This fabulous winter tour of France and Switzerland offers history, culture, and the incredible outdoors. Start in the French village of Annecy, where you'll learn about pastoral life at a dairy farm and sample fine Savoie wines. Then, you're off to Chamonix for snowshoeing, skiing, and a ride on the Aiguille du Midi cable car. Cross the border to Switzerland's Lavaux region for delicious wine, cheeses, and chocolates. Ascend the Jungfrau Railway in Grindelwald, ending with a lively folklore show in Lucerne.


  • Discover the vineyards of the Combe de Savoie and taste fine regional wines
  • Ski or snowboard world-renowned runs and snowparks in Chamonix and Zermatt
  • Soar to the top of Mount Pilatus via the Dragon Ride aerial cableway
  • Travel by helicopter over the peaks to a Champagne raclette dinner in the Alps 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Annecy (France), Cheese & Wine Tasting  Annecy
Day 2 Discover Bauges Geopark, Farm Tour & Cheese Tasting, Chambéry Guided Tour Annecy
Day 3 Wineries of Savoie: Tour & Tastings Annecy
Day 4 Transfer to Chamonix, Alpine Snowshoe or Hiking Adventure  Chamonix
Day 5 Aiguille du Midi Cable Car, Hiking Excursion, Mer de Glace Glacier Chamonix
Day 6 Ski Day in the Mont-Blanc Valley, Spa Time at QC Terme Chamonix
Day 7 Transfer to Geneva (Switzerland), Drive to Lavaux, Wines of Lavaux Vineyards Lavaux
Day 8 Cheese & Chocolate Tour in Gruyères Lavaux
Day 9 Drive to Grindelwald, Winter Kayak Tour on Lake Brienz  Grindelwald
Day 10 Winter Wonderland Railway Adventure & Day Trip to the Jungfraujoch Grindelwald
Day 11 Winter Sports & Skiing in Picturesque Zermatt Grindelwald
Day 12 Drive to Lucerne, Relax at Bürgenstock Alpine Spa, Helicopter Ride to Dinner Lucerne
Day 13 Day Trip to Mount Pilatus, Old Town Folklore Show Lucerne
Day 14 Drive to Zürich, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Annecy (France), Cheese & Wine Tasting 

Even in wintertime, Annecy dazzles in the golden Alpine light

Welcome to France! Your flight lands in Geneva, Switzerland, where your driver will meet you and transport you to Annecy, a French Alpine village that sits along the pristine waters of Lake Annecy. Known for its cobbled streets, winding canals, and picturesque Vieille Ville (Old Town), this outdoors-focused village is considered the jewel of the Haute-Savoie region. You're sure to agree as you drive into town, taking in the pastel-colored houses, glittering lake waters, and serene mountain ranges. 

Arrive at your accommodations, the Palace de Menthon, a 5-star retreat nestled on the shores of Lake Annecy. Here, you'll find beautifully appointed rooms and suites featuring neoclassical decor and options for lake or forest views. Their on-site spa offers a spacious indoor pool with windows that look out on the lake, a perfect spot to relax after your long day of travel. 

Once you've had a chance to regroup, learn more about the region's famed wine and cheeses with a private tasting. You'll meet with a sommelier who will share their expertise on the best local wines and how to pair them with specific cheeses. Try varieties such as Chevrotin, a full-flavored goat's cheese, Beaufort d'Alpages, a creamy firm cheese referred to as the "Prince of Gruyere," and Tome des Bauges, an elegant, delicate cow's cheese with a thick rind. End the day with a quiet drink back at the hotel or a sunset stroll along the lake.

Day 2: Discover Bauges Geopark, Farm Tour & Cheese Tasting, Chambéry Guided Tour

Taste Savoie cheeses produced at an Alpine dairy farm

Today's excursion takes you into the Bauges mountain range, which stretches across the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions and was labeled a UNESCO Geopark in 2011. Depart in the morning with your private driver, traveling along country roads surrounded by vast forests, fields, and meadows full of placidly grazing Alpine cows.

Drive by the impressive peaks of Mont Revard and Le Nivolet, stopping at a local dairy farm to get a firsthand glimpse into pastoral life. Meet the farmers and tour the yards, see the animals, and learn about the exclusive cheeses produced in this region of the Alps. Try cheeses such as Margériaz, Raclette, Reblochon, or Chèvre demi-sec. Enjoy lunch at a nearby inn, partaking in delicious regional specialties alongside flavorful Savoie wine, then continue to Chambéry, the largest city in the Savoie region and one of its most historic.

Take a private guided tour, strolling along the lively cobbled streets of Place Saint-Leger. See the Château des Ducs de Savoie (Castle of the Dukes), a medieval castle that, as the name suggests, was once the residence of the Counts and Dukes of Savoie. Continue to La Fontaine des Éléphants (Elephant Fountain), built in the 1800s and featuring four large elephant statues that spray water from their trunks, and stroll by the landmark Saint-Francois-de-Sales Cathedral. Afterward, your driver will return you to your hotel in Annecy. 

Day 3: Wineries of Savoie: Tour & Tastings

Sample delicious wines in a cozy setting after a tour of the vineyards of the Combe de Savoie

Discover the vineyards of the Combe de Savoie, exploring the wine-growing landscapes and tasting some of the region's top varietals. Your private driver will collect you from your hotel, and you'll head out, starting with a visit to a local winery. Here, you'll learn about the craft and art of making wines such as Apremont, Chignin-Bergeron, Mondeuse, or Pétillant de Savoie, taking in the fruity aromas and tasting the complex flavors as the winemaker explains how each wine is created.

Visit a family-run Savoyard inn for lunch and enjoy a farm-to-table meal prepared from fresh, local ingredients. Afterward, you'll make your way back to Annecy, with the option to stop for a stroll around Lac de St André, a picturesque lake located near Mont Granier, or visit a small museum dedicated to Savoie's wines. 

Day 4: Transfer to Chamonix, Alpine Snowshoe or Hiking Adventure 

Snowshoe or hike to an Alpine mountain hut for dinner in Chamonix

Your next destination is the city of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (or just Chamonix as it's known to locals), a resort town sitting at the base of Mont Blanc, a looming massif and Europe's heralded highest peak. Chamonix is known for its outdoor activities, which include world-class skiing, mountaineering, and hiking. Depart Annecy via private transfer for the scenic one-hour drive. Then, check into your accommodations at the Hôtel L'Heliopic. This top-notch hotel offers chalet-style rooms, with amenities that include a ski shop, arcade, library, and a spa with an indoor pool, hammam, and sauna.

Once you've had a chance to rest and regroup, take advantage of the city's proximity to nature with an evening snowshoe walk and dinner. Meet your guides at sunset, and after a safety and equipment briefing, don snowshoes and ascend the mountain to the Montagnette Refuge, a high-altitude chalet and restaurant that offers hearty Savoyard dishes and a welcoming atmosphere.

Meet the owner and learn more about the history of the chalet; then, after dinner, you'll get back in your snowshoes and descend through the forest, guided by the light of the glittering stars and moonlight against the snow. Return to your hotel and finish the day with a relaxing swim in the indoor pool or drinks at the bar.

Day 5: Aiguille du Midi Cable Car, Hiking Excursion, Mer de Glace Glacier

Savor the snowy mountain views from the Aiguille du Midi cable car

See the Alps from a different view as you meet your guide in the morning and make your way to the Aiguille du Midi cable car, which transports you from central Chamonix into the high mountains, summiting more than 12,000 feet (3,842 m). Disembark at the top and enjoy views from the terraces, then ride back down to the halfway point, where you'll hop off the cable car for a second time to hike along the trail to Montenvers.

This easy 2.5-hour trek takes you along giant boulders deposited by glaciers long ago, with impressive surrounding mountain views. Along the way, you'll likely see curious marmots perched on the rocks, sounding the alarm at imminent "stranger danger" with a shrill whistle. Stop for a picnic lunch and see the Mer de Glace Glacier and the peaks of the Drus and Grandes Jorasses. Board the famed red railway train at Montenvers, riding in comfort back to Chamonix. 

Day 6: Ski Day in the Mont-Blanc Valley, Spa Time at QC Terme

Take a day to hit the slopes in Chamonix

Take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities offered in Chamonix when you hit the local ski slopes this morning. Choose from resort areas such as Le Houches, Le Brévent, La Flégère, and Balme, spending the day carving your way down groomed runs or tackling jumps in the snowparks. The ski areas here offer something for everyone, from challenging runs for expert skiers and snowboarders to smaller slopes for beginners. 

After a full day of skiing, you'll probably be ready for some downtime. Spend the afternoon at QC Terme Chamonix, a wellness spa located at the base of Mont Blanc. Echoing the philosophies of ancient Rome, where water was placed at the center of healing body and spirit, the thermal baths here are heated to a perfect 93-95 °F (34-36 °C), making for a relaxing, rejuvenating experience. Then, unwind with a massage, choose one of the spa's indulgent treatments, or grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant.

Day 7: Transfer to Geneva (Switzerland), Drive to Lavaux, Wines of Lavaux Vineyards

Savor the wonderful views over Lake Geneva on your private balcony (image courtesy of Le Mirador Resort & Spa)

This morning, check out of your hotel and take a private transfer to Geneva, where you'll pick up your rental car and drive to the Laveaux region, one of Switzerland's most picturesque destinations and home to historic sites, sporting events and the famed Laveaux Vineyard Terraces. Arrive and get settled at your accommodations at Le Mirador Resort, an opulent, 5-star hotel located on Le Mont-Pèlerin. Rooms here blend classic style with modern design, with options for private balconies, Jacuzzi tubs, and views of Lake Geneva.

After check-in, you're off to see the Laveaux Vineyard Terraces. Meet your guide and head to the vineyard, a UNESCO-listed stretch of vines that cover nearly 20 miles (18 km) along the lakeshore and can be traced back to the 11th century. Meet the winemakers and tour the winery, where you'll visit the cellar and taste local varietals. You'll have the opportunity to watch a film that explains more about the history of the region and its wines, then end with a stroll through the vineyards, taking in views of nearby Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) as you go. 

Day 8: Cheese & Chocolate Tour in Gruyères

Sample exquisite Swiss chocolates and tour a chocolate-making factory on today's tour of Gruyères

There's nothing quite like the cheeses and chocolates of Switzerland, and today, you'll have the chance to try both. This private guided tour starts with a drive along the scenic Swiss countryside and through rolling hills and farmlands—you may even catch a glimpse of the black and white cows that give the milk for the famous Gruyère cheese!

Arrive in the medieval town of Gruyères, where you'll find 13th-century architecture, quaint village streets, and, of course, the cheese that makes it so famous. Visit a local cheesemaker and learn about the creation of Gruyère cheese, accompanied by delicious samples. Then, head to a local chocolate factory, where you'll tour the facilities and get a firsthand look at the chocolate-making process, also accompanied by samples of creamy Swiss truffles. Afterward, you can stroll around town for a bit or return directly to your hotel for the evening. 

Day 9: Drive to Grindelwald, Winter Kayak Tour on Lake Brienz 

Explore the wintry beauty of Grindelwald, the popular gateway for the Jungfrau Region

Depart Laveaux for Grindelwald today, a scenic drive of approximately 2.5 hours. Upon arrival, you'll check in at the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof, a gorgeous resort set against the backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountain peaks. Enjoy rooms decorated in a classic Swiss style, with private balconies, luxury linens, and amenities, including a spa, bowling alley, and a cozy lounge area with a fireplace. 

In the afternoon, get outside and see the wonders of Lake Brienz, located just 30 minutes outside of Grindelwald. This Alpine lake, fed partly by the upper Aare and the Black Lütschine River, stretches approximately 9 miles (14 km), with a depth of nearly 900 feet (260 m). Arrive and meet your guides, and after a safety briefing, don drysuits and set out to discover these pristine waters via kayak.

Cruise along the shoreline and past the village of Brienz, the lake's namesake, taking in the crisp air and enchanting surroundings. Keep an eye out for local birdlife, and stay toasty warm with a thermos of tea and your drysuits, specifically made to keep you comfortable regardless of the winter weather. Return to Grindelwald in time for dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 10: Winter Wonderland Railway Adventure & Day Trip to the Jungfraujoch

Ascend to Europe's highest train station via the Jungfrau Railway

See the "Top of Europe" as you ride a cogwheel train to Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest train station and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with your private guide, you'll board the train and begin your spectacular ride, traversing past the world-famous triple peaks of Mönch, Jungfrau, and the imposing Eiger North Face as you ascend more than 11,000 feet (3,500 m).

At the summit, immerse yourself in the high Alpine wonderland of snow, rock, and ice. Visit the Sphinx Observation Terrace and Plateau for endless views of the snowcapped peaks, with glimpses of the Aletsch Glacier and neighboring countries in the distance. You'll also have the option to stroll through the intricately carved tunnels of the Ice Palace that take you deep into the glacier. Have dinner at one of the restaurants or cafés here, then descend back to the city for the evening.

Day 11: Winter Sports & Skiing in Picturesque Zermatt

Relax after a day on the slopes of Zermatt and take in the views of the Matterhorn

Get ready for a day of exhilarating winter sports as you take a private transfer to Zermatt, one of the world's premier ski resorts, which, at more than 12,000 feet (3,883 m), is the highest ski area in Switzerland. Here, you'll find a wide range of runs, from challenging routes for the most experienced skiers to bunny slopes for beginners

You'll find plenty of private ski lessons available if your skills are a little rusty, or sign up for a ski tour or heli-skiing adventure if you're confident and ready to hit the slopes. The resort also has a snowpark with jumps for any snowboarders in the group, and equipment rentals are available for all ages. End the day with dinner at one of the resort's several excellent restaurants, then return to your hotel to rest up ahead of tomorrow's journey.

Day 12: Drive to Lucerne, Relax at Bürgenstock Alpine Spa, Helicopter Ride to Dinner

Discover the beauty and romance of Lucerne

This morning, check out of your Grindelwald hotel for the two-hour drive to Lucerne, a historic city on Lake Lucerne's shores. Ideally positioned at the foot of the Alps, this romantic getaway offers phenomenal lake views surrounded by snowcapped mountains, all bisected by the River Reuss, which flows through the colorful old town.

Check in at the Bürgenstock Hotel, a 5-star resort and spa that sits on a high mountain ridge above the lake. In addition to panoramic lake views, you'll find contemporary rooms with premium amenities, including soaking tubs, large windows, and options for private balconies. This afternoon, make use of the hotel's on-site spa, relaxing in the three pools, sauna, or fitness center.

Later, take a breathtaking helicopter flight across the vast peaks of the Swiss Alps. Meet your guide and depart to an exclusive location, where you'll meet a personal chef and enjoy a meal of authentic Swiss raclette (melted cheese with potatoes) accompanied by fine Champagne. Soar back across the Alps as the sun slowly dips below the horizon, reflecting on the majesty of Switzerland's winter wonderland. 

Day 13: Day Trip to Mount Pilatus, Old Town Folklore Show

Soar across imposing mountains on the Dragon Ride cableway to the observation deck at Mount Pilatus

Make the most of your final day in the Alps with a trip to Mount Pilatus. Drive from Lucerne to Kriens, where you'll board a gondola for a sky-high ride to Fräkmüntegg station. Here, you'll board the Dragon Ride aerial cableway, featuring cockpit-like cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows, all designed to give the feeling of flying as you summit the mountain. Reach the top of Mount Pilatus and relax on the terrace as you admire the magnificent views of the Alps and the peaceful scenery of the lakes and valleys below. 

Have lunch at the summit, then descend the mountain via the world's steepest cogwheel railway (48% gradient) down to the valley station of Alpnachstad. From here, you'll continue to Lake Lucerne, where you'll board a public boat for a one-hour tour of the lake, taking in the spectacular landscapes from an entirely different angle. Disembark at the port, where you'll have time to explore the pretty town under your own steam. 

Tonight, you'll discover the culture and cuisine of Switzerland at an evening folklore show. Visit restaurant Stadtkeller, a lively spot where you'll find swinging flags, Alpine horns, and lots of yodeling, all accompanied by a band dressed in traditional costumes. Raise your cup and engage in the lively show alongside a dinner of Swiss specialties created from tried-and-true recipes—the perfect punctuation to your time here. 

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Day 14: Transfer to Zürich, Depart

Take one last look at Mount Pilatus, framed by the wooden chapel bridge in Lucerne

The time has come to say goodbye to France and Switzerland. At the designated time, you'll depart Lucerne and drive to the airport in Zürich, where your departing flight awaits. Safe travels!

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Map of Luxury Winter Tour of France & Switzerland - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Winter Tour of France & Switzerland - 14 Days