7 Day Luxury Small Group Switzerland Alpine
Beyond the velvety chocolate, famous watches and mountain yodelling, Switzerland is a land of unforgettable moments and dreamlike landscapes. Hop aboard a scenic train and discover the sheer beauty of the Alpine region on this winter getaway, passing by snow-capped peaks, idyllic lakes and postcard-worthy towns. Spend your days perusing the traditional Christmas markets, journey to the ‘Top of Europe’ and indulge in the local Swiss fare. You will never want to leave this magical land.
Our Adventure Map
Day by Day
First Day touring Zurich
Charge the camera and don your comfiest walking shoes – this morning, we meet with our tour leader to enjoy a walking tour of Zurich. Explore Augustinergasse, an old, narrow street with many colourfully painted oriel windows connecting the bustling Bahnhofstrasse with the picturesque Old Town, and marvel at the awe-inspiring 12th century Grossmunster Church and St Peter’s Church. Take in the glorious view over the Old Town from Lindenhof, the historical site of the city’s Roman castle. If all of this is not enough for you, in the afternoon we visit Zurich’s Christmas markets, including the colossal indoor market at the Zurich train station. With over 160 wooden chalets and a 50 foot Christmas tree decorated with 5,000 Swarovski crystals, you will be sure to collect some marvellous photos for the album. Once you are all shopped out, we enjoy a delicious welcome dinner. (D)
Hotel: Hotel du Theatre
Second Day travel from Zurich to Lucerne
All aboard the train this morning, as we travel from Zurich to Lucerne to partake in a walking tour of this enchanting city. See the famous medieval Chapel Bridge, which forms the centrepiece of Lucerne’s townscape and is considered to be one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, before marvelling at the Museggmauer – a wall which, with the exception of one tower, has been preserved in its original, fortified state. Afterwards, we satisfy every chocolate lover’s dream at a local chocolatier, where we learn of the origins of the product and what made it into the delectable indulgence it is today (while taste-testing the goods, naturally).* While away the rest of the afternoon at Lucerne Christmas Market in the Old Town, perusing the unique handicrafts and gifts, as well as Lebkuchen, Nidelzeltli toffees, spices and, of course, mulled wine. (B)
Hotel: Hotel de la Paix
Third Day sail from Lucerne to Mount Rigi and back
Embrace your inner captain and enjoy a scenic boat ride from Lucerne to Vitznau, before boarding the cog railway, Europe’s first-ever mountain railway. Ascend Mount Rigi by cable car, admiring the picturesque landscapes as you go, and discover why this magnificent peak is known locally as the ‘Queen of the Mountains’. (B, D)
Hotel: Hotel de la Paix
Fourth Day its onto Brienz then Grindelwald
Time to hit the trusty rail once more, bound for the charming village of Grindelwald. Making a stop in the lakeside town of Brienz, we will tour the local woodcarving museum where you can try your hand at carving your own wooden cow, before settling in to enjoy a spread of traditional Swiss food and wine. Once we reach Grindelwald, we will embark on a short guided walk around the village followed by the opportunity to learn about the Velogemel – a single-track, steerable snow bike that is unique to Grindelwald. Yet another nifty gadget the Swiss can lay claim to! (B, L)
Hotel: Hotel Kreuz
Fifth Day we head to Jungfraujoch then back to Grindelwald
Today we tick off one mighty bucket list item for any traveller visiting Switzerland: a scenic railway journey to the Jungfrau. At a whopping 3,454 metres this is Europe’s highest railway station, and is often referred to as the ‘Top of Europe’. Declared a natural World Heritage site by UNESCO, sightseers can visit the impressive Ice Palace and experience panoramic views from the Sphinx Observation Terrace, which overlooks the Aletsch Glacier, Europe’s longest glacier. On a clear day, views extend as far as the Vosges Mountains in France and the Black Forest in Germany, making for one stellar photo-shoot opportunity. After feeling the chill atop the mountain, join us for dinner and warm your insides with a traditional Swiss, melt-in-your-mouth, cheese fondue. (B, D)
Hotel: Hotel Kreuz
Sixth Day explore Bern
Welcome to Bern: Switzerland’s ambient capital and home to an array of charming arcades, street fountains and impressive towers. In a bid to maintain the town’s enchanting atmosphere, traffic is kept out of the Old Town and the perfectly preserved medieval streets, so it is no wonder, really, that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. On a stroll through the Old Town, we learn about the city‘s 800 year history and marvel at the late Gothic Cathedral, the Clock Tower and the 13th century city gate. Afterwards, we head to the festive Bern Christmas Market, admiring the quaint, little Christmas trees that decorate the facades of the city on our way. Warm up with a glass of gluhwein, before we toast to an unforgettable trip at our farewell dinner. (B, D)
Hotel: Hotel Alpenblick
Seventh Day we sample Emmental and Zurich
The Swiss are known for their top-notch cheese making abilities, so a visit to a dairy is on the agenda. Today we spend some time at Emmental, home to the famous cheese which has been produced since the 13th century. Discover the art of cheese making, Swiss style, and observe how the delicacy is made using traditional methods. Taste-testing is a must, so forget the diet and indulge in the quality samplings on offer. Once you have had your fill of mouth-watering cheese, it is back on the mini-coach to Trubschachen to continue our foodie voyage. What goes perfectly with cheese, you ask? That’s right, biscuits. We pay a visit to the Kambly biscuit factory where we have some free time to explore the visitor centre and sample some of their scrumptious offerings. With a happy heart and a full tummy, we make our way back to Zurich where our tour comes to an end. Until next time! (B)
- 6 nights' accommodation
- Tour leader
- First class rail travel and mini-coach transportation
- European breakfast daily
- 4 x evening meals, 1 x lunch
- 24-hour Zurich card
- Chocolatier in Lucerne
- Velogemel demonstration
- Boat cruise, cog railway and cable car to Mount Rigi
- Train to Jungfraujoch
- Included Entrances: Woodcarving museum, Emmental cheese dairy and Kambly biscuit factory.
Admire Switzerland's sweeping Alpine landscapes on scenic railway journeys
Carve your own wooden figure in Brienz, the woodcarving capital of Switzerland
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