Day 1 ARRIVE IN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND.
Check into your hotel in Zurich. The rest of the day is free for exploring this exciting city. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers. (D)
Day 2 ZURICH–APPENZELL–LIECHTENSTEIN–ST. MORITZ.
A sensational drive today takes you through some of Switzerland’s most renowned cantons. Stop in Appenzell to see the Old Town with its 16th-century Town Hall. Continue to the minute Principality of Liechtenstein for a visit of its tiny capital, Vaduz. Pass through scenic “Heidiland” and into the Rhine Valley before starting the ascent up mighty Julier Pass. Soon, you’ll be in the heart of Switzerland’s largest canton, the Grisons, where you’ll marvel at some of the world’s best alpine views. Spend the next two nights in glamorous St. Moritz, host of two Olympic Winter Games (1928 and 1948) and the premier winter retreat of European royalty, celebrities, and the international jet set for more than a century. (B)
Day 3 AT LEISURE IN ST. MORITZ.
Enjoy a whole day to explore this scenic Engadine valley resort. Renowned for its stunning forest, lake, and mountain setting and an average of 322 days of sunshine per year, St. Moritz is comprised of two villages separated by a mile of lake shore—St. Moritz Dorf and St. Moritz Bad. Extending up the slope from the lake, terraced Dorf is a tapestry of grand hotels, upscale boutiques, and traditional Engadine architecture, characterized by arched wooden doors, small deep-set windows, and artistically etched facades. Meanwhile, neighboring Bad is known for its ice rink, mineral and mud baths, and energetic nightlife. (B,D)
Day 4 ST. MORITZ–BERNINA EXPRESS TRAIN TO TIRANO, ITALY–LUGANO, SWITZERLAND.
One of Europe’s most spectacular train rides, the BERNINA EXPRESS begins today in St. Moritz, whisking you across lofty Bernina Pass via the Swiss Poschiavo area to Tirano in the Italian Valtellina. Here, rejoin your coach and journey to the shores of sparkling Lake Lugano. (B)
Day 5 LUGANO–LAKE MAGGIORE–TÄSCH–ZERMATT.
Discover the highlights of charming, subtropical Lugano before traveling to Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake. Consider joining the optional boat trip for a visit to the garden island of Isola Bella with its splendid 17th-century palazzo (palace). Return to Switzerland via picturesque Simplon Pass and hop aboard a train in Täsch for the only connection to car-free Zermatt, a resort surrounded by Switzerland’s highest mountains—including the celebrated Matterhorn. (B,D)
Day 6 ZERMATT–LAUSANNE AREA.
Time to stroll through town and maybe take a break to sample the local fare, like raclette, fondue, or hand-made chocolate, or to shop for an authentic Swiss watch or Swiss Army Knife. Then, take the train back to Täsch, where you will rejoin the coach and continue your journey through the vineyards and apricot groves of the lower Rhône Valley to crescent-shaped Lake Geneva, one of Europe’s largest lakes. (B,D)
Day 7 LAUSANNE AREA.
Spend either a whole day at leisure exploring Lausanne and its environs, or join an optional excursion to charming Geneva with its cobblestoned Old Town and the Palais des Nations, European headquarters of the United Nations. (B)
Day 8 LAUSANNE AREA–GRUYÈRES–BERNE–INTERLAKEN–LUCERNE AREA
. The first stop today is in picturesque Gruyères to visit a local CHEESE FACTORY. Then, on to Berne, Switzerland’s charming 12th-century capital. The Old Town is a showcase of medieval architecture, arcaded shops, artistic fountains, and the landmark Zytglogge (clock tower), an ornate animated astronomical clock built in 1530. Travel on, skirting the shores of Lake Thun, and stop in the renowned resort of Interlaken for a visit before crossing Brünig Pass to Lucerne. Tonight, why not join an optional folklore evening, complete with yodeling and alphorn blowing? (B)
Day 9 LUCERNE AREA–ZURICH.
Discover the wonders of Lucerne, a city straight out of a storybook. Situated on Lake Lucerne in the shadows of the snowcapped Alps, your visit takes in the highlights, including cobblestone streets lined with frescoed homes, the world-famous CHAPEL BRIDGE, and the poignant LION MONUMENT. Perhaps choose from a wonderful selection of optional activities—the most popular is an excursion to Stanserhorn mountain. Return to Zurich for an overnight. (B)
Day 10 ZURICH.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)