Watches, Lakes & Mountaintops Tour of Switzerland

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Total Trip:

7 Days
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Countries Visited:

Switzerland
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Places Visited:

Zurich, Lucerne, Interlaken, Geneva, Lavaux Wine Region, Lausanne
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The striking image of the Alps accentuates the beauty of the villages, cities, and meadows across Switzerland, and you will be immersed in the natural splendor of it all. Watchmakers produce luxury timepieces designed to perfection as chocolatiers bring indulgent sweets that overflow with flavor. Cable car stations overlook extraordinary valleys and bring you face to face with staggering snow-capped mountaintops as vineyards blanket the slopes above a cobalt lake and trains wind through long tunnels

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

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

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and brings the rush of a commercial center with the charm of a small, historical town. Electric trolleys run along the financial heart that leads to the train station as museums exhibit regional history and stunning European artwork. Your flight will land at Zurich Airport, and your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim. Outside of the airport, pockets of emerald trees rise above homes with red-shingled rooftops as the mountains tower over the horizon for an unmistakable skyline. Inside the city, you will pass the bustle of the contemporary streets, including the Bahnhofstrasse, a nearly 4,000-foot long stretch of boutique and high-end shops that are adorned with fountains, public art, and jewelry that glistens in the windows.

You will make your way to Old Town and the heart of Zurich with its 14th-century streets and structures. Your guide will meet you at your hotel after you have had a chance to settle in and then lead you on an introductory tour to the charms of history. Antique buildings reflect in the tranquil waters of the Limmat River as the Grossmunster features the iconic towers of the city across the river from the Fraumunster Church. Charlemagne founded the church in the 9th century, and the structure maintains elements of its original architecture.

The interior highlights the vibrant hues of stained glass windows that illuminate Biblical tales. In the late afternoon, your tour will bring a sweet twist with visits to the best of Zurich’s decadent sweet shops that continue to use traditional, and even ancient recipes. Each shop has a unique specialty, from chocolate bars to pralines, and you will need to taste them all.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

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Day 2

Lucerne – Travel to Lucerne for a Full Day Tour of History and Beauty

In the morning, the artwork in the Kunsthaus Zurich, the Museum of Fine Arts, radiates from the walls. The Society of Artists founded the museum in the 18th century and now exhibits painters from around Europe that span the centuries, including the largest collection of Monet’s found work outside of Paris. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to the majestic streets of Lucerne located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. The water shines cobalt in the sunlight as mountains circle the city with local legends shared by locals for millennia. Covered wooden bridges cross the waters and houses are draped in candy-colored hues that line the cobbled streets.

Your guide will lead you on a tour of the city’s favored monuments, from the paintings found across the panels beneath the ceiling on the two remaining medieval bridges, to the scenic beauty of paddlewheel steamships that cross the water beneath the looming mountain peaks. The aromas of chocolate and fresh pastries drift out of traditional cafes as you make your way to the Lion Monument to see the touching display of nationalism from the 19th century. The statue depicts a 32-foot lion carved into the rock face, and the lion lies over a broken shield with a fleur-de-lis. The statue was dedicated to the Swiss soldiers lost while defending King Louis XVI at the start of the French Revolution.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Lucerne – Delight in a Unique Excursion to Mount Pilatus and A Watch Tour

The wooden bridges reflect in the sweeping waters of the Reus River in the morning light. The framing flower petals on the outer rails of the bridge float down into the water and drift along the river. Your day will begin early outside of Lucerne in the city of Biel/Bienne. Begin at a historical watch factory and meet your guide, who is also a master watchmaker that take you on a spectacular tour of the factory to learn the history of the company from its beginnings in the 1920s to the fashions of watches throughout the decades.  The history of watchmaking in Switzerland dates back to the 16th-century and is fascinating.

Your guide will explain some of the secrets of his profession as you watch students at the watch academy learn to tinker with gears and compile the necessary components to create a perfect watch. The watchmaker will take note of your tastes in design and lead you on a step-by-step instruction to create your own high-quality, personalized watch, complete with your choice of strap, hands, and dial, along with a personal engraving on the back for another layer of specialized luxury.

Return to Lucerne in the early afternoon for an excursion to the top of Mount Pilatus where a cable car will bring you on a panoramic journey to the tallest summit that looks over Lucerne at an altitude of more than 6,980 feet, with a prominence of nearly 2,000 feet above the nearby mountaintops.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Interlaken – Relish a Scenic Train Ride to Interlaken and Tour the City

Today you will board a luxurious first-class train car on the Lucerne-Interlaken Express for an incredible exploration into the heart of Switzerland. The journey is approximately two hours long, and you will travel alongside crystal-clear lakes that perfectly reflect the rising hills around you. Waterfalls splash down the nearby cliffs on the Brunig Pass. The panoramic windows allow you to take in a sweeping view of the landscape, accompanied by a frothy hot chocolate made fresh in your dining car. You will arrive in Interlaken for a quick, private transfer to your hotel where your guide will meet you after check-in. The city of Interlaken blends traditional Swiss culture in the authentic setting of alpine farmland and remarkable mountaintops, with 19th-century architecture and contemporary thrills abounding.

The natural scenery of the area inspired authors such as Goethe, who took an interest in the major peaks of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau that sprout above the massif. The former Augustinian monastery and castle were built in the 12th century, and the state took over the grounds in the 16th century during the height of the Reformation. The thin, tall spires imitate the trees as the bell tower, and the Gothic cloister was built in the 14th century. Pilgrims rested in the monastery during their trek to the caves above Lake Thun where Saint Beatus resided during his hermitage. The limestone caves above town bring dramatic stalagmites and impressive natural halls with views over the lake.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Interlaken – Full Day Excursion along the Famous Berner Oberland Region

The central region of Switzerland has unending panoramas and a stunning landscape that sweeps across the valleys and into the Alps. At breakfast, the aroma of fresh coffee accompanies the pastries of the cafes that dot the streets of the town. The day is yours to indulge in the beauty found around Berner Oberland and the villages near Interlaken at your preferred pace. For a unique view of the wildlife and scenery, cross the Aare River and venture to the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park where a soft breeze will blow against your cheeks with the crisp cool air of the high altitude mountains.

Look to the rocks below in search of perching marmots and grazing ibexes. The male ibex can grow to a height of 67 inches with backward arching ridged horns as long as 39 inches. They ibex prefer the rocky regions along the snowline mountain, and as you watch for the alpine wildlife, you will continue into the funicular and up to Harder and an altitude of 4,337 feet above sea level. A restaurant at the summit provides a breathtaking view of the Jungfrau massive, the quiet streets of Interlaken, and the cobalt lakes of the region. Sip a decadent hot chocolate and enjoy the comforts of the restaurant with its impressive view. When returning to Interlaken, you can follow the forest path and stop first at the Hardermannli lookout, at 3,661 feet above sea level.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Geneva – Visit the Lakeside City of Lausanne and the Lavaux Wine Region

The morning light will stretch over the Jungfrau massif and shines off of the snow-capped peaks. After breakfast, you will leave behind the beauty of Interlaken and make your way to the shores of Lake Geneva and the nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards that sweep over the terraced hills that overlook the water. The region encompasses a series of historical pubs and wine cellars that are connected by trails and offer views to lush vineyards and the distance mountaintops. More than 250 miles of walls date from medieval times and cordon off the vineyards, which rise more than 1,100 feet above the shore at its peak, making them the highest vineyards in the world.

Stroll through the vineyards towards the traditional winery located in a 17th-century stone building. The well-balanced wines are emblematic of the region with light, crisp wines with citrus notes, made from the Chasselas grape. The owner will share how his family has made wine in the region since the 15th century, and his passion and knowledge of the region and its wine production will be inspiring.

Travel next to the town of Lausanne with its historic streets contrasted by the jovial, youthful ambiance evoked by the university population. The Olympic Committee’s offices have been located in Lausanne since the early 20th century, and the streets wind up the three hills and are edged by vineyards, Lake Geneva, and the rising slopes of the Alps, both Swiss and French. The medieval Cathedral of Notre Dame dominates the heart of Lausanne with its 105-paneled rose window on the south transept as the 13th-century stained glass shines from both the inside of the church nave and along the façade wall. The original stone sculptures from the Apostles Doorway remain preserved beneath the window, inside the gallery.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Geneva – Explore Geneva with a Half-Day Tour before Departing for Home

Geneva overtakes the western shores of Lake Geneva, nearly nudging against the French border. The streets have a cosmopolitan flair that emanates from the numerous multinational corporations found around the contemporary neighborhoods. Old Town stands atop a hillside, surrounded on three sides by old buildings that trace the ancient fortifications of the original city. Your guide will lead you on a grand tour of the elegant promenades and captivating architecture of the historical city. The arching flume of Jet d’Eau, a fountain on the lake, soars 475 feet into the air and mists the edges of the lakeshore. In Place du Bourg-de-Four, you can walk along the oldest square in the city which was once the site of the old Roman forum. Cafes and restaurants set their tables out along the paved street and surround the 18th-century fountain at the heart of the square. When you are ready, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to the Geneva Airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Become a part of the rich history of Swiss watches as you design your own watch that will personalized and produced just for you
  • Sip on the delicious and delightful wines found in the Lavaux wine region after following the trails to reach hidden historical wine cellars
  • Venture to the top of Mount Pilatus for a unique panorama of the sensational mountaintops
  • Ride along a scenic train line for a fabulous view of the Jungfrau Massif and the Berner Oberland region
  • Search for ibexes and marmots in view of the snow-capped peaks in the Harder Alpine Wildlife Park
  • Tour the massive Cathedral of Notre Dame in Lausanne to see the immaculate rose window with 105 panels
  • Indulge in the sweet confections of Zurich’s old town and the numerous shops producing traditional regional treats, such as chocolates and truffles 
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Detailed Description

Arrive in Switzerland, and you will feel as though you have reached the top of Europe, home to the towering peaks of the Alps and the legendary production of watches and chocolate. Your 7-day tour will lead you through the mountains and along the lakes for an immersive experience in Swiss culture and the stunning natural scenery. Your journey will begin when your flight lands in Zurich, the largest city in the country. After settling into your hotel, your guide will lead you on a private tour of the city to introduce you to the mixture of modernity and history before leading you into the sweet shops of Old Town.

Wake the next morning, and your private transfer will escort you to Lucerne, one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. Explore the historical bridges, the spectacular monuments, and powerful imagery that is accentuated by the dramatic landscape during your private tour. The next day, you will make your way to the industrial city of Biel/Bienne to visit a watchmaking company. Follow a master watchmaker through the factory before you design and create your own perfect, personalized watch. The next day, enjoy a scenic train ride into the Berner Oberland region and the town of Interlaken. For a unique view of the city, you can make your way to the limestone caves where a saint once called home.

Discover the majesty of Berner Oberland the next day at your preferred pace, and then take to the hills on the countless trails that wind along the slopes or stroll along the walkways of the Valley of 72 Waterfalls. You could also enjoy a moment at Harder Alpine Wildlife Park in search of wild ibex before ascending to the viewing platform by way of a scenic gondola ride. Venture next to Geneva and stop in the Lavaux wine region en route. Take your time to explore the vineyard trails and visit with local wineries housed in historical buildings. Relish a moment in the lakeside town of Lausanne to see the elaborate Cathedral before continuing to Geneva. The next day, your guide will lead you on an engaging tour of the city, from the newer districts to the old streets before your private transfer will bring you to the airport 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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