Switzerland’s Lakes, Mountains & Rails

The magic of the Alps, the serenity of crystal-clear mountain lakes, majestic waterfalls, alpine villages, and verdant valley’s… Switzerland has some of the most amazing scenery in Europe. Fondues and chocolates, scenic train rides, villages lost in time, and chalets that are right out of a fairytale make Switzerland the trip of a lifetime.


Day 1 - Depart for Zurich, Switzerland

Check-in for your overnight flight to Switzerland. Get ready to experience dramatic alpine scenery, delicious food, historic towns and villages, and world-famous cities. The people of Switzerland are warm and friendly. The country has maintained a neutral position in global affairs throughout history making it a peaceful and prosperous country to visit.

Day 2 - Arrive Zurich

Today we arrive in the cosmopolitan city of Zurich located in the heart of Europe. Zurich is avant-garde and home to interesting museums, fashionable shops along the Bahnhofstrasse, and one of the biggest universities in Europe. After meeting our guide, we board our motor coach and head to the medieval World UNESCO designated city of Bern, the capital city of Switzerland. The best way to experience the cobble stone streets of Bern is to go on a walking tour. Our walking tour begins at Loebegge, a popular place in Bern, and includes iconic locations like Zytglogge, a medieval tower, Munsterplatz, the town square, the Einstein Museum, and the Zentrum Paul Klee Museum. After lunch on our own, we say goodbye to Bern and begin our journey into the Swiss Alps. Our destination is Lauterbrunnen noted for its alpine scenery.

Leaving the motor-coach behind, we will pick up our Rail Pass that gives us access to rail, cable car, bus, and boat transportation that we will use for most of our stay in Switzerland. We will travel by Cog Railway to the picturesque Swiss village of Wengen, located in the heart of the Bernese Highlands of the Alps. The stunning alpine scenery of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains, surrounds Wengen, our base for the next few days. Cars have been banned in this idyllic village that is dotted with traditional Swiss Chalets, and surrounded by trails perfect for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. This evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 - Layterbrunnen Valley - Trümmelbach Falls - Gimmelwald - Mürren

After breakfast we will board the Cog Railroad for an excursion to Lauterbrunnen Valley nestled between the sheer cliffs and towering mountaintops of the Swiss Alps. The name itself means “many fountains” referring to the cascading waterfalls found throughout this emerald valley. Here you can soak up the jaw dropping beauty of this area that is said to have inspired JRR Tolkein’s elven kingdom, Rivendell, in Lord of the Rings. A highlight of the day is to board a bus to Trümmelbach Falls, which is a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. Here, we will take a lift to see a series of ten glacier fed waterfalls that thunder through the inside of the mountain. It is an amazing sight to see and feel these waterfalls that have carved caves within the mountainside.

Next, we board a cable car that takes us along sheer, jagged cliffs and past magnificent waterfalls to the sleepy village of Gimmelwald. Chalets decorated with flower boxes overflowing with bright red geraniums, a cheese storehouse in the middle of the village, cattle grazing in flower strewn green meadows: Gimmelwald is like something out of a fairytale. It sits at an altitude of 4,500 feet and overlooks the UNESCO world heritage listed Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn. 

Our journey continues to the car free village of Mürren, which lies at the base of Schilthorn, a mountain featured in the Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” We are free to explore this beautiful village on our own. You may want to ride the funicular up to Allmendhubel for the view, or take the cable car to the summit of Piz Gloria (additional cost) that gives visitors a magnificent 360° panorama of the world-renowned Alpine triumvirate of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountain ranges.

Later we return to Wengen where dinner is included this evening. (B,D)

Day 4 - Wilderswil - Lake Cruise - Rothorn Steam Train

After breakfast, we board the Schynige Platte-Bahn.

Cog Railroad built in 1893. This train ride takes us to Wilderswil, a resort town located south of Interlaken in the heart of the Bernese Overland. Along the way we will savor breathtaking views across Lake Thun and the majestic mountains beyond as the rack-and-pinion railway chugs up the mountain, passing alpine pastures and areas of dense forest.

Our next excursion is a cruise on the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz. This boat trip gives us the opportunity to discover small villages nestled around this mountain lake as well as a picture perfect view of the Giessbach Waterfall. 

Our final excursion of the day is a ride on the Brienzer Rothorn Steam Train that has been in use since 1891. The scenery along the way is extraordinary: the train winds its way up the mountain, crossing meadows and forests. Once the mid station has been reached, we leave the forests behind for beautiful alpine meadows, the sheer rock face of the mountains, and steep ridges. At the summit there is a magnificent view of Lake Brienz and more than 600 mountains!

After, we return to Wengen, where we will have dinner. (B,D)

Day 5 - Day at Leisure

Enjoy a day on your own in Wengen to explore this lovely Alpine village. There are many scenic viewpoints here that are easy to walk to. You may want to use your Rail Pass to take an excursion at your own pace. (B)

Day 6 - Grindelwald

This morning is on your own to relax in the clean, crisp mountain air.

You may want to take a half-day optional tour (additional cost) on the world famous Jungfraujoch Mountain Railroad to the “Top of Europe.” This adventure will take you to Europe’s highest railway station, which sits at 11,300 feet above sea level, between the mountain peaks of Eiger and Mönch. At Jungfraujoch, you can visit the Lindt Chocolate Shop, the Ice Palace, the Snow Park, and stroll along the Sphinx Observation Deck, that offers views as far as Germany’s Black Forest, and the Vosges Mountains in France.

This afternoon, we will travel via the Cog Railroad to the Eiger village of Grindelwald, that is nestled in a green hollow surrounded by magnificent mountains. Here you will have time on your own to explore this scenic village. You may want to browse the shops, have a snack in one of the cafes, or visit the Grindelwald Museum that showcases the history of this mountain town.

Our final excursion of the day is to take a ride on the Summit in First, a cable car that whisks you to the top of the Mount First with awe-inspiring views of the north face of Eiger. At the summit you can stroll along the First Cliff Walk Suspension Bridge.

Afterward, we return to Wengen where you will enjoy the evening on your own. (B)

Day 7 - Rosenlaui - Aare River Gorge - Meiringen

After breakfast, we board the Cog Train and travel to Grindelwald, where we will hop on our motor-coach to begin our journey through some of the most isolated areas of Switzerland.

Our first stop of the day is at Rosenlaui Valley where we will see the contrast between the deep verdant forests and the surrounding craggy rock formations that are interspersed with magnificent waterfalls and whirlpools. It is easy to see why this romantic landscape has inspired artists and photographers for centuries.

Next, we descend the mountain to the Aare River Gorge, where glacier water has etched its way through the mountains carving out this spectacular limestone gorge. A walk along the gorge is picture perfect because of the contrasting turquoise waters juxtaposed against the mellow white limestone.

Our final stop of the day is at Meiringen, famous for Reichenbach Falls, where the final showdown between the fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, and his arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty took place. During your free time here you may want to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum that has displays that highlight the character, author, and era when these stories were written. Be sure not to miss a photo op by the statue of Sherlock in the center of town! Not to be missed, especially if you have a sweet tooth, is to try a meringue. In addition to Sherlock Holmes, Meiringen’s other claim to fame is that this is where the sweet delicacy we know as a meringue was born!

Our final excursion of the day is a scenic ride on the Express train along Lake Brienz to Interlaken. We then board the Cog Train that will take us back to Wengen. Tonight we will have dinner in Wengen with our fellow travelers where we can share the marvels of the day. (B,D)

Day 8 - Wengen - Lucerne - Zurich

After breakfast we say goodbye to Wengen as we board the Cog Railroad for the final time. In Lauterbrunnen, we will board our motor-coach that will take us to the woodcarving village of Brienz. Here, we will stroll the Brunngasse, voted the most beautiful street in Europe, because it is lined with classic 18th century wooden chalets decorated with window boxes of colorful flowers. This experience will make you feel like you are walking through a children’s fairytale book. Our final stop here is a visit to a traditional woodcarving shop.

Leaving Brienz we travel over the scenic Brunig Pass to Lucerne, often called the “City of Light.” The name goes back to a miracle, which is said to have happened here. According to the legend, an angel appeared and showed settlers where to build a chapel in honor of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen and sailors. We will stroll along Lake Lucerne and take a walking tour on the cobblestone streets of this historic city’s Old Town that includes the famous Lion Monument and the Chapel Bridge.

Leaving Lucerne, we will continue on to Zurich, where we will check into our hotel. After settling in, we will enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 9 - Depart Zurich

Today we will say goodbye to Switzerland as we depart for home with wonderful memories of this country’s mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rails. (B)

Tour Details

Hotel / Lodging
(or similar)

7-Nights Premier Accommodation

Mercure Stoller Zurich

Centrally located in trendy Zurich West, the Mercure Hotel Stoller Zurich offers everything a city hotel can offer. Tram and bus connections are just around the corner and will bring you to the Bahnhofstrasse for best shopping opportunities or to the Lake of Zurich where you can enjoy the panorama view of the Swiss Alps on a clear day in less than 15 minutes.

Alpine Hotel Wengen

The Hotel Alpine Wengen is the hotel for all mountain lovers who want to enjoy the warm atmosphere of the Swiss Alps combined with the comfort of a 4-star hotel.




12 Meals: 7 Breakfasts | 5 Dinners

Trip Highlights

Bern Walking Tour
Cog Railroad to Lauterbrunnen Valley
Trümmelbach Falls
VIllage of Gimmelwald
Schynige Platte-Bahn 
Lake Brienz Cruise
Brienzer Rothorn Steam Train
Village of Grindelwald
Mount First Cable Car
Village of Meiringen & Reichenbach Falls
Traditional Woodcarving Shop
Lucerne Walking Tour

Upcoming Departures

Tour DatesAvailabilityDeparture Points Subject to Change 
Mon July 8, 2024 - Tue July 16, 2024
7/8/2024 - 7/16/2024
  • Airfare Included From Any USA Departure City
Tue August 6, 2024 - Wed August 14, 2024
8/6/2024 - 8/14/2024
  • Airfare Included From Any USA Departure City

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  • Chris S., Massachusetts
    “Our meals were fantastic and eating at the Grand Hotel, the Skylon Restaurant, the Bavarian Inn, the Island House and the Ventosa Vineyards were ALL excellent experiences! Our hotels were great as well. Thank you so much for pulling this all together for us!”

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