Visiting Switzerland is like visiting 3 countries in one. Traveling in the northern region we find that German is the primary language and Austrian-German cuisine is predominant. When we visit Lugano in the southeastern part of Switzerland, Italian is the language of choice and wonderful Italian restaurants abound. And while in the southwestern region of the country we are near the border of France, as evidenced by the people's language and the city's restaurants. It's a remarkable tour for its diversity and beauty as well as its people's hospitality.
September 20-27, 2018
Day 1: We board our plane for the flight to Geneva.
Day 2: Upon arriving in Switzerland, we are met at the airport by our escort and transfer to Lausanne, where we have accommodations for the next 3 evenings. A delicious Welcome Dinner is included tonight. (D)
Day 3: We drive to Geneva, which sparkles as one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Geneva's most famous monument, the Jet d'Eau, is the world's tallest water fountain and serves as a constant landmark as we explore this marvelous city. The city exhibits the strong influence of neighboring France, with its language, signs and culture. A visit to Geneva is not complete without seeing the ancient Old Town - whose oldest square was once a Roman forum, the Floral Clock, Market Street, waterfront parks and its ritzy shopping and banking districts, as well as its many international cafes and restaurants. After a day of discovery, we return to Lausanne. (B)
Day 4: We travel to the capital of Switzerland, Berne With its stately limestone buildings, historical towers and numerous elaborate fountains, Berne is one of the most impressive examples of medieval town architecture in Europe. We will see the unique Bear Park, the winding Aare River, 19th century Parliament Buildings, Cathedral of Berne, Einstein House, Rose Garden, Prison Tower and Town Hall. Particularly appealing is the ornate Astronomical Clock which was built in 1530. Its puppets pop out of little doorways on the tower hourly to perform tiny skits. We return to Lausanne where we are treated to another fine dinner. (B,D)
Day 5: Fairytale-like scenery abounds as we take a ride on the famous "Chocolate Train." It takes us into a region of meadows, brilliant mountain peaks and countryside dotted with quaint farmhouses - replete with grazing sheep and cows that will make you feel as if Heidi herself will appear at any moment. Highlights include a visit to the Cailler-Nestle factory - pioneers of Milk Chocolate - where we get to taste some of the freshly made chocolate, as well as a stop in the charming town of Gruyeres, to learn how cheese is made. Time is allowed for lunch on your own in one of Gruyeres' wonderful restaurants - fondue anyone? Then it's on to Lucerne for the next 3 evenings. A delicious dinner is prepared for us tonight. (B,D)
Day 6: Today's destination, Lugano, is stunning and the drive there takes us through some of the Swiss Alps' most breathtaking scenery. Shimmering lakes surrounded by majestic mountains, charming Swiss villages, rolling flower fields and gorgeous vistas highlight our drive. Once in Lugano you will immediately detect its distinct Mediterranean flair. Street names, restaurants, signs and the language spoken all demote the city's Italian influence. You'll enjoy spending time in the traffic free historic town center and at enchanting Lake Lugano, set against a backdrop of gorgeous mountains and surrounded by parks and a flower laden promenade. A delicious luncheon in one of Lugano's finer restaurants is prepared for us in this delightful setting. (B,L)
Day 7: A day that you will remember forever begins with a most scenic cruise to Mt. Pilatus on the calm waters of Lake Lucerne. We then board the world's steepest cog railway and travel to the top of Mt. Pilatus. From the top it seems as if we can see all of Switzerland. We will enjoy an authentic Swiss luncheon from this glorious mountaintop setting. Following lunch we glide silently down from the top of the mountain by cable car and gondola, offering us more views of unmatched beauty. Back in Lucerne we will see the Chapel Bridge - the covered 14th century wooden bridge, the Water Tower and the Lion's Memorial, and get a good feel for the German influence on the city's culture and architecture. (B)
Day 8: We transfer to Zurich to board our plane for the return flight home. (B)
Price: $2,799 pp, double occ.
single supplement: $975
Tour Package Includes:
* First Class accommodations for 6 evenings
* 6 breakfasts
* 3 dinners
* 2 lunches
* Gratuities for the included meals
* Sightseeing & admissions
* The cruise on Lake Lucerne
* A ride on the cog railway
* A scenic ride on the "Chocolate Train"
* The services of a professional tour escort
* Transfers in Switzerland
* Baggage handling
Airfare is additional.
"The trip is awesome..."
Travel Director: Wintrust Financial
Can you tell I loved the trip!?!"
Travel Director: Hawthorn Bank
“Memories … to Last a Lifetime”