Switzerland – friendly and with hikes, from palms to glaciers
Round tour, 6 days, not including transportation to Switzerland. Code: 0301
Baar – Lake Lucerne – Locarno – Lake Maggiore – Contra Dam (Verzasca Dam) – Bernese Oberland – Saas-Fee – Montreux – Lake Geneva – Susten Pass and Grimsel Pass
small, friendly groups (up to 7 people) – hikes on mountain routes – ride along alpine serpentines – caves of central Switzerland – birds of prey show – the steepest railway in Europe – encounter with marmots
Day 1 – Baar, Lake Lucerne
Arrival in Zurich. Around noon a tour leader picks up the group. A transfer to the area of Baar for a meal. A visit in Höllgrotten caves (temperature of 10oC / 50oF). A fascinating, underground world full of bizarre forms of stalactites and stalagmites, presented with modern, colourful lighting. A transfer to the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland for a night stay in the area of Locarno. On our way we will go through the Gotthard Tunnel, the third longest road tunnel in the world (16.9‑kilometre long), we will see Lake Lucerne, a legendary place of the very origins of the Swiss statehood – Rütliwiese, and Wilhelm Tell chapel.
Day 2 – Locarno, Contra Dam (Verzasca Dam)
We will start the day by visiting Madonna del Sasso, the most known pilgrimage church in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, picturesquely located on the rocks overlooking Locarno. A ride by cable car to the top of Mount Cardada (1,340 m/4,396 ft high) and a walk through the viewing bridge. A hike to the summit of Cimetta (2 h; 1,671 m / 5,482 ft high) to the point with a panoramic view of Lake Maggiore and four-thousanders of Valais. A meal, descent to Cardada (1 h) and ride down by cable car. A transfer by minibus to birds of prey show. In a specially designed Falconeria park more than a dozen of bird species will be presented (eagles, hawks, owls) flying just above the heads of the audience seated in the stands. We will go to the fourth highest dam in Switzerland – Contra Dam (Verzasca Dam, 220 m / 721 ft high), where a famous jump scene for the Goldeneye (James Bond) movie was shot. An option for a bungee jump (CHF 255). Then we leave the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and we go along the Susten Pass (2,224 m / 7,296 ft high) for a night stay in the Bernese Oberland.
Day 3 – Bernese Oberland – Gadmen, Meiringen
Early in the morning we will go for a walk to the Stein Glacier (1.5 h). A transfer to the area of Gadmen. A ride by cable car and a hike (2 h) to the Trift Bridge (1,720 m / 5,643 ft high), one of the highest and the longest (170 m / 557 ft) pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Alps. Return on foot to the cable car station (2 h). A descent by cable car and a ride for a meal. A walk along 200-metre deep gorge of the Aare, which was visited and described by J. W. Goethe. A transfer for a night stay in the area of Meiringen.
Day 4 – Bernese Oberland – Lake Gelmer
After a breakfast we will visit a mountain cheese factory in the area of Lake Gelmer, where we will see how an original alpine cheese is made. A hike to and around Lake Gelmer (4 h). A descent by the steepest funicular railway in Europe. You can also choose a short hike (2 h) and taking a ride by funicular twice. After lunch we will ride along a picturesque Grimsel Pass (2,165 m / 7,103 ft high) to the canton of Valais for a night stay in the area of Saas-Fee.
Day 5 – Saas Fee, Montreux
A ride to Saas-Fee, a town overlooking the highest mountain in Switzerland – Dom (4,545 m / 14,911 ft high). An ascent by cable car to Spielboden (2,450 m / 8,038 ft high). An unique opportunity to encounter numerous marmots in their natural habitat. These timid by nature animals are tamed enough in this area that they can be hand-fed by tourists. A hike from Spielboden to the summit of Längfluh (2,870 m / 9,416 ft high; ca 1 h), from where you can admire a fantastic panorama of glaciers and four-thousanders. After a short stay on the summit of Längfluh, we will go back on foot to Saas-Fee for a meal (2 h). A transfer to Montreux, a city of so-called Swiss Riviera and check-in for a night stay. An evening walk along a famous, coastal promenade with a monument of Queen band vocalist, Freddie Mercury, who lived in Montreux for many years.
A breakfast. A transfer from Montreux to Zurich (ca. 3 h). Saying goodbye to tour participants.