Switzerland: Hidden Trails & Majestic Peaks
Discover a world of pastoral splendour, where the history of the Belle poque is preserved in awe-inspiring architecture, all set to the grand backdrop of the Alps. Nestled between four countries is a land where crystalline lakes sit amidst mountain peaks, and lush green valleys yield centuries-old vineyards. This is the home of the Matterhorn and Lake Geneva, where chocolate is high art and culture is intrinsic. Youve booked passage to Switzerland via the absolute best way to explore it the Swiss Railway. Start among the historic architecture of Neuchatel, wrought in the grand Belle poque style. Walk through centuries-old vineyards and taste unparalleled Swiss wine. Soak in views of the Matterhorn from the picturesque mountain town of Zermatt. Sample legendary Laderach chocolate as you watch chocolatiers work their confectionary craft. See the magnificent landscape roll past your window as the train moves through the countrys peaks and valleys. Use your Swiss Travel Pass, which grants you unlimited access to the countrys transportation network, along with complimentary entrance into all of Switzerlands 500 museums. Get ready for a remarkable Swiss journey that youll never forget.
Neuchatel, Switzerland – Tour Begins
Youre on your way to a world wedged between Germany, Austria, France and Italy — the country of four languages thats one of the most heralded destinations in Europe. Your journey through Switzerland will be entirely by train, offering an up close and personal rendezvous with the best the country has to offer, from the Alps to the historic villages of the Swiss Riviera. Get ready to experience the culture, history and lifestyle of Switzerland firsthand. Willkkommen! Bienvenue! From Zurich airport you will board a Swiss Rail train to Neuchatel, where Gothic landmarks and sandstone grandeur beckon you to discover the abounding history of this medieval waterfront city. A reception of cocktails and canapes welcomes you to the first stop on your tour: the centuries-old cloister of the Collgiale*, a church and chateau perched atop Neuchatels highest point. Retire this evening in your lakefront room with incredible views of Lake Neuchatel.
Neuchatel – Auvenier – Neuchatel
Good morning, Neuchatel a la Belle poque! Set out on a walking tour and discover the treasures of Neuchatels historic quarter with its unique architecture and structures from the Belle poque period. Next, its on to the village of Auvenier and Caves du Chateau dAuvenier, a centuries-old vineyard that has remained in the same family for fourteen generations. A tour of the chateaus cellars demands a tasting of their everlasting vintages and a chance to learn how nature, soil and tradition converge to create a vintages character and flavour.
Enjoy a day of leisure in Neuchatel. You may use your Swiss Travel Pass to explore the surrounding areas or gain admission to museums. Or, just relax and stroll this charming place. Perhaps you will choose to join your guide for an optional e-biking excursion on Switzerlands Absinthe Trail to Maison de lAbsinthe to learn the history of production and enjoy a private tasting and cooking experience. This evening we gather to unwind over dinner at a local brasserie and sample local favourites such as boeuf tartare and fromage.
Neuchatel – Bern – Zermatt
From Neuchatel we travel via train to Bern, the Swiss capital city. Enjoy time at leisure to discover Berns enthralling blend of influences – old and new. Then its on to the striking resort village of Zermatt, nestled against the backdrop of the Matterhorn.
Zermatts modern holiday amenities steeped in traditional Alpine roots make this pedestrian city a truly peak experience. Today is yours to explore all this village has to offer. Consider using your Swiss Travel Pass to ascend the Gornergrat Railway to take in breathtaking views of the famed Matterhorn.
Zermatt – Vevey
Say goodbye to Zermatt and head to the north shore of Lake Geneva to Vevey, one of the Pearls of the Swiss Riviera, with awe-inspiring views of the Alpine panorama. While the citys promenades and majestic hotels are classic reminders of the Belle poque, its modernity is characterized by its art and music festivals, and the ever-present memory of Charlie Chaplin, who spent the last quarter of his life as a resident. Enjoy a walking tour before paying a visit to Lderach. Switzerland is world-famous for its chocolate, and Lderach chocolate is Swiss perfection. Participate in an immersive tasting workshop that reveals a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the artistry behind the handmade Swiss chocolate.
Vevey – Lavaux – Vevey
A relaxed morning in Vevey preludes your journey to the terraced vineyards of Lavaux. Begin with lunch at a family-owned restaurant before visiting our friends, Jacques and Aurelia, for a wine tasting nestled amongst the vines. Traipse the Lavaux vineyards (UNESCO) on foot before enjoying another tasting of the regions finest varieties. Next, its your choice! Return to Vevey via rail and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure -OR- continue your exploration through the miles of Lavaux vineyards to Saint-Saphorin, a medieval village dating back to Roman times, located on the banks of Lake Geneva.
Enjoy a full day at leisure. Check out everything Vevey has to offer. Dont forget to take advantage of your Swiss Travel Pass to explore any one of the citys museums, among them the Swiss Camera Museum, Charlie Chaplin Museum, or the Nestle Foundations Nest. Or use your Pass to board a ferry to discover Montreux and Chillon. Join us this evening for a farewell dinner at one of Veveys best local restaurants.
Vevey – Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close today.