Day 1:ARRIVE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA.
Welcome to Vienna! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Start your guided sightseeing with a visit to magnificent SCHONBRUNN PALACE. Then, drive along the Ringstrasse, pass the State Opera House, the Jewish quarter, and stop at the Hofburg Palace, winter residence of the Austrian imperial family. Marvel at the impressive courtyards, famous HELDENPLATZ, and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Balance of the day is at leisure or choose from our optional excursions to enhance your stay.
Relax during a leisurely DANUBE CRUISE along the loveliest part of the river. Afterwards, catch glimpses of historic Melk Abbey, and continue through the romantic Salzkammergut lakeland, made famous in The Sound of Music movie. Stop in Mondsee to visit the PARISH CHURCH, which was used for the wedding scenes, and continue to lovely Salzburg. Join your Local Guide for a walking tour and admire the exquisite MIRABELL GARDENS, the Great Festival Hall, St. Peter’s Monastery, and magnificent RESIDENZ SQUARE, where some scenes of the movie were filmed. Also take pictures of Mozart’s birthplace in the charming Getreidegasse. Tonight a special treat: dinner and Salzburger Nockerl (sweet dessert souffle) at the famous St. Peter Stiftskeller restaurant.
Day 4:AT LEISURE IN SALZBURG.
A full day at leisure gives you the opportunity to join an optional excursion to spectacular Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagles Nest.
Day 5:SALZBURG-INNSBRUCK-ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND.
Enter the Tyrolean Alps and arrive in Innsbruck, capital of Tyrol and host of two Winter Olympic Games. Follow your Tour Director for a pleasant walk through the quaint medieval lanes to Emperor Maximilian’s GOLDEN ROOF. Time to shop for crystal, for which Innsbruck is famous. Next, take a scenic drive into the Swiss Engadine. Considered by many as the most beautiful mountain area in the world, it features deep-blue lakes, airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet, and quaint villages with massive white stone houses in the characteristic Grisons style on your way to St. Moritz.
Day 6:ST. MORITZ-CHUR-TASCH-ZERMATT.
Drive through exhilarating Alpine scenery. At Chur, board the firstclass panoramic coach of the world-famous GLACIER EXPRESS TRAIN, which connects two of Switzerland’s most famous skiing areas: St. Moritz and Zermatt. Admire thundering waterfalls, impressive peaks, glacial ice fields, and tiny villages as you pass through the Valais, a region known for its great mountain resorts and excellent wines. Lunch will be served on the train. This afternoon arrivw in car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustic chalets beneath the majestic Matterhorn.
Day 7:AT LEISURE IN ZERMATT.
Spend an entire day at leisure or join a spectacular optional excursion to Klein Matterhorn for breathtaking panoramic views of the Matterhorn and the Alps.
Board the MOUNTAIN TRAIN for the short ride down to Tasch, and motor through the lower Rhone Valley to the shores of Lake Geneva, the “Swiss Riviera.” Nearby Montreux, visit CHILLON CASTLE, the 12th-century water fortress immortalised by poet Lord Byron. Proceed to Berne, capital of Switzerland.
Your guided tour starts with a stop at the Rose Garden for a panoramic view of the city. Walk through the beautifully preserved medieval Old Town, witness the hourly parade of painted figures at the Clock Tower, and marvel at the ornate, flower-adorned fountains. Stop at the BEAR PARK, symbol for the name of the town. Next is Interlaken. The town’s unique location, nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and surrounded by the world-famous Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains, guarantees spectacular views. Finally, cross Brunig Pass and arrive in picture-book Lucerne. An optional evening is available for a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking.
Follow your Tour Director for a pleasant walk this morning, and admire Thorwaldsen’s LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. Walk along ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church, the first large baroque church built in Switzerland on the north side of the Alps. Afterward, shop for watches, and you may wish to join an optional excursion to Mount Pilatus. This evening, relax on a PRIVATE BOAT CRUISE on the fjord-like lake, followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate your Swiss holiday.
Day 11:LUCERNE-ZURICH AIRPORT.
Morning transfer to Zurich Airport in time for homebound flights leaving no earlier than 10 am. Extra nights are available in Zurich.