This two week tour of the Alps and mountain regions of France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland takes you on an amazing journey through historical, cultural and scenic delights.
Highlights include some incredible Alpine driving as well as passing through the Champagne region, visiting Alsace, touring southern Bavaria with its fairy-tale castles, travelling through the magnificent Austrian and Swiss Alps, driving some of the world’s most thrilling mountain passes, including the Stelvio, past breath-taking scenery, and sampling the wonderful cuisine and wines.
Classic Travelling has driven the route to ensure it is scenic and interesting as well as visited each hotel to make certain we have the most pleasant accommodation in the area and they have appropriate standards of comfort and charm, along with suitable parking.
“A really enjoyable tour. The road book was excellent – you obviously know the area very well. In all the hotels the staff were really welcoming and attentive – this really makes a holiday. We wouldn’t hesitate to use Classic Travelling again and we will recommend you to other people.” M.R., CAAR GB
Read the article from the 2013 Trans-Alpine Tour in MOG Magazine
May be subject to change.
Day 1 151 miles
For UK participants take the ferry from Dover to Calais, followed by an easy drive to Laon. Visit the largest war memorial area of France, Vimy Parc. This whole region was the scene of fierce fighting in both World Wars. Stay in an exclusive chateau set around a courtyard a few kilometres from Laon.
Day 2 240 miles
Drive across northern France to the beautiful Alsace region. On the way visit the attractive town of Verdun, France’s ‘Capital of Peace’. Travel across the engaging Vosges Mountains to the hotel. Set in a tranquil and pretty village, the hotel is a treat with its spa and great food.
Day 3 161 miles
Leave France behind and cross into Germany. Virtually every road in this area of the Black Forest is designated as a scenic route and the driving is superb. Lake Constance is a beautiful area with lovely half-timbered houses in the towns along the shore. Drive the corniche road along the northern shore, through Meersburg, and pay a visit to the Zeppelin Museum, before heading to the medieval, tiny island town of Lindau. Stay in a beautiful quality, family-run hotel next to the lake towards Switzerland. Dine at the hotel overlooking Lake Constance.
Day 4 152 miles
Heading east from Lindau enter Bavaria, home of many of Germany’s best-known cliches: beer, lederhosen, sausage dogs, sauerkraut and fairy-tale castles. Drive along the thrilling Alpine Road and visit the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, the latter is the ultimate story-book castle. Drive through Garmisch-Partenkirchen, host of the 1936 Winter Olympics and onto Tegernsee. Stay in a charming country house hotel for the next two nights, on the outskirts of a spa town, one of the country’s most elegant resorts, and where the thermal springs are at a constant 27ºC.
A day off to either relax, or there are a number of scenic drives. Tegernsee is among Bavaria’s most beautiful lakes and the area has long been a favourite with the rich. The little town of Tegernsee has a 1300 year old monastery, now a castle. From the southern end of the lake there is a cable car up into the mountains giving access to wonderful views and walks.
Day 6 147 miles
Some more great driving and beautiful scenery today. The route takes you to Bertchesgaden and the location of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest which can be visited, along with the superb museum, the Dokumentation Centre, which charts the rise of the Nazis. Drive along scenic roads all the way into Austria and to Kitzbuhel, where the tour will spend the next two nights. Stay in a stunning design hotel with glorious views over Kitzbuhel and just near the town centre. There is a fabulous spa and indoor pool to relax in as well.
Day 7 72 miles
Kitzbuhel has a picturesque centre and is a fashionable and prosperous resort. There are many lovely walking trails surrounding the town or drive our recommended circular, scenic drive to Zell am Zee and perhaps tackle the Grossglockner Pass.
Day 8 136 miles
An easy drive along the Inn River valley to the beautifully situated town of Imst. On the way visit Innsbruck with its 15th century baroque facades and mountain backdrop. There is also a chance to visit the Swarovski crystal workshop and exhibition.
Day 9 183 miles
Leave Austria and cross the border into Italy to drive some of the world’s most famous and thrilling mountain passes, including the Stelvio Pass, the highest road pass in Europe. Then head into Switzerland and over the Bernina Pass in time to explore St Moritz and the nearby, famous Cresta run. Travel over the startlingly dramatic Julier Pass and stay in the little village of Lenzerheide, in the mountains, in a stunning old converted farm for two nights.
Enjoy another day off. There are some fabulous walks and hikes, amidst the unique alpine flora, around the village and mountains, or you can head off on two or four wheels. Alternatively relax and indulge in the spa, enjoy the views of the panoramic sauna, and open-air hot-tub surrounded by idyllic alpine vistas, or experience the feel and scent of a meadow hay bed!
Day 11 168 miles
Another excellent day of sensational mountain driving. Drive north to Chur and then east to Andermatt. Climb over the beautiful Susten Pass and descend to Brienzer See. Pass through Meiringen, location of Sherlock Holmes’ ‘death’, and head for Brienz, a quiet town renowned for its beautiful wood carvings. Visit the wonderful ethnographic museum at Ballenberg, which shows Switzerland as it used to be with buildings, animals, historical gardens and fields, and typical crafts and customs.
It is a gentle drive along from Brienz to the spa town of Interlaken, nestled between the lakes of Thun See and Brienzer See. There is a wonderful side trip to the stunning Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Jungfraujoch. Take a trip up to the Schilthorn, by funicular railway, where the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was filmed. Then wind your way through classic Swiss scenery to Gstaad, playground of the rich and famous, and a perfect place for afternoon tea and a stroll. Stay for two nights in a fabulous hotel just a minute’s stroll from the town centre.
Day 12 63 miles
Spend the day exploring the surrounding area. Visit the superb Nestle Cailler chocolate factory or discover how Gruyeres cheese is made at the nearby factory, or traditional farm. The medieval hill-top town of Gruyeres is very pretty and well worth a visit and a stroll around the chateau or along the walls. This is true Swiss dairy country so a meal in Gruyeres is recommended to sample the world famous cheese, cream, chocolate and meringue cuisine. There are also some beautiful walks in the surrounding mountains including botanical floral paths. If you’re feeling very energetic try some summer skiing on the glacier at Les Diablerets!
Day 13 157 miles
Drive over the Jaunpass and then skirt Lake Gruyeres, heading to the medieval city of Fribourg. Cross the plain to the pretty, lake-side town of Morat/Murten and then round Lake Neuchatel. Climb up the Jura, stopping to see the panoramic view at Vue des Alpes, before visiting the superb watch museum at La Chaux de Fonds near the Swiss/French border. Cross into the Franche-Comte region of France and stay in a wonderful, mellow chateau situated in tranquil gardens.
Day 14 254 miles
It’s a long but lovely drive across country on good, open roads. Visit the medieval town of Troyes – particularly the most beautifully restored 15th century buildings around the Cathedral. Continue on, driving through the Champagne region and Epernay, to Laon, and stay in the same hotel as the first night of the tour.
Day 15 151 miles
For UK participants, drive to Calais and take the ferry across to Dover and depart.
Stay in some of the most glorious hotels, including stunning chateaux, cosy wooden chalets and medieval townhouses. All the hotels are individual and unique and, overall, are of an extremely high standard. Due to the nature and age of these hotels the rooms vary from charmingly comfortable to the utmost luxury. We have hand-picked the accommodation for their unique atmosphere and style. Suitable parking is, of course, a feature of each hotel, but it is rarely undercover.
“Thanks you so much from both driver and navigator for enabling us to have a fantastic Trans Alpine Adventure. The route book we bought from you was comprehensive and easy to follow and was positively overflowing with background information and points of interest along the way. Your recommended hotels were first class. Your route has a great variety of roads and scenery and we felt that we had really experienced each country we travelled through. From the the Black Forest to beautiful Lake Constance, from Hitler’s Eagles Nest to walking under a glacier. Whether facing the challenges of the alpine passes or chilling out in Kitzbuhel or Gstaad there were new vistas and experiences each day. The only issue was the unseasonably hot weather! I would highly recommend this tour and look forward to trying one of your other in the near future!” S.E., Northampton
- Detailed narrative (easy to follow) route directions, along with maps showing the route.
- Hotel and restaurant information to easily make your own bookings
- Plenty of information on many places to visit and things to do in the areas you will pass through.
- A brief history of the Alpine regions
- Each person must have a passport (and any necessary visas for non-EU passport holders) valid for France, Germany, Austria, Italy & Switzerland and any other countries you may visit to participate on the tour.
- All passports must be valid for six months after the end of the tour.
- You will also need your vehicle registration documents, driving licence (a photo-card licence or international permit is best), and an international insurance green card.
- Please check with your travel and motor insurers that you are covered for travel in the required countries.
- You are also required to carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fluorescent jacket, set of replacement bulbs and a national identification sticker.
This is a photobook from our 2013 escorted group tour, but the photos will give you a good flavour of the tour. All participants on our longer escorted group tours (one week or more) are given a photo-book as a memory of the tour.