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All the Best of Switzerland with a side visit to Italy. What could be better? Your travels will take you to Lake Geneva for local wine, cheese and delicious desserts in Lavaux, Lord Byron’s enchanting Chillon Castle and the pretty town of Brienz for a masterclass in Swiss wood carving.
Zürich is your springboard to a spectacular journey through Switzerland. This afternoon, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience for a social impact guided walking tour of old town Zurich and sustainable chocolate tasting. This experience addresses SDG goals 10 & 12 - Reduced Inequalities & Responsible Consumption and Production. This evening, attend a Welcome Dinner to launch your Swiss experience.
During an orientation, your Travel Director will show you some of the highlights of this beautiful lakeside city.
Included in Trip
Join Diana and her team of socially-engaged local guides, for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience to uncover the old town of Zürich during a fun and educational walking tour. Learn about medieval history and current topics of social solidarity while tasting ethical chocolate. This tour directly supports local and women-led businesses in Zürich as well as reduces inequalities within the country by supporting a local non-profit organization - Essen für Alle (Food for All). Essen Für Alle organizes food distributions in Zürich for people in need, including locals who live below the poverty line as well as immigrants and refugees. This experience addresses SDG goals 10 & 12 - Reduced Inequalities & Responsible Consumption and Production.
Included in Trip
We leave the bright lights of Zürich behind and stop in Bern with its Old Town, admiring its medieval streets, ornate fountains and arcaded walkways. Journeying to Lake Geneva, we arrive in the resort town of Montreux, set against the pristine backdrop of snow-covered peaks and vineyards. After lunch, consider joining an Optional Experience to cruise Lake Geneva, including a visit to the Charlie Chaplin museum in his former estate, Manoir de Ban.
Explore Switzerland's capital and see the Cathedral of St. Vincent, clock tower and Ogre Fountain.
Included in Trip
This morning, we visit Chillon Castle, immortalized by Lord Byron's 'Prisoner of Chillon'. For nearly four centuries, this water fortress was the residence of the Counts of Savoy and an important stop for traders. Our next stop is the Lavaux region, a charming wine village above Lake Geneva, where we’ll Connect With Locals over lunch at our Be My Guest experience. Continue your journey to the resort town of Zermatt, set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Matterhorn.
Enjoy Swiss hospitality and the flavors of local wines, cheeses and breads with the owner of a local vineyard overlooking Lake Geneva.
Included in Trip
The beautiful fortress of Chillon Castle, set on a rocky islet on Lake Geneva, is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Following his walk through the dungeons in 1816, Lord Byron wrote the poem 'The Prisoner of Chillon'. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar.
Included in Trip
Spend a full free day soaking up Zermatt's crisp mountain air and panoramic vistas. Relax in beautiful surroundings or consider an Optional Experience to the Klein Matterhorn for the most spectacular mountain views.
Departing Switzerland, we travel to the lakeside town of Baveno on Italy's Lake Maggiore. Spend the rest of the day indulging in the laid-back lakeside atmosphere or consider joining an Optional Experience to Isola Bella, one of the lake's Borromean islands, with its palazzo and exquisite gardens.
We travel through the scenic Italian countryside to the fortified town of Tirano. Here, we board the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Rhaetian Railway to cross the Bernina Pass and wind our way through scenic landscapes en route to the stylish resort town of St. Moritz. This evening, enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.
Board the famous Bernina Express train and travel through stunning landscapes en route to St. Moritz.
Included in Trip
Journeying through lush green landscapes, past Lake Zürich, we arrive in lakeside Lucerne. Pay tribute to the brave Swiss Guards, who lost their lives defending King Louis XVI at the Lion Monument, and admire the iconic wooden Chapel Bridge before strolling past the city's colorful façades. Consider joining a cruise on the tranquil lake waters and then ride the world's first double deck 'CabriO' cable car to the top of Mount Stanserhorn.
During an orientation with your Travel Director, see the Lion Monument, Old Town Hall and Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe.
Included in Trip
We travel to Interlaken at the heart of Switzerland, which lies in the shadow of the Jungfrau Mountain. Stopping in the village of Brienz en route, we’ll Dive Into Culture and gain insights into the centuries-old tradition of wood carving for which this village is so famous. Spend some time on your own and enjoy superb views of the peaks of the Bernese Oberland. This evening, we enjoy a Farewell Dinner with our fellow travelers and Travel Director toasting the highlights of Switzerland we've enjoyed along the way.
Learn about Switzerland's wood-carving heritage at the Jobin wood sculpture museum in Brienz.
Included in Trip
As our journey through the Best of Switzerland comes to an end, we bid our newfound friends a fond farewell.
Learn more about the landmarks, history and culture that makes your destination special.
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Enjoy the palm trees on the shores of Lake Geneva from a romantic side-wheel paddle steamer as we cruise along the eastern shore of Lake Geneva. We’ll visit the Charlie Chaplin museum, set on the banks of the lake on his former estate, Manoir de Ban. Chaplin spent the last 23 years of his life here and you’ll discover all the facets of this incredible man's life. We'll see sets and props from his greatest movies and then finish with a peaceful walk in the gardens.
A unique electric taxi service will drive us to the foot of Zermatt's highest and most spectacular mountain ride. You’ll enjoy stunning views as we ascend to Furi and Trockener Steg, before boarding Europe's highest cable car to 3883m (12,740 ft) to view the magnificent snow-capped top of the world.
Discover the beautiful mountainous resort town of Zermatt. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a wonderful dinner in a typical chalet-style restaurant with an opportunity to try the world-famous raclette and fondue.
We've organised a private launch to take you to the beautiful islands of Lake Maggiore. Here, you will meet with your Local Specialist to do a tour of the beautiful palace. You will explore the baroque gardens with its white peacocks and from where you can see the Isola Madre and the Isola dei Pescatori.
This evening escape to the charming and tranquil island of Isola dei Pescatori. A short boat ride from the shores of Lake Maggiore, this fisherman’s Island is inhabited year round by only 50 permanent residents. Stroll through the small piazza, surrounded by tight and winding alleys, to enjoy dinner at one of the Island's restaurants.
Arriving in Pontresina, you'll experience a horse-drawn carriage ride through the wild beauty of the Alps and the picturesque Rosegg Valley, with its spectacular mountain views.
Take a scenic cruise with us across Lake Lucerne to Stans, and one of Switzerland's oldest mountain railways. Travelling by funicular and the world's first Cabrio cable car, we'll reach 1900m (6300ft), where you’ll have free time to admire the stunning Alpine scenery.
Tonight we’ll enjoy a tasty Swiss meal, including the famous Swiss cheese fondue, in a typical restaurant. While enjoying dinner, you can also join in a lively folklore show which includes yodelling, flag-throwing and Alpine horn-blowing. Two drinks are also included.
Passport, visa, and entry requirements for Switzerland for US citizens.
Switzerland experiences a diverse range of weather and climate due to its varied topography. In general, it has a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Summers are mild to warm, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F), while winters are cold, especially at higher altitudes, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. The mountainous regions receive significant snowfall, making them popular destinations for winter sports. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons characterized by mild temperatures and occasional rainfall.
On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits
Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb
Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”
So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances.
Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.
Packing Tips for Your Tour
Packing for a guided tour will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started:
Medications and First Aid:
Remember to pack light and versatile items that can be mixed and matched for different outfits. Laundry facilities are often available, or you can have your clothes laundered at hotels during your trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small bag or backpack to bring on the coach for day trips and excursions, leaving your larger luggage at the hotel.
American appliances run on 110-120 volts at 60 Hz, while European appliances run on 220-230 volts at 50 Hz.
As a result, American appliances designed for use in the United States (typically 120 volts at 60 Hz) may not be directly compatible with the higher voltage used in European countries. Plugging a 120-volt appliance into a 220-240-volt outlet without the appropriate voltage converter or transformer can cause damage to the appliance or pose safety risks.
If you plan to bring American appliances to Europe, you will need a voltage converter or transformer to change the voltage to 220-240 volts from 110 volts. Additionally, you will likely need a plug adapter to fit the American-style plug into the European power outlets. All of Europe operates on the same two round-pronged outlets (Type C).
It's important to note that not all appliances are compatible with voltage converters, so it's essential to check the labels or user manuals of your devices before using them with a voltage converter. Some electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and camera chargers, are dual voltage and can support 120V and 220-240V, so they may not require a voltage converter, but a plug adapter will still be necessary.
To avoid any issues with electrical compatibility during your travels, consider purchasing appliances specifically designed for the voltage used in the region you'll be visiting or use appropriate voltage converters and plug adapters to ensure the safe operation of your American appliances in Europe.
We recommend purchasing an adapter with a voltage converter so you can pack less. And to pick up any necessary adapters or converters for your electronic devices before departing on your guided tour and bringing them with you.
Hair Dryers in Your Hotel
Hair dryers are common accessories in hotels. Should you want to bring your own, though, you will need to bring an adapter and voltage converter or make sure it is dual voltage by checking the label for INPUT AC 120V - 240V or a switch that can be set to 125V or 250V. Many devices have this feature, so it's worth checking before you travel. If you need a hair dryer during your trip but can't find one in your hotel room, you can inquire with the hotel staff. Many hotels will be able to provide a hair dryer upon request, either at the front desk or through housekeeping.
Air conditioning is commonly available in European hotels, restaurants, and public spaces, especially in major cities and tourist areas, but it is worth noting that the settings will differ from what you are used to in the USA.
However, it's important to note that not all accommodations or historic buildings may have air conditioning, particularly in more traditional or rural settings. Most hotels in Europe can provide a portable fan for additional room cooling if requested. Your Travel Director will be on hand to assist you throughout your trip.
Traveling by coach
Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your convenience and comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.
Airport transfers to and from the airport on the first and last days of your tour are complimentary only if you are traveling on a tour operated by Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, or Luxury Gold, and your flight times coincide with the shuttle-coach transfer timings. Learn more about Airport Transfers here.
To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. The optional program is designed to let you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping with anything included in an itinerary.
The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.
Usually, most Optional Experiences will be priced in the local currency, but please read through the details of individual optional experiences for specific information. Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.
It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad.
In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.
Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these.
It's essential to ensure that your routine vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling to any destination. Routine vaccinations may include vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and influenza.
When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.
It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity equivalent to $1.00-$2.00 USD per person per half day.
Your Coach Driver and Travel Director
The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/per day is listed in your travel documents.
For your convenience and ease, there is an option to pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking.
It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.
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