When you experience it for yourself, the scenery of Switzerland and the natural beauty of its mountains and lakes is more stunning than you could have imagined. Combine this magnificence with city gems including its capital, Bern and lovely Lucerne, and you have the perfect introduction to this delightful part of Europe. On this small group tour, with a maximum number of 24 guests per group, see the capital’s UNESCO-protected Old Town, Lucerne’s medieval Chapel Bridge, and enjoy an unforgettable funicular journey ascending 912m to the summit of Monte San Salvatore, capturing breathtaking views of the lakes, mountains and cityscape below. Travel on the Bernina Express train from Tirano to St Moritz to spend two days experiencing life in the wonderful Swiss countryside and the mesmerising Alpine valley region of Engadin, where we take a scenic horse-drawn carriage journey. With meals included at historical restaurants, a lesson in cooking the perfect risotto, and an open-fire cooked meal on a farm, you will truly experience Switzerland at its best.
7 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport and a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Zurich. Upon arrival we transfer to Bern and the Hotel Allegro (4T), for a two-night stay. Following check-in, you will be given a Bern Ticket, which permits you to travel freely on public transport within the city including the funiculars of Gurten and Marzili and the lift to the Cathedral Platform. Enjoy a welcome drink, before we walk into the city’s Old Town for a delicious Swiss dinner at a local restaurant and then return to the hotel by tram - the perfect evening to set the scene for our holiday ahead.
After breakfast, we embark on a morning walking city tour of Switzerland’s picturesque capital, Bern. Its well-preserved, UNESCO-listed Old Town features magnificent limestone architecture, medieval arcades and spectacular Renaissance fountains. While ambling along the picturesque streets we stop and view the striking Zytglogge, a landmark medieval astronomical clock tower built in the 16th century - admire the Baroque styles and beautiful fresco designed by Swiss painter Victor Surbek. This afternoon is at leisure for you to further explore this wonderful city, perhaps discover the gothic cathedral of Münster, which has the tallest spire in the country reaching 100m; the Historical Museum, exhibiting archaeological and ethnographical collections; and for plant enthusiasts, the Rose Garden - with many flowers, a charming pavilion and tranquil reading garden.
Bern - Lucerne - Lugano
This morning we travel to Lucerne by train (whilst our bags are taken separately to Lugano). On arrival a local guide joins us on a walking tour of Lucerne’s highlights. Its streets are lined with historic houses featuring beautiful frescos and lively, picturesque squares hosting Baroque architecture and historic churches. We visit one of the city’s most treasured gems, Chapel Bridge - a beautiful wooden footbridge made unique by its stunning interior of exquisite 17th century paintings which depict moments of local history and legends. Continue to Lugano by train, crossing the Alps through the Gotthard Base Tunnel (the longest and deepest in the world) and upon arrival we are transferred by coach to Hotel de la Paix (4T). At check-in we receive our Ticino Ticket, which permits free use of public transport and discounts on cable cars for our stay here.
Beginning in the city centre, we enjoy a walking city tour of Lugano. Wander the maze of cobblestone streets residing at the edge of the glacial Lake Lugano surrounded by magnificent mountains. Admire the charming squares and arcades, grand displays of elegant architecture and many parks. Following our walking tour, you are free to either explore more of the city independently or join an optional excursion to Bellinzona by train - its three fairytale castles are considered the best-preserved medieval castles in Switzerland and are all UNESCO World Heritage-listed.
Monte San Salvatore
After breakfast, we board a scenic funicular ascending from Lugano to the summit of Monte San Salvatore. The funicular journey reaches 912m in just 12 minutes providing breathtaking 360° views over the awe-inspiring lakes, mountain scenery and Lugano’s impressive cityscape below. The funicular ride returns us to Lugano, to join a delightful lake cruise to a grotto where we will take part in a risotto workshop to learn how to cook this typical Italian dish and taste our fantastic results. We return to our hotel by boat.
Lugano - St Moritz - Sils Maria
Whilst our bags are transferred separately, we take a coach to Tirano, and then on the Bernina Express train to St Moritz, a journey that captures beautiful Swiss scenery. We arrive at our base for the next two nights, Hotel Waldhaus Sils (4T) in Sils Maria, which has remained a family-run hotel since 1908. Enjoy a welcome drink in the hotel’s renowned wine cellar, where 35,000 bottles from all around the world are stored. We also visit the hotel’s small museum, before dinner this evening.
Today we discover the beautiful Alpine valley region of Engadin. Begin with a horse-drawn carriage journey through the scenic valley of Val Fex for a true taste of country life. We’ll stop at the Gantenbein family farm and watch as workers of the farm cook a delicious lunch for us on an open fire. The rest of the day is at leisure; perhaps take advantage of the hotel’s facilities or use your visitor’s card to travel on the delightful local mountain railways where spellbinding natural views await.
Day 8 Sils Maria - Zurich - London
With a packed lunch in hand, we transfer to Zurich Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.