Switzerland & the Italian Lakes - A Connections Boutique Group Journey (2023)

Take in some of Europe’s most scenic vistas on this journey combining the beautiful Swiss Alps with Italy’s glorious Lakes District. Soak up the stunning scenery and natural landscapes of the region, along with unique cities.

Journey Overview

Take in some of Europe’s most scenic vistas on this journey combining the beautiful Swiss Alps with Italy’s glorious Lakes District. Soak up the stunning scenery and natural landscapes of the region, along with unique cities.

Journey Highlights

  • Arrive in Zermatt in style on the Glacier Express, which affords first-class seating, unique glass ceilings and views of Switzerland's beautiful mountain scenery
  • Gain private access to Bern's landmark Zytglogge bell tower for an intimate guided visit
  • Savour famously smooth Swiss chocolate during a tasting workshop at an independent producer
  • Take a private boat tour of Lake Maggiore, and enjoy a special farewell dinner on beautiful Isola Bella
Itinerary

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 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 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. After time for lunch at a local beer cellar, gather for a sweet finish with a visit to an independent chocolate producer. Learn about the fascinating history and production of Swiss chocolate at the last manufacturer who still begins from the raw cacao beans.

The Storchen | Meals: BL

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. There is time for at leisure for lunch or further exploration, Continue to Alpnachstad and board the cogwheel train for a ride on the world’s steepest railway to the top of Mt. Pilatus. Descend via a cable car and alpine gondola. Continue to your hotel in Bern, named for the bears that may still be seen in the European wilderness.

Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa | Meals: BD

Day 4: Bern | Capital City

This morning, discover the charms of Switzerland's intimate capital, strolling delightful old streets and stepping inside the Zytglogge for a private, guided visit of this legendary medieval clock tower. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure, free to explore on your own or relax at your elegant hotel.

Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa | Meals: B

Day 5: Interlaken | Play the Alphorn

Travel to the pretty mountain village of Habkern and partake in two Swiss traditions. Enjoy a special class with a yodel teacher and 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. After lunch, visit scenic Interlaken and cruise beautiful Lake Thun, surrounded by the glory of the Alps. Return to Bern for an evening at leisure.

Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa | Meals: BL

Day 6: Zermatt | All Aboard the Glacier Express

Begin your day with a drive to Andermatt, stopping in the scenic village of Fluelen for lunch on the edge of Lake Lucerne. Then, board the famous Glacier Express and settle into your first-class carriage as you traverse the majestic scenery, arriving in the mountain town of Zermatt — one of the most popular waypoints for adventurers exploring the Alps. Cap your evening off with a Swiss fondue dinner.

Schlosshotel Zermatt | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Zermatt | The Mighty Matterhorn

This morning, ride the Gornergrat Railway to a height of 3,089 metres 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.

Schlosshotel Zermatt | Meals: B

Day 8: Stresa, Italy | Shores of Lake Maggiore

A short train ride takes you out of Zermatt today. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the spectacular Simplon Pass before arriving in the Italian Lakes District and the beautiful resort town 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 in to your lakeside hotel before a fine dinner.

Hotel La Palma | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Stresa | Picturesque Island

Drive to Orta San Giulio, a charming medieval town resting upon a shimmering lake. 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 nearby island of San Giulio to see its Benedictine monastery and church. 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. Return to Stresa in the afternoon.

Hotel La Palma | Meals: 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

Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Day 1.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:00 p.m. on Day 8.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Please note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Included with every Connections Boutique Group Journey

  • English-Speaking Resident Tour Director and Local Guides
  • Hand-Selected Boutique Accommodations
  • Airport Meet and Greet with Private Transfers
  • Full Breakfast Daily; Select Lunches and Dinners
  • Internet Access
  • Entrance Fees, Taxes and All Gratuities Except Resident Tour Director
  • 24/7 A&K On-Call Support
  • Guaranteed Departures with Just Two Guests

Customise this Journey

Talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about booking this tour as a private journey for your own small group with family or friends. Or, if you would prefer to travel privately, find out more about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey based on this itinerary.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Hotel Storchen

Switzerland & the Italian Lakes - A Connections Boutique Group Journey (2023)

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

May 25, 2023 - Jun 4, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Jun 15, 2023 - Jun 25, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Jul 6, 2023 - Jul 16, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Sep 7, 2023 - Sep 17, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Sep 14, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Sep 21, 2023 - Oct 1, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire
Oct 5, 2023 - Oct 15, 2023
Price AU$13,795pp Single Supplement AU$4,220 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Enquire

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