Switzerland of cuisine and wine
Round tour, 6 days, not including transportation to Switzerland. Code 0501 (including wine fair)
Zurich – Gruyéres – Montreux – Lake Geneva – Aigle – Sierre – Leuk – Giornico – Lugano – Chur – Lake Constance
small, friendly groups (up to 7 people) – journey through all culinary regions of the country – helvetic winery, brewery and distillation industries – cheese and chocolate factories – Wine Fair in Valais– the oldest city in Switzerland – the biggest underground lake in Europe – ride along alpine serpentines
Day 1 – Zurich
Arrival in Zurich. Around noon the tour leader will pick up the group at the airport. A transfer to the city centre. From a monumental neo-renaissance railway station we will walk along the main downtown Bahnhofstrasse, where exclusive shops and restaurants, the biggest Swiss banks and a clock museum are located. After a short walk we will have a lunch in a renowned and traditional restaurant of the German-speaking part of Switzerland. A classic dish named Zürcher Geschnetzeltes with Rösti (Zurich veal with Swiss hashbrowns) accompanied by an assortment of local wines and beers will give us with a good start into the afternoon-evening part of the day. From the restaurant we will take a walk through the old town to Lake Zurich and along the Limmat river. Along the way we will see more important monuments and places like a giant Grossmünster cathedral, a City Hall located on the river and Lindenhofplatz viewing point, among others. Next, we will visit the National Museum, the most frequently visited history museum in the country, where in an appealing way we will get familiarised with the history and culture of the helvetic people. For a dinner and night stay we will get away from the city buzz to the almost 200-year old inn, located west of Zurich. There, we will have the opportunity to taste the Swiss spirit specialities like Absinth and the Swiss Whisky from a small local distillery.
Day 2 – Gruyére, Montreux
After a breakfast we will take a bus ride to Suisse romande (Romandie), a French-speaking part of Switzerland. In the chocolate factory in Broc an interestingly presented history of chocolate manufacturing and a degustation of a wide assortment of chocolate products and pralines await us. From Broc we will head towards a cheese factory in Gruyére, where we will take a closer look at the production of the branded cheese under the same name, one of the most well-known and valued of the Swiss cheeses in the world. Le Gruyére Premier Cru has been awarded the title of the best cheese of the world five times. We will go for a dinner to the restaurant located in the medieval town on the hill. There will be an opportunity to taste fondue, which is one of two flagship cheese dishes of Switzerland, along with raclette. In the afternoon we will visit a medieval castle with a modern art gallery. Alternatively you can visit a museum of a famous Swiss artist, H. R. Giger, who created the movie character Alien, or the Museum of Tibet. Before we leave Gruyére, we will pop in for a coffee to Giger bar, a place that is a piece of art from the floor to the ceiling. From Gruyére we will go for a night stay to Montreux, a town picturesquely located at the shore of Lake Geneva. After check-in we will take an evening walk and have a dinner at the famous, lakeside promenade with a monument of Freddie Mercury, the vocalist of Queen band.
Day 3 – Aigle, Sierre
After an early breakfast we will go further to the south to visit a wine industry museum in the town of Aigle. On the way we will stop for a while at the well-known castle located on the islet in the middle of Lake Geneva – Chateau de Chillon – which is the most frequently visited historical building in the country. From the winery area of Aigle we will go to St. Leonard in the canton of Valais, where we will take a boat ride on the biggest underground lake of Europe (temperature of 15°C / 59°F). Our further way will lead us to the town of Sierre where at this time of the year an annual regional Vinea Wine Fair is held. A meal in a reputable restaurant with its own wine selection that has a wide variety of selected regional delicacies, cheeses, dried meats and a local bread from Valais. After a check-in for a night stay we will take a walk to the centre of Sierre to visit the Wine Fair and to participate in a degustation of a wide assortment of wine types from dozens of wineries located in the southern Switzerland. Free time and return for a night stay.
Day 4 – Leuk, Giornico, Lugano
After having a breakfast in Sierre we will go to Leuk, a place of archaeological sensation. In the church crypt we will see a genuine mummy, sacral sculptures and pieces of art that has been brought to the daylight after centuries. In the church chapel you can see a collection of over 20 thousands of human skulls and bones. From the canton of Valais, through the second highest road mountain pass in Switzerland – Nufenen Pass (2,478 m / 8,129 ft high) – we will ride to Ticino, an Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. We will stop for a meal in Giornico, known for its medieval churches. On the tables made of stone and in the shade of vines, in a lovely, small restaurant located on the river islet, we will try simple, but tasty and quality cuisine, different from that of the German-speaking part of the country. From Giornico we will head further south to Lugano, the biggest city of this region. We will go up by railway to the popular viewing point on San Salvatore, where there is a restaurant, among others. Return and transfer for a night stay in the area of Lugano.
Day 5 – Chur, Lake Constance
An early breakfast and a transfer to Grisons, the biggest Swiss canton, located in the south-eastern Switzerland. Along the way we will go through the third longest road tunnel in the country – San Bernardino (6.6 km). We will stop to visit one of the most known and spectacular gorges in this part of the country – Viamala, 300-metre (984 ft) deep, where a dangerous road through the Alps was already present in the Roman times. Around noon we will go to Chur, a capital city of the canton of Grisons, and the oldest city of Switzerland. By cable car we will ascent to the summit of Brambrüesch from where we can admire a view of the city. There, we will go for a meal to a typical mountain restaurant. As the hunting season will have already started, there will be an opportunity to taste local venison dishes and typical dishes of Grisons like Bündner Pizokel (type of egg noodles) and Gerstensuppe (Swiss barley soup). In the afternoon we will be sightseeing the old town of Chur, a city that was established by ancient Romans. Also, we will visit a municipal brewery where manufacturing process will be explained and we will try a tasty, non-pasteurized beer from Chur. A transfer for a night stay to Lake Constance area. A walk along the park at the lake and a dinner.
A breakfast and transfer to Zurich (ca. 1.5 h). Saying goodbye to tour participants. Depending on the flight departure time from Zurich there is an option to visit additional tourist attraction.