Switzerland & the Italian Lakes - A Connections Boutique Group Journey (2020)

Experience some of Europe's most scenic vistas on this journey combining the beautiful Swiss Alps with the glories of the Italian Lake District.

Journey Overview

Experience some of Europe's most scenic vistas on this journey combining the beautiful Swiss Alps with the glories of the Italian Lake District. Enjoy views from the Glacier Express train, sample Swiss chocolate and try your hand at playing the alphorn.

Journey Highlights

  • Arrive in Zermatt in true style with first-class seating on the Glacier Express 
  • Savour famously smooth Swiss chocolate during a tasting workshop at Lindt chocolatier
  • Travel on one of the only cable cars in the world with an outdoor viewing deck
  • Enjoy a private farewell dinner on beautiful Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Zurich, Switzerland.

Arrive in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city and one with a well-deserved reputation for offering a quality of life on par with any other in the world. You are met and transferred to your hotel, where you meet your fellow guests this evening for a welcome briefing, followed by dinner. 
The Storchen| Meals: D 

Day 2: Zurich | Breathtaking Views & Scenic Paths

Enjoy a guided walking tour of Zurich this morning, taking in its alluring mix of modern and Old-World architecture while strolling its wide, pedestrian-friendly avenues. Zurich is known for its churches, and your walk incorporates visits to several noteworthy ones, including the Fraumünster, with its Marc Chagall-designed stained-glass windows, and the Grossmünster, supposedly founded by Charlemagne and later to play a key part in establishing the Reformation in Switzerland. Your tour also includes a visit to the city’s Watch and Clock Museum, which features over 300 exhibits chronicling the history of timekeeping, dating as far back as 1400 BC. After time for lunch at leisure, gather for a sweet finish with a chocolate workshop at Lindt. 
The Storchen| Meals: B 

Day 3: Lucerne | Peaks of The Alps

This morning, travel to Lucerne, on the shores of its beautiful lake, and stroll the streets of this medieval jewel. The city’s most famous landmark is the Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. Its interior is decorated with vivid paintings, many of which date back to the 17th century and depict events from the city’s history. You also visit Corn Market Square and the nearby Old Town Hall, built in 1602. Spend the rest of the day exploring this scenic city at leisure.  
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern| Meals: B 

Day 4: Bern | Capital City

Drive to Bern, named for the bears that may still be seen in the European wilderness, and discover its charms on a walking tour. See the city’s namesake animal at the Bärengraben and nearby BärenPark, where bears have been kept since the mid-19th century. You also view the clockworks of the medieval Zytglogge (clock tower). After lunch, stroll the capital’s delightful old streets before returning to Lucerne. Meet a yodel instructor for an A&K-exclusive yodel lesson. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern | Meals: BL 

Day 5: Interlaken & Brienz | Play the Alphorn

Cross the Brünig Pass to the pretty mountain village of Habkern and partake in a Swiss treat: a lesson in the history of the famous alphorn. In former days, these massive horns were used by herdsmen on the mountain slopes to communicate with people in the valleys below; today they are played and enjoyed as musical instruments, and your lesson includes the opportunity to play one yourself. Visit beautiful Interlaken, with time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own. This afternoon pause in Brienz, a center of Swiss woodcarving, and learn more about this traditional craft. This evening ascend the slopes of the Stanserhorn on the world’s first cable car with an open observation deck on top. Enjoy dinner surrounded by the matchless beauty of the Swiss Alps before descending back to Lucerne.
Hotel Schweizerhof | Meals: BD 

Day 6: Zermatt | All Aboard The Glacier Express

Begin your day with a scenic cruise along Lake Lucerne, taking you through four of Switzerland’s 26 cantons (states). The lake is made up of several arms extending in several directions, making for an especially varied and scenic shoreline. After disembarking, board the famous Glacier Express and settle into your first-class carriage to enjoy lunch as you traverse the majestic scenery, arriving in the mountain town of Zermatt — one of the most popular waypoints for adventurers exploring the Alps, and a charming destination in its own right.
Schlosshotel Zermatt | Meals: BLD 

Day 7: Zermatt | The Mighty Matterhorn

This morning, ride the Gornergrat Railway to a height of 10,135 feet for spectacular views over the Alps, the Gorner Glacier and the Matterhorn. One of the world’s most renowned peaks, the Matterhorn has a pyramid-shaped summit with four distinct faces, making it an endlessly fascinating sight. It is also a formidable technical challenge for mountaineers — the first successful summit in 1865 cost the lives of four climbers. After a scenic lunch on the mountain, stop in a local microbrewery back in Zermatt for a tasting of beer brewed from the purest Alpine water.
Schlosshotel Zermatt | Meals: BL 

Day 8: Stresa, Italy | Shores of Lake Maggiore

A short train ride takes you out of Zermatt today. Pause just down the valley in Brig to tour the 17th century Stockalper Palace. Built by a wealthy silk merchant and the largest private residence in Switzerland at the time. Enjoy lunch before crossing the Simplon Pass to the Italian Lakes District and the beautiful resort of Stresa, nestled on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Ernest Hemingway set portions of his World War I novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’ here, although he didn’t actually visit in person until 1948. Settle into your lakeside hotel before a fine dinner.  
Hotel La Palma | Meals: BLD 

Day 9: Stresa | Picturesque Island

Drive to nearby Orta San Giulio, a charming medieval town resting upon a shimmering lake. Legend claims the island was once infested by serpents and monsters that terrorized local villages, until patron saint Julius of Novara arrived with a great storm at his back and banished them forever. The town occupies a promontory commanding wide views over the lake and farther shore, and its shaded streets are made for wandering. Take a boat to the island of San Giulio to see its Benedictine monastery and church. Return to Stresa in the afternoon.
Hotel La PalmaMeals: B  

Day 10: Stresa | Lush, Alpine Lake Maggiore

This morning, relax and enjoy the amenities at your hotel, stroll the local market in Stresa, or just sit in a café and watch the world go by. Later, board a private boat for a tour of Lake Maggiore and its islands, renowned for their impressive gardens. On beautiful Isola Bella, enjoy a special farewell dinner with your fellow guests as the sun sets over the surrounding mountains.
Hotel La Palma | Meals: BD

Day 11: Depart Milan

Transfer this morning to Milan Malpensa Airport for your onward travel.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Please note: 09 July departure will have a change of hotel on Days 3-5, Seehotel Hermitage. Please contact A&K for details.

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Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich

Switzerland & the Italian Lakes - A Connections Boutique Group Journey (2020)

Hotel Schweizerhof is a charming historic property in the centre of the city offering old world elegance in a prime locale. 99 rooms and ... Read more

Hotel Storchen

Switzerland & the Italian Lakes - A Connections Boutique Group Journey (2020)

One of Switzerland’s earliest hotels, Hotel Storchen is the only one located on the River Limmat and is surrounded by picturesque streets ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Oct 1, 2020 - Oct 11, 2020 Special
Price AU$13,035pp Single Supplement AU$2,025 was AU$4,050 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Oct 8, 2020 - Oct 18, 2020
Price AU$13,035pp Single Supplement AU$4,050 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.