Day 1: Australia – – Zurich
Make your way to the airport and board your Emirates or Singapore Airlines flight towards Switzerland!
Day 2: Zurich
Welcome to Switzerland! Your flight lands at Zurich Airport and you are greeted for a transfer that takes you to Zurich Main Station via the rail network. Check in to the hotel is at approximately 4pm. Settle into your room afterwards and then find your way downstairs for this evening’s welcome drink with the rest of your group – the perfect opportunity to get to know your newfound travel companions ahead of this spectacular tour of Switzerland.
Day 3: Zurich (B)
Zurich is Switzerland’s global financial centre, but the lure of this metropolis isn’t limited to its banks. You have the day to explore its landmarks and most popular to-sees, such as the pretty laneways of the Old Town, the banks of Lake Zurich, the works housed inside some of the excellent museums and galleries, the view from the Lindenhof, or the architecture of the Romanesque Grossmünster.
Day 4: Zurich – – Lucerne (B)
Breakfast is taken at the hotel before departing for Zurich Main Station in time to board your train bound for Lucerne. There is no need to worry about lugging your suitcase with you though; the luggage transfer included in this tour sees your baggage transported separately to Lucerne – the ultimate convenience leaving you to simply relax and enjoy the journey!
Lucerne sits on the banks of the same-name lake and acts as a photogenic gateway for travellers seeking to explore the landscape of central Switzerland. Upon arriving in Lucerne you can make a beeline for two of the city’s most popular landmarks – the restored Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden bridge in Europe; and the shores of the Lake.
Day 5: Lucerne – – Lugano (B)
Today’s itinerary sees you travel along a section of the Gotthard Panorama Express, from Lucerne to Lugano. Again, there is no need to worry about navigating the train or railway stations with your luggage as your bags will be transferred directly to the hotel in Lugano. Your journey begins by taking a paddle steamer from Lucerne to Flüelen on the waters of Lake Lucerne. Upon reaching the other side of the lake, swap onto the train (making a change in Erstfeld) for the voyage along the iconic Gotthard route. This trip takes you into the Italian-influenced region of Ticino, near the Swiss-Italian border.
Uncover the mix of cultures that make this city so unique, and take in the Italianate architecture, lakefront walks, piazzas and al fresco dinners dotted around Lugano as you meander at your own pace. Check in for the hotel is approximately 4pm.
Day 6: Lugano – – St. Moritz (B)
Head to the main train station in Lugano and embark on the first journey of today’s schedule – the Bernina Bus. Peer out the window and admire the beautiful passing landscape as the bus takes you along a route to Tirano, an Italian town located just next to the Switzerland-Italy border. Here, you swap four wheels for tracks as you board the train for the next part of this journey. The train is taking you to St. Moritz, and some of the countryside you travel through on the way is UNESCO-protected – you’ll even cross glaciers! You arrive into St. Moritz in the afternoon, and hotel check in is available from approximately 4pm.
Day 7: St. Moritz (B)
You have the entire day as free time to explore St. Moritz however you like. This alpine resort town is synonymous with luxury and winter sports – it has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. Use today to dine at some of the town’s swankiest establishments, or marvel at the works housed in any of the exceptional galleries. Be tempted by designer garments in the high-end boutiques, or while away an hour or two with some aimless meandering. Take advantage of your St. Moritz transport card for unlimited travel on the town’s public transport network, including some of the mountain railways and cable cars. Jump into a railway car to travel up the peaks of Corviglia, Corvatsch or Diavolezza, or put your own two feet to walk by following the Philosopher’s Walk path atop Muottas Muragl.
Day 8: St. Moritz – – Chur – – Zermatt (B)
Set out on the Glacier Express route today. First take a regional train to Switzerland’s oldest town – Chur. Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour and some free time before the renowned Glacier Express train whisks passengers to Zermatt; a journey that takes in some of Switzerland’s most pristine and archetypal scenery. Travelling in a panoramic carriage while aboard gives you an up-close view to these spectacular landscapes and views. Pass through the Rhine Gorge, over the Oberalp Pass and into the Rhone Valley ahead of your afternoon arrival in Zermatt. Your luggage will be waiting for you at the hotel, along with a welcome drink to set the mood.
Day 9: Zermatt (B)
The day is yours at leisure to spend in Zermatt. There are excellent hiking trails throughout the canton for avid nature-lovers here during the summer season. Devotees of retail therapy can peruse the boutiques lining the Bahnhofstrasse, and foodies can dine at any of the eateries dotted along the same thoroughfare. Of course, it would be an opportunity amiss not to seek out the peak for which this town is so famous – the Matterhorn. This iconic mountain is legendary for its steep ascent and its conical shape. See its glaciers and slopes from a cable-car, or take in the mountain in all of its glory from the viewing point at Gornergrat.
Day 10: Zermatt – – Montreux (B)
Have breakfast at the hotel ahead of boarding today’s train, bound for Montreux – a destination fondly called, ‘the Pearl of the Swiss Riviera’. This route will have you looking out across the vineyards of Valais, rocky outcrops, rural villages, and more. The group will change trains in Visp and arrive to Montreux in the afternoon. Montreux sits on the shores of Lake Geneva, and has all the good looks of a classic resort town. There are pretty waterfront promenades and elegant buildings, and a castle perched on an island in the middle of the lake.
Day 11: Montreux – – Interlaken (B)
You have this morning as free time to roam and explore Montreux as you please. You might take an early morning walk by the lake, organise to visit Chateau de Chillon, or strike your best pose next to the lakeside statue of Freddie Mercury. Meet up with the group and your Tour Director in the afternoon in anticipation of boarding a train on the Golden Pass Line. This route is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque in Switzerland – if not the world – and takes its passengers through a landscape of mountain passes, verdant valleys and cascading waterfalls. Have your camera poised and at the ready!
Day 12: Interlaken – Jungfraujoch – Interlaken (B)
Seek out the spot called the Top of Europe on today’s included excursion to Jungfraujoch. This glacier saddle sight marks the pass between two 4000-foot peaks of Jungfrau and Monch, and is the highest railway in Europe. The views across Aletsch Glacier will stay with you long after you return back down to ground level. Tonight is the final evening of your tour and your last night in Switzerland.
Day 13: Interlaken – – Zurich – – Australia (B)
Have breakfast at the hotel and then begin the return journey to Zurich aboard the Luzern-Interlaken Express. Your luggage will be sent ahead and will be waiting for you at Zurich Airport. This leaves you the chance to soak up your final fixes of the gorgeous Swiss scenery as the train zooms past crystal-clear lakes, over the Brunig Pass and alongside pretty waterfalls. You change trains in Lucerne. Say goodbye to your guide and fellow travelling companions once in Zurich, and board your Emirates or Singapore Airlines flights to commence the travel back to Australia.
Day 14: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.