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Lakes and Mountains of Switzerland and Italy

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4.5 stars(10 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover lakes, stunning mountain scenery and railways

12 days Not yet on sale

2023 Tour code: SYG23

About the tour

Experience life beside the shores of Lake Lucerne and Como as we explore incredible mountain scenery by rail. Sample Swiss wine, cheese and chocolate before heading south to visit an Italian villa and journey on the Bernina Express.

Highlights

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What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Vevey

From London St Pancras, we take the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by rail to Vevey for three nights. Set on the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by mountains, Vevey is considered the 'Pearl of the Swiss Riviera'. While we're here you might enjoy a stroll along the palm and cypress tree-lined promenade, which runs to neighbouring Montreux and Château de Chillon.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Les Pléiades

Today takes us by cog railway to Les Pléiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, a peak in the country's Prealp mountain range. During springtime, the route is lined with pretty daffodil fields. At the summit, we stop for lunch and sample traditional Swiss rösti, a dish of shredded potato that's fried until crisp and golden. You are free to visit the open-air exhibition at the mountain top, which celebrates the wonders of our solar system.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 - Lavaux vineyards

We travel to Cully, in the well-known Lavaux wine-growing region, where verdant vineyards rise from the lake. We enjoy a tour of the grape vines from aboard the charming Lavaux Express, a tractor-pulled road train that winds through the terraced vineyards and surrounding villages. Back at the winery, we enjoy a talk from the owner before tasting the excellent locally-produced wines with refreshments.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – The GoldenPass Train and Lucerne

We join the GoldenPass train to Interlaken, travelling in Belle Époque style, for a journey filled with views of vineyards and orchards, traditional chalets and dramatic peaks. Along the route we see the Giessbach Falls, the Brünig Pass and the serene Alpnachersee. We transfer to Lucerne for three nights, a German-speaking town famous for its frescoed Kapellbrücke. On arrival, we set out on a walking tour with chocolate and cheese tastings - two of Switzerland's most popular, and delicious, exports.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Lucerne

With a free day, you may like to explore Lucerne or the local area using your Swiss Travel Card. Set on the shores of Lake Lucerne at the foot of the Swiss Alps, Lucerne is the gateway to central Switzerland and there are spectacular views from every area of the city. With its ornate churches, cobbled streets, and charming Old Town, Lucerne is rich in history. Decorated houses with frescoes surround the picturesque town squares, circled by remnants of the old town walls. The 17th century Jesuit church is regarded as Switzerland's first Baroque building and the twin towers of the Hofkirche form an integral part of the townscape.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Mount Rigi Mountain Railway

We board a boat for a scenic sailing to Vitznau. From here, we join the Mount Rigi Mountain Railway, the first mountain railway in Europe. We travel to Rigi Kulm, the highest point of Mount Rigi, where we're rewarded with views of vast lakes and mountaintops. The scenery here is world-renowned and the British painter, J M W Turner, was inspired to produce over 30 sketches of the mountain's idyllic location, nestled between Lakes Zug, Lucerne and Lauerz.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – The William Tell Express

We sail across Lake Lucerne by steam boat to Fluelen, where we board the William Tell Express. The train climbs into stunning Swiss countryside, and we view the passing scenery from our panoramic windows. As we travel, frosty mountains are replaced by the pretty promenades of the Italian Lake District. After emerging from the Gotthard tunnel we arrive in Lugano in Southern Switzerland, where we are transferred by coach to Cadenabbia, beside Lake Como, our home for the next four nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Lake Como

Enjoy a free day getting to know the area around Cadenabbia. Located in the foothills of the Italian and Swiss Alps, beautiful Lake Como is Italy's deepest lake. Set within picturesque scenery - where steep rugged mountains rise from the water's edge - for centuries, the region has been a popular destination for Italians escaping the heat of the cities. As a result, many historical neoclassical villas stud the shores, such as Villa Carlotta and Villa D'Este. After a morning of exploration, you may like to try some of Italy's legendary cuisine. Besides pizza and pasta, you'll find other local specialities in the cafés and restaurants here.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 - Villa Balbianello

Cruising to Lenno, we visit Villa Balbianello for a guided tour of this elegant 18th-century mansion. This cinematic villa has been used in the Star Wars and James Bond films, thanks to its sophisticated façade and beautiful terraced gardens. After seeing the villa's sumptuous interiors and beautiful Italianate grounds, there is free time to explore Lenno, where you'll find many charming cafés and historic churches.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – The Bernina Express

We enjoy a trip on the Bernina Express to glamorous St Moritz. This narrow-gauge train travels from pretty northern Italy to the snow-capped Alps of Switzerland. As we travel, look out for the ancient Palü Glacier, on the Swiss-Italian border, and soak up the views from the Birsio Circular Viaduct before we cross the Bernina Pass and arrive in St Moritz. Here, there's free time to grab a coffee in a chic café or browse the exclusive boutiques. We make the return journey by coach, pausing in the beautiful mountain town of Chiavenna along the way.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 – Turin

Departing Cabenabbia, we travel by coach to Milan, continuing by rail to Turin for an overnight stay.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 – London

We catch the train to Paris after a final breakfast together. In the French capital, we join the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, Cadenabbia di Griante

Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, Cadenabbia di Griante

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Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne

Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne

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Astra Hotel, Vevey

Astra Hotel, Vevey

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The GoldenPass Line
Gotthard Panorama Express
Mount Rigi Mountain Railway

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 10 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (6)
  2. 4 stars
    (3)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

customer

3 stars

Submitted 25/Sep

Wonderful scenery and excellent trips. Hotels were very good bar Grand Hotel Europe where food was poor, all in all excellent organisation

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Joe Bannister

5 stars

Submitted 24/Sep

Friendly group really well organised holiday and great fun

Collected by Trustpilot

P Longden

5 stars

Submitted 19/Sep

Great tour with stunning scenery. Tour manager was excellent making sure excursions ran smoothly. Hotels in Vevey and Cadanabbia were excellent but whilst hotel in Lucerne was good, it was let down by a poor breakfast experience.

Collected by Trustpilot

Janet Taylor

4 stars

Submitted 16/Jul

Excellent train trips, wonderful scenery. A good mix of tours and free time. Second hotel was not up to Great Rail standards. Superb tour manager and a great group of fellow travellers. Highly recommended on the whole.

Collected by Trustpilot

MICHAEL

5 stars

Submitted 12/Jul

Excellent holiday, good food, fantastic scenary, well organised.

Collected by Trustpilot

Charles Binet

4 stars

Submitted 11/Jul

Great train journeys with some amazing views a little too much free time and choice of hotel in Lucerne not good

Collected by Trustpilot

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Lakes and Mountains of Switzerland and Italy

Discover lakes, stunning mountain scenery and railways

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Lynne Broadley
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