For rail buffs and just plain Swiss lovers as well, this trip is tailor made for you! Majestic Switzerland, in all its winter glory, beckons you on this robust itinerary that highlights the country's greatest cities, mountaintops, and scenic trains; the GoldenPass, Glacier and Bernina Express.
Supplier: Avanti Destinations
Without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
It is easy to see why Montreux, with its magnificent scenery reflected in the shimmering waters of placid Lake Geneva, has acquired the title 'The Pearl of the Swiss Riviera'. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by the majestic Swiss and French Savoy Alps, the region is blessed with a particularly mild climate. Take a pleasant stroll along the banks of the lake where exotic flowers grow in proliferation and white swans glide gracefully past. Or enjoy a sumptuous meal of fresh lake fish and delicious local wine, in one of the many terrace restaurants overlooking the lake. Small secluded beaches and picturesque marinas with yachts and old steamboats afford a picture-perfect view of vineyards and quaint old stone-housed villages.
Friendly, welcoming Zermatt, with its grandiose panoramas of snow-capped peaks that include the legendary Matterhorn, boasts the longest winter season in Europe and the highest skiiing area. Horse-drawn carriages in summer and snow sleighs in winter add further ambience to Zermatt's quaint Walliser houses and the elegant, often world famous hotels.
The absence of cars has helped bestow an elite status on Zermatt. The picture perfect streets and snow-lined pathways are clean, pristine and romantic in atmosphere. In the summertime, walking and climbing enthusiasts can enjoy the unlimited scope of the magnificent mountains and glaciers, while skiing devotees enjoy the seemingly endless pistes in wonderful powder snow. Zermatt attracts tourists, not only for its fresh and clean mountain air, but also for its excellent restaurants, bars and nightclubs; the tempting, exclusive shops and boutiques and the friendly hospitality of the local residents.
Interlaken's foundations can be seen in the 12th century castle and its fascinating Augustinian monastery. Nestled beneath the legendary triad of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, Interlaken is a wondrous health resort and an international favorite. The superb mountainous scenery and gentle climate are ideal venues for virtually every leisure activity. Höheweg is the business and social center of Interlaken. The shopping is varied and interesting from simple souvenirs to luxurious timepieces. Grand hotels and inviting restaurants and cafes to spoil the visitor abound while a traditional horse-drawn carriage transports guests in fine style. The famous Kursaal - Interlaken's casino - is situated in the center of Höheweg. There are many types of entertainment including elegant balls, annual music festivals, Folklorica, local and trade shows in addition to the delights of the casino tables. Interlaken is also an ideal starting point for excursions to the Bern upperlands and breathtaking Jungfrau region with the centrepiece's massive peak soaring into cloudless skies.
Zurich is often referred to as the "garden city on the lake". A stroll through the fascinating city will soon explain the reason for this. Zurich is one of the richest cantons in the country and home to the famous and very beautiful shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse. It is a bustling metropolis with many new buildings and modern architecture. Age-old landmarks and examples of unique design and artistic styles proliferate the city; the oldest and best preserved are most densely distributed in Neumarkt. The famous Grossmunster with its two tall towers is most dominant. Visit the late 15th century Wasserkiche and the Rathaus, a graceful town hall built in renaissance style. Famous for its traditional festivals and holiday celebrations, Downtown Niederdorf is the center of activities. From jazz clubs to restaurants & bars to cultural pursuits including galleries, museums and exhibitions, there is something interesting all year. To really get familiar with Zurich, experience it from the Lake of Zurich. The perspective of the city and its romantic surrounds from this vantage point is unique and not to be missed.
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