Switzerland Tours

Switzerland

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the majestic mountain peaks, the tranquility of the lakes, or explore Swiss life in its towns and villages, we can put together bespoke tours to suit your interests and budget. 

For photographic debutantes, all our tours include photo lessons to help you improve your skills. Throughout the tour you’ll be given assistance in both camera technique and post processing, and a laptop computer (Windows) will be at your disposal with a copy of Lightroom and Photoshop so you can edit your images on the go (In the evenings, or in the vehicle while travelling) Unlimited internet access via wifi is provided everywhere there is a 4G signal (including on the bus) for you to live stream your tour if you wish.

Photography is, of course, the main focus of these tours, however you will be given opportunities to find out more about little heard of Swiss traditions (Combat des Reines, des sorcières de Belalp and many others) and other photo opportunities such as medieval shows, villages, boat trips and mountain visits. (Depending on the time of year and the weather)

Visits to Switzerland would be incomplete without  at least a glimpse of the Matterhorn, it’s peak adorning many boxes of Swiss chocolate, and every tube of Toblerone. Camping is allowed on the mountain top for those who enjoy a fire and a night under the stars, with the best views of the mountain, with a lake in the foreground, and sunset behind the mountain, you’ll be blessed with incredible views into the night, with the moon, stars and the milky way above at night and the sun reflecting off , or an early start for those wishing a bit of luxury in Zermatt can all be catered for. Missing the night time vistas doesn’t mean missing sunrise. An early train runs up the mountain every Thursday morning to get you to the peak in time for sunrise, otherwise enjoy a short stroll to the end of the village for spectacular views as the sun kisses the mountain in the morning.

5 day summer schedule – Suisse Roumande coaching tour:

Suitable for 2 adults and 3 children or 4 adults of all ages and capabilities (Price quoted for all expenses for the stated experiences, with the exception of food and drink, and free unlimited Wifi where available for all attendees, based on 2 adults sharing a room).  This tour is designed to bring debutantes to an improved level of landscape photography, whilst experienced photographers take in the beuty and vistas of Switzerland.

– Sorry, but I’m unable to accommodate wheelchair bound users in my vehicle, however if you are able to exit your chair and it can be stored on the roof of the bus, no problem.
– Honeymooners (or other couples) wishing to take the tour alone will be charged a discounted rate.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, picked up by me in the air conditioned tour bus and taken to your hotel. You will spend a few hours organising yourself before spending the evening besides Lake Leman. You will spend sunset with your camera in hand, exploring the lakeside and photographing the famous 140m (460ft) fountain. After a good meal at a lakeside restaurant, you will be taken back to your hotel (or if you wish, attend a show or exhibition)
  • Day 2: After a good nights rest, we travel to Lake Neuchâtel. During this trip, we will take excursions into the forest and past lac de Joux. Plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs in this soft rolling countryside, since I am a  photographer, and will be driving, I’m quite used to stopping in strange spots because someone spots something incredible (Or a nice restaurant or wants a coffee.) Depending on your budget, we watch the sun go down over the lake and the Jura, then spend the night by the lake in tents, caravans or hotels. In summer heats, with late evenings, wait for the sun to go down swimming in the lake, visiting nature reserves, or on it for a boat trip.
  • Day 3: A quick swim. The heat in Switzerland in the summer can rise to as much as 40 degrees Celsius (104F) and although the bus is air conditioned, a refreshing dip in the clear waters of the lake before driving to Interlaken via the historic and photogenic cities of either Fribourg or Bern, we will sleep in the beautiful town of Interlaken, enjoying an evening boat cruise to enjoy the castles and mountain scenery on the lake edge.
  • Day 4: An early start to travel to the climax of the tour via the incredible Furka pass, or a more leisurely start taking in the scenery up to and after the  13km  Lötschberg tunnel, we enter Valais, and arrive at Täsch, and take the short train ride (The only way to get to Zermatt) in the early afternoon. Those who wish to stay in the village can walk to the end and enjoy spectacular views to the Matterhorn within minutes of their hotel (Or for those with the budget; from your bedroom window!) Those of a more adventurous spirit will be provided with backpacks that including tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags to provide sufficient accommodation, some barbecuing equipment, and some food suitable for your requirements. You will then take the Gomergrat Bahn railway to near the top where you will exit near a lake giving you views and reflections of the Matterhorn as the sun sets behind it, settling down to some incredible views of stars with very little light pollution.
  • Day 5: As the sun rises, no doubt you’ve got a number of shots overnight, but hopefully you’ve saved enough battery to shoot the mountain as the sun kisses the peak, giving it an orange glow. As the light increases, those at the top come down for breakfast in Zermatt, before we leave to drive past the chateaux of Valais, and the salt mines of Bex to arrive back at the opposite end of lac Leman to Geneva. Here we pass château Chillon nestling in the lake. Of course, time allowing, we can stop for pictures or a visit. Lunch will be on the lakeside in the famous town of Montreux, of the Jazz festival fame. Following which, we either take the autoroute or lake road through Lausanne and back to Geneva in time for your return home. 

Inclement Weather

As a photographer, I always say “There’s no such thing as bad weather”. In general that is just a platitude, but in Switzerland, it’s more often than not, true. 

Switzerland is a country of extremes: In the summer we get scorching dry heat from the Sahara, raising temperatures in the valleys to as much as 40C. In the winter it can reverse, and temperatures on the mountains can reach as low as -40C. The lakes make moisture which in turn can brew sudden and violent storms. 

But this will bring action to your images. Blue skies rarely give the best images anyway, and with the tour crossing a wide range of different geography, it’s sure that we can adapt the schedule to ensure a wash out day isn’t a wash out.

What do you need to bring?

Travel lightly. We have limited space in the bus, so please limit yourself to only those things you need: You may be swimming, and it’s likely to be very warm at times, but at other times you may need a pullover. I recommend that you also pack a light waterproof top and make sure you have sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

This is a photography tour, so bring your camera 🙂 This is mainly a landscape tour so a wide angle lens is certainly needed, at least as wide as 24mm on full frame, and 16mm on crop. You may get the opportunity to see and selectively frame images using a zoom lens, Ibex are occasionally seen in the Matterhorn area, but really, it’s not needed. I’ve done many similar tours with a 24-120 F4 lens on my full frame Nikon, and rarely need to take it off. Bring also a tripod, CPL and a dark filter (ND6-ND10) and a graduated filter (ND2 soft is ideal) and a way of remotely triggering your camera

What will you learn?

Debutantes

I’ve been taking photographs professionally since 2010. I don’t remember the last time I used any automatic exposure settings, so we will kick start your adventures into manual exposure selection, understanding the aperture, speed, ISO triangle and how these effect your images, Understanding movement blur, depth of field and noise tede offs, and how your focal length effects this. We will learn to frame our subjects, how the rule of thirds helps us, and also hinders us. At night we will learn long exposure photography, and perhaps also during the day if we happen across a stream, torrent or waterfall.

You will develop a “Photographers eye” and what it takes to find and photograph natural beauty. I find myself sometimes lost in wonder when I see something beautiful and other people wander past, missing it. Staring across mountain vistas like the one at the top, and the one below, both taken whilst stopped at petrol stations, I’m sometimes surprised I get to where I’m going on time!

Experienced

To be honest, I’m not sure I can teach you much, but sharing ideas and learning from each others triumphs (and failures) is a fun way to develop our skills. Taking you to places where you can put your skills to the test, and it is my pleasure to provide you with a bespoke tour and comfortable environments. Prices for those who don’t wish coaching are the same as those who do.

Post Processing

For the duration of the tour I will provide one Windows laptop running the latest versions Lightroom and Photoshop per pair of adults and a means of importing from your camera. (Children under 16 may only use them if supervised. Breakages will be chargeable.) You will also be provided with a brand new 128Gb Thumb drive so you can export your image catalog at the end of the tour to import it into your own when you get home. Explanations on how to do this will be given during the tour. Tips, tricks and post processing ideas will be shared during the tour, with a masterclass session on evening 3 on whatever subject is agreed. 

Wifi will be available for the duration of the tour (dependent on signal availability) for up to 10 devices.