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. (D)
Day 2 ZURICH–BIEL/BIENNE–NEUCHÂTEL–MONTREUX.
Walk through Zurich’s OLD TOWN, Switzerland’s center of banking and commerce, before departing on your Swiss adventure. You’ll quickly discover that Switzerland isn’t just home to the Alps, but also to some of the world’s most beautiful lakes. First, stop at the foot of the Jura Mountains in the picturesque town of Biel, known as Bienne by the 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 elegant Montreux, famous for its Jazz Festival.
Day 3 MONTREUX.
This morning, a guided visit to the nearby CHILLON CASTLE is included. Beautifully located on the banks of Lake Geneva, the castle was used as a residence and toll station by the Counts of Savoy from the 12th to the 16th century. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure. (B)
Day 4 MONTREUX–BERNE–LUCERNE.
Arrive in the stately capital of Berne. Your guided tour starts with a stop at the BEAR PARK, symbol for the name of the town, followed by a panoramic view of the city from the Rose Garden. Walk through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town, witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower, and marvel at the ornate, flower-adorned fountains. Leave the Berner Oberland and drive to picturesque Lucerne. This evening, enjoy [LF] dinner with regional specialties at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 5 LUCERNE.
During your orientation walk, be captivated by Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. See the ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit church. An breathtaking optional excursion is available to one of Lucerne’s mountains. (B)
Day 6 LUCERNE–LUGANO.
A spectacular drive straight through the Swiss Alps brings you via the famous St. Gotthard tunnel to the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, and to the elegant lakeside resort of Lugano. Later, why not sign up for an optional cruise on Lake Lugano? (B)
Day 7 LUGANO.
A full day at leisure gives you the chance to explore more of the local area. Join an optional excursion to visit the UNESCO protected Castles of Bellinzona. Tonight, a farewell dinner will be served at your hotel to celebrate your Swiss Escape. (B,D)
Day 8 LUGANO.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (The nearest airport is Milan, Italy.) (B)