Das Herz der Alpen (The Heart of the Alps)
A unique five-star exploration of the heart of Europe
Seven hundred and ninety-one years ago, the confederation of cantons now known as Switzerland was founded. From those early years, it has become the home of the second largest offices of the United Nations, is home to some of the world’s most trustworthy banks and the country has established itself as a nation of free and open thinkers.
Add to this the iridescent azure blue of glacial lakes, the snowcapped alps, extraordinary alpine cuisine and the comfort of some of the finest accommodations in the country, and you have the very best included in our unique 2017 exploration of the country.
Accommodations and included services for our tour of Switzerland
Our very special five-star exploration of the country encompasses all of those proudly heralded strengths of the country; from the streets of Zurich to the Manuscript library at St. Gallen, from the breathtaking pinnacle of the Matterhorn in Zermatt to the folk tales of the Berner Oberland (The Monk, The Ogre and the Young Girl), the stunning beauty of the country will be enjoyed in all five-star accommodations, First Class train travel (when utilized) and the comfort of the very best Pullman travel when required.
Your bilingual guide and tour leader, Mark Gordon Smith, will accompany this tour throughout. In addition, in many of the cities visited during this tour, local guides will also be used to provide the most accurate information about the places you will visit.
Join us on this space limited, one of a kind experience, in a place that, in the heart of Europe, stands as a true center of today’s Europe; a staunch and stolid, incredibly beautiful, land.
Saturday, June 16, 2018: Clients depart the United States en route to Zurich.
Sunday, June 17, 2018: Our guests will arrive in Zurich’s Kloten Airport. They will be met by a representative of Private Italy Tours LTD and transferred to the Five-Star Zurich Marriott Hotel, located on the shores of Lake Zurich.
Following check in, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Monday, June 18, 2018: This morning, a local expert guide will meet our group at the hotel at 09:30AM and will lead the group on a special guided tour of the city of Zurich. Zurich is a very easy city to explore; it is on a flat plain along the lake. The afternoon is open for explorations and shopping as you wish.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018: Today, our group will be checking out of their Zurich hotel and transfer by deluxe Pullman bus to the historic city of St. Gallen where a private guide will give a special private tour of the ancient library (founded in the 9th Century) and Abbey of St. Gall as well as the lovely historic center of city.
Following lunch in the city, the group will transfer to the Five-Star Hotel Schweizerhof in Luzern. After registering at the hotel, the group will have a brief private introduction to the city, including its famous Kapellbrücke (the Chapel Bridge).
The remainder of the day and evening are free for explorations as you wish.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018: On May 21, 1871 the Rigi Bahn, one of the country’s most famous and beloved rack and pinion narrow gage incline railway was opened to the public.
The precipitous rise above Lake Luzern and the ever increasing breadth of view of the alps just keeps getting more beautiful. Our group will be transferred from the hotel in Luzern to the Rigi Bahn for today’s only excursion.
Lunch is available at the summit. There will be time for our guests to enjoy the view.
After our descent to the Rigi station, we will return to the hotel in Luzern.
Guests are free for the remainder of the evening.
Thursday, June 21, 2018: After checking out of the hotel in Luzern, our guests will be transferred by deluxe Pullman bus to the small village of Grindelwald in the heart of the Berner Oberland region.
We will be making a stop along the shores of Lake Brienz to visit the Ballenberg Open Air Museum of Swiss history-a remarkable opportunity to better understand all of the cantons of Switzerland in one location. A local expert guide will provide a tour for our group. Following this visit, we will continue on to the village of Grindelwald.
Perched above the valley of Interlaken, between the lakes of Thun and Brienz, this stunning village, and our Five star Romantik Schweizerhof hotel, are a perfect location from which to explore the most beautiful heart of the Alps.
Friday, June 22, 2018: With so much to see and explore, from the Jungfraubahn which brings passengers to the highest tourist point in Europe (over 11,000 feet), to the beauty of the village of Murren and the Schilthorn, the longest free cable gondola in Europe, this is a region to get out and enjoy!
The entire day is free for guests. Support is available through your tour leader for any excursions you may wish to make.
Saturday, June 23, 2018: Today, we will be leaving at 09:30AM and transferring through Interlaken to the lakeside village of Brienz and the outdoor museum of Switzerland. Following a guided visit to the outdoor museum, we will transfer the short distance to the village of Brienz. The village is the center of Swiss wood carving and our guests will have time to shop and enjoy lunch. We will board a lake ferry for travel back to Interlaken. Our group will have time to explore that city before returning to the hotel.
Sunday, June 24, 2018: After checking out of the hotel today, our guests will be transferred to the village of St. Moritz. For over century, this gorgeous village has attracted the wealth of the world for vacations, both summer and winter seasons.
There will be stops along the way for lunch and ‘stretch breaks’ as well. This is a spectacular ride.
Upon arrival, our group will be checking in to the Five-star Grand Kempinski Hôtel des Bains in St. Moritz for the stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Monday, June 25, 2018: Today, our guests are completely free to explore and enjoy the beauty of St. Moritz.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018: After checking out of the hotel in St. Moritz, our group will board the 08:47 AM departure of the Glacier Express and will traverse the alps to the alpine village of Zermatt in the Valais Canton of the country.
The train is justifiably famous for the great service enjoyed aboard and for the stunning majesty of the Alps. A three course lunch will be served to our guests en route to Zermatt.
Upon arrival in Zermatt, our guests will be checking in to one of the most gorgeous modern Five-star hotels in Europe, the Omni.
With its position just above the village, and uniquely designed rooms, this hotel offers phenomenal comfort and alpine hospitality all in one.
Wednesday, June 2, 2018: Our guests are free to explore the valley of Zermatt. With a special excursion included to the stunning overlook at Gornergrat, our guests will have time to relax, shop and enjoy this incredible village.
Thursday, June 28, 2018: Our guests have a free morning to continue enjoying Zermatt. The group will leave Zermatt following lunch.
Upon arrival in Zurich, the group will register for lake view rooms at the five star Dolder Grand Hotel, the finest hotel in Switzerland.
After arriving, our guests are free to utilize the gorgeous spa at the hotel, return to Zurich center for shopping and exploration or just a relaxing afternoon.
Friday, June 29, 2018: There is one optional tour available from Zurich today. A private guide will accompany those on this tour, by private van, to the beautiful city of Bern, capital of Switzerland. In addition to visiting the Munster, the Cathedral of Bern and the famous Clock Tower in the center of town, our guests will have time to enjoy lunch and shop as they wish. The tour will depart Bern no later than 3:30PM for a return to Zurich.
Our group will meet together in the hotel lobby at 6:45PM. We will transfer to a very special locale for a final evening together at an unforgettable venue.
Saturday, June 30, 2018: Arrangements will be made to transfer our clients to the Zurich Airport in time for check in and security clearance procedures prior to departures for the United States.