Tour: ZG - 2013 (ZG) - 2013 / 2014

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Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland

Welcome in Zürich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)

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DAY 2Zürich–Kaltbrunn–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz, Switzerland

Enjoy an orientation walk of Zürich’s OLD TOWN, Switzerland’s center of banking and commerce. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zürich. Stop in Kaltbrunn for a visit to a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite traditional CHOCOLATE CONFECTIONARY for a true taste of Switzerland. Continue along Lake Walen and through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. After a break in its capital, Vaduz, ascend the Rhine Valley into the mountainous Grisons, a canton where three of the country’s four languages are spoken. The 7,504-foot Julier Pass, an important Alpine road since Roman times, leads to the Engadine. This valley is considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style. Afternoon arrival in ritzy St. Moritz. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 3St. Moritz–Lake Como, Italy–Lugano, Switzerland

A gradual change of scenery as you descend towards the enchanting shores of Italy’s Lake Como and continue on to the southern tip of Switzerland. The vegetation south of the Alps is Mediterranean: chestnut groves, vineyards, and olive and fig trees make you forget that earlier today you were within walking distance of glaciers. Afternoon arrival in the popular subtropical resort town of Lugano allows time for shopping under the arcades of Via Nassa, an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma, or a stroll along the lake. (Breakfast)

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Lake Como

Lake Como in Lombardy is the third largest lake in Italy


"Lake Como has been drawing celebrities since the early 1800s such Romantic poets and bohemian high-flyers Caroline of Brunswick, who built the sumptuous Villa d’Este in 1815 – now a five-star hotel. Even before that, Italian nobles built splendid estates here as their summer homes; many are now tourist attractions, such as the Villa Carlotta and the Villa del Balbianello. The latter was featured in [episode two of Star Wars, Attack of the Clones]. The fascist dictator Mussolini summered in Lake Como for years, and retreated here when World War II was going badly, hoping to escape to Switzerland. In the end, he failed and was executed by Italian partisans."
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DAY 4Lugano–Stresa, Italy–Zermatt, Switzerland

From Lake Lugano to the Italian shore of Lake Maggiore for a break in elegant Stresa. An optional boat ride to enchanting Isola Bella can be arranged. On over lofty Simplon Pass into the Swiss Valais, an area renowned for its excellent wines and great mountain resorts. To reach the most famous of them, leave the coach behind in Täsch and board a MOUNTAIN TRAIN to climb the last few miles up to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the Matterhorn. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Lake Maggiore Stresa Lake Maggiore Zermatt, Switzerland 
Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore

Isola Bella


"Isola Bella. Beautiful Island. Rising out of the waters of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, a gardener’s paradise awaits. When Count Carlo Borromeo decided to give his wife, Isabella, a gift back in 1632, he was thinking big. The expansive island villa and garden he planned for her are considered the epitome of Baroque-style architecture and garden design. With terraces built straight to the water’s edge, the island appears as if it is a floating flowering ship. Many of the rooms are of notable historical interest, like the Music Room, where Mussolini hosted the Stresa Conference in 1935 that should have ensured peace in Europe, and Napoleon’s Room, where he often stayed in the company of Giuseppina Beauharnais."
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DAY 5Zermatt–Lake Geneva

Enjoy another true Swiss experience: ride Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Europe’s highest rack railway to 10,272-foot GORNERGRAT for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Alps. A GROUP PICTURE will be taken with a real St. Bernard dog, with the Matterhorn towering above you in the background, a true Swiss icon. Next, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Visit the iconic Matterhorn in the heart of the Swiss Alps 
Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva


Stretching along Switzerland’s southern border with France, Lake Geneva (also called Lac Leman by the Swiss) is the largest lake in Europe. It’s pristine shores support a strong fresh water fishing industry. Some would argue that it offers the most beautiful views of any waterway. They are jaw-droppingly amazing; especially the snow capped Jura Alps across the lake from Montreux and Vevey. The temperatures are moderate along the lake in winter; most of the weather takes place in the mountains. In summer numerous music festivals and artistic events are held in towns along the lake, especially Lausanne, the third most popular city for travelers in Switzerland, next to Zurich and Geneva. It is a sophisticated artist’s haven and the city where T.S. Eliot lived when he wrote “The Wasteland.”
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DAY 6Lake Geneva–Berne–Interlaken–Lucerne

In the stately capital of Berne, your guided tour starts at the BEAR PARK, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Next, enjoy a walking tour through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town. Witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower and take your pictures of ornate, flower-adorned fountains. Highlight of the day is a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite special lunch at a traditional Swiss WORKING FARM, to give you a chance to see how many people in Switzerland live in the mountains. Continue to Interlaken and take pictures of the Jungfrau massif with its group of three famous peaks: the Jungfrau, the Mönch, and the Eiger. Over Brünig Pass to picture-book Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion to a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing is available for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Lucerne, Switzerland at night The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland The Lion Monument or the Lion of Lucerne, is a sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland Enjoy the beautiful scenery while visiting Berne, Switzerland 
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DAY 7Lucerne

On your walking tour this morning, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit church. Afterwards, shop for watches or climb a mountain by cable car. Tonight, a special farewell dinner with wine awaits you at a local restaurant for a proper Auf Wiedersehen. (Breakfast, Dinner)

The iconic Chapel Bridge in Lucerne is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe 
Lion Monument

Lion Monument


“The Lion of Lucerne” (Lowendenkmal) is a compelling statue in the north section of Old Town dedicated to the 42 members of the Swiss Guard who were assigned to protect Louis the XVI, Maria Antoinette and their family at the Royal Palace. When the Tuileries was stormed on August 10, 1792 by rioting Parisians at the start of the French Revolution, the king ordered the soldiers to lay down their arms. They were subsequently slaughtered by the crowd and the royal family was captured. Louis had made a big mistake. In 1821 Danish sculpture Berthel Thorwaldsen finished the sculpture, a 30-foot likeness of a wounded and dying lion with a broken lance in its heart and his paw resting atop the fleur-de-lys shield of the Bourbon king. The Latin inscription translated “To the bravery and fidelity of the Swiss.”
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DAY 8Lucerne–Zürich Airport

Morning transfer to Zürich Airport in time for homebound flights leaving no earlier than 10 am. Extra nights are available in Zürich, not Lucerne. (Breakfast)

Lucerne, Switzerland 
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