Switzerland's Exquisite Lakes and Mountains featuring Geneva, Montreux and Zermatt
SPLENDORS OF EUROPE offers this one week luxury escorted tour to Switzerland featuring Geneva, Montreux, Zermatt, and the Matterhorn. This is a small group tour of Switzerland that includes walking tours and excursions which highlight Switzerland’s lakes, mountains, history, architecture, art, castles, medieval towns and museums. This tour has a regional focus and provides in-depth cultural and grand gourmet culinary experiences. Two professional escorts ensure that everyone in our small group of 12 or less has a rewarding personal experience. Travel in Switzerland is by first class panoramic train, cogwheel mountain train and luxury lake steamer. The tour includes lake cruises and visits to all the best sights near Geneva, Montreux, and Zermatt. Travel to the exquisite Alps and Lake Geneva region of Switzerland with SPLENDORS OF EUROPE and you’ll enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. You'll have the best vacation trip ever. Visit the hotel, restaurant, and tour photo galleries at the end of this page.
Switzerland offers great beauty and diversity in a small country. Modern metropolitan centers, sophisticated resorts, and sleepy Alpine hamlets are all surrounded by the impressive beauty of the Alps with their snow peaked mountains, picturesque valleys, and clear Alpine lakes. On this tour, you’ll travel to scenic mountain summits, see glaciers, and visit an enchanting castle and a picture post card Swiss village. You’ll enjoy the first class service and exceptional scenery aboard the classic lake steamers and scenic trains of the Rhône Express. You’ll ride a variety of dramatic Alpine trains and cable cars to mountain summits near Montreux and Zermatt. Here you’ll enjoy more breathtaking views. You’ll also enjoy irresistible gourmet cuisine and luxury world class hotels with incredible views.
Geneva is an inviting international city rich in history and culture. It is situated at the southern tip of Lake Leman (Lake Geneva) where the Rhône exits the lake. You’ll enjoy commanding panoramic views of the waterfront and the French Alps nearby. In town you will visit the old historic left bank of the Rhône. Here you’ll discover the 16th century cobbled streets with a pleasant mix of museums, churches, shops and restaurants.
CLASSIC SIDE PADDLE LAKE STEAMERS
Beautiful lake steamers provide transportation across Switzerland’s major lakes in classic style and comfort. On board chefs serve delicious meals which you’ll enjoy while taking in the fabulous scenery.
MONTREUX and LAKE GENEVA
Montreux is known as the pearl of the Swiss Riviera. Facing the southern sun, Montreux enjoys a mild climate capable of supporting palm trees, cypresses and magnolias. The attractive resort town boasts many fine Mansard roofed luxury hotels with brightly colored awnings facing the French Alps across the lake. You’ll explore romantic Chillon Castle nearby.
You will enjoy the unspoiled car free village of Zermatt. Located in a narrow mountain valley of meadows and trees, its weathered wood chalets, geranium filled flower boxes and ancient stone roofed houses contribute to its inescapable Alpine ambiance. It’s from the twisting pedestrian streets you will first see the awe-inspiring Matterhorn, that tooth shaped icon of Switzerland. The Gornergratbahn, a 5.5 mile cog wheel train excursion takes us up close to the Matterhorn and further up to Gornergrat station for a broader perspective of the areas expanse of 24 glaciers and the highest peaks in the Alps.
9 Day Itinerary
SATURDAY - International flight to Geneva International Airport
SUNDAY - Arrive In Geneva. Quiet afternoon walk in old town.
Your escorts greet you at the airport. We check you into our beautiful hotel and show you around. Get acquainted with your escorts and fellow travelers over lunch at a charming local restaurant. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon walk along the lake.
This evening we enjoy welcome cocktails at our hotel before we savor dinner. Each evening your escorts can assist you with information about evening entertainment opportunities. L+D
MONDAY – Discover Geneva
This morning we take a walking tour through the cobble stone streets of old town Geneva.
Here we visit Cathedral St.-Pierre.
We also make a visit to the museum of Art and History. We enjoy lunch al fresco in old town.
This afternoon, your escorts will take you through the shopping district to explore the many fine specialty shops. Here we enjoy the terrace of a café or salon de tea for refreshment.
Tonight we enjoy an elegant dinner in old town Geneva. B+L+D
TUESDAY - Steamer to Montreux.
We board our lake steamer this morning for a romantic cruise the length of Lake Geneva. As we leave Geneva you get an up close look at the famous Jet d’Eau. At 460 feet it’s Europe’s tallest water fountain.
The ride is as smooth as silk and the views on board are extraordinary.
We enjoy lunch onboard in the ships paneled dining room.
This afternoon we arrive in the resort town of Montreux and check in at our luxury hotel. We make a brief orientation walk around Montreux and then you’re at your leisure to explore lovely Montreux.
Tonight we enjoy an elegant gourmet dinner at one of the best restaurants in town.B+L+D
WEDNESDAY - Chillon Castle and Rochers-de-Naye excursionsThis morning we take the paddle steamer to romantic Chillon Castle. We explore this fascinating medieval fortress made famous by Lord Byron.
After our castle visit, we take the lake steamer back to Montreux for a delightful gourmet lunch near the lake with the French Alps providing a wonderful backdrop.
This afternoon you’ll enjoy the adventure of a panoramic cog wheel train excursion up the steep incline to the summit of Rochers-de-Naye. The elevation of this promontory high above the tree line provides the best scenic views of Lake Geneva and the French Alps in the region.
Dinner is at your leisure this evening with many fine choices available. B+L
THURSDAY – Train to ZERMATT
Today we make the scenic train journey to the Valais region of Switzerland. Long isolated by mountains, the Valais is a wilderness country of glaciers, forests, and steep green hillsides.
We cross the Forclaz Pass, and enjoy a scenic ride through the Rhône valley, with the Berner Alps to the left, and the Pennines Alps to the right.
We arrive at the rustic resort town of Zermatt. Here we check into our charming mountain chalet hotel as we catch our first view of the famous Matterhorn.
We enjoy lunch at our hotel on the terrace.
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon orientation walk through this charming Alpine village with your escorts and hear about its history, and the famous Matterhorn expeditions of the past.
This evening we luxuriate in an elegant gourmet dinner at the Schönegg restaurant while we marvel at the Matterhorn and all the mountains that surround this magnificent valley in anticipation of tomorrow’s excursion.B+L+D
FRIDAY - Zermatt, the Matterhorn, and a high Alpine excursion.
This morning we experience first hand, the fascinating world of Alpine peaks, glaciers and expansive ice fields. We make the 43 minute ascent to the Gornergrat on Europe’s highest tunnel free railway, the Gornergratbahn.
The ride offers an ever-changing panorama of glorious Alpine scenery beginning with slopes of verdant forest gradually ebbing to a rocky summit where we find the civilized Gornergrat hotel (10,286ft). From the terrace you will be able to enjoy breathtaking views and hot refreshments. From here you will see the tallest mountains in Switzerland including Monte Rosa and the Dom at 14,911ft, but the splendid isolation of the nearby Matterhorn will command your attention.
Below, a river of ice called the Gornergletscher will fascinate you with its immense size and its crystal blue icy sculptures.
For those who desire to explore further, a cable car takes us up to the Hohtalligrat, and the world of eternal snow and glaciers at Stockhorn ice station (11,178 feet)
Upon our return to earth, a memorable lunch is enjoyed where we regale about our high Alpine adventure.
This afternoon we return to further explore the car free village of Zermatt. A wide assortment of wonderfully weathered Alpine shops, restaurants, and chalet style hotels complete with geranium filled window boxes provides a pleasant afternoon of browsing.
Dinner is at your leisure tonight with a wide array of choices, just steps from our hotel.B+L
SATURDAY – Train to Lausanne and Lake Cruise to GenevaWe spend a leisurely morning in Zermatt with time to snap a few more pictures or to purchase that special item you saw earlier
We depart Zermatt for a scenic rail journey to the lake side town of Lausanne. We descend from the high Alps to the Rhône where we follow the green river valley past romantic vineyards, medieval towers, churches, and castles. We travel along Lake Geneva and enjoy views of Lavaux vineyards along the sunny south facing slopes of Lake Geneva.
We arrive in Lausanne where we board a classic lake paddle steamer for a whimsical cruise back to Geneva.
On board we enjoy a three course lunch and refreshments in a beautiful dining salon while gazing in amazement at the mountains that tumble down into the lake. This dramatic scenery has inspired many an artist and Poet.
We stop at the town of Yvonne where we take a walk through this medieval village of flowers. We re-board our steamer and continue our cruise to Geneva. As we enter port Geneva were greeted by the famous Jet d’Eau landmark.
We check into our Geneva hotel and enjoy cocktails. Saturday night is spent in the wonderful ambiance of Geneva.
Dinner is enjoyed in old town Geneva on the terrace of one of the many outstanding restaurants.
Regale with your new friends about the wonderful journey you’ve been on.
A stroll along the romantic night lit quays provides a fitting end to this fabulous vacation.B+L+D
SUNDAY - Transfer to Geneva International Airport and your return flight home or extend your stay in Europe with the next tour. B