Highlights of Switzerland Tour in Seven Days

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Total Trip:

7 Days
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Countries Visited:

Switzerland, Liechtenstein
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Places Visited:

Zurich, Vaduz, Lake Como, Swiss-Italian Lake District, Täsch, Zermatt, Berne, Interlaken, Lucerne, Liechtenstein
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Straddle the fine line between history and contemporary culture with breathtaking mountaintops and shimmering glaciers. Walk alongside buildings erected in the Middle Ages and demarcating ancient Roman walls. Stroll through blossoming rose gardens connected to historic castles with views of the contemporary streets nearby. Stand beneath the looming shadow of the dramatic Matterhorn peak, well exceeding a height of 14,500 feet above sea level.  Your customized Switzerland tour takes you on

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Day 1

Zurich – Arrive in Zurich and Enjoy an Introductory Tour of the Vibrant City

Your flight arrives in Zurich, and you notice the sweep of the plains that surround the city. The red-tiled roofs of the nearby houses shine against lush grass and verdant trees. Your private transfer meets you at baggage claim to escort you into the heart of the city and your luxurious hotel. Zurich maintains a balance of contemporary lifestyle and historical culture as Switzerland’s largest city and reaches an average altitude of 1,339 feet. Artistic college students and chic cafes provide a modern ambiance to the streets. After you settle into the hotel, your guide will meet you in the lobby for an introductory tour of the exciting cityscape that begins in Old Town.

Cobblestone streets wind through the city to reach the banks of the Limmat River. The water rushes along the walls that frame the banks and lead to the mouth of Zurich Lake. Colorful facades line the walkways as church spires create a spiky skyline that imitates the mountain peaks in the distance. At Haus zum Napt, find a traditional house filled with Renaissance style, from the wall finishes to the furniture. Charlemagne originally constructed the twin-towered landmark of the Grossmunster in the 9th-century.  The cathedral mirrors the blue spire of Farumunster from across the river.

Stained glass windows provide colorful light to the interior and tell stories taken from the Bible. Venture to the top of the southern tower for a spectacular view of the city then stroll along the pedestrianized main thoroughfare of Bahnhofstrasse as it stretches from the train station to the lakeshore. The street reaches a length of more than 3,900 feet as fountains trickle in the waning sunlight and trees shade the street and highlight the bright colors of public art that decorate the walls and walkways. The open windows create an artistic ambiance in and of themselves to provide elegant and colorful displays for passersby.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 2

St. Moritz – Relish a Scenic Drive of Lake Zurich and the Rhine Valley

In the morning, the aroma of chocolate and sweet pastry dough winds through the streets of Old Town. A small crowd fills the interior of a famous confectionery eager to sip a decadent hot chocolate and nibble on rich chocolate pralines. Lake steamers crisscross Zurich Lake to offer stunning views of the Glarus Alps that rise above the hills. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and lead you on a scenic drive along the banks of Lake Zurich and Lake Walen. Steep cliffs rise out of the water to reach a height of more than 3,200 feet above sea level.

The roadway opens the rock face on the cliffs and passes through tunnels that provide exceptional views of the emerald water and soaring mountaintops. Reach the city of Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, an independent principality that is landlocked between Austria and Switzerland. The entire country is less than 62 square miles, and the city nestles at the foot of the forested mountains and hugs the banks of the Rhine River. A turreted castle looms over the water to shape the fairytale ambiance of the city and the encompassing landscape.

The city center has a more modern ambiance that emanates from the cube-shaped buildings.  However, traces of the charming village remain in tranquil vineyards that edge the foothills of the Alps. Stop at the Gutenberg Castle, located in the village of Balzers. The preserved fortress was erected in the Middle Ages and stands on a hilltop nearly 230 feet above the valley floor. Peoples have inhabited the promontory since Neolithic times, using the height as an advantage to observe the landscape.

After your stop in Liechtenstein, continue your ascent the Rhein Valley as you pass into the Grisons. Travel along the Julier Pass at an altitude of more than 7,500 feet to follow the Alpine Road that was developed by the Romans. Look out over the Engadin Valley and the town of St. Moritz. The lake shines sapphire blue against the jutting lush mountains, and the pine forests provide a delicate aroma.

The locals speak Romansch, a romance-based language, and one of four recognized national languages in the country.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Lugano – Explore Lake Como and the Lake District en route to Lake Lugano

In the morning, find the scent of decadent hot chocolate blending in with the drifting aroma of the surrounding pine forest.  The region contains 25 crystal clear mountain lakes; each is topped with glistening glaciers and swell with lush trees. From your window,  take in a view of the Piz Languard Mountains to the east and Piz Julier Mountains to the west. A funicular ascends more than one mile into the Corviglia at 8,150 feet above sea level. The mountains undulate across the sky for a sweeping view of the region, topped by Piz Nair, a peak rising to nearly 10,030 feet above sea level.

Your private transfer will meet you after you have had a chance to enjoy the scenery and take you one a scenic drive across the border to luxurious Lake Como. An easy trail meanders around the town. A walkway leads from the train station to the boat landing, which ferries passengers across the water to small, delicate islands and distant, secluded villages. The 14th-century Cathedral overtakes nearly an entire side of Piazza Duomo. The pure Gothic structure has a marble façade detailed with stone carvings and statues. A rose window adorns the edifice above the doorway embellished with carved pinnacles.

The statues around the main door depict Pliny the Elder and Younger, Roman residents who resided near the lake. The interior highlights a polychrome painting that shines with gilded edges. Climb to the top of the 18th-century dome for a view of the lake, the town, and of the stunning landscape. After some time to enjoy the combination of Italian and alpine culture, continue to Lugano in Switzerland. The scent of pine gives way to chestnut groves as vineyards sweep across the hillside. Olive and fig trees dominate the orchards as if you hadn’t seen the glaciers glinting in the sunlight in the morning.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 4

Zermatt – Tour Lake Maggiore and Taste Wines before Arriving in Zermatt

Trains wind through the mountain passes and along the lakefronts as boats traverse the waters to connect the locals from shore to shore. Lugano has a relaxed ambiance in the magnificent setting of blossoming flowers, bustling vineyards, and historical villas. Monte San Salvatore is a summit with an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet above sea level and provides a perfect panorama of the entire Alps. Lake Lugano sweeps across the lower slopes to encase the water as red-tiled roofs speckle the hillside. A funicular carries you from the foothill at Paradiso to the summit.

The promenade of Lugano has vibrant shading trees and a stunning collection of blossoming flowers. The historic 19th-century Villa Ciani contains remarkable art, from paintings to furniture. Gardens and sculptures line the walkway, which also passes the 18th-century Palazzo Riva. Leave the fabulous atmosphere of Lugano behind for the shores of Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy.  Take the short boat ride to Isola Bella, home to Count Vialiano Borromeo in the 17th-century who erected the terraces on the island to build a spectacular summer palace.

The island reaches a length of nearly 1,050 feet and contains a sensational marina for the boat to dock. The small inlet embodies the majesty of the palace and the garden grounds to embrace visitors with grandeur. The palace resembles a Baroque treasure chest, filled with exclusive paintings, delicate furniture, stucco finishes, and elegant marble. The Sala delle Regine contains the heart of the 130 paintings exhibited on the palace walls. The lower floor includes cobblestone shell grottoes shaped with black and white rocks to accentuate and maintain pieces of art.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Lake Geneva – Scenic Tour around the Matterhorn en route to Lake Geneva

Wake up in the tranquil valley of Zermatt, dominated by the looming peak of the famous Matterhorn Mountain. The train ride into town is one of the most scenic rides you could imagine as it takes you along the mountain ridges, through the rugged tunnels, and then opens up into the valley with a fantastic view of the fabled mountaintop. Endless hiking trails wind around the valley and mountains in the summer. In the winter, skiers from around the world arrive to challenge the famous slopes.

You have the majority of the day to enjoy the charms of the alpine village and its breathtaking scenery. The Gornergrat Bahn ascends the summit of the Gornergrat as it travels six miles up the east side of the Nikolai Valley. The tracks curve around the Riffelberg ridge to open to a more impressive view of the Matterhorn. Lake Riffelsee sits at nearly 9,050 feet above sea level and reflects the prominent peak in its tranquil, crystal clear waters as you continue to the summit station at 10,134 feet above sea level.

The air is cold against your cheeks, and you can feel its crispness in your lungs when you breathe. The rocky ridges of Gorner Glacier are visible from the lookout point, and you have an unadulterated view of the Alps, crowned by the Matterhorn at its core. Take the trail back down to Zermatt to extend your time on the mountain with a detour to the Findel Glacier. You will never forget your view of the natural trench dug by the receding river made of ice. When you return to town, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel and escort you to the city of Geneva for the night.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Lucerne – Visit the Berne and a Local Farm before reaching Interlaken

Geneva contains a cosmopolitan ambiance that emanates from the headquarters of international organizations, including the Red Cross. The city edges the border of France and connects to Switzerland by a narrow stretch of land on the northwest shore. Old Town rises above the Rhone River, positioned on the hillside for opulent views of the water that reach the lake. Old steps reach the stunning cathedral as historical buildings absently trace the city’s ancient fortifications. Temple de Saint-Pierre was erected in the 12th-century and stands atop Old Town’s highest point. Gothic features accentuate the age of the town and the structure.

John Calvin started the Calvinist movement with sermons preached inside the cathedral in the 16th-century. The breakwater that encloses Geneva’s harbor contains a mighty jet that soars above the lake surface in a plume arching 475 feet. After your exploration of Geneva, make your way to the town of Interlaken, known for its magnificent landscape along the lake. The Hoheweg is an area of more than seven acres that once belonged to an Augustinian convent, and an avenue runs along the area to provide a view of the Jungfrau mastiff. The mountaintops tower above the city with dramatic grace as flowers grow around the koi pond in the Garden of Friendship.

A funicular takes visitors from the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park to an altitude of 4,337 feet where an Art Nouveau restaurant provides a fantastic panorama of the Jungfrau Massif, along with the shimmering lakes of Interlaken. Ibex roam around the rock faces along the mountainside. Reach Lucerne and settle into a fabulous dinner that combines the regional cuisine with elements of the alpine culture. A yodeler fills the gallery with calls that bounce off the walls as the aroma of puff pastry filled with veal and mushroom drifts from your plate. The elegant, hardy meal, mixed with the happy songs of the mountains, lets you linger in the beauty of Switzerland a little longer.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Lucerne – Half-Day Tour of Lucerne before Departing for Home

In the morning, the scent of fresh coffee and cakes drifts out of a nearby cafe and over the Lake Lucerne. The locally sourced chocolate adds an extra layer of decadence to every pastry and dessert in the café. Venture out on a tour of the city to take in the beauty of Old Town pressed against the reflective waters of the lake. The painted ceiling of Chapel Bridge leads your eye to the skyline of church spires.

The Lion Monument was erected in the 19th-century and dedicated to the Swiss Guards who lost their lives during the French Revolution. A stone lion sits in a crevice carved into the cliff side as a spear protrudes from the lion’s flank as it lies down to cover the shield that bears a fleur-de-lis. The simple and elegant monument captures the sentiment of the countrymen that followed the French Revolution. After your tour of the city, your private transfer will escort you to Zurich International Airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Indulge in a chocolate tasting at a celebrated café and pastry shop in Zurich
  • Explore a medieval castle that overlooks Liechtenstein’s capital city of Vaduz
  • Relish a panoramic view of the famous Matterhorn Mountain from a distinct peak nearby to admire the Alps and the town of Zermatt
  • Enjoy traditional Swiss cuisine during a cultural dinner in the heart of Lucerne
  • Delight scenic train and funicular rides around the steep slopes of the Alps
  • Relish a short boat ride across Lake Maggiore in Italy’s Lake District to visit the galleries and gardens of the historic Palace on Isola Bella
  • Traverse the preserved streets of Old Town in Zurich and Lucerne for a view of the historic architecture and magnificent artwork
  • Walk the trails around Zermatt for a spectacular view of the surrounding glaciers 
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Detailed Description

Give in to the splendor of Switzerland and the beauty of its bordering countries during your 7-day highlights tour of the Alps. You will experience a sensation like never before when within view of the Matterhorn. Historic towns continue to shine with culture and embody the lifestyle of the mountains. Rivers reflect the towering church spires and the indulgent aroma of fresh chocolate seems to fill each city you visit. Your tour begins with your arrival in Zurich as your private transfer meets you at Zurich International Airport to escort you to a luxurious hotel in the heart of the city.

After you settle in, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby for an introductory tour of Old Town and Zurich’s picturesque streets and enjoy a tasting of luscious chocolate concoctions at a famous cafe. The following day, you will be collected from the hotel for a remarkable scenic drive along Zurich and Walen Lakes. In Liechtenstein, visit the capital city and small towns for a view of the contemporary and historic architecture as they stand side-by-side. Continue to St. Moritz in the lush mountainside near the Italian Alps.

Continue for a visit to the stunning water and landscape of Lake Como as you cross into Italy and take advantage of the secluded region. In the afternoon, return to Switzerland at Lugano for a fabulous boat ride along the water. Next day, return to Italy once again to discover the charms of Lake Maggiore and the Stresa region. Relish the grandeur of the Palace on Isola Bella before your train ride to Zermatt, a beautiful town with views of the Matterhorn. Spend the first half of the next day exploring the trails around Zermatt.

Take the steep train up the mountain peak for a unique view of the Matterhorn as it rises above the massif. In the afternoon, your private transfer will escort you to Lake Geneva for a tour of Geneva and Interlaken with lunch on a local farm. Make your way to Lucerne to partake in a cultural dinner filled with traditional cuisine. Conclude your trip with a guided tour through the streets and architecture of Old Lucerne before turning to Zurich for your flight home.

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Starting Price

$2795 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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