Gluten Free Getaways: Gluten-Free Highlights of Switzerland


Choose any date of travel (this is an individual itinerary, not a group trip).


Gluten Free Travel-Us has unveiled their latest itinerary for the discerning gluten free traveler: an 8-day journey to Switzerland with 2 nights in each of the following cities: Zurich, Lucerne, and Interlaken -- with a return to Zurich the night before departure. Switzerland is beautiful any time of year, and Ellen Morse, owner of Gluten Free Travel-Us, will help you determine the optimal time to travel based on your interests. The weather in Switzerland offers a number of regional micro-climates. Weather in the sub-Jura valleys is the coldest in Switzerland, while the canton of Ticino offers warm, Mediterranean-like weather. Overall, the country's climate is typical of central Europe or the northern United States, but without the extremes of hot and cold. Summer typically offers sun, though rain is just as common. Switzerland's spring and fall are usually pleasant but can get slightly chilly.

The sample itinerary below is, as always, just a suggestion. Ultimately, YOU are the determining factor in crafting the exact activiites in each city, based on your interests. Ellen will provide many suggestions as you begin working with her. Most importantly, she will ensure the places you stay understand the nuances of your gluten free diet. The hotels where she books clients have all been vetted for their high level of gluten free knowledge, and Ellen will provide guidance on other dining venues that are safe for Celiacs in each city. This is not a group tour but a trip you can take at any time and with anyone you choose. Pricing depends on your dates of travel, point of departure, and other factors.


Days 1-2: Arrive in Zurich for two nights


Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and divided into 12 districts, or kreise. You will find a global financial capital but also a western side of the city that offers entertainment, beaches, contemporary art, bohemian design, food, and nightlife. Over two days, you can choose from a huge variety of tours/excursions and activities.

Zurich is one of the richest and most sophisticated cities in the world. In addition to being a world class financial center, it is also one of Europe's most important crossroads when it comes to transportation and travel. Its historical center has been painstakingly preserved, although a trendy, avant-garde feel to the place makes Zurich one of the world's most attractive cities. There's also a rich cultural scene, with its Kunsthaus fine arts gallery exhibiting works from the Middle Ages to Old Masters and 20th century works. The Schweizerisches Landesmuseum carries an eclectic collection of items pertaining to Swiss history, from religious artifacts to ornate sleds to a brand new archaeology section. One of Zurich's most famous landmarks is the 13th century Fraumunster, with its stained glass windows by the renowned artist Marc Chagall.


Across the river from this church is the 9th century Grossmunster, built by Charlemagne in the 9th century. Spectacular views of the city and river can be enjoyed from the Karlsturm tower. The 13th century St Peterkirche, with its prominent clock face that is nearly 9m in diameter, towers over St Peterhoffstatt cobbled square -- one of the prettiest in the city. A brand new museum for sports fans is the Fifa World Football Museum which celebrates the game through hands-on displays, the original World Cup Trophy, and more. Zurich is also one of the best cities for entertainment, found for example in its Zuri-West nightlife scene, as well as shopping and dining. Green areas are found all over this nature-conscious city, where bankers rub shoulders with bohemians on sunny days.

Other possibilities for sightseeing include Lake Zurich, the Museum of Design, Tonhalle Gesellschaft (a famous music hall), Bahnhofstrasse (one of the world's most exclusive shopping avenues), a day trip to the Black Forest and Rhine Falls, and Friedhof Fluntern ( a Zurich cemetery where are interned many famous people such as James Joyce).

Days 3-4: Depart from Zurich via train to Lucerne for two nights


The central Swiss city of Lucerne is located in the German speaking area of the country. With a quarter of a million people calling this city home, Lucerne is also a magnet for visitors, thanks to its epic location. The city is situated on the shores of Lake Lucerne and the Reuss River, while several peaks that make up the Swiss Alps, especially Mounts Rigi and Pilatus, are in the city's view. Lucerne is proud of its rich history, starting with the iconic wooden 14th century Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke) that spans the Reuss, and continuing to its impeccably preserved Old Town. This medieval urban masterpiece, surrounded by walls and towers, is the perfect place to get lost in history as you explore hidden alleys, or to sit at one of the outdoor cafes and people watch. Walk along the old city walls, dating back to the 14th century, and enjoy a magnificent bird's eye view of Lucerne. Carved into the rock face in the 1820s as a memorial to Swiss soldiers, the Lion Monument has always attracted visitors because of its touching story and pose.


Fun for every age, Verkehrshaus is an interactive museum that houses rockets, airplanes, steam locomotives and a planetarium. Take in a concert or festival at the award-winning, postmodern Kultur und Kongresszentrum, part of which is built below the surface of the lake. The Lucerne Music Festival -- which takes place in three separate seasons throughout the year -- is held mainly in this center. Another cultural attraction is the Sammlung Rosengart, showcasing Angela Rosengart's collection of paintings that consists of Renoir, Chagall and Matisse, among others.

Other options for sightseeing include Glacier Garden, Spreuer Bridge, Day trip to Mount Pilatus, a half-day trip to Mount Titlus, and a day trip to Jungraujoch (Top of Europe).

Days 5-6: Travel via the Golden Pass train to Interlaken for two nights


Interlaken lies in the Bernese Oberland on an alluvial plain, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. By the beginning of the 19th century Interlaken had already become renowned for its impressive mountain scenery. Famous contemporaries such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Felix Mendelssohn traveled in these mountains. Interlaken's success as a tourist destination was further enhanced by the completion of the Bernese Oberland Railway in 1890 and the Jungfrau Railway in 1912. As a vacation destination, Interlaken is an ideal starting point for countless excursions. Over 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chair lifts and ski lifts lead to 200 kilometers of pistes and a dense network of hiking trails. Excursion ships, including historic paddle steamers, ply the waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz., which is presided over by the three mighty mountains.


Highlights in Interlaken include magnificent views, Alpine gardens, hiking, a ride by rack-railway to the highest railway station in Europe and a cableway to the Piz Glora revolving restaurant, an Alpine wild animal park, toboggan runs, museums showcasing 200 years of history in the region, limestone caves, and ice skating.

Day 7: Head back to Zurich via train for one last overnight

You will spend your last night in Zurich in order to depart the next day. Or, consider adding on another European country to your visit.

Please contact Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us directly at 312-337-9235 or email her at for pricing and for answers to any of your questions.