July 6 - 15, 2023
Switzerland's mountains, lakes and scenic villages make this destination a fairy tale to experience. This tour will take you to some of the most scenic spots this country has. Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken and the Bernese Alps, Zermatt, St. Moritz, Appenzell, the Glacier Express, Alpine hikes, scenic drives, lakes and train journeys. Go to the top of the Jungfrauin the and Mount Pilatus. Try your hand at a cheese or chocolate making shop and enjoy the taste of these fine local treats. Enjoy a unique cogwheel train to Gornergrat and most of all one of the most scenic train rides in the world on the Glacier Express.
Day 1 – Thursday July 6, 2023 - Arrival in Zurich, Switzerland
Arrival at Zurich airport, individual Private transfers to the hotel
This afternoon enjoy a Private guided walking tour of Zurich, 2 hours.
The walking tour will give you a good general idea of Zurich in all its aspects: through the business and shopping center (famous Bahnhofstrasse) and the Old town. Continue to the vantage point Lindenhof –beneath this elevated square in the city center are the ruins of a Roman customs post, and a late Roman
fortress. This spot also offers magnificent views over the old town. Continue to Neumarkt and Spiegelgasse. The Neumarkt (New Market) was just outside the old city wall. You will also see the Grossmünster – the symbol of the city with its distinctive twin towers, and St. Peters – the biggest church clock face in Europe. See the Town Hall, Zürich's baroque town hall dates back to 1694/98, built under the direction of councilman J.H. Hozhalb. The tour will end at the Schipfe – a street of artisans at the river Limmat – in one of Zürich's oldest districts.
Welcome dinner tonight to meet the group. Zurich – Hotel Glockenhof (D)
Day 2 – Monday -July 7 - Travel from Zurich to St. Moritz
Enjoy a scenic train ride St. Moritz – the world famous resort – is located at an altitude of 1,856 m on the southern flank of the Swiss Alps, amidst the lake landscape of the Engadine, the roof of Europe. Piz Bernina, the Eastern Alps' only peak above 4,000 m / 13,120 ft presides over the Engadine. Three languages are spoken here: Romansch, German and Italian. St. Moritz is blessed with a "champagne climate". The sun shines here 322 days a year, guaranteeing an ideal vacation climate. St. Moritz stands for cosmopolitan flair, elegance and style and the mention of its very name lifts spirits.
Dinner tonight. Hotel Schweizerhof 2 nights (B,D)
Day 3 – Tuesday - July 8 - Enjoy your day at leisure in St. Moritz
Visit to Morteratsch cheese factory in the morning
Use your Swiss Travel Pass to explore the area by public transportation
Fifty-five years after the last cheese left the Alpine peak of Nova, the Alpine Dairy in Pontresina is producing once again cheese in the traditional way on this idyllic mountain. You will have the opportunity to experience the ancient cheese-making traditions in the Alpine Dairy of Morteratsch and to sample the products during a brunch. Sale of cheese products and restaurant service are also available.
Dinner tonight (B,D)
Day 4 – Wednesday - July 9 - Travel from St. Moritz to Zermatt by Glacier Express train
One of the most scenic train rides in the world on the Glacier Express train from St. Moritz to Zermatt approx. The world-famous, slowest express train on its magnificent journey over the roof of Europe takes you from the Bernina Mountains to the Matterhorn. It's the next best thing to flying. The journey from St. Moritz to Zermatt covers 270 kilometers (169 miles) with 291 bridges and 91 tunnels straight across the Alps. It follows the valley carved by the Rhine and the Rhone, past the Rhone Glacier amidst soaring peaks. A comfortable train takes you through untouched nature, through fragrant and un spoilt mountain forests, tranquil alpine pastures, foaming mountain torrents, through mountain valleys steeped in century-old tradition and culture.
Lunch on the Glacier Express. Check in to our hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure. – Hotel Bristol 2 nights (B,L)
Day 5 – Thursday - July 10 - Excursion to Mount Gornergrat by cogwheel train
We will experience the Cogwheel train from Zermatt to Gornergrat approx. 33 minutes. Enjoy Lunch up at Kulmhotel Gornergrat Switzerland’s highest perched hotel. Virtually every region has its “must” - and in the Alps, it is the Gornergrat. Experience the breathtaking circular panorama over 29 of Switzerland’s 34 four-thousand meter mountains (12'000 feet) within a radius of over 9 miles, from an altitude of 10'000 feet above sea level. Admire the powerful majesty of rock faces, the silver glitter of eternal snow, and the sheen of icefalls and glaciers - and naturally the very king of the mountains - the Matterhorn with its crown princes the Monte Rosa and Weisshor.
Dinner at the hotel – Hotel Beau Rivage (B,D)
Day 6 – Friday - July 11 - Transfer from Zermatt to Interlaken
Today is a very scenic Train ride approx. 2 ½ hrs as we travel past the beauty of this country on our way to Interlaken. Interlaken is one of the best known and most popular summer holiday resorts in Switzerland, outstandingly well-equipped to cater to the needs of visitors. The Höhematte, 700 yards long, is a pedestrian paradise of shops, hotels and sidewalk cafes, interrupted only by inviting gardens. For a comfortable excursion through this quaint town, take a horse-carriage ride. You will view the mountains, the lakes, the endless beauty of Switzerland; all are at your fingertips in this comfortable, inviting, and elegant town.
Dinner tonight. Hotel Waldstätterhof 2 nights (B,D)
Day 7 – Saturday - July 12 - Excursion to Mount Jungfraujoch
This excursion takes you to the very heart of the Bernese Alps - the mighty "Eiger" (13'026 ft/ 3970m), "Mönch" (13'449 ft/ 4099m) and "Jungfraujoch" (13'643 ft/ 4158m), which form an imposing nucleus of the Alpine Region. Meet your private guide for the day at the hotel lobby and walk to Interlaken Ost station. Take the train into the Waterfall Valley of Lauterbrunnen where you change and board the train to Jungfraujoch. The travelling time from Interlaken to the Jungfraujoch is approx. 2 1/2 hours each way. At Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe, you can visit the Ice Palace and the Sphinx Terraces - reached by lift affording breath taking view of the Aletsch Glacier, the largest river of ice in Europe. Refreshment or a meal can be obtained at the
Jungfraujoch Restaurant "Top of Europe". After approx. 2 ½ hours you will return to the mountaineering village of Grindelwald, the winter sports and mountaineering center. Enjoy the view on the mighty mountains, before returning to Interlaken. Lunch at Restaurant Jungfraujoch. Dinner is your leisure tonight. (B,L)
Day 8 – Sunday - July 13 - Travel from Interlaken to Lucerne
Our day begins with scenic the Train ride approx. 2 hrs, to the the historical city of Lucerne lies in Switzerland in the heart of Europe, located right on Lake Lucerne, You will find everything here: the lake, the mountains, the city – a distinctive consonance of nature and work of man, which has been preserved and carefully developed for centuries. See the Chapel Bridge with its gabled paintings of old battles and the adjacent quaint quarters with little streets and take a leisurely walk through a maze of small streets, bridges, promenades and plazas dominated by countless historical towers, fountains
and frescoed buildings.
Dinner tonight. Hotel Continental Park (B,D)
Day 9 – Monday - July 14 - Excursion to Mount Pilatus
Learn important, humorous and interesting facts about Lucerne's history, churches, bridges, narrow streets, towers, squares and, of course, Lucerne's trademark – the Chapel Bridge with Water Tower. See the 14th century Chapel Bridge with its Water Tower, part of the city's fortifications and Europe’s oldest covered wooden bridge, the Baroque Jesuit Church and nearby Franciscan Church from the 14th century. Continue to the Spreuer Bridge with its ‘Dance of Death’ paintings, on to the Musegg Wall with the rampart walls built in 1386. See the Old City squares with historical buildings, the Town Hall in Italian Renaissance style with open arcades facing the River Reuss. Go on to the Hof Church, the main Cathedral and also the most important Renaissance Church in Switzerland, see the Lion Monument, memorializing the Swiss Guards who defended the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the French Revolution. Also see the KKL – Lucerne’s Culture and Convention Center of the Parisian architect Jean Nouvel. After a leisurely cruise on crystal-clear Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad ascend by the steepest rack railway in the world to Pilatus Kulm, 7000ft high. On top you have time to walk up to the vista point and to admire the breath taking panorama over the Swiss Alps and Lucerne. Then descend by aerial cable car to Fraenkmuentegg, change to smaller cable cars and sweep over pine forests and mountain meadows to the village of Kriens. Lunch at Restaurant Pilatus. Return to Lucerne by private transfer. Dinner is at your leisure tonight. Hotel Radisson BLU Zurich airport. (B,L)
Day 10 – Tuesday - July 15 - Departure Switzerland
Hotel Radisson BLU Zurich airport is located directly at the airport, no transfer needed. You will walk to the terminal for your scheduled flight in the morning.
Cost: $TBA per person based on double occupancy, (Roommates can be provided)
Single supplement: $TBA
Save 3% off the tour price if paid in full via check or ACH transfer
Booking/final payment deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
9 nights Luxury Hotels
Lunch and Dinner as noted in the itinerary
Porterage for luggage in & out at all hotels
First class Swiss Travel Passes, valid for 8 days
Tickets and entrance fees for All included sites and activities
Private tour guide
Private arrival airport transfers
Enjoy travelling by train without your luggage in Switzerland – your luggage will be transferred from one hotel to the next hotel. Simply use your luggage tag and have your luggage ready at the front desk
- Additional Pre nights in Zurich. Double $TBA.00 per person. Single $TBA.00. Includes breakfast and tax
- International airfare – We can arrange airfare for you
- Meals not listed in itinerary
- Room charges such as calls, mini bar, laundry, room service
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities for driver, guide
Entry Requirements: Visitors from the US, Canada and Australia need a valid passport, Visas are not required for Americans, Canadians or Australians visiting for less than 3 months. If you are a citizen of another E.U. country, you do not need a passport, only an identity card. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you intend to leave the USA. Make sure you check your passport expiry date at least 3 months prior to travel. Before traveling abroad it's a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, driver's license. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and bring the other with you.
Time Zone: Switzerland is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (NYC) 7 hours ahead of Central Standard Time, 8 hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time (DEN), and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (LAX). They do observe daylight saving time, The European 24-hour clock is used to measure time, so on schedules you'll see 3:30 PM as 15:30, and 11:00 PM as 23:00
Weather: Switzerland in the summer has a climate generally moderate, without any excessive heat or cold weather, and the sunny days of June, July and August may be the best time to visit. The temperature averages between 60 and 80 degrees (F) during the day with low humidity, and can even get up in the mid to high 80's during a hot summer. Depending on the differing altitudes in each city, the temperate ranges may vary.
Currency: The Swiss Franc (CHF) is the official currency of Switzerland. Each Swiss Franc is divided into 100 centimes. The value of the Swiss Franc is almost identical to the American dollar, 100CHF is worth about $109USD, which makes converting the prices easy. Some people like to bring local currency with them when traveling to a foreign country, but it is not needed, and depends on what you're comfortable with. Credit cards are accepted by most shops and restaurants however check with your credit card company regarding foreign exchange fees. You will also have a better chance making deals at local shops if paying with cash.
Electricity: Voltage in Switzerland is 230 volts AC (50 cycles) and the socket is designed for three round pins, but the typical European plug with two round prongs will also fit. Many stores in North America sell the appropriate transformers and adapters, and they can also be purchased on arrival in the Zurich airport or in some stores in bigger cities. If you bring a hair dryer, it should be a dual-voltage one, and you'll need an adapter plug. Any heat generating appliances that you bring need a transformer, and they may still not work properly with the different voltage.
Health: Switzerland is viewed as a "safe" destination with some of the best healthcare in the world. Conditions to be concerned about in Switzerland would be altitude sickness. The only cure for altitude sickness is to relocate to a lower altitude. You don't need to get shots; most foods is safe and the water in cities and towns potable.
Activity Level: This trip has a fairly limited activity level however at each stop we will be walking quite a bit. Most streets are uneven pavement or on cobble stone paths. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk, at a leisurely pace, up to 4 or 5 or so miles on some days. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes at times during the tours. You will need be able to keep up with the group without any assistance. At times you will need manage your own luggage. This trip is pretty easy for the average person however if you can't or choose not to participate in certain activities this is at your own discretion. However it cannot affect the groups participation nor can any tours or activities or refunds be offered or changed due to an individual not being able or not wanting to participate.