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Leisurely Lake Lucerne

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(Tour code: LCL19)

Breathtaking Alpine scenery, enchanting Swiss towns and extraordinary mountain railways

Breathtaking Alpine scenery, enchanting Swiss towns and extraordinary mountain railways come together to create a truly unforgettable tour, all from a serene base on the glittering shores of Lake Lucerne.

  • Lucerne
  • Mount Pilatus
  • Gotthard Pass Route
  • Lugano
  • Mount Rigi
  • GRJ Swiss Travel Card
  • Lucerne Travel Card
  • Time at leisure in Colmar and Lucerne
What’s Included
  • First Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
  • 3* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

Leisurely Lake Lucerne 2019Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 Eurostar

London to Colmar

Your adventure begins today at London St Pancras International, where you meet your Tour Manager and the rest of your group at Great Rail Journeys' dedicated Departure Office. We board the Eurostar service to Paris to connect with our onward rail journey to Colmar, where we overnight.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne

To Lake Lucerne

You are at leisure this morning in Colmar, a pretty town in France, close to the German border. With its enchanting Old Town, cobblestone streets and colourful, half-timbered buildings, Colmar is a picture-postcard example of an Alsacian town. After some free time, we make the journey into Switzerland, travelling by rail to Basel and continuing to the historic, lakeside city of Lucerne.

Nestled in the foot of the Swiss Alps on the shores of the eponymous Lake Lucerne, the German-speaking city of Lucerne offers stunning mountainous panoramas, with views of Mount Pilatus, Mount Rigi and the towering peaks of the Alps. On arrival, we make the short coach transfer to our base for the next seven nights, the 3-Star Hotel Seeburg Lucerne, which enjoys a tranquil lakeside location just outside of the city centre. A Lucerne Travel Card providing free bus travel between the centre of Lucerne and the hotel is included in your tour, giving you the opportunity to enjoy both the atmospheric city centre and the serene surroundings of the hotel in equal measure.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 Lucerne

Discovering Lucerne

Our introduction to Lucerne begins after breakfast this morning, as we embark on a guided walking tour of the city. We step back in time with a visit to Lucerne's charming and car-free Old Town, which is found just north of the River Reuss. Here, we discover picturesque town squares, ornate churches and traditional cobbled streets lined with beautifully frescoed, half-timbered houses, as well as the remnants of the old town walls.

We continue to Lucerne's most celebrated landmark, the Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, a covered wooden footbridge which rises up from the waters of the River Reuss and separates Lucerne's Old and New Town. Built in the 14th century as a fortification measure, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and is now a popular tourist attraction. Enjoy a stroll across the beautiful bridge, taking in the unique series of triangular paintings that can be seen in the wooden roof panels.

Created by a local Catholic painter, Hans Heinrich Wägmann, the paintings date back to the 17th century and illustrate meaningful events from Swiss history. Unfortunately, many of the original paintings were destroyed in a catastrophic fire in 1993; from the 147 that remained, 47 were recovered and 30 were restored. After our tour, you have time at leisure to further explore the city. With humble beginnings as a fishing village in the Middle Ages, Lucerne flourished due to international cultural trade.

It remained a small medieval town until the end of the 18th century when Switzerland began to attract tourists, and it is now a popular tourist destination. Often referred to as the gateway to central Switzerland, the city has retained its relaxed, small-town atmosphere, and its compact centre is a delight to explore. Perhaps enjoy a lunch of local specialities in a traditional Swiss tavern, before returning to the hotel at leisure with your included Lucerne Travel Card.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Mount Pilatus
Mount Pilatus

Mount Pilatus

Today's excursion takes us to Lucerne's iconic mountain, Mount Pilatus, for a spectacular journey on the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, starting with a journey to Alpnachstad, where we board the cogwheel train that will take us up the mountain. Dating back to 1889 and travelling on a gradient of up to 48 percent, the railway grants beautiful views across the Alps and Lake Lucerne and is home to some astonishingly diverse flora.

Spend a delightful half hour ascending over a mile from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, where we are greeted with breathtaking, uninterrupted panoramas across Lake Lucerne and the surrounding vertiginous mountain peaks. After time to soak up the sweeping Alpine views, we make our descent by cable car, after which you are free to return to the hotel at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Swiss Transport Museum
Swiss Transport Museum

At leisure in Lucerne

Your day is free today to explore the beautiful landscapes that surround Lucerne, using your included Swiss Travel Card for 50% fares on train, bus and boat journeys. Alternatively, why not visit the Swiss Museum of Transport? This fascinating museum houses a variety of exhibits on all forms of transport, including what was once the most powerful locomotive in the world, the Landi Locomotive, and an impressive model of the Gotthard railway.

  • Breakfast
Day 6 Lugano

Gotthard Pass Route to Lugano

We enjoy an unforgettable trip on the Gotthard Pass Route today, a scenic journey which takes us by boat and train to Lugano, in Switzerland's Italianspeaking Ticino region.

Our day begins with a captivating cruise across the waters of Lake Lucerne to Flüelen, where we board the train for our journey through the heart of Switzerland. The line is a magnificent example of railway engineering, and we travel southwards along a scenic route filled with many bridges, tunnels, and spiral loops. So serpentine is the line, that we pass the church of Wassen no fewer than three times, granting us the opportunity to see the pretty Baroque building from multiple angles. On arrival in the Italian-speaking city of Lugano, we are free to discover its enchanting blend of Swiss and Mediterranean cultures, before returning to Lucerne by rail in the late afternoon.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 Lucerne

At leisure in Lucerne

Today is at leisure to further explore Lucerne, or travel further afield with your included Swiss Travel Card for 50% off fares.

  • Breakfast
Day 8 Mount Rigi Mountain Railway
Mount Rigi Mountain Railway

Mount Rigi

We enjoy a short stroll to a local boat stop this morning, where we catch a boat for a scenic journey along the lake to Vitznau. From here, we are treated to a journey on the Mount Rigi Mountain Railway, the first mountain railway in Europe, which dates back to1871. We travel to Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of Mount Rigi, where we are rewarded with a view consisting of an astonishing 13 lakes and a plethora of stunning, soaring mountain peaks. We descend via Arth Goldau, where we transfer to the rail service back to Lucerne.

We enjoy a farewell dinner together in our hotel this evening; a wonderful opportunity to share our favourite memories of an unforgettable trip.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 Eurostar

Homeward bound

After breakfast this morning, we travel by rail to Paris, via Basel. In Paris, we board the Eurostar service to London, where our tour concludes upon arrival.

Airport waiting room

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and travel during your tour

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
  • First Class rail travel throughout (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)
  • All coach transfers

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 8 nights' hotel accommodation including 1 outbound overnight stay in Colmar and 7 nights at the 3-Star Hotel Seeburg in Lucerne

Delicious meals included

  • 14 meals including 8 breakfasts and 6 dinners, including a farewell dinner in Lucerne

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Time at leisure in Colmar and Lucerne
  • Guided walking tour of Lucerne
  • Excursion to Mount Pilatus
  • Journey on the Gotthard Pass Route
  • Time at leisure in Lugano
  • Ascent of Mount Rigi by cog wheel railway
  • GRJ Swiss Travel Card, permitting 50% discounted fares on free days for rail, boat and most mountain railway journeys
  • Included Lucerne Travel Card for free Lucerne transport

Not Included

  • Flights and Airport transfers


Dimitri Zgonis
Vaugnel Fletcher
Leisurely Lake Lucerne

Breathtaking Alpine scenery, enchanting Swiss towns and extraordinary mountain railways


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