Country Roads of Switzerland (Summer 2020)

Country Roads of Switzerland (Summer 2020)


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Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

An intimate journey of discovery amid stunning Alpine panoramas. This itinerary includes riding on the famous Glacier Express and staying in some of Switzerland's most enchanting hotels.

Day 1 - Welcome to Lucerne.
Welcome to Switzerland, a land of snow-capped summits and romantic lakes that has attracted poets, musicians and travellers for centuries. On arrival at Zürich airport, transfers leave for your hotel in Lucerne at 09:30 and 13:30. Meet your Travel Director and travel companions at 18:00 for drinks, followed by a pleasant Welcome Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 - Ascend the summit of Mount Stanserhorn.
Step aboard a funicular railway and open-top cable car for a spectacular journey to the summit of the stunning Mount Stanserhorn. Admire unrivalled views of the surrounding mountains and, on a clear day see as far as Alsace in France and the Black Forest in Germany. Explore Stanserhorn with Insight Choice. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife. Alternatively, walk through the Stanserhorn marmot park and along the Rock-Gipfelweg trail leading to the summit. At the highest point you can enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree panorama. Return to the beautiful 14th century city of Lucerne to see its storybook wooden bridges, Baroque church and sorrowful Lion Monument. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to walk along the lake or perhaps shop for a special timepiece or chocolate.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Astoria, Lucerne.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Bern, Gruyères and Montreux.
In Bern, your Local Expert is a local English teacher, who shows you the Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace and floral displays. Gather at the clock tower to watch the mechanical procession of painted figures before viewing the Ogre Fountain. Your travels continue into the wide, green valleys of the Vaud Alps with snowy summits filling the horizon. Continue through vineyards and alpine meadows to the fortified town of Gruyères, that gives its name to the well-known cheese. Enjoy time on your own to explore the pretty main street and 13th century castle. From Montreux, travel along the shores of Lake Geneva to visit Domaine Bovyand admire the stunning panorama overlooking the lake. Savour a tasting of these tantalising, local wines and delight in a delicious Farm-to-Table light dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 4 - Lake Geneva & the Swiss Countryside.
On the western bay of Lake Geneva, a Local Expert will show you the medieval Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, immortalised by Lord Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon.' Keep a look out for where the writer is rumoured to have left his mark. Return to Montreux where the rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own or relax as you wish at your quayside hotel.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - Geneva and Scenic Lake Cruise.
Follow the shores of the lake to the international city of Geneva, seeing the Jet d’Eau and Floral Clock. Next, relax in first-class comfort on the waters of Lake Geneva during a highlight cruise. This evening, enjoy time at leisure on the promenades of your lakeside resort.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Grand Hôtel Suisse-Majestic, Montreux.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Martigny, Sion and Zermatt.
Journey into the upper Rhône Valley to Martigny to view the Roman Amphitheatre. Continue to the town of Sion, dominated by two rocky peaks, each crowned with episcopal fortresses, and see the cathedral and Old Town Hall. Complete your journey via cogwheel train to the traffic-free mountain resort of Zermatt. This evening, take your pick from a selection a local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. Perhaps you will delight in the typical Swiss dining experience of fondue?(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Resort Hotel Alex, Zermatt.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 7 - Zermatt at Leisure.
Zermatt in summertime offers many leisure possibilities: try swimming, hiking or relaxing in the fresh alpine surrounds. Perhaps take a trip to the Klein Matterhorn, see the Matterhorn from the church bridge or sample the delicious cakes known as Kuchen?(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Resort Hotel Alex, Zermatt.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - The Italian Lake District to Baveno.
Descend to Täsch for a scenic drive through Brig where you'll commence your ascent of the Simplon Pass, taking in magnificent views over the Alps from the 2,000-metre summit. Cut through northern Italy, stopping along the shores of Lake Maggiore. The afternoon is at your leisure. Perhaps join an excursion to the stunning Isola Bella?(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Simplon/Hotel Dino, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 - The Glamour and Glitz of St. Moritz.
Journey along the shores of Lake Maggiore, and head north to the three castles at Bellinzona to meet your Local Expert, Julia Guidotti, for a fascinating insight into this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally from the midwest of the USA, Julia was married in Ticino - the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland of which Bellinzona is the capital. Having lived in the area for many years, Julia is passionate about this city and is always keen to share her knowledge and delighted to assist with any questions you have about the region. Your travels continue through the Grison Region, travelling via San Bernardino and the town of Tiefencastel, as you follow the young Rhine River. Head east towards the Julier Pass and the glamorous resort of St. Moritz, set in the Engadine Valley with the majestic Grisons Alps towering above.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Crystal Hotel/Steffani, St. Moritz.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 - Leisure Time in St. Moritz.
Enjoy a day at leisure to jostle with the jet-setters in the elegant boutiques or take an exciting train journey over the Bernina pass. To help you make the most of your day, your Travel Director will provide you with a mountain railways pass, offering free travel on all cable cars (when available), funiculars and chairlifts in Engadine St. Moritz.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Crystal Hotel/Steffani, St. Moritz.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 - The Glacier Express.
Step aboard the Glacier Express to experience one of the world’s great railway journeys. Cross the Landwasser Viaduct before heading down through the Oberalp Valley to rejoin the coach at Andermatt. Drive through the dramatic Schöllenen Gorge passing the Devil's Bridge. Marvel at the Wetterhorn Peaks as you travel along the Grindelwald Valley. Follow the sparkling Lütschine River to Lauterbrunnen, at the head of the Valley of Waterfalls, and see the Staubbach Falls plunge 300 metres from the plateau above.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 12 - Grindelwald at Leisure.
Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore Grindelwald further. Perhaps take a cogwheel train ride to the summit of the Jungfrau mountain?(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof Grindelwald.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 - Rural Switzerland to Zürich.
Take in the spectacular lake views, as you journey to Brienz, famous for its woodcarving traditions. Visit the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre to trace the history of the trade back to the early days of the 19th century. Continue over the Brünig Pass and drive alongside the lakes of Lungern and Sarnen to return to Zürich. See the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster on an orientation of the city with your Travel Director. Join your travel companions at a local restaurant. Your Celebration Dinner is accompanied with wine - raise your glass to toast to your adventures.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Mövenpick Hotel Zürich-Airport.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 14 - Depart Zürich.
Enjoy a complimentary transfer to the airport by hotel shuttle.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Lake Geneva: Visit Domaine Bovy, a family-run winery overlooking Lake Geneva. After a tasting enjoy delicious Farm-to-Table fare, of course accompanied with these local wines.
  • Zermatt: Choose between fine local restaurants, with an option to experience the typical Swiss meal of fondue, on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Zürich: Raise your glass and enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant for your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Stanserhorn: Embark on a spectacular journey to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn and appreciate unrivalled views of snow-capped peaks. Meet a Swiss Ranger and learn about the local wildlife.
  • Bellinzona: Julia Guidotti is your Local Expert as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the capital of Italian Switzerland. Having married and now living in the region, Julia is very passionate to share her story and why she loves the area.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Zürich: Your Travel Director will show you the Bahnhofstrasse, Grossmünster, River Limmat and Frauenmünster.
  • Lucerne: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the emotive Lion Monument, Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge.
  • Bern: Your exploration with a local historian through Switzerland's capital includes seeing the floral displays, Bear Pits, Cathedral of St. Vincent, Federal Palace, clock tower and Ogre Fountain.
  • Gruyères: Travel along valley floors covered with rich meadowland, to the pretty town of Gruyères. Your Travel Director leads an orientation tour where you will see the main street and 13th century castle.
  • Montreux: At the foot of the Alps this town boasts one of the most beautiful walks along Lake Geneva and there is free time to explore.
  • Chillon Castle: Led by your Local Expert, visit the castle set on a rocky islet in the lake. Following his walk through the dungeons in 1816, Lord Byron wrote the poem 'The Prisoner of Chillon'. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar.
  • Geneva: During your orientation, your Travel Director will show you the Jet d'Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument.
  • Lake Geneva: Enjoy first-class seats as you cruise on the serene waters of the King of Lakes, inspiration to the early Romantic movement.
  • Martigny: View the Roman Amphitheatre during your orientation.
  • Sion: Your Travel Director will show you the two fortress-churches, the cathedral and Old Town Hall.
  • Zermatt: Ride the shuttle trains of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway up to the traffic-free Alpine resort. Should weather permit, you may even see the majestic peak of the Matterhorn.
  • Zermatt: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this picturesque village, high in the mountains.
  • Baveno: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the cobbled streets and 16th century square.
  • St. Moritz: During your orientation of this alpine resort see the spa quarter and glacial lake.
  • St. Moritz: If you think there’s no such thing as a free ride, you'd be mistaken! With your inclusive pass, travel on 13 cable cars, funiculars, chairlifts and select public transport options (when available). The crisp Alpine air is included in the deal.
  • Glacier Express: Travel on-board the world-famous Glacier Express, journeying through looping tunnels and dizzying viaducts. Enjoy a glorious adventure in the scenic heart of the Swiss Alps, only possible by rail.
  • Lauterbrunnen: Enjoy your orientation of the village that takes its name from 'many fountains,' referring to the 72 waterfalls that are within the surrounding valley.
  • Staubbach Falls: In the Valley of the Waterfalls, witness these magnificent falls that plunge 300 metres.
  • Grindelwald: Explore this glacier village during an orientation led by your Travel Director.
  • Brienz: Learn the history of woodcarving at the Jobin Swiss Woodcarving Centre.
  • Scenic Drives: Swiss countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy drives along Lake Geneva, passing the Vaud Alps and Rhône Valley. Continue through the Simplon Pass, Italian Lake District, Grison Region, San Bernardino, Julier Pass and Engadine Valley. Journey by the Schöllenen Gorge, Grindelwald Valley, through the Brünig Pass and pass Lakes Lungern and Sarnen.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: Is this the same as Insight Tours?

Yes, Insight Vacations is a first class / deluxe operator that specializes in fully escorted tours.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Accommodations
Itinerary
Professional Staff
Repeat with Operator
Value for Money

Ratings based off 52 reviews . Currently showing 13 reviews with comments only.
By Anne R on Sep 21, 2019

The primary reason we booked this particular trip was to travel with family who were already booked. But Insight proved to be similar to other operators we have tried. Accommodations were excellent, the itinerary as expected, though we bought several optional tours to round out the experience.

By Judy M on Aug 11, 2019

This tour was absolutely awesome and more than I could ever imagine. Being our first time to Europe and first bus tour ever I just cant imagine it being any better!!!

By William H on Jul 14, 2019

The tour [Country Roads of Switzerland (Summer 2019) (E728N14)] was excellent, as was the tour director (Robert). If you are thinking of going, realize that Switzerland is a VERY expensive country (hamburger + fries advertised for ~$25!). But the scenery and activities make it all worthwhile. Hotel rooms were typically European in size (small) and had no A/C.

By Alagiri S on Jul 02, 2019

Tour director was exceptional!

By Donald S on May 14, 2019

We had a great time. Hotels were top notch. All was very well organized. Leg room on coach varied greatly from seat to seat. I know for a fact because on some seats I had to put my legs in the isle. I am 6'-5" tall.

By Myrla J on Sep 02, 2018

Good itinerary but too regimented.

By Lenore P on Sep 02, 2018

This was a wonderful trip and experience. The tour guide was great as well as the bus driver. The trip was planned so well and it was an experience we will never forget. We would highly recommend this trip to others.

By Larry S on Jul 22, 2018

Meals provide by insight were not up to our expectations of quality. Three of the hotels did not have air conditioning!

By Shirl Y on Apr 22, 2018

Very nice tour. Beautiful country

By David L on Jul 28, 2015

Most hotels didn't have air conditioning

By Theresa P on Jul 28, 2015

I prefer Tauck, Globus or Trafalgar. I didn't see a big enough difference between Trafalgar and Insights to justify the added costs. The biggest disappointment was the lack of information on the optional tours. The Traditional Swiss night was filled with old american camp songs, the food was horrible and there was a pole in front of us so we couldn't see the show at all. Also, we had to leave as soon as my second drink was delivered.

By Florencio M on Jul 14, 2015

Under optional experiences , Italian Lakes- Isola Bella the charge is EUR 37, but we were charged CHF 54, a difference of EUR or CHF 17 each. So for 2 people, we paid 34 extra euros or chf swiss francs.


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