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Switzerland and the Lakes of Northern Italy
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Switzerland and the Lakes of Northern Italy

offered by supplier M07510 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 8 - 16 people
Destination(s): Switzerland   Italy  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Sightseeing  
Season: September
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 6899 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 6899 US Dollar (USD)

Tour dates: August 29- September 11

Day 1
We arrive at the Zurich airport and begin our adventure with a guided tour of Zürich. Situated on the northern shores of Lake Zürich, with a magnificent view of the snowcapped Alps on the horizon, Zürich (dubbed “Downtown Switzerland”) offers a unique mixture of attractions. Tonight’s gourmet dinner is a great introduction to the best of Swiss cuisine.
Overnight: Zürich | Meals: D

Day 2
After breakfast, we take a full-day excursion to central Switzerland’s largest town, Luzern, on our way to the Bernese Oberland. On the western edge of Lake Luzern (Lucerne, in French), Luzern is easily explored on foot because of its compact size. We enjoy a guided walking tour of the medieval Old Town, including the famous Chapel Bridge. We continue to Lake Brienz, our base for the next three nights. Tonight dinner is a feast of wonderful Swiss specialties.
Overnight: Brienz | Meals: B, D

Day 3
We are now in the “Jungfrau region,” a spectacular area of deep blue lakes and magnificent mountains. During our three days here we will explore the most beautiful villages and lakes, and take the “Männlichen excursion”— a fantastic journey combining aerial gondola rides from Grindelwald to Männlichen with a pleasant hike along a beautiful mountain trail to Kleine Scheidegg. From Männlichen (2230 m) we follow the easy and impressive high-Alpine trail in a southerly direction. Walking at the same level along the east flank of the Tschuggen, we reach Honegg and take the loop skirting the rocky lower slopes of the Lauberhorn to Rotstöcki, from where it’s only a short distance to Kleine Scheidegg. We visit the idyllic village of Lauterbrunnen, nestled on the floor of the stunning Lauterbrunnen Valley—the deepest U-shaped valley in the world. From here, our eyes feast on the beauty of this quintessential Swiss alpine scenery, with waterfalls—including the UNESCO Trümmelbach Falls—green meadows dotted with cows, and snowy peaks.
Overnight: Brienz | Meals: B

Day 4
Today we visit the historic market town of Thun. The Old Town lies beneath a castle dating back to the 12th century. Wherever you happen to be in the Bernese Oberland, the dazzling panoramas of the snowy crags and valley surrounding you are absolutely astounding. Yodel-le-he-hoo!
Overnight: Brienz | Meals: B, D

Days 5 – 6
Today we travel to Gruyère and Broc for two delicious tours: one to La Maison du Gruyère and then to the Cailler Chocolate factory. After we experience these Swiss specialties first hand, we continue to the famous car-less village of Zermatt, our home for the next two days. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt is arguably the most beautiful Swiss village. We spend two days enjoying its beauty and even take an optional guided walking tour on the Breithorn glacier.
Overnight: Zermatt | Meals: B, D (Day 5); B (Day 6)

Day 7
A scenic ride east through the Alps takes us to the picturesque town of Ascona, Switzerland, for some free time before continuing on to Lugano for lunch. After lunch, we continue on to Menaggio via a spectacular mountain pass; we then explore the Lake Como region before we drive eastward to Lake Garda and arrive at the charming village of Torri del Benaco. Our lakefront hotel is surrounded by narrow streets, quaint shops and restaurants and a medieval fortress. We enjoy a gastronomic Italian dinner overlooking the lake.
Overnight: Torri del Benaco | Meals: B, D

Day 8
We begin the day with a boat ride to the ancient Roman village of Sirmione, where we visit the ruins of a fascinating Roman villa complete with heated swimming pool. Our boat then takes us to Bardolino, where we visit a very special family run winery where we can sample the excellent red wines as well as Valentino’s olive oil.
Overnight: Torri del Benaco | Meals: B, D

Day 9
After breakfast we take an excursion to Verona to see the oldest part of this beautiful city, including, of course, Juliet’s famous balcony. Before returning to Torri, we visit a Valpolicella winery once owned by Dante’s family.
Overnight: Torri del Benaco | Meals: B, D

Day 10
Today we drive along the west bank of Lake Maggiore to our next destination: Stresa. This lovely lakeside town is our base for exploring this gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains.
Overnight: Stresa | Meals: B, D

Day 11
We spend the entire day on Lake Como, visiting the Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo with its acres of magnificent gardens, and the enchanting village of Bellagio. We return to Stresa for another lovely evening on the lake.
Overnight: Stresa | Meals: B

Day 12
Our final day in Stresa we board a boat and visit the three Borromean Islands (Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre). The first, “Beautiful Island,” houses a lovely 17th century palace belonging to the Borromeo family, owners of these islands since the 12th century; the second, the “Mother Island,” has a large garden filled with exotic plants and flowers and an elegant villa to explore; the third, “Fisherman’s Island,” is an unspoiled dream of a tiny Italian village straight out of a movie set and a perfect place for lunch. Our farewell dinner tonight in Stresa is a gourmet affair of regional northern Italian dishes.
Overnight: Stresa | Meals: B, D

Day 13
Today we depart for the Milan airport for our return flights home. Those wishing to continue their tour in Venice will depart from here.
Meals: B

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Tour price includes:

Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York (airfare price can be deducted)
12 nights charming hotels with magnificent mountain or lake views
All breakfasts and 9 dinners
Full-time English-speaking escort
Transportation in comfortable minibus and train
Visits in Switzerland to: Zürich, Luzern, Thun, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Wengen, Grindelwald, Zermatt, Ascona, Locarno and Lugano
Visits in Italy to: Stresa (Lake Maggiore), Torri del Benaco (Lake Garda), Sirmione, Como, Tremezzo, Bellagio (Lake Como)
Walking tours led by local expert guides in Sirmione and Luzern
Chocolate-, cheese-, and wine-tastings
All tour guides, all museum and monument entrance fees, tips and taxes

About This Supplier
Location: USA
Joined InfoHub: Apr 1999
Client Request Served: 1017

Small gourmet wine tasting tours to Paris, Loire Valley, Champagne, Dordogne, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Provence, Northern Italy, Andalusia, Spain and Portugal, Normandy, Brittany, Tuscany and Umbria, Italy. All tours include: deluxe accommodations with lovely private baths, all breakfasts, gourmet dinners, fully...

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