This 11-day rail adventure really encapsulates the very best Switzerland has to offer. From the mountainous heart of the Bernese Oberland to the glitz and glamour of Montreux and the beautiful shores of Lake Lugano. All via 2 of the most popular mountain top excursions and 4 of the greatest rail (and boat) journeys on earth!
10 nights from $3,299 per person
Zurich is often referred to as the "garden city on the lake". A stroll through the fascinating city will soon explain the reason for this. Zurich is one of the richest cantons in the country and home to the famous and very beautiful shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse. It is a bustling metropolis with many new buildings and modern architecture. Age-old landmarks and examples of unique design and artistic styles proliferate the city; the oldest and best preserved are most densely distributed in Neumarkt. The famous Grossmunster with its two tall towers is most dominant. Visit the late 15th century Wasserkiche and the Rathaus, a graceful town hall built in renaissance style. Famous for its traditional festivals and holiday celebrations, Downtown Niederdorf is the center of activities. From jazz clubs to restaurants & bars to cultural pursuits including galleries, museums and exhibitions, there is something interesting all year. To really get familiar with Zurich, experience it from the Lake of Zurich. The perspective of the city and its romantic surrounds from this vantage point is unique and not to be missed.
Grindelwald, Switzerland, is a good base for both winter and summer activities in the mountains, about 50 mi/80 km southwest of Lucerne. In winter, this town in the Jungfrau region has good skiing; during other seasons, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and more adventurous pursuits, such as canyoning. Be sure to visit one of the nearby glaciers; the higher one, Obergletscher, is the best.
Visiting the town via the train from Interlaken is recommended. From Grindelwald, you can also continue on the train to Kleine Scheidegg, at the base of the famous north face of Eiger mountain. In Kleine Scheidegg, you can transfer to another train that takes you to Jungfraujoch. The train travels through the Eiger tunnel to the Eigerwand and Eismeer stations, making a five-minute stop at each one, before finally reaching the Jungfraujoch station, the highest railway station in Europe.
On clear days (there's no point in taking the expensive trip if the skies aren't clear) you can see as far as the Vosges Mountains in France and the Black Forest in Germany from the Sphinx Observatory. The Great Aletsch Glacier begins near the station. But don't expect to have the place all to yourself: It is usually very crowded.
One of the many tourist amenities is the Ice Palace, which has several ice sculptures carved in the glacier. There are also a ski and snowboard park, sled rides and pricey restaurants.
It is easy to see why Montreux, with its magnificent scenery reflected in the shimmering waters of placid Lake Geneva, has acquired the title 'The Pearl of the Swiss Riviera'. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by the majestic Swiss and French Savoy Alps, the region is blessed with a particularly mild climate. Take a pleasant stroll along the banks of the lake where exotic flowers grow in proliferation and white swans glide gracefully past. Or enjoy a sumptuous meal of fresh lake fish and delicious local wine, in one of the many terrace restaurants overlooking the lake. Small secluded beaches and picturesque marinas with yachts and old steamboats afford a picture-perfect view of vineyards and quaint old stone-housed villages.
Friendly, welcoming Zermatt, with its grandiose panoramas of snow-capped peaks that include the legendary Matterhorn, boasts the longest winter season in Europe and the highest skiiing area. Horse-drawn carriages in summer and snow sleighs in winter add further ambience to Zermatt's quaint Walliser houses and the elegant, often world famous hotels. The absence of cars has helped bestow an elite status on Zermatt. The picture perfect streets and snow-lined pathways are clean, pristine and romantic in atmosphere. In the summertime, walking and climbing enthusiasts can enjoy the unlimited scope of the magnificent mountains and glaciers, while skiing devotees enjoy the seemingly endless pistes in wonderful powder snow. Zermatt attracts tourists, not only for its fresh and clean mountain air, but also for its excellent restaurants, bars and nightclubs; the tempting, exclusive shops and boutiques and the friendly hospitality of the local residents.
Chur is the capital of the canton of Graubunden (or Grisons in French, Grigioni in Italian). This city 75 mi/120 km southeast of Zurich is one of the oldest cities in Switzerland, and history shows it's been inhabited since at least 3000 BC. Relics from the Stone Age have been found there and are displayed in the splendid Rhaetian museum in the Old Town.
Follow the red signs leading to the main attractions (pick up the free pamphlets, printed in English, that describe what you're visiting). The Rhine River and spectacular mountains and valleys are in the area, and the glamorous ski resorts of St. Moritz, Arosa and Davos aren't far.
A special treat in Chur is the Romantik Hotel Stern, with its impressive collection of old coaches and sleighs—it's the gathering place for the town. A few miles/kilometers north of Chur is Maienfeld, the area that inspired Heidi, the classic children's book by Johanna Spyri. Visit Heidi's home (Heidihaus) and village (Heididorf), nestled within a picturesque Alpine landscape.
With its warm climate and Latin Character, Lugano is a carefree town nestled between the peaks of San Salvatore and Monte Bré. The swaying palms and cypress trees give it a distinct Italian feeling, and it is the largest town in the Italian-speaking Tessin canton. Due to its pleasant climate and breezy Mediterranean ambience, Lugano is one of the all time favorites and most visited resort areas during the warmer months. The old town has many buildings of historical interest. Palazzo Civico is filled with restaurants and boutiques and is the pulsating heart of the town. The irregularly shaped Lake of Lugano is spectacularly picturesque as is the bordering scenery. Indulging in some excellent shopping along Via Nassa. Lugano offers a wide variety of cultural, art and musical events each offering a unique way to explore the city's history and traditions. The famous Thyssen-Bornemisza art gallery, Villa Favorita, attracts countless visitors. Historic churches including Santa Maria degli Angioli and the cathedral San Lorenzo are well worth a visit.
Without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
Valid Date Ranges
* This departure has been designated a guaranteed departure by the operator, meaning that the minimum number of guests has been met, although still subject to weather and other conditions.
These above average establishments provide guests with a greater level of style, comfort and personalized service. On-site dining, limited room service, gift or sundry shops, spa services and baggage assistance may be found at these hotels and resorts. For the business traveler, superior hotels and resorts often provide conference or meeting rooms and extended business services. Activities may include an on-site pool and fitness center. Guestrooms are usually tastefully decorated and offer more by way of amenities.
Prices are subject to availability, based on two people sharing a standard twin or double room. Prices do not include airfare or rail from your hometown. Prices are subject to change. Single occupancy supplements will apply for solo travelers. Hotel and room facilities vary and may be subject to additional fees. Some hotels require payment of local city taxes on arrival. Advertised rate based on December 4, 2022 departure; dates available for departures through February 2024. Rates vary by date of travel; please inquire for the best prices for your preferred travel dates. Inquire for itinerary at the time of booking.
All fares are quoted in US Dollars.
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