7 nights (Bern – Saanen/Gstaad- Vevey/Montreux)
“Why Switzerland?” A fascinating journey around the country with beautiful cities and lakes, top mountain resorts, stunning rail journeys and where traditions are as important as innovations. Travel from Bern, built on a peninsula encircled by the Aare River, to Gstaad - famous for its chic chalet-style houses. Days will be filled by stunning scenery from glaciers, mighty mountain peaks to dipping into the Lake Geneva area and visiting the charming town of Gruyeres. Switzerland is not just famous for its scenery, but also for its cheese, chocolate and fine clocks. There will be time to visit superb museums, and plenty of time to taste some delicious cheese and chocolates.
|2020 Departures on sale now!|
Day 1 (Saturday)
Fly to Zurich airport. Meet your Swiss tour guide for the rail transfer to Bern city centre and your hotel where you spend the next 2 nights in a nice central location. The capital of Switzerland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bern has many charms and offers spectacular views of the Alps. The rest of the day is free for you to explore.
Day 2 (Sunday)
Start the day with a hearty breakfast full of local Swiss produce. Bern, founded in 1191 is truly a gem of medieval architecture in Europe and an organised morning walking city tour will show you some of the best examples of this, such as the Zytglogge Clock Tower. On the hour, many people gather in front of the Clock Tower to watch the 16th-century clock mechanism perform its unique spectacle. From inside, you can follow the clock’s movements and enjoy the wonderful view over the capital’s streets and rooftops. In the afternoon, leave for an organised visit to the Einstein museum where Einstein’s theory of relativity is showcased using original objects, films and exhibits.
Day 3 (Monday)
Leave for a coach journey to visit ‘Creux du Van’ a natural rock arena of immense proportions. Impressive and dramatic 160m high vertical rock faces surround a four kilometre long and over one-kilometre wide valley basin. The world capital of the watchmaking industry for over a hundred years, La Chaux-de-Fonds is home to the International Watch Museum. Entirely dedicated to the history of time measurement, it houses over 4,500 exhibits including watches and wall clocks.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Travel by rail in first class to the heart of the stunning mountains surrounding your hotel in Saanen, a short distance from Gstaad, where you will be based for the next two nights. The village of Saanen owes its unique charm to its narrow streets and lanes lined with old timber houses, where phenomenally beautiful Alpine scenery and traditional style will leave you spellbound. Once you have settled into the hotel, you will have time to visit Molkerei cheese cave and afterwards Gstaad, where so many famous people have made a home in the past and present.
Day 5 ( Wednesday)
Coach transfer to Col Du Pillon to explore a unique glacier world: Glacier 300. Already the first glimpse of the summit station designed by architect Mario Botta is spectacular. Immediately, a stunning panorama of no
fewer than 24 snow-capped 4000-metre giants reveals itself: Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Matterhorn, Grand Combin and even Mont Blanc in the distance.
Day 6 (Thursday)
A day dedicated to an unforgettable train journey on the GoldenPass Line departing Gstaad, down many hairpins bends full of vineyards, arriving in Montreux, basking on the Lake Geneva shores. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Jazz Café Montreux and enjoy some of the tunes from the greatest Jazz Festival in the world. Travel by boat to the Chillon Castle, the inspiration for Byron’s poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’ for a guided tour and some wine tasting, before returning to the hotel.
Day 7 (Friday)
A day dedicated to cheese, chocolates and castles. Leave your hotel by train to Montreux where you will board the Belle Epoque or Panoramic train to Montbovon with coffee and chocolate bread served on the train. Transfer from the Chocolate Train to the coach on a stupendous drive through rolling green valleys to the little, medieval, picture-book town of Gruyeres perched on a small hill. Time is dedicated to visiting the Gruyere town, La Maison du Gruyere cheese factory with its ancestral cheese-making tradition and also the Cailler Chocolate museum and factory to finish the day on a sweet note.
Day 8 (Saturday)
First class train transfer back to Zurich airport.
- Scheduled return flights from the UK to Switzerland
- 7 nights’ accommodation in 4-star hotels
- Services of an escorting local tour guide throughout
- 1ST class rail transfers including GoldenPass Line return, and private coach transfers
- Luggage transportation between Bern to Gstaad, and Gstaad to Vevey (one piece per person)
- Breakfast daily (x7)
- Lunch at the Jazz Café on day 6
- 3-course dinner at the Kornhauskeller in Bern on day 2
- 3-course dinners in a hotel on days 4 and 7
- Walking city tour of Bern with a local English speaking guide and visit the Einstein Museum on day 2
- Visit of the Creux du Van and the Clock-making museum on day3
- Visit the cheese cave in Gstaad on day4
- Excursion to Glacier 3000 on day 5
- Visit the Chillon Castle including guide and wine tasting on day 6
- Chocolate train excursion on the day 7, Maison Gruyere including cheese tasting and Maison Cailler including chocolate tasting
- Bern - Hotel Bristol (3 nights) ★★★★ – In a central location close to all main attractions
- Saanen - Hotel Huus (2 nights) ★★★★ – Alpine home away from home
- Vevey - Hotel Astra (2 nights) ★★★★ – Modern and comfortable hotel in the centre of the town
- 26 September 2020
Departure flights to Zurich from:
- Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, London City, Birmingham & Manchester
- Or indirect flights via Amsterdam from regional airports available on request
- Flight supplements may apply