Switzerland's Bernese Oberland

Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland

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  Selected departures up to October 2014 and May to October 2015 Spectacular scenery, picture postcard villages, the gentle tinkling of cowbells drifting across lush green pastures, elegant hotels, spotless streets, superb service and a tradition of splendid hospitality… all these delights are yours to enjoy on a journey to the heart of the stunning Swiss Alps. Staying in Interlaken, pearl of the quintessential Bernese Oberland, world tourism was literally born here and has been at the heart of the welcoming town of Interlaken since Victorian times. You’ll explore the delights of Interlaken itself, ride to the legendary mountain resort of Grindelwald and to Meiringen where Sherlock Holmes met his fate. You’ll take in the stunning mountain views from Kleine Scheidegg, including the infamous Eiger North Wall. You’ll visit beautiful Lake Oeschinen and the world famous city of Lucerne. You’ll ride to the top of the Rothorn by steam train and cruise the placid Swiss lakes by steamer, with ever-present soaring peaks reflected in the shimmering water. Switzerland is not just about lakes and mountains, stunning though they are. On one of the free days you could visit Bern, the country’s picturesque capital. With its cobbled streets, picturesque arcades and painted fountains, its charming medieval historic centre surrounding its gothic cathedral has remained largely untouched since the 15th century. Included is a trip to beautiful Lucerne which has always attracted visitors, including our own Queen Victoria. Drawn by its beautiful lakeside location and distinguished by its 14th century Chapel Bridge, a wooden walk way originally built as a defensive work, now the unique symbol of this most regal of cities. The legendary Swiss rail network is rightly regarded as the world’s finest, famously operating like clockwork. An eager staff is happy to help and dedicated to cleanliness and punctuality. Your holiday includes a Bernese Oberland Regional Pass which gives unlimited access to a huge variety of railways and post bus routes throughout the region. All this makes Interlaken the perfect destination for a holiday exploring some of the world’s finest scenery, picture perfect towns and villages and unique vibrant cities. You’ll travel by a combination of rail, post bus and lake steamer. This superb and varied tour includes two free days for you to choose your own preferred itinerary, as well as five days of planned touring that take in the very best that the region offers. This fabulous holiday is the perfect way to experience the jewel at the heart of Europe that is Switzerland’s iconic Bernese Oberland.

Inclusions

Itinerary

Day 1

Flying to Zürich, you’ll be met and board your train - soon arriving at our extremely comfortable four-star Royal-St. Georges Hotel for seven nights with breakfast and dinner. Perfectly located in Interlaken’s historic centre, it’s been welcoming guests in style and comfort since 1908 - tastefully blending a grand classical heritage with every modern facility you’ll need. Owned by the third generation of the Kurzen family, it’s a fine example of all those personal touches that give the Swiss hotel industry its legendary reputation.

Day 2

Today you’ll get up close to some of the world’s most famous giant snowcapped peaks – the majestic Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. From Lauterbrunnen we climb steeply on the mountain cog railway through the ski resort of Wengen, across the slopes of the famous Lauberhorn world cup ski race, up through the breathtaking alpine scenery of Kleine Scheidegg, and then down to the picturesque mountain resort of Grindelwald. Our afternoon yellow post bus scenic drive takes us over the beautiful 6,400- foot Grosse Scheidegg pass and across the tranquil ‘secret’ Rosenlaui Valley to Meiringen – famous for the final demise of Sherlock Holmes at the spectacular Reichenbach Falls.

Day 3

Today is free to spend as you wish – perhaps putting your Bernese Oberland pass to good use. There are gentle local walks in peaceful surroundings, or steamer cruises on Interlaken’s two lakes. You could take the funicular to Harder Kulm, or the Post bus to Habkern or Beatenberg for staggering views over Lake Thun. There’s the ride up to the lovely car-free village of Mürren, the spectacular cable car ride (for a supplement) to the Schilthorn, or the charming alpine garden of the Schynige Platte. There’s so much to do in and around the Interlaken area, and it’s nice to have a choice.

Day 4

Today takes us on a breathtaking ride on the Brienz Rothorn railway – one of very few routes still operated primarily by steam. Some of the original coal-burning engines from the lines 1891 line opening still puff their way up the mountain – a truly wonderful sight and sound. There’s time for lunch at the summit with superb panoramic views across lakes and valleys, and a leisurely wander around Brienz itself following the return ride. We return by lake steamer to Interlaken.

Day 5

After a twisting, turning railway ride from the picturesque lakeside town of Spiez up the Kander valley to Kandersteg, we take a spectacular cable car ride to beautiful Lake Oeschinen. Set in a high mountain amphitheatre, it’s carpeted with beautiful wild flowers and home to the cows that roam the lush high pastures, producing rich milk for that delicious Swiss chocolate. You’ll have some free time for a wander around Spiez before returning at your leisure by lake steamer to Interlaken.

Day 6

The world-famous lakeside city of Lucerne is our destination today. We take the lakeside train route to Thun and along the verdant Emmental valley, famous for its “hole filled” cheese. We’re greeted in Lucerne by the familiar and unmistakable wooden covered Chapel Bridge across the end of the lake. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the charming, picturesque waterfront before we board the narrow gauge train returning to Interlaken over the steeply graded Brunig Pass.

Day 7

It’s your free choice again today. There’s perhaps the easy ride to Bern fora day of shopping and culture, or a much steeper funicular ride from Mulenen to the conical peak of the Niesen. There’s the super-chic resort of Gstaad, or  the excellent Swiss Open Air Museum at Ballenberg. If you’re still eager for high mountain scenery, take the train (for a supplement)through the heart of the Eiger to the Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station, for breathtaking glacier views. This evening we enjoy our last fine dinner together in the Royal-St. George.

Day 8

You transfer by coach back to Zürich airport for your return flight to the UK.

Accommodation

Royal-St.Georges Hotel

Room Facilities & Amenities

  • twin beds, bath/shower, hairdryer, minibar, safe, TV, tea/coffee-maker and free wifi
  Cost per person: €1,999pp
  Number of nights: 7
  Dates available from: Jul 2017

Tour supplied in Partnership with:

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  Call:  01 905 6300