Aboard scenic mountain railways and alongside alpine lakes enjoy a grand introduction to the Swiss Alps and the Mediterranean towns of Northern Italy.
About the Tour
From Vevey, Switzerland to Turin, Italy, come along for an unforgettable adventure through the alpine and lakeside towns of the Swiss Alps and beyond. Soak in the dramatic landscapes aboard the GoldenPass Panoramic, Gotthard Panorama Express, and the Bernina Express and enjoy excursions on both the water and the mountainsides. Visit UNESCO World Heritage Vineyards and a centuries-old villa. Spend time exploring ancient cities on your terms - immersing yourself in the rich ambiance of each destination through sightseeing and cuisine. The expedition begins with train travel from London St. Pancras to Vevey by way of Paris. Using Vevey as a home base, soak in the beauty of the Lake Geneva region through a visit to Cully and plenty of time to explore independently. From here, we travel aboard the incredibly scenic GoldenPass Panoramic and find ourselves surrounded by the grandeur of Lake Lucerne, Mount Rigi, and Mount Pilatus in Lucerne. The Gotthard Panorama Express is our chariot across the Swiss-Italian border to Como, Italy, on the shores of Lake Como - yet another stunning waterway. We spend three days uncovering the layers of intrigue in the Como area. Look out over the city on a cruise of Lake Como, discover rich history at Villa del Balbianello and watch some of Switzerland’s most incredible scenery unfold aboard the Bernina Express. Catch glimpses of Milan and Turin in Italy before heading north once more. Recalling scenes of this impressive journey are sure to offer incredible memories for years to come.
- Rail travel on the high-speed Eurostar and local rail networks
- Four scenic rail excursions: GoldenPass Panoramic, Gotthard Panorama Express and Bernina Express
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- 18 meals
- Cully vineyard wine tasting
- Lavaux Panoramic tram through the UNESCO World Heritage Lauvaux vineyards
- Rigi Kulm visit
- Villa del Balbianello excursion
- Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in London St. Pancras
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 - To Vevey
A day of travel lies ahead as you arrive at London St. Pancras International this morning. Meet your group and Tour Escort at our dedicated departure office and join the Eurostar train to Paris. The journey takes just over 2 hours to complete, and on arrival, we transfer across town by deluxe motorcoach to board our next train. Our train takes us to Lausanne, and from here, we continue on the last leg of today’s journey, arriving in Vevey this evening. A short walk takes us from the station to our hotel, where you have a chance to get settled before enjoying dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight Vevey. (D)
Day 2 - Vevey at Leisure
With an idyllic location on the shores of Lake Geneva, Vevey, Switzerland offers picturesque views at every turn. During your free day today, you are at leisure to take in all the beauty and regional charm of this destination. Stroll along the promenade for the best views - vistas that include the gleaming blue water of the lake, distant forested mountains, and, of course, the quirky giant fork that protrudes from the sea. As the former home of Charlie Chaplin, Vevey features several points of interest honoring the famous comedian, including a statue near the water and a museum aptly named Chaplin’s World. You may wish to visit nearby Chillon Castle or ride the Funicular Vevey-Mont-Pèlerin high above the city for magnificent views. There are plenty of museums that present the art and artifacts of the region, as well. Overnight Vevey. (B)
Day 3 - Vineyards of Cully Aboard the Lavaux-Panoramic
After breakfast, join the group for a quick train ride to the nearby town of Cully. On arrival, we are joined by a local wine expert who introduces us to the beauty and fruitful offerings of the region. We first explore aboard the colorful Lavaux-Panoramic tram. The terraced vineyards of Lavaux have been given UNESCO World Heritage designation, thanks to their incredible handmade construction that dates back centuries. Learn about how they were built, and the wine produced upon them, as we continue through the verdant landscape. Our knowledgeable guide joins us for the ride and offers further insight into the region’s production. As the tour concludes, we return to Cully for a wine tasting at a local vineyard. Take the rest of the afternoon at leisure to continue tasting the offerings of wine country or to discover more points of interest in Vevey. Overnight Vevey. (B)
Day 4 - GoldenPass Panoramic to Lucerne
We depart Vevey by train this morning with Montreux as our first stop for the day. The short ride takes us along the shores of Lake Geneva, and on arrival, we switch trains and join the renowned carriages of the GoldenPass Line for a memorable journey through the Swiss Alps to Lucerne. Gorgeous views of Lake Geneva fade into the distance as the train begins its serpentine journey, weaving through valleys and tunnels and climbing through the mountains to the highest part of the train line near Saanenmöser. The train descends to travel along Lake Thun and through the lush farmlands of the Simmen Valley. Take in all the Swiss countryside splendor, from quaint villages to antique farmhouses, as the train proceeds past Mount Neason and toward Interlaken. Enjoy views of Lake Brienz and the Hasli Valley before climbing the Brünig Pass. Marvel at the contrast of serene waters and rugged mountains as you pass by several lakes, including beautiful Lake Lucerne. Pilatus Mountain comes into view as we approach Lucerne, concluding our spectacular all-day journey through the Swiss Alps.
A coach takes us from the train station to our hotel on the banks of Lake Lucerne, and upon check-in, you are free to freshen up and settle in ahead of dinner tonight at the hotel. Overnight Lucerne. (B, D)
Day 5 - Lucerne at Leisure
The day is yours to immerse yourself in the sights and history of Lucerne. This lakeside destination dates to medieval times and is brimming with breathtaking scenery and cultural highlights. You may wish to spend time in the ancient city center, where colorful old buildings line the cobblestone streets and the pretty squares are adorned with fountains. Discover the town’s medieval church, dating back to the 11th century, and stroll across the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), dating back to 1333, for an iconic view of the city. Gain a new perspective on Lucerne by gazing upon the cityscape from a boat ride on Lake Lucerne or visit one of the myriad museums throughout the town, such as the Swiss Transport Museum and the Rosengart Collection. There are also several mountain excursions within close proximity to Lucerne, including Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus. Overnight Lucerne. (B)
Day 6 - Day Trip to Rigi Kulm
One of the most famous peaks in central Switzerland, Mount Rigi is surrounded by three lakes and is a crowning jewel of the Lucerne region. Today, we make our way to this natural masterpiece. The day’s excursion begins as we depart from Lucerne Bahnhofquai by boat for an hour-long cruise on the beautiful waters of Lake Lucerne. Gaze upon the waterside villages and the distant mountains and breathe in the fresh mountain air as the boat approaches Vitznau. On arrival in Vitznau, we switch modes of transportation and continue by cog railway to Rigi Kulm, the highest point on Mount Rigi. At the top, enjoy free time to soak in the awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding mountains and 13 lakes or dine in one of the restaurants. The cogwheel then takes us down the mountain to Arth-Goldau before returning us to Lucerne by train. The remainder of the day is yours to continue your explorations independently ahead of tonight’s three-course dinner at the hotel. Overnight Lucerne. (B, D)
Day 7 - Gotthard Panorama Express
An epic adventure beckons today, as we connect two of the most scenic parts of Switzerland with the Gotthard Panorama Express. The journey takes us from Lucerne in central Switzerland to Lugano in the south before crossing the border into northern Italy to the town of Como. This expedition takes place over three legs, beginning with a 3-hour boat ride across Lake Lucerne to Flüelen. From the water, enjoy views of Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus, and the Gotthard Pass, as well as a glimpse at Tell’s Chapel. As we arrive in Flüelen, we walk to the train station to board the Gotthard Railway and begin our journey by rail. The train cascades through the valley of the river Ruess, past charming alpine villages and through spiral loops before entering the famous Gotthard Tunnel, which is just over 9 miles long and is carved through the staggering mountains. The Gotthard Panorama Express emerges from the tunnel in some of the highest peaks of the Swiss Alps and is surrounded by quite a different climate than that of where the route began. As we approach Mediterranean Lugano, palm trees and vineyards fill the landscape. We disembark the train in Lugano and board a deluxe motorcoach for a comfortable ride across the Swiss-Italian border to Como, situated on Lake Como. On arrival, settle in at our hotel before joining the group for a four-course dinner at the hotel. Overnight Como. (B, D)
Day 8 - Como at Leisure
There is an abundance of sights to see and culture to behold during your free day in Como. You may wish to relax in one of the spas near Lake Como or to explore the city’s historic architecture. Walk around Como to visit the cathedrals and basilicas, including the Como Cathedral, dating back to the 14th century. The city is rife with museums, such as the Como Archeological Museum, the museum of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Educational Silk Museum, and various villas filled with period pieces and beautiful artwork. If you wish to venture out of the city, you could ride the funicular up to the high mountain town of Brunate or travel to colorful Bellagio, where steep cobbled streets give way to open promenades and stunning views of Lake Como. No matter where you visit around Lake Como, there are plenty of restaurants and incredible boutique shops to explore that offer an authentic look at Northern Italy. Overnight Como. (B)
Day 9 - Lake Como Cruise/Villa del Balbianello
Watch picturesque panoramas unfold as we cruise across Lake Como to Villa del Balbianello, a 16th-century home that is so beautifully crafted, it has been featured in several major motion pictures. The ferry ride from Como to the Lenno Pier takes just over half an hour to complete, and as we dock, we make the short walk to the villa. The Villa del Balbianello compound features two residential buildings, a chapel and a beautiful portico overlooking the pier. Terraced gardens surround the property, and on the inside of the buildings, original decor and spectacular artwork from the 17th and 18th centuries give an authentic period feel to the property. As you walk through the villa on your guided tour, enjoy stories that hint at the history that surrounds this compound. We return to Como with the afternoon at leisure to continue your explorations ahead of tonight’s four-course dinner at the hotel. Overnight Como. (B, D)
Day 10 - Bernina Express
We depart Como this morning by coach, bound for Tirano, where we board the Bernina Express, a UNESCO World Heritage railway. The excitement of the journey begins right away as the train ascends via the Brusio spiral viaduct, travels along the shore of the Lake of Poschiavo and meanders through the Poschiavo Valley. The surrounding alpine views are wonderfully scenic, with villages, forests, and the Palü glacier guiding the way. We cross the Bernina Pass before arriving in St. Moritz, a stunning resort town where glamour and nature combine. You have some time to explore the amenities of St. Moritz before we board our coach and head back to Como. We pause our route in Chiavenna, a medieval gem tucked into the Swiss Alps. Endless charm awaits in the narrow streets and quaint plazas. A four-course dinner awaits at the hotel as we return to Como this evening. Overnight Como. (B, D)
Day 11 - To Turin by Rail
Soak in quintessential Italian scenery as we travel further south into the country. First, a coach takes us from Como to the fashion mecca of Milan. We join a train here and continue our travels to Turin, the first capital of Italy. This city is steeped in culture, from its museums and elegant architecture to its grand plazas. Turin is the home of Fiat automobiles and is a place where chocolate is a way of life. On arrival, you are welcome to begin your explorations of this dynamic locale before joining the group for dinner at the hotel. Overnight Turin. (B, D)
Day 12 - Tour Conclusion
Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel this morning ahead of our travels to London St. Pancras. We first take a train from Turin to Paris, and on arrival, we change to a high-speed Eurostar train bound for London St. Pancras. As the train pulls into the station, our tour through the majestic Swiss Alps concludes. (B)
Depart Switzerland and cross the border into northern Italy. The route passes through a variety of terrain, including orchards, chestnut trees, and vineyards on its way to Tirano. Cross the famous Brusio Circular Viaduct on this narrow-gauge train that begins in the mountains and winds down to street level. Pass through the town of Tirano as you reach the city’s station. The train includes refreshments and the commentary of a tour guide.
Gotthard Panorama Express
Previously named the Wilhelm Tell Express, the Gotthard Panorama Express is a wonderful piece of railway engineering with many spiral loops, bridges, and tunnels. The journey includes travel by train and boat, offering very diverse scenery with snowcapped mountains and palm trees along the way.
The modern rail cars of the GoldenPass Panoramic offer the best views of cities and scenery from the comfort of panoramic rail carriages. The train travels the scenic route between Zweisimmen and Montreux, located on the shores of Lake Geneva. Alpine meadows and snow-capped Alpine peaks are scenic highlights of this scenic journey through the Bernese Oberland.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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