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10 Days / 9 Nights Scenic Switzerland

Highlights

  • Discover:
    Zürich or Schaffhausen, Heinzenberg, Appenzell, Maienfeld, Feldkirch (Austria), Vaduz (Liechtenstein), Mendrisio, St. Moritz or Engadin villages, Bellinzona, Lucerne or St Gallen/Constance, Lenzerheide, Davos.
  • Attractions:
    - lunch at a restaurant that was once an arsenal
    - prettiest small town in Switzerland
    - authentic & traditional Swiss town
    - lunch picnic at and/or swimming in an alpine lake
    - alpine hiking
    - queen of the north-eastern Swiss Alps for a spectacular view of 5 countries (optional)
    - Heidi village
    - lunch in the knights' or hunter's room in a 600-yr-old caslte
    - 6th smallest country in the world
    - 'balcony of Italy' to see the highest and lowest points in Switzerland plus splendid view of the southern Swiss Alps and its lake districts below
    - factory outlets shopping with 160 factory stores, including international designer labels
    - Top of Switzerland to see the highest ice-packed mountains of the eastern Alps & glacier (optional)
    - quaint village stay
    - Saturday morning market
    - swimming in a lake which is the lowest point of Switzerland
    - eating at a grotto (where people from the region stored food before the refrigerator was invented)
    - summer toboganning on the world's longest toboggan run on rails (optional)
    - horse carriage ride through villages in the picturesque countryside (optional)
    - mountain visit for an impressive 360° panoramic view of Swiss Alp / view of 1000 summits (optional)
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
Picnic and/or swim at an alpine lake. Lie, read or simply relax by the lake while the more energetic and adventurous take a short hike (approximately 45 min) to a nearby hill which overlooks the beautiful Safien valley. Opportunity to see enchanting alpine flowers of various shapes, sizes and colours, including the much-loved dandelions. Next, visit a remoted hamlet to see how a Swiss alpine organic farmer makes a living in the high-up countryside.
Day 3
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 4
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 100 years ago. Then go across the nearby border to Austria to the city of Feldkirch. Next, hop across another close-by border 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.

OR

If weather permits, we 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 5
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 either 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/or try your luck at a casino with 150 slot machines in the next building. Optional: take a cog-wheel train ride up to 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 6
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. 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'.
Day 7
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. Next, take dips in various outdoor & indoor mountain mineral spring thermal pools (optional) or take a stroll in a quaint village in the Lower Engadin Valley to see typical Engadiner sgraffito-painted houses with huge doors and sunken in funnel-like windows decorated with flowers.
Day 8
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 9
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 here. Next, visit the medieval castle(s) or do some shopping. A choice of a lunch picnic at one of the castles or at the lowest point of Switzerland, where people go to with their private boats. 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. For dinner, go to a grotto* to try south-eastern Swiss cuisine. (* where people from the Swiss south valleys stored their foodstuff before the refrigerator was invented)

OR

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).
Day 10
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 customers 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 the 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.)
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation in a countryside town and quaint villages.
  • 9 Swiss buffet breakfasts. (Not included for budget tours)
  • 8 Swiss dinners. (Not included for budget tours)
  • 1 driver-guide
  • 1 tour guide.
  • 1 touring vehicle.

Tour Schedule & Booking | 7 Days Swiss Discovery | 7 Days Swiss Hiking |
10 Days Swiss Mountain Explorer
| 10 Days Swiss Graubünden Special | 14 Days Swiss Experience

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