Arrive Geneva with included transfer to Montreux
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Hotel Royal Plaza Montreux. A transfer is included upon your arrival from Geneva International Airport to Montreux and your hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.
Meadows & mountains, from Chillon to Gruyères and Zermatt
Think spectacular scenery, regal lakeside châteaux, quintessential Swiss villages and snowcapped mountains that glisten in the sunlight. Add ample opportunities to learn about life in this Alpine wonderland and you have a glimpse of what's in store today. Start your day with a visit to Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva; with over 1,000 years of history, this monument has served as the inspiration for many artists and writers, from Victor Hugo and Lord Byron to Delacroix and Courbet. Continue to Taesch where you climb toward Zermatt by rail for a two-night stay in an elegant landmark hotel nestled in the shadow of the Matterhorn.
Climb to Gornergrat by cogwheel train & view the Matterhorn
Take a cogwheel rail journey up to Gornergrat (10,225 ft.), one of the best viewing points to see breathtaking vistas of the Matterhorn from on high. Descend at leisure; the rest of the day is free to enjoy the resort of Zermatt.
La dolce vita at Lake Maggiore in Italy & Lake Lugano in Switzerland
Travel by train and coach for a trip over the 6,578-ft. Simplon Pass to Stresa on Lake Maggiore in Italy - after lunch, a private water taxi awaits to take you to Isola Bella. Visit the palace and gardens, built in the shape of a ship, before continuing on to your grand hotel nestled on the shores of Lago di Lugano.
A lovely day in lakeside Lugano
Get to know Lugano - a gem of a lakeside resort town - first on a walking tour, then aboard a private wine tasting cruise on Lake Lugano. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore on your own; there is much to see, do and savor here in and around Lugano, and your Tauck Director will have many pleasurable activities to suggest, from checking out the Via Nassa or calling on little coastal villages like Gandria or Marcote by boat.
Across the Alps to St. Moritz
View some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe as you cross between Italy and Switzerland along Via Regina, the old Roman road. Drive over the Maloja Pass en route to St. Moritz for an overnight stay at one of the town's truly grand hotels, a distinction it has held since it was built in 1896. Celebrity spotting is almost as popular as skiing in this fashionable resort town. Enjoy dinner at your hotel tonight.
A magical train ride through the Swiss Alps aboard the Glacier Express
Rail travel is one of the best ways to see the Alpine scenery up-close and the Swiss trains are some of the best in the world. Ride The Glacier Express aboard Tauck's private panoramic dome car through the Alps, where you'll travel along silver streams, beneath massive peaks with crystal-blue glaciers and through lush valleys speckled with tiny Alpine villages; the scenery is breathtaking everywhere you look. Depart the train at Andermatt for a spectacular drive over Susten Pass, weather permitting, to Interlaken for a two-night stay... in guest rooms featuring views of the Jungfrau!
To the top of Europe & the Jungfraujoch
This part of the Bernese Oberland is known as Switzerland's "jewel in the crown." Given reasonable weather, today's excursion to "the top of Europe" will be a memorable highlight as your mountain railway train ascends into the majestic Swiss Alps. Arrive at Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the Eiger. Continue to the Jungfraujoch (11,333 feet). Here, at what truly feels like the "top of Europe" - you'll enjoy a Tauck Exclusive... a private reception at the Ice Palace; take time to savor the astounding views of the lofty peaks of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch. Spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening as you please back in the alpine resort of Interlaken.
Through the Bernese Oberland to Bern and on to Lucerne
Depart Interlaken and drive through more of the Bernese Oberland, bound for Bern. Switzerland's capital is noted for its charming architectural styles; explore the Old City of Berne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a "Taste of Switzerland" buffet lunch at Bern's Bellevue Palace, continue your Switzerland tour to Lucerne, one of Europe's premier cities, on the shores of Lake Lucerne. Stop at the Löwendenkmal (Lion Monument) en route to your home, Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern, for the next two nights. A historic landmark built in 1845 and ideally located in the heart of Lucerne's Old Town, the hotel was a recent recipient of The Milestone Award, Swiss tourism's top accolade. Under the project titled "Wo Luzern Geschichte(n) schreibt" (Where Lucerne writes history/stories), every guest room has been allocated a guest with a unique story. They include great personalities such as thinkers, artists, politicians, athletes, musicians and crowned heads as well as unknown guests, whose stories are part of the hotel's history.
Explore Lucerne and enjoy a special farewell evening
While a thoroughly modern, culturally rich city, lakeside Lucerne retains much of its old-world charm and a strong sense of its history, as you'll see for yourself on a guided walking tour and time to explore on your own today. Surrounded by an alpine panorama, stroll over its medieval covered wooden bridges and discover the many Renaissance and Baroque fountains that dot the city - along with many wonderful galleries, shops and cafés. Late afternoon, join us for a boat ride across the lake that brings us to our special farewell dinner at the popular restaurant Seehotel Baumgarten.
Tour ends: Lucerne. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern to the Zurich Airport, an approximate travel time of 60 minutes; allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.