With its stunning mountains, fascinating old towns, beautiful lakes, and long history, Switzerland is the perfect vacation offering something for everyone. On this Best of Switzerland tour, you will experience some of its most beautiful scenery and interesting cities with overnights in Zürich, St. Moritz, Lugano, Zermatt, Lake Geneva, and Lucerne. No tour to Switzerland is complete without seeing the stunning scenery. You'll enjoy a scenic drive following Lake Zürich and Lake Walen through the high Alps to the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. You'll also drive into the Swiss Engadine, a valley considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, with deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages. Here, enjoy St. Moritz, one of the world's most famous resorts. Other mountain scenery awaits you in Täsch, where you’ll board a mountain train to car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the famous Matterhorn. If they’re lakes you desire to see, you'll enjoy Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, stunning Lake Geneva, and Lugano, the popular subtropical resort on the shores of Lake Lugano.You'll also visit some of Switzerland's famous cities, including Zürich, Berne, and Lucerne. Plus, to bring Switzerland to life, Globus has arranged some unique experiences for you. You'll enjoy lunch at a traditional Swiss working farm in Berne. Another true Swiss experience is a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus to enjoy heavenly views and an alphorn demonstration. You'll even get a special souvenir cap to remember this experience! Of course, Switzerland is known for its chocolates, and on this Switzerland tour, you'll taste traditional chocolate pralines. From stunning scenery and vibrant cities to its special experiences, this Switzerland tour is sure to delight. So grab your camera and get ready for an amazing vacation!
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DAY 1Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland
Welcome to Zürich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (Dinner)
DAY 2Zürich–Vaduz, Liechtenstein–St. Moritz, Switzerland
Enjoy an orientation walk of Zürich’s well-preserved OLD TOWN with its medieval guild houses, and taste the traditional CHOCOLATE PRALINES at the famous Sprüngli Confectionery. Next, a scenic drive following Lake Zürich and Lake Walen 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)
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 or an espresso on flower-festooned Piazza Riforma. To truly appreciate splendid Lake Lugano, an exciting optional boat ride is available, followed by dinner at a traditional “grotto” restaurant. (Breakfast)
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."
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. Continue 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)
"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."
DAY 5Zermatt-Lake Geneva
A special treat: enjoy a Group Picture with the famous Matterhorn in the background. Then, you can join an exciting optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for spectacular views of the surrounding Alps. Later, motor through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley, and arrive at beautiful Lake Geneva for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Dinner)
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.”
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. The highlight of the day is a special lunch at a traditional Swiss WORKING FARM, to give you a chance to see how 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 picturesque Lucerne. An optional dinner excursion to a folklore party with yodeling is available for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking. (Breakfast, Lunch)
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, another true Swiss experience: a trip to the top of Mount Pilatus, the “Guard of Lucerne,” where an ALPHORN DEMONSTRATION will be held. And you get a special SOUVENIR CAP to always remember this experience! Tonight, a special farewell dinner with wine awaits you at a local restaurant for a proper auf Wiedersehen. (Breakfast, Dinner)
“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.”
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)
Motorcoach; mountain train. Free Wi-Fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies.
Full buffet breakfast daily; 1 special lunch with a drink in Berne; 4 three-course dinners with wine, including a welcome dinner in Zürich and a special farewell dinner in Lucerne.
With Globus, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 19 years
I was born in the Alps and am looking forward to leading the way into this exciting experience. Enjoy thrilling activities, such as hiking and train rides, or simply sit and admire the overwhelming beauty. The Alps are an experience of the soul, so inhale the sparkling air, enjoy the amazing scenery, and let your senses come alive! My goal is to make sure it is all done at the right pace for each of my passengers.
|Four Ways Globus Eliminates the Hassles
Skip the lines and get special treatment at the must-see attractions.
We’ve done the work to find just the right hotels in just the right locations.
Take your heads out of the guidebook and let expert guides make every destination fascinating.
Leave the navigating to us – and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Learn how Globus is reducing transportation-related energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the The Best of Switzerland: