Where do I even begin?! Last fall we took a trip of a lifetime. Seriously, writing this gives me butterflies!! We spent one-week on a road trip through Switzerland and it’s something I will never ever forget.
I realized the other day I never actually shared this post. I think when we first got home from our trip I wasn’t ready to share. I wanted to keep all the memories special between RJ and I and just bask in the happiness. And then the holidays came and the next thing I knew, I just forgot! We take a big trip every Fall when RJ’s busy season starts to slow and we’ve recently started planning for this year. I went and looked at our old trip posts and it reminded me I needed to post it! ANYWAY, long overdue, here is our road trip through Switzerland, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Before I break down all our stops and answer FAQs, I wanted to discuss a few of the logistics of our trip. We went to Switzerland for 6 days, right after our trip to Venice. We flew into Venice, Italy and spent just over 48 hours. We then flew from Venice to Geneva, Switzerland. We rented a car here and picked it up once we landed. The Geneva airport was great and we had no trouble renting our car. In fact, we were upgraded from the basic car to a Mercedes station wagon which was so much fun! Our road trip through Switzerland had begun!
One of the things about traveling through Switzerland was the size of the country! You could get from our first stop to our last stop in just 174 miles, although we took many detours and probably covered about 500 miles total. We were able to explore a lot of the country without feeling like we were constantly in the car. Plus, the in-between of each destination was like a destination of its own! EVERY SINGLE THING WAS SO GORGEOUS.
I don’t work with a travel agent while traveling because part of what I enjoy is planning. I start planning about 4-5 months in advance and it becomes a second (well like sixth ha!) job for me. I love researching things and finding special things for us to do. For this trip, I planned four main stops with a few minor detours here and there to see things. During our road trip through Switzerland, we stayed in hotels in Geneva, Adelboden, and Zurich.
Stop 1: Geneva, Switzerland
After landing in Geneva, it was later in the evening. We made the dark drive to our hotel that was technically in Chardonne, Switzerland overlooking Lake Geneva. Since it was late when we arrived, we weren’t able to see how truly beautiful this property was. What we did know was that our room was HUGE. If you watch my Instagram Stories Highlights under ‘Switzerland’, this is the first hotel on there! I give a little tour. When we woke up the next morning, we were amazed by how gorgeous our view was. It was absolutely breathtaking. We had this huge balcony for our morning coffee, overlooking the lake and it was so peaceful and private. We hardly ever saw anyone the entire time we were at the resort. It truly felt like we were in heaven in the clouds.
Pros and Cons: I thought that we didn’t want to spend much time in this area and we ended up checking out pretty early and heading towards Central Switzerland. I do hope to go back one day and spend more time exploring this area around Geneva because we loved it so much. We actually considered coming back down on the last day of our trip but I’ll explain more on that later. If you head to this area, I highly highly recommend this resort. I cannot say enough about it!
Stop 2: Adelboden, Switzerland
It’s hard to choose the most magical view of our trip but this is most likely the winner. We had two balconies off our room and I could sit here forever. Our next stop was in central Switzerland, close to Interlaken. We spent two nights in this hotel and I feel like we could have spent more but also we were able to see so many things. The hotel was beautiful, the staff was great and we loved being here. The Cambrian has a spa, restaurant, and a bar. Our room was comfortable and beautiful.
I also enjoyed this hotel because it was nestled in a little village where we could walk for dinner and shopping. There was also a little grocery store where we were able to buy snacks and wine for our room. One night we ate at the hotel restaurant and one night we ate in town. If you watch my Instagram Highlight, you will see that we had quite the adventure when we were in town and it was so much fun! Who remembers the cow?!
One of my biggest pros about this hotel was the POOL! It was so gorgeous, I mean seriously that view?! It was so much fun to take a dip after being in the spa. I would give almost anything to be back there right now.
Day Trip: Grindelwald, Switzerland
While we were staying at The Cambrian, we took a day trip to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald. I think Lauterbrunnen is 100% worth skipping but Grindelwald- OH MY GOODNESS. This is one of my favorite days of my entire life. We started by eating in the town, see the Raclette (cheese and potatoes) above! After this delicious meal, we headed to Jungfrau, aka the top of Europe.
Jungfrau is like adventure world. I don’t even know how to describe it. We spent about $80 here and it included a gondola ride up to the top (scary and beautiful!), a zipline off the top of the mountain (which was so beautiful, fun and just surreal that I actually cried on the zipline) and then a tricycle ride back down the mountain!! Seriously, I cannot even put into words how cool this experience was. We rode the trikes halfway down the mountain and then stopped for Champagne while overlooking the view.
Day Trip: Lucerne, Switzerland
We stopped in Lucerne on our way to Zurich and I thought that would be enough. I was sadly very wrong and hope to visit this place again one day. It was a beautiful, beautiful lake town. We originally were going to stop for lunch and exploring but it was very hard to find parking and was very crowded. If we would have been staying, it would have been much easier but sadly we only were able to walk around the lake for a moment before heading to Zurich.
If you do a similar trip, leave more time for yourself here!
Stop 3: Zurich, Switzerland
Oh Zurich, I can’t even remember where we stayed because I wasn’t a fan. Zurich wasn’t bad but I think after all the other things we had seen this week, we were just not impressed. It was very metropolitan and we honestly just wished we would have spent more time on other stops.
We arrived in Zurich early in the evening and had two nights in town. We went to dinner for fondue which was my first experience ever with fondue! I definitely enjoyed this night but felt like we didn’t really have anything else we wanted to see here. We ended up spending our last full day in Austria and Germany, exploring a concentration camp.
When we arrived back from Dachau, we went to dinner by our hotel which is one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The pasta was even better than what we ate while in Italy. The restaurant was named Santa Lucia. There are three named this in Zurich, but this is the one we ate at.
That is the general road map for our trip, but we did stop at many little places in between! Everywhere we went in Switzerland was so incredible. The photo above was just taken on the side of the road. Just driving through the mountains together was an experience I’ll never forget. We also visited antique stores, local shops, and the Callier Chocolate Factory. I wanted to answer a few FAQs below:
What is the average cost for something like this?
It’s hard to say exactly what we spent but I can try to break it down as much as possible. I will say that October is the end of the Summer season and a little bit cheaper than normal travel (although I don’t see why because autumn in Switzerland was absolutely stunning). We also are able to save some money because we can fly from Atlanta and flights can be cheaper. RJ and I also try to save throughout the year and split things to help with the cost. Usually, he will buy the flights and then I will buy all our accommodations. We then decide how much we think we need to bring for spending and split that in half and then each brings half. Switzerland was definitely more expensive than other places we’ve traveled in Europe. For reference, RJ got McDonald’s (ha!) one evening in Zurich and he got a Cheeseburger Meal with Fries and a Drink and it was $34. You can see how that would be 3 or 4 times what we pay here. It wasn’t like this everywhere but it was definitely more expensive than when we were in Italy. I think total we probably spent at least $4,000 on our trip. We definitely splurged on many things and you could do it cheaper, you just have to be smart about your travels, research a lot and think about where you want to spend your money (accommodations, food, spa, experiences, all of the above?).
What was it like driving in Switzerland? Did you feel safe?
Driving on our road trip through Switzerland was much easier than driving in Italy! We rented an automatic car and the roads were very similar to ours in America. RJ got his international driver’s license before going (no test required, just a translated form). Although this wasn’t required, he felt better having it and we ended up needing it in Germany.
How do you plan your trips?
Like I mentioned above, I do all the planning on my own. I utilize Pinterest and Social Media for a lot of the planning. I also am part of a Girl’s Love Travel Facebook group where I can post and research past posts. Once I figure out where we’re going, I look at the places on Instagram and then look at the tagged photos. I find this can give you a better representation vs. styled shoots or advertisements that may be distributed by the hotel. I also like to keep a running list of things we want to see in each place as well as restaurants and activities. We like to be less structured but this helps us to not miss something we knew we wanted to do.
I think that pretty much covers everything on our road trip through Switzerland! If you have any questions, please drop them below. This is everything I packed for this trip, although I cannot promise it’s still in stock! Be sure to check out my Instagram (@RileySitton) for my Switzerland highlight tab and my #YesPlzVacay hashtag for more photos. I have a lot of video footage from our trip too and I think I may put together an IGTV video soon! We still can’t decide where to head to this Fall, if you have any suggestions PLEASE let me know. XO