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14 Days / 13 Nights Swiss Panorama

Highlights

  • Discover:
    Zürich or Schaffhausen, Appenzell, Lugano or Mendrisio, Bellinzona, Valle Verzasca or Ascona, Lucerne or Como (Italy), Davos, Lenzerheide, St Moritz or Engadin villages, Müstair, Flims, Maienfeld, Feldkirch (Austria), Vaduz (Liechtenstein), St. Gallen.
  • Attractions:
    - lunch at a restaurant that was once an arsenal
    - prettiest small town in Switzerland
    - queen of the north-eastern Swiss Alps for a view of 5 countries (optional)
    - balcony of Italy - to see the highest & lowest points of Switzerland and the southern Swiss Alps
    - factory outlet shopping with 160 factory shops, including designer labels
    - boat ride across the largest lake in Germany (optional)
    - Saturday morning market
    - lunch picnic at castle compound
    - Swiss cultural show (optional)
    - Heidi village
    - lunch in the knights' or hunters' room of a castle
    - horse carriage ride through the villages in the beautiful countryside (optional)
    - rodel toboganning on the world's longest toboggan run on rails (optional)
    - mountain visit for a 360° panorama view of the Swiss Alps / a view of a thousand summits (optional)
    - Top of Switzerland mountain visit to see ice-packed mountains and glacier (optional)
    - various outdoor and indoor mountain spring mineral thermal pools (optional)
    - 6th smallest country in the world
    - lunch BBQ Swiss style on a lovely hill, overlooking a beautiful valley
    - unique UNESCO World Heritage library
    - Bernina Express UNESCO World Heritage train ride
Day 1
Arrival and pick up at Zürich airport / Zürich main train station / hotel in Zürich. Proceed to a charming medieval town in the northern part of Switzerland, also known as 'the prettiest small town in Switzerland' situated at the River Rhine. Next, go to Zürich. After lunch, walk along elegant Bahnhofstrasse - a shopping stretch - and visit a very pretty chocolate-cum-confectionery shop and a very well-known chocolate boutique-cum-café. After that, walk through narrow lanes in the Old Town area where the largest clockface in Europe awaits you just around the corner. Then take a walk up one of the twin towers of the Grossmünster and have a bird's-eye view of the city of Zürich (optional).
A scenic drive along the Lake of Zürich, Lake Walen and the majestic Churfirsten mountain range to the Holiday Corner of Switzerland. Welcome to the land of 150 valleys, 615 alpine lakes and 937 mountain peaks. Pass the Heidi World, THE Pinot Noir region of Switzerland and the oldest city in Switzerland. Continue to drive through Graubünden, the most diversified and largest but the least densely populated canton of Switzerland, known for her widely untouched landscapes and home to three of the four cultures of Switzerland.
Drive into the valley of castles & ruins before checking into your hotel embedded at the foot of an inner alpine valley, also known as the ‘Orchard of Graubünden'. Here, in the geographic heart of the Alps, is the crossroads of the high and ancient alpine passes. Complimentary welcome drink during dinner.
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(Note: If you have been to Zürich, it might be replaceable with Rhine Falls (largest waterfall in Europe) and Schaffhausen where you discover the rare beauty and cultural diversity of this charming town with its delightful countryside, situated along the River Rhine next to Germany. The houses of the Old Town are richly decorated with 171 oriels and valuable murals. Narrow streets invite the visitor to stroll and shop, and if the weather is warm enough, the streets of the car-free town centers are transformed into pocket-size Parisian boulevards. These historical treasures date back to the Middle Ages. Optional: a visit to a majestic 16th century fortress.)
Day 2
Appenzell: visit this lovely canton known not only for her beautiful countryside landscapes but also for her specialties like cheese, milk, sausages, beer etc. The town is yours to admire - typical Appenzeller houses that are beautifully painted. (Optional: A gondola ride to the queen of the north-eastern Swiss Alps, for a spectacular view of the Alps in 5 countries or a breath-taking vista of a sea of clouds over the valleys. Or visit another nice nearby mountain. All depending on weather conditions.)
Day 3
Take a scenic drive along Lake Lugano. On a clear day, if the snow-capped Monte Rosa group of mountains of the Alps can be seen, including the highest mountain in Switzerland, Dufourspitze, we make a photo stop. Then either1) visit Lugano,the largest city in the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland and third most important banking & financial centre in Switzerland. Here is where the fashionable go to see and be seen. OR 2) visit a large shopping centre with 160 factory outlet stores which includes international designer labels and 250 important brands. And/or try your luck at a casino with 150 slot machines in the next building. Optional: take a cog-wheel train ride up tp one of the mountains in the southern Swiss Alps for a gorgeous top-down view of the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland and on a clear day, even to Milan in Italy (optional).
Day 4
Bellinzona - capital of the Italian-speaking canton Ticino in the southern part of Switzerland, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its city walls and 3 famous castles enclosing a picturesque vineyard. Experience the Saturday morning market and feel a different ambiance. Next, visit the castle(s) or do some shopping. If the weather permits, have a lunch picnic at the castle compound. Then visit the famous medieval bridge in a valley where the opening scene of James Bond 007 ‘Goldeneye’ was filmed or go to a beautiful lakeside town situated at the foot of the southern Swiss Alps.
Day 5
Visit Lucerne in the heart of Switzerland. See the Chapel Bridge or walk along the Musegg Wall to have a bird's eye view of this picturesque city. Swiss cultural show (optional). Collect your free souvenirs. Visit Mt Titlis if the weather permits (optional).
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(Note: If you have been to Lucerne, it might be replaceable with a visit to Como (Italy), a lakeside fashion city where fashion merchandisers go to take a look at the latest fashion which is 2 seasons earlier than that in your country. Here at Lake Como is also where Hollywood stars like George Clooney have their villas.)
Day 6
Chur – situated at the crossroads of the River Rhine which is one of the longest rivers in Europe, this capital of canton Graubünden and oldest city in Switzerland was where traders and merchants flocked.  Interesting shops: crystal shop, household products shop with a wide range of interesting knives, and gourmet shops offering specialties from the region like pear bread, air dried meat, honey, cheese, beverages etc are available here.  If you are interested in alpine nature (e.g. alpine animals, alpine forests, alpine rocks, etc), the Nature Museum is worth a visit. Next, go across the nearby border to Austria to the city of Feldkirch. Then hop across another close-by border to Liechtenstein and visit the capital city of Vaduz. A good range of cuckoo clocks is available here.

OR

If the weather permits, do an optional tour: a panorama train ride on the Bernina Express which got inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 for being a masterpiece of engineering amidst panoramic landscapes and cultural diversity. Enjoy riding the most famous train in the Alps on board the Rhaetian Railway panorama coach whose north alpine route is a 145-km stretch that cuts through Graubünden, boasting the most beautiful railway routes in the world. During the trip over the Bernina pass, the train reaches an altitude of 2.253 m (7.390 ft) and masters gradients of 70%. The Bernina Express runs without cogwheels, on the highest long-distance railway transversal in the Alps over up to more then 200-metre long and 90-metre high bridges, through winding tunnels, past raging mountain torrents, glaciers and a rich array of alpine flowers to southerly Valposchiavo, over the spiralling viaduct at Brusio and on to Tirano in Italy.

Note: If the weather is not suitable for train ride today, you still have the opportunity to do it another day.
Day 7
Visit a town, a Swiss secret which fortunately not many from other countries know about. Let us impress you with another of our picturesque 'backyard'. If the weather permits, we take you to a very lovely place on a hill for a memorable barbecue, Swiss style. Opportunity to walk in the little woods beside the BBQ ground.
Day 8
Today we visit the eastern part of Switzerland, St. Moritz, in the Upper Engadin Valley where the wealthy go to enjoy their riches and where the Alpine Ski World Championship 2003 as well as the Winter Olympics 1928 & 1948 were hosted. The town is yours to explore. Optional: A visit to one of the mountains in the eastern Swiss Alps for a very impressive 360° view of the Alps including a close view of the Bernina range, the highest mountain range in the Eastern Alps, as well as the Morteratsch glacier. On a clear day, depending on the sun's rays, 7 or 8 layers of mountain ranges can be seen from here! Graubünden has the most number of mountain peaks in the Alps exceeding 3000 m, making it the highest region in the Alps and earning it the name "the roof of Europe". Quaint village stay.
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(Note: If you have been to St. Moritz, it might be replaceable with visits to quaint villages in the Lower Engadin Valley where people go to see typical Engadiner sgraffito-painted houses with huge doors and sunken in funnel-like windows decorated with flowers. Optional: Take dips in various outdoor & indoor mountain spring mineral thermal pools.)
Day 9
Go to the easternmost village of Switzerland to see a 1200-year-old UNESCO World Heritage church from the Carolingian era.. Then go to the German-speaking part of Italy on the Reschenpass to see the church tower which sticks out of a lake. Next, enter into Switzerland again and go to the only duty-free oasis in Switzerland. After that, take dips in various outdoor & indoor mountain mineral spring thermal pools (optional) or take a stroll in a quaint village to see typical Engadiner sgraffito-painted houses with huge doors and sunken in funnel-like windows decorated with flowers. Quaint village stay.
Day 10
If the alpine passes are open,
Either
1) Visit the highest city in Europe. This is where 2000 of the world's most elite people (politicians, business leaders, celebraties etc) go to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) every winter.
OR
2) Drive over an alpine pass which cannot be driven over by coaches. Take a hike around a lake which is said to have a second lake beneath it. If weather permits, have a lunch picnic by the lake.
Otherwise,
drive over the Julier Pass, mentioned by travel magazines as one of the most beautiful passes in the world.

Then take a drive back to your hotel embedded in the holiday corner of Switzerland and the rest of the day is yours.
Day 11
The story of the little girl, Heidi, originates from a village in the Swiss countryside. Visit Heidi village to see the Heidi house with Heidi's room, attic, living room, cellar, kitchen etc like it was over 125 years ago. Then go across the nearby border to Austria to the city of Feldkirch. Next, hop across another border just around the corner to Liechtenstein and visit the capital city of Vaduz. A good range of cuckoo clocks is available here. If you are interested in alpine nature (e.g. alpine animals etc), the Liechtenstein National Museum is worth a visit.
Day 12
Visit a chocolate factory. Then go to St. Gallen city - the metropolis of Eastern Switzerland is justly proud of its prestigious past which you'll encounter with every step as you stroll through the attractive old town. Discover the world-famous oriel windows, narrow lanes and lively squares with inviting street cafés. The prestigious past has given way to a blossoming present. St. Gallen is a modern and cosmopolitan city, watched over by the imposing baroque Cathedral in the heart of the stunning "Stift” district. This beautiful district has been awarded World Cultural Heritage Status and is under the protection of UNESCO.
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(Note: If you have been to St Gallen, it might be replaceable with a visit to a German city just across the border which is located at Germany's largest lake, also the 2nd largest freshwater lake in Europe. Freetime to visit the new shopping centre, the majestic gothic Münster church, Sea Life Centre (at the yacht harbour), the old city with beautiful lowrise buildings. (Optional: a boat ride across the largest lake in Germany to a charming little town with terraced streets lined with flowers and half-timbered houses.)
Day 13
Visit a winter & summer sports resort where ex-British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, took her twins to learn skiing. Here, you have various optional tours to choose from: (1) Horse carriage ride through the villages in this picturesque countryside, passing by lakes where families go to enjoy the summer with their children (2) cable-car/chairlift ride up to one of the mountains of the largest and highest canton of Switzerland, Graubünden, for a stunning 360° panoramic view of the south-eastern Swiss Alps or a view of 1000 summits (3) rodel tobogganing on the world's longest toboggan run on rails at 3.1 km long. Decide your own speed!
Day 14
Hotel check-out. Scenic ride to Zürich airport / Zürich main train station / hotel in Zürich. Please do NOT schedule your flight to depart Zürich airport before 10:45 am.

Note

1) As we would very much want our travellers to get the most out of our tours, the sequence and/or parts of the content of the above itinerary are subject to changes depending on weather conditions, forthcoming special events and unforeseen circumstances.

2) Some tours are included as optional tours because travellers MUST have the choice not to choose them in case of bad weather. In Switzerland, views from the summit of mountains are not always visible.  Sometimes there is ZERO visibility due to low or heavy clouds.  If the optionals are included in the tour price, then the mountain visit is a must-do even when the weather is not suitable for a mountain visit.  This would be unfair to the unaware traveller and it would be a wasted trip. We always check the weather one day before and advise our travellers if the scheduled mountain visit would be good or not.  Otherwise, we either shuffle the itinerary and do the mountain visit another day when the weather is good (as per forecast) or advise them not to do it at all when the next days are not suitable for mountain visits. For other optional tours like horse-carriage rides, thermal pools, etc, some travellers might not want to do them for some reason or some may have done them before.

3) It might be possible to change above itinerary to an all-Switzerland holiday. Please write to us at tours @ tour168.ch.

4) If you have been to a few of the above-mentioned places but would like to visit other not-to-be-missed places or experience some interesting activities, we might be able to do some alteration. Do write to us.

What's included:

  • Transfer to and fro Zürich airport / Zürich main train station / hotel in Zürich.
    (Transfer to Zürich on last day not included for budget tours. Top-up applies.)
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation in countryside town and quaint villages.
  • 13 Swiss buffet breakfasts. (Not included for budget tours)
  • 12 Swiss dinners. (Not included for budget tours)
  • 1 driver-guide.
  • 1 tour guide.
  • 1 touring vehicle

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