Alpine Tours: Custom Vacations to Switzerland & Italy
Lake Garda
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Italy & Switzerland: On the Rooftop of Europe

While most tours cut through the Alps on a north-south plane, this roundtrip tour from Milan proceeds from west to east through some of the most magnificent mountain landscapes in the world. An Alpine tour deluxe that will take you from Andermatt and St. Moritz in Switzerland to Bolzano in Italy, travelling via two beautiful Italian Lakes.

This trip will be customized according to your wishes.

From Milan to Oggebbio

Rental car pick-up

Rental car pick-up

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: Joyrent S.r.l.
Vehicle: Fiat Tipo or similar (CDMR)
Loca­tion: Milan Malpensa Airport (Shuttle Service)

From Milan to Oggebbio

82 km | 1:30 h
After passing through the heavily indus­trial Po Valley you will reach Lago Maggiore near Verbania. From there the route follows the western shore of the lake through sleepy Italian villages hardly touched by tourism to the Swiss border.
A

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 villa near Oggebbio

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The villa in a large park over­looking Lago Maggiore is an island of tranquility. Situ­ated about 30 minutes from Ascona, the hotel stands on the Italian side of the border, which is less frequented by tourists.

Each of the 18 bedrooms is uniquely and indi­vid­u­ally deco­rated. The restau­rant special­izes in dishes made of fresh local prod­ucts. Weather permitting, meals are served on the seaview terrace. A swimming pool is avai­l­able during the warmer months.

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.

Stresa

Lake­side town on the Lago Maggiore from the Belle Époque
The heyday of this town on the shores of Lake Maggiore began when the Simplon railway line connected it with the north. The prom­enades along the shore­line, with their magnif­i­cent views, still attest to that era. A number of boats will ferry you from Stresa to the Borromean Islands and to other sights on Lake Maggiore. The Villa Pallavi­cino and its botanic gardens are only a short distance to the south.

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.

From Oggebbio to Ander­matt

131 km | 2:30 h

The short stretch along the Strada del Gottardo to St. Gotthard Pass will give you an impres­sion of the arduous journey this once was for traders crossing the Alps.

The hospice just behind the pass was built in the 14th century and restored in the 19th century. The Gotthard Museum on the same site contains exhibits on the history of the pass, which has been one of the most important trading routes across the Alps since the Middle Ages.

Cimetta

Mountain with a view and a cablecar
North of Lake Maggiore rises the Cimetta. Via the Cardada, the local mountain of Locarno, the 1,671 meter high peak is easily acces­sible by cablecar and hiking trails. From the top you have a sensa­tional view over the lake and the Maggia Delta. On a good day you can see Ascona, the lowest point in Switz­er­land, and the Monte Rosa, the highest point of Switz­er­land. Those who still have energy, can cont­inue to Cima della Torosa and descend over the lake of Verzasca.
B

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.

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.

Tremo­las­traße

Scenic road at the St. Gotthard Pass
This mountain road winds its way elegantly up the Gotthard Pass. It has been a protected landmark since 1832 and is consid­ered one of the “great drives of the Alps.” From the Middle Ages up until the 20th century, the pass was one of the most important routes over the mountains. Coaches would use the road in the summer, and sleighs in the winter. Today, it is preferred by nostalgic visitors; those in a hurry can simply drive straight through the mountain via the Gotthard tunnel.

From Ander­matt to St.Moritz

158 km | 3:00 h

Splü­genpass

Breathtaking mountain pass between Rheinwald and Chiavenna
At a height of 2,115 meters, this is one of the most impres­sive mountain passes in the Alps. It connects the Swiss town of Splügen in Rheinwald with Chiavenna in the Italian province of Sondrio and with Lake Como. The pass marks the water­shed between the Rhein and the Po as well as the border between Italy and Switz­er­land. The incred­ibly steep southern ramp (SS 36), which passes through the Val San Giacomo, is breathtaking. Over the 30 kilome­ters between Chiavenna and the top of the pass, the road surmounts an eleva­tion change of  just under 1,800 meters.

Reichenau

Beau­tiful palace where two trib­utaries of the Rhine flow together
This 17th-century palace is located at the conflu­ence of two major trib­utaries of the Rhine River. A rocky plateau called the Flimser­stein rises to the north, where a landslide once buried the Rhine valley eons ago. The river has since carved out a narrow gorge through the debris. Schloss Reichenau is currently used by the von Tscharner family as a wine estate. Its wines are regarded as straightforward and unfussy. The best way to expe­r­i­ence the palace is on a guided tour with Gian-Battista von Tscharner followed by a wine tasting.
C

Engadin

Natural and cultural diversity in the highest valley in Europe

The 80 km long high valley in the canton of Grisons belongs to the highest inhabited valleys in Europe and is extremely cold in winter, espe­cially in the Upper Enga­dine between the Majola Pass and Zuoz.

To the north­east the valley is drained by the River Inn which, partic­u­larly in the steeper Lower Enga­dine, turns to rushing white­water. Because of its remote­ness indige­nous languages have been preserved in the Enga­dine, – Romansh languages which have simi­larity to Latin. In the Upper Engadin Puter is spoken and in the Lower Enga­dine they speak Vallader. The languages are related, but they each have their own writing. Tourism has turned the former poor­house of Switz­er­land into a flour­ishing region. And so it also happened that St. Moritz grew into a sophis­ticated ski resort. The Muottas Muragl Bahn is the oldest funic­ular in the world.

Accommodation: A country hotel in the Engadin

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

This family-run hotel, built in the country style typical of Engadin, is only a stone's throw away from the valley train station.

People come here in Winter to go skiing and in Summer to go hiking, play golf, and climb the nearby mountains. Hotel guests can ride the mountain trains and use the public trans­porta­tion free of charge. A variety of activ­i­ties are offered during the Summer – every­thing from visiting a cheese factory to hiking to the Morter­atsch glacier. The town center of St. Moritz is only a fifteen minute walk away. You can also make use of the indoor pool and three different types of sauna (steam, bio, and Finnish) or relax in the cozy restau­rant, bar and lobby area. All of the 28 rooms are furnished in Swiss pine.

Soglio

Sun-drenched settle­ment above the Bregaglia Gorge
This sun-drenched village lies high above the romantic Bregaglia gorge in the Engadin Valley, south-west of the famous ski resort St. Moritz. Tucked in just behind the Italian border and the beau­tiful Lake Como, the mountain village thrives on the contrast between Mediterranean vegeta­tion and Alpine views of the Bernina massif. The town itself remains spared from mass tourism, offering a unique mixture of grand palazzis and tradi­tional mountain farm­yards. The large selec­tion of hiking trails in the imme­diate vicinity is a mecca for hikers and the area is a paradise for mountain climbers.

Davos

From an insig­nif­icant village to the metropolis of winter sports
Located at an eleva­tion of 5,118 feet, Davos is the highest city in Europe. The commu­nity with just 10,000 inhab­i­tants regis­ters over 2.1 million visitors a year. The valley was only inhabited in 1280 – late for Euro­pean standards – and the area was mainly used to graze cattle. The fortunes of the city began to rise in the 1850's when the mountain air was deemed to be good for tubercu­losis sufferers. A sanato­rium for lung patients in Davos is the setting of Thomas Mann's famous novel “Magic Mountain”. The role of the city as a resort for winter sports began when a toboggan race was held there in 1883. During the summer months, however, Davos is a much quieter place and an excel­lent base for hiking and sightseeing trips to the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Bernina Pass

High mountain route out of a story­book
The 60 km long mountain pass is one of the most beau­tiful in the entire Alps. It leads over the Euro­pean water­shed between the North Sea and the Adri­atic Sea. The landscape could hardly be more diverse: the giant masses of ice of the Upper Enga­dine lie on the route, as well as the high mountain valley of Poschiavo, but also the Veltin with its Mediterranean climate where vines and palm trees grow. The Bernina railway, which today is a World Heritage Site, runs parallel to the road from St. Moritz to Tirano.

From St.Moritz to Missiano

163 km | 3:00 h

Schweiz­eris­cher Nation­alpark

Vultures and bears in Switz­er­land's largest nature reserve
With an area of 170 square kilome­ters, the national park in Graubünden is the largest nature reserve in Switz­er­land. Its eleva­tion ranges from 1,400 meters to 3,174 meters on Piz Pisoc. There are hiking trails starting in Zernez that will lead you through forests, meadows, scree and ice. Because it is forbidden to leave the trails in the park, the wildlife has become accustomed to people. If you are quiet, you may get to see ibexes, deer, chamois, marmots, alpine hares, lizards, snakes and a wide variety of birds – maybe even one of the bearded vultures that were reintroduced to the park in 1991. In 2005, a brown bear was sighted for the first time in 90 years. The visitor center in Zernez offers informa­tion about the park and displays a marmot burrow you can walk through.

Valmüstair

Bears in the most remote part of the Grisons
Valmüstair can be reached from Switz­er­land only via the Ofen Pass (2149 m), which has only been devel­oped since 1872. Thus the valley is still one of the most remote in the Grisons. It even has kept its own language, which is spoken by several hundred people: the Grisons Roma­nesque Jawor. The place looks like from another century, espe­cially the main town of Santa Maria with its magnif­i­cent houses. Meanwhile, even the bear has been reintroduced. Six hiking trails “on the trail of bears” have been estab­lished. The munic­ipality Lü with nearly 70 inhab­i­tants is the highest town in Switz­er­land.
D

Bolzano

Baroque town at the edge of the Dolomites

The capital of the province of Bolzano-Bozen has a dist­inctly Austrian flavor. It is situ­ated in a narrow valley which was once the crossroad of several ancient trading routes.

While the baroque city center clearly shows that the region belonged to Austria for centuries, modern Bolzano repre­sents an inter­esting mixture of German and Italian culture. The landscape is dominated by the fascinating Dolomites, which rise majes­tically to the east creating bizarre forma­tions. Huddled at the foot of the mountains is Caldaro al Lago. The warmest lake in the Alps is surrounded by vine­yards for the produc­tion of red wine.

Accommodation: A romantic castle above Bolzano

2 Nights | 1x Double Occupancy | Bed & Breakfast

The medieval castle atop a hill near Bolzano dates back to the year 1236. It was acquired by the Dellago family nearly 100 years ago and converted into a luxury hotel and restau­rant by the current gener­a­tion of Dellagos.

From this quiet perch atop a hill surrounded by vine­yards guests can enjoy wonderful views of Bolzano and Catinaccio. Inside a pleasant atmo­sphere is created by works of folk art, bright colours and wood furnish­ings. Dinner on the pano­ramic terrace is an expe­r­i­ence to which Mediterranean-influ­enced cuisine and a good wine cellar also contribute. Some­what off the beaten track of the castle is the pool, where you can dream, read or lounge on the sun deck. Guests can also use the indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, solarium, tennis court and library, and Vespa excur­sions can be arranged.

South Tyrolean Archae­o­log­ical Museum

The story of Ötzi, the mummy from the glacier
The Bolzano Munic­ipal Museum is currently the home of the exhibit “The Man from Hauslabjoch”- better known as “Ötzi.” The mummy was discov­ered protruding through the ice in a glacier in the Ötztal Alps in 1992. A public pros­e­cutor was initially brought in because of the mummy's head injuries. The case was closed, however, when a forensic examiner deter­mined that the body was 5,300 years old! Of partic­ular interest is the life-like Ötzi recon­struc­tion based on 3D images of the mummy.

To the castles of Eppan

Romantic ruins with a sprawling view
This loop trail starts at Korb castle and leads to the striking castle ruins of Hocheppan and Boymont. Along the way, there are a number of over­looks offering a view of the vast Bozen Valley. (1:45 hrs, 5 km, eleva­tion change: 210 m)

On the peak of the Gantkofel

Mountain climbing tour to a peak with scenic view
Those who wish to climb the Gantkofel not only need to be in good shape, but should also be unafraid of heights and steady on their feet. Yet the steep and narrow trail should pose to diffi­cul­ties to alpine hikers. At 1,866 meters, the peak offers an amazing view of Bozen and the Dolomites. The hike ends at the Moarhof, a historic mountain farm­house, where you can order goulash, dumplings, fried eggs and other South Tyrolean delica­cies. (5:15 hrs, 8.5 km, eleva­tion change: 930)

From Bolzano to St. Magdalena

Stroll through the old town and the vine­yards
This short walk will take you through the old town and along the Talfer toward St. Peter. From there, you will pass through vine­yards on your way to St. Magdalena. This is where the high-quality St. Magdalener Clas­sico wine is produced, which you can try for your­self in the Eberle restau­rant in St. Magdalena.

From Missiano to Gardone Riviera

144 km | 3:00 h
You will leave the main motorway at Trento and take a side road along the idyllic western shore of Lake Garda.

Trient

Magnif­i­cent facades at the base of the Dolomites
This small city at the base of the Dolomites was the focal point of world history for nearly two decades. Between 1545 and 1563, it was the site of the Roman Catholic Church's First Vatican Council, which is still known as the Council of Trent. The council repre­sented an effort by the Catholic Church to find its bear­ings again for the coming centuries after the German Reforma­tion and the collapse of the Church in Northern and Central Europe. The council also left its mark on the town, since the town under­went massive reno­va­tions as a result. The cathedral became the center of atten­tion, even though had not been completed yet. Even today, this Roma­nesque church is still the city's most impres­sive sight. Leading to the cathedral square is the Via Belen­zani, the most beau­tiful street in town. It is lined with splendid Palazzi and opulent facade paint­ings.
E

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 Milano

175 km | 2:30 h
This pano­ramic stretch leads around the southern tip of the Alps. You will soon enter the Milan metropol­itan area, where traffic jams are common.

Brescia

This provin­cial capital situ­ated between the lakes of Iseo, Idro and Garda was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason. There can hardly be a comparable city whose history is as completely docu­mented by its archi­tectural monu­ments as Brescia. The historic city center features streets dating back to Roman times, as well as a Roman shrine dating to the days of the Republic, a Capito­line temple and a Roman theater. The Lombards arrived later during the Migra­tion Period and left behind the monastery of Santa Giulia, which now houses the city museum. Shops, bars and restau­rants can be found in the streets surrounding the Piazza della Loggia and there is a weekly market in the city center every Saturday.

Lago d'Iseo

Romantic shores and rugged cliffs
The fourth largest of Italy's northern lakes lies 20 km north-west of Brecia at an alti­tude of 180 m. Fed by the River Oglio, it is 25 km long and 251 m deep. In the middle of the lake is Monte Isola, Italy's largest lake island. While the road along the western shore leads past steep cliffs offering spectac­ular lake views, the main towns are situ­ated on the eastern shore, which is dotted with ancient fishing villages with Roma­nesque churches and lakeshore prom­enades in the shade of palm trees. In spite of its excel­lent infras­truc­ture, Lago d'Iseo is not as tourist-plagued as nearby Lake Garda and Lake Como.

Milano

Soccer, fashion and opera at its best
This city at the foot of the Alps, which was founded by Etruscans in 600 B.C. and conquered by the Romans in 222 A.D., is more than just the main city of Lombardy. The second largest city in Italy after Rome is one of the world's leading commer­cial and finan­cial centers. The AC Milan and FC Internazionale play in the first divi­sion and at times in the Euro­pean Cham­pions League. The Milan opera, La Scala, is located in a clas­sical 18th century building and enjoys worldwide renown. Several histor­ical build­ings can be found in the city center. The most important of these is the Italy's largest Gothic cathedral, which took nearly 200 years to build starting in 1375 and holds 40,000 people. Close by is Milan's shopping district with its famous fashion designers and cozy cafés.

Rental car drop-off

Loca­tion: Milan Malpensa Airport (Shuttle Service)

From Milano

9 km | 9 minutes
11 days
from € 1,886.00
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



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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