Switzerland: A Journey Through the Swiss Alps

Discover beguiling historic cities, breathtaking snow-capped mountains and jewel-toned glacial lakes on this exploration of Switzerland. Travel from cosmopolitan Geneva to lovely lakeside Lucerne, visiting the romantic Chateau de Chillon and the pretty alpine hamlet of Zermatt along the way.

Journey Overview

Discover beguiling historic cities, breathtaking snow-capped mountains and jewel-toned glacial lakes on this exploration of Switzerland. Travel from cosmopolitan Geneva to lovely lakeside Lucerne, visiting the romantic Chateau de Chillon and the pretty alpine hamlet of Zermatt along the way. There’s ample opportunity to sample renowned Swiss chocolate and cheese, as well as take advantage of the trains and boats that famously run like clockwork in this tiny landlocked country. Accommodation throughout this tour is in some of the country’s grandest hotels, including the glamorous Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne and the storied Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, set in the shadow of the Matterhorn.

Journey Highlights

  • Tour the charming old towns of Lausanne and Lucerne with an expert guide on foot.
  • Visit the highly photogenic Chateau de Chillon, whose stone walls conceal marvellous formal halls and a hauntingly beautiful dungeon.
  • Travel along Europe’s highest open-air cog railway and the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to fabulous scenic viewpoints overlooking the Swiss Alps.
  • Stay in some of Switzerland’s grandest hotels including the sophisticated Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, which has welcomed guests since 1861.
  • Enjoy a full day free to explore the idyllic mountain town of Zermatt at leisure
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Geneva, Switzerland

Arrive in cosmopolitan Geneva, where you are met by your A&K Guardian Angel. Transfer by private vehicle to your lakefront hotel in Lausanne, a picturesque city about 40 minutes by road from the international airport.

Beau-Rivage Palace

Day 2: Lausanne

Embark on a half-day tour of Lausanne’s largely car-free Old Town, taking in the Gothic splendour of Notre Dame, arguably Switzerland’s finest cathedral. Also on your itinerary today is the magnificent Hôtel de Ville, the 17th century Baroque-style town hall complete with copper gargoyles. At the centre of Palud Square, take a moment to admire the striking Renaissance-era sculpture of Lady Justice – part of Lausanne’s oldest fountain – created by Laurent Perroud and his son Jacques in 1584-85.

The afternoon is free to explore the rest of this historic city, which brims with museums and art galleries, on your own.

Beau-Rivage Palace | Meals: B

Day 3: Lausanne

Discover the many charms of French-speaking Switzerland on a full day excursion. Your first stop is the romantic 9th century Chateau de Chillon just outside Montreux, which appears to float on the waters of the lake. A wander through the castle’s many buildings reveals its dark history, particularly the vaulted stone dungeon, which inspired Lord Byron’s epic poem The Prisoner of Chillon. Also of note are the three splendid formal great halls, and the chapel, whose wall recesses date back to the 13th century.

Next, board the modern Golden Pass Panoramic Train to Montbovon, savouring sweeping views of the Swiss Alps. On arrival, you are met by your driver and transferred to Gruyères. Home to a number of castles and heritage homes, this medieval town is not only famous for its namesake cheese, but also for delicate meringues served with fresh fruit and heavy double cream.

Beau-Rivage Palace | Meals: B

Day 4: Zermatt

Today’s destination is Zermatt, an alluring small town in the Swiss Alps and the starting point for many skiers, hikers and mountaineers on the Haute Route, which runs between the Matterhorn in Switzerland and Mont Blanc in France. You are met here by your A&K Guardian Angel who will assist you with check in at your hotel.

Grand Hotel Zermatterhof | Meals: B

Day 5: Zermatt

Wear sturdy shoes and take your daypack for today’s excursion! This morning, you’ll ride on Europe’s highest open-air cog railway to the lofty summit of Gornegrat, Switzerland’s second-highest mountain. On this 45-minute journey, the train winds its way up 3,089 metres to a viewing platform that offers awe-inspiring views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the dramatic Gorner Glacier.

Grand Hotel Zermatterhof | Meals: B

Day 6: Zermatt

The entire day is yours to experience the many attractions of Zermatt. Shop for souvenirs such as Swiss chocolate along lively Bahnhofstrasse or browse the fascinating displays – showcasing both triumph and tragedy – at the Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis. For more mountain scenery, a hike to the ethereal Gorner Gorge is highly recommended, as is an unforgettable helicopter flight over the Matterhorn (additional cost).

Grand Hotel Zermatterhof | Meals: B

Day 7: Lucerne

You are escorted aboard the Glacier Express train bound for Andermatt today. Sit back and soak up breathtaking vistas from your comfortable First Class seat as you make your way into central Switzerland.

Your destination today is Lucerne, a gorgeous fairytale city on the shores of Vierwaldstaettersee, the country’s fourth-largest lake.

Hotel des Balances | Meals: B

Day 8: Lucerne

An expert-guided city tour on foot unravels the history of this beguiling city. Admire the classically beautiful Renaissance-era Old Town Hall and inspect the ornate wooden pews and gilded statues that adorn the white stone interiors of the 8th century Church of St Leodegar.

At the Glacier Gardens, get a glimpse of what Lucerne looked like when ice covered this land. This is also where the impressive Lion Monument can be found, a moving sculpture of a dying lion carved into a rock face to commemorate Swiss Guards who died while protecting Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Enjoy lunch (payable locally) on board a public boat, as you cruise across the Vierwaldstaettersee, taking in the dramatic mountain landscapes.

Hotel des Balances | Meals: B

Day 9: Lucerne

Leave the city behind and travel on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway past wildflower-filled meadows and gurgling streams to Pilatus Kulm. This popular lookout can be crowded but it boasts spectacular views of no less than 73 peaks and five different lakes. Make a scenic descent by aerial gondola.

Hotel des Balances| Meals: B

Day 10: Depart Lucerne

Meet your driver for a transfer to the airport.

Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Beau-Rivage Palace

Switzerland: A Journey Through the Swiss Alps

Many notable guests throughout history from politicians to royalty and celebrities have experienced the outstanding hospitality of staff ... Read more

Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

Switzerland: A Journey Through the Swiss Alps

Built towards the end of the 19th century to accommodate wealthy city-dwellers who sought fresh mountain air during their holi... Read more

Hotel des Balances

Switzerland: A Journey Through the Swiss Alps

Opened as an inn as early as the 12th century, the Hotel des Balances has a long history of welcoming illustrious travellers t... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.

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