Our contributing editor Tanja Minnée is attending a 5 day press trip to discover Switzerland. To follow a part of the Grand Tour of Switzerland, a 1600 km long route through Switzerland’s cultural and scenic gems. One of our longtime favourite countries, because doesn’t Switzerland has it all? Mountains, lakes, cities, history and art? And is the Swiss railway really the most punctual of all times? Tanja will find out since she is travelling from Zurich to La-Chaux-de-Fonds on wheels. Train wheels. She shares a daily Swiss update with us. Bring it on!
What is the Grand Tour of Switzerland?
- a route through Switzerland that takes you along the most beautiful scenery to the tourist highlights
- can be driven in either direction, although Switzerland Tourism recommends traveling clockwise
- crosses over five Alpine passes, runs along 22 lakes and passes by 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two biospheres
- is around 1,600 kilometers (or 1,000 miles) in distance
- can be completed in 7 days if you drive 5 hours per day or in 10 days if you add some excursions
- is geared primarily to cars and motorbikes.
Tanja’s Grand Tour of Switzerland’s travel, day 1
If the enthusiastic meet-up on Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is an indication for the this trip, we will enjoy this só much. It was all about positive energy within the group of online influencers. We only stay one day together, tomorrow we will literally follow our own path. Each a different part of the Grand Tour of Switzerland. Lucky us! I’m also very curious to discover their travel stories.
This tour covers eight different routes throughout the country totalling 1600 captivating kilometres and highlighting the most beautiful scenes in the country. And it shows the best of the nation’s public transport system.
We will be mostly traveling by train, I am a train addict. Love to sit and watch the world pass by. I can easily imagine being in a movie that holds something between ‘The sound of Music’ and the latest James Bond ‘Spectre’, depending on whatever mood I am in. We travel these days with the Swiss Travel Pass, a unique all-in-one-ticket which enables us to travel by train, boat and bus and public transport in more than 75 Swiss cities. With an extra important perk: free admission to more than 470 museums.
The Tour can be started from any point and there is no prescribed travel direction but going clock-wise (it’s Swiss, after all!) is advised. We start in Zurich – Switzerland’s largest city and most multicultural metropolis. It is certainly one of the most popular departure and destination points, also due to the international airport.
The day took off with an early Swiss Airlines flight from Amsterdam Schiphol straight to Zurich. We got spoiled right away by checking in at the Sheraton Hotel in western Zurich, a district that is successfully developed from an industrial area into a lively hotspot with lots of restaurants, art galleries and hotels. And chic boutiques. We have a lovely spacious room. Too bad it is only for one night!
After visiting art gallery MuDA (right across the street of the hotel), with surprising digital art from young Swiss artists, we were taken on a tourist tour through the city of Zurich. The grandeur of the Old Town.
Lucky us, it happened to be Züri Fäscht. A huge city festival with thousands of visitors. It was lovely to get a glimpse of this big celebration. If you miss it you have to wait another three years before you have the chance again. During this first week of July, two million visitors take over the streets along the River Limmat. A giant festival ground with music and culinary delights that attracts people of all ages is taken very seriously by Zurich’s inhabitants.
The city transforms into one big fair, with music everywhere and fireworks at night at the lake.
That will be too late for us, it’s goodbye to all that for now after a typical Swiss dinner at Zunfthaus zur Waag restaurant. Time to sleep and prepare for the day to come. We’ll hop on the train to Basel tomorrow, and our Grand Tour of Switzerland will truly begin…
Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 1 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 2 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 3 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 4 Grand Tour of Switzerland - Day 5
This trip is an online influencers trip organised by MySwitzerland.com. We are here by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty and did not pay for any of the above-mentioned activities. Words, photos and opinions are my own.