Unrivaled Luxury with Unbridled Time: Switzerland & Northern Italy Tour

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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

Italy, Switzerland
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Places Visited:

Lausanne, Interlaken, Lucerne, Lake Como, Lavaux Wine Region, Geneva, Berne, Bellinzona, Gruyeres
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Let the luxury of Switzerland embrace you like the comforts of a soothing mountain breeze on warm summer’s day. From the dramatic view of the sky-piercing Alps to the indulgent flavors of a hidden wine region, Benedictine monasteries continue to decorate the city skyline with vibrant spires and crystal clear lakes reflect the candy-colored facades of old homes. Delight in the beauty and history of the mountains. Listen to the folklore and stroll along the ramparts of medieval castles. Treat yourself

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Lausanne – Arrive in Geneva and Transfer to Lausanne for a Half-Day Tour

Your flight will descend into the Geneva airport, and your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim to escort you around the edges of Lake Geneva to the city of Lausanne. The streets and buildings rise along the hills as the waters of the lake glisten in the sunlight. Snow-capped peaks tower above the lakeshore opposite side the city as Lausanne combines a dynamic commercial industry with the charms of a lakeside resort. After checking in to your hotel, your guide will meet you in the lobby to take you on a private introductory tour of the city.

The grand Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame dominates the historic center. The edifice was erected between the 12th and 13th-centuries over the remnants of previous churches. The cathedral retains its historic elegance and captivates visitors with its striking entrance at the south end. The originally painted statues depict Jesus and the Virgin Mary, along with various biblical scenes. The rose window contains 105 panels of colorful stained glass. In the evening, a night watchman calls out the hour between 10 pm and 2 am, a tradition spanning more than 600 years.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 2

Lausanne – Discover Culture in Lavaux Wine Region and Chateau de Chillon

In the morning, the sunlight peeks over the hilltops and washes over the Place de la Palud, the 9th-century medieval market square. The 17th-century town hall borders the plaza to overlook a column topped by a justice who wears a brightly painted blue dress. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel for your full day tour outside of Lucerne at Chateau de Chillon before you reach the sensational Lavaux wine route, home to nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards. Begin your journey in the town of St. Saphorin, the gateway to the wine road.

Narrow alleys wind through the city and lead to the town square. Locals linger in the bistros to sip wine and watch passersby. The aroma of fresh cakes and tarts drift from the kitchen to highlight the French influence on the region. Your guide will explain that part of the charm of Lavaux is not just looking at the landscape, but also tasting it.

Explore the grounds of a vineyard known for its numerous terraces that give texture to the hillside and lead towards Lake Geneva. Each slope can hold up to 40 terraces, and the golden vines stretch along the hillsides and glint in the sunlight. Sit at an outdoor table to absorb the scenery as the hills meet the lakeshore as you sip your glass of Dezaley grand cru, a grape magnified by the alpine sunlight. Find a surprising hint of aniseed on the nose with a balanced complexity of tannins on your palate.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Lausanne – Venture to Gruyeres and Geneva for a Spectacular Full Day Tour

In the morning, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee emanates from the corner stores on the cobblestone streets and drifts out of the celebrated cafes which display their quality cakes and pastries along the counter. After breakfast, venture outside of Lausanne once more to visit the town of Gruyeres and the city of Geneva. In Gruyeres, find a small hilltop village known for its famous cheese. Walking through the streets, you will also find the aroma of decadent chocolate wafting through the streets produced by the local chocolate factory. The medieval castle of Chateau de Gruyeres crowns the hillside with rooms full of exhibits that reflect on its 800-year history.

Continue to a 17th-century mountain dairy southwest of the village, located at an elevation of more than 3,600 feet above sea level. The chalet sits at the mountain’s base surrounded by lush grass and alpine forest. Your guide will take you on a tour of the cheese production factory after looking along the trails outside of the chalet to see the cows that graze on the herbs, grass, and wildflowers. Back inside, watch the workers stir the boiling vats of milk to separate the liquid from the curds. Each movement is explained before you make your way to a tasting room to sample the famous cheese produced by the hut since the 17th-century.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Interlaken – Enjoy the Capital of Berne en route to Scenic City of Interlaken

The steps above Place de la Palud lead to the main door of the Cathedral, which overlooks a terrace. The connecting steps were constructed in the 13th-century, and 16th-century buildings line the steps to shape the stunning ascent, made while you catch drifts of the aroma of fresh coffee and hot chocolate. After breakfast,  leave Lausanne behind for the beautiful streets of Interlaken, often referred to as the “Gateway to Berner Oberland.” En route to the city, you stop in Bern, Switzerland’s capital city.

The city stands atop a sandstone ridge that is surrounded on three sides by the Aare River. It feels more like a small town akin to the countryside than the country’s capital. A series of high-level bridges connect the old town streets to the contemporary neighborhoods on the right bank. Red-tiled roofs stand out against the aquamarine waters that flow beneath the arched bridges. You could easily spend days strolling along the cobblestone streets of Old Town to people watch at the Zytglogge, the clock tower, as it chimes near the former lining of the city’s medieval western gate.

The Kindlefresserbrunnen is one of the 11 decorative 16th-century fountains that depict regional folklore.  As you walk through the city, you will find the terrifying fountain of a giant ogre that snacks on children along the Marktgasse Plaza. The Berner Munster Gothic Cathedral was erected in the 15th-century and has a lofty tower that reaches a height of 328 feet above the street. The 344 steps along the spiral staircase take you to the top of the tower for a marvelous view of the entire capital and countryside.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Interlaken – Traverse the Swiss Alps on Trains around Berner Oberland

In the morning, wake up in the chic comfort of Interlaken’s lakeside resort ambiance. Mountain vistas tower above the streets and chandeliers dangle from the vaulted ceilings of your hotel to imitate the lofty heights of the encircling peaks. The Hoheweg spread across 34-acres that blossom with tulips and wildflowers. The former Augustinian convent became a string of hotels in the 1860s and stretches across a remarkable avenue within view of the Jungfrau massif. Venture into the alpine peaks to experience the grandeur of the mountains.

Outside of Interlaken’s Ost railway station, you will find a rack-railroad that has ferried passengers to the top of Schynige Platte since the late 19th-century. An alpine garden with more than 600 species of flowers will greet you with a herbaceous aroma. Outside the garden, you have a pristine panoramic view of the Alps as thy spread across Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau peaks. The emerald trees carpet the undulating foothills as granite protrudes sporadically from the blanketing greenery. The turquoise glacial waters of Lake Thun glow like a precious stone amidst the rising snowcapped mountaintops.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Lucerne – Travel to Lucerne and Explore the Highlights of Old Town

The beauty of the Jungfrau massif emanates from the shimmering snow in the sunlight and the charming villages around the high-altitude plains. In the morning, you will find the aroma of delicious hot chocolate refreshing. Waterfalls trundle down the mountainside more than 300 feet all around Interlaken to splash across jagged edges and over various tiers. Giessbach Falls cascades down 14 stages en route to Lake Brienz, to spray mist across the viewing platforms. After breakfast, you will travel to the charming city of Lucerne. Your guide will greet you at the hotel and escort you through the city’s enchanting history.

The preserved medieval core of the city highlights the antique buildings and a jovial atmosphere. The Benedictine monastery of St. Loedegar was erected in the 8th-century and contains a façade of 16th-century twin towers. The 14th-century town walls continue to defend the north side of the old city as the Zyt tower, one of the nine constructed through history, chimes hourly, precisely one minute before the city’s other clocks peal. You will end your tour at the Lion Monument, which was erected in the 19th-century and commemorates the Swiss officers who perished while defending King Louis XVI at the beginning of the French Revolution. The touching monument shows a lion pierced by a spear, settling over a broken shield, decorated with the fleur-de-lis.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Lucerne – Cruise Lake Lucerne and Venture to the Mount Pilatus’s Peak

Today you will brave the foothills outside of Lucerne on a funicular to climb to the heights of Mount Pilatus’s peak. Begin the day at a local watchmaker’s workshop to learn the secrets of making a celebrated Swiss watch. The master watchmaker introduces you to the history of the profession, which began to boom in Geneva in the 16th-century. Goldsmiths used their skills to craft watches after laws were passed to restrict displays of wealth, including jewelry. The watchmaker shows you the various components, from the instruments to the gears, which make up a watch. You choose the colors, dial, hands, and strap to give your forthcoming watch a personal touch. By the end of the tour, you will have a stunning, personalized Swiss watch for you to take home, which will always remind you of Switzerland’s luxuries, Lucerne’s beauty, and the fascinating history of the trade.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Lake Como – Relish the Scenic Drive to Como along St. Gotthard Road Pass

In the morning, take your time to enjoy the indulgent aroma of hot chocolate that seems to greet you every morning. Cinnamon and chocolate dust decorate layers of foam that rise above the sweet and savory drink. After breakfast, wave goodbye to the medieval city and make your way to Lake Como as you cross the Italian border and travel along the scenic route of the St. Gotthard Pass. The road is all switchbacks along the mountainside, and you will pass jagged rock faces and moss covered boulders at an elevation of more than 6,800 feet above sea level. The first road opened along the past in the 1830s and connected Airolo in the region of Ticino.

The road stretches more than 40 miles between the German-speaking Swiss Alps and the Italian speaking villages near Milan. Small lakes glisten in the sunlight, and remote, untouched peaks stare down at the roadway. Stop in the town of Bellinzona, located on the convergence of numerous Alpine valleys. Three gray stone medieval castles overlook the town below with the main castle of Castlegrande standing atop a central hill. The structure was built upon a Roman frontier post and ancient Lombard defensive tower. An elevator buried in the hillside shepherds visitors from the valley floor to the plateau and opens up to a concrete bunker. You can stroll along the circular ramparts for a panoramic view of the craggy mountains streaked with vines.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Lake Como – Half-Day Guided Boat Excursion of Lake Como’s Towns

The city of Como is nestled between the glassy waters of Lake Como and the snowcapped peaks of the Rhaetian Alps. Villages frame the wavy shores of the waterway and look out to Isola Comacina, the single island in the lake’s entire 56 square miles. Porta Pretoria, the old Roman gate, continues to mark the historic center as a showcase of the grid work of the streets as first laid out by the Roman settlement.  After breakfast, step onto a boat at the docks to venture out onto the water to stop and visit the surrounding villages alongside the water’s edge.

Villa Carlotta was erected in the 17th-century and contains a large volume of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries strewn along the opulent interior. The upstairs rooms include period furniture that offers insight to the irresistible luxuries of noble life. You will feel like a royal as you saunter down the polished halls from the Empire Room to Carlotta’s bedroom as the late baroque furniture dates back to the 19th-century and is accentuated by the plaster statue and wooden ceiling. The pink hues of the wall highlight the watercolor portrait of the princess.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 10

Milan – Depart for Home

Como is famous for its beauty and luxury, home to vacationing royalty of independent nations and Hollywood acclaim. In the morning, the sunlight washes over the lake to bring the splendor of the scenery to the surface. Catch a boat across the water to the town of Sorico to stroll along the footpath to the hidden Oratorio di San Fedelino, home to a 1,000-year old fresco of Jesus with his Apostles. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you in the hotel lobby and leads you down the mountains, deeper into Italy, to Maplensa Airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Relish a private moment with a master watchmaker to learn about the history of Swiss watches and design a one-of-a-kind personalized watch
  • Traverse the trails of the Lavaux Wine Region to sample the landscape with its captivating sights and enchanting flavors
  • Learn how cheese makers produce the famous Swiss cheese of the high Alps with a visit to an historical cheese factory near Gruyeres
  • Visit the medieval castle-clad town of Bellinzona located in the Swiss Alps near the border of Italy
  • Witness the inner workings of the celebrated, historic clock tower of Bern, known as the Zytglogge
  • Enjoy the magnificent lakes and mountain peak scenery as you travel along the unique roadway of St. Gotthard Pass
  • View the unique folkloric statues of Bern that depict heroes, historical figures, and villains of regional repute
  • Indulge in the comforts of five-star accommodations and decadent cuisine connecting the heritage of Switzerland with its surroundings 
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Detailed Description

Luxury means privacy, beauty, and opulence during your 10-day tour of Switzerland that takes you across the border to Italy’s Lake Como. The comforts of the Alps begin with your arrival at the Geneva airport as your private transfer meets you near baggage claim to escort you to the city of Lausanne.  Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, settle in at your hotel, and then your guide will lead you on a private tour of the historical resort-style city that is filled with antique beauty and mountainside charm. Next morning, you will venture into the Lavaux Wine Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 800 years of terraced vineyards. Sample the variety of wines and visit the unique castle of Chateau de Chillon, located on a small island in the waters of Lake Geneva.

As your journey continues, you will have a private excursion to the stunning medieval village of Gruyeres. Stroll along the old streets and visit a local cheese factory to learn about the methods used both today and throughout history. You will also have time to explore the fabulous streets of Geneva, one of Switzerland’s largest cities, located on the shores of Lake Geneva. Travel next to Interlaken and stop in the exciting capital city of Bern. A private tour takes you through the old streets that wind along a sandstone hill before it reaches Interlaken. Next day, you will explore the comforts and luxuries of Interlaken with a visit to the stunning historical resorts that overlook the Jungfrau massif. Make your way up to the Schynige Platte peak for a panorama of the mountaintops by way of an unforgettable scenic train ride. Continue to Lucerne and tour the old city with a private guide.

Enjoy a scenic cruise around Lake Lucerne before you visit with a master watchmaker to design, and craft, a personalized Swiss watch. If there is time, you can travel to the top of Mount Pilatus to enjoy the panorama of the Berner Oberland region. Travel next to the St. Gotthard Road Pass that connects Northern and Southern Switzerland. Stop in the villages along the way, including the castle-clad town of Bellinzona before you reach the magnificent Italian city of Como. Indulge in the comfortable grounds of your luxurious accommodation and explore the small towns and fantastic villas around Lake Como. Conclude as your private transfer meets you at the hotel to escort you to Milan at the Malpensa Airport for your flight home. 

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Starting Price

$3365 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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