Private Tour of France and Switzerland - Firebird Tours ®

Private Tour of France and Switzerland

Chamonix, France
Paris, France
Zurich, Switzerland
Glacier Express
Zermatt Matterhorn, Switzerland

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Trip Overview

Have the time of your life exploring the major attractions of France and Switzerland! Discover the top sights of Paris, Lyon, Geneva and Zurich. Enjoy the Alpes and stay in scenic resort-towns: French Chamonix and Swiss Zermatt. Immerse yourself in incredible mountainous landscapes as you ride a cable car to the top of the Mont Blanc massif and take in picturesque views on the Glacier Express, tour the Chillon Castle and ride on the world's steepest railway.

Tour type:
Private tour
Tour rating:
4.86 / 5, Based on
  • HOTELS
  • 4-star central hotels
    Standard rooms
    14 nights
  • TRANSPORT
  • Airport-hotel transfers
    Private drivers
    7 train trips
  • SIGHTSEEING
  • 11 sightseeing tours
    A railway journey to Chur on board the Glacier Express
  • MEALS
  • 14 buffet breakfasts
    Snacks and drinks in Montreux

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Arrival to Paris

Welcome to the capital of France - Paris! Upon arrival, your driver meets you at the airport and transfers you to your remarkable hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is free, so you can relax in your room, have dinner in a local restaurant or start exploring the nearby attractions.

 

Day 2

Paris City Tour

After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel and takes you on a 6-hour walking tour of main Paris attractions.

Your tour of the fabulous capital of France begins on the Cite Island where you see the world’s most famous gothic cathedral - Notre Dame from outside and stroll the glorious Luxembourg Gardens where famous French philosophers looked for inspiration. Among other sights, you see today are the outstanding Tuileries Gardens - the oldest park in the city, the iconic French symbol - the Triumphal Arc and the Place de Trocadero which is the vantage point of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Note: private transportation for the tour can be added at extra cost.

After the tour, you return to the hotel and have the rest of the day free.

  • Please, note: Tickets to the Eiffel Tower are not included in the city tour due to limited availability. Please, ask your travel specialist about available tickets for your tour date.

Day 3

Free Day in Paris

Today you have the day free to continue enjoying Paris on your own or join one of our carefully planned optional tours.

  • Optional tour: Louvre and Orsay Museums Tour
    Go on a 4 and a half hour walking tour of two of the most famous museums in Paris, taking advantage of your skip-the-line tour. See the Louvre Museum's most celebrated works of art, ancient artifacts, Greek sculptures, including the famous Venus di Milo, masterpieces of Raphael, Michelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Continue to the famous Orsay Museum to admire the works of great artists such as Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cezanne, Garnier, Courbet, Carpeaux, Nadar or Guimard.
     
  • Optional tour: Day trip to Versailles
    Enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent Versailles - the famous residence of French kings. Together with your experienced guide and private driver you set off on a 6-hour tour and make use of the privilege to a skip-the-line entrance to the Palace. You see the castle of Versailles, walk through its well-known Hall of Mirrors, see the actual rooms of the most extravagant king of France, Louis the XIV, discover the world-famous Le Notre gardens, see the Grand Trianon, Hameau de la Reine and take a stroll around the lavish gardens of Versailles.

Day 4

Train to Lyon & City Tour

Following breakfast, you check out from the hotel. Your driver takes you to the train station to board the train to Lyon - the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region (1st class train tickets included). Upon arrival in about 2 hours, you are met by your driver at the station and transferred to your centrally located hotel for check-in.

Lyon was founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. as the capital of the Three Gauls and is often called the culinary capital of France today. You get to see the top attractions of Lyon during a 3-hour guided walking tour. Together with your guide you see the Old Town of Lyon, the Fourviere hill, the beautiful Basilique of Notre Dame de Fourviere, walk along the Saone riverbank, see Vieux Lyon, Bellecour Square, the Roman theater, Saint-Jean Cathedral, Hotel Gadagne and Juiverie Street.

After the tour, you are taken back to your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Day 5

Day Tour to Annecy & Transfer to Chamonix

Today following breakfast you check out and meet your guide-driver, who takes you on a touring program around the best sights of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, the charming mountain region of France.

Within less than an hour, you reach Perouges to make a tour of this lovely medieval town. Perouges is quite small but full of history, with its authentic medieval appearance the town is often used as the setting for period films.

Next on your list is the tour to Annecy, nicknamed the 'Pearl of French Alps'. You have a walking tour to explore all the must-sees of the city. Then you have some free time for lunch and for an optional lake cruise.

After Annecy, your guide-driver takes you to Chamonix. Located close to the mountainous massif of French Prealps, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. Upon arrival, you are transferred to your centrally-located hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is free.

  • Optional tour: Lake Annecy Cruise
    Enjoy your time sailing the third-largest lake in France! Lake Annecy is often referred to as "Europe's cleanest lake” thanks to the strict environmental regulations introduced in the 1960s. Today you have a chance to discover its amazing landscapes including crystal clear water and picturesque mountains during your 1-hour private boat trip.

 

Day 6

Montenvers Train & Mer de Glace

Today following breakfast you walk to the train station, board the famous little red railway train and start your trip to Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in France.

  • Please, note: the tour to Montenvers is just one of the 6 tours which your 2-day Multi Pass (included in the price) allows to take advantage of. The other 5 are Aiguille Du Midi, Tramway Du Mont-Blanc (starts in Le Fayet, 20 minutes car ride from Chamonix), Grands Montets Area, Balme Area and Brevent Area.

The scenic train journey shows the Chamonix valley and the glacier in a great way. It takes just 20 minutes to climb 1,000 m (3,280 ft) up and to reach Montenvers station (1,913 m or 6,276 ft). Then you take an air gondola for a ride down towards the glacier.

  • Please, note: the tour is not available from October 2nd to October 20th, 2017 due to annual closure. Also, a gondola ride is not possible in case of a wind storm.

Upon arrival, you can visit the Glaciorium at new exhibition center, the Temple of Nature, an innovative optical theater, and the Ice Cave with its glacier exhibition that requires walking more than 400 steps down to reach. Nowadays all the central European alpine glaciers are disappearing and the trip to Mer de Glace is a striking evidence of this fact - just 100 years ago there were only a few steps to get inside the glacier.

For the way back you take the gondola and then the train. The rest of the day is free to have rest or to try some other activity from your Multi Pass list.

Day 7

Trip to Aiguille du Midi

Today following breakfast you head for the station located in the center of Chamonix and start a magnificent trip to Aiguille du Midi, a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif which has been a popular tourist destination for more than 50 years. The 2 cable-car rides, which last 20 minutes in general, take you up to an altitude of 3,777 m (12,392). The Telepherique De l'Aiguille Du Midi holds the world record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world.

  • Please, note: the tour is not available from November 6th to December 15th, 2017 due to annual closure. The cable car ride is not possible in case of a wind storm

Aiguille du Midi with its laid-out terraces offers a spectacular 360° view of Mont Blanc and all the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. On top, you can take a lift and reach the peak at 3,842 m (12,605 ft). The most fearless can take ‘A Step Into The Void’ - a 2,5 m (8,2 ft) glass cage out over a 1,000 m (3,2080) precipice.

For the ride back you take cable cars at first to Plan de l’Aiguille and then to Chamonix.

Day 8

Transfer to Geneva & Sightseeing

Following breakfast you check out, meet your private driver in the hotel lobby and continue your trip to wonderful Switzerland. Within about an hour you reach Geneva, surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains. Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland and the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. Upon arrival, you check in to the hotel, leave your luggage and start a 3-hour walking tour.

Together with your guide, you start discovering the top sights of this marvelous city by the lakefront. You see one of the most famous landmarks, the Jet d'Eau fountain of 140 m (460 ft) and enjoy the view of the mountains. After you proceed to the astonishing Old Town and see St. Peter Cathedral, Reformation Wall, the English Garden with Flower Clock, Ile Rousseau and Castle Tour-de-l'ile.

After the tour, you return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 9

Train to Montreux & Trip to Chillon Castle

In the morning after breakfast you check out from the hotel, go to the railway station and have a train ride to Montreux also known as 'Swiss Riviera'. In about 2.5 hours your train arrives to the traditional resort town located on the shores of Geneva Lake. Then you check in your hotel and embark on a fascinating trip along the shores of Geneva Lake to discover remarkable sights of Vaud of Canton.

Your tour starts with a public boat cruise on Lake Geneva to reach the most recognizable historic monument in Switzerland - Chillon Castle which dates back to medieval ages. Its charming architectural style and rich history inspired such literary geniuses as Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron. First you admire the exterior of this historical monument from water. Upon disembarkation you have a private guided touring around the most spectacular parts of Chillon Castle.

  • Optional activity: Wine Tasting in Chillon Castle

Following Chillon you head for Montreux where you meet your guide and have a private walking tour. You learn about the history and culture of charming 'Swiss Riviera' strolling along the lake shores where the summer Jazz Festival takes place. On the way up to the old town you enjoy stunning views over the lake and pass by the oldest house in Montreux, dating back to the 16th century.

After the tour you return to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.

Day 10

Train to Zermatt

Today following breakfast you check out from your hotel and head for the Montreux railway station.

During your 2.5-hour ride to Zermatt, a traffic-free mountain village, you enjoy the views of beautiful Pfyn-Finges Nature Park along the way.

Zermatt is famous not only for being a popular ski resort. This lovely village located in the southern canton of Valais which is home to some of the world's most spectacular mountains, including Matterhorn. Upon arrival you walk to your hotel for check-in and have the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 11

Day Trip to Gornegrat

After breakfast, you walk to the railway station, where you board a cogwheel train equipped with large windows which allow you to enjoy a journey across the highest open-air railway in Europe. The Gornergrat Bahn is the cog railway which was the first in the world to be fully electrified. Nowadays regenerative braking system of this eco-friendly railway generates electricity on the descent and so saves energy.

After about 45 minutes you reach the station of Gornergrat which is considered to be the highest open-air railway station in Europe at an altitude of 3, 090 m (10,135 ft). Gornergrat observation platform is accessible all year round and offers one of the finest panoramas in Switzerland. From there you have a glorious view of more than 20 four-thousand m (13,123 ft) peaks, one of which is Matterhorn. A truly unforgettable experience you cannot miss!

  • Please, note: It is important to wear something warm and wind/rain protective when going to Gornergrat. The temperature there is usually lower than in the cities even in summer. In case you feel too cold you can always go inside the restaurant which is close to the observation platform. The trains to/from Gornergrat are heated well.

After some free time in Gornergrat you have a train ride back to Zermatt. The rest of the day is free.

Breakfast is included.

Day 12

Glacier Express

Following breakfast, you check out from the hotel. Today you enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime railway journey to Chur on board the iconic Glacier Express that presents you with fantastic views of the picturesque Swiss Alps taking you through lots of tunnels and over several hundred bridges. The so-called 'slowest express train in the world' snakes its way through valleys, mountains and even canyon.

The world-famous red trains are equipped with modern dining cars and large panoramic windows to view the spectacular scenery. This is a journey you will remember for years to come.

After a 5.5-hour train ride, you finally arrive at Chur, Switzerland's oldest city. Upon arrival, you go to your cozy hotel, which is easily accessible on foot, for check-in. The evening is free, so you can explore a lovely Alpine city on your own, stroll through the largely car-free Old Town enjoying its historic buildings, galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

  • Optional tour: Chur Walking Tour
    Set off on an exploration of Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland, which boasts about 5 thousand years of civilization history. Your professional guide meets you in the hotel lobby and together you start exploring the city. During the tour, you walk at first through the modern center of the town, then stroll along the narrow streets of the Old Town and explore the 800-year old Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.

Day 13

Train to Zurich & Zurich City-Tour

After breakfast, you check out from the hotel and head to the railway station for a train ride to Zurich. In about an hour and a half, you arrive at the Zurich railway station. Upon arrival, you check in to your centrally-located hotel.

Then you meet your private guide and enjoy a perfectly-planned sightseeing tour around the most beautiful landmarks of Zurich. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the Old Town for the following 3 hours, walking through its narrow cozy streets and exploring its breathtaking medieval houses, churches and town hall.

After the tour the rest of the evening is free.

Day 14

Exploring Lucerne Region

Following breakfast, you head to the railway station to take a train to Lucerne. In about 50 minutes you meet your guide at the station of Lucerne.

Then you are invited to take an unforgettable trip with your private guide who shows you the magnificent views of Mount Pilatus and the Lucerne region. The tour starts with a cruise across the Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad. There you board the famous cogwheel train that takes you across the world's steepest railway passing through lush Alpine meadows, spectacular rocks and sparkling mountain streams to the top of Mt Pilatus, the altitude of which is 2132 m (6995 ft).

For the return journey, you ride a cable car to enjoy the fantastic scenery once again. As the last part of your magnificent tour, you take a 20-minute bus from Kriens to Lucerne. Tickets* for a public boat cruise, cogwheel train, cable car, and bus are included.

  • Please note: The boat cruise and the cogwheel train are available only from May to September.

After the tour, you take a train back to Zurich. The rest of the evening is free.

Day 15

Departure

This is the final day of your tour. Following breakfast, you check-out from the hotel and your driver takes you to the airport for the departure.

We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future vacations!

 


Hotels

14 nights at centrally-located 4-star hotels

  • Free WiFi
  • Gym
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
4-star accommodation at top hotels

Always included:

  • Central location close to major sights
  • Buffet breakfasts
  • Free WiFi
  • Spacious beds

  • Accommodation at remarkable centrally located 4-star hotels in Paris, Lyon, Chamonix, Geneva, Montreux, Zermatt, Chur, Zurich;
  • Delicious breakfasts at your hotels;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary;
  • Private transfers: Lyon - Chamonix, Chamonix - Geneva;
  • Sightseeing tours with private professional English-speaking guides in Paris, Lyon, Annecy, Geneva, Chillon Castle, Montreux, Zurich, Lucerne Region;
  • 2-Day Multi Pass in Chamonix;
  • Entrance tickets to Chillon Castle;
  • Tickets for public boat cruise, cogwheel train, cable car and bus for the tour to Mt Pilatus;
  • 1st class train tickets: Paris - Lyon, Geneva - Montreux, Montreux - Zermatt, Glacier Express Zermatt - Chur, Сhur - Zurich;
  • 2nd class train tickets: Zurich - Lucerne, Lucerne - Zurich;
  • 2nd class tickets from Montreux to Chillon Castle by public boat;
  • Non-guided tour to Gornergrat by cogweel train; 
  • All tourist fees & taxes, including tourist city taxes;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.

 

Not included: international flights, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses, gratuities.

Tour Highlights

  • Tours of main Paris & Lyon attractions
  • A tour around Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes
  • Trip to Mer de Glace
  • Trip to Aiguille du Midi & cable car ride
  • A train ride to Montreux & Lake Geneva cruise
  • A day trip to Gornegrat
  • Glacier Express railway journey to Chur
  • Exploration of Lucerne region

What to Know

  • In France, you can expect to find some shops, restaurants, and museums closed for lunch between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • French breakfast is not as heavy as other European breakfast meals, it usually includes sweet pastries, toast, fruit, yogurt, cereal
  • In France, tipping in restaurants might be included in the bill, "service compris" (tip included) or "service non-compris" (tip not included), but in any case, if you liked the service you can leave few Euros on the table either way
  • Most communication equipment in France takes 220/110 volts, you will need an adapter plug (type E) to make your plug fit into the socket

Dates & Rates

Package type Price
Friends trip: 4+ travelers
based on double occupancy
$5,468
Deposit $1,094
Regular package
based on double occupancy
$6,368
Deposit $1,274
View all dates
Package type Price
Friends trip: 4+ travelers
based on double occupancy
$5,468
Deposit $1,094
Regular package
based on double occupancy
$6,368
Deposit $1,274

Map


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Maggie Dylann

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October 16, 2016

We had a top-notch tour to the UK. Even more than top-notch, "ace" as the locals say!

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Regina Mayer

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