THE SWISSTAINABLE TRANS-ALPINA

A tour of the French and Swiss Alps with 9 wonderful summits using a variety of public transportation
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OFFER ON REQUEST
15
days
DESCRIPTION :

A crossing of the French and Swiss Alps by public transport from Geneva to Zurich with 9 summits that offer the most beautiful views of Switzerland.

We provide efficient and detailed service organising both individual and group tours.
Period : May to October  


INTRODUCTION :

Switzerland has a transport infrastructure that is unique in the world, due to its density, variety, quality and comfort.

So, between Geneva and Zurich, there are 277 km by the high way or train via Lausanne and Bern. But you have the choice to reach these 2 cities via Chamonix, Montreux, Gstaad, Interlaken and Lucerne by crossing the Alps with the opportunity to reach between 6 to 9 summits by cable car or cogwheel train, all linked by train, post bus and steam boat. It will take you from 3 to 12 days, or more if you want to stay for a while at one or two wonderful historic 5* palaces like in those of Lausanne, Montreux or Gstaad. Or, you also can add a several days stay in a historical 4* or 3* hotel in Mürren, Rosenlaui, Giessbach, Stans or Lucerne.

The reachable 9 peaks are: l'Aiguille du Midi (3'842m), Rocher de Naye (2'042m), Glacier 3000 (Diablerets), Schilthorn (2'970m), Jungfrau ( 3'801m), Brienzer Rothorn (2'350m), Stanserhorn (2'350m), Pilatus (2'128m), Rigi (1'798m)

HIGHLIGHTS :
  • An extremely varied program allowing you to appreciate the most scenic regions of Switzerland 

  • Comfortable hotels, mostly historic, always ideally located

  • Varied and adapted means of transport depending on the route (train, cogwheel train, post bus, steam boat, cable car)

  • Journeys on the most legendary cogwheel trains: Rochers de Naye, Jungfraujoch, Brienzer Rothorn and Pilatus.

  • Exceptional discovers at the Tibet Art and Rosengart Museums

  • The opportunities to make balloon and paragliding  

  • A tailor-made program that can be easily adapted according to your wishes

 

PROGRAMM :

Day 1 - Option 1: Geneva – Chamonix – Mont Blanc - Montreux

At the foot of Europe's highest mountain.

In 90 minutes by coach, along the picturesque valley of the Arve river, you arrive in Chamonix. The town has much to offer: churches and chapels, Belle Époque palaces, Art-deco facades, chalets… If you look up, you'll see the imposing mass of the Mont-Blanc (4'810m). Take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to 3842m to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Mont-Blanc, the surrounding mountains and the Chamonix valley. From terrace 3842, “Le Pas dans le Vide®”,  a "box" glazed on 5 sides, you will experiment more than 1000 m of void under your feet: Chills guaranteed.

After such a wonderful experience, you will take the Mont-Blanc Express tiny panoramic train for a magical crossing of the Trient Valley, between rocks and forests, wild gorges and authentic alpine villages to Martigny.

Then you will reach Montreux by regular train.

Overnight at hotel Montreux Palace 5*.
 

Day 1 - Option 2: Geneva – Lausanne - Montreux

From Geneva, you will reach Lausanne in half an hour. By metro you reach the shore of the lake where a visit of the Olympic Museum is a must.
Then you will cruise on a steam boat to Vevey
World Heritage Site on the Unesco list, the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Château de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. 
Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the economy.
After this good time there, you will join Montreux by hotel’s transfer. Nearby Chaplin Museum, you can also take 45’ time to visit the the Villa “Le Lac “made by Le Corbusier. A gem of ingenuity and functionalism, the Villa ‘Le Lac’ (1923) is among Le Corbusier’s most inventive and most personal creations. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement, alongside 16 other works by the architect in 7 countries.

Overnight at hotel Montreux Palace 5* very famous because the Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov lived here from 1966 up to his death in 1977.

Day 2: Montreux – Excursion Chillon-Rochers de Naye

Today, you will have time to visit this charming city and the nearby castle of Chillon and to make the excursion to the Rochers de Naye by cogwheel train to admire the view on the lake.
Overnight at hotel Montreux Palace 5*.

Day 3: Montreux – Gruyeres – Gstaad

Departure with the 1 metric gauge train, the famous Montreux - Oberland - Bernois (MOB) first to Gruyères

There you will assist at the fabrication of the famous Gruyere cheese, and have a visit of the castle set amidst a magnificent landscape. Gruyères Castle takes you on a journey through eight centuries of history and legends.

Amongst various attractions, the wonderful Tibetan Art Museum, one of the most important in the world, might interest you. (https://en.tibetmuseum.ch/).
Then, return to Montbovon to take the MOB again up to Gstaad: the landscapes are charming, dotted with small villages.

Arrival in Gstaad and transfer to your Palace, a luxury hotel from the very start. 
Overnight at the Gstaad Palace 5*.

Day 4: Gstaad, excursion to Glacier 3000

Today, you will reach the top of the Diablerets peaks by cable car, call also Glacier 3000. 

Enjoy a deep breath of fresh air on the Peak Walk, the suspension bridge at the summit of the Alpes Vaudoises, or to find some peace and quiet, you can set off on the Glacier Walk trail, a hike in the snow that is accessible for everyone, to arrive at the Refuge de l'Espace restaurant - design by the world’s famous architect Mario Botta - and its breathtaking viewing point.  

Paragliding is also possible, as well as balloon, to make a beautiful early morning flight above Gstaad and Saanen.

Overnight at the Gstaad Palace 5*

Day 5: Gstaad – Interlaken – Lauterbrunnen – Grutschalp – Mürren 

From Gstaad, you will embark again on MOB train to Zweisimmen, then to Spiez and Interlaken. Continuation from the same plateform to Lauterbrunnen, a famous city located at the foot of 17 waterfalls, so many times painted since centuries.

From there, a bus can drop you at the Trümmelbachfälle. The spectacular waterfalls fed by meltwater from the Jungfrau glaciers are unique in that they are located inside the mountain. An elevator installed in the rock gives access to the entrance to the galleries. 

Back to Lauterbrunnen, you will take a cable car that will take you to Grütschalp, from where you will take a train to reach the resort of Mürren.

The town of Mürren, delightfully peaceful traffic-free village, is positioned opposite the giants represented by the Eiger, the Mönch, the Jungfrau, the Breithorn and then the Gspaltenhorn group.

Overnight at the Hotel Eiger 4*, an historic hotel located in the heart of the pedestrian village of Mürren, offering a splendid view of the surrounding landforms. 

Day 6:  Mürren, excursion to the Schilthorn  

Set off to conquer the Schiltorn, in four stages, along the 7,000 meters of cables making it easy to climb 2,103 meters of vertical drop to reach the "Piz Gloria".
Built in 1969, the restaurant located at an altitude of 2'970 meters was the first revolving restaurant in the world. It was used as the setting for several scenes of the James Bond film "In the service of his Majesty". You will enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the Jungfrau massif, the Jura and Mont Blanc, especially from the passageway launched above the void.
At your return in Mürren, you will have time to walk along the main road full of terrasses and some handicraft shops. 
Overnight at the Hotel Eiger 4*

Day 7: Mürren – Lauterbrunnen – Junfraujoch – Grindelwald – Rosenlaui

Take the Jungfrau Railway train to Jungfraujoch, the most beautiful lookout and adventure platform in the Alps (learn more on the Jungfrau Railway here)

You will make a brief stopover at an altitude of 3,000 meters, in order to acclimatize yourself but also to observe a typical high mountain landscape. The train will then make a final ascent along the steep walls of the Eiger, reaching Europe's highest railway station, at 3,454 meters above sea level. You will dive into the fascinating world of snow and high-altitude glaciers. A magnificent panorama will be offered to you, with the Aletsch Glacier in particular in the background.

If you are not too breathless, it is possible for you to make a marked hike with a slight difference in altitude, allowing you to reach the Mönschjoch hut (allow +/- 50 min. per trip). A small catering is available on site.

On the return, you will stop at the Kleine Scheidegg pass to embark on a bright new cable car which will drop you directly at Grindelwald.

Then depart by post bus to Rosenlaui, crossing the Grosse Scheidegg pass.

Overnight at the Hotel Rosenlaui 3*, in a Belle Époque atmosphere.
 

Day 8: Rosenlaui – Meiringen – Brienz – Giessbach

Shortly after your breakfast, set off to explore the gorges of the Rosenlaui Glacier, which have delighted nature lovers for more than a century.

A secure path lasting 45 min. skirts powerful waterfalls, romantic caves and strangely shaped rocks

After that healthy walk, the post bus will bring you down to the city of Meiringen, and from there the train to Brienz to take a steam boat to reach the famous Giessbach place. For the final leg of your journey to the hotel from “Giessbach See”, take our historical funicular railway.
Overnight at the Grand Hotel Giessbach.
 

Day 9: Giessbach – Brienz’s Rothorn – Sörenberg – Giswil – Stans 

After a short cruise to Brienz, you will take place aboard the venerable steam train, built in 1892, which reaches in one hour the top of the Rothorn, located at 2350 meters above sea level. You will enjoy a breathtaking panorama including the Bernese Alps, Lake Brienz, the Grimsel area, but also the mount Pilate

From the summit, on the opposite site of the mountain, a cable car will lead you down to the famous Entlebuch valley. This is where Switzerland's largest and most numerous marshes are found, as well as flora and fauna of (inter) national importance. It is therefore not surprising that Entlebuch has been designated by UNESCO as the first biosphere reserve in Switzerland (learn more on the Entlebuch here)
Then you will board a post bus to reach Giswil and Stans, along the scenic route overlooking the Sarnen and Lungern lakes.
Overnight at the Hotel Paxmontana 4*.
 

Day 10: Stans – Stanserhorn – Mount Pilatus Lucerne  

Take the small train to Stanserhorn.

It is indeed a brand-new cable car with an upper deck allowing visitors to admire a fantastic 360 ° panorama. You will reach the Stanserhorn and its 1900 meters above sea level. Before your eyes stretch 100 kilometers of alpine chain, ten lakes; the view is as fascinating as it is unique. Let yourself be carried away by the romantic atmosphere of the Rondorama revolving restaurant and, why not, enjoy a delicious candlelight dinner, the opportunity to celebrate a birthday (in this case, you will spend the night in Stans).
On the return in Stans, you will take train or bus to Alpnach to embark with the cogwheel train to the summit of Mount Pilatus

The massif, which dominates the entire region from an altitude of 2,128 meters, undoubtedly stimulates the imagination (an option is to spend the night at the top of the mountain). Then, you will take the cable car on the opposite side to  join the famous touristic city of Lucerne.
Overnight at the Hotel Des Balances 4*.

Day 11: Lucerne

We no longer present the city of Lucerne, notably with its famous Chapel Bridge dating from the Middle Ages and its painted triangular panels, considered to be the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe.

You will have the whole day at your disposal to take advantage of the many attractions to discover as you wish. Here are some suggestions:

The famous Transport Museum is about 20’ walk from your establishment (pleasant walk along the lake. Possibility to get there also by bus).

As another alternative, you can also contemplate the Rosengart Collection, located in the old building of the branch of the Swiss National Bank. It brings together more than 200 paintings, notably the most important private collection in the world of Paul Klee but also of Pablo Picasso, with whom the owners forged bonds of friendship. It also includes works by more than 20 Masters of the 19th and 20th century, including Cézanne, Monet and Matisse.

Huge circular painting (112x10 meters) located on Löwenplatz, a European cultural monument and symbol of Switzerland's humanitarian tradition, the Panorama Bourbaki combines personal destinies, political events, the history of art and culture, media and everyday life. 

Do you want to climb the Rigi, considered the queen of the mountains? You will have a day pass allowing you to use most of the public transport in the area. You also might decide to spend few more days in Lucerne to visit so many spots (on request).

Overnight at the Hotel Des Balances 4*.

Day 12: Lucerne – Flüelen – Bellinzone - Lugano

Today, late morning, you first take a steam boat to cross Lucerne Lake up to Flüelen. Encircled by popular excursion mountains, Lake Lucerne is somewhat reminiscent of a fjord landscape.
You will admire such peaks as the Rigi, Pilatus, Bürgenstock and also the Rütli, a meadow above lake where the foundation of the Swiss Confederation was laid in 1291 with the oath taken there. 
From Flüelen, then you will continue in first-class panorama carriages across the famous Gotthard railway line through to Ticino.
You arrive in Bellinzona at midafternoon where you can make a stop to discover the three medieval castles of Bellinzona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro, you will immerse yourself in the past, when dukes and confederates challenged each other dressed in sparkling armor. Walk through the crenellated enclosures and, passing through the small doors carved into the wall, visit the secret rooms and imagine what life was like in those days.
They were erected by the Dukes of Milan, around the 15th century, to prevent the Swiss Confederates from advancing towards the south. Bellinzona was in fact in a strategic position at the crossroads of the alpine routes between north and south (Saint Gotthard, Lucomagno, San Bernardino, Novena).
Then, a short trip by train will drop you at Lugano. In case you visit Bellinzona, your guide will take you with his vehicle directedly to your hotel Villa Castagnola in Lugano. Set on the shores of Lake Lugano, this magnificent 5-star resort is a property of immense charm, nestled within a private, subtropical park. Once the home of a noble Russian family, the impressive mansion was transformed into a hotel in 1885.
Overnight at hotel Villa Castagnola 5*.
 

Day 13: Lugano
In Lugano, you can take a free walking tour of Lugano. 
This will be an opportunity to stroll through the streets of the picturesque old town. Among other things, you will pass by Piazza Riforma, with its bars and open-air restaurants giving a touch of "dolce vita" to the city, Lake Lugano. 
In addition to its old town with its narrow streets, you can discover the new LAC cultural center, the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli with its beautiful Renaissance frescoes as well as Via Nassa, a mecca for luxury shopping.
Overnight at hotel Villa Castagnola 5*


Day 14: Lugano
Today, you will set off to conquer the Swiss "sugar loaf"; Mount San Salvatore by funicular.
The San Salvatore is a mountain at the origin of several legends. One of them dates back to the 13th century, when pilgrims began to walk there to honor the Son of God who would have made a brief stop there during his ascent to heaven. But what continues to attract visitors to the "mountain of the Luganese" is above all the 360° panorama which extends over the entire region of Lake Lugano, the Lombard plain and the chain of the Swiss Alps.
Then, departure by public boat for a one-and-a-half-hour cruise on the lake, to reach the tortuous little town of Morcote.
Here the houses with Lombard arcades are reflected in the calm waters of the lake, the vegetation is of the Mediterranean type, in short a very beautiful Ticino atmosphere. As you walk through the city, you will come to the Santa Maria del Sasso sanctuary which contains splendid 16th century frescoes and a wooden organ case.
On the evening you will get up over Morcotte to a vineyards under the stars at Tenuta Castello di Morcotte.
After a degustation of local wines, an exclusive 3-course dinner will be served to discover unique places and people. A table set with love, an intimate and charming atmosphere, on the slopes of an ancient castle of the 15th century, surrounded by certified organic vines. 
Overnight at hotel Villa Castagnola 5*


Day 15: Lugano – Milan 
Today you will leave Switzerland to catch your international flight at Milan Malpensa International Airport (80 km, 1hour). 

Note

This itinerary is tailor-made and can be adapted according to your wishes, your budget and the time that you want to spend for your holydays.

Prices is on request.

PRICES :

The definitive rate is calculated for each request as it depends of the number of travelers.

 

INCLUDED :

All train and vehicle tickets in 1stcl. // Accommodation in Superior double or twin room in 5*, 4* and 3* hotels // A guide on the whole circuit from Geneva, plus local guides in few places // Excursions and entrance tickets for all activities mentioned // Travel documentation
 

NOT INCLUDED :

The journey to and from Switzerland // Meals and drinks // All optional activities during free time // Personal expenses and any tips for guides // Repatriation & cancellation insurance

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