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Festive Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc Express at Christmas

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Celebrate Christmas on stylish Lake Geneva

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2018 Tour code: VEX19

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Day 1 - London to Switzerland by First Class rail

We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Paris, travelling in Standard Premier Class. After crossing Paris by coach, our journey continues by First Class TGV Lyria through France to Lausanne. We change trains and travel along the shores of Lake Geneva to Vevey, where our base for seven nights is the welcoming 4-Star superior Astra Hotel. Vevey is a genteel market town boasting a medieval Old Town, elegant arcades and picturesque squares. As well as being the home of Nestlé, who began manufacturing chocolate here in the 17th century, Vevey is also known for its famous former resident, Charlie Chaplin, whose statue overlooks the lake. 

  • Eurostar Meal, Dinner
Day 2 - Château de Chillon

On our first morning we travel by trolley-bus to the elegant Château de Chillon, which rises dramatically from the waters of Lake Geneva and sits against a backdrop of breathtaking mountain scenery. We cross the wooden drawbridge for a guided tour of the 13th century château, considered to be one of Europe's best-preserved medieval castles and a fine example of early Gothic architecture. Following our visit, we make our way to the delightful stalls of Montreux's fabulous Christmas Market, which line the lake shore and offer a great selection of decorations, gift ideas and local culinary treats. Back at the hotel we are served cakes and mulled wine.

  • Breakfast
Chateau de Chillon
Day 3 - Christmas Eve in Les Diablerets

Our excursion today takes us by narrow-gauge railway from Vevey to a quiet, charming mountain village. The train makes its way up the sweeping, thickly-wooded valley, using horseshoe bends in places to gain height as it climbs through the increasingly dramatic scenery on its way to Les Diablerets. A lovely Alpine village of wooden houses and traditional farm buildings situated high in the mountains, Les Diablerets is an idyllic place that remains popular with visitors. A local guide describes the flora, fauna and geology of the area to us, and takes us on a gentle guided walking tour through the wintry Alpine meadows. Following our walk, we enjoy a fondue lunch in the Auberge de la Poste, a typically welcoming Swiss mountain inn, before we return to Vevey for dinner. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Les Diablerets
Day 4 - To Mont Pèlerin on Christmas Day

Today we enjoy a journey on the Mont Pèlerin Funicular Railway. Departing from Vevey, the line climbs steadily up the mountainside, passing sweeping forests all dusted with snow. We arrive at the summit station, where you can admire the excellent views over your beautiful surroundings, including the mighty Alps and a magnificent panorama of Lake Geneva. After time to explore we descend back to Vevey, where we enjoy a four-course gala Christmas Dinner.

  • Breakfast and 4-course Dinner
View of Lake Geneva
Day 5 - Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Express

Today we enjoy one of the Alps' most exciting rail journeys as we travel on the fabulous Mont Blanc Express - a tourist train that maximises on the region's stunning views and mountain scenery. We begin with a short journey around Lake Geneva to the pretty town of Martigny. Here we board the Mont Blanc Express train for the journey to Chamonix. The line from Martigny climbs serenely as we pass through the pretty vineyards covering the hillsides throughout much of the Rhône Valley. The small electric train then begins its ascent into the mountains, climbing steeply towards the snow-capped Alpine peaks. The train continues effortlessly upwards through the forest; the views becoming increasingly impressive. The route takes us across the wild, rugged Trient Gorge as the train clings to the mountainside, crossing over countless bridges and through dozens of tunnels. In winter, the Trient Gorge is a snow-bound landscape with frozen waterfalls and cosy villages encased by snowdrifts. As we approach Chamonix, the mighty Mont Blanc towers above the train and dominates the skyline of the Chamonix Valley. We then reach Chamonix, a bustling town which became famous with the opening of the Mont Blanc Express and cemented its place in history as the host of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924. Later we rejoin the Mont Blanc Express for the spectacular return journey. 

  • Breakfast
Mont Blanc