Day 1: Australia –– Zurich
Depart Australia today for your incredible Swiss holiday!
Day 2: Zurich
Welcome to Switzerland! Upon arrival at Zurich International Airport, proceed to collect your rail pass and take a rail transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. We suggest you explore this metropolis of experiences by the water, from Zurich’s own mountain Uetliberg to a lake cruise on Lake Zurich itself. Tickets are heavily discounted as part of your tailor-made Swiss Rail Card.
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 3: Zurich (B)
Today is yours at leisure. 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.
Day 4: Zurich –– Interlaken/Wilderswil (B)
Following breakfast, a quick train journey takes you from Zürich to Lucerne. Board the Luzern-Interlaken Express for a journey along the shores of crystal-clear lakes, past romantic waterfalls and over the breathtaking Brünig Pass to Interlaken, overlooked by the magnificent trio, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Stay overnight in Wilderswil, a picturesque little village within the Interlaken administrative district, featuring a typical Swiss Alpine feeling with numerous wooden houses and chalets. After dropping off your bags, head to the city centre and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Your hotel: Baeren (or similar)
Enjoy your stay in one of 50 traditional Swiss rooms. Historical furniture gives an individual touch to each room, some of which have breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Day 5: Interlaken/Wilderswil –– Jungfraujoch –– Interlaken/Wilderswil (B)
A trip to the world-famous Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe awaits this morning after breakfast! For more than 100 years now, the Jungfrau railway has been making its journey up to the highest-altitude railway station in Europe. At 3,454m / 11,332ft altitude, it is right at the heart of the UNESCO World heritage site “Jungfrau-Aletsch”. From the viewing terraces “Sphinx” and “Plateau”, or from the Aletsch glacier itself, an amazing, high Alpine wonder world of eternal snow and ice reveals itself. The “Ice Palace” with its sculptures and its enchanted flair is also well worth a visit.
Day 6: Interlaken/Wilderswil –– Golden Pass Line –– Montreux (B)
The Golden Pass Line is one of the most picturesque routes across the Alps. Magnificent views over meadows and the vineyards above Lake Geneva will be unforgettable memories. Travelling in style, you will feel as if you are on top of the world. Arrive in Montreux later this afternoon.
Your hotel: Helvetie (or similar)
This hotel is a witness of the development of tourism in Montreux. Opened in 1865, it was first named Hotel-Pension de Russie, and hosted the many customers who came from the North, looking for a warmer climate during the cold season. In front of the Casino and 200 meters away from the lake, the hotel is located in the heart of Montreux. It is an ideal start to the main touristic attractions of the region: among many others, the promenade by the lake, the Chillon Castle, the Rochers-de-Naye peaks, the cruises on the lake and the Jazz Festival in July.
Day 7: Montreux –– Zermatt (B)
The morning is yours to explore. Take some time to stroll along the lakeside in Montreux or admire the famous Château de Chillon – optionally from the inside at a small fee. In the early afternoon continue by train to Zermatt.
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)
Today is a free day. Zermatt offers various excursions up to the surrounding peaks, aided by your tailor-made Swiss Rail Card which includes substantial discounts. You have the option to take the Gornergrat Railway, one of the most iconic destinations in Switzerland and a must-see for anyone still needing to tick this off their bucket lists. At an altitude of 3089 metres above sea level you enjoy breath-taking panoramic views of hundreds of peaks, 29 of which are over 4000 metres high, with the Matterhorn right in the centre. On the way down, you can choose to hike one of the trails between the stations along the railway line for a different perspective.
Day 9: Zermatt –– Glacier Express –– St Moritz (B)
Enjoy the legendary Glacier Express experience in its entirety from Zermatt to St. Moritz, a thrilling journey in a panoramic carriage taking in some of the most dramatic scenery Switzerland has to offer. The exhilarating journey takes you along the deep Rhone valley, over the dramatic Oberalp Pass and through the Rhine Gorge to glamorous St. Moritz in the afternoon. Within roughly 8 unforgettable hours, you will pass through no less than 91 tunnels and cross 291 stately bridges. Onboard commentary in English is available.
Your hotel: Soldanella (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 10: St Moritz (B)
Enjoy a free day today. Your St. Moritz transport card offers you unlimited travel on the public network and on most of the mountain railways or cable car. Corviglia, Corvatsch or Diavolezza are among the most scenic options you should consider. Alternatively, you may prefer the philosopher’s walk on top of Muottas Muragl for unprecedented views of the surrounding areas.
Day 11: St Moritz –– Bernina Express –– Lugano (B)
UNESCO-protected landscapes and outstandingly beautiful scenery surround you on the Bernina Express, travelling along circular viaducts and over remote glaciers before heading down to the border of Italy on one of Europe’s best scenic rail journeys. A change to the Bernina Express bus takes you through parts of Italy along the lakes back to Switzerland and Lugano. Onboard commentary in English available.
Your hotel: Continental Parkhotel (or similar)
Located in the heart of Lugano, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Swiss Alps, San Lorenzo Cathedral, and Santa Maria degli Angeli. Lugano Funicular Station and Lugano Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Day 12: Lugano – Gotthard Express – Lucerne (B)
After breakfast, travel on the Gotthard Express* from the Mediterranean south to the traditional heart of Switzerland. The Gotthard route is truly mesmerising, and the lake cruise from Flüelen to Lucerne on an old paddle steamer tops off your rail adventure. Spend the evening at leisure exploring Lucerne. This popular tourist location thrives on the contrast between history and modern age. In particular, the Chapel Bridge, built in 1356, and the grand hotel buildings from the 19th century characterise the cityscape of Lucerne.
*Please note that the Gotthard Express does not operate on Mondays and will be replaced with similar trains servicing the same route if you select a Thursday departure in the calendar where day 12 falls on a Monday. The itinerary will be unaffected by this operational change, however we suggest you opt for Friday – Wednesday departures if you wish to experience the original Gotthard Express carriages.
Your hotel: Ambassador (or similar)
Any one of the 31 friendly and comfortable rooms is ideal for relaxing and unwinding. Some of the rooms look onto the bright inner courtyard or the sunny terrace, for a particularly quiet location in the heart of the city.
Day 13: Lucerne – Zurich –– Australia (B)
Bid Switzerland farewell today as you take the included rail transfer to Zurich International Airport.
Day 14: Australia
Arrive home today.