Duration: 13 Days
The breathtaking Alps span the borders of several European countries, and this vacation gives you the opportunity to see the best of the alpine region. This scenic Alps tour includes overnights in Munich, the Innsbruck area, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Bolzano, St. Moritz, Lake Como, Turin, Täsch, the Lucerne area, and Zurich.
Every day you’ll marvel at stunning scenery: lush dairy pastures, picturesque quaint villages, imposing peaks and enchanting forests. You will drive along Grossglockner Pass, Austria’s highest pass with inspiring views of 12,460-foot-high Grossglockner Mountain; visit Cortina d’Ampezzo, home of the 1956 Olympics in the spectacular Italian Dolomites, the Italian "Rocky Mountains,"; take in views of Italy’s Lake Carezza, a small, emerald-green mountain lake; see the Austrian and Italian Tyrolean Alps; discover Switzerland’s Engadine National Park, considered by some to be the world’s most beautiful mountain area with deep-blue lakes and mountain peaks exceeding 12,000 feet,; experience beautiful Lake Como, one of Europe’s deepest lakes; get to know Kitzbühel, with its classic Tyrolean chalets and striking cobblestone center and car-free Zermatt, a picturesque cluster of rustics chalets beneath the Matterhorn, and much more.
But it is not all about alpine scenery; you will also get to know Turin, an Italian city set at the foot of the Alps, and on the included city tour, you’ll discover all the secret treasures this winter Olympic city has to offer. In Bavaria, you will also visit charming Linderhof Castle, the smallest but maybe the most elegant of the three King Ludwig fairy-tale castles.
One of the highlights of this Alps tour is a memorable trip aboard the Glacier Express from Zermatt to glitzy St. Moritz. From your train windows, marvel at the thundering waterfalls, impressive snow-capped peaks, glacial ice fields, forests, lush meadows, and picture-perfect villages. Passing over hundreds of bridges and through dozens of tunnels, this is Switzerland’s most famous mountain railway along with the journey aboard the Bernina Express from St Moritz to Tirano, Italy. Traveling on the highest railway across the Alps, witness glistening glaciers, stunning mountain streams, and alpine scenery.
You will have many opportunities to practice your photographic skills on this amazing Alps tour designed for savvy travellers! It’s a dream holiday!
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore this delightful Bavarian capital. This evening, meet up with your Tour Director and fellow travellers.
A fascinating itinerary today. First, see Munich's most famous square Marienplatz, then head south to visit LINDERHOF CASTLE-the smallest of the three Bavarian fairytale palaces commissioned by King Ludwig II and inspired by Louis XIV's Versailles. The rococo-style Linderhof is surrounded by splendid Italian Renaissance gardens. Continue into Austria through the scenic Inn Valley to Innsbruck to admire its fascinating town centre and historic Golden Roof. (B,D)
Travel through glorious alpine landscapes as you head to medieval Kitzbühel with its classic Tyrolean chalets and striking cobblestone centre dating back to the 9th century. On to Grossglockner Pass-the highest in Austria and featuring thrilling views of 12,460-foot-high Grossglockner Mountain, lush dairy pastures, and picturesque villages. Cross the border into Italy through the splendid Dolomites to the celebrated winter resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo for an overnight. (B)
This morning, travel through the spectacular Dolomites, then over Falzarego and Pordoi Passes. Stop at enchanting Lake Carezza to admire its brilliant rainbow colours and to search for the beautiful mermaid who, according to legend, hid here from the romantic pursuits of a powerful wizard. On to Bolzano, "Gateway to the Dolomites." (B)
Enjoy the visit to Glorenza, the smallest fortified city in Tyrol and ideally situated where Switzerland, Austria, and Italy meet. Via Tubre Pass, descend into Engadine National Park's 66 square miles of unspoiled nature-deep blue lakes, and airy larch forests that turn golden in the fall, 3,658-metre-high (12,000-foot-high) peaks, and quaint villages with characteristic Grisons-style homes. Continue to glamorous St. Moritz, the oldest and most famous winter resort in the world. (B,D)
A whole day to do as you please in this stylish Swiss spa resort, known for its stunning mountain scenery, hiking opportunities, and superb shopping. (B)
Today, experience a memorable trip aboard the BERNINA EXPRESS. Crossing the Alps to Tirano in Italy, this spectacular rail journey takes you to altitudes greater than 2134 metres (7,000 feet). Later, rejoin your motorcoach and head to the shores of Lake Como, Italy's third-largest lake and one of the deepest in Europe. (B,D)
Travel through the Po Valley to Turin, birthplace of Fiat automobiles and home to the legendary Holy Shroud of Turin. Upon arrival, visit all the major sites with a Local Guide. This evening, consider an optional dinner. (B)
A pleasant drive through the Aosta Valley, known as the smallest region in Italy and a favourite winter sports area. Enter Switzerland via ancient Martigny and Sion, one of the country's largest wine-making regions, then head to charming Täsch in the Zermatt area. (B,D)
Take a short train ride to Zermatt, and spend the entire day in this well-known mountain resort, situated in the shadow of the legendary Matterhorn. Stroll along the narrow, traffic-free streets lined with a variety of shops, cafés, and bars. Enjoy an optional ride on Europe's highest rack railway to 3,130-metre (10,272-foot) Gornergrat for breathtaking views of the Alps. (B)
Today, another highlight of your tour: the world-renowned GLACIER EXPRESS. Board Switzerland's most famous mountain railway, which passes over hundreds of bridges and through dozens of tunnels to give unique panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and surrounding valleys, forests, alpine meadows, rushing streams, and picture-perfect villages. Ride the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Andermatt at the St. Gotthard massif, 1,436 metres (4,711 feet) above sea level. Rejoin your motorcoach for the descent into the dramatically different landscape of the lovely Lucerne area. (B)
Cross Brünig Pass this morning and continue to Interlaken. Along the way, take photos of the Jungfrau massif with its three legendary peaks: Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger. Travel through some of the country's best farmland to the Swiss capital, Berne, where sightseeing includes the BEAR PARK and the Federal Palace. Then, continue to Zurich. (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)