Alluring Switzerland

Inclusions

    1. Program as described. The vehicle is a modern van, fully air conditioned, slide doors
    2. 7 days with a personal English speaking Swiss driver/tour guide-10 hrs per day
    3. 7 nights at best located 4-star or 5-star Hotels, double rooms with view where available
    4. Buffet breakfasts in the Hotels
    5. All tickets and admission fees on the sightseeing tours except of optional tours
    6. All city tours and tours with the SwissSerene driver/guide
    7. Visit of a winery with wine tasting in the Lavaux region
    8. Private guided tour at castle Chillon
    9. Visit of the Watch museum in Le Locle with personal tour
    10. Visit of a chocolatier
    11. All transfers with the SwissSerene driver/guide
    12. Porter service
    13. Soft drinks in the car
    14. All expenses for the driver/guide
    15. Mileage, Fuel, parking fees
    16. Taxes and VAT

Day 1: Arrive Geneva - Lausanne

Arrive at Geneva airport or train station (from Paris). Pick up by your personal driver/guide. Welcome and brief tour of Geneva to see the highlights such as the old town, the English garden with the flower clock, the Jet d-eau and the UN Palais from the outside. 1 hr transfer to Lausanne for check-in and remaining time at your own leisure. The day will be created upon your request and according to the arrival time. Overnight stay at Lausanne.

Day 2 and 3: Lausanne and day excursions

You can find the whole of Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva. Snowy mountains, bucolic wine-villages, city nightlife, the sound of cow-bells in rolling pastureland, castles, cathedrals and the dreamily beautiful, cerulean blue lake itself. The croissant-shaped Lake Geneva is ringed with villages, castles and gorgeous walks that demand attention. This is wine country, with vineyards spread around the full sweep of the lakeshore and carpeting the first slopes of the hills which rise behind. The gently curving northeast shore of the lake from Lausanne to St. Gingolph is known as The Lavaux. The Lavaux wine region is characterized by a succession of hamlets and small winery villages, well kept and pristinely picturesque set in the terrassed wineyards which became a UNESCO Natural Heritage. However, if you explore The Lavaux along the narrow -Route des Vignerons- by car, which winds from vineyard to vineyard along the gentle slope, or see it from a cruise on the lake you-ll understand why this region is known as one of the most prettiest in Switzerland. Over the decades, the lake has also attracted the world-s wealthiest people, and the shores around the jet-set playground of Montreux in particular are lined with opulent villas. Geneva, the multi-cultural town, famous for it-s history and seat of many International companies and institutes is also worth a visit. The climax of a journey around Lake Geneva, and one of the highlights of a visit to Switzerland, is the stunning thirteenth century Chateu de Chillon. You have two days to explore the beautiful Lake Geneva region with your driver/guide. Sightseeing recommendations - all tickets included: Meet your driver/guide in the mornings after breakfast for sightseeing. Make a tour of Lausanne and visit the Olympic museum Enjoiy a scenic drive through the Lavaux wine region and have a great lunch in a restaurant overlooking the wine yards. Visit a winery and taste some of the excellent Swiss wines. Visit Montreux with the thirteenth century castle Chillon Have a leisurely cruise on Lake Geneva Visit a watch maker factory and see a chocolatier at work. The other day you have a scenic drive to the Gruy-re region and visit an alpine farmer. Watch him when he makes cheese and learn more about the tradition of cheese making. Drive to the famous mountain resort Gstaad for a look around Visit the medieval town of Gruy-re which is dominated by the castle before you return to Lausanne Overnight stays at Lausanne.

Day 4: Lausanne - Murten - Bern - Grindelwald

Have a good breakfast before you check-out. Meet your driver/guide in the morning 09.00 am (or you pick the time) for a scenic highway drive north to the Three lake area (Lake Murten, Lake Neuchatel, Lake Bienne), the third biggest wine region in Switzerland. Drive over the Jura mountain range with breathtaking views to Lake Neuchatel. You arrive in the -Watch Valley-, home of many watch manufacturer. At Le Locle you visit the watch museum and will learn more about the watch making tradition in Switzerland. Scenic drive to Bern, the capitol city of Switzerland for a brief tour of the old town which is a UNESCO World Heritage. Of all Swiss cities, BERN is perhaps the most immediately charming. Crammed onto a steep-sided peninsula in a crook of the fast-flowing River Aare, its quiet, cobbled lanes, lined with sandstone arcaded buildings straddling the pavement, have changed barely at all in over five hundred years but for the adornment of modern shop signs and the odd car or tram rattling past. For all its political status (nation-s capital and home of the Swiss parliament), Bern is a tiny city of barely 130,000 people and retains a small town-s easy approach to life. The attraction of the place is its ambience; traffic is kept out of the Old Towen and you could spend days just wandering the streets and cobble stoned alleys. The perfectly preserved medieval street plan, with its arcades, street fountains and doughty towers persuaded UNESCO to deem Bern a World Heritage Site, placing it in the company of such legendary sites as Florence, Petra and the Taj Mahal. Scenic drive along lake Thun to arrive in the evening in the mountain resort Grindelwald, set on the foot of Eiger. Hotel check-in and remaining time at your leisure.

Day 5 and 6: Day excursions in the Jungfrau Region

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. You have 2 days to discover the Jungfrau region and the Alps with your driver/guide. Some sightseeing recommendations, from which you may choose. Some of which can be combined and picked according to the weather and upon your request (your guide will make daily best recommendations). Tickets are included: 2 hr cogwheel train ride to the Jungfrau Joch - Top of Europe - on 11-333ft. You visit the Ice Palace, the look out platforms where you see the Aletschglacier and the mountain peaks. If the weather allows your guide will take you on a safe hike on the Glacier to a mountain hut; a real Alpine experience! Train ride to Kleine Scheidegg and on request you can hike back to Grindelwald or hike the Panorama trail to the cable car station of M-nnlichen, which offers breathtaking views to the Lauterbrunnen valley and to the Eiger North face. Cable car ride to Grindelwald Cable car ride to First mountain for lunch in amountain esort or a leisurely hike to Lake Bachalp (fantastic views!). Fun on the First flyer (zip line). Scenic drive to deep blue lake Brienz and visit of the woodcarver village Brienz with it-s 17th century wooden Chalet houses. Guided tour of the woodcarver factory JOBIN. Boat cruise on lake Brienz and visit of the historic Grand Hotel Gie-bach which is set in front of the Giebach waterfalls and overlooking lake Brienz visit the open air museum Ballenberg and make a stroll through the past. More than one hundred century-old buildings from all over Switzerland, 250 farmyard animals, traditional, old-time gardens and fields, demonstrations of local crafts and many special events create a vivid impression of rural life in days gone by. Ballenberg is indeed unique. Visit the gorgeous Lauterbrunnen valley and the Trummelbach waterfalls, 10 glacier falls inside the rocks and made accessible by a tunel lift (a lot of steps) Cable car ride to the Schilthorn mountain and rotating Restaurant Piz Gloria. On your way back to the valley you have a stop at the car free village Murren and enjoy a stroll through the village offering breathtaking views! Morning departure for an exciting drive over 2 mountain passes to Central Switzerland. Along the paths of our ancestors, we now have safe streets, which are usable in the summer, crossing the Alps. Our 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! A 1-hour drive along the Lake Brienz and through the Hasli Valley will take you to Meiringen, where you can discover the Aare Canyon during a 45-minute long hike (upon request). The drive continuous on the curvy streets of the Grimsel Pass, passing Alp houses, pastures, mountain lakes, and rugged rock formations. A drive over a dam and a stop at Grimsel Reservoir is planned to learn more about the hydro-electric power plants of this region. The journey goes down the valley to Gletsch, which is a small settlement providing you with an impressive view of the Rhone glacier. It continues along the steep and winding Furka Pass road. A break at the Rhone Glacier to savor the amazing view over mountain tops and to take a short hike to the glacier mouth should not be missed. Everyone who wants to may walk the glacier tunnel which is made by hand every year. The drive continues to Andermatt situated in the magnificent Urseren Valley. You can listen to the story about why Andermatt played such an important role during the Napoleonic War. Then, you have some time for yourselves and can enjoy a hearty lunch in one of the many typical Swiss restaurants. After lunch, the journey continuous through the spectacular Sch-llenen Canyon with a short break at the Teufelsbrucke [devil-s bridge]. Now you have arrived in Central Switzerland and have a short drive to the city Lucerne. Short guided city walk to see the famous Chapel bridge, the lions monument and the old town. Some time at leisure before your 1,5 hr return drive to Grindelwald/Interlaken where you will arrive in the evening. Overnight stays at Grindelwald or Interlaken

Day 7: Grindelwald - Zurich

Meet your driver/guide at 09.00 am for a 3 hr highway drive to Zurich (or scenic drive with sightseeing). Luggage check-in. If you live in a city, visiting Zurich will be like coming home - finally you can walk on crowded, multi-ethnic streets, buy a kebab, get a drink after midnight, feel a lived-in urban buzz. There-s been a massive explosion in the city-s arts and popular culture over the last years, expressing itself most tangibly in a host of clubs and a thriving underground dance scene. Wry Zurchers like to make much of how apt it is that you have to tut, purse your lips and clear your throat to say the city-s name (tsoorikh in dialect), but this stereotype no longer conveys the essence of what is now a dynamic, exciting city. You-re likely to find that this most beautiful of Swiss cities, astride a river and turned towards a crystal-clear lake and distant snowy peaks, has plenty to keep you amused. The medieval Old Town, characterized by steep, cobbled alleys and attractive, small-scale architecture, comprises a substantial part of the city centre and is perfect for exploratory wanderings. With a handful of medieval churches to take in, a spectacular art gallery, the most engaging cafe culture in German-speaking Switzerland and a wealth of nightlife, you could easily spend days here. Because the River Limmat divides the Old Town into two distinct halves, it-s easier to consider the two banks of the river as separate entities rather than to concentrate on a New Town/Old Town split. The alleys of the east bank - known as Niederdorf or the -Dorfli- - are full of cafes and small shops, with the enormous twin towers of the Grossmunster as a centrepiece. The slender spire to the north belongs to the Predigerkirche with, above it on a hill to the east, the grandiose architecture of the university. Opposite, the west bank is the oldest part of the city, centred around the raised platform of the Lindenhof and characterized by expensive fashion outlets and offices. Nearby rise the graceful spires both of St Peter-s, featuring the largest clock face in Europe, and the Fraumunster, a medieval church decorated in this century with beautiful stained glass by Marc Chagall. The long, curving Bahnhofstrasse follows the ancient course of the western city wall, and is now one of Europe-s most prestigious shopping streets, packed with jewellers and designer boutiques. The best of the city-s thirty-odd museums are the marvellous Kunsthaus on the fringes of the Niederdorf, and the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) in a park on the west bank. City walking tour and free time to explore Zurich on yor own and for shopping at the famous Bahnhofstrasse.

Day 8 : Zurich - Departure

Zurich and departure on your own