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Danielle's Switzerland Adventure

Danielle's Switzerland Adventure

  • Tuesday 18 July 2023

Danielle's recently back from an amazing whistle-stop trip to Switzerland:

"I was lucky enough to be invited to the stunning Valais Region, by Switzerland Tourism. On this 4-day trip, I visited Brig-Simplon, Gornergrat, Zermatt and Sion. All this by the Swiss travel system, which is very efficient and easy to navigate. We were lucky enough to avail of the 1st class pass which includes:

Five advantages of your #swisstravelpass:

  • Unlimited travel by train, bus and boat
  • Public transportation in more than 90 cities and towns
  • Including mountain excursions: Rigi, Schilthorn, Stanserhorn and Stoos
  • Free admission to more than 500 museums throughout Switzerland
  • Two free informative apps for your journey: the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland app and SwissTravel Guide app

"I would advise that going first class is worth the extra monies!"

Day 1 – Arrival in Geneva, Switzerland

I began the trip by taking the air coach from Cork to Dublin to catch my flight to Geneva. My flight was the direct option from Dublin to Geneva with Swiss Air. Swiss Air are the main airline that travels from Ireland to many airports in Switzerland, both direct and non-direct. Once I arrived in Geneva I met with the group of 5 other travel agents who were also on the trip and we all made our way by train to our first tour destination Brig – Simplon. The train journey was approx. 3 hours, but when travelling in first class the time flies in comfort.

The region of Brig Simplon, with its historic old quarter and the Stockalper Palace, lies in the sunny Upper Valais at the foot of the Simplon Pass. The latter, situated at an important junction, is the gateway to Italy. Approximately one hour from Domodossola, Brig is an ideal starting point for excursions. Close to the hiking and ski regions of the Lötschberg, Simplon, and Aletsch. It has its own thermal baths, making it an attractive holiday region. Discover the small but fine ski areas of: Rothwald-Wasenalp and Rosswald, a sunny panoramic plateau high above the Rhône Valley and outstanding for families.

Simplon Pass Switzerland

Once off the train we met our lovely tour guide who set out the itinerary for the day. We got the bus from Brig – Simplonpass and headed on our 12km hike from Simplonpass to Simplon Dorf. The hike we completed is part of the 6-night hike you can do, taking you from Brig to Domodossola in Italy. More than 300 years ago, the merchant Kaspar Stockalper from Brig built the mule track over the Simplon Pass, thus laying the foundation stone for his trading empire. This path has long since given way in its economic significance to the new pass road, but since the early 90's, the Stockalpertraoö has been revived as a cultural path.

After our hike, we had a delicious lunch at the restaurant Fletschhorn in Simplon Dorf. We then got the bus back to our hotel – Hotel de Londres- for a little rest before dinner at Restaurant La Terrazza.

Day 2:- The Matterhorn

Today was the main highlight of the trip. Today we travelled to Zermatt, which lies at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn. It was an early departure and short walk to the train station where with met with Christoph Andereggen, Communication Manager at Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn.

"To get to the Matterhorn, we took Europe’s highest open-air rack railway, the Gornergrat Bahn, which carries passengers from Zermatt through spectacular landscapes. At 4.478 m/ 14.691 ft, the majestic Matterhorn looms over the breathtaking Alpine panorama."

You'll encounter the new and unique multi-media experience around the Matterhorn on the Gornergrat. The most photographed mountain in the world is located in the Valais region at the border with Italy. The car-free vacation resort of Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. It has preserved its original village character and offers nearly unlimited possibilities as far as excursions are concerned. It's a paradise for all nature lovers with a wide variety of activities like hiking, mountain biking and even summer skiing. We then had lunch at Restaurant Vis à Vis. The restaurant is part of 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat Hotel. As you can imagine the views are spectacular.

Matterhorn Switzerland

Day 3: Oenoparc - Les Celliers de Sion

Today was the final day of the trip. We finished in Sion with a visit to Les Celliers de Sion - the first wine park in the heart of the Valais. It is a unique exploration of the history and wines of the Bonvin and Varone estates. The Wine Tourism Centre has been designed to offer an experience that is completely unprecedented in Switzerland. We also got the chance to discover every facet of the majestic hillside, which benefits from dramatic views over the Rhône Valley.

"We had an original wine tasting and learned all about their wines and their flavours, right in the heart of the cellar."

A unique and entertaining sensory experience. It truly has something for everyone. Switzerland only exports 1% of their wines so I can't say I've often come across them before. Overall the trip was a great experience and I would highly recommend this kind of trip to anyone! Even if not the itinerary I did, but just the Valais Region in general."

For more information, or to start planning your own custom Switzerland holiday, please click here or contact us: 021 4277094 or 01 6965135, or email info@shandontravel.ie.


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