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Grand Tour of Switzerland

1,600 km of scenic drive, 22 palm-like lakeshores, 12 Unesco world heritage sites and 5 Alpine passes. Let us introduce you to the Grand Tour of Switzerland, regretfully unknown by a high number of Swiss and less Swiss. We found out about this tour pretty randomly, just by seeing signs on the road from Geneva to Lausanne. Intrigued, we looked online and discovered their website. The desktop version is very clear and interactive, the mobile version could be optimised. That’s how we learnt that you only needed a car, a bit of money and 9 days to achieve this road trip. For those of you who do not necessarily have 9 full days, you can also do only part of tour. 

The whole journey was unbelievable. Following the recommended path more or less rigorously, we stop to see the different points of interest, mind blowing viewpoints, historical abbayes, castles on top of a mountain…Switzerland is a rather small country, where it’s easy to travel and that offers a wide diversity of landscapes. In only takes a few kilometres to go from the Matterhorn glacier to the lake views of Lugano. Driving a bit more, we arrive in the fancy St Moritz, our eyes drawn to the snowy Alpine passes. Did you know that women’s right to vote was still questioned in 1990 in Appenzell? That’s what we’ve found out passing through this charming little village of 6,000 people, well known for its sausages, its beer and above all its painted facade houses. The first part of the trip will surround you with nature and make you understand how small and insignificant men are. 

The second part, more urban, is also worth it. Welcome to Zurich, dynamic, cosmopolite and modern. We get lost in the old town, discover endless numbers of vegan places and hang out a few hours on the Heinrichstrasse, a street that gets very lively in the evening. We just had the time to pop over at the “Espace Jean Tinguely – Niki de Saint Phalle” of Fribourg, have a piece of delicious vacherin, and here we arrive in Neuchâtel, or “Neuch” if you want to sound like a local. We were amazed by the high number of cities located by lakes. Not only is it something really specific to Switzerland, but it also brings a lot of softness to the city life. To be completely honest, we did not have the time to go to Basel and had to head back to Geneva after 9 days.

The Grand Tour is worth the trip for both the milestones and the panoramic drive itself. When we think about it a bit more, we really wonder if there’s another country where you can so easily travel, see so much in so little time. Not sure we have the answer to this. 

Photographie © Margaux Mudde

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