Switzerland – from the underground to the sky
Round tour, 6 days, not including transportation to Switzerland. Code 0701
Zürich – Baar – Luzern – Vitznau – Pilatus – Moléson – Gruyère – Broc – Montreux – Aigle – Sion – Zermatt – Leuk – Leukerbad – St. Moritz
Helicopter flight – Matternhorn and Grande Dixence
Panoramic train ride on the Glacier Express
Boat trip on Lake Luzern
The steepest cogwheel railway in the world
The biggest Alpine thermal spa
Cheese and chocolate manufacturing presentation
Caves of central Switzerland
Underground military fortress
Small and friendly groups
Day 1 – Zürich – Baar
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. From the museum, we will go for a walk along the Bahnhofstrasse, where Zürich’s exclusive shops and restaurants, the biggest Swiss banks and a clock museum can be found. Lunch will be taken in a well-known restaurant that serves the German-speaking part of Switzerland’s most traditional dishes. Indeed, tucking in to Zürcher Geschnetzeltes mit Rösti – Zürich ragout with Swiss hash browns – accompanied by an assortment of local wines and beers, is an excellent way to conclude our morning and see us into the afternoon. From the restaurant, we will walk through the old town, along the Limmat river, to Lake Zürich. The journey will include even more places of interest, such as, among others, the huge Grossmünster cathedral; the town hall, located on the river, and the Lindenhofplatz viewing point. The rest of the day will be spent away from the hustle and bustle of the city, as we head to Baar, in central Switzerland, to visit the Höllgrotten caves (temperature: 10°C / 50°F). Here, we will be transported through a fascinating world of bizarre rock formations and stalactites and stalagmites, all presented with colourful, artistic lighting.
Day 2 – Luzern – Vitznau – Pilatus
Next day in the morning we will visit Lucerne, a picturesque city located at the shores of Lake Lucerne. The city is a cultural centre of the central Switzerland. We will experience the 15th century Kapellbrücke – the oldest, and second longest, roofed wooden bridge in Europe. We will also visit the old town and fortifications, among other things. Then, we embark on a boat trip across Lake Luzern to the town of Vitznau. Here, a special treat, unseen in many typical tourism brochures, awaits us as we visit a contemporary military artillery fortress – until the end of the 1990s a secret facility used by the Swiss army – situated in rooms carved into the rock. We will learn about fortification construction and the Swiss concept of military defence, which is based on a fortification network that spans the whole country. After lunch, we head towards Mount Pilatus, (2,132 m a.s.l.), one of Switzerland’s best known viewing points. The panoramic views of Luzern and the lake are wonderful. Then, we will go up to the mountain on the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, which has a gradient of up to 48% in places. From Pilatus, two different types of cable car will take us to the other side of the massif.
Day 3 – Moléson – Gruyère – Broc – Montreux
We spend the third day of our tour in Suisse Romande, the French-speaking region of Switzerland. In the mountain town of Moléson, we will learn how real Alpine cheese is made. From Moléson, we continue to Gruyère, where the eponymous cheese, one of the most well-known and appreciated varieties in the world, comes from. Le Gruyère Premier Cru cheese has been awarded the title of the best cheese in the world six times. We will have lunch in a restaurant situated in the medieval town on the hill. There, we will have the chance to try fondue, one of Switzerland’s flagship cheese dishes, as well as raclette. The afternoon will see us visit a medieval castle that also houses a contemporary art gallery. We will also drop by a unique museum containing the work of famous Swiss artist, H.R. Giger, the creator of the movie character Alien (Alien movie series). Before leaving Gruyère, we will drop into the Giger bar for a coffee – this place truly is an artwork in itself, as you will see! Our next stop will be the Cailler chocolate factory in the nearby town of Broc – Callier is the oldest brand of Swiss chocolate. You will have the chance to learn in an interesting and engaging way about the history of chocolate making and to taste a wide selection of assorted chocolates and pralines. We will call it a day in the picturesque town of Montreux on Lake Geneva. After we check-in to our accommodation, we will go for an evening walk along the banks of the lake where you can see a statue of the late Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen.
Day 4 – Aigle – Sion – Zermatt – Leuk – Leukerbad
After breakfast, we will venture further south to the town of Aigle, famous for its white wines. On our way, we will stop for a moment at Chillon castle; the most frequently visited historical building in Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva. In Aigle winemaking museum, not only will we learn about the development of winemaking techniques, but also we will also see a collection of 1,200 wine labels. Both the richness and the attractive multimedia-educational form its exhibits take truly make this museum a referential place of this kind in the country. From Aigle, we head to Sion, the capital of the Valais canton. It is from here that we will fly by helicopter to the highest water dam in Europe – Grande Dixence, Swiss engineering at its finest! We continue over numerous glaciers to Zermatt, one of the most well-known mountain resorts in the country. We will be able to gaze in wonder as we soar over the Matterhorn (4,472 m a.s.l.), considered to be Switzerland’s most beautiful summit. Later in the afternoon we will visit a medieval town of Leuk, a place of archeological sensation. In the church crypt, we will encounter a real mummy, wonderful church sculptures and works of art returned to the light of day after centuries, as well as an ossuary – a collection of 20,000 human bones and skulls – in the chapel neighbouring the church. Our journey on day 4 will finish in the highland resort of Leukerbad, (1,402 m a.s.l.). This is the biggest spa in the Alps, offering many attractions for adults and children, and provides excellent opportunities to help you relax after a long and busy day discovering the local area.
Day 5 – St. Moritz
From Leukerbad, we will travel by train to the town of Brig, located in the eastern part of the Valais canton. Here, we will step on to the Glacier Express, a famous panoramic train, and embark on a unique six-and-three-quarter-hour journey to the remote, exclusive St. Moritz ski and leisure resort in eastern Switzerland. Along the way, we will cross 291 bridges, and travel through 91 tunnels, over the Oberalp Pass (2,033 m a.s.l.) and countless mountainous landscapes that exemplify Switzerland in the best way. During the train ride, a selection of culinary specialities and wines will be available to you. Upon our arrival in St. Moritz, we will take a cable car up to the popular Muottas Muragl viewing point (2,454 m a.s.l.), which has amazing panoramic views of the Upper Engadine and the world’s most accurate sundial.
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.