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Cool Switzerland 1 - Itinerary
DATES & COST 

August 2 - 12, 2021
11 Days /10 Nights

Tour starts and ends in Zurich

$5,380 per person/double occupancy
$1,660 optional single supplement
$350 early arrival, single or double room (airport transfer included)
Includes all fees and taxes

TOUR DIRECTOR 
TOUR MAP 

Click on the image to enlarge the map
 


This tour may be combined with the London and the English Countryside tour to United Kingdom (July 2021) 


THIS TOUR IS FULL. WE ARE ACCEPTING STANDBY RESERVATIONS.

We will be adding a second tour for August 16-26, 2021 shortly.

This tour starts at 4:00PM on Monday, August 2, 2021 in Zurich.
Your flight should arrive no later than 2:00PM.

Day 1: Zurich: Arrivals and Old Town Walk  

On arrival at the Zurich airport, you will be met by our chauffeur for a private transfer to your modern luxury hotel in the center of Zurich, on the Limmat River. In the afternoon, we'll meet our guide and set out for a leisurely walk through Zurich's Old Town, to get an insight into the history of the city and the Reformation movement which defined it. We'll start with the quaint Niederdorf district filled with eclectic boutiques and coffee houses, continue to the famously austere Grossmunster Church, where the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland started and to the Fraumünster, famous for the beautiful Marc Chagall stained-glass windows that adorn its interior, and end with a stroll along Bahnhofstrasse, a glitzy shopping street, lined with historical buildings and packed with high-end boutiques. In the evening, we'll enjoy a welcome dinner of traditional Swiss cuisine, and get to know each other, as we join in a light-hearted discussion about Switzerland's history and present.
Meals: Dinner
Accommodations: Central Plaza Hotel, Zurich

Day 2: Lucerne  

This morning, we'll take a train journey to Lucerne, a picturesque ancient city, defined by its covered bridges and the colorful Old Town. We'll start with a guided walk through Lucerne's Old Town, exploring its notable medieval landmarks like the Chapel Bridge, one of Europe's oldest covered bridges, decorates with a series of 17th century paintings, the Lion monument, commemorating the fallen Swiss soldiers, and the Musegg Wall, an intact part of the city's rampart walls built in 1386. We'll then enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne, a vast expanse of water with the fjord-like fingers that hide small towns and fishing villages surrounded by the mighty mountains. We'll disembark in Burgenstock, where a funicular will transport us to lunch with spectacular mountains and lake views. Afterwards, we can take an optional cliff walk, the famous Fesenweg or enjoy this traditional Swiss village. We'll return to Zurich in the early evening, and the remainder of the day will be free to pursue our individual interests in the city of museums, money, and watches.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Central Plaza Hotel, Zurich

Day 3: Zurich to Wengen, Oberhofen Castle 

Today, we'll leave Zurich, and head for the Alps, in the photogenic Jungfrau region of the Bernese Oberland. Our journey will follow one of the most scenic Swiss driving routes, through the land of Wilhelm Tell and the Swiss army knife. Once we reach Lake Thun, we'll stop to tour the medieval Oberhofen Castle, a fairytale, turreted palace started in the 1200s and continued for centuries, resulting in an assortment of architectural styles. After touring the castle and some time for lunch and a stroll in its magnificent Alpine gardens, we'll continue to St. Beatus Caves, where we'll explore the Alpine splendor of the underground waterfalls and hidden gorges, stunning limestone structures, criss-crossed stalactites and stalagmites and learn of the legend of St. Beatus' battle against the dragon. Afterwards, we'll continue to Lauterbrunnen Valley, carved by an ancient glacier, almost two miles deep and lined with a staggering 72 waterfalls. From here, we'll take a mountain train, taking us up to the postcard-perfect mountain village of Wengen, sitting on a protected sunny terrace, and surrounded by some of the tallest peaks in the country.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Maya Caprice, Wengen

Day 4: Jungfrau: the Top of Europe 

After a hearty Swiss breakfast, we'll set out to experience the true Alpine Wonderland, as we board a mountain train to Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe. The track leads past the famous mountains of Eiger and Mönch, up to incomparable panoramas of the surrounding peaks and the Aletsch Glacier. Once we reach the top, there will be plenty of time to tour the space-age-like Sphinx weather station and the Ice Palace, chiseled painstakingly with an ice axe and saw by hand, play in the snow, sled down the mountain and admire the stunning panorama of the Bernese Oberland Alps. Afterwards, we'll return to the village of Kleine Scheidegg, where we'll set our for our Alpine hike. We'll follow the easy Panorama Trail, leading along a ridge with some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. The hike features the breathtaking views of the Eiger, the Mönch and the Jungfrau peaks above, and down below, the flower-laden Alpine meadows rolling down to the bucolic Grindelwald Valley. We'll return to Wengen by a mountain gondola in the afternoon, and enjoy a cozy mountain chalet dinner overlooking the Alps and the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Maya Caprice, Wengen

Day 5: Schilthorn Summit 

This morning, we'll explore the other side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, with the iconic Schilthorn Mountain Summit of James Bond fame. We'll travel by a mountain train, an aerial gondola, a cogwheel train, a cable car and a post bus, and we'll also take another scenic, yet easy, 2.5 miles, Alpine hike through a magnificent mountain forest that opens up to meadows bisected by Alpine streams, with the imposing mountain views as the background. En route to the Schilthorn Summit, we'll explore the peaceful village of Murren, perched on a cliff above the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the adrenaline pumping aerial balconies suspended over the cliffs of the Brig Summit. Once we reach Schilthorn, we'll have ample time to admire the 360 degree view of the Bernese Oberland Alps, visit the James Bond World or have lunch at the iconic, rotating Piz Gloria Restaurant. We'll be back in Wengen in the late afternoon and enjoy another intimate dinner with the view of the Alps.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Maya Caprice, Wengen

Day 6: Interlaken 

Today, we'll explore the town of Interlaken, photogenically set out between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. We'll skip paragliding, instead spending our time at this adventure capital of Europe by taking a guided walk of the best sights, before visiting a boutique chocolatier to learn the closely guarded secrets of chocolate and cocoa and will try our hand at mixing, pouring and shaping the exquisite Swiss chocolate. As we indulge in all-senses-satisfying chocolate making and tasting class, we may get quite messy or overeat on chocolate, but as this is Switzerland, it's expected. Afterwards, we'll take a cable car to Harder Kulm with its suspended observation platforms above the two lakes and below the Alps to admire the stunning mountains from yet another viewpoint. In the afternoon, we'll enjoy a leisurely cruise on Lake Brienz, then we'll have some free time to explore the town independently, before taking the train back to Wengen.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Hotel Maya Caprice, Wengen

Day 7: Wengen to Zermatt, Gornergrat 

After breakfast today, we'll leave Wengen and travel by several trains to Zermatt, another car-free mountain village, this one close to the Italian border. Zermatt's fame stems from the iconic, shark fin shaped Matterhorn and the excellent year-round skiing. The beautifully preserved wooden village houses scattered throughout the glitzy resort and the Matter Vispa River trickling through, add to the town's charms. After checking into our hotel, we'll take the mountain panorama train, itself a masterpiece of the 19th century engineering, to Gornergrat, for expansive Alpine perspectives with the Matterhorn towering above other snow-covered peaks. In the evening, we'll celebrate the views and the experiences of this mountain paradise with a locally sourced, gourmet dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parkhotel Beau Site, Zermatt

Day 8: Zermatt: Klein Matterhorn 

This morning, we'll take Europe's highest altitude cable car, up 12,740 feet to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise at Klein Matterhorn, where we can see 14 glaciers and the highest mountain peaks in Italy (Gran Paradiso), France (Mount Blanc) and Switzerland from its Panoramic Platform. Matterhorn, too, looks very different from here, as if it has acquired a new look. We'll have time to visit the Glacier Palace, made entirely out of ice, with ice sculptures lining ice hallways leading to ice rooms and secret ice hideaways. After all this excitement, we'll return to Zermatt, and after some unstructured time to explore this atmospheric mountain village, we'll come together in the evening to enjoy a dinner of Italian Alpine specialties.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parkhotel Beau Site, Zermatt

Day 9: Glacier Express to St. Moritz 

Today, we'll experience another highlight of our Swiss adventure, as we take the Glacier Express to St. Moritz. The epic 183 miles, slow journey takes eight hours and reveals the most iconic and most mood-lifting Alpine scenery. We'll travel by glaciered mountains in the Matter Valley, Brig’s Stockalper Palace, the dark-timber chalets of the serene Goms region, the vast, remote wilderness of the Oberalp Pass, source of the Rhine, the Benedictine monastery in Disentis, the Rhine Gorge’s limestone pinnacles, and the astonishing engineering marvels like the six-arched Landwasser Viaduct and the Bergün-Preda loop tunnel. During the journey, as we watch the incredible scenery through huge panoramic windows, and we'll enjoy a full lunch, served onboard the train. On arrival in St. Moritz, we'll transfer to our "mountain chic" hotel, and in the evening, we'll have dinner at the hotel's upscale restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Steffani, St. Moritz

Day 10: St. Moritz to Zurich via Appenzell and St. Gallen 

Even though it's our last full day in Switzerland, we're still going to fill it to the brim. After leaving our cozy hotel in St. Moritz, we'll trace the Bernina Express route which offer a front row view of the spectacular Engadine Alps, then along the Liechtenstein border, as we travel to the town of St. Gallen to tour the famous Baroque Abbey with its exquisite library. Afterwards, we'll travel to the bucolic Appenzell region, famous for its cows and its cheese, the strongest in Switzerland. Here, we'll take a cheese-making class held in a traditional alpine hut and learn about the Appenzell farming traditions. We'll conclude our cheesy adventure with a classic Swiss fondue dinner. In the evening, we'll continue to Zurich, to spend the last night in Switzerland at the Zurich airport hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport

Day 11: Departures 

Today, we'll have to say good-bye to Switzerland, as we take our flights back home, richer in Swiss experiences and discoveries and the new friendships that this adventure allowed us. The hotel where we are staying is adjacent to the Zurich International Airport, and you can schedule your return flight at any time.
Meals: Breakfast

This tour ends at on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at Zurich International Airport.
You can schedule your return flight at any time today.

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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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