* or 4* hotels

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS, PRICES AND AVAILABILITY

Why join a guided tour of Switzerland?

Zurich and the River Limmat

Escorted tours are a popular option for many travellers and there are many reasons why.  If it’s your first time visiting Switzerland (or Europe) and you’d rather let someone else make all the arrangements, a guided tour is perfect.

As you’ll be travelling with others, you’ll make new friends and for solo travellers there is often the option to share a room with a fellow traveller.

Travelling on a tour is a great way to familiarise yourself with a country.  Perhaps you’d like to stay on afterwards – but the time your tour is finished you’ll have the confidence to see some sights on your own.

One big advantage that comes with a guided tour is the tour guide!  Not only will your guide be on hand to answer your everyday questions, they are a wealth of knowledge on the destinations you’ll visit.

Your guide will help you to skip the lines at major attractions and take you to ‘off the beaten track’ places that you may never have heard about if you weren’t part of a tour.

Booking on a tour can help keep your holiday budget in check, too.  With the major components of your trip prepaid – transport and accommodation – you only have to budget for some meals, additional sightseeing and incidentals.

Another bonus of joining a coach tour in Switzerland is that extras like hotel porterage, local taxes and tipping (often called gratuities) are all taken care of, so there’s one less thing you have to worry about.

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne

What to look for when choosing a tour

Before you decide on your tour there are a number of things to consider to ensure you are getting the best value for your holiday dollar.

>> Sightseeing inclusions – Which attractions and excursions are included in the tour price? Your tour might stay in Interlaken but does it include an excursion to the Jungfraujoch?  If visiting Jungfraujoch (for example) is a priority for you, make sure you know if the ticket price is included or if you’ll have to budget extra for it.

>> Which sites and attractions does the tour visit? – Does your tour include a visit to a particular site or do you just ‘see’ it as you drive past?  For example, if you particularly want to visit Chillon Castle, does your tour include that or do you just view the Castle from a cruise on Lake Geneva or from a viewing point beside the road?

>> Optional excursions – Most tours include some sightseeing and offer a list of optional excursions.  Prices for the optional excursions are usually available prior to booking the tour. Add the price of the excursions you’d like to do to the base tour price and compare this with the cost of a tour that already includes them.  How do they compare?

>> Hotel standard – The price of the tour will reflect the standard of accommodation that you stay in.  Tours with 5-star luxury accommodation are going to cost a lot more than tours that use 3-star hotels. Familiarise yourself with the standard of accommodation on the tour so you know what to expect.

>> Pace of tour – Do you want a fast-paced tour to see as much as you can in a short amount of time or would you prefer a tour that travels at a more leisurely pace? Check the tour itinerary to see how ‘busy’ the itinerary is and if it’s right for you.  If you don’t want to be up at 6am every morning whilst you are on vacation make sure that your tour itinerary doesn’t require this.

>> Free time – Although you’ve chosen a guided tour for the convenience of having everything organised for you, it’s always nice to know there will be some free time to explore on your own.  An hour or two wandering the streets of a quaint village or sitting with a coffee and people-watching can be just what you need after a busy few days on tour. If having a bit of free time is important to you, check how much is allowed in the itinerary. 

>> Meals – How many meals are included in your tour price? All the tours mentioned above include breakfast each day but they all vary in the number of other meals included.  If you prefer to have as many meals as possible prepaid, consider this when choosing your tour. Alternatively, if you like to have the option of deciding where and when you eat at night, a tour that includes fewer dinners might be the best bet for you.


Planning a trip to Switzerland?

At Holidays to Switzerland we are passionate about sharing our love of Switzerland and helping you to plan the perfect trip. Read our guide to planning a trip to Switzerland to kick start your travel plans and join our free Switzerland Travel Planning group on Facebook to chat with other past and future travellers.

Want monthly news and podcast updates, helpful travel tips and special deals sent straight to your inbox? Subscribe to Holidays to Switzerland and we’ll send you a bonus copy of our 10 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Switzerland guide.

🇨🇭 Check out our exclusive discount offers and save on your Swiss vacation. 🇨🇭


Ready to book your rail or coach tour of Switzerland?

As you can see, there are Switzerland guided tours to suit everyone. Whether you prefer to travel by coach or train, at a fast pace or more slowly, there’s sure to be something to suit in the Switzerland tours we’ve listed above.

Before you book, check for early bird offers and special deals. Insight Vacations and Trafalgar sometimes offer ‘fly free’ deals with tours over a certain length, and you can regularly find great savings on Tourradar.

If you’d prefer a private tour that’s tailor made to suit your timeframe and your interests, read more here.


PIN FOR LATER

Switzerland coach and rail tours

SWITZERLAND TRAVEL ESSENTIALS