Your browser (Internet Explorer {{browserVersion}}) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all the features of this and other websites.
Update my browser

ALPINE ASCENT OF SWITZERLAND & ITALY

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Zürich
  • Lucerne
  • Interlaken
  • Montreux
  • Zermatt
  • St Moritz
  • Lugano
  • Ascona
  • Zürich

19 Days Exploration
  • Departing:
  • 9 Jun 2024 Less than 5 places remain

The allure of alpine scenery during a northern summer is difficult to resist. Aboard some of Europe’s most celebrated railways, we engage with the landscapes of Switzerland and Italy, rolling through vast valleys and ascending monumental summits. A group of no more than 23 guests will enjoy outlooks onto lakeside chalets and verdant pine forests, in a style unknown to the region’s early mountaineers.

Map

Tour Manager - Richard Moras

Tour Doctor - Dr Ralph Levin

As Your Tour Manager, Richard Moras Welcomes You On This Journey

Your Accompanying Tour Doctor For This Journey is Dr Ralph Levin


From Zurich, we travel to the city of Lucerne, set stunningly upon the lake that shares its name. Our home for the next three nights is the majestic Grand Hotel National Luzern. 

This morning, we visit the Rigi massif. From the viewing platform, admire Lake Zug, Lake Lucerne and the rustic country scenes below us. Or look north across the plains into Germany. Afterwards, enjoy a paddle steamer ride back to Lucerne and relax at our striking lakefront hotel.

Today we board a cable car for our ascent to Mt Pilatus. From the mountain’s peak, we enjoy sweeping views of Lake Lucerne. Our journey back down the massif takes place aboard the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, enabling us to absorb the spectacular alpine scenery at close range. We barely have time to reacquaint with terra firma, before boarding a boat for a cruise of the lake’s tranquil waters.

The Luzern-Interlaken Express train carries us through magnificent alpine scenery, past crystal-clear lakes and a backdrop of steeply rising rock faces. Numerous chalets dot the mountain landscape, which we also see adorned with a covering of verdant grass and spruce forests. Our train climbs the Brünig Pass. Reaching the plateau, our gaze is met by a number of contented cows grazing upon the undulating meadow. We then descend the mountain, our train soon rolling alongside the sparkling waters of Lake Brienz. Shortly thereafter, we arrive at our destination, Interlaken. On arrival, we climb aboard a funicular and traverse the sharply rising Harder Kulm. On reaching the summit, we are treated to unparalleled panoramic views from the mountain’s restaurant. Here, we enjoy lunch, relishing in our vantage point at the top of Interlaken. The elegant Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa then invites us in for four nights. 

Today, we board an historic steam train, which takes us to the peak of Mt Rothorn. From this altitude, Lake Brienz appears as a small turquoise pool set within the valley. Following our descent, a cruise on the pure waters of Lake Brienz reverses our perspective. With the breeze upon our faces, we pass pretty fishing villages, old castles on lush hillsides and the arresting mountains of the Bernese Oberland. Our boat returns us to Interlaken for dinner and we make our selection from the area’s best restaurants.

 

This morning, cruise the length of Lake Thun to arrive at Oberhofen Castle, enjoying lunch aboard our boat. Built around the year 1200, the castle was once owned by one of Bern’s wealthiest families. Taking advantage of its lakeside setting, the castle grounds are further adorned with colourful gardens, hedges, and redwoods. On our return to Interlaken, we follow the shores of the lake, along roads offering uninterrupted views of verdant hillsides. This evening, Interlaken’s finest dining options are once more available. 

Today, we make the quintessential Alpine train journey to Jungfraujoch. At 3,454 metres above sea level, this is the highest railway station in Europe. On one side, we have a view of the Swiss plateau, as far as the Vosges mountains in France. On the other, we see the Aletsch, the largest ice cap in the Alps. Enjoy your choice of dining from Interlaken’s nearby restaurants. 

Another iconic train journey awaits us this morning. We board the panoramic GoldenPass Express in Interlaken for the journey to Montreux. As we leave behind Jungfrau and the Lauterbrunnen Valley, our train winds its way through steep mountains carpeted in pine trees and grassy meadows. These seemingly endless vistas of green are occasionally punctuated by small alpine villages. Soon we arrive at our accommodation. Regal and resplendent, the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace sits upon the shores of Lake Geneva, where it has been welcoming guests ever since 1906. We have the pleasure of enjoying its exemplary hospitality over the course of the next two nights. 

The epicures in our group rejoice today. We board a train bound for Gruyères, a town famous for the cheese named after it. And, also for the chocolate it produces. At La Maison du Gruyère, we learn how the cheese is made, and also taste some there and then. We return to Montreux for dinner.

We board a train for the short journey from Montreux to Le Châtelard. Our waiting coach then guides us through the mountains and on to the small village of Täsch. From here, the only way of reaching car-free Zermatt is by the dedicated shuttle train. Upon setting foot in the idyllic resort town, we check into Resort La Ginabelle for the first of our two nights here. Relax and take the afternoon, as well as the evening, at your own pace.

Once a small farming town, Zermatt developed at a frenetic pace after the first ascent of the Matterhorn was made in 1865. We set out on a walking tour of the village this morning, before climbing aboard yet another train for our journey to Gornergrat. Our elevation increases gradually as we wind our way around the mountain and pass behind small villages, the rocky ridge of Gornergrat always in sight. As we reach our destination, we’re afforded expansive views of the Monte Rossa massif from an altitude of 3,089 metres. From here, we can also easily make out the Gorner Glacier and the Matterhorn, as well as over 20 other mountains, each standing at more than 4,000 metres in elevation. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own schedule. A wealth of dining options is on offer tonight in Zermatt. 

Today, we set out on another legendary train journey, the Glacier Express, from Zermatt to St Moritz. Lunch is served on board the train and we arrive in St Moritz at 5pm. We check in to our home for two nights, the Kulm Hotel, whose dining room holds the distinction of being the first room in Switzerland to be lit by electricity. No such innovation is required to enhance the scenery during our stay here, however, with each of us guaranteed a room with Lake St Moritz views.

We relax in the comfort of our grand lodgings, whose founder is credited as one of the pioneers of winter tourism. After a light lunch, we head out to inspect the town before taking a funicular to the summit of Muottas Muragl. From here, we enjoy sweeping views of the Engadine Valley and its lakes. Tonight, dinner is in a mountain restaurant on Muottas Muragl.

Today, we travel to nearby Pontresina and board the Bernina Express. On one of life’s great short train journeys, we roll south and shortly cross the border into Italy. Glaciers and crystal-clear lakes make up the scenery along the way. In between these remarkable sights, our train also passes over steep valleys along the region’s vertiginous bridges. Lunch is enjoyed in the quiet town of Tirano, with superb views of the Alps. After some time to explore, we continue our journey, boarding a coach for Lugano. Once more on the Swiss side of the border, we recognise our glorious residence, Villa Castagnola, on the shores of Lake Lugano. With two nights here, we indulge in the fine cuisine of our hotel’s restaurant. 

Your World experiences offer you a choice of how to spend your day:

— Travel to Italy’s Lake Como. Here, you’ll enjoy the merging of art and nature that is evident at Villa Carlotta. Take a guided walk of the property before boarding a private boat, crossing Lake Como to arrive in Bellagio. Pause here for lunch, before a guided walking tour showcases the sights of this delightful lakeside town. Make your way back across Lake Como by private boat to the town of Menaggio, where a coach will meet you for the onward journey back to Lugano.

— Choose to remain in Lugano and join a guided walking tour of the city. Board the funicular and gradually ascend to Monte San Salvatore, enjoying panoramic views across the city and Lake Lugano.

Make your selection from Lugano’s abundance of dining options this evening. 

Embark a boat this morning and cruise the waters of Lake Lugano to discover Scherrer Park, the lakeside botanical garden close to the beautiful Swiss village of Morcote. Following a light lunch in Morcote, we farewell Lake Lugano and join the road to reach the town of Ascona, resting on the banks of Lake Maggiore. Equal parts modern and elegant, the Hotel Eden Roc hosts us for two nights. A world of choice is ours this evening, with our hotel’s four restaurants all available for dinner. Select from French-inspired classics, Mediterranean delicacies and Italian delights.

We venture north to Val Bavona, an isolated valley, famous for its ancient dwellings and absence of electricity. It is also the steepest and rockiest valley in the Alpine region, making it a popular destination for rock climbers. The lack of power means the area is only inhabited during summer, but any perceived drawback from such scarcity is more than offset by its enchanting and enduring wilderness. Take a walk through the neighbouring villages, arriving in Foroglio to admire its majestic waterfall. In Sonlerto, several houses have been built between the boulders of a prehistoric landslide. Back at Hotel Eden Roc, we soak up the magnificent mountain views on our final night in southern Switzerland.

This morning, we farewell delightful Ascona and board the Gotthard Panorama Express for our return to Zürich. After checking in at the stately Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich, we take the afternoon at leisure to explore the city, or simply relax.

Waking in Zurich, take the morning on your own schedule before we transfer to the airport. Our magnificent journey through the Swiss Alps is at an end.

Brochure