Switzerland – from north to south, between Rhine and Adda
Round tour, 6 days, not including transportation to Switzerland. Code 0801
Zürich – Rheinfall – Luzern – Engelberg – Titlis – Grimsel Pass – Zermatt –
Simplon Pass – Locarno – Lugano – Chur – Tirano – Bernina Pass – St. Moritz
Panoramic train ride on the Bernina Express
Boat trip on Lake Luzern
The steepest funicular railway in Europe
The biggest waterfall in Europe
The highest suspension bridge in Europe
The most beautiful mountain in Switzerland – Matternhorn
Alpine cheese factory visit
Birds of prey show
Ride along Alpine serpentines
Small and friendly groups
Day 1 – Zürich, Rheinfall
Arrival in Zürich, Switzerland’s biggest city. We will meet you at the airport and take you to downtown Zürich, where we begin our tour with a visit to the National Swiss Museum. Located in a stylish palace at the convergence of the Limmat and Sihl rivers, this is the most frequently visited historical museum in the country. Here, we will learn a little about the history and culture of the Swiss and the most important processes that ultimately shaped Switzerland into the country it is today. After our museum visit, we will head out for lunch. Along the way, we will see, among other things, a neo-renaissance railway station. The afternoon will be spent away from the hustle and bustle of the city, at the Rheinfall (Rhine Falls), the largest plain waterfall in Europe, in the canton of Schaffhausen, the most northern region of Switzerland. We will make the most of this beautiful natural spectacle, as a boat will take us across to the rocks in the middle of waterfall, and we will also have the opportunity to visit Laufen castle above us. In the castle museum, we will learn about this region’s economic development throughout history. In the evening, why not take a stroll among the nearby vineyards and bathe in the Rhine? (The bathing area is also suitable for children).
Day 2 – Luzern, Engelberg, Titlis
On the second day, we will head south to visit central Switzerland. We will go sightseeing in Luzern, a cultural hub in the area, on the shores of its eponymous lake. We will experience the 15th century Kapellbrücke – the oldest, and second longest, roofed wooden bridge in Europe – and visit, among other things, the old town and fortifications. Then, we embark on a boat trip across Lake Luzern to the town of Beckenried. After lunch, we will travel to Engelberg, a town known for winter sports and an impressive Benedictine monastery. A unique gondola lift — Titlis Rotair — that spins on its own axis will take us up to Mount Titlis (3,238 m a.s.l.). Covered with snow all year round and boasting the only glacier in this region, Titlis offers not only breathtaking views, but also the chance to take part in typically winter activities at the height of summer. The Ice Flyer chairlift will take us to an ice theme park where endless fun awaits us as we can go snow riding (snow toys, snowtubing), take a walk through a 150 m long cave inside a glacier (temperature ‑1.5°C / 29.3°F) and feel the thrills of walking on the Titlis Cliff Walk, the highest suspension bridge in Europe. After we return to Engelberg, we will go for dinner. Next, we will head further south for an overnight stay near the Lake Brienz. Along the way, we pass through stunningly idyllic scenery, such as the charming Lake Sarnen, the Lake Lungern and the Brünig Pass.
Day 3 – Grimsel Pass, Zermatt
Our journey takes us further south. From the Bernese Oberland, we will travel through the Grimsel Pass (2,164 m a.s.l.) to the canton of Valais. The Grimsel Pass is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful passes in Switzerland. Water dams, shimmering lakes surrounded by mountains, glaciers, a hydro power station and a some excellent tourist attractions make this place a definite must-see on any travel itinerary! As we journey across to the pass, we will visit a small Alpine cheese factory where we will have a chance to taste local specialities and, if we are lucky, we might also get to see the cheese making process in action. From here, we will go through 70 metre long suspension bridge to the Gelmerbahn railway station. The Gelmerbahn is the steepest funicular railway in Europe, with a gradient of up to 106%. Then, we will go up to the Gelmersee dam. Our route to the pass will takes us past two more dams and the marvellous Lake Grimsel. We enjoy a meal on the pass and then have the opportunity to visit a marmot park. In the afternoon, we will arrive at our accommodation in the Täsch area, and then travel by train to Zermatt, a town that is car free. A rack railway will take us up to Gornergrat (3,089 m a.s.l.), where you can admire the panoramic views of the Matterhorn (4,475 m a.s.l.), considered to be Switzerland’s most beautiful summit, and the Gorner Glacier. This fabulous place is the perfect setting for a restaurant meal. From Gornergrat, a lift will take us down to Rotenboden (2,819 m a.s.l.), from where we will take a walk to the Riffelsee lake. The reflection of the Matterhorn on the surface of the water truly is a wonder to behold. The third day of our journey will end with a leisurely stroll through Zermatt.
Day 4 – Simplon Pass, Locarno, Lugano
After a breakfast including an excellent selection of cheeses and dried meats from the Valais canton, we will head through the Simplon Pass (2,006 m a.s.l.) and Italy into Ticino – Switzerland’s Italian-speaking canton. Along the way, we will travel over the Ganterbrücke, one of the highest and longest road bridges in the country. When we reach Ticino, a different, more Mediterranean climate and flora will greet us. In the Falconeria park in Locarno, we will watch a display featuring more than a dozen species of bird of prey, such as eagles, hawks, owls and more, flying just above our heads. We will spend the afternoon in Lugano, Ticino’s biggest city. Walking through the city park and the beautiful promenade on the banks of the lake, we will have the chance to marvel at the local landscape – this setting is the perfect photo opportunity! A funicular railway will, then, take us up to Mount San Salvatore (912 m a.s.l.), to a viewing point which boasts magnificent views of the Lugano area, neighbouring Italy and Campione d’Italia, an Italian exclave within Swiss territory. There is a restaurant, a museum and a chapel on the top of the mountain. After leaving Ticino, we will stay overnight in the canton of Grisons, in eastern Switzerland.
Day 5 – Chur, Bernina Express, Tirano, St. Moritz
After breakfast, we will leave for Chur, the regional capital of the canton of Grisons and the oldest city in Switzerland. Here, we will step on to the Bernina Express, a famous panoramic train, and embark on a four-hour journey. This stretch of the Rhaetian Railway connects Chur and the Italian town of Tirano, on the banks of the river Adda. The route is considered to be one of the most spectacular in Switzerland. It is listed on UNESCO World Heritage List which testifies to its value. During the train ride, we will pass through areas with varying altitudes, from 2,253 m above sea level on the Bernina Pass to 429 m above sea level in Tirano. Along the way, not only will we see the breathtaking landscapes that exemplify the Swiss Alps in the best way, but it will also become clear that the bridges, tunnels and viaducts we will see along the way really do show off Swiss engineering at its finest! It will be time for lunch when we get to Tirano, following which we will travel back to Switzerland, via the Bernina Pass, to the Diavolezza cable car station (Diavolezza means ‘The beautiful she-devil‘). The cable car will, then, take us up to 2,973 m above sea level, where there is a viewing terrace providing the best views of both Piz Bernina – the highest summit in the canton of Grisons (4,047 m a.s.l.) – and Morteratsch, the largest glacier in the eastern Alps. After dinner, there will be time for a leisurely stroll along the banks of one of the lakes in the Upper Engandine region, or to visit the exclusive St. Moritz resort.
After breakfast, we will head back to Zürich airport. Depending on our departure time, there might be the option to visit another tourist attraction or place of interest along the way. Then will come our goodbyes to our tour participants.