A round-trip tour from Venice that includes not one but two inspiring Alpine tours on the way from Italy to Switzerland and back. Besides Europe's highest mountain, the Matterhorn, you will stop at three beautiful lakes: Lake Maggiore, Lake Geneva and Lake Garda. The tour could easily be amended to begin and end in Zurich.
This trip will be customized according to your wishes.
This centuries-old city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Countless churches and palaces bear witness to the power and unsurpassed wealth of this small republic.
The lagoon city was founded in northern Italy during the troubled times of the decline of the Roman Empire. The remains of the evangelist Mark were transferred to Venice in 829. The streams of pilgrims that followed gave the city much added importance. Since then the sacred symbol of the lion has been the city's coat of arms. Venetian troops later occupied eastern Italy and, in 1204, even Constantinople. At the height of its power Venice ruled the Mediterranean. The demise of the “serrenissima repubblica” began with the fall of Constantinople and the opening of the Western Hemisphere by Spain, Portugal and Holland. Venice's political importance declined after the Congress of Vienna and it was given to Austria. Returned to Italy in 1866, Venice has inspired generations of artists, writers and musicians. More than a city, it is a symbol of wealth and beauty as well as death and decay.
The 15th century palazzo, former residence of a wealthy Venetian family, is located in the maze of narrow streets in the heart of Venice near the Rialto Bridge.
Today it houses a B&B. Each room is tastefully decorated in an individual design and partly furnished with antiques. The idyllic, green inner courtyard with the ancient well was once open and led to the canal. Here you can enjoy Breakfast in the morning or the peace and quiet, reviewing the impressions gained after a strenuous day of sightseeing. All major sites are within easy walking distance.
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Vehicle: Ford Focus or similar (CDMR)
Location: Venice Airport (Desk at Airport)
In a part of Switzerland renowned for its warmth and Mediterranean light, Lake Maggiore has been attracting visitors for over 100 years.
While its northern tip is part of the Swiss Ticino, it reaches as far south as the Po Valley. The walks above the lake offer views which remind one of the Côte d'Azur near the heart of Europe, with the Alps as a backdrop. There is everything here: unspoiled nature, spectacular scenery, the best climate in Switzerland, major cultural events, beaches, lakeshores, an early spring, a golden autumn, wine and food specialties, and an infinite number of possibilities for excursions and every kind of leisure activity, from golf to extreme sports like canyoning.
The historical manor house sits in the medieval village of Cannobio, a resort on Lake Maggiore, a few kilometers south of the Swiss border.
Following an extensive restoration it combines authentic medieval architecture with all the comforts of a modern hotel. Original frescoes, vaulted ceilings and massive century-old stone pillars are complemented by period furniture. The twelve rooms vary in color and decor. Some overlook the lake, others the car-free Old Town. The Breakfast room seems to have emerged straight from the 18 century. The exclusive dining room on the first floor with an open fireplace provides the ideal setting for a relaxing evening over a glass or two of good wine.
From Locarno you will travel through the romantic Centovalli, reaching the border to Italy near Camedo. The name Centovalli or “100 valleys” refers to the numerous valleys that branch off on all sides from the main one.
The route is dotted with picturesque mountain villages dosing in the sun. The route returns to Switzerland and the grand mountains of Valais via Domodossola and the rugged Gondo Gorge.
The town at the end of the Mattertal has around 5,000 inhabitants and is situated at 1,600 m (5,250 ft.) above sea level.
Zermatt's world-wide renown stems from its proximity to the Matterhorn, the mountain of mountains and most famous landmark in the Alps. Anyone who has ever stood before the mighty peak knows that even the most enthusiastic description will fail to capture its true majesty. The mountain was first scaled by a party of Brits using local guides in 1865. In their rush to beat another party to the top one of the climbers slipped and caused three others to fall to their deaths. The trio are buried in the churchyard next to an English chapel in Zermatt set aside for them and the numerous other Brits who subsequently died attempting to scale the mountain. Climbs to the peak of the Matterhorn are almost a matter of course today. About 3,000 mountaineers attempt the ascent each year, sometimes even leading to overcrowding on the main routes. The Gorner Valley south-east of Zermatt boasts the highest cog railway in Europe. The higher you go the more incredible the views of the Matterhorn become.
The town of Zermatt is closed to private vehicles. Visitors must leave their cars at the free car park and take the train to the city.
Red and zebra is the surprisingly attractive colour combination that greets guests to this tastefully decorated hotel, in which every room is different, and every room features a carefully coordinated colour scheme.
As guests will happily discover, the entire property has been thoughtfully designed to please the body and soul, from the gourmet restaurant in the warm, wood-panelled dining room to the full three levels of swimming pool and spa facilities. The extraordinary hotel endeavours to make a stay there an intrinsic part of the Zermatt experience. And it succeeds.
The Romans had already founded a settlement called Lusona on the sunny northern shore of Lake Geneva. Today Lausanne is the centre of the “Swiss Riviera” and attracts visitors from all over the world with its enchanting old town and international flair.
In a way, Lausanne is even the cradle of tourism. The hotel school is the oldest in the world. A jewel is the early Gothic cathedral Notre-Dame, which is considered the most beautiful building from the pre-Swiss Habsburg period.
The family-run inn is ideally located on the shores of Lake Geneva. The interior of the 20 bedrooms is practical and comfortable.
Guests can relax in the outdoor restaurant and enjoy the beautiful lakeside views, which are also offered by many of the bedrooms. The city centre of Lausanne is just a seven-minute walk away. The friendly hotel represents a rare find in this overly expensive city: A good value for the money. For the entire stay guests receive the Lausanne Transport Card.
The route leads through the Swiss Jura, the heavily forested, low mountain range in northwest Switzerland. From Yverdon at the southern tip of Lake Neuschâtel you may want to take a detour to Mont Chasseron. The walk to the summit of Mont Chasseron starts at St. Croix and takes about 90 minutes each way. Those who make the effort will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Neuschâtel, the Jura Mountains and the Alps.
The city of Bern is also worth a stop. The capital of Switzerland was founded in the 12th century, then destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1405 and rebuilt in the Renaissance style. Most of these buildings still stand today, making Bern one of Europe's leading examples of urban development during the late Middle Ages. The entire city centre has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The city at the northern end of Lake Zurich began as a Roman settlement called Turicum. Zurich didn't become a free city until the 13th century, and shortly after that joined the newly established Swiss Confederation.
The town's rise to prominence began during the era of Protestant reformer Ulrich Zwingli, who lived in Zurich from 1484 to 1531 and laid the foundation for the emergence of a Puritan-capitalistic culture. Today Zurich is one of the world's richest cities in terms of per capita income and its citizens enjoy the best quality of life in the world according to a survey conducted in 2007. Millionaires and billionaires from around the globe have established a residence in the city because of Swiss bank privacy laws and the country's low tax rate. Yet Zurich has much more to offer than secret bank accounts and low taxes: an attractive old town with chic cafés and bars, over 40 museums, and the famous Bahnhofsstrasse, one of the most elegant shopping avenues in Europe.
The small hotel in the centre of Zurich prides itself as an “oasis of tranquillity” in the heart of the city, and indeed the ability to relax in the secluded garden next to the Neptune fountain dating back to 1770 is one of the many features that set this property apart.
The small hotel with 35 individually decorated bedrooms offers convenience and comfort on the highest level. Lovers of wine and gourmet cooking will appreciate the restaurant's market-fresh cuisine and exquisite wine cellar. The pleasant oasis in the bustling city is the ideal refuge after a hard day of sightseeing in the nearby Old Town.
The scenic journey will take you along the northwest side of Lake Zurich, the western shore of Lake Zug and the southeast end of Lake Lucerne on your way through the Canton of Schwyz.
You will then head high up into the Uri Mountains to the St. Gotthard Pass. If time allows you should take the old St. Gotthard Road (Route 2), an ancient trade route that runs parallel to the motorway.
For many centuries Andermatt was situated at the premier crossroads for both north-south and east-west traffic across the Alps.
The ancient Swiss town lies at the center of four key Alpine passes: the Gotthard Pass to southern Switzerland, the Göscheneralp Pass to north-central Switzerland, the stunning Furka Pass to the Rhone Valley in the west, and the Oberalp Pass to the Rhine Valley. Many gorgeous Alpine drives of various length and difficulty can be taken from Andermatt. A relatively unchallenging yet scenic excursion is the three-passes panoramic drive around the Rhone Glacier, either in your own car or in one of the canary-yellow Post buses. A truly unforgettable experience is a ride on the Furka Steam Train from Realp to Oberwald.
The hotel is situated near the historical Devil's Bridge on what for centuries was the main trading route across the Alps.
Since completion of the Gotthard Road Tunnel in 1980, however, it has grown nearly as quiet in these parts as it was when Goethe stayed in Andermatt on his way to Italy over 200 years ago. The bedrooms in the traditional Swiss hotel are bright and comfortable. Regional Swiss specialities are served in the wood-panelled dining room.
This is Italy's largest (370 sq. km) and undoubtedly most beautiful lake. The northern end is surrounded by mountains (Mt.
Balbo), its southern end by gentle hills. The lake's climate is temperate and its flora is characteristically Mediterranean, a combination that has made it famous and its small Riviera-like towns (Malcesine, Brenzone, Torri del Benaco, Bardolino, Lazise, Peschiera) highly frequented tourist stops since ancient times. There are several natural parks in the region of Peschiera and Castelnuovo del Garda that rank among the most famous in Europe. However, this is also a region of fertile countryside with fine wine that once attracted kings, merchants and cardinals. Recreational activities such as sailing, motor boating and water-skiing are offered.
The villa is a renovated 15th century manor house set on the green hillside that slopes steeply down to Lake Garda.
The sensational views will make your stay unforgettable. The well-appointed rooms contain a delicate blend of works of art and antique furniture. The stone house stands in a magnificent park where both body and mind can relax. The 80,000 square meter park contains lush vegetation, broken here and there by natural water falls and gently shaded paths. A succession of small clearings, fruit trees, ornamental shrubs, flowers and aromatic herb gardens conveys a sense of peace and well-being.
Location: Venice Airport (Desk at Airport)