Bountiful Beauty: Discover Italy, Switzerland & France Tour

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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

France, Italy, Switzerland
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Places Visited:

Milan, Lake Maggiore, Stresa, Lucerne, Bern, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Thun, Brienz, Piz Gloria, Jungfraujoch, Beaune, Reims, Paris
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Europe is a coveted destination for its well-preserved history, vibrant culture, captivating art, and enchanting cuisine. Your custom tailored tour takes you on an incredible journey through Italy, Switzerland, and France to immerse you in picture perfect panoramas and fairy tale towns. The aroma of Swiss chocolate winds along cobblestone streets as the characters of da Vinci’s Last Supper stare down at you from their position on the wall. The stained glass windows of a 13th-century French Gothic

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Day 1

Milan – Arrive in the Vibrant and Chic Italian City for an Introductory Tour

Milan has a reputation for its fashion and its nightclubs, both always on the cutting edge of their distinct worlds. The splendor of the city runs much deeper than just chic garments and enthusiastic beats, as encapsulated by the remarkable architecture and stunning art museums found all around the city. You will land at Malpensa Airport where your private transfer meets you and settle you into your luxurious hotel near the heart of the city.  With a view of the spectacular Gothic façade of the Cathedral of Santa Maira Nascente, your guide will meet you in the lobby and escort you through the city to explore the history and beauty of Milan that visitors to Italy often overlook.

The Cathedral was erected in the 14th-century but was not complete until the 19th-century under the rule of Napoleon. 135 stone pinnacles top the façade with more than 2,200 marble statues that glint in the sunlight. 15th and 16th-century stained glass windows line the walls of the nave. The tomb of Gian Giacomo Medici was erected in the 16th-century and contains black marble statues that stand beside ornate pillars. The luxury shops and cafes of along the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II frame the Piazza del Duomo. The gallery was erected in the 19th-century and remains the largest shopping arcade in Europe, with a dome rising nearly 160 feet above the mosaic floor.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Dinner

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Day 2

Milan – Explore the Grandeur In and Around Italy’s Second Largest City

In the morning, your guide will meet you at the hotel and lead you to a brick Gothic church known as Santa Maria delle Grazie. The structure was erected in the 15th-century with a gigantic six-sided dome. The interior contains an aroma of myrrh as old sgraffito paintings decorate the dome. An altarpiece depicts the Madonna as your guide leads you through the nave and into the adjoining refectory, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.

The painting encompasses an entire wall of the refectory that depicts Jesus’s last meal with His disciples. Da Vinci rendered each person with realistic detail to turn an often-rendered scene into a dramatic interpretation. The figure of Judas stands small and dark as he reaches his hand forward towards the bread on the table. The windows and figures are grouped in threes, utilizing the mystical number with human characteristics. Outside of the chapel, venture back to Medieval Milan at Piazza dei Mercanti, where the old town hall from the 13th-century hides beneath the towering figures of the city’s high-rise buildings.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Stresa – Discover the Charm of the Borromeo Islands in Lake Maggiore

In the morning, the city returns to its active form as locals board the metro to work, and shops turn on the lights over their fabulous window displays. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you north into the mountains with a stop along the flower-lined promenades and cobalt blue waters of Lake Maggiore. The lake is the largest of Italy’s northern body’s of water with a surface area of 82 square miles. The 13th-century monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso clings to the craggy, tall face of the southeast shore. The aroma of exotic flowers blends with the Mediterranean palms as the sunlight glistens off the surface water.

You will board a small boat and venture to Isola Bella, one of three Borromean Islands, and home to the stunning 17th-century villa in which Count Vitaliano Borromeo resided. Napoleon and wife Josephine stayed at the palace in the late 18th-century, along with Prince Charles and Princess Diana in the 1980s. The gardens contain more than ten terraces that climb up and down the hillside that frames the Baroque palace façade. In the summer, the family that owns the villa resides in the second and third stories and allow you to wander through the first floor. The ceiling in the Salone Grande rises to 75 feet tall and contains a 200-year old wooden model depicting the island and the villa. The Picture Gallery has preserved paintings by master artists, including Titian and Jose Ribera.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 4

Lucerne – Full Day Tour of the Medieval Splendors of Lucerne, Switzerland

The bright colors of the blossoming flowers across Stresa and the Borromeo Islands reflect in the calm water of Lake Maggiore. The Monte Mattarone Cable Car ferries people to the peak of Monte Mattarone at 4,891 feet above sea level to provide a spectacular view of the Borromeo Islands and an easy connection to the Alpine Gardens, which contain more than 2,000 species of mountain flora. After breakfast, your private transfer will escort you into Switzerland, through the mountain passes and into the Medieval city of Lucerne. The waters of the Reuss River and Lake Lucerne run alongside the city as the mountains encircle the lakeshores with their snow-capped peaks glinting in the sunlight.

Your guide will meet you at the hotel and lead you on an engaging tour of the cobbled streets around the vibrant and historical city. The aroma of spruce wood emanates from the old bridges. The Chapel Bridge was erected in the 14th-century and is one of the oldest covered wooden bridges on the European continent. The 17th-century triangular roof panels depict scenes from Swiss history and local mythology. Adorning the bridges are the coats of arms that highlight the donors who funded the artwork as the Medieval walls continue to protect Lucerne from outside forces with nine towers that soar above the streets. At dusk, the fading light shines a golden hue across the wooden bridges as the scent of chocolate drifts across the cobblestone.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Lucerne – Venture to the Summit of Rigi Mountain to Pilatus Peak

In the morning, the scent of hot chocolate lingers in the celebrated cafes of Old Town. The stone sculpture of the lion at the Lion Monument shines in the passing sunlight. Today, your guide will lead you along the lakeshore to visit the villa of the famous 19th-century composer, Richard Wagner. The structure now houses a museum dedicated to the artist and his collection of historical instruments, which has stood on display since the 1940s. The majority of the collection was moved to Willisau in 2009. The surrounding meadow accentuates the beauty of the villa, providing a beautiful view of the water and the nearby mountains.

The villa itself contains lavish chandeliers and bright natural light. Letters and musical scores offer insight into the thought process of the notable composer, situated near items of clothing and pieces of lavish furniture. After exploring the museum, board the world’s steepest cog railway to reach the top of Pilatus peak at nearly 6,900 feet above sea level. The cool, crisp air bites at your cheeks as the viewing platform provides an immaculate view of Switzerland, from the glistening lakes below to the sporadic forests edging the granite mountain summits.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Interlaken – Relish Enchanting Swiss Landscape on a Scenic Train Ride

In the morning you will leave behind the gorgeous sites of Lucerne for the staggering mountaintops of the Swiss Alps in the gorgeous region of Berner Oberland, in the town of Interlaken. An area of nearly 35 acres that once stood as an Augustinian convent, there is now an avenue that runs between the east and west rail stations that are lined with blossoming flowers and a spectacular view of the Jungfrau peak. Cafes set tables out along the walkway where locals and visitors sip refreshing cups of rich coffee. Your guide will lead you outside of Interlaken to the Valley of 72 Waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley as gigantic rock faces line the lush meadow floors for more than half a mile.

The limestone walls glint in the sunlight beneath the peaks of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. Staubbach Falls trundles over the cliff outside of Lauterbrunnen village at a height of 984 feet to make it the second highest waterfall in the country. When the breeze blows, the mist is carried over the foothills and forest. Continue to the incredible Trummelbach Falls, situated within the rock face. Glacial meltwater feeds the waterfall, which has carved a network of chutes into the granite. An elevator takes you to the upper walkways as the lower levels open into a cavern. The thunderous sounds of the water echo off the walls as the falls corkscrew down the mountainside with visible twists and turns.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Transfer

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Breakfast

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Day 7

Interlaken – Delight in a Panorama while Touring the Jungfraujoch Massif

In the morning, make your way to the foothills of the Schilthorn as a natural terrace overlooks the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The 19th-century town of Murren has the natural Swiss charm that emanates from the traditional half-timbered architecture and soaring snow-capped peaks. The scent of the alpine meadows sweeps across the countryside as cows graze on the verdant grass. A cable car takes visitors into the city to pass waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, and quiet farms before reaching the heart of town.

After you visit the enchanting town and enjoy the rich aroma of fresh hot chocolate, board the cogwheel train to the top of Jungfraujoch, often referred to as, “The Roof of Europe.” The train travels a six-mile loop through a long tunnel, and the window offers your first panorama of the meadows that lead to the rugged outcroppings and bleached peaks of the snowy mountain. The pure beauty of the landscape is breathtaking, but the views only get better as you reach Kleine Scheidegg at more than 6,750 feet above sea level.

The railway continues to climb to the Eiger Glacier station at and travel through the long tunnel, which open to sporadic vistas before you arrive at Jungfraujoch, located at 11,000 feet above sea level. You will have an unadulterated view of the ice stream, which travels for more than 13 miles across the stunning landscape. The mountain peaks spread across the horizon painted white with snow as the breeze carries the cold, clean mountain air across your cheeks. If you want to get closer to the ice, you can wander into the Ice Palace, a series of tunnels and galleries carved into the glacier.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Beaune – Visit Switzerland’s Capital City en route to Beaune, France

Today you will leave behind the swelling mountain peaks at the heart of the Swiss Alps in exchange for the rolling hills and luscious vineyards around Beaune, France the capital of Burgundy. En route you will stop in the Swiss capital city of Bern, a picturesque city that makes you feel as though you have stepped into a storybook. Old Town rises above the Aare River with captivating red-tiled roofs, and 16th-century fountains depict regional mythological characters. The aromas of rich chocolate and marzipan emanate from the many confectionaries along the cobblestone streets.

You can stroll beneath the nearly four miles of covered arcades and hide from the crowds in the historic cellar bars. The Zytglogge is the most famous site of the city as the 12th-century clock tower was once connected to the city’s western gate. At four minutes before the hour, the figures inside the clock begin to move, ticking the time away before the bells peal through the city. Legend states that the antique clock helped Einstein revise his theory of relativity. After your tour, continue to the charming Medieval city of Beaune.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Reims – Enjoy a Half-Day Wine Tour before Reaching Reims in Champagne

The quiet streets of Beaune meander beneath the soaring 13th and 14th-century tower at the Place Monge, the central square in town. The Medieval charity hospital of the Hotel-Dieu contains Flemish and Gothic half-timbered buildings with colorful geometric patterned roof tiles. After breakfast, leave the charms of Beaune behind for the enchanting flavors of the Route des Grands Cru. The trail travels a length of forty miles and encompasses numerous wine villages that rise out of the vineyards. The aroma of rich earth and lush vines spreads across the hills as verdant trees shape clusters of forest across the landscape.

Medieval villages with stone churches stand beneath granite cliffs as old cellars and winegrowers’ homes hide in the expansive vines. At Gevrey-Chambertin, you can stroll through the Medieval castle estate that covers more than 1,000 acres from the luxurious galleries in the grounds to the beautiful vines. Your guide will lead you to the cellar where barrels of wine fill the dim and cool gallery beneath the vaulted ceilings. The musty aroma has a hint of sweetness from spilled wine over the years. Sample a glass of Grand Cru and enjoy the aromas of blackcurrant and licorice that rise from the glass. Sip the wine and let the strong, earthy flavor linger on your palette before you travel to Reims near Paris.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 10

Paris – Travel to Paris and Depart for Home

The city of Reims embodies the best of big city splendor with elegant small town charm. Your tour of the city has you following in the footsteps of the French monarchy, specifically in the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims. The Gothic architecture marks the heart of the city where the French kings were once crowned. The interior contains the sacred monument of the 5th-century church where the first Frankish King Clovis was baptized.  The interior nave has a vault reaching 125 feet high with a flurry of sculpted angels that hide in the flying buttresses. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to Charles de Gaulle International Airport for your flight home. You could always extend your time in France and enjoy the splendor of Paris for a few days, or travel northbound to Normandy.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Witness the stunning artistry and giant proportions of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper in Milan
  • Discover the natural wonder of glacial waterfalls that cascade down massive granite cliffs in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland
  • Travel along Switzerland’s steepest cogwheel train to the vista of Jungfraujoch at 11,000 feet above sea level for a pristine view of the Alps
  • Relish the charm and beauty of the medieval bridges, walls, and architecture of Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Relax with an enchanting exploration of the wine trails along the Route des Grands Cru outside of Beaune, France
  • Immerse yourself in the majesty of French kings as you visit the lavish Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims
  • Wander through the grandiose gardens and opulent 17th-century villa of the Borromeo family on a series of private islands in Lake Maggiore
  • Gain new perspective on opera and the operatic composer Richard Wagner during your visit to his holiday villa outside Lucerne 
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Detailed Description

The histories and cultures of Italy, Switzerland, and France share common borders and unique connections that span the Alps. Your 10-day tour encompasses the beauty of the mountain scenery and the vast vineyards, along with the splendor of unique art and architecture that pepper the cities and countryside. Your tour begins with your arrival in the fast-paced city of Milan, Italy. Your private transfer will escort you to your luxurious hotel where your guide will meet you for an introductory tour that follows the fashion icons and stylish cafes down the streets until you reach the Gothic cathedral. Next day, your guide will take you on an exploration of Milan, from the fortresses and castles in and around the city to witnessing the da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, in an unassuming 15th-century church.

Venture next into the mountains on the shores of Lake Maggiore as this beautiful body of water crosses the border into Switzerland. Enjoy a cruise around the lake and a visit to the luxurious villas on the Borromeo Islands, home to colorful gardens and ornately decorated galleries. Then, wave goodbye to Italy and cross into Switzerland for the medieval city of Lucerne. Discover the character of the streets on a walking tour to find defensive walls and preserved antique wood bridges. Follow the trails around the lakeshore the following day to visit Richard Wagner’s former villa and current museum before traveling by cogwheel train to the peak of Mount Pilatus.

Move on to a scenic train ride across the Swiss Alps to Central Switzerland in the Berner Oberland region. Relax in the gorgeous town of Interlaken and explore the Valley of 72 Waterfalls to witness the natural beauty around the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Visit the tranquil villages set amidst the rolling mountain peaks before you travel to the Jungfraujoch, a vista that offers a view of an expansive glacier and the mountains of Switzerland. Cross the border into France and stop in the capital city of Bern, Switzerland en route for a tour of the old streets and storybook ambiance.

In the afternoon you will stroll along the cobblestone walkways of Beaune in Burgundy, France for a spectacular introduction to the region and its culture. Begin with a fabulous exploration of the Route des Grands Cru, the famous wine trail of Burgundy. When you reach Reims in Champagne, take the remainder of the day to discover the opulence and wonder of the city, including the Cathedral at which former French monarchs received coronation. To conclude, your private transfer will escort you to Paris and the Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home. Extend your vacation in Europe and spend extra time indulging in the splendor of Paris or the history of Normandy. 

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Starting Price

$3155 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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