Discover the spectacular mountain scenery, picturesque cities, and unique cultures of Switzerland, Austria, and Bavaria. Upon arrival in Zurich, drive through the Swiss countryside side to the beautiful capital city of Bern. Here you will take a sightseeing tour featuring the famous Bear Pit, the Rose Gardens, the cathedral, and the Swiss Parliament. Shop for local specialties such as Swiss army knives, watches, and chocolates and enjoy traditional cuisine such as Swiss cheese fondue. A drive along the shores of Lake Geneva brings you to the legendary Chateau de Chillon, one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Later, glide through stunning Alpine scenery and past charming villages aboard the GoldenPass Panoramic Train from Montreux to Gstaad, a world-famous ski resort. You'll also visit Bernese Oberland, Interlaken, Brienz, and Grindelwald, and Lucerne, known as the "Swiss Paradise on the Lake." Cross the border into Austria and travel to the Olympic city of Innsbruck, the perfect place for exploring Austria and Bavaria. Here you'll see Maria Theresienstrasse, the Hofburg, and the famous "Golden Roof." On a day trip to Germany, see Neuschwanstein, the castle said to have inspired Disney's Fantasy Castle; and visit Oberammergau, a small village known for the Passion Play that is performed there every ten years. Finally, visit the charming city of Salzburg to see the home of Mozart, the famous Mirabell Gardens, and many other sites made famous by the movie The Sound of Music. Conclude your tour with a farewell dinner at the centuries-old St. Peter's Restaurant, located in the historic city center.
Day #1 Overnight Flight - Discover spectacular Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria on a tour featuring multiple night stays in two cities. The medieval city of Bern, one of Europe’s loveliest capitals, is your host city while you leisurely explore the many cultural aspects and spectacular scenery that only Switzerland offers. Then, an extended stay in Innsbruck offers the perfect vantage point for exploring the delights of Austria and Bavaria.
Day #2 Bern, Switzerland - Tour Begins - Today your tour begins in Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage site, nestled in the Swiss countryside. Though the capital of Switzerland, this charming city has a population of less than 150,000. The cobbled Old Town section is so well preserved that residents who lived here 500 years ago would still find it familiar. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner featuring local delicacies.
Day #3 Bern - Explore delightful Bern on a panoramic sightseeing tour featuring the Bundeshaus (the Swiss Parliament), the famous Bear Pit, the Rose Gardens, and the gothic cathedral, which dominates the Old Town skyline. Your visit to the Bear Pit will answer the question as to why bears are so revered in this beguiling city. LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Today, your Tour Manager will help you discover the origin and history of the language(s) you will experience on your tour along with key words and phrases that will help you communicate with the locals. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Swiss cheese fondue dinner in one of Bern’s local restaurants.
Day #4 Bern - Chateau de Chillon - Montreux - Train Ride - Travel the shores of Lake Geneva to the legendary, medieval Chateau de Chillon, a princely residence facing the lake but an imposing fortress from the mountains. Later, enjoy breathtaking Alpine views with a ride on the GoldenPass Panoramic Train from Montreux to Gstaad. Discover the delightful ambiance of this world-famous Alpine ski resort with its numerous weathered wood chalets.
Day #5 Bern - Lucerne - Bern - Today you travel to Lucerne, the “Swiss Paradise on the Lake.” Enjoy a leisurely-paced Alstadt (Old Town) walking tour, exploring the hidden treasures of the city. In addition to its natural charm and tranquility, Lucerne has more than 800 years of history. Explore such medieval treasures as the covered Chapel Bridge (1833), the famous Water Tower which has served as a prison, watchtower and treasury, the Renaissance-style Town Hall, the baroque Jesuit Church, and the Lion Monument, carved from natural rock to commemorate the heroic Swiss Guard.
Day #6 Bern - Brienz - Interlaken - Grindelwald - Bern - Today, explore charming lakeside towns and Alpine villages. From the mountain peaks of Bernese Oberland to charming Interlaken, a day of scenic wonders awaits you. Stop in the lakeside town of Brienz to visit its famous woodcarving museum and learn the history of this local trade. Later this afternoon, visit the world-famous ski resort of Grindelwald. This charming and quintessential Alpine village is beautifully situated at the base of the Swiss Alps and is yours to discover.
Day #7 Bern - Innsbruck, Austria - Travel the picturesque highways of Switzerland to the Austrian border and the striking Olympic city of Innsbruck, the “Capital of the Tyrol.” A local guide leads a panoramic Innsbruck city tour highlighting the popular thoroughfare, Maria Theresienstrasse, the Hofburg, now a museum, but once the seat of Habsburg princes, and the “Golden Roof,” all set against the imposing backdrop of the lovely Austrian Alps. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner featuring local specialties.
Day #8 Innsbruck - Salzburg - Innsbruck - Travel through the picturesque Austrian countryside to Salzburg, a city filled with beautiful gardens and wonderous architecture. Upon arrival, enjoy a leisurely-paced walking tour featuring Mirabell Gardens (seen in the "Sound of Music"), the quaint Getreidegasse (site of Mozart’s birthplace), and many other highlights of this beautiful city. The afternoon is at leisure to explore and enjoy Salzburg’s fabulous sights. The day concludes with a delightful dinner in the historic city center at the centuries-old St. Peter’s Restaurant, Austria’s oldest, which may have hosted both Charlemagne and Columbus.
Day #9 Innsbruck - Bavaria, Germany - Innsbruck - Today fairy tales come to life with a picture stop at Bavaria’s most famous castle, Neuschwanstein. Next, visit Wies Church, proclaimed a World Heritage Site, before proceeding to Oberammergau. Upon arrival, enjoy a brief orientation tour of this quaint, picturesque village which owes its fame to the internationally-known Passion Play, performed only once every ten years to fulfill a pledge made by the villagers to God for sparing their city from the ravages of bubonic plague in 1633. This evening, join your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner and then experience the rich musical tradition of the area during a Tyrolean folklore show.
Day #10 Innsbruck - Tour Ends - Your tour ends in Innsbruck, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful Alpine vacation.