Without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
It is easy to see why Montreux, with its magnificent scenery reflected in the shimmering waters of placid Lake Geneva, has acquired the title 'The Pearl of the Swiss Riviera'. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by the majestic Swiss and French Savoy Alps, the region is blessed with a particularly mild climate. Take a pleasant stroll along the banks of the lake where exotic flowers grow in proliferation and white swans glide gracefully past. Or enjoy a sumptuous meal of fresh lake fish and delicious local wine, in one of the many terrace restaurants overlooking the lake. Small secluded beaches and picturesque marinas with yachts and old steamboats afford a picture-perfect view of vineyards and quaint old stone-housed villages.
Friendly, welcoming Zermatt, with its grandiose panoramas of snow-capped peaks that include the legendary Matterhorn, boasts the longest winter season in Europe and the highest skiiing area. Horse-drawn carriages in summer and snow sleighs in winter add further ambience to Zermatt's quaint Walliser houses and the elegant, often world famous hotels. The absence of cars has helped bestow an elite status on Zermatt. The picture perfect streets and snow-lined pathways are clean, pristine and romantic in atmosphere. In the summertime, walking and climbing enthusiasts can enjoy the unlimited scope of the magnificent mountains and glaciers, while skiing devotees enjoy the seemingly endless pistes in wonderful powder snow. Zermatt attracts tourists, not only for its fresh and clean mountain air, but also for its excellent restaurants, bars and nightclubs; the tempting, exclusive shops and boutiques and the friendly hospitality of the local residents.
The snow-clad mountains of St. Moritz are loved by ski enthusiasts from all over the world. Outstanding accommodations and nightlife are just the trimmings for a winter playground of superlative quality. Oberengadin's mineral springs are also a major drawcard. St. Moritz is the most famous ski resort in the world: chic, elegant and grand with a very cosmopolitan ambience. It lies in a beautiful setting around the lake in the Engadin valley. The 'sparkling dry champagne climate of St. Moritz' is legendary: its famous sun shines 322 days of the year. The famous health springs have been in use since the Bronze Age and a modern spa complex complements their soothing properties. St. Moritz is the birthplace of winter tourism and modern winter sports in the Alps and is Switzerland's only Olympic host resort. It literally offers 'snow how' at its best: skiing - downhill and cross-country - the Cresta and Bob runs; horse races, polo and golf on the frozen lake, plus a consummate nightlife, gala events, shopping fashion shows and much more.
Zurich is often referred to as the "garden city on the lake". A stroll through the fascinating city will soon explain the reason for this. Zurich is one of the richest cantons in the country and home to the famous and very beautiful shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse. It is a bustling metropolis with many new buildings and modern architecture. Age-old landmarks and examples of unique design and artistic styles proliferate the city; the oldest and best preserved are most densely distributed in Neumarkt. The famous Grossmunster with its two tall towers is most dominant. Visit the late 15th century Wasserkiche and the Rathaus, a graceful town hall built in renaissance style. Famous for its traditional festivals and holiday celebrations, Downtown Niederdorf is the center of activities. From jazz clubs to restaurants & bars to cultural pursuits including galleries, museums and exhibitions, there is something interesting all year. To really get familiar with Zurich, experience it from the Lake of Zurich. The perspective of the city and its romantic surrounds from this vantage point is unique and not to be missed.
The Italian Lakes District is an area that is graced with shocking beauty and incredible diversity. The setting includes beautiful valleys, snowcapped mountain peaks and the shimmering lakes of Maggiore, Como and Lugano. Your breath will be taken away by the views of the magnificent Alpine peaks of northern Italy and the elegant towns and lakeside villas that surround the Italian Lakes. Take a romantic walk through the Italian Lakes District and enjoy the serenity of this spectacular region.
Grindelwald, Switzerland, is a good base for both winter and summer activities in the mountains, about 50 mi/80 km southwest of Lucerne. In winter, this town in the Jungfrau region has good skiing; during other seasons, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and more adventurous pursuits, such as canyoning. Be sure to visit one of the nearby glaciers; the higher one, Obergletscher, is the best.
We recommend visiting the town via the train from Interlaken. From Grindelwald, you can also continue on the train to Kleine Scheidegg, at the base of the famous north face of Eiger mountain. In Kleine Scheidegg, you can transfer to another train that takes you to Jungfraujoch. The train travels through the Eiger tunnel to the Eigerwand and Eismeer stations, making a five-minute stop at each one, before finally reaching the Jungfraujoch station, the highest railway station in Europe.
On clear days (there's no point in taking the expensive trip if the skies aren't clear) you can see as far as the Vosges Mountains in France and the Black Forest in Germany from the Sphinx observation terrace. The Great Aletsch Glacier begins near the station. But don't expect to have the place all to yourself: It is usually very crowded.
One of the many tourist amenities is the Ice Palace, which has several ice sculptures carved in the glacier. There are also a ski and snowboard park, sled rides and pricey restaurants.
Price are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability and change without notice. Prices reflect land only accommodations, airfare is additional. Blackout dates/seasonal supplements may apply.
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