Swiss Excursion

Inclusions

    1. Program as described. The vehicle is a modern van, fully air conditioned, slide doors
    2. 11 days with a personal, multi-lingual Swiss driver/tour guide - full care
    3. 11 nights at best located 4-star or 5-star Hotels, rooms with view where available
    4. Buffet breakfasts in the Hotels
    5. All tickets and admission fees on the sightseeing tours
    6. All city tours and tours with the SwissSerene driver/guide
    7. Private guided tour at castle Chillon
    8. Transfer by shuttle train and by taxi T-sch - Zermatt - T-sch
    9. 3-course grotto dinner in Ascona
    10. 1 Raclette lunch in Zermatt
    11. All transfers with the SwissSerene driver/guide
    12. Soft drinks in the car
    13. All expenses for the driver/guide
    14. Mileage, Fuel, parking fees
    15. Taxes and VAT

Day 1: Arrival Zurich airport - Transfer to Lucerne

The driver/guide will welcome you at the airport. Brief information about the program The day program will be created according to your arrival time and upon your requests and can be sightseeing or a 1 hr transfer to Lucerne. The rooms will be ready from 2PM The driver/guide is available for sightseeing and transfers, ex. City tour of Zurich, scenic transfer to Lucerne.

Day 2: Lucerne and sightseeing

Enjoy breakfast and meet your driver/guide (you pick the time) for a city walking tour to see the highlights of Lucerne. On the plan is a leisurely walk over the 14th century chapel bridge and a stroll through the cobble stoned old town. You will see the famous lions monument and can visit the Glacier Garden to learn more about the passed Ice ages passed and the importance of them to whole of Switzerland. The afternoon can be created according to the weather and your desires. Sightseeing recommendations, some of which can be combined (tickets included): Lunch cruise on Lake Lucerne Golden* Pilatus round trip (boat cruise-worlds steepest cogwheel train-cable car) to enjoy the great views from the summit of Pilatus. * Only possible from May to November. Another program will be recommended Scenic trip to the Rigi mountain or Burgenstock Visit of the Glass factory of Hergiswil where you can see the glass blowers at work The evening is at your own leisure. The driver/guide is happy to give you restaurant recommendations Another night at Lucerne

Day 3: Lucerne - Emmental - Bern - Grindelwald

Breakfast and check-out. Your driver/guide will meet you in the morning for a great day program. Scenic drive to the hilly Emmental, passing through small farming villages. The Emmental is the origin of the famous Emmental cheese (Swiss cheese) and home of the typical wooden farm houses. Stop in the Emmental show cheese factory with a short guided tour to learn more about the Swiss tradition and cheese making culture as it was yesterday and as it is today. Then, you may spend some time at your leisure to check out the handcraft shop and the bakery where you can get Swiss specialties (closed on Monday). After the visit of the cheese factory your driver will take you to a rural Emmental restaurant for a typical Swiss lunch (not included). After lunch you have a scenic drive to Bern, the capitol city of Switzerland. 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 Town 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. You have a guided tour through the beautiful and charming old town and will slender through the cobble stoned alleys with it-s Arcades and colorful fountains. You will see the famous clock tower, the Munster Cathedral and the House of Parliament. On request you can visit the house of Einstein which is a museum. Time at leisure and for shopping. Now you have a 1,5 hr scenic drive along Lake Thun to the Jungfrau region and will arrive in the evening in the mountain resort Grindelwald, which is set in the Alps. Check-in and remaining time at your leisure

Day 4 and 5: Grindelwald - sightseeing

The two days in the Jungfrau Region will be planned according to your desires and the weather situation. Sightseeing recommendations, some of which can be combined (tickets included): 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!). 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. Cable car ride to the Schilthorn Mountain and lunch in the rotating restaurant, Piz Gloria, at 10,000 ft. Have a fantastic view of the three Mountains Eiger, M-nch, and Jungfrau. On a very clear day you can see all the way to the French Vosges and to the Black Forest region of Germany! Before your return to the valley and If you like you can make a short walk through the rural and car free village Murren Scenic drive to the historic Grand Hotel Gie-bach which is beautifully situated in front of the Gie-bach Waterfalls high above Lake Brienz. Lunch in the restaurant offers a grand view over the lake. Visit the open air museum Ballenberg: Switzerland as it used to be. 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 very unique and you will enjoy your guided tour with explanations of culture, history and the way of living in days gone by. Steam train ride to the Brienz Rothorn - great views and lovely hiking trails. Alpine farms. Optional: Outdoor activities, hiking, biking, paragliding, kid-s programs, etc. Overnight stays in Grindelwald

Day 6: Grindelwald - Crossing the Alps* - Ascona

Breakfast and check-out. ANother great day to start! 9:00AM: departure for a scenic drive along Lake Brienz with a stop in the woodcarver village Brienz. Have a guided tour through the old part of Brienz where you will see the lovingly decorated Chalet houses which date back to the 17th century. Drive through the Hasli Valley 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 on Furka Pass he will lead you on a short walk to the man made tunnel of the Glacier of the river Rhone. A very unique experience. On St. Gotthard mountain pass a visit of the museum is of great interest and another highlight is the downhill drive over the historic cobble stoned Tremola pass road which had been used by the horse coaches in days gone by. Lunch will be in a summit restaurant or at the mountain resort Andermatt. After this exciting drive over the mountain passes, the road leads you to the southern part of Switzerland, the Canton of Ticino, where palm trees and camellias are growing and where Italian is spoken. In the evening, you arrive in the charming small town of Ascona, magnificently situated on the sunny shores of Lake Maggiore. Check-in and free time.

Day 7 and 8: Ascona and Sightseeing

Two leisurely days in this beautiful and romantic small town, also called the -Perle of Lake Maggiore-; you can enjoy a stroll along the lake or walk through cobble stone alleys with their boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. The many local restaurants offer great lunches with Ticino specialties. Or spend a relaxed time in the Spa. Your driver/guide is available for sightseeing. Recommendations, some of which can be combined (tickets included): Boat cruise to the Brissago Islands to have a relaxed time in the Botanic Garden which offers you a wonderful opportunity to escape from the noise and confusion of frenetic modern life. The exotic plants, the colors, and perfume of flowers are beneficial for their wellbeing. Drive to the nearby City of Locarno to enjoy a cable car ride to the Monastery Madonna del Sasso, a place of pilgrimage with a fantastic view over the lake and the mountains. Visit the falconry of Locarno with the one of a kind falcon show Have a drive to see the rural villages nestled high up in the mountains. Drive to the outlet factory Foxtown for shooping Excursion to Lake Como in Italy Optional: Speed boat and Pedalo boat rental, Yacht rental, biking

Day 9: Ascona - Simplon Pass - Zermatt

Breakfast and check-out. Departure for a scenic drive along Lake Maggiore and over Simplon Pass to the valley of the river Rhone. At Visp you turn into a side valley and drive through small villages and vineyards to the village T-sch. (Did you know that the wine growers in this valley are famous for the production of ice wine-) At T-sch you will leave the tour car behind and will go by shuttle train to the car-free village of Zermatt, set on the foot of the mighty Matterhorn. The Hotel-s porter will care about the luggage so that you can go on an orientation tour of Zermatt. Listen to the stories about the mountaineers who came here in early days and today to climb the Matterhorn. Check-in and remaining time on your own for relaxing or shoppin gin the rural village. The guide will recommend good restaurants for dinner.

Day 10: Zermatt and Sightseeing

Zermatt, famous because of the best view of the impressive Matterhorn, is set on a high plateau and surrounded by mountains 13,124 feet high. It-s a wonderful place for trips with one of the many cable cars or mountain trains taking one to the top lookout points, for relaxation, hikes, or skiing (summer skiing is possible). The rural village with the dark sun-burned wooden houses is inviting for shopping and fine eating. You enjoy a good breakfast in the hotel before meeting your guide for a short walk to the Gornergrat train station. Cogwheel train trip to the summit of the Gornergrat offers spectacular views over the glaciers and to the mighty Matterhorn. Lunch on the Gornergrat restaurant or in the middle station. The trip to the Gornergrat can be in combination with a hike. You descend to to Zermatt and have now free time to explore Zermatt on your own or to relax. Optional: Hiking, glacier skiing , gorge climbing, kids programs - your guide is available. Another night at Zermatt

Day 11: Zermatt - Castle Chillon - Lavaux wine region or Gruyere - Zurich

Breakfast and check-out. 8:30 a.m.: The guide will pick you up at the hotel for your taxi transfer to Tasch where the car is waiting. Scenic drive through the valley of the river Rhone, along vineyards and orchards to Lake Geneva where you will visit the castle Chillon, a fortress from the first millennium that gained fame from the poems of Lord Byron (1 hour private guided tour). After the castle tour you will have a short drive through the beautiful Lavaux wine region, a UNESCO Natural Heritage and will have a late lunch in one of the typical restaurants overlooking the lake and the wine yards. After lunch a *direct scenic drive (highway) to Zurich is followed and on request a short tour of Zurich can be on the plan before you check-in. Time for shopping and to enjoy the city of Zurich *Have a stop at the medieval town Gruyere for a short visit if you don-t want to go for shopping in Zurich.

Day 12: Zurich and departure on your own

Transfer to the airport/train station on your own. Stay one more day in Zurich to visit the fantastic Rhine falls or for shopping - ask for your tailor made tour