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Lake Geneva & The Mont Blanc Express

(Tour code: VEL6)Five days of excursions from Lake Geneva

Relax by Lake Geneva and explore the dramatic scenery from our base in the market town of Vevey. Funicular and mountain railways, lake steamers and the excellent rail network bring the sights of the area within easy reach on this leisurely holiday, crowned by a superb journey on the stunning Mont Blanc Express.

Tour Highlights
  • Lakeside Vevey
  • Château de Chillon
  • Gruyères
  • Gstaad
  • Belle Epoque GoldenPass Line train
  • Mont Blanc Express
  • Cruise across Lake Geneva
  • Les Pléiades rack and pinion mountain railway
  • Montreux-Vevey Riviera Card
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 1st & Standard Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Selected Porterage
    Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Vevey
Day 1

London to Vevey

We depart our dedicated departure office at St Pancras International on the Eurostar to Paris. We cross Paris by coach to join the high-speed TGV service to Switzerland in First Class. After changing trains, we travel in Standard Class along the shores of Lake Geneva to Vevey, passing snow-capped mountains, rolling hills and extensive vineyards. Our hotel for seven nights is the Astra Hotel, a short walk from Lake Geneva, with its sweeping promenades and flower displays. Vevey is a genteel market town of Roman origin boasting a medieval Old Town and elegant arcades and squares.

Includes:
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Château de Chillon
Day 2

Excursion to Château de Chillon

Your first morning in Vevey is free to relax, explore the town and perhaps take a gentle stroll alongside the lake. After lunch we enjoy an excursion by trolley-bus to the Château de Chillon, which rises dramatically from the waters of Lake Geneva against a backdrop of breathtaking mountain scenery. We cross the wooden drawbridge and are taken on a guided tour of the 13th century Gothic château, considered to be one of Europe's best-preserved medieval castles. We discover the magnificent baroque architecture as we wander through the main rooms in the medieval castle before our return journey to Vevey.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Château de Chillon
Golden Pass Line
Day 3

Through the Golden Pass

Today's excursion begins with a short coach ride to Gruyères, famous for its cheese production. The picturesque medieval town, which has been wonderfully preserved and retains its medieval charm, sits amidst the majestic Swiss Alps. We enjoy a tasting of the cheese at the Maison du Gruyère, followed by free time to explore this pretty town with its medieval hilltop castle - a fairytale building with high walls and turrets which is now a museum showcasing 800 years of the region's architecture, history and culture. We continue by coach to the chic resort of Gstaad, a picturesque town located between four sloping valleys and surrounded by towering peaks. Renowned as one of the most exclusive and luxurious ski resorts in the world, Gstaad is filled with traditional Swiss chalets, exclusive shops dotted along the promenade and an array of excellent restaurants. We board the vintage GoldenPass Line train for the scenic rail journey (in Standard Class) to Montreux. We travel in comfortable Belle Epoque-style carriages, based on the original 1930's Golden Mountain Pullman Express. As we travel, relax and admire the views of majestic snowcapped mountain peaks and deep, river-filled valleys as the train descends slowly through vineyards and country estates towards the waters of Lake Geneva. The train arrives into Montreux, from where we return to Vevey.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Gruyères excursion
  • Gstaad excursion
  • The GoldenPass Line
Lake Geneva
Day 4

A day at leisure

Today is market day, which is an ideal opportunity to spend some time browsing around the colourful lakeside stalls, laden with fresh produce and delicious local delicacies. Alternatively, enjoy the scenery, perhaps by taking a journey along Lake Geneva to one of the lakeside towns or cities. Perhaps make a stop in Yvoire, a medieval town on the southern shores of the lake, or the fashionable spa resort of Evian-Les-Bains. Perhaps you may wish to take the train to Geneva at the far end of the lake. See the famous water jet on the lake or visit the Old Town. The impressive Cathedral is culturally significant as being the place where John Calvin, the founder of Calvinism, and subsequently Presbyterianism, gave his famous sermons during the 16th century

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Lake Geneva
Day 5

Lake Geneva cruise

This morning we enjoy a leisurely circular cruise around the eastern part of the lake on a wonderful vintage paddle steamer (or small cruise ship depending on departure date). The cruise gives wonderful views of the mountains on both the Swiss and French sides of the lake. On the southern shore of the lake, we stop in the delightful village of St Gingolph with free time to explore the pretty lakeside promenade, port and castle, dating from the 14th century.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lake Geneva cruise
Chamonix
Day 6

To Chamonix on the Mont Blanc Express

Today we enjoy one of the Alps' most exciting railway journeys as we travel on the fabulous Mont Blanc Express - a tourist train designed purely to exploit the region's stunning views and mountain scenery. We begin with a journey around Lake Geneva to Martigny. Here we board the Mont Blanc Express train for the journey to Chamonix. The line climbs serenely as we pass through the lush vineyards covering the hillsides throughout the Rhône Valley. Before long, the line ascends into the mountains, climbing towards the jagged Alpine peaks. The electric train makes its way upwards through the dense forest as the views across the valley become more impressive with every passing minute.The route takes us across the wild Trient Gorge, where water cascades past the flower-filled slopes. The mighty Mont Blanc soon towers above the train and dominates the skyline of the entire Chamonix Valley. We then reach Chamonix, a bustling town which rose in prominence with the opening of the Mont Blanc Express and cemented its place in history as the host of the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924. The town is one of Europe's most picturesque; majestic rock spires and towering peaks dominate the skyline. Chamonix's traffic-free centre has a selection of idyllic boutiques and street cafés, ideal for relaxing with a drink and watching the world pass by. Later we rejoin the Mont Blanc Express for the return journey.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Mont Blanc Express
  • Chamonix
Les Pléiades
Day 7

Excursion to Les Pléiades

We enjoy the rack-and-pinion mountain railway journey up Les Pléiades. Les Pléiades is perched in the hills high above the lake at 4,500 feet (1,372m) and gives spectacular views over the crystal clear blue waters of the lake, the towns and villages dotted along the shore, and the soaring mountain peaks which surround this most beautiful area. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner together in the hotel.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Les Pléiades excursion
Vevey to London
Day 8

Vevey to London

After a short journey to Lausanne in Standard Class, we connect with the high-speed TGV to Paris, travelling in First Class. Passing through the beautiful scenery, we bid farewell to the Swiss countryside as we cross the border into neighbouring France. Upon arrival in the French capital, we cross Paris by coach, and join the Eurostar service to London. At St Pancras International, our journey concludes and you are free to depart at your leisure.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal
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