Custom Alpine Tours: From the Swiss Alps to the Italian Alps - Switzerland
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Italian Lakes & Swiss Mountains: Criss-Crossing the Alps

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.

Venezia

Venezia

14 km | 17 minutes
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Venezia

Inspiration for artists, musicians and writers

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.

Accommodation: A friendly B&B in the heart of Venice

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Veneto

Cultural landscape between Dolomites and Adri­atic Sea
The region in the north­east of Italy stretches from the Dolomites to the Adri­atic Sea. It includes a wide low mountain range and a lowland with rivers and canals. Lagoons are also typical for Veneto. The city that gave the region its name, Venice, also lies in such a lagoon. But also beyond the lagoon city there is much to discover: art treasures in cities that are unjustly over­shad­owed by Venice, above all Verona, Padua and Vicenza. They are situ­ated in a magnif­i­cent natural setting, where first-class wines grow. Not to forget the many thermal springs around which spas such as Abano, Montegrotto and Teolo have formed.

Do Mori

Venice's oldest Bacaro
Bacaro – the name is derived from the wine god Bacchus – is the name given to the simple taverns in Venice. There are few chairs, but a long bar and a large selec­tion of wines with a few snacks. Do Mori not far from the fish market is the oldest Bacaro of Venice and already over 500 years old. Count­less pots and copper kettles hang from the ceiling, more than 100 excel­lent wines await you in the bar. There are also many different tramezzini.

Ponte di Rialto

Busi­ness centre of the commer­cial metropolis
More than 400 bridges cross about 150 canals and connect 100 islands. Some are name­less or incon­spic­uous. Some are of partic­ular importance from a traffic or cultural-histor­ical point of view. The Rialto Bridge, which has connected the districts of San Marco and San Polo since the 16th century, is world-famous and most frequently photographed. Busi­ness flour­ished here for many centuries: merchants and seafarers unloaded their goods at the quay behind which the banks and trading houses were located. Bridge archi­tect was a certain Antonio da Ponte, who was able to assert himself against star archi­tect Miche­lan­gelo with his practical design because he left enough space for shipping traffic.

From Venice to Cannobio

Rental car pick-up

Venezia

12 km | 16 minutes

Rental car pick-up

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Joyrent S.r.l.
Vehicle: Opel Astra STW or similar (CWMR)
Loca­tion: Venice Airport (Shuttle Service)

From Venice to Cannobio

386 km | 4:30 h
You will travel west­wards through the Po Valley past some of the most beau­tiful Renais­sance cities in northern Italy. Verona, the romantic city on the River Adige at the foot of the Alps, is partic­u­larly worth a stop. At Milan you will turn north towards Switz­er­land.

Piemont

Cultural landscape at “the foot of the mountains”
This region's name means “the foot of the mountains.” It borders Switz­er­land to the North and France to the West. It includes the entire northwestern section of the Italian alps. Europe's highest mountains are located here: Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) is just a few kilome­ters across the French border. Monte Rose (4,618 m) is right on the border. The mountains end abruptly at the Po river valley. Rare languages are still spoken in the deep and inac­ces­sible valleys – including medieval Occitan and Walser German. South of the capital city, Turin, you will discover a charming and cultu­r­ally inter­esting region. Fine wines are made from vine­yards on the gently rolling hills around Asti. Truffles grow in the surrounding forests. This combina­tion attracts gourmets from all over the world.

Treviso

Arcades in the old town
Treviso's historic old town is surrounded by a city wall and honeycombed with idyllic canals. Among these features you will find patri­cian houses from the 12th and 14th centuries as well as arcades and tranquil squares, all dating to the city's heyday. A local culinary specialty is the red Radic­chio (a kind of leaf chicory).

Padua

Glorious univer­sity, market square in the lake
According to Homer, the town 30 kilome­ters west of Venice was founded by sailors after the destruc­tion of Troy. Thus it would be one of the oldest in Italy and during the times of the Roman Empire it was certainly one of the richest cities in the world. Devasta­tion during the barbarian inva­sions, however, had left very little of it. In the late Middle Ages the city, which is connected by a channel system with the main rivers of the Po Valley, managed to rise once again. In part thanks to the glorious univer­sity, where Albertus Magnus and Galileo Galilei have taught. Worth seeing is the old market square, which is surrounded by water, and the Scrovegni Chapel, with frescoes of Mary and Jesus. The father of the builder, the noto­rious extor­tioner Reginaldo Scrovegni, is said to have met Dante in hell.
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Lago Maggiore

Romantic lake between Ticino and Po Valley

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.

Accommodation: A 15th century mansion in Cannobio

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Cannobio

Histor­ical place with waterfront
The picturesque town­ship on the western shores of Lake Maggiore has a beau­tiful waterfront, where a market is held every Sunday. It has a beach, a church from 1571 and a historic center. Located just west of the city, the Cannobino, a rushing mountain stream, has dug a deep gorge.

Centovalli

Chestnut forests, mule tracks and deserted villages
The Ticino valley stretches from Intragna on Lake Maggiore to Camedo in the west at the Swiss-Italian border. It owes its name to the numerous side valleys. There are not 100 but more than 150! Hiking trails along former mule tracks lead through the chestnut forests and on to ancient old villages, which are mostly deserted or inhabited by artists. The romantic valley is made acces­sible by the Centovalli Railway, which travels over 83 bridges and through 34 tunnels.

Locarno

Fash­ion­able resort town on Lake Maggiore
The Swiss resort on Lake Maggiore has received its town charter from Fred­erick Barbarossa. The medieval center of the posh town is the Piazza Grande where every Thursday a market takes place. Orig­inally the Piazza was right on the lake. Today the water's edge is far away with debris being washed up by the mountain river Maggia year after year. Also worth seeing is the Roma­nesque church of San Vittore, with its ornate crypt.

From Cannobio to Zermatt

168 km | 3:30 h

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.

Simplonpass

High alpine pass between glaciers and Mediterranean ravines
With an eleva­tion of 2,005 meters, this pass connects the Rhône Valley in the Swiss canton of Wallis with the Val d'Ossola in the Italian province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. People have been using the pass since prehistoric times. It was even later used by Roman emperors. The influ­en­tial merchant Kaspar von Stockalper built the first road here in the 17th century, which is now a hiking trail. The modern road through the pass follows Napoleon Bonaparte's route. At the top of the pass there is a hospice. Coming down the southern side, you will find the Mediterranean-looking town of Simplon and the the romantically wild Gondo Gorge with the majestic, glacier-covered Fletschhorn towering above it.
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Zermatt

Car-free village at the Matterhorn

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.

Accommodation: A colourful boutique hotel

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Aosta Valley

Smallest and most beau­tiful region of Italy
The valley in the extreme northwest of Italy is an inde­pen­dent region – by far the smallest in Italy, but also one of the most beau­tiful. The valley is surrounded by the highest mountains in Europe. To the west the Mont Blanc, to the north the Matter­horn and the Monterosa group, to the south the Gran Paradiso massif. While the largest glaciers in Europe lie at the top, wine and palm trees grow at the bottom. The large and the small St.-Bernhard-Pass have been opening up the valley for many centuries. Numerous customs castles and mountain fortresses have been preserved along the medieval trade routes.

Brig

At the foot of the largest Alpine glacier
This historic town with 5,000 inhab­i­tants is situ­ated on the southern shores of the Rhone between the Bernese and the Valais Alps. A few kilome­ters to the north lies the UNESCO world heritage site of the Aletsch area with the largest glacier of the Alps. Various cable cars lead to the glacier area. The best cable car ride to Belalp, a car free village, is from Brig. Because of its loca­tion at the foot of the Simplon Pass, an important connec­tion to Italy, the site was already settled in 7 B.C.(!) Brig has a picturesque historic old quarter with the Stockalper Palace.

Castello Fenis

Mighty castle of the counts of Challant
The mighty castle does not lie on a cliff, but only on a hill. Appar­ently it did not serve as a defense, but was from the outset the presti­gious resi­dence of the Challant family. Since the 14th century, a magnif­i­cent court­yard has been built around the keep, deco­rated with murals depicting Saint George as a dragon slayer and a group of wise men and prophets.

From Zermatt to Lausanne

167 km | 2:30 h
The route will take you through the upper Rhone Valley to Lake Geneva. Along the way you will pass Sion. The former capital of the canton Valais is tucked in among vine­yards and has a quaint old town with a certain French feel to it.

Bernese Ober­land

Between lake idyll and eternal ice
In 1798, a canton of Ober­land was created under Napoleon, but it was abol­ished five years later and incor­po­rated into the canton of Berne. However, the name “Ober­land” has been retained and today describes the magnif­i­cent landscape south of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. The high rainfall is all discharged from the Aare, which flows into the Rhine at Koblenz. To the south, the valleys rise steeply to the glaciated main ridge of the Alps, which reaches well over 4000 metres in alti­tude here. The most famous peaks are Eiger (3967 m), Mönch (4107 m) and Jungfrau (4158 m). They form the border with the canton of Valais.

Lake Geneva

Medieval towns and castles in front of dramatic alpine scenery
Also called Lake Léman, the cres­cent-shaped body of water at the southwest edge of the Swiss Plateau between the Alps and the Jura mountains covers an area of 600 square km (230 square miles). The match­less beauty of the lake has always made it a magnet for people form all over the world, including celebri­ties such as Lord Byron, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and Phil Collins. Numerous picturesque villages, vine­yards and castles dot the banks of the lake that serves as a tempo­rary reser­voir for the River Rhone, which enters at the north-west tip and exits at Geneva. Visitors should be sure to spend an evening in one of the numerous “Caveaux des Vignerons”: In each village a wine cellar is open almost every evening where the local prod­ucts can be sampled in an unfor­gettable atmo­sphere.

Martigny

Roman town with French flair
This ancient town lies between vine­yards and woods in the Rhone Knee. The Gallo-Roman temple of Mercury, the foun­da­tions of which were only discov­ered in 1976, bears witness to the fact that the Romans already recog­nised the strategic importance of the town at the inter­sec­tion of important roads and passes. Today the Musée Gallo Romain displays the most important archae­o­log­ical finds of the area. Also worth seeing is the Bernar­diner Museum, dedicated to the legendary rescue dogs of the Great St. Bernard.
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Lausanne

Capital of the Swiss Riviera

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.

Accommodation: A port hotel in Lausanne

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Thonon-les-Bains

Spa with picturesque view
The health resort with 35,000 inhab­i­tants lies picturesquely on a terrace on the southern shore of Lake Geneva. From the spa you can see far over the lake into the Swiss Jura. All around, wine is grown that bears the designa­tion of origin Vin de Savoie. Thonon-les-Bains was the seat of the Dukes of Savoy until 1589. Their castle stood on a peninsula in the lake and has completely disap­peared today. Ripaille Castle now stands on the same site. It was bought and rebuilt by an Alsa­tian indus­trialist in 1892.

Nyon

Charming village on Lake Geneva
This charming village is located on the shores of Lake Geneva halfway between Geneva and Lausanne and surrounded by the vine­yards of the La Côte area. Three Corinthian columns standing on a hill in the lake­side park attest to the region's Roman history. After conquering Gaul, Julius Caesar decided to estab­lish a colony in the area which is now the city of Nyon. The colony was called Iulia Equestris and had its center in Noviodunum. This can be seen in the exca­va­tions on display in the Roman museum. In summer, the town is a paradise for nature lovers and water sports enthu­siasts.

Geneva

French lifestyle and interna­tional culture on Lake Geneva
French lifestyle, interna­tional culture and an unsurpassed beau­tiful loca­tion on the lake with the same name makes Geneva one of the most livable cities in Switz­er­land – but also one of the most expen­sive!  World history was written in Geneva during the Reforma­tion, when the reformer Calvin introduced a harsh and strict church discip­line in the city. While dancing, drinking and singing were banned, Calvin allowed an interest-based economy, which was forbidden to Chris­tians in Catholic surround­ings at that time. As a result Geneva became an important trade- and banking center. Today, 200 interna­tional orga­ni­za­tions have their head­quar­ters in Geneva. More than 40% of the inhab­i­tants are foreign nationals. Landmarks in Geneva are the lakefront and the Rhone, on whose bank the three-towered cathedral is located.

From Lausanne to Zürich

237 km | 3:00 h

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.

Bern

Renais­sance arcades and facade paint­ings in the UNESCO World Heritage City
With 130,000 inhab­i­tants, the capital of Switz­er­land is the country's 4th largest city. Bern 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 old town has 6 km of covered arcades, the longest medieval shopping prom­enade in Europe, inviting tourists to stroll and shop at a leisurely pace. The wide 17th century resi­dences with their jutting roofs and painted facades reflect the histor­ical pride of the Bern citi­zens. The entire city center, which boasts eleven histor­ical fountains, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Only a few kilome­ters to the west to the city a very different event took place: in Zimmerwald near Riggisberg the Third Interna­tional was founded in 1915 in the pres­ence of Lenin and Trotsky, which led to the crea­tion of the Soviet Union.

Old town of Bern

Magnif­i­cent Boul­evard between the Zytglogge and the Kramgasse
The main axis through the historic center of Bern is the Gerechtigkeitsgasse (Justice Street) which extends into the Kram-, the Market- and the Spital­gasse. With its patri­cian houses on either sides of the street and also the arcades, behind which hide upmarket shops, it forms a unique ensemble. The long prom­enade is dotted with artis­tically deco­rated fountains of which the Justice fountain from 1543 is the oldest. At the end of this typical Helvetic boul­evard is the “Zytglogge” with its astro­nom­ical clockwork. In the 13th century the Clock Tower served as the western city gate.

Biel

Sunshine city on the lakefront
The 15 kilome­ters long and 74 meters deep lake is one of the three large Jura lakes in Switz­er­land. The name Jura derives from the Celtic language and means forest which still dominates the landscape of this less fertile and sparsely popu­lated region. On the sunny slopes of the lake shore between Biel and Le Landeron grows a fruity white wine, which is served in the taprooms with Treberwurst, a local specialty. Since the Franco-German language border runs through the lakes, most places have bilin­gual names.

Around the Küss­aburg

Between Wutach and Rhine to the striking Castle
This easy hike between Wutach and the Rhine leads through the foothills of the Black Forest to the Küss­aburg, the striking fortress high above the Rhine Valley. The starting point is in picturesque Tiengen. The way back leads through romantic river valleys.

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Zürich

Old Town with trendy cafes and pubs

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.

Accommodation: A 16th century mansion in downtown Zurich

1 Night | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

From Zürich to Ander­matt

110 km | 2:00 h

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.

Lucerne

Jewel of Central Switz­er­land
In the 7th century the Luciara monastery stood where the river Reuss leaves Lake Lucerne. A trading place grad­u­ally grew around the monastery, which was declared a town in 1178. The citi­zens and merchants benefited from the loca­tion on Gotthards­traße. When the Habsburg Duke Rudolph bought the town in 1291, the rebellious citi­zens joined forces with the orig­inal cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden to secure the survival of the young Swiss Confed­er­a­tion. Pros­perity and beauty are at home in all epochs of the city – in the medieval build­ings, the patri­cian houses of the Renais­sance, the Art Nouveau hotels and the bold build­ings of the present. The landmark is the Kapellbrück (Chapel Bridge) from the 14th century. It leads across the crystal clear lake, which reflects a magnif­i­cent mountain pano­rama.

Lake Lucerne

The heart of old Switz­er­land: Picturesque Lake Lucern
Located in the heart of old Switz­er­land, Lake Lucerne borders on and is surrounded by the three orig­inal Swiss cantons: Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. The area around the lake played an important role in the national and polit­ical myths and legends, among others those of the Swiss national hero Wilhelm Tell. Due to the reflec­tion of the Alpine mountains in the water, Lake Lucerne is widely regarded as the most beau­tiful lake in Switz­er­land. The best way to expe­r­i­ence the cross-shaped lake, orig­inally formed by a glacier, is by taking a ride on one of the paddle steamers or cruise boats that connect Lucerne, Brunnen and Flüelen. A number of marked hiking paths of varying length and diffi­culty are located on the southern side of the lake at the foot of the Alps. Highly recom­mended are the cable car or cogwheel railway to one of the view­points on the summits of Mount Pilatus, Rigi or Stanser­horn.
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Andermatt

At the center of exciting mountain passes

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.

Accommodation: An Alpine hotel near St. Gotthard

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Ticino

Para­disiac lakes, remote mountain villages
Because of its warm climate, the south­ernmost canton of Switz­er­land is also called “sunroom”. Closed off to the north by the Gotthard massif, wine, figs, lemons and olives find perfect condi­tions over here. When after several waves of emigra­tion Ticino was heavily depop­u­lated in the early 20th century, painters, poets and anar­chists tired of civi­l­iza­tion discov­ered the para­disiac region around Lake Maggiore, among them Hermann Hesse. They were followed by tourists, attracted by the idyllic scenery and the 2,300 hours of sunshine a year. Around the Great Lakes lie the tourist centers of Ascona, Lugano and Locarno, which host several interna­tional music and film festivals. In a striking contrast to this rich and sophis­ticated holiday region are remote valleys such as Verzasca, Maggia- or Onser­none, whose wild chestnut forests, untamed rivers and magnif­i­cent rock forma­tions are only acces­sible to hikers. Everywhere one comes across abandoned Rustici, stone houses built without mortar, which testify to narrow, squalid living condi­tions of previous gener­a­tions in Ticino.

Engelberg

Hiking and skiing paradise near Lucerne
Although located just 25 km south of Lake Lucerne, the Alpine town founded in 1120 exists in a completely different world and is suit­able for longer stays. Mount Titlis soars above the picturesque mountain valley to the south, while Mount Hahnen dominates the skyline to the east of the town, creating a fork in the valley. Numerous cable cars and ski lifts lead up the mountain­side, espe­cially in the area around Titlis. During the summer months, a network of marked trails of various levels of diffi­culty await hikers. Other possible activ­i­ties include mountain climbing and parag­liding.

Furka steam locomo­tive

Over the pass with the cogwheel railway
After the Furka Base Tunnel between Realp and Oberwald was completed, the cogwheel railway over the pass was deemed to be closed perma­nently. However, ideal­ists and railway enthu­siasts ensured that the historic railway line over the mountain was preserved. From May to late September steam engines depart daily needing a good two hours for the 18 kilometer route.

From Ander­matt to Gardone Riviera

335 km | 5:00 h
G

Lago di Garda

Lemons and wine on Italy's largest lake

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.

Accommodation: A 15th century manor house

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

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.

Gardone Riviera

Waterfront with exquisite restau­rants and cafes
The picturesque town on the western shore is consid­ered the most elegant holiday resort at Lake Garda. Exquisite restau­rants and cafes await on the waterfront. Within the sizable botan­ical gardens (10,000 square meters) grow more than 2,000 plant species, including subtrop­ical ones thanks to the mild climate. The Vitto­riale degli Ital­iani was the resi­dence of the Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzi. Today the complex is a spacious museum on an area of nine hectares.

Boating on Lake Garda

The most beau­tiful places in 30-minute inter­vals
Most Lake Garda towns feature a jetty where excur­sion- and speed-boats land. Informa­tion on times and prices can be obtained during a walk along the prom­enade. Gener­ally speaking it is not neces­sary to reserve, as the boats run approx­i­mately every 30 minutes to an hour. And if a boat is too crowded then you just take the next one.

Lago di Valvestino

Fjord-like reser­voir with crystal clear water
From Gargnano a steep pano­ramic road leads up to Lago di Valvestino. It travels through the romantic and wild landscape of the Parco Regionale Dell Alto Garda Bres­ciano. Along the way one cont­in­u­ally passes spots with great views of Lake Garda. The reser­voir itself looks more like a Norwe­gian fjord. Restrained by Monte Bagno, Monte Alberelli, and Monte Carzen it has crystal clear water. Around the lake are a number of marked trails.

From Gardone Riviera

Rental car drop-off

From Gardone Riviera to Venice

185 km | 3:00 h

Rental car drop-off

Loca­tion: Venice Airport (Shuttle Service)

From Venice

4 km | 6 minutes
13 days
from € 2,037.00
per person based on two people sharing a double room
Services
  • Accommodation in a double room
  • Meals (as listed above)
  • Sunny Cars Permit for Switzerland (payable on site)
  • Climate Compensation

An- und Abreise: Flüge zum Selberbuchen finden Sie im Internet. Falls Sie mit der Bahn anreisen möchten, buchen wir gern das Ticket für Sie.
You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time: April–September

The prices can vary depending on the season.
Your Consultants
Jessica Parkin

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-23


Melissa Nußbaum

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-57


Leslie Jalowiecki

Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-67

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