Day 1 ARRIVE IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND.
Welcome to Zurich! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 2 ZURICH–BIEL/BIENNE–NEUCHÂTEL–GENEVA.
Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s OLD TOWN, Switzerland’s center of banking and commerce. Then, leave Zurich and start your Swiss adventure. You’ll quickly discover that Switzerland isn’t just home to the Alps, but also to some of the most beautiful lakes. First, stop at the foot of the Jura Mountains in the picturesque town of Biel, known as Bienne by French-speaking Swiss, famous for watch-making, and explore the HISTORICAL CENTER. Next, enjoy a scenic drive to lakeside Neuchâtel, dominated by the medieval cathedral and castle. Time to stroll along the lake promenade before continuing to stunning Geneva, the second-largest city in Switzerland, with its fantastic lakeside location and breathtaking panoramas of the Alps.
Day 3 GENEVA.
During your guided sightseeing see the elegant buildings that house many international organizations, including headquarters of the International Red Cross and many United Nations agencies. You will also hear about John Calvin, the French theologian who helped reform the church in Geneva in the mid-16th century, visit the REFORMATION PARK with its International Monument to the Reformation and walk through the OLD TOWN to see St. Pierre Cathedral. Balance of the day is at leisure to further explore this fascinating city. An exciting optional lake cruise is available to make the most of your stay.
Day 4 GENEVA–ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE–BROC–GRUYÈRE AREA, SWITZERLAND.
Enter France and follow Lake Geneva along the southern shore, stopping in the famous spa town of Évian-les-Bains, renowned for its mineral water and a popular holiday resort. A scenic drive returns you to Switzerland. Cross the Rhône, France’s largest river, which flows into Lake Geneva. See the vineyards, where some of the best Swiss wines are produced, then leave this “Swiss Riviera” and continue to Gruyère. Visit [LF] the magnificent CASTLE. Walk through eight centuries of architecture, history, and culture, and enjoy lunch with local specialties and a traditional dessert with meringue and double crème. Then, [LF] stop in Broc for a visit to MAISON CAILLER chocolate factory to taste this delicious Swiss specialty. Continue to your comfortable hotel in nearby Charmey.
Day 5 GRUYÈRE AREA–GSTAAD–INTERLAKEN AREA.
Leave the Gruyère area and enjoy a scenic drive to Gstaad, one of Switzerland’s most popular ski resorts, for an orientation of this pretty place. Then, continue to Interlaken. The town’s unique location, nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and surrounded by the world-famous Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, guarantees spectacular views. Later, arrive at your charming hotel in Grindelwald and look forward to tomorrow’s included highlight: the Jungfrau excursion!
Day 6 INTERLAKEN AREA. EXCURSION TO THE JUNGFRAU.
[LF] An unforgettable trip to the high Alpine wonderland of ice and snow is the true highlight of a visit to Switzerland. At an amazing 11,332 feet, the JUNGFRAUJOCH is Europe’s highest railway station. Jungfrau’s 13,642-foot summit was first ascended in 1811 and in 1912 the rack railway was opened. There are lots of things to do here: enjoy the Alpine Sensation, the Panorama 360° Experience, the ICE PALACE, and take the elevator to the Sphinx Observatory. Also receive your JUNGFRAU PASSPORT as a souvenir to take home with you. The round trip to the “Top of Europe” by MOUNTAIN TRAIN will take most of the day.
Day 7 INTERLAKEN AREA–BERNE–LUCERNE.
Arrive in the stately capital of Berne. See the BEAR PARK, enjoy the panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden, and the OLD TOWN with the Clock Tower and the ornate, flower-adorned fountains. Leave the Berner Oberland and drive via Langnau in the Emmental Valley to picturesque Lucerne. Tonight is your chance to join an optional dinner excursion to a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing.
Day 8 LUCERNE.
During your walking tour, admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution, and ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit church. An exciting optional excursion is available to Mount Pilatus, and tonight, a farewell dinner awaits at a local restaurant for a proper auf Wiedersehen.
Day 9 LUCERNE–ZURICH AIRPORT.
Morning transfer to Zurich Airport in time for homebound flights leaving no earlier than 10 am. Extra nights are available in Zurich, not Lake Lucerne.