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

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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.
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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....
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1913 Saillon, Switzerland
Every oenophile will want to include the Valais Wine Trail on their Swiss itinerary. Stretching for 41 miles between the cities of Ardon and Saillon, it’s an easy and quick drive. The point, however, is not to reach your destination quickly but to...
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Splügen, Switzerland
The Ardon to Saillon portion of the Grand Tour is one of a dozen smaller Dream Routes. If you don’t have time to follow the entire tour, you can choose one of these shorter, especially idyllic stretches. For a drive through a wild wonderland of...
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Schaukäsereistrasse 6, 3416 Affoltern im Emmental, Switzerland
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...
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Emmental cheese is just one of Switzerland’s signature foods. There are also the local honeys and cured meats, world-famous chocolate, and lesser-known treats like biber, a gingerbread with an almond filling typical of St. Gallen. A red Grand Tour...
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Kanonenstrasse, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland
The Château Gütsch is one of Lucerne’s iconic hotels, built in 1888 and modeled after Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle. In recent years the hotel has undergone a renovation, bringing it back to its original grandeur as every stucco ceiling and...
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Rheinfallquai, 8212 Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland
The reality of travel photography is that getting that postcard-perfect image can often require a day of exploring and examining a glacier or church from every angle. On your Grand Tour, however, you may be eager to continue on to the next...
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3984 Fieschertal, Switzerland
Switzerland may look small on a map—its total area is smaller than the state of West Virginia—yet within its borders it has a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites, three of them natural wonders and the other nine cultural ones. The sites embody the...
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Switzerland has a deserved reputation as a world leader in technology and environmentalism, so it’s perhaps no surprise that it is possible to complete the Grand Tour in an electric vehicle. A network of more than 300 charging stations, including...
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No video or image can capture the hospitality of the Swiss people or the smell of the country’s forests on a summer morning; you’ve got to experience it all in person. That said, if you need more convincing and want a more in-depth look of what...