Day 1: Australia –– Zurich
Depart Australia today for your incredible Swiss holiday!
Day 2: Zurich –– Engelberg
Welcome to Switzerland! Upon arrival at Zurich International Airport, proceed to collect your rail pass and take a rail transfer to your hotel. Engelberg, in the heart of Switzerland, is a scenic mountain resort at the foot of the famous Titlis mountains. If time permits, a trip to the icy top of Mt Titlis is a must! Featuring a glacier cave, ice flyer and various fun activities in the snow, it is one of the most popular mountain destinations in Switzerland. In the evening explore the small resort centre with its monastery and restaurants serving typical traditional Swiss cuisine.
Your hotel: Sonnwendhof (or similar)
Enjoy the Swiss mountain air in this comfortable hotel. Located right in the heart of the community of Central Switzerland, the property provides a place of retreat in order to feel at home straight away in a friendly atmosphere. From here, you can go on different excursions or simply chill out.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: Engelberg – – Gotthard Panorama Route – – Bellinzona (B)
Rise early this morning and depart for Lake Lucerne where a leisurely walk will take you from the station to the boat landing quay.
The Gotthard Panorama Route links two of Switzerland’s most attractive regions: Central Switzerland and Ticino. The trip starts in Lucerne as you board the boat or steamer for the 2.5h cruise across Lake Lucerne to Flüelen. Sit back and relax as you watch sleepy bays and picturesque village glide by. The trip continues through the impressive Reuss Valley with its deep ravines and cliffs. The world-famous Gotthard line swiftly climbs from 470 to about 1100 meters above sea level to finally enter the 15-kilometre-long Gotthard tunnel – Europe’s most important North/South gateway. After approx. 10 minutes through the tunnel passage you will arrive in the Mediterranean climate of Switzerland’s Italian speaking canton of Ticino. In the Leventina Valley, the Gotthard Route crosses breath-taking bridges and passes charming villages on its way to Bellinzona.
Arrive in Bellinzona in the late afternoon where your hotel is situated opposite the railway station. Why not explore one of the three castles that made the town such a popular tourist attraction? From the town centre you can take the lift to Castle Grande, watch the sunset and return to the medieval heart of the city for dinner.
Your hotel: Hotel & Spa Internazionale (or similar)
The Hotel & SPA Internazionale is situated conveniently opposite the main railway station in Bellinzona, only a short distance from the historic city center. This unique location makes it an ideal base for business or tourist trips. Other important destinations in Ticino can be reached by way of a twenty minute long train – ride, with three departures every hour. A journey with one of the modern trains gives you the opportunity to discover idyllic places, allows you to escape the chaotic traffic and solves all parking problems.
Day 4: Ticino (B)
Your hotel will have issued you with your Ticino ticket which will allow you free travel all over the canton of Ticino and offers various discounts on attractions in the region. Whether you want to explore around Lake Maggiore with the picturesque towns of Locarno and Ascona or if you want to travel up into the enchanted valleys with their crystal-clear streams and chestnut forests.
Alternatively stay close and enjoy the picturesque, small town centre of Bellinzona or visit one of the other two castles surrounding the town.
Day 5: Bellinzona –– Bernina Express – Pontresina / St. Moritz (B)
After an early morning breakfast, depart by train to Lugano. From Lugano you travel with the Bernina Express coach to Tirano, which is located on Italian territory. There will be time to explore the city centre before boarding the Bernina Express train to Pontresina next to St. Moritz. The train journey over the Bernina Pass is an incredible experience and one of the most spectacular routes across the Alps. Travelling over circular viaducts, the train climbs to over 2,000m above sea level, with stunning views over snow-capped mountains and glaciers. Onboard commentary in English available.
Your hotel: Hotel & Spa Internazionale (or similar)
The hotel’s Art Nouveau style is felt everywhere, especially in the main dining room called “Salle à manger”. Another outstanding feature of the Hotel Soldanella is the unique location, only a 5-minute walk to the centre of St. Moritz and the famous Corviglia cable car. It also has an unobstructed view of lake St.Moritz as well as the snow covered mountain range.
Day 6: Pontresina / St. Moritz (B)
Today is yours to explore Pontresina and St. Moritz, the latter being one of the best-known holiday resorts in the world, famous for its elegance and cosmopolitan air, with exquisite gastronomy and exclusive shopping and leisure facilities. The rich and famous flock to St. Moritz to enjoy its beauty; at 1856m above sea level, it is surrounded by stunning lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks and the only national natural park in Switzerland. Wander around the old town at your leisure and soak up the atmosphere, take a stroll around the lake or hike along one of the scenic hiking trails of the Upper Engadine.
Pontresina is a few minutes by train from St. Moritz and offers a much more relaxed and traditional ambience, perfect to take in natural beauty and tranquility.
Optional Tour (at own expense): Optional mountain excursions to the Diavolezza or Muottas Muragl.
Day 7: Pontresina / St. Moritz – Glacier Express –– Zermatt (B)
The Glacier Express is a fascinating 7.5h hour rail journey across the Swiss Alps, crossing 291 bridges, passing through 91 tunnels and climbing over the 2,000m high Oberalp Pass to connect the world-renowned resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt. Experience the Alps in all their breath-taking glory from the comfort of your seat in the panorama car: unspoilt mountain forests, lush Alpine pastures, rushing streams and valleys with their rich traditions stretching back hundreds of years. Onboard commentary is available in English throughout the journey as a guide to the dramatic landscape and spectacular views. Arrive in Zermatt in the late afternoon for your overnight stay.
Your hotel: Elite Garni (or similar)
This hotel provides its guests a friendly setting for an enjoyable and relaxing stay in Zermatt. It offers comfortable and cosy furnished rooms equipped with all desirable amenities. The day starts with a rich breakfast buffet. Guests may end the evening on a cosy note in the bar of the Hotel Elite Garni.
Day 8 Zermatt (B)
Spend the day in Zermatt today. Dominated by the unmistakable peak of the Matterhorn, standing alone at the head of the valley, Zermatt is encircled by a ring of four-thousand metre peaks. At the foot of the Matterhorn, the old town of Zermatt has preserved its original character and traditional features.
Optional Tour (at own expense) Optional Gornergrat Excursion: The journey takes a little more than half an hour per way and can easily be done within half a day.
Optional Tour (at own expense) Optional Matterhorn Paradise: Travel time just under 1h per way. The excursions take a good half-day.
Day 9: Zermatt – Zurich (B)
Make your way to Zurich this morning for your penultimate day in Switzerland. Zurich unites creative city life and idyllic scenery within the smallest of areas. Art connoisseurs and culture enthusiasts have over 50 museums and more than 100 galleries to choose from, while inquisitive city explorers can discover the striking contrast between the picturesque Old Town and the modern, constantly changing urban quarters. Nature lovers seeking fresh air and green open spaces will delight in the city’s location directly by the lake, in its abundant expanses of forest and parkland, and in its very own mountain, the Uetliberg.
Your hotel: Bristol (or similar)
Hotel Bristol, at the heart of Zurich, is the ideal base for exploring this fascinating city and its idyllic surroundings. Millions of guests visit the small yet exquisite cosmopolitan city, which offers a huge range of cultural, shopping and relaxation activities. The Bristol, in its smart neo-classical style, is located in the centre, just a few minutes’ walk from the main station, the old town and the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street. Despite its central location, the Bristol enjoys a relatively peaceful location. Our international clientele appreciates the modern, comfortably furnished rooms with their good price-performance ratio.
Day 10: Zurich – Australia (B)
Bid Switzerland farewell today as you take the included rail transfer to Zurich International Airport.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 11: Australia
Arrive home today.