The Grand Rail Tour of Switzerland

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Switzerland

Wedged between Germany, France, Italy, and Austria, this small, efficient country is famous for its chocolate, its watches, and most of all, its remarkably beautiful, natural landscapes. The towering snow-capped Swiss Alps make up sixty percent of the country, providing visitors with limitless outdoor activities while they experience the high life at one of the numerous star-studded, glitzy ski resort towns. A refreshing counterpoint to this winter wonderland is a slew of incredible cities including: the capital Bern, with its quaint medieval old town and cutting-edge art; the chic city of Geneva, a sophisticated shopping haven located alongside Europe’s largest lake; and, of course uber-cool Zurich with its funky rooftop bars and atypical Swiss street grit. Whatever your preference, Switzerland is the ultimate destination for both outdoor adventure and relaxed self-indulgence.

Zurich

Dagen 1 - 2

Zurich, or 'Zuri' as it is fondly known by its multicultural inhabitants, lies in northern Switzerland at the meeting point of a beautiful lake and river, with the magnificent snow-capped Swiss Alps standing guard high above it. This fairy tale city is renowned for its beauty, cleanliness, efficiency, and heritage. Explore medieval alleyways peppered with quirky corner cafes, steepled churches, trendy taprooms, and world-class galleries and restaurants. A day in Zurich can include browsing the unrivalled selection of luxury stores on it’s famous shopping strip, the Bahnhofstrasse; riding the Polybahn, the 19th-century funicular up a steep hill to admire the spectacular view; or ‘renting’ a free bike or skateboard to meander along the banks of picturesque Lake Zurich. The venerable palace of art at the Kunsthaus is also a major drawcard, containing numerous world-famous masterpieces.

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Interlaken

Dagen 2 - 3

Few towns can boast a position as privileged as the Victorian resort town of Interlaken. As the name implies, this small Swiss gem lies on an alluvial plain between two of Switzerland’s loveliest lakes in the mountainous Bernese Oberland region. Surrounded by crystal-clear streams, incredible waterfalls and extraordinary mountain scenery (including the icy peaks of the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau) Interlaken is an ideal home base for travellers wanting to explore the area. There are plenty of adrenaline-filled activities to thrill adventure-sports enthusiasts, with climbing, hiking and paragliding available in summer and 200km of prime pistes on offer for skiers and snowboarders in winter. Historic paddle steamers cruise the two lakes and a classic funicular will transport you to a high lookout point where you can marvel at the awesome beauty of this picturesque holiday destination.

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Montreux

Dagen 3 - 4

Located in Switzerland’s Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut district in the canton of Vaud, Montreux lies in a sheltered bay on Lake Geneva, surrounded by exquisite terraced vineyards and the breathtaking snow-capped Alps. The lovely resort town is known for its pleasant climate and its famous jazz festival, held annually in June or July. The town boasts an impressive, long, flower-fringed promenade lined with lush pines, cypresses and palm trees, as well as some grand ‘belle epoque’ buildings. Just offshore visitors will find the remarkable thirteenth-century island castle, Chateau Chillon, with double ramparts, a moat and a chapel adorned with impressive fourteenth-century murals. Fans of the band ‘Queen’ will delight in ‘Queen: The Studio Experience’: a museum centre at the Montreux Mountain Studios filled with memorabilia of the famous band.

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Zermatt

Dagen 4 - 5

Set in southern Switzerland’s Valais canton, at the foot of the mighty and jagged Matterhorn, one of the most recognizable mountains in the world, lies the quaint town of Zermatt. This popular tourist resort plays host to a combination of extreme sports enthusiasts, tour groups, backpackers and fur-clad socialites who use it’s ramshackle mazots and gorgeous wooden chalets as a base for exploring. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking and climbing the peaks of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, or explore the depths of the ancient geological marvel that is the Gorner Gorge. Indulge in Zermatt’s delicious cheese fondue served with a refreshing glass of Valais wine while floating past the Matterhorn on one of the city’s famous gondolas. History lovers will delight in the multimedia displays and artefacts at the Matterhorn Museum.

St Moritz

Dagen 5 - 6

Located in the southern Alps of Switzerland alongside an aquamarine lake, and surrounded by magnificent emerald forests and towering snow-capped peaks, St. Moritz is the star-studded epitome of exclusive, luxurious, ski resort towns. The quality and diversity of outdoor sports facilities are virtually unrivalled. Snow bunnies flock here in winter for the excellent skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, horse riding, curling, ice skating, ice cricket and the world’s only Cresta run. This same crowd returns in summer to indulge in swimming, sailing, windsurfing, mountain biking, hiking, polo, tennis and luxury shopping followed by a relaxing soak in the famously fizzy mineral springs. Whiskey lovers will enjoy a visit to Devil’s Place Bar, the most extensive whiskey bar in the world (listed in the Guinness Book of Records) - with 2500 varieties.

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Alternatieve Accommodatie

Kulm Hotel St. Moritz Badrutt's Palace Hotel

Lugano

Dagen 6 - 7

The large and vivacious city of Lugano is set in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino in southern Switzerland, sheltered by a lovely bay on the northern side of Lake Lugano. It offers visitors a remarkable selection of chic boutiques, trendy bars and bustling pavement cafes lining the city’s steep, cobblestone streets. This maze of narrow alleyways winds its way through the historic town centre, with its Mediterranean-style squares and arcades, to the lakeshore and along the gorgeous flower-fringed promenade. As the largest of Switzerland’s three premier world-class waterfront resorts, Lugano tops Ascona and Locarno for architecture, sophistication, and exquisite surrounding terrain. With its Mediterranean flair, its traffic-free historic centre, and its Italianate Lombardy style buildings (which house numerous exclusive museums), Lugano combines all the perks of a world-class city, with the quaint charm of a small historic town.

Accommodatie

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Lucerne

Dagen 7 - 8

Luzern, gelegen in centraal Zwitserland in het Duitstalige deel van het land, is onmiskenbaar een van Europa's meest betoverende steden. Met zijn prachtige oevers en berglandschap, zijn opmerkelijke verscheidenheid aan toeristische attracties en zijn idyllische ligging aan de noordwestkant van het Vierwoudstrekenmeer, wordt de stad door velen beschouwd als de belichaming van het 'echte' Zwitserland en ook als de toegangspoort tot Centraal-Zwitserland. Het landschap is een wonderland van met sneeuw bedekte bergen, glinsterende meren, koebellen, alpendorpen en weiden vol Edelweiss. Het autovrije centrum van de stad is een doolhof van geplaveide straten vol met middeleeuwse gebouwen versierd met prachtige displays van kleurrijke bloemen. De originele stadsmuur, die de oude stad voorzit, biedt een prachtig uitzicht. Een van de belangrijkste attracties is het oversteken van de rivier de Reuss op de beroemde Kapelbrug.

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St. Gallen

Dagen 8 - 9

Situated in northeastern Switzerland in a valley between Lake Constance and the Appenzell Alps, St. Gallen uniquely borders four different countries. It serves as the capital of the canton of St. Gallen and was founded in the 7th century. Sprawling out from the awe-inspiring Abbey Cathedral of St Gall, this Historical Swiss city boasts an array of charming attractions. The Abbey of Saint Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular tourist attractions. The Abbey's renowned library houses the oldest literature collection in Switzerland featuring books dating back to the 9th century. With impressive Renaissance and Baroque buildings lining the streets, visitors can explore this town's medieval origins. Other highlights include: learning about the historic textile industry, visiting the beautiful botanical gardens and enjoying a beer tour at Schützengarten, the oldest brewery in Switzerland.

Accommodatie

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Alternatieve Accommodatie

Oberwaid Hotel Einstein St.Gallen
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