How to travel from Paris to see the Swiss Alps?
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Paris in France and the Swiss Alps are truly every vacationist’s paradise and on top of almost every tourists destination lists. Paris history and the overall beauty of the city with its wonderful architecture, the well-dressed people and the excellent food speaks for itself.
BUT what really transports you into an ether realm of magnificence and splendour are the Swiss Alps. The breath-taking scenery with hazy blue lakes, luxurious mountain resorts, sparkling glaciers and some of the greatest driving roads in the world are an experience one can't miss.
To reach the Swiss Alps from Paris avoid taking a flight. The French TGV high speed train "Lyria" takes your from Gare de Lyon station in Paris, directly into the Swiss city centres of Basel (3,5 hours) and Zurich (4 hours). The same amount of time you would need to travel by plane without all the check in hustle and expensive taxi rides to the airports.
The perfect vacation includes the right travel companion and a good travel itinerary ideally scripted by a professional – exactly what a the river cruise from Paris to the Swiss Alps by Viking River Cruises is promising. But please consider:
While the cruise from Paris to Switzerland surely is among the best that a European river cruise can deliver – there is a catch: all river cruises to Switzerland end in Basel, Switzerland. From there you're driven by coach to Zurich to spend a few more days before your departure. The Swiss Alps with its stunning panoramas are still miles away.
How to see the Swiss Alps from Zurich?
No better way to experience this scenic highlights of Switzerland than by embarking on a road trip in the sport- or supercar of your dreams. You better fasten your seat belt because it promises to be one hell of a ride.
Twisting into the mountains, the serpentine roads, interrupted by frequent straights beckon onto your subdued adventurous spirit in an almost titillating manner; and when you’re in a Porsche 911 Cabriolet, it’s very difficult to ignore this call. The flexibility and first-hand experience offered by a car is unique when touring the major alpine passes of Switzerland.
What makes the Swiss Alpine Pass & Lakes Driving Tour even more enticing is the line-up of cars available – whatever your taste, be it a calm cruise in a Porsche Cabriolet or a V10 powered blaze – through an Audi R8 or Ferrari rest assured your dreams and fantasies would be brought to life.
The Swiss Alps are home too many alpine passes, all of which are architectural masterpieces, structured to provide a thrilling and invigorating experience. The largely famous Furka Pass, the same one featured in the 1964 Bond Movie “Goldfinger” is a sight to behold. This iconic road, hosted on 2341 meters above sea levels, sends a pleasant rush of adrenaline through your blood stream at its intermittent hairpin turns; if you’re looking for that James Bond – excitement the Furka Pass will quench your thirst. At its base, the Furka Pass opens into relaxing blade of road flanked on either side by tantalising landscape and scenery – the Grimsel Pass.
Unlike its predecessor, the Grimsel Pass gives you time to settle into the driving seat. From this vantage point, you can then take in the dazzling view of the Alpine mountain side, polished by musky lakes and imposing dams. The lush green vegetation paints a picturesque image of a blockbuster movie, and in a supercar like the Lamborghini Huracan, you’re tempted to feel like its main hero.
The Grimsel Pass ushers you into a small town, that primes you for the next experience on what is arguably the most fascinating stretch of road in the Swiss Alps; its name – the Susten Pass. The Susten Pass is noticeably wider than both the Grimsel- and Furka Pass. Unlike the Furka Pass where hairpin turns are bound to send a shiver down your spine, the turns at the Grimsel Pass invite you into their curvy embrace.
Backed by the technological prowess of the world’s most exotic cars it’s an invitation that requires no second calling. It’s not just the driving experience that however makes the Susten Pass stand out, the mind grabbing stone coated scenery, the alternating hillsides and plateaus and the tinted grass plains all work to imprint a lasting image of the Swiss Alps. Whether or not you have a retentive memory, this is one experience you would never forget.
The Best of Swiss Alps Driving Tour experience also features several pit stops at select locations, such as glacier lakes, viewpoints and restaurants. Expect the complete Swiss hospitality treatment.
Planning your journey from the Basel River Cruise:
Touring the greatest driving roads in Switzerland kicks off in Zurich. After your Basel River Cruise, you can hop into a comfortable 1hr train ride from Basel. Luxurious and tastefully furnished hotel rooms await you in Zurich, and all you have to do is check in and relax.
Day one is for settling down and getting used to the Swiss atmosphere. A tour expert will be meeting with you at your hotel to give you a first-hand insight about the driving tour, and accompanying him would be the car of your choice, right at the doorstep of your hotel room – no hassle, no stress.
On the Second day, your tour of the top roads in the Swiss Alps, guided by a pre-programmed GPS unit and your own personal road-book guide kicks off.
The excitement begins almost immediately as you are ushered into the Albis Hillside which hosts some impressive views over the pre-Alps. Onwards you encounter your first alpine pass the Klausen Pass; it’s beautifully brazened tarmac give you a subtle hint of what to expect from your Swiss Alps Driving Tour.
The city of Lucerne, accentuated by the Lake Lucerne welcomes you once you’ve conquered the Klausen Pass and this point you can check into a hotel, in preparation for the next day of touring the cherry topping of the four major alpine passes.
Kick off day three in style with the Susten pass, located just a few miles away from Lake Lucerne. Be sure to keep your camera at arm’s reach as the breath taking scenery is bound to ignite your creative spirit.
After a coffee head on to the Grimsel Pass, like its fraternal twin, the Susten Pass, expect to be flattered by its jaw dropping scenery, again keep your cameras handy – nothing beats a photo of you in a Ferrari offset by the lush green landscape and perfectly paved tarmacs.
Once you’re done with taking photos, join the company of other driving enthusiasts, cyclists and hikers and visit the very popular Rhone Glacier. From the Rhone’s glacier, it’s time to put on your tuxedo and assume the role of James Bond as you traverse the Furka Pass – one of the surreal Swiss Alpine passes used in the 007 Goldfinger movie.
By the time you’re done with the Furka Pass, you can retire back to Zurich. The motorway in the lake Zug region is your escape portal from the 007 themed scenery of the Furka Pass.
Through the course of your supercar driving tour, you can always pause to take in the scenery in all its splendour and magnificence or better still participate actively in an action attraction.
When you arrive back to Zurich - a boat ride on the iconic Lake Zurich rekindles the not too distant memories of the Basel river cruise, but unlike the river cruise, takes you out of your comfort zone and puts your adventurous spirit to test.
If you’re, however, satisfied with the river cruise experience to Basel, then you can consider sunbathing your taste buds with the exotic chocolates found at the Spruengli Café at Bahnhofstrasse; which is also coincidentally one of the world’s most exclusive shopping avenues.
Regardless of your style, taste, and desires, the Swiss Alps welcomes you with arms wide open as you make your way from Basel in preparation for what is best described as the adventure of a lifetime.
Check out: European Driving Holidays & Supercar Tours.