Majestic Switzerland ~ Interlaken | Vevey

Majestic Switzerland ~ Interlaken | Vevey

Treat your senses to extraordinary experiences on this thrilling journey through Switzerland! From staggering mountain scenery to turquoise lakes and the breathtaking Bernese Alps, we’ll discover the wonders of this inspiring land. Beginning in picturesque Interlaken, we’ll visit Bern, featuring bubbling fountains and Switzerland’s tallest cathedral; Brienz, famed for its traditional wood carvings; and Kandersteg, a paradise for nature lovers. Ride a cogwheel train up the Brienzer Rothorn for unrivaled mountain vistas, and witness tumbling waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Journey to Vevey, a charming village tucked along the shores of Lake Geneva. During day excursions, we’ll sample Swiss chocolates, cheeses and crisp wines, visit lakeside Montreux, explore a medieval castle and enjoy a Lake Geneva cruise. Plus, indulge in delicious cuisine while a folkloric group provides entertainment! This nine-night active adventure features first-class hotels, plus an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner.

Trip Itinerary:

July 6 Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Zürich, Switzerland. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: ZRH.

If you have purchased only the Land Program, please book flights that arrive on Day 2, the first day of the Land Program. The date is listed at the top of your Reservation Confirmation.

July 7 Zürich, Switzerland | Interlaken

A Note About Activity Levels
This active program is designed for people who are in good health and can comfortably participate in a demanding daily schedule of physical activities. The itinerary may feature full days of ongoing activities. Excursions on this program require:
•walking distances of up to 3-5 miles, sometimes uphill or downhill
•walking on cobblestones, unpaved paths and/or uneven and slippery surfaces
•getting on/off motor coaches, boats and/or trains, gondolas and funiculars
•tolerating high altitude conditions
Depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available.

Arrive at Zürich Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Hotel Carlton-Europe. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Discovery: Welcome to Interlaken!
Become acquainted with Interlaken, which sits between lakes Thun and Brienz, as your Travel Director takes you on an orientation walking tour around the town.

Gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner with your fellow travelers this evening.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Dinner

July 8 Kandersteg | Oeschinensee

Enrichment: Mountaineering.
Switzerland enjoys a long tradition of mountain climbing. Learn about this popular pastime, which draws enthusiasts eager to tackle the challenging peaks of the Swiss Alps.

Discovery: Lake Oeschinen.
Begin your discovery of the Bernese Oberland with a train journey to Kandersteg. Here, a gondola whisks you toward Lake Oeschinen nestled nearly 5,200 feet above sea level. Stretch your legs and delight in a gentle hike to the cerulean glacial lake. Along the way, pass meadows bursting with vibrant wildflowers and cows and sheep lazing amid sun-drenched pastures. Pause to breathe in fresh, Alpine air and enjoy the view.

Upon your return to Kandersteg, unwind over a hearty lunch with your group.

After lunch, embark the train for a journey back to Interlaken.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 9 Bern

Enrichment: Swiss Icons.
Join a local lecturer to learn about the history of Switzerland, and discover what makes this mountainous country unique among its European neighbors.

Discovery: Bern.
Visit the Swiss capital of Bern and enjoy a guided walking tour of this historic city. Some of the city’s most popular sites include the Clock Tower, Einstein House and the Cathedral of Bern, a stunning example of late Gothic architecture.

Enjoy free time for lunch in Bern. The city’s iconic choice of cuisine is the Berner Platter, a dish consisting of a variety of meats, sauerkraut, beans and potatoes. For a taste of something sweet, try meringue, which is usually served with whipped cream in Bern. After lunch, spend some time exploring the city on your own.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast

July 10 Brienz | Rothorn

Discovery: Brienz and the Rothorn.
Brienz is world-renowned for its enchanting mountainous scenery and sweet wooden chalets. The village is steeped in centuries of wood-carving tradition and you may encounter some of this storied practice, such as carved road signs and sculptures. At the fairy-tale Brienz Rothorn Railway station, built in 1892, board a steam train for a breathtaking ride. You’ll witness a canvas of abundant forests, meadows and towering rock walls on your way to the top of the Rothorn.
Relax amid the fresh mountain air and take in gorgeous views of glittering lakes and mountains during a tasty meal with your fellow travelers.

Return to Brienz and take a cruise on Lake Brienz to Interlaken.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 11 Lauterbrunnen Valley | Mürren

Discovery: Lauterbrunnen Valley.
 Hop aboard a train for a ride to the idyllic Lauterbrunnen Valley; then transfer to a cable car and ride to Grütschalp. Hike along a gentle forest path to Winteregg and on to Mürren, a tranquil, car-free town with traditional chalets and a population of only 350 residents. On a clear day, you might witness the imposing north face of the Eiger peak, as well as the peaks of Mönch and Jungfrau. Take a moment to slow down and truly delight in the storybook views before you! If you’re a James Bond fan, you may wish to ride the cable car (at an additional cost) up the Schilthorn, which was featured in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Later, descend from Mürren by aerial cable car, traversing a fanciful mountain scenery with striking cliffs and lush hills.

Discovery: Swiss Culture.
 Tonight, enjoy a wonderful, culture-steeped dinner. During your meal, a local folkloric singing group entertains you with folk songs and the Alpenhorn.

Accommodations – Hotel Carlton-Europe
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

July 12 Gruyères | Vevey

Begin the day by transiting the high Jaun mountain pass toward Gruyères, one of Switzerland’s most whimsical villages.

Discovery: Gruyere Cheese.
Stop at a countryside dairy farm, see a demonstration on making handmade gruyere cheese and enjoy a tasting of this decadent product.

Free Time: Make your own discoveries in Gruyères during time at leisure. The town boasts many intimate souvenir shops and restaurants.

Discovery: Swiss Chocolate. Continue your discovery of local flavors during a visit to a Swiss chocolate factory. During an interactive tour, learn about the history of how chocolate came to Europe and see how the raw ingredients of cocoa beans and cocoa butter become delicious concoctions of milk, dark and white chocolate. Then, indulge in samples of the premium confectionery.

Travel to Vevey, tucked along the shores of Lake Geneva.

Discovery: Welcome to Vevey!
Join your Travel Director for a discovery walk around Vevey.

Accommodations – Astra Hotel Vevey
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

July 13 Montreux | Lavaux

Discovery: Montreux.
The stylish lakeside town of Montreux, with its Belle Époque era buildings and laid-back charm, has inspired artists, musicians and literati for centuries. Embark on an idyllic cruise on Lake Geneva, Switzerland’s largest lake, and visit the 13th-century Château de Chillon, a medieval castle located on the eastern end of the lake. Noted as one of the most visited historic buildings in Switzerland, the castle features wall paintings from the 14th century, three courtyards and subterranean vaults.

Discovery and Enrichment: Lavaux.
Journey to the fertile, UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyard region, where stone walls, sun-kissed hills and rolling terraces create a fairy-tale landscape. This region was once heavily wooded until monks of the Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries turned the land into productive vineyards in the 11th century. Nearly all the Swiss wine remains in Switzerland, so it can be difficult to find it outside the country. Learn about the region’s viniculture, visit a winery and enjoy a wine tasting and lunch.

Free Time: Your afternoon is at your leisure.

Accommodations – Astra Hotel Vevey
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

July 14 Zermatt

Discovery: Zermatt.
Begin the day with a scenic drive from Villars to Taesch; then travel via train to Zermatt, an alluring resort town snuggled against a mountain backdrop. This car-free village is a trove of fanciful chalets and appealing shops. Since Zermatt is located at the end of the Matter Valley, you may see the prominent peak of the Matterhorn on a clear day. If you choose, you have the option (at an additional cost) to ride the 30-minute cog railway to the Gornergrat to see glorious panoramas of the mighty Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa massif, including the Dufourspitze, the highest peak in Switzerland.

Accommodations – Astra Hotel Vevey
Meals – Breakfast

July 15 Vevey

Free Time: Enjoy a full day at leisure to continue your discovery of Vevey. Your AHI Travel Director will be available to offer suggestions to suit your interests. Perhaps take a day trip to Lausanne or travel by boat into France to visit Évian-les-Bains, a pretty spa town set on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Toast to your Swiss adventure at a Farewell Reception this evening, followed by a Farewell Dinner.

Accommodations – Astra Hotel Vevey
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

July 16 Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, bid farewell to Switzerland. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Geneva airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.

Map:


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