Grand Alpine Explorer
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT*
Stretching across much of mainland Europe, the wild and rugged Alps are home to some of the world's most magnificent landscapes. On this marvellous tour we discover the incredible attractions in three of the countries around the towering peaks - from the German city of Munich to the beautiful Austrian Lakes and Switzerland's superb mountain railways.
Our adventure begins at St Pancras International, where we meet our group at our dedicated Departure Office, before joining the Eurostar to Brussels. Here we change trains and continue by high-speed rail to Munich where we have a two night stay. Located within sight of the Alps, lively Munich is the capital of Bavaria, as well as one of Germany's best-loved cities.
On Day 2 we discover more of Munich. With a rich culture and heritage, the city has a wonderful collection of museums, galleries and architectural treasures. We enjoy a guided tour to introduce the highlights of the city, before time to explore.
Leaving Munich behind, today we take the train into Austria. We arrive in Salzburg, a city with a wealth of musical heritage, known the world over as the birthplace of Mozart, and the setting for Rogers & Hammerstein's 'The Sound of Music'. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour. Spread out below the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the churches, squares and alleyways of Salzburg's beautiful Old Town are incredibly well preserved, dominated by fabulous Baroque spires, and are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After the tour, you are free to discover more of the city. Later we travel by coach to Lake Traunsee, a spectacular lake which resembles a fjord, for three nights in the lakeside village of Traunkirchen, at the Hotel Post. Day 4 is at leisure.
Today we explore the stunning Austrian Lake District. We head first to the remarkable Kaiservilla, a stately home of Emperor Franz Joseph I, before continuing to Lake Wolfgang where we enjoy a gentle cruise across the serene waters to St Wolfgang, a charming, historic town. We then travel to pretty Mondsee, made famous by the wedding scene of 'The Sound of Music'.
We transfer by coach to Prien am Chiemsee, and cross by boat to the island of Herreninsel, sat proudly across the mirrored waters of Chiemsee. Here there is a chance to visit the remarkable Herrenchiemsee Palace, constructed by the fairytale king, Ludwig II of Bavaria. From here, you could also cross by ferry to another of the smaller islands, which offer some charming views of the mountains beyond. Later, we continue to our next hotel in the timeless surroundings of the famous town of Seefeld, nestled among the peaks.
Today we cross back into Germany, visiting Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The wonderful castles of Bavaria are some of the most famous in the world thanks to their fairytale design, wonderland landscapes and cinematic heritage. Our day today is spent visiting 2 of the finest, beginning at glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. A magnificent structure built into the mountains, it stands proudly above the surrounding forests, its turrets and halls a resplendent white against a backdrop of green. Hohenschwangau is a more laid-back affair, with pretty interiors and wonderful gardens. We also embark on a journey on the cheerful Zugspitze Railway (Standard Class), ascending to the summit of Zugspitze Mountain.
On leaving Seefeld today, our coach cuts through the mighty Alps, which dominate the skyline. We are taken to Innsbruck where we disembark for a guided tour. Afterwards, we board a train and travel alongside the Rhine and its dramatic scenery to Chur. We continue our ascent through the majestic mountain peaks, overlooking the lush meadows running down to the valley floor. We then arrive in the elegant lakeside resort of St Moritz.
Today we take a journey on the superb Bernina Express, which passes glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The railway has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status - as a testament to the incredible engineering that was required to create the line, as well as for the scenery through which it passes. During our journey, we travel across the spiralling viaduct at Brusio. The track clings to the mountainside as we wind our way above deep ravines and past waterfalls to more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Later we arrive in Tirano in Italy. You have some free time in Tirano before our return journey. Day 10 is at leisure.
We take the famous Glacier Express along the iconic route from St Moritz to Brig, enjoying the incredible views through the panoramic windows of our First Class carriage. Our journey takes us through Switzerland's classic landscapes; from jagged mountain peaks to sprawling vineyards and over the famous Landwasser Viaduct. The train climbs steadily and steeply up and over the Oberalp Pass, the peak of the route, and spirals down past little villages before reaching Brig. Here we change trains and travel to Interlaken.
Today we travel to Jungfraujoch (Standard Class) - Europe's highest railway station. Our ascent takes us through ever-changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway for the final leg of the journey. During our time on board, the train pauses at two observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down the valley. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe'. We descend via charming Grindelwald.
Your day is free to spend at leisure in Interlaken. On Day 14, we take the train to Basel, before continuing by high-speed TGV to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar to London.
Please note: One of the excursions on this tour is at high altitude. If you have any medical conditions or concerns that could impact this part of the tour, we recommend you seek medical advice and talk to us. We want to make sure that any holiday you book is right for you.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
NEW FOR 2020: Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
An exciting adventure at the top of Europe