WORLDWIDE CULTURAL AND CULINARY VACATIONS
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Cheese, Chocolate and Culinary Adventures in the Swiss Alps

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Priced From
$3,998 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

A Swiss Alps Culinary Adventure
From Gruyères to Montreux, Switzerland!

The Swiss Alps has been Europe’s playground for hundreds of years. This paradise of glistening peaks, tumbling glaciers, and gushing waterfalls has a magical way of inspiring creative genius. Poets, musicians, inventors—and especially culinary artists—have all flourished in the Alps. Now it’s your turn. The Romans left a legacy of viniculture on the sundrenched slopes of the Swiss Alps. The Swiss invented meringues, fondue, muesli, and Raclette. They invented and perfected chocolate as we know it. Their cheeses are world renown. Switzerland’s restaurants have been awarded more Michelin stars per capita than any country in the world. Explore your own food passions as you make Gruyère cheese in an alpine chalet over an open fire as local cheesemakers have done for over 900 years. Then standing side-by-side with a master chocolatier you develop your own chocolate creations. You learn the secrets of preparing a bubbling caquelon of classic cheese fondue. Your culinary experience will be enhanced by walks through vineyards with breathtaking views, spectacular mountaintop excursions, and guided outings through walled medieval villages and storied castles. Your food adventure in the Swiss Alps includes round trip transfers from the Geneva Airport (via Swiss Rail Pass), six nights hotel accommodations, breakfasts, dinners, ground transportation, excursions, classes, demonstrations, tastings, guided walks, recipes, interpretive notes, and the services of an English-speaking expert guide. Prepare yourself for an active vacation and an unforgettable visual and sensory feast in the Swiss Alps.

Cheese, Chocolate and Culinary Adventures in the Swiss Alps

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ Testimonials
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
6 Nights Four-Star Accommodations
Round-trip Geneva Airport Transfers
Daily Buffet Breakfast
Daily Dinners at Select Restaurants
Gruyère Cheese-Making
Hands-On Traditional Bread Baking
Hands-On Fondue Cooking Class
Farmstead Goat Cheese Visit & Tasting
Maison Cailler Tour
Working with Chocolate (Master Class)
Ganache & Truffles (Master Class)
Alpine Herbs Walking Tour
Lavaux Vineyards Tour & Tasting
Market Tour & Cheese Serving Class
Guided Village Tour - Gruyères
Guided Castle Tour - Chillon Castle
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Rendezvous | Transfer to Montreux | Walk to Chillon Castle and Guided Tour | Welcome Dinner On arrival in Geneva you’ll be transferred by rail (Swiss Travel Pass provided to you prior to departure) to Montreux in a scenic ride along the shores of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). After checking into your hotel, a tranquil walk along the shores of Lake Geneva takes us to the stunning and well-preserved 12th-century Chillon Castle. This impressive citadel with its exceptional natural setting on the lake was immortalized by Lord Byron. In inclement weather, or for anyone not able to make the 45-minute walk, alternative transportation is available. The first evening will feature an Orientation and Welcome Dinner at a select restaurant in Montreux.
Day 2
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views across Lac Geneva (Lac Leman) to the peaks of the French and Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk along the lakeshore promenade.
Chocolate Factory Tour | Chocolate Workshop with Master Chocolatier We ascend from Lake Geneva into the Pays d’en Haut, the highlands above the Montreux Riviera where treasured agricultural traditions endure. At Maison Cailler, home to Switzerland’s oldest brand of chocolate, we tour the factory, immerse ourselves in the world of chocolate, learn the processes of manufacturing the finest chocolate confections, then participate in a chocolate class, working in Cailler’s chocolate studio, under the direction of a master chocolatier.
Artisan Bread Baking | Hands-on Fondue Cooking Class | Dinner In the afternoon, we’ll begin our first cooking class where you’ll discover the secrets of traditional baking in a 200-year-old wood-fired oven. We’ll learn successful techniques for kneading, rising, and shaping the dough. Then once in the oven we discover how to create a crackling crust. Later, you’ll explore the history and tradition of cheese fondue—made with the finest Gruyère cheese, of course—then carefully prepare this classic Swiss comfort food to savor for your evening dinner, along with the bread you’ve just baked.
Day 3
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views across Lac Geneva (Lac Leman) to the peaks of the French and Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk along the lakeshore promenade.
Traditional Gruyère Cheese-Making After breakfast, we set off for a mountain dairy where we’re on hand for the morning cheese making. Using time-honored tools and methods, the cheesemaker combines the morning milk with the evening milk before cutting the curds. Holding the hem of the cheesecloth in his teeth, he snatches the curds from the whey, and then presses the steaming hot curds into the round forms to produce hand-crafted wheels of Gruyère, Switzerland’s most popular cheese, as well as its most widely exported cheese.
Guided Gruyères Village Tour | Dinner within the Walled Village We visit the walled medieval village of Gruyères, with its picture-perfect setting on a hill overlooking rolling pre-alpine farmlands. The cows that graze the lush grass and fragrant flora of alpine meadows in the peaceful valley of the River Sarine produce the milk for Gruyère cheese and Switzerland’s finest milk chocolate. Once you’ve arrived and settled in, you will set off for a guided walk of the historic village and its 13th-century castle, home to the Counts of Gruyère. We enjoy dinner in a traditional chalet within the village walls.
Day 4
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views across Lac Geneva (Lac Leman) to the peaks of the French and Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk along the lakeshore promenade.
Alpine Herbs | Farmstead Goat Cheese | Raclette at the Source | Dinner Terraced vineyards, a Roman amphitheater, and other ruins attest to the influence ancient Rome wielded in the Rhône Valley. Flanked by the Bernese Alps to the north and showstoppers like the Matterhorn and Weisshorn to the south, the sunny Upper Rhône Valley is Switzerland’s leading wine region and an agricultural paradise where orchard fruits, nuts, and herbs flourish. At a nearby goat cheese dairy we taste the versatile and varied types of goat cheese from tangy chèvre to ash-ripened bleus. On a walk through the mountainside herb fields with a Ricola herb grower, we discover both the culinary and medicinal uses of available plants and conclude with a meal in the farmer's home. Raclette cheese originates in this region and at dinner we’ll sample different renditions of this favored cheese from top local fromageries, and come to appreciate its nuanced characteristics from a knowledgeable racleur.
Day 5
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views across Lac Geneva (Lac Leman) to the peaks of the French and Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk along the lakeshore promenade.
Making Chocolate Truffles at Läderach After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a short boat ride on Lake Geneva to the neighboring town of Vevey—a foodie Mecca. It is the birthplace of the chocolate bar in 1819, milk chocolate in 1875, and white chocolate in 1930. Imagine a town of just 18,000 people with four Michelin-starred restaurants and the world headquarters of Nestlé. In Vevey you will be exclusive guests at the Läderach chocolate studios and shop. Läderach chocolate represents the highest levels in chocolate design, quality and taste, and you will learn the art and techniques for making chocolate ganache and truffles from a master chocolatier.
Lavaux Vineyards | Guided Walk | Wine Tasting | Dinner This afternoon you head off to explore the sun-kissed terraced vineyards of the Lavaux World Heritage Site. If you want to experience the scenery with all your senses you should also taste it! Your guided walk from Cully to Lutry includes cellar visits, wine tastings and vineyard demonstrations. You’ll walk through the vineyards comprised of 14 wine villages nestled among the vines and reflecting the region’s 1000-year winemaking heritage. The vineyard walk is very interactive; you will participate in the care and cultivation of the grapes, and in the process, understand the cultural traditions of the region and the complexity and terroir of the wine. The route leads through the medieval villages of St. Saphorin Cully, Villette and Grandvaux with their narrow alleys and characteristic vintner’s houses from the 16th to 19th centuries. The vineyards are daringly constructed on steep hills, so a glass of Chasselas makes the trail to Lutry twice as much fun. You will conclude the day perfectly with dinner in a restaurant within the vineyard region.
Day 6
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views across Lac Geneva (Lac Leman) to the peaks of the French and Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk along the lakeshore promenade.
Montreux Market Tour Montreux's vibrant weekly market is the perfect place to sample local fresh products--artisan oil, cheese, honey, liqueur, or local wine. The Friday market is a treasure, not only for local producers but also for specialty foods from a wide region, including France and Italy. There's no better place to find interesting cheeses and other unusual culinary delights.
Class in Cheese Tasting | Serving a Cheese Course | Wine Pairing | Farewell Dinner At the market, and at nearby fromageries with the able assistance of a maître fromager, we’ll select an array of cheeses you will use to create an impeccable cheese plate. Gain practical and professional guidance in how to select the cheeses used in your cheese course, along with serving, pairing, accompaniment, and presentation tips that will separate you from the novices and elevate you to the ranks of a true fromager. You’ll conclude a perfect day and a perfect week with a multi-course lakeside farewell dinner where you will all relax and gaze out over the Alps.
Day 7
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views across Lac Geneva (Lac Leman) to the peaks of the French and Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk along the lakeshore promenade.
Check-Out and Departure | Transfers to Airport After breakfast, pack your bags and your memories, say goodbye to new friends, and bid farewell to your own little slice of Switzerland, with a solemn promise to return. You will be transported by rail (using your Swiss Travel Pass provided prior to departure) to the Geneva Airport in plenty of time to check-in for your departure flight or connect with your onward travel plans.
Grand Hôtel Suisse Majestic
The Grand Hôtel Suisse Majestic was built in 1870 in a “Belle Epoque” style by Eugène Jost and was entirely renovated in 2010. The entire building and all the rooms are air-conditioned. It is located just in front of the railway station in the heart of Montreux. Restaurant 45 has without question become the essential meeting place, renowned for its culinary refinement, unique blend of tradition and modernity, and its dazzling views of the Swiss Alps and the Lake. All rooms at Grand Hôtel Suisse Majestic feature air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a minibar, and many of them have a balcony or a terrace.
Geneva, SwitzerlandGruyères, SwitzerlandMontreux, SwitzerlandVevey, Switzerland
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Our full cancellation policy is stated in the Terms and Conditions when making your reservation. Cancellations with a full refund are allowed up to 31 days or more prior to departure for USA and Canada tours, or up to 61 days or more prior to departure for international tours. No refund is allowed 30 days or less prior to departure for USA and Canada tours, or 60 days or less prior to departure for international tours.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
We had a fabulous time -- one of my top favorite vacations. Greg and Elaine, our tour guides, were wonderful. They were very knowledgeable, personable, and efficient. They took us to GREAT destinations with GREAT experiences. Switzerland is a great destination in itself. The bread making, chocolate making, and fondue making were highlights. I have and will continue to recommend this tour and Epitourean to my friends and my travel agent.
KC - October 2017
Winner
OUTSTANDING
CULINARY TRAVEL
Category
Member of ASTA
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