A Majestic Alpine Tour: Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland & France

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Total Trip:

12 Days
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Countries Visited:

Switzerland
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Places Visited:

Salzburg, Hallstatt, Alpe di Siusi, Fussen, Chamonix, Lauterbrunnen
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The Alps conjure images of mountain climbers and chalets, high altitude meadows and mountain peaks that pierce the sky. Your custom tailored tour leads you through the range of it all to travel beneath the snowcapped summits.  Venture into the mountains as a cave moves deeply to follow a tunnel carved out of glacial ice. A waterfall streams like a ribbon down the rock face on the outskirts of a secluded village as fairytale castles rise above emerald trees and the scent of fresh pastries

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Day 1

Salzburg – Arrive in the Charming Baroque City of Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is a city of beauty as seen in the elegant Baroque architecture that is surrounded by a stunning landscape, and as heard in the gorgeous music that emanates from the shops with inspiration from the city’s rich history. Your flight will land at Salzburg Airport, and your private transfer will greet you at the baggage claim. Mountains tower above the lush plains outside of the airport as the city stands on the shores of the Salzach River, with a skyline dominated by the Salzburg Alps. The largest peak of Untersberg rises to an altitude of nearly 6,080 feet above sea level.

Church spires draw your eye to the plateau in the heart of the city, topped with the 16th-century Hohensalzburg Castle. Numerous arched defensive gateways, along with the 17th-century Fire Bastion, frame the walkway that leads to the top of the hillside. The Horse Gate brings you to the outer ward that contains an ancient lime tree that fills the area with a fresh, citrus aroma. The Golden Hall once held elaborate and opulent banquets accentuated by the gold-studded ceiling that imitates the night sky. The majestic landscape around the city frames the splendor of the historic streets.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 2

Salzburg – Explore the Majesty of Salzburg on a Full Day Private Tour

In the morning, the sunlight washes over the Salzach River, and the scent of freshly baked strudel drifts over the cobblestone streets. The sounds of Mozart, who was born in Salzburg, emanate from charming cafes that are filled with locals in search of a delicious cup of coffee. After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby eager to show you the endless magnificence of Salzburg, from the home of Mozart to the dominating presence of the baroque and neo-classical styles of the Residenz, the former palace that overtakes the western edge of Residenzplatz.

Your guide will take you on a tour of Salzburg’s hidden history. Visit Mozart’s residence at Number 9 Getreidegass, which now houses a fascinating museum with exhibits dedicated to Mozart’s mementos, including a violin played by the young maestro and original scores.  Continue to a small florist in the alley next to the composer’s home; the old building once housed the merchants who imported spices to Venice that stemmed from the Middle and the Far East.

The twin towers of the Salzburg Cathedral stand nearly 260 feet tall. Four gigantic marble statues face the west front as three large bronze doors symbolize faith, hope, and love. Your guide will take you into a hidden alley near the cathedral to introduce you to a family run store that has created handmade umbrellas for more than 100 years. The craftsman even makes the wooden handles by hand to carve the numerous different types of wood into elegant and unique umbrellas.  The shop carries the herbaceous aroma of fresh wood shavings to underscore the masterwork of the umbrellas to add a layer of complexity and sophistication to an object often taken for granted.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Hallstatt – Travel to and Explore the Picturesque Lakeside Town of Hallstatt

After breakfast, you will leave the charms of Salzburg for the enchantment of Hallstatt.  A mountain town on the shores of the Hallstatter See, you will enjoy this gorgeous mountain town with its lake that glistens shades of opal and aquamarine.  The lake is five miles long and has a depth of 410 feet, and the steep, wooded slopes of the mountains that surround it provide the region with fjord-like charisma. The market village contains the 15th-century Roman Catholic Ascension of Our Lady Church. The Romanesque Tower draws people’s attention on the outside while the interior contains late Gothic frescoes and the unique burial ground known as the Bone House. A complete record of the people’s history accompanies the skulls inside the edifice.

The storehouse is partially hewn into the bedrock and lit with flickering candles to add an otherworldly ambiance to the room. The candles illuminate the 700 painted skulls lined on the wooden shelves along three chapel walls. Many of the skulls bear the Maltese Cross on their forehead and outside of the Bone House, if the caverns of the region continue to beckon, you can make your way to the popular Hoher Dachstein Mountain.  With a peak of 9,826 feet above sea level, you can visit the cave network as the tunnels in the Eastern Alps meander up to 3,851 feet into the bedrock. The Giant Ice Cave contains a series of stunning frozen waterfalls that will fill you with wonder.

As you move into the evening, the doors of your restaurant bring to light the hidden history of one of the oldest establishments in Central Europe, rather overrun with the charms of Old Town and often overlooked by passersby. The restaurant was first mentioned in a written manuscript in the early 9th-century and adjoins a functioning monastery.   Mozart-themed dinners are often held with a three-course meal prepared with 18th-century recipes.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Alpe di Siusi – Enjoy a Scenic Drive in the Italian Dolomites to Alpe di Siusi

The emerald forests of the Austrian Alps fade into the chiseled granite cliffs of the Italian Dolomites. The roads wind around mountain peaks that rise to a height of 10,000 feet above sea level. The aroma of pine and evergreen fill the crisp air as you stop in the city of Bolzano, the capital of the Tyrol province. Merchants and travelers often passed through town en route to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which added to the opulent lifestyle and youthful energy of the streets. Pastel-painted houses contrast with the rolling green hills. Walkways and bicycle paths line the riversides market stalls offer samples of alpine cheese and cured ham.

Most of the townspeople speak Italian but maintain a close connection to German ancestry. Castel Roncolo was erected in the 13th-century and has preserved its 14th-century frescoes (murals). Each piece depicts a secular scene drawn from literature as opposed to the conventional biblical compositions of the era. One famous mural captures the lovers Tristan and Isolde from the epic poem of the same name. The Museo Archeologico dell’Alto Adige contains artifacts devoted to the findings and lifetime of the Copper Age mummy Otzi, discovered in the Alps in 1991. A small window offers a close look at Otzi’s preserved body and his faintly visible tattoos decorating his legs.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Breakfast

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Day 5

Alpe di Siusi – Delight in a Day at Leisure to Discover the Alpe di Siusi

The remarkable greenery around town spreads to the foothills of the surrounding jagged mountains. The alpine meadows add stunning color and refreshing aromas to the region. Wildflowers blossom with yellow and purple petals as goats and cows graze along the wild grassland to manicure the verdant plain beneath the limestone peaks. The area measures three miles by more than seven miles and reaches an altitude of 6,500 feet above sea level. Hikers traverse the gentle trails that crisscross the meadows as farmers milk their free-ranging cows. The bells around the cows’ necks peel into the quiet air around you.

The day is yours to enjoy the surrounding beauty of the mountains and grasslands and take in the hilltops and villages, along with the wide-sweeping chairlifts that act as much like a ferry across the mountains as a lift for hikers and skiers. The small town of Castelrotto stands out from the rolling hills and lush peaks near the gorge. The Castel Tirolo was erected in the 12th-century and acted as the residence of the regional counts. The castle now contains a local museum to provide exhibits on the everyday life of locals during the Middle Ages, along with the depictions of the castle’s history. The tower offers a magnificent panorama of the complex and its place in the encircling wonder of the Dolomites.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Fussen – Cross into Germany for a Vista View before Traversing Bavaria

Today you will begin your descent from the Dolomites into the enchanting Bavarian region of Germany. You will make your way to Eibsee, a lake at the foot of the Zugspitze Peak, the tallest mountain in Germany at an altitude of 9,718 feet. The cable car begins at a lower station at nearly 3,200 feet above sea level and ends at the top station to reach more than 9,675 feet above sea level. From the cabin, you will watch the trees change into an ocean of greenery divided by the turquoise of Lake Eibsee. You will come face to face with the mountains that border the lake before ascending higher than the peaks.

From the top, you will have a stunning view of more than 400 mountain summits in four countries that span the entire skyline. The peaks rise as multitudinous as blades of grass in the meadow. You will see the glistening surface of the Zugspitze Glacier beneath you as you catch the sunlight as it spreads across the landscape. The air is thin and cold, but the vista shapes your time along the station summit into a refreshing and unforgettable experience. Descend the mountains into Bavaria to stroll along the banks of the Lech River and the cobbled streets of Fussen’s historic old town.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Fussen – Delight in the Bavarian Countryside to Visit Castles and Culture

The town of Fussen is nestled into the foothills of the Alps and highlights the Romantic Road, an old Roman route that connects medieval towns across Germany. In the morning, the aroma of freshly baked cakes and pastries accompanies the scent of fresh German cappuccino, celebrated for its layers of indulgent foam. An easy, and scenic, walk outside of town leads you to the stunning fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, as built by King Ludwig II in the 19th-century. The king resided in the castle for around 170 days before his untimely death, yet the structure stands along a ridge that rises over the trees and plains to dramatic effect.  The inspiration for the design of Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the heart of Disneyland, Ludwig took inspiration from fairy tales and operas, most notably the works of Wagner.

The castle remains unfinished; however, the completed rooms contain particular extravagance. The bed in the sleeping quarters has a Gothic theme crowned with spires carved to resemble a cathedral. The mosaic floor in the Throne Room contains more than two million precious stones which glint in the sunlight as it pours through the windows as a fresco on the opposite wall is filled with a fantasy scene that may have been Ludwig’s next architectural endeavor. Neuschwanstein emanates enchantment in its grandeur and design. Even unfinished, you will be taken away to a land of storybooks, only highlighted by the picturesque view.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Lauterbrunnen – Travel to the Swiss Alps and Relish Lauterbrunnen Valley

The aroma of strudel and rich coffee return with the light of the morning. The red hues of the rooftop shingles shimmer against the aquamarine river. After breakfast, you will leave Fussen behind to enjoy the scenic drive into Switzerland with the remarkable view of the world-famous Alps. The village of Lauterbrunnen nestles deep into the mountain-framed Valley of 72 Waterfalls. Half-timbered chalets line the streets as sheer rock walls tower above the edges of the town, including Staubbach Falls, which inspired the famous German author Goethe to write his celebrated Song of the Spirits over the Water.

The water trundles over the granite cliff like a white ribbon set against the backdrop of emerald trees. It emerges at the height of 984 feet above the valley floor, visible from town, and disappears behind the antique wooden structures that line the streets. In the distance, the peaks of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau complement the landscape. A trail leads to the back of Staubbach Falls to ascend into the steep hills. Paragliders soar across the sky to hover in view of the water as it descends. A small tunnel leads visitors onto a sheltered walkway for an unparalleled view of the valley, the cliffs, as a rainbow glows across the mist.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Lauterbrunnen – Enjoy the Beauty of the Swiss Alps at your Preferred Pace

In the morning, your chalet fills with the aroma of decadent hot chocolate. Your view from your window overlooks the valley beyond town and the continuous waters of Staubbach Falls. The day is yours to explore the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Jungfrau massif at your leisure to enjoy the towns, peaks, and vistas at your pace. Hike along the trails and walkways of the Valley of 72 Waterfalls, or travel the heights of the Schilthornbahn on a cableway that reaches 22,857 feet from the valley floor to the station summit at nearly 9,745 feet above sea level.

The cableway ride takes just over 30 minutes to offer plenty of time to relax in the staggering view of more than 200 mountaintops. Look down to the lush greenery of the valley floor as the granite walls of the cliffs reach into the snowcapped peaks. A revolving restaurant on the summit provides a 360-degree panoramic view that spreads from the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau peaks all the way to the Mont Blanc summit in France, as well as Germany’s Black Forest that can be seen in the distance. From this height, you can see the entirety of Switzerland’s opulent, natural skyline.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 10

Chamonix – Venture to the town of Chamonix in the French Alps

In the morning, leave behind the glowing splendor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley for the thrills and comforts of Chamonix in the French Alps, a resort town that housed the first Winter Olympics in 1924. The scenic drive takes you beneath the dramatic rugged peaks and highlights the white heights of Mont Blanc massif. The massif contains Mont Blanc, the largest peak on the European continent at an altitude of 15,780 feet above sea level.

The town of Chamonix provides cozy chalets and decadent restaurants that overlook the bleached white summits that soar over the valley floor. The village opened its first inn in the late 18th-century, and the architecture reflects the eclectic history of both modern and traditional designs. Baroque churches and Protestant chapels contain simple facades with elaborate interiors. Fancy boutique shops line the walkways, and casual cafes emanate the aromas of freshly baked cakes and bittersweet coffee. For more of the spectacular alpine ambiance, venture up the gondola to Le Brevent.

The lift ascends from the edges of the village to Plan Praz at 6,558 feet above sea level. Hiking trails lead from the station to the various summits along the southern and northern slopes as paragliders take off from the cliff edges and circle the skies. You can continue up by cable car to Le Brevent summit at an atmosphere of 8,284 feet as a simple stroll takes you along the sunny terraces of the Bel-Lachat Mountain Hut. You have a stunning view of the face of Mont Blanc as it towers above the massif.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 11

Chamonix – Traverse the Wonder of the French Alps around Chamonix

In the morning the scent of roasted coffee beans provides a warm and comforting atmosphere. The beauty of the village and the surrounding landscape take shape in the spreading sunlight. After breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy the French Alps at your leisure.  Take part in Europe’s longest gondola ride to the Aiguille du Midi viewpoint or indulge in the sweets of a well-loved cafe. Find your way to the Mer de Glace, one of Europe’s largest glaciers; the name means “Sea of Ice,” because the glacial expanse reaches a length of more than four miles.

An old fashioned red train on the Montenvers Railway ferries visitors to the edge of the glacier located at 6,276 feet above sea level. Above you, the Les Grandes Jorasses and Les Drus mountain peaks pierce the sky. Alongside you, the ice caps of the glacier undulate like waves as a cave more than 328 feet long provides an interior view of the glacier. The walls are chilled against your skin as they shine a blue hue in the light. Every year, locals re-sculpt the cave to allow visitors to walk the 400 steps between the gondola station and cave entrance, along with the interior footpath that leads you to the heart of the glacier.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

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Breakfast

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Day 12

Geneva – Depart for Home

The view from the top of Aiguille du Midi provides an unadulterated view of the Swiss, French, and Italian Alps. The sun shines brighter in the thinner atmosphere, and the breeze blows colder as the snow looks even whiter. A separate gondola takes visitors to the Pointe Hibronner summit terrace at 12,604 feet above sea level. Enjoy a spectacular restaurant that serves Savoy cuisine in a modern style, garnished with a view of Mont Blanc. When you are ready, your private transfer will meet you at the hotel to escort you back to Switzerland and the Geneva airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Delight in the highlights of Salzburg intermixed with a secret tour of the city to find the history beneath the beauty of the Baroque architecture
  • Venture into the mountaintops for unparalleled views of the staggering Alps as they sweep across Switzerland, France, and Italy
  • Stroll through the quiet streets of Hallstatt, an Austrian Alpine town, to see the unique display of painted skeletons in the Bone House 
  • Explore the Italian town of Bolzano to traverse the avenues of Castel Roncolo and see the celebrated Alpine mummy of Otzi
  • Discover the imaginative frescoes and fairytale architecture of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria
  • Relish the great landscape in Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley, home to the unforgettable Valley of 72 Waterfalls
  • Enjoy the charms of the traditional architecture of Swiss villages accentuated by grazing cows and goats along the lush alpine meadow
  • Ascend to one of Europe’s highest points for a view of Mont Blanc in the French Alps
  • Follow a glacial cave in the heart of the mountain where the walls radiate bright blue hues 
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Detailed Description

The Alps provide endless opportunity for crisp, clean air with stunning meadows blanketed in blossoming wildflowers, and a compelling history with castles, music, and charm. Your 12-day tour of the Alps takes you through Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France to visit quiet villages with chic boutiques and secluded towns with unparalleled views of the surrounding scenery. Your luxurious journey will begin with your arrival at the Salzburg airport where your private transfer will meet you at the baggage claim to escort you into the heart of the old town and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Next morning, your guide will meet you in the lobby to lead you through a secret tour of Salzburg’s highlights of Baroque architecture and its opulent past, along with the lesser-known buildings and the stories they tell. The rest of the day is yours to indulge in the city life to relax at a café and partake in a Sound of Music Tour to see where the Von Trapp family lived, sung, and visited when they lived in the city. Move on to the town of Hallstatt, located in the mountains outside of Salzburg. Tour the small market town on the lakeshore, or venture deep into the mountain on a tour of the salt mine, considered to be the world’s oldest. For the next day, relish a scenic drive through the mountains as you pass into the Italian Dolomites to visit the city of Bolzano.

Stroll through Castel Roncolo to see the exhibits in the Museum of Archeology before settling in at a chalet in the heart of the Alpe di Siusi. The next day takes you around the fabulous pastures and stunning peaks around the Alpe di Siusi at your leisure, from the small town of Castelrotto to the bountiful scenic chairlifts.  Continue on to enjoy a gondola ride to the peak of Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain. Travel to the charming medieval town of Fussen, in Bavaria, and enjoy some leisure time to explore the historic streets.

You will then have the entire day ahead to discover the beauty around Fussen. You can hike, bike, or stroll around the landscape and find the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. Travel into Switzerland with a scenic drive through Berner Oberland to arrive in the spectacular waterfall-laced cliffs of Lauterbrunnen Valley. You will then have a chance to see the breathtaking scenery at your own pace, whether you follow the trails through the Valley of 72 Waterfalls and venture to the top station at Schilthorn for a 360-degree view of the Jungfrau massif.

Your journey takes you next into France and the remarkable alpine village of Chamonix, once a host to the Winter Olympics as you enjoy a scenic gondola ride to the station at Le Brevent. Wake up the next day, and the Alps are once again yours for thrills and scenery with a hike to the soaring figure of Mont Blanc, or you can take in one last gondola ride to along Europe’s longest route to Aiguille du Midi viewpoint. Your private transfer then meets you at the hotel and escorts you from Chamonix into Switzerland for your flight at Geneva Airport. 

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Starting Price

$4795 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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