The Grand Tour of Switzerland: #1 Road Trip of the Alps

Spanning over 1,000 miles, including 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 22 lakes, and Switzerland’s most famous cities, the Grand Tour is a road trip that should be on every traveler’s must-do list. It’s also an odyssey made easy thanks to Swiss efficiency, from charging stations for electric vehicles to the best photo stops mapped for you. Read on for highlights—and make it to the end to learn about a Grand Tour virtual experience that is so cool only the Swiss could pull it off.

Flüela Pass, 7260 Zernez, Switzerland
The Grand Tour of Switzerland includes thrilling bends and scenic views at every turn, and five of its famous alpine passes stand out—literally—among the rest of the route. They are engineering wonders that often overlook natural wonders as well. The Flüela Pass, which connects Davos and Susch, reaches a height of 7,818 feet. Your ascent through alpine forests delivers views of the valley below on a route that Avis ranked number 4 on its list of the “world’s best roads.” The Julier Pass is lined with picturesque lakes and ends at the village of Tiefencastel, with its historic, and equally picturesque, Church of St. Stefan. The San Bernardino Pass in southern Switzerland follows a route used since the 15th century and sits on the border between the country’s German and Italian regions. With its serpentine twisting path, the Tremola Pass in Gotthard is a wonder of 19th-century road design. After navigating its many twists and turns, enjoy one of the famous sausages sold from a hut at its summit. Finally, if the Furka Pass looks familiar, it’s likely from its big-screen appearance in Goldfinger. Fortunately as you drive to the highest point on the Grand Tour, at 7,969 feet, you’ll be able to simply enjoy the scenery without any villain in pursuit.
6 Schaukäsereistrasse
After an early morning breakfast at my hotel in Bern, I walked about five minutes to the train station for a day trip to Emmental. Once there, our first stop was the Emmentaler Schaukäserei show dairy, where I learned the process of how certain cheeses are made. For example, the Küherstock cheese dairy from 1741 can still be produced over an open fire. Then it was time to hop on our bikes and begin our E-Bike tour through the region. We opted for electric bikes, which really come in handy when you’re headed up a hill or if you need a little extra push, literally! If you’re never ridden an electric bike, it might take some getting used to but after a few minutes testing out the gears, it begins to feel like second nature. There’s also a mobile app that goes with the tour and it’s really easy to download. Plus, it runs regardless of whether you have a Wi-Fi connection. Instead, it uses a GPS system to track one’s location, thus providing points of interest along the way. The highlights of the route are the visit of the Show Cheese Dairy in Affoltern, the Jeremias Gotthelf museum in Lützelflüh and the castle of Burgdorf. All in all, it’s the perfect day trip from Bern, especially for foodies.
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