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Country Roads of Switzerland

Duration 14 days

Destinations visited :
  • Switzerland
    ,
  • Italy
    ,

See Switzerland in all its natural splendor during this 2-week guided tour that whisks you from snow-capped mountain peaks to floral valleys. Outside Lucerne, complete with wooden bridges and baroque churches, zip to the top of Mount Stanserhorn, a pinnacle so tall you can see France and Germany. Take in beautiful Bern and its Catherdrals with a Local Expert followed by a stop in Gruyères. Glide along the Glacier Express, a glass-topped train that will carry you through the Oberalp Valley and to Grindelwad, an idyllic alpine village set to the backdrop of winding rivers and towering waterfalls. In St. Moritz, a mountain railways pass will allow you to traverse the alpine village’s cable cars, funiculars and chairlifts. Then taste the freshest cuisine in Switzerland during an intimate farm-to-table dinner experience, including cheese.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Lucerne.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. 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.
Hotel: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

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. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about working in this serene area filled with wildlife and natural beauty. 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.
Hotel: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Bern, Gruyères and Montreux.
Join a local English teacher in Bern to see 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 supper.
Hotel: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 4

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.
Hotel: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 5

Geneva and Scenic Lake Cruise Experience.
to: Follow the shores of the lake to the international city of Geneva, seeing the Jet D’Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument. 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.
Hotel: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6

Martigny, Sion and the Matterhorn Village of 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.
Hotel: Resort Hotel Alex, Zermatt.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 7

Zermatt at Leisure.
Zermatt in summertime offers many leisure possibilities: try swimming, hiking or spend a whole day relaxing in the fresh alpine surrounds.
Hotel: Resort Hotel Alex, Zermatt.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 8

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.
Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

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.
Hotel: Crystal Hotel/Steffani, St. Moritz.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 10

Leisure Time in St. Moritz.
Enjoy a day at leisure to jostle with the jet-set 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.
Hotel: Crystal Hotel/Steffani, St. Moritz.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 11

The Glacier Express and on to Grindelwald.
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.
Hotel: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 12

Grindelwald at Leisure.
Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore Grindelwald further.
Hotel: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 13

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.
Hotel: Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 14

Depart Zürich.
Your stylish hotel is conveniently situated only a five-minute drive from the airport. Complimentary transfers to the airport, by hotel shuttle, depart every 15 minutes. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Lake Geneva: Visit Domaine Bovy, a family-run winery overlooking Lake Geneva. After a tasting enjoy delicious Farm-to-Table fare, of course accompanied with these local wines.
  • Zermatt: Choose between fine local restaurants, with an option to experience the typical Swiss meal of fondue, on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Zürich: Raise your glass and enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant for your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife.
  • Bellinzona: Julia Guidotti is your Local Expert as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the capital of Italian Switzerland. Having married and now living in the region, Julia is very passionate to share her story and why she loves the area.

Stay in Style

  • Montreux: Located in the heart of Montreux, the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic of boasts luxurious facilities and spectacular views of Lake Geneva.
  • Zermatt: The unique Resort Hotel Alex is one of Switzerland’s most original hotels, cleverly combining modern and traditional elements into a hospitality experience that’s full of fun and surprises.
  • St. Moritz: 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: The stately Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof place you minutes away from the village center and offers a range of boutique facilities.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Zürich: Your Travel Director will show you the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster.
  • Lucerne: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the emotive Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge.
  • Bern: Your exploration with a local historian through Switzerland’s capital includes seeing the floral displays, Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace, clock tower and Ogre Fountain.
  • Gruyères : Travel along valley floors covered with rich meadowland, to the pretty town of Gruyères. Your Travel Director leads an orientation tour where you will see See the main street and 13th century castle.
  • Montreux: At the foot of the Alps this town boasts one of the most beautiful walks along Lake Geneva and there is free time to explore.
  • Chillon Castle: Led by your Local Expert, visit the castle set on a rocky islet in the lake. Following his walk through the dungeons in 1816, Lord Byron wrote the poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar.
  • Geneva: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the Jet d’Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument.
  • Lake Geneva: Enjoy first-class seats as you cruise on the serene waters of the King of Lakes, inspiration to the early Romantic movement.
  • Martigny: View the Roman Amphitheatre during your orientation.
  • Sion: Your Travel Director will show you the two fortress-churches, the cathedral and Old Town Hall.
  • Zermatt: Ride the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway up to the traffic-free Alpine resort. Should weather permit, you may even see the majestic peak of the Matterhorn.
  • Zermatt: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this picturesque village, high in the mountains.
  • Baveno: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the cobbled streets and 16th century square.
  • St. Moritz: During your orientation of this alpine resort see the spa quarter and glacial lake.
  • St. Moritz: If you think there’s no such thing as a free ride, you’d be mistaken! With your inclusive pass, travel on 13 cable cars, funiculars, chairlifts and select public transport options (when available). The crisp Alpine air is included in the deal.
  • Glacier Express: Travel on-board the world-famous Glacier Express, journeying through looping tunnels and dizzying viaducts. Enjoy a glorious adventure in the scenic heart of the Swiss Alps, only possible by rail.
  • Lauterbrunnen: Enjoy your orientation of the village that takes its name from ‘many fountains,’ referring to the 72 waterfalls that are within the surrounding valley.
  • Staubbach Falls: In the Valley of the Waterfalls, witness these magnificent falls that plunge 300 metres.
  • Grindelwald: Explore this glacier village during an orientation led by your Travel Director.
  • Brienz: Learn the history of woodcarving at the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre.
  • Scenic Drives: Swiss countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy drives along Lake Geneva, passing the Vaud Alps and Rhône Valley. Continue through the Simplon Pass, Italian Lake District, Grison Region, San Bernardino, Julier Pass and Engadine Valley. Journey by the Schöllenen Gorge, Grindelwald Valley, through the Brünig Pass and pass Lakes Lungern and Sarnen.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
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Country Roads of Switzerland

See Switzerland in all its natural splendor during this 2-week guided tour that whisks you from snow-capped mountain peaks to floral valleys. Outside Lucerne, complete with wooden bridges and baroque churches, zip to the top of Mount Stanserhorn, a pinnacle so tall you can see France and Germany. Take in beautiful Bern and its Catherdrals with a Local Expert followed by a stop in Gruyères. Glide along the Glacier Express, a glass-topped train that will carry you through the Oberalp Valley and to Grindelwad, an idyllic alpine village set to the backdrop of winding rivers and towering waterfalls. In St. Moritz, a mountain railways pass will allow you to traverse the alpine village’s cable cars, funiculars and chairlifts. Then taste the freshest cuisine in Switzerland during an intimate farm-to-table dinner experience, including cheese.

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