loading spinner
22543
Switzerland

Switzerland in a Nutshell: Cities and Peaks by Train

Ride the rails through the mountain of Switzerland to discover ancient towns, idyllic lakes, pristine countryside and the legendary Matterhorn with time for independent explorations.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 22543RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,699
Flights start at
950
Switzerland

Switzerland in a Nutshell: Cities and Peaks by Train

Ride the rails through the mountain of Switzerland to discover ancient towns, idyllic lakes, pristine countryside and the legendary Matterhorn with time for independent explorations.
Length
11 days
Starts at
4,699
Length
11 days
Rating (4.8)
Starts at
4,699
Flights start at
950
Program No. 22543RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
Need airfare?
Our airfare tool can help. Check it out
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 19 - Aug 29, 2022
Starting at
4,699
Sep 2 - Sep 12, 2022
Starting at
4,699
Sep 23 - Oct 3, 2022
Starting at
4,699
Oct 14 - Oct 24, 2022
Starting at
4,699
May 5 - May 15, 2023
Starting at
4,849
May 19 - May 29, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Jun 2 - Jun 12, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Jun 16 - Jun 26, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Sep 1 - Sep 11, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Sep 15 - Sep 25, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Sep 29 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Oct 13 - Oct 23, 2023
Starting at
4,849
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 19 - Aug 29, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Sep 2 - Sep 12, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Sep 23 - Oct 3, 2022
Starting at
5,299
Oct 14 - Oct 24, 2022
Starting at
5,299
May 5 - May 15, 2023
Starting at
5,449
May 19 - May 29, 2023
Starting at
5,449
Jun 2 - Jun 12, 2023
Starting at
5,449
Jun 16 - Jun 26, 2023
Starting at
5,449
Sep 1 - Sep 11, 2023
Starting at
5,449
Sep 15 - Sep 25, 2023
Starting at
5,449
Sep 29 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
5,449
Oct 13 - Oct 23, 2023
Starting at
5,449

At a Glance

As massive, snow-covered peaks reach towards the sky, sloping green hillsides offer shelter to medieval cities, historic cathedrals and fascinating residents. Switzerland is a country of geologic and cultural wonders — and the ideal way to discover them is by train. Join us for a Swiss adventure along the rails that begins in the metropolitan city of Zurich and rolls along mountain landscapes to the vibrant city of Basel. Along the way, learn about French and German cultural influences, cross bridges over breathtaking gorges and thrill in the sight of the “Mountain of Mountains,” the Matterhorn.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles; cobblestones, stairs and extensive standing. Elevations up to 7,300 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Board the Glacier Express — Switzerland’s most famous railway — for a journey along mountain landscapes, idyllic gorges and over impressive bridges.
  • Enjoy a ride, weather permitting, on a cogwheel train for panoramic views of the Matterhorn.
  • Join an expert for a walk through the well-preserved medieval Old Town of Basel.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Dmitrij Roos
Dmitrij Roos was born and raised in the countryside near Basel, Switzerland, to a Swiss father and a Russian mother. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in English and history at the University of Basel with the aim of becoming a teacher. In addition to his studies, he also works in a second-hand bookstore. Dmitrij is a fluent speaker of Swiss German, English, and has some knowledge of French and Russian. His interests include cooking, reading, geography, culture, and history.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Dmitrij Roos
Dmitrij Roos View biography
Dmitrij Roos was born and raised in the countryside near Basel, Switzerland, to a Swiss father and a Russian mother. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in English and history at the University of Basel with the aim of becoming a teacher. In addition to his studies, he also works in a second-hand bookstore. Dmitrij is a fluent speaker of Swiss German, English, and has some knowledge of French and Russian. His interests include cooking, reading, geography, culture, and history.
Profile Image of Paula Rudolf
Paula Rudolf View biography
Paula Rudolf was born and raised in northeastern Brazil. In 1997, she graduated with a degree in international public relations, and after getting married, she and her young family moved to Switzerland. Since then, Paula has been engaged in politics and her community, and has worked as a business administrator. Today she is very happy to share her knowledge and experience of her adopted home country of Switzerland with the Road Scholar groups.
Profile Image of Nina Wyser
Nina Wyser View biography
Nina Wyser was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland. Growing up in a creative family, it is only fitting that she owns a small sewing studio where she does alterations and creates new designs. She is also a trained freelance make-up artist and has worked on productions for print, film and live theater. Nina has traveled to many cities in Europe and has spent a lot of time in Asia since her mother is originally from Thailand.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Asterix in Switzerland
by Rene de Goscinny
This entry in the Asterix series of comic books features excellent drawings of the Swiss Alpine landscape.
William Tell: One Against an Empire, A Swiss Legend
by Paul Storrie
The classic tale of a Swiss hunter facing a terrible choice, as a graphic novel for ages 9-11.
Insight Guide Switzerland
by Insight Guides
This handsome guide gives a profusely illustrated overview of Switzerland, featuring concise essays by well-regarded authors on history, politics and culture, as well as hundreds of photos and maps and other practical information.
Switzerland Map
by Michelin Maps
A colorful, shaded relief map of Switzerland at a scale of 1:400,000.
Eyewitness Guide Switzerland
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, thoroughly illustrated guide, featuring over 900 photographs, good maps, and plenty of information on hiking in the Swiss Alps, natural and tourist attractions and the history and arts of Switzerland.
The Alps, A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
by Stephen O'Shea
In an entertaining narrative, O'Shea drives, hikes and climbs through 500 miles of the Alps while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. A thoughtful introduction to the Alps.
Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe
by Andrew Cleave
A colorful field guide featuring commonly encountered species of the fields and gardens of Europe.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
by John McPhee
McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Swiss army, presenting an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset.
The Apple and the Arrow
by Conrad Buff
Families will enjoy this spirited retelling of the famous legend of William Tell and his 12-year-old son, Walter, which won the 1952 Newbery Medal.
Culture Smart! Switzerland
by Kendall Maycock
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture.
A Tramp Abroad
by Mark Twain, David Eggers (Introduction), Kerry Driscoll (Introduction)
Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain's second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers.
The Gilded Chalet, Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland
by Padraig Rooney
In this amusing guide, a grand tour of literary Switzerland, Rooney profiles 200 years of outstanding works and their strong Swiss influences. He argues that the land of luxury hotels, fresh air and fresh milk deserves wide renown as a literary hub.
Hotel du Lac
by Anita Brookner
Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist seeking evasive peace and quiet at the luxurious Hotel du Lac in Switzerland. Winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island
by Diccon Bewes
An international bestseller. Diccon Bewees, a neutral Brit, covers cheese, chocolate, William Tell, bureaucracy and banks, all with humor and thorough research. His cultural portrait of the one-of-a-kind nation includes tips on local customs, greetings and etiquette. Second edition.
Banner in the Sky
by James Ramsey Ullman
A suspenseful tale of a young boy determined to keep his father's mountaineering dream alive.
Europe, A True Book
by Sandra Newman
Part of the True Book series, this illustrated, readable volume geared toward ages 9 to 12 introduces children to the geography and diverse cultures of Europe.
Alpine Cookbook
by Hans Gerlach
Subtitled "Comfort Food from the Mountain," DK’s Alpine Cookbook collects 110 delicious recipes from Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. The dishes, which combine traditional cuisine with modern trends, include schnitzel, potato pancakes, meaty main courses and savory vegetarian options.
Daisy Miller
by Henry James
A classic story of a young American woman's innocent flirtation and its misinterpretation by a sophisticated European man, set in Lac Leman and Chillon. This is James' first fictional work to gain mass popularity and one of his great American female portraits.
Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart
by Diccon Bewes
Bestselling author Diccon Bewes (Swiss Watching SWZ73) follows in the footsteps of an 1863 tour group who traveled from London to Lucerne, Switzerland. In his trademark breezy, intelligent prose, Bewes traces how tourism and time have caused a sea change in Switzerland.
Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life
by Anne Herrmann
Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Anne Hermann’s passionate celebration of what it means to be Swiss intertwines personal revelation with cultural fact.
The Theoretical Foot
by M. F. K. Fisher
MFK Fisher's first novel, considered too racy for its time, features two unmarried American couples tramping through Europe in the late 1930s whose love affairs are tested by the rise of fascism and looming war.
Heidi
by Johanna Spyri
The beloved tale of a little girl who is sent to live with her curmudgeonly grandfather in a remote Alpine village. This handsome hardback edition retains the quaint prose and buoyant disposition of Johanna Spyri's 1880 original.
Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps
by Fergus Fleming
Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn 150 years ago.





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.