Day 1: Australia – – Lucerne
Make your way to the airport and board your flight to Switzerland.
Day 2: Lucerne
Welcome to Switzerland! Your flight touches down and you take a rail transfer to the pretty city of Lucerne to check into your hotel. You have the remainder of the day to unwind in your hotel room or to get out into the streetscape to begin exploring the best attractions. Lucerne is regarded as a gateway to the countryside of central Switzerland, and it is built around the banks of Lake Lucerne. Those looking to immediately start taking in the sights can make a beeline for Chapel Bridge, one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe that has become an emblem of Lucerne.
Day 3: Lucerne – Mount Rigi – Lucerne (B, L)
Take breakfast at the hotel and then head out on today’s excursion. Travel by boat from Lucerne to Vitnzau and then board a cogwheel train to reach the Rigi Kaltbald resort. Your third mode of transportation for the day is a charming horse-drawn carriage or sleigh; it takes you to Rigi First and back again. You are treated to a hearty cheese fondue lunch at the resort restaurant. Return to Lucerne later on and have the remainder of the afternoon and evening as free time.
Day 4: Lucerne – Mount Pilatus (B, D)
Check out of the Lucerne hotel after breakfast and begin travelling towards Mount Pilatus. You move through Kriens, and arrive at the peak’s base station to board a cable car and ascend to the top of ‘Dragon Mountain’. You spend the evening in this spectacular setting with an overnight on the mountain. Plus, to make tonight even more memorable there is a four-course dinner served in the Victorian-style dining room of your accommodation.
Day 5: Mount Pilatus – – Lucerne – – Interlaken (B)
Move back down the mountain after breakfast at the hotel and return to Lucerne via Kriens. Head to the railway station to board the Lucerne-Interlaken Express. You are travelling in a panorama carriage so have a front-row seat to soak in the beautiful Swiss countryside. Arrive in Interlaken, a quintessential resort town located in the heart of Bernese Oberland and the Swiss Alps. Interlaken is a popular destination of choice for travellers wanting to explore more of the Jungfrau region and the famous mountains in the area. You have free time to discover Interlaken after checking in to your hotel. Take up the optional excursion to Jungfraujoch, seek out the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz or Lake Thun, or wander the length of Höheweg and make stops at any of the parks lining this promenade.
Day 6: Interlaken (B)
You have today as free time to do whatever you like in and around Interlaken. Those in town on Monday, Wednesday or Saturday can join one of the free walking tours.
Day 7: Interlaken – – Montreux (B)
Today, step on-board the Golden Pass Line to begin the journey to Montreux. Your travels on the Golden Pass Line in a panoramic carriage is just the first stage, and you will need to change trains at Zweisimmen. You have seat reservations between Zweisimmen and Montreux, and can relax as soon as you board and spend the trip gazing out the window to take in the majesty of the Swiss countryside.
Arrive in the resort town of Montreux and have free time upon checking into the accommodation. Montreux is one of the epicentres of the Swiss Riviera. Its gorgeous location – on the banks of Lake Geneva – and mild climate, plus its pretty architecture, make it one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. Line up for a ticket to see inside Chateau de Chillon (Chillon Castle), which sits on a manmade island in the middle of the lake. Other things to do in Montreux include snapping a photo of the Freddie Mercury statue, wandering the displays in the Queen Studio Experience, venturing out to Rochers-de-Naye, or ambling along the lakeside promenade.
Day 8: Montreux – – Zermatt (B)
Bid adieu to Montreux and travel to Zermatt by train. This alpine town is perhaps best known for its mountainous backdrop; the Matterhorn is among one of the most easily identifiable peaks in Switzerland thanks to its pyramidal-like summit. Use your time in Zermatt to make the trip up to Gornergrat, the viewing platform that offers breathtaking outlooks across the Matterhorn and other mountains around the town. There are winter sport opportunities aplenty for those fond of skiing and snowboarding, or you can indulge with meals at any of Zermatt’s acclaimed restaurants – including two that have been awarded coveted Michelin stars.
Day 9: Zermatt (B)
Have today to continue enjoying Zermatt. The centre of town is picturesque and perfect for exploring on foot as only horse-drawn carriages and electric cars are permitted.
Day 10: Zermatt – – Chur (B)
Travel on the legendary Glacier Express to make the journey from Zermatt to Chur today. This panoramic route takes you through the Rhone Valley and dramatic landscapes, including a portion dubbed the ‘Swiss Grand Canyon’. You disembark the Glacier Express in Chur, the largest town along the rail route and the capital of the Graubünden canton. Tonight is spent in Chur and is your final evening in Switzerland.
Day 11: Chur – – Zurich – – Australia (B)
Move from Chur to Zurich at the necessary time to board your return flights to Australia.
Day 12: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.