8-Days in Switzerland: Land of Enchantment
Visiting Switzerland is like visiting 3 countries in one. Traveling in the northern region you find that German is the primary language and Austrian-German cuisine is predominant. When visiting Lugano in the southeastern part of Switzerland, Italian is the language of choice and wonderful Italian restaurants abound. And while in the southwestern region of the country we are near the border of France, as evidenced by the people’s language and the restaurants. It’s a remarkable tour for its diversity and beauty as well as its people’s hospitality.
8-Days in Switzerland: Land of Enchantment
- 1st Day: We board our plane for the flight to Geneva.
- 2nd Day: Upon arriving in Switzerland, we are met at the airport by our escort and transfer to Lausanne, where we have accommodations for the next 3 evenings. A delicious Welcome Dinner is included tonight.
- 3rd Day: After breakfast, we drive to Geneva, which sparkles as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Geneva’s most famous monument, the Jet d’Eau, is the world’s tallest water fountain and serves as a constant landmark as we explore this marvelous city. The city exhibits the strong influence of neighboring France, with its language, signs and culture. A visit to Geneva is not complete without seeing the ancient Old Town – whose oldest square was once a Roman forum, the Floral Clock, Market Street, waterfront parks and its ritzy shopping and banking districts, as well as its many international cafes and restaurants. After a day of discovery, we return to Lausanne.
- 4th Day: We have breakfast together. then we travel to the capital of Switzerland, Berne. With its stately limestone buildings, historical towers and numerous elaborate fountains, Berne is one of the most impressive examples of medieval town architecture in Europe. We will see the unique Bear Park, the winding Aare River, 19th century Parliament Buildings, Cathedral of Berne, Einstein House, Rose Garden, Prison Tower and Town Hall. Particularly appealing is the ornate Astronomical Clock which was built in 1530. Its puppets pop out of little doorways on the tower hourly to perform little skits. We return to Lausanne where we are treated to another fine dinner.
- 5th Day: Will you have room – after breakfast is for you to decide…We travel through Fairytale-like scenery abounding as we take a ride on the famous “Chocolate Train.” It takes us into a region of meadows, brilliant mountain peaks and countryside dotted with quaint farmhouses – replete with grazing sheep and cows that will make you feel as if Heidi herself will appear at any moment. Highlights include a visit to the Cailler-Nestle factory – pioneers of Milk Chocolate – and get to taste some of the freshly made chocolate, as well as a stop in the charming town of Gruyeres, to learn how cheese is made. Time is allowed for lunch on your own in one of Gruyeres’ wonderful restaurants – fondue anyone? Then it’s on to Lucerne for the next 3 evenings. A delicious dinner is prepared for us tonight.
- 6th Day: Today’s destination, after breakfast; Lugano, is stunning and the drive there takes us through some of the Swiss Alps’ most breathtaking scenery. Shimmering lakes surrounded by majestic mountains, charming Swiss villages, rolling flower fields and gorgeous vistas highlight our drive. Once there you will immediately detect its distinct Mediterranean flair. Street names, restaurants, signs and the language spoken all denote the city’s Italian influence. You’ll enjoy time in the traffic free historic town center and at enchanting Lake Lugano, set against a backdrop of gorgeous mountains and surrounded by parks and a flower laden promenade. A delicious luncheon in one of Lugano’s finer restaurants is ready for us in this delightful setting. Later, have dinner with your travel companions in one of Lugano’s fine restaurants.
- 7th Day: Begin the day with breakfast, then on to a day that you will remember forever which begins with a most scenic cruise to Mt. Pilatus on the calm waters of Lake Lucerne. We then board the world’s steepest cog railway and travel to the top of Mt. Pilatus. From the top, it seems as if we can see all of Switzerland. We will enjoy an authentic Swiss luncheon from this glorious mountaintop setting. Following lunch, we glide silently down from the top of the mountain by cable car and gondola, offering us more views of unmatched beauty. Back in Lucerne we will see the Chapel Bridge – the covered 14th century wooden bridge, the Water Tower and the Lion’s Memorial, and get a good feel for the German influence on the city’s culture and architecture. Dinner is on your own in one of the wonderful restaurants in Lucerne.
- 8th Day: After breakfast, we will transfer to Zurich to board our plane for the return flight home.
Lucerne: Unquestionably one of Europe’s most charming cities, Lucerne has the added virtue of stunning lakeside and mountain scenery on its doorstep. It is ideally situated in the historic and scenic heart of what many believe to be the true Switzerland – picturesque mountains, lakes, cowbells, alpine villages and meadows full of edelweiss. Its Old Town, which is located just north of the Reuss River, still has many fine half-timber structures with colorfully painted fronts.
Berne: Berne is not only the capital of Switzerland, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was home to Albert Einstein while he was developing his “Theory of Relativity;” it is the cradle of Toblerone chocolate; and it is home to the largest collection of Paul Klee art in the world. A unique feature of the city is the miles of weather protected promenades dating back to the 12th century to accommodate market stalls and traders’ businesses.
Geneva: Welcome to Geneva! … and a little taste of France. The French influence is apparent everywhere, from the street signs, to the restaurants to the language spoken on its attractive streets. Serving as one of Switzerland’s centers of banking and culture, Geneva is home to the Red Cross Museum and the Palais des Nations – the European Headquarters of the United Nations. Nestled between rolling hills, vineyards and snow-peaked mountains, Geneva has been rated as one of the top 3 cities in the world in terms of quality of life.
Lausanne: Lausanne lies in the middle of one of Switzerland’s most popular wine growing regions. It is a town that is built on three hills, surrounded by vineyard-covered slopes, with Lake Geneva at its feet. The upper town features small alleyways with cafes and boutiques, which shape the streetscape in the medieval town center. The lower town’s scenic setting alongside Lake Geneva, known as Ouchy, is a great place to stroll along the waterfront, enjoy its outdoor cafes and parks or just relax and watch the world go by.
Lugano: Lugano offers all the advantages of a world class city, combined with the cache of a small town. Mediterranean styled squares and arcades, as well as numerous parks, abound. Italian is the language of choice as is its tasty cuisine and culture. The two closest mountains – Monte San Salvatore and Monte Bre – provide you with an outstanding panorama of the town, Lake Lugano and the breathtaking alpine scenery. Lugano, a wonderful holiday destination for many Swiss since the end of the 1800’s. Let’s go skiing in Lugano!
Travel Dates Include: May 31-June 7, 2018 … June 10-17, 2018 … September 20-27, 2018
Switzerland is considered by many travel experts to be the most beautiful country in the world. It is famous for its mountains, crystal clear lakes, clean air, banks, watchmaking, and chocolate. Combined are the outstanding restaurants, excellent hotels with breathtaking panoramic vistas and wonderful tour escorts creating a travel experience that will provide you with memories to last a lifetime.
Package includes First Class accommodations for 6 evenings, 6 breakfasts, 3 dinners, 2 lunches, gratuities for the included meals, sightseeing, admissions, the cruise on Lake Lucerne, a ride on the cog railway, a scenic ride on the “Chocolate Train,” the services of a professional tour escort, transfers in Switzerland, baggage handling and taxes. $2,799per person, double occupancy; single supplement $975. Airfare is additional. Call us at 352-277-7300 if you have any questions or want to plan this wonderful vacation with a group of family or friends. We will be happy to help.