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Alps, Central & Eastern EuropeCountry Roads
Duration: 14 days Visiting: Switzerland
Welcome to Lucerne.
Welcome to Switzerland, a land of snow-capped summits and romantic lakes that has attracted poets, musicians and travellers for centuries. On arrival at Zürich airport, transfers leave for your hotel in Lucerne at 09:30 and 13:30. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 18:00 for drinks, followed by a pleasant Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Ascend the summit of Mount Stanserhorn.
Step aboard a funicular railway and open-top cable car for a spectacular journey to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Admire unrivalled views of the surrounding mountains and, on a clear day see as far as Alsace in France and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Alternatively, walk through the Stanserhorn marmot park and along the Rock-Gipfelweg trail leading to the summit. At the highest point you can enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree panorama. Return to the beautiful 14th century city of Lucerne to see its storybook wooden bridges, Baroque church and sorrowful Lion Monument. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to walk along the lake or perhaps shop for a special timepiece or chocolate.
Bern, Gruyères and Montreux.
In Bern, your Local Expert is a local English teacher, who shows you the Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace and floral displays. Gather at the clock tower to watch the mechanical procession of painted figures before viewing the Ogre Fountain. Your travels continue into the wide, green valleys of the Vaud Alps with snowy summits filling the horizon. Continue through vineyards and alpine meadows to the fortified town of Gruyères, that gives its name to the well-known cheese. Enjoy time on your own to explore the pretty main street and 13th century castle. From Montreux, travel along the shores of Lake Geneva to visit Domaine Bovyand admire the stunning panorama overlooking the lake. Savour a tasting of these tantalising, local wines and delight in a delicious Farm-to-Table light dinner.
Lake Geneva & the Swiss Countryside.
On the western bay of Lake Geneva, a Local Expert will show you the medieval Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, immortalised by Lord Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon.' Keep a look out for where the writer is rumoured to have left his mark. Return to Montreux where the rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own or relax as you wish at your quayside hotel.
Geneva and Scenic Lake Cruise.
Follow the shores of the lake to the international city of Geneva, seeing the Jet d’Eau and Floral Clock. Next, relax in first-class comfort on the waters of Lake Geneva during a highlight cruise. This evening, enjoy time at leisure on the promenades of your lakeside resort.
Martigny, Sion and Zermatt.
Journey into the upper Rhône Valley to Martigny to view the Roman Amphitheatre. Continue to the town of Sion, dominated by two rocky peaks, each crowned with episcopal fortresses, and see the cathedral and Old Town Hall. Complete your journey via cogwheel train to the traffic-free mountain resort of Zermatt. This evening, take your pick from a selection a local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. Perhaps you will delight in the typical Swiss dining experience of fondue?
Zermatt at Leisure.
Zermatt in summertime offers many leisure possibilities: try swimming, hiking or relaxing in the fresh alpine surrounds. Perhaps take a trip to the Klein Matterhorn, see the Matterhorn from the church bridge or sample the delicious cakes known as Kuchen?
The Italian Lake District to Baveno.
Descend to Täsch for a scenic drive through Brig where you'll commence your ascent of the Simplon Pass, taking in magnificent views over the Alps from the 2,000-metre summit. Cut through northern Italy, stopping along the shores of Lake Maggiore. The afternoon is at your leisure. Perhaps join an excursion to the stunning Isola Bella?
The Glamour and Glitz of St. Moritz.
Journey along the shores of Lake Maggiore, and head north to the three castles at Bellinzona to meet your Local Expert, Julia Guidotti, for a fascinating insight into this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally from the midwest of the USA, Julia was married in Ticino - the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland of which Bellinzona is the capital. Having lived in the area for many years, Julia is passionate about this city and is always keen to share her knowledge and delighted to assist with any questions you have about the region. Your travels continue through the Grison Region, travelling via San Bernardino and the town of Tiefencastel, as you follow the young Rhine River. Head east towards the Julier Pass and the glamorous resort of St. Moritz, set in the Engadine Valley with the majestic Grisons Alps towering above.
Leisure Time in St. Moritz.
Enjoy a day at leisure to jostle with the jet-setters in the elegant boutiques or take an exciting train journey over the Bernina pass. To help you make the most of your day, your Travel Director will provide you with a mountain railways pass, offering free travel on all cable cars (when available), funiculars and chairlifts in Engadine St. Moritz.
The Glacier Express.
Step aboard the Glacier Express to experience one of the world’s great railway journeys. Cross the Landwasser Viaduct before heading down through the Oberalp Valley to rejoin the coach at Andermatt. Drive through the dramatic Schöllenen Gorge passing the Devil's Bridge. Marvel at the Wetterhorn Peaks as you travel along the Grindelwald Valley. Follow the sparkling Lütschine River to Lauterbrunnen, at the head of the Valley of Waterfalls, and see the Staubbach Falls plunge 300 metres from the plateau above.
Grindelwald at Leisure.
Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore Grindelwald further. Perhaps take a cogwheel train ride to the summit of the Jungfrau mountain?
Rural Switzerland to Zürich.
Take in the spectacular lake views, as you journey to Brienz, famous for its woodcarving traditions. Visit the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre to trace the history of the trade back to the early days of the 19th century. Continue over the Brünig Pass and drive alongside the lakes of Lungern and Sarnen to return to Zürich. See the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster on an orientation of the city with your Travel Director. Join your travel companions at a local restaurant. Your Celebration Dinner is accompanied with wine - raise your glass to toast to your adventures.
Enjoy a complimentary transfer to the airport by hotel shuttle.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
In a typical rural community, meet local farmers for a delightful horse-drawn ride. Clip-clop your way through bright green pasture, where the angular spire of a traditional white church shoots skyward and rickety old wooden storehouses still dot the landscape. Call in at a local farm where a wonderful spread of homemade drinks and snacks is served.
Adult Price: CHF 67.00
There's nothing better than convening with friends around a pot of bubbling fondue with a glass of chilled white wine and having a good yodel! Join us for a tasty Swiss meal in a typical restaurant. While you dine, enjoy a lively folklore show of flag throwing, yodelling, Alpenhorn blowing and other great Swiss entertainment.
Adult Price: CHF 99.00
A chance to take in the wonderful mountain scenery from a different perspective. Enjoy a leisurely lake cruise, for fine views of the town and it's surroundings. The serene beauty of Lake Lucerne on a summer's day is a joy to behold, made even more enjoyable by the encompassing snow-capped mountains, green pastures and dense forests.
Adult Price: CHF 40.00
Incredibly, Switzerland provides all its citizens protection in case of nuclear disaster or war. Go behind the scenes for a unique tour of one of the world's biggest civilian fallout shelters! Cold War secrets of the Swiss will be revealed by our expert guide.
Adult Price: CHF 46.00
First enjoy a drive along the Swiss Riviera as we travel past the Olympic city of Lausanne. Then, enjoy a three-course meal of classic Swiss meat fondue, served in an historic restaurant with local wines.
Adult Price: CHF 97.00
Tread in the footsteps of the “Little Tramp” at the genius’s former mansion, perched breathtakingly amongst the vineyards over Lac Leman. All our senses are indulged as we take a journey through replica sets of his greatest films at the Hollywood-style studio. Then, we'll spend time in his family home and round it off with a peaceful walk in the glorious gardens.
Adult Price: CHF 59.00
A unique electric taxi service will drive us to the foot of Zermatt's highest and most spectacular mountain experience. Enjoy stunning views as we ascend to Furi and Trockener steg before boarding Europe's highest cable car to arrive on the snow-capped top of the world at 3883 m (12,740 ft). A magnificent panorama of the highest peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France will make this an unforgettable experience - one not to be missed.
Adult Price: CHF 119.00
A short hop on our private motor launch brings us to the world-renowned hanging gardens of Isola Bella, where white peacocks preen. In the Borromean Palace, our local expert reveals the grottoes and masterpieces lovingly nurtured by this wealthy Italian dynasty. Our island hopping continues to the quaint Fisherman’s Island where we are treated to a typically local Italian meal - Buon Appetito!
Adult Price: EUR 84.00
Enjoy one of the most exciting train rides in Switzerland as you cross the Bernina Pass to the Alp Grum. Spectacular views of the Alpine peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, green valleys and mountain villages. We then descend to Poschiavo to reboard our touring coach.
Adult Price: CHF 53.00
Code: ST 0010
A once in a lifetime chance to travel to the Top of Europe. Our round trip cog railway trip will take us from Grindelwald, through the world famous Eiger Mountain, to Europe's highest railway station at 3,454 m (11,332 ft)! Enjoy spectacular views and explore the Ice Palace which is carved inside the biggest glacier in Europe!
Adult Price: CHF 188.00
Lucerne (Contemporary) - Switzerland
The Hotel Astoria is sat in the middle of all Lucerne has to offer, with magnificent mountains and astonishing culture.
Montreux (Heritage) - Switzerland
Located in the heart of Montreux, the Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic boasts luxurious facilities and spectacular views of Lake Geneva.
Brig (Traditional) - Switzerland
Surrounded by innumerable snow-topped mountains, Hotel Alex offers guests a comfortable alpine stay.
Baveno (Traditional) - Italy
Hotel Simplon is located mere minutes from the centre of Baveno which is nestled along the banks of Lake Maggiore. Its pink façade showcases the famous local marble, while the interiors provide a classic, luxurious feel. The hotel features a permanent art exhibition of famous paintings displayed along one of it's corridors.
St Moritz (Traditional) - Switzerland
The elegant Crystal Hotel is located close to shops in the town centre, where all the prestigious names, including Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are lined up together.
Grindelwald (Traditional) - Switzerland
The stately Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof is only minutes away from the village center and offers a range of boutique facilities.
Zurich () - Switzerland
Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport showcases colourful, modern interiors and comfortable rooms with a trendy design. Zürich Airport is just a 5 minute drive and the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle that departs every 15 minutes.