Graubünden, Scuol. Nationalpark. Foto/Photo: TES.

Grand Tour of Switzerland

It is not only (constitutional) history, (direct) democracy and the functioning of (autonomous) cantons that make Switzerland a special country. The diversity of (cultural) landscapes in a relatively small area is also impressive. The so-called “Grand Tour” of Switzerland is a tour of interesting locations. It is not the journey of sons (and sometimes a daughter) of (English) aristocrats in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but the modern touristic variant for everyone.

The country has more than 40 peaks with an altitude of more than four kilometres, but also many larger and smaller lakes and rivers at an altitude of only a few hundred metres. Travellers will find glaciers and promenades with palm trees in neighbouring cantons. Large gorges, e.g. the Rheinschlucht or the Viamala (bad road in Romansh) in one canton give way to sloping agricultural areas in cantons further on.

Mountain passes with narrow roads and numerous viaducts for train and road transport and spacious motorways alternate. Impermeable areas and agriculture are never far from each other. The oldest abbeys are on the same Tour as places with modern architecture and museums.

The young English aristocrats were mostly on their way to Italy. The modern tourist will find everything that European nature and (cultural) history has to offer on this Tour. Everything, not everything. According to the Glacier Garden (Gletschergarten) in Lucerne, it’s million years ago that Switzerland was covered by the sea (further information about the Grand Tour on or other publications).