Snow caps, ice castles and you… One of the world’s favorite year-round playgrounds, Switzerland astounds with natural beauty. In summer, sunlight warms wildflower meadows, picturesque mountain villages and glistening lakes to invite in-depth exploration of some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Europe.
Switzerland takes you from the soaring panoramas of the Alps to the serene beauty of her lakes, chic resorts, and four distinct cultures – plus a glimpse of northern Italy’s fashionable lake district... Journey into the Alps in a domed observation car on the Glacier Express... climb mighty mountains by cogwheel train to Gornergrat to view the Matterhorn... stay in historic hotels in the heart of world-famous resort towns like Lausanne, Lugano and St. Moritz, including a two-night stay at Interlaken's Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in guest rooms featuring views of the Jungfrau... cruise aboard a private boat to the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore and on a wine-tasting cruise on Lake Lugano... attend a Tauck Exclusive, private reception at the Ice Palace on the Jungfraujoch, and more. Stunning scenery, centuries of rich history and warm, welcoming people await you on Tauck's ultimate Switzerland journey.
Arrive Geneva with included transfer to Lausanne
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Lausanne Palace. A transfer is included from Geneva International Airport to Lausanne Palace in Lausanne; the drive takes you through the vineyard country high above Lake Geneva to your hotel in Lausanne, overlooking the north-central shore of the famous lake. Meet your fellow Alpine travelers at our welcome cocktail reception and dinner tonight at the hotel.
Meadows & mountains, from Chillon to Gruyères and Zermatt
Get set for a day filled with spectacular scenery, regal lakeside châteaux, quintessential Swiss villages and snowcapped mountains! Lord Byron made Château de Chillon, a celebrated château on the shores of Lake Geneva, famous in his epic poem, The Prisoner of Chillon. Visit it today en route to Gruyères, known for its cheese, where you'll spend some free time and enjoy lunch. A cogwheel train from Taesch takes you high into the mountains to the car-free resort town of Zermatt for a two-night stay at your historic grand hotel.
Climb to Gornergrat by cogwheel train & view the Matterhorn
Travel higher into the mountains by cogwheel train today to Gornergrat (elevation is 10,225 ft.) for spectacular views of the legendary Matterhorn. Coffee or an apéritif is sublime before heading back to Zermatt (either by train the entire way, or including a hike with a naturalist, your choice) and visiting the Matterhorn Museum. Return to your fabulous hotel to spend the rest of the day as you please.
La dolce vita at Lake Maggiore in Italy & Lake Lugano in Switzerland
Descend by rail from Zermatt, then head through the majestic Simplon Pass en route to Italy’s Lake Maggiore. After lunch in Stresa, a private water taxi to Isola Bella, owned by the noble Borromeo family, provides the opportunity to visit their impressive 17th-century palace and gardens, created in the shape of a ship. Back in Switzerland, head to Lake Lugano and a two-night stay.
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. Following lunch at a local grotto restaurant, the rest of 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 to calling on little coastal villages like Gandria or Marcote by boat.
Across the Alps to St. Moritz
Journey through an ever-changing, wonderfully scenic landscape as you cross between Italy and Switzerland along the old Roman Via Regina, relishing views of Lake Como before climbing into the mountains and crossing the Maloja Pass. A highlight is the scenic road to glamorous St. Moritz, with its lovely vistas of sparkling lakes and mighty mountains. Enjoy accommodations tonight at one of Switzerland's truly grand hotels.
Glacier Express Alps rail journey & a private funicular to a mountaintop dinner
Ride Switzerland's world-famous Glacier Express high into the Swiss Alps today and view majestic mountains from the comfort of a panoramic domed observation car, traveling past silver streams, massive peaks, lush valleys and glacial lakes. Disembark the train in Andermatt for a scenic drive leading to a two-night stay at a historic hotel surrounded by Alpine beauty in Interlaken that's rejuvenating... and a real pleasure. Late afternoon, enjoy another Tauck Exclusive – a private ride on the Harderbahn funicular up to the Harder Kulm (or Harderkulm) viewpoint, overlooking Interlaken and Unterseen, for dinner at a restaurant with panoramic views of the spectacular scenery below.
To the Top of Europe & the Jungfraujoch
In a section of the Bernese Oberland known as Switzerland's "jewel in the crown," climb through the Alps by cogwheel train, via the renowned mountain station at Kleine Scheidegg, to the Jungfraujoch... accompanied by a local guide who provides commentary during your ascent. Here, at over 11,000 feet – which truly feels like the "Top of Europe" – you'll enjoy a Tauck Exclusive... a private cocktail 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 day 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 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 a special farewell dinner at the popular restaurant Seehotel Baumgarten – a fabulous way to end your Tauck Switzerland journey!
Tour ends: Zurich. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern to Zurich Airport, an approximate travel time of 60 minutes. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in.