Insight Vacations - Country Roads of Switzerland - 2019

An intimate journey of discovery amid stunning Alpine panoramas. This itinerary includes riding on the famous Glacier Express and staying in some of Switzerland's most enchanting hotels.

Highlights:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lake Geneva: Led by your Local Expert, visit Chillon 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.  Enjoy first-class seats as you cruise on the serene waters of the King of Lakes, inspiration to the early Romantic movement.
  • 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.
  • St. Moritz: If you think there’s no such thing as a free ride, you’re wrong! 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.
  • Brienz: Learn the history of woodcarving at the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre.
  • Swiss Countryside: Travel along valley floors covered with rich meadowland, to the pretty town of Gruyères.
  • Zermatt: Step aboard the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway for a journey to the famous traffic-free Alpine resort.

MAP

 

Itinerary

Day 1 - 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.

Hotel: The Hotel Astoria Lucerne. Meals: 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: The Hotel Astoria Lucerne.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 3 - Bern, Lake Geneva and Montreux.

Join a local historian 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. 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 dinner.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4 - Gruyères & 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 Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon.' Keep a look out for where the writer is rumoured to have left his mark. Your travels continue as you ascend 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. 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 Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 5 - Relaxed Start - Geneva and Scenic Lake Cruise Experience.

Enjoy a morning at leisure before before following 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. Afterwards, enjoy time at leisure on the promenades of your lakeside resort.

Hotel: Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 6 - Relaxed Start - Martigny, Sion and the Matterhorn Village of Zermatt.

(Relaxed Start) 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?

Hotel: Resort Hotel Alex/Schlosshotel Zermatt.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 7 - Relaxed Start - Zermatt at Leisure.

(Relaxed Start) Zermatt in summertime is a Shangri-La of leisure-time possibilities. Spend the day relaxing in the clean dry mountain air or shop for luxury goods along the famous Bahnhofstrasse or alleyways. Perhaps take a trip to the Kleiner Matterhorn, see the Matterhorn from the church bridge, take a short hike or sample the delicious cakes known as Kuchen?

Hotel: Resort Hotel Alex/Schlosshotel Zermatt.  Meals: Buffet 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. This afternoon is at your leisure to perhaps join an excursion to the stunning Isola Bella?

Hotel: Hotel Simplon, Baveno, Italian Lakes.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 9 - Relaxed Start - 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 through Heidi Country. 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/The Steffani, St. Moritz.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 10 - Relaxed Start - Leisure Time in St. Moritz.

(Relaxed Start) 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, funiculars and chairlifts (when available) in Engadine St. Moritz.

Hotel: Crystal Hotel/The Steffani, St Moritz.  Meals: Buffet 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.  Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 12 - Relaxed Start - Grindelwald at Leisure.

(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore Grindelwald further. Perhaps take a cogwheel train ride to the summit of the Jungfrau mountain?

Hotel: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof, Grindelwald.  Meals: Buffet 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 your adventures.

Hotel: Radisson Blu, Zurich Airport.  Meals: Buffet 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.

Meals: Buffet Breakfast

 

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.

Please note: Price shown is based on low season travel. Season surcharges apply.

Trip prices are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.

Travel Dates:
Specific travel dates apply

*per person share twin

14 days from

$6,895*

Includes

  • A 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.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
Enquire Now Terms & Conditions