HOTEL CARLTONEUROPE | INTERLAKEN
The scenes of your Switzerland story take place in a setting of unsurpassed beauty. Inhale the perfume of flower-strewn meadows and hear the song of thundering waterfalls on your journey to traditional Swiss villages, impossibly turquoise lakes and high mountain trails within the heart of Europe.
HOTEL CARLTONEUROPE | INTERLAKEN
Depart your gateway city for Zürich, Switzerland
Zürich, Switzerland | Interlaken
Upon arrival, transferA to Interlaken and check in to the Hotel Carlton-Europe. Discovery: Interlaken. Experience the magnificent scenery of Interlaken, cradled by the snowy heights of Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch, and straddling glittering lakes Thun and Brienz. Learn about local life during an orientation tour of this Victorian town that serves as home throughout your stay. Gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Enrichment: Mountaineering. Learn about Switzerland’s long tradition of Alpine mountain climbing. Discovery: Lake Oeschinen. Journey by train to Kandersteg, where a gondola whisks you 5,200 feet above sea level. Hike through pine forest and across mountain-ringed meadows of fragrant orchids and edelweiss depart for gateway city to arrive at the gorgeous glacial waters of Lake Oeschinen. Cows and sheep graze on hilly slopes as you stroll around the lake. Don’t forget to stop, relax and enjoy the view. Return to Kandersteg to savor a hearty lunch of traditional Swiss fare. Free Time: After lunch, return by train to Interlaken to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Enrichment: Essential Switzerland. Discuss the iconic elements of Swiss culture. Discovery: Lucerne. Take the train to Lucerne and explore this storybook Swiss town. Roam its tangle of cobblestone alleys and pretty squares lined with fresco-decorated homes. See architectural and historic treasures, including its well-preserved ancient wall and nine picturesque watchtowers. Admire gable paintings on the 14th-century Chapel Bridge. Soak up the unrivaled beauty of mountain framed Lake Lucerne on a cruise, savoring the same vistas that inspired luminaries, such as Goethe, Queen Victoria and Wagner. Free Time: Explore the sights and quaint shops of Lucerne.
Grindelwald | Rosenlaui
Discovery: Grindelwald and Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge. Travel by train to the skiing and hiking resort town of Grindelwald, nestled against the majestic Wetterhorn and famous north face of Eiger. Explore Grindelwald on your own before taking a Swiss PostBus, part of Switzerland’s extremely efficient rail system, through the high mountain pass Grosse Scheidegg to Rosenlaui to continue the day’s adventures. Stop at the Hotel Rosenlaui, one of the oldest Alpine hotels, for a delicious lunch of traditional cuisine. The hotel traces its history to the 18th century, when the fledgling tourism industry emerged in the Swiss Alps. After lunch, walk through the narrow Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge. Feel the cool breeze as you descend the steps that parallel the Weissenbach River, which rushes through the glacier-carved gorge. Stop in Meiringen on your way back to Interlaken.
Lauterbrunnen Valley | Mürren
Discovery: Lauterbrunnen Valley. Take a train ride to idyllic Lauterbrunnen Valley. From here, hike to Winteregg and on to Mürren, a pretty car-free town, for some time to explore on your own. On a clear day, see the iconic north face of the Eiger peak, as well as Mönch and Jungfrau. If you are a James Bond fan, you may want to take the cable car (at an additional cost) up the Schilthorn, which was featured in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Descend from Mürren by aerial cable car and take in the majestic scenery. Tonight, enjoy a group dinner in Interlaken.
Free Time: Join today’s Elective Activity or craft your own Alpine adventure. ELECTIVE | Bern. Tour the medieval Swiss capital of Bern. See the well-preserved Clock Tower; Albert Einstein’s home, where the physicist wrote his theory of relativity; and the Cathedral of Bern, a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. Explore the covered arcades and Bear Park during free time. Enrichment: Wines of Switzerland. Most Swiss wine remains in Switzerland. Enjoy this rare opportunity to sample Swiss wines and learn about the country’s wine industry.
Brienz | Rothorn
Discovery: Brienz and the Rothorn. Explore the fairy-tale village of Brienz with its sapphire waters, thick forests and clusters of chalets festooned with red geraniums. Delve into the city’s woodcarving tradition and take a breathtaking steam train ride to the summit of the Rothorn for glorious panoramas. Enjoy lunch on the mountain before returning to Brienz. Witness majestic landscapes of forested hills, jagged cliffs and cascading falls as you cruise back to Interlaken across the translucent waters of Lake Brienz. Tonight, celebrate the end of an exciting journey as a singing group entertains you with local folk songs and the Alpenhorn at a special Farewell Reception and Dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the Zürich airport for the return flight to your gateway city.