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Grand Tour Of Switzerland

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Journey through the heart of the Alps on this grand tour of majestic Switzerland

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2019 Tour code: SGJ19

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Zurich

After meeting at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International, we board the Eurostar to Paris. After arrival in the French capital, we continue by TGV into Switzerland, bound for the city of Zurich. Here, we check into our overnight hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Eurostar
Day 2 - Zurich to St Gallen

This morning we travel to the town of St Gallen. We enjoy a guided tour of charming St Gallen, taking us through the pretty Old Town quarter, lined with brightly painted windows. The Old Town, which is entirely traffic-free, is full of fashionable boutiques and cosy cafés. We pay a visit to the Abbey of Saint Gall, with its world-famous library. This fascinating landmark has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Later, we board the Pre-Alpine Express for a scenic ride through the verdant Swiss countryside to Lucerne. Starting in St Gallen, we cross into the rolling hills of Canton Appenzell, via the Sitter Viaduct, the highest railroad bridge in Switzerland. The train slowly makes its way through the rolling hills and picturesque towns and the panoramic windows give you wonderful views of the scenery en-route. In Lucerne, we stay at the Hotel Seeburg.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Abbey of Saint Gall
Day 3 - Swiss Transport Museum

Today we enjoy a guided tour of the captivating Swiss Museum of Transport with a specialist guide. Opened in 1959, the museum contains a wide variety of exhibits on all forms of transport, from ships to aircraft. The museum is also, famously, home to EURECA, the 4.5 tonne satellite, one of the few objects to return to Earth from space relatively intact.

The Swiss Transport Museum has many exceptional rail exhibits with many famous engines housed in its halls. Notable examples include what was once the most powerful locomotive in the world - the Landi Locomotive along with one of the first trains to use the Jungfrau Railroad. Also found here is an impressive railroad model of the Gotthard rail route with around 1,148 feet of track

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Swiss Transport Museum
Day 4 - At leisure in Lucerne

You are free to explore Lucerne at your leisure today. Lucerne is one of Europe's prettiest cities; perhaps you could take a stroll through the cobbled streets and squares of the city, past ornate churches and medieval buildings with painted façades and the famous Kapellbrücke, a 14th century covered bridge. Lucerne is also surrounded by wonderful scenery, the shimmering waters of Lake Lucerne ever present - you could consider exploring further afield by rail.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Lake Lucerne
Day 5 - Rail to Lugano

This morning we journey to Lugano by regional rail along the route of the Gotthard Panorama Express, through wonderful Swiss valleys and into the region of Canton Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. This excellent stretch of railroad takes in the best of this verdant region, offering views of white-capped peaks and mossy pine forests.

The train climbs up to a height of 3,608 feet, passing through the 19th century Gotthard Tunnel, a 9 mile tunnel hewn through the looming Alps mountain range. We emerge from the darkness on the southern side of the Alps, in southern Switzerland, and continue down to Lugano, where we check into the De La Paix.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Lugano
Day 6 - Exploring Lugano

Today is free to explore the picturesque city of Lugano, which sits on the Swiss- Italian border. Known as the 'Monte-Carlo of Switzerland', the city has a wealth of historic buildings and museums to explore.

Lugano's scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Its namesake, the Lake Lugano is a glorious stretch of water in a glacial lake, populated by white sailing boats which navigate the impressive hills and lakeside towns. The town itself is an elegant and prosperous offering, with a charming promenade stretching along the lake, populated by restaurants providing both Swiss and Italian food.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Lake Lugano
Day 7 - Bernina Express to St Moritz

We travel by postbus to Tirano, where we join the Bernina Express for our journey northwards to St Moritz, passing mighty glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The line is over 100 years old, and has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status due to its incredible feats of engineering, and to acknowledge the stunning scenery it passes through. The crisp beauty of the Swiss Alps is made all the more special by the panoramic windows of our carriages, allowing us near-perfect views of the spiky trees and towering mountains. The Bernina pass is a highlight of this route. With three lakes at its heart, and bordered by various ancient peaks, this is an excellent example of Alpine majesty. The group stay in Celerina.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Bernina Express
Day 8 - Celerina at leisure

Today you are free - perhaps make use of your included St Moritz Travel Card, and make the journey by rail to scenic St Moritz. You may wish to ascend the Diavolezza at 3,039 metres by cable car, which boasts stunning views over the surrounding peaks, before making your way round to the Morteratsch Glacier.

Includes
  • Breakfast
St Mortiz
Day 9 - The Glacier Express to Zermatt

This morning we board the world famous Glacier Express at St Moritz, bound for Zermatt. The train passes through stunning mountain scenery as we make our way along the Rhine Valley on the slowest express train in the world. Enjoy lunch on board as we wind left and right, ascending the Oberalp Pass before we make our final ascent into Zermatt, looping and spiralling past small village communities, to reach the spectacular sight of the titled Matterhorn. This is one of the most recognisable mountains in Switzerland, mostly thanks to its instantly identifiable pyramidal shape as it rises above the town below.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Glacier Express
Day 10 - Discover Zermatt

You can explore the pretty village of Zermatt today. You may like to board the Gornergrat railroad, which travels from the resort of Zermatt up to the summit of the Gornergrat, which, at 3,089 metres, is Europe's highest open-air cogwheel railroad. The line opened in 1898 and was the first of its kind in the country. The final destination and summit offering sumptuous views across the magnificent Alpine range.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Gornergrat railroad
Day 11 - To Bern, & onwards to Basel

This morning we walk to the station for our onward journey to Bern. Upon arrival, we enjoy a guided tour of Switzerland's capital. Our tour explores the main sights in this historic city, including the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town and the elaborate Zytglogge, or Time Bell, a Gothic clock tower complete with moving puppets. The city also contains a wealth of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, including the famous 'Ogre Fountain' found in the Old Town. We then return to the station and continue on to Basel. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner here for our final night in Switzerland.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Bern
Day 12 - Homeward bound

From Basel, we travel by high-speed TGV to the French capital, where we join the Eurostar for the journey back to London St Pancras International, where your tour concludes.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal
Eurostar