Day 1: Arrival Zurich airport - Transfer to Lucerne
The SwissSafari driver/guide will welcome you at the airport. The day program will be created according to your arrival time and upon your requests. The room will be ready for check-in from 2.00PM - 1 hr direct transfer time to Lucerne. The driver/guide is flexible and available for a drive to Zurich city for a tour to see the highlights such as the old town with the Fraumunster and the Grossmunster, the University complex and and the Banking district and to have lunch and time for shopping at the famous Bahnhofstrasse. Or he can take you on a scenic transfer to Lucerne to explore the surrounds of Lucerne before you check-in at your Hotel.
Day 2: Lucerne and sightseeing
Enjoy breakfast and meet your driver/guide (you pick the time). LUZERN has long been one of Europe-s most heavily touristed towns and five million admirers are passing through each year. The River Reuss splits the town, flowing rapidly out of the northwestern end of the lake. River banks on both sides are clustered with medieval squares, frescoed houses, ancient guildhalls, churches and chapels, and filled with a liveliness that belies the city-s age. Aside from using Luzern as a base from which to explore the region, it would be easy to spend at least a couple of days taking in some of its quality museums - a Picasso gallery, the impressive Verkehrshaus (Transport Museum) - in between walking on the medieval battlements, and exploring cobbled alleys and hidden garden courtyards. But Luzern is no museum piece; cafe culture is treasured by the city-s large population of young people. Whether you-re charmed by Luzern-s sense of history and tradition, or by the misty lake at its doorstep and the snow-capped Pilatus rising above, charmed is what you-ll be. The surrounds of Lucerne offer scenic landscapes and the natural beauty can be explored by car, by boat, by cable car or on scenic mountain trains. And make sure that if you visit Lucerne you don-t miss to go up the -house mountain- of Lucerne - to Mount Pilatus. The Pilatus is accessible by cable car or on an exciting trip on the world-s steepest cogwheel train. The summit of Pilatus offers to the visitor breathtaking views over Central Switzerland and on clear as far as to the black forest in Germany. Start your day with a city walking tour to see the highlights of Lucerne. On the plan is a leisurely walk over the 14th century chapel bridge and through the cobble stoned old town. A visit of the famous lions monument and the Glacier Garden is also on the plan. Before noon your driver will take you to Kriens to get on the cable car taking you up to Mount Pilatus on 2,128 m (6,982 ft). Enjoy the views and have time for lunch in the summit restaurant. At good weather you can sit on the outside terrace offering spectacular views. After lunch an exciting trip on the worlds steepest cog wheel train* is followed which takes you to Alpnachstad. A short walk to the pier for a boat cruise on lake Lucerne to end the tour in Lucerne. * The train operates from May until November. Out of this time the whole trip will be made by cable car The remaining time is at your own leisure. The driver/guide is happy to give you restaurant recommendations Another night at Lucerne
Day 3: Lucerne - Crossing the Alps - Grindelwald
Breakfast and check-out. Your driver/guide will meet you in the morning for a great day program. An exciting day is about to start! Scenic drive (highway) along Lake Lucerne towards the Alps. Along the paths of our ancestors, we now have safe streets, which are usable in the summer, crossing the Alps. The driver takes you on a journey to discover the world of the Alps; a mystical world that stays hidden from most tourists. The journey leads through green valleys boasting thunderous waterfalls and rich pastures. It passes deep-blue mountain lakes, bubbly brooks, and deep canyons. You have a safe drive over mountain passes and winding roads and come eye-to-eye with glaciers, the reminders of the last Ice Age. With a bit of luck, you see chamois, mountain goats, deer, groundhogs, or eagles that perfect this unique experience! As special highlights of the day the driver will drive with you over a dam to the Grimsel Hospiz and will lead you on a short walk to the man made tunnel of the Glacier of the river Rhone. A very unique experience. Lunch will be in a summit restaurant. After this exciting drive, you have arrived in the Jungfrau region. A stop in the charming woodcarver village Brienz situated magnificently at the deep blue Lake Brienz may not be missed to admire the lovingly decorated chalet houses which date back to the 17th century. To learn more about this region-s traditions, you have a short visit in the woodcarver factory Jobin. Scenic drive to the mountain resort Grindelwald, which is situated at the foot of the Eiger Mountain. Check-in. After check-in, the driver/guide is available for a short drive to the end of the valley to show you the upper Grindelwald Glacier - or you can spend the rest of the day at your own leisure.
Day 4 : Grindelwald and Jungfrau Joch
Have breakfast before you meet with your driver/guide (09.00am). South of Bern and Luzern lies the grand Alpine heart of Switzerland, a massively impressive region of classic Swiss scenery - high peaks, sheer valleys and cool lakes - that makes for great hiking and gentle walking, not to mention world-class winter sports. The Jungfrau Region is the most accessible and touristed area, and also the most spectacular, best known for a grand triple-peaked ridge of Alpine giants at its core - the Eiger, M-nch and Jungfrau, cresting 4000m. Grindelwald is a bustling resort in its own valley slightly to the east of Interlaken and at the foot of the Eiger North face. It offers access to one of Switzerland-s top excursions, the amazing rack-railway journey winding up through spectacular mountain scenery to the snow- and ice-bound Jungfrajoch, a windswept col nestling at 3454m (11-333ft) just below the peak of the Jungfrau itself, and the site of the highest train station in Europe. However, the Jungfrau Region takes in a vast tract of territory, and the approaches to the high mountains have their own, less daunting pleasures: the twin lakes of the Thunersee (with the atmospheric old town of Thun at its head) and Lake Brienz with Brienz offer Alpine horizons and beauty enough to merit a stop of their own. Between the two, the bustling town of Interlaken is the main transport hub for the region. Interlaken offers world class hotels, boutiques, souvenir shops and restaurants with great views to the Jungfrau mountain. On a visit to the region, and stunned by the natural drama all around, the composer Felix Mendelssohn wrote: -Anyone who has not seen the Jungfrau region does not know Switzerland.- Once you-ve seen it, you-ll know what he means. Arguably the single most captivating place in the entire Alps lies just a short way south of Grindelwald - the gorgeous Lauterbrunnen valley, with the car free resorts of Wengen and Murren perched on plateaux above providing excellent winter skiing and summer hiking. Short drive to the train station of Grindelwald. Enjoy a 2 hour cogwheel train ride through green meadows and the hard rock of the Mountain Eiger to Europe-s highest railway station at 11,333 ft: the famous Jungfrau Joch (top of Europe). Spend some time on top of Jungfrau Joch which is covered by eternal ice and snow. You may visit the Glacier Palace with its ice sculptures, the Sphinx (weather station), and lookout platforms providing you with a breathtaking view of the glacier and the snow-covered mountain peaks. For lunch, you have 3 restaurants from which to choose. Sports- fans may safely hike over the glacier to a mountain hut: a real alpine experience!! Back by train to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, where you will arrive late afternoon. Scenic drive to the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley, also called the valley of a hundred waterfalls. Visit of the Trummelbach Waterfalls which are 10 glacier waterfalls inside the rocks and made accessible by a tunnel lift (a lot of steps!). Overnight stay in Grindelwald
Day 5: Grindelwald - Lotschberg tunnel - Zermatt
Breakfast and check-out. 09:00 am departure for a scenic drive through the Kander valley to the mountain resort Kandersteg. You board the car train (you can stay in the car) and have a 20 minutes ride through L-tschberg tunnel to arrive at Goppenstein which is in the western part of Switzerland, in the canton of Valais. Now, a winding road takes you down to the valley of the river Rhone and a scenic drive along orchards and wine yards leads you to T-sch where you leave the tour car behind. By local taxi you go to the car-free village of Zermatt, which is situated at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn. Arrival will be early afternoon. Check-in. St Moritz may have the glamour, Verbier may have the cool, Wengen may have the pistes, but Zermatt beats them all - Zermatt has the Matterhorn. No other natural or human structure in the whole country is so immediately recognizable; indeed, in most people-s minds the Matterhorn stands for Switzerland, like the Eiffel Tower stands for France. Part of the reason it-s so famous is that it stands alone, its impossibly pointy shape sticking up from an otherwise uncrowded horizon above Zermatt village. Emerging from Zermatt station is an experience in itself: this one little village - which has managed, much to its credit, to cling on to its old brown chalets and atmospheric twisting alleys - welcomes everybody, regardless of financial status, and the station square is where all worlds collide. Backpackers and hikers rub shoulders with high society glitterati amidst a fluster of tour groups, electric taxis and horse-drawn carriages, but everyone has come to see the mountain. The small area around Zermatt features 36 mountains over 4000m, a statistic as enticing to summer hikers as to winter skiers. Have a tasty lunch in one of the rural restaurants in the village before you meet your guide for a walking tour of Zermatt. You can listen to the history of Zermatt and to some stories about the mountaineers who came here in the early days as well as today to climb the Matterhorn. The afternoon is free for shopping, relaxing or for a hiking (your driver/guide is available). Sightseeing recommendations (optional, tickets not included): Make a trip by cogwheel train to the Gornergrat to have a late lunch in the summit restaurant, offering breathtaking views to the Matterhorn and the glaciers Enjoy a cble car ride to Little Matterhorn to visit the Glacier Paradise Ask your guide for a hiking tour to se the little hamlets with it-s sun burned wooden houses Restaurants recommendations given by your guide and reservation on request.
Day 6: Zermatt - Gstaad - visiting an Alpine farm - Zurich
Breakfast and check-out. At 8:00 a.m., the guide will pick you up at the hotel for your taxi transfer to Tasch where the car is waiting. Enjoy a scenic drive to Aigle with it-s impressive castle and a drive on hidden paths over Col des Mosses mountain pass to arrive at Gstaad, the famous Jet setter destination. GSTAAD - twinned expertly with Cannes - is an odd place. You-d think, from the high profile of its name, that it would be some kind of glittering Geneva-in-the-Alps, a fantastically expensive mountain paradise. Yet although its instant name recognition may effortlessly attract Europe-s royal households, celebrities galore and countless lesser hangers-on, Gstaad is in fact just a one-street village, a charming, attractively located place full of restored weathered-wood chalets. Nonetheless, its high-roller status makes it a village like no other. If you fancy being snubbed by the world-s richest people, come here for Christmas week, scene of a heady round of sparkling soirees and lavish banquet-style dinner parties all but barred to ordinary mortals. But Gstaad is more than just the city. It is surrounded by mountains and pastureland with munching cows and Alpine farms where farmers produce their good alpine cheese. Most of the farms are hidden in the mountains and only accessible on winding gravel roads - many of these farms are without electricity or running water. No doubt, the -Sennen- (Alpine farmers) have a hard life and produce their cheese even on open fire! A visit of such a farm is a journey into past times and something unique! Free for lunch at Gstaad After lunch your driver takes you on hidden paths to an Alpine farm with cheese production (cheese production will be done at the time when you arrive). You will learn more about the cheese making and will see how the alpine farmers live. Cheese tasting together with the farmer. Drive to Zurich with arrival late afternoon/evening.
Day 7: Zurich and departure on your own
Breakfast included and latest check-out at 11AM. You have your last day in Switzerland - transfer to the airport or to the train station on your own One more day in Zurich for shopping and for an excursion to the fantastic Rhine falls- Please ask for a tailor made program.