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Welcome to Switzerland - an enchanting winter wonderland of frozen waterfalls, peaceful cosy villages, snow-laden forests and imposing mountain ranges, crowned by famous peaks. On arrival at Zürich airport, transfers leave for your hotel in Lucerne at 09:30 and 13:30. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner with good food and wine.
Experience Lucerne, a beautiful 14th century city still protected by medieval fortifications. Your Travel Director will reveal the covered wooden bridges, the painted gables and the sorrowful Lion Monument. Then there’s time to enjoy the excellent shops and lakeside walks before heading along the dramatic Walensee, past Chur, to the fashionable ski resort of St. Moritz. Set in the sparkling Engadine Valley, this elegant resort nestles below the awe-inspiring, majestic Grisons Alps.
This whole day is completely at leisure, so maybe enjoy a late breakfast to start? Afterwards you may choose to explore the spa quarter of this chic resort, see the houses with their traditional sgraffito facades or indulge in the stylish boutiques? You may even consider joining the Bernina Express for a scenic rail journey of such epic proportions that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Board the world famous Glacier Express for a spectacular ride with lunch included, through the heart of the Swiss Alps. Descend through the tunnels of the Albula Pass and traverse the lofty Landwasser Viaduct. Your train then joins the broad Rhine Gorge and meanders beside rock-strewn rivers before climbing through snowy pastures and woodlands. Picturesque landscapes of ice-capped mountains and stone-built villages with chalet-style houses glide by. After a series of spirals, you will reach the highest point of the route, the icy Oberalp Pass. Modern, panoramic viewing cars ensure that you won’t miss a thing on your descent to Andermatt and down the Rhône Valley. Around mid-afternoon, you will disembark in Brig.
Marvel at the dramatic Swiss scenery, as you follow the narrow valley which leads to Täsch. Here, you leave the coach to board the cogwheel train that takes you to the traffic-free haven of Zermatt, at the foot of the Matterhorn. Wander along its cobbled streets to browse among the shops, explore the ancient wooden farmhouses and mazot barns in the back alleys, or visit the Matterhorn Museum to pass through the homes of yesteryear. If you have a head for heights, then you may like to board the cable car up the Klein Matterhorn. From the summit, marvel at the incredible views of the icebound Swiss Alps, should weather permit. Return to your hotel in Brig where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Journey along the Lower Rhône Valley to the shores of Lake Geneva where the associations with the early European Romantic movement are very strong. With your Local Expert, visit beautiful Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, set on a rocky islet in the lake. In 1816, the castle inspired Lord Byron to write the poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon,’ following his walk through the dungeons. Look out for his name, which he carved into a pillar. Close by is the sophisticated tiered town of Montreux, where it is delightful to stroll along the lakeside promenade. Enjoy a beautiful journey alongside the lake, passing Vevey and Lausanne, to reach the immaculate town of Geneva. On arrival, your orientation includes the United Nations Building, officially known as the Palais des Nations, the Old Town and the Jet d’Eau. Spend your night in Geneva, rejoicing with your newfound friends at the local restaurant, Le Petit Chalet, as you are treated to a delicious, traditional fondue Celebration Dinner complete with wine.
Your magical journey comes to an end after breakfast. Your transfer will arrive at Geneva airport at 08:00 or 10:00.
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