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DAY 1 (D) – Calais to Reims - Morning P&O Ferry Crossing from Dover to Calais (other crossings available on request). Your routing today takes you via Arras and Saint Quentin with optional opportunities to visit other attractions en route such as; La Coupole, Vimy Ridge and La Carriere Wellington War Tunnels. Arrival at the Best Western Plus Hotel de la Paix should be mid/late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up a welcome dinner is arranged where you will have the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers - Mileage approx. 170 miles
DAY 6 (BB) & 7 (HB) – At Leisure - Breakfast followed by the two days at Leisure in Sarlat-la-Caneda and the Dordogne. Dinner is included at the hotel on the last night.
DAY 2 (HB) - Reims to Dijon - The Champagne Route begins 75 miles east of Paris, and stretches along the Marne Valley to the cities of Epernay and Reims and south towards Sezanne and the Côte des Bar. There are actually five routes covering around 360 miles that take you to magnificent view points, charming villages, ancient monasteries and imposing churches and châteaux - Overnight at the Mercure Hotel, Dijon - Mileage approx. 185 miles
DAY 3 (HB) - Dijon to Lausanne - Breakfast followed by departure from Dijon. Today you have the choice of taking the direct route via Poligny, Saint-Germain-en-Montagne and La Sarraz or a more scenic routing starting with a drive through the Route des Grands Crus, a famous wine route through some of the most prestigious part of Burgundy's vineyards between Dijon and Beaune. Then from Beaune your routing continues through Ciel, Lons-le-Saunier to the Jura National Park where you'll enjoy some a great drive to Lake Lausanne where you'll follow the lake shore to Lausanne and the excellent Hotel de la Paix. After check-in and some free time to relax and freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileages - Direct Route approx. 125 miles / Scenic route approx. 160 miles
DAY 4 (HB) – Lausanne to Zermatt - Departing the hotel after breakfast, today we begin our 'Grand Tour'. From Lausanne the routing today follows the lake via Vevey and Montreux before heading south through Aigle and Bex to Martigny, famous for its vineyards and orchards, reaping apricots, strawberries, and grapes. Other attractions in Martigny are the St. Bernard Dog Museum and Hospice where you can pet these four-legged friends and the Durnard Gorge where you can walk along a network of hanging bridges attached to the gorge. From Martigny you route continues via Sion, Sierre and the Pfyn Finges Naturpark before making your way via St Niklaus to Täsch. You can't drive to Zermatt, the closest you can get is Täsch, which is about 5km from the village. Secure car parking (with CCTV) is included. arrangements will be made for you to park your car prior to making the scenic rail or taxi transfer to the mountain village of Zermatt at the foot of the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn Mountain. Arrival in Zermatt should be mid afternoon and after checking in to the hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure - Mileage approx. 125 miles
DAY 5 (BB) – The Day at Leisure in Zermatt - Breakfast followed by the full day to enjoy Zermatt, the main street, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with boutique shops, hotels and restaurants. Take a trip on the Gornergrat Bahn, Europe's highest mountain railroad, it takes 45 minutes to climb the 10 kilometers to the summit of the Gornergrat. The rack-railroad climbs the east side of Nikolai valley and up the slopes of the Riffelberg affording spectacular views of the Matterhorn. Riffelberg, at 2,582 meters altitude, has a hotel and restaurant with a terrace and just a few minutes' walk below the Rotenboden station, at 2,819 meters, is the Riffelsee with the peak of the Matterhorn mirrored in its water - the view is at its most spectacular in the morning. The line then runs high above the Gorner glacier to the summit station, at 3,089 meters, from which it is only a five-minute climb to the famous Gornergrat observatory on a rocky ridge above the Gorner glacier.
DAY 6 (HB) – Zermatt to Andermatt - Departing Zermatt and the hotel after breakfast, today you'll head back down to Tasch and after collecting your car, your routing continues via Visp, Brig, Fiesch to Obergoms. From her you have the choice of taking the Furka Tunnel train from Oberwald to Realp, the journey through the 15.4 km tunnel takes 15 minutes. Alternatively you can enjoy a spectacular drive from Obergoms via the Furka Pass (2,429m) imortalised by the Aston Martin car chase in James Bond's Goldfinger. Arrival in Andermatt should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileages - Direct Route approx. 65 miles / Scenic route approx. 80 miles.
DAY 17 (BB) - Troyes to Calais - Departing the hotel after breakfast we make our final journey via Reims back to Calais for your sailing back to the UK - Mileage approx. 250 miles
DAY 8 (HB) – Andermatt to Lake Lugano - Departing Andermatt and the hotel after breakfast, today you'll continue the Grand Tour south to Lake Lugano in southernmost tip of the Switzerland. The lake has a number of different branches and is surrounded by mountains. Mount Generoso is the highest at 1700m. A rack railway takes you from the lakeside resort of Capolago to the top of the mountain with panoramic views. Take a boat ride to discover the diversity of the region: Morcote, with its grand mansions and the church of Santa Maria del Sasso, an important Renaissance building with a late-Romanesque bell-tower offering outstanding views, or Gandria, a perfect example of a little fishing village by Lake Lugano. Arrival in Lugano should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage approx. 85 miles.
DAY 9 (HB) – Lugano to St. Moritz - Departing Lugano and the hotel after breakfast, today you'll head back to Bellinzona before heading north via Cama to the San Bernardino Pass, one of the most beautiful mountain passes in the Alps. The approach to San Bernadino runs along one of the most beautiful valleys in Switzerland, the Mesolcina and your route takes you through some beautiful alpine villages before starting your ascent of the pass. The initial rise, before you reach the village of San Bernardino, the official start point of the San Bernadino pass, consists of wide sweeping turns and incredibly smooth roads lined by Alpine trees. The gradient at this point is not more than 5-8% and is a wonderful scenic run. Once through the village of San Bernardino, a great place to stop for a coffee, the ascent steepens and narrows, but remains incredibly smooth. On the final stretch you'll climb to 1800m you'll encounter some great stretches of switchbacks, dramatic rocks, small waterfalls and streams, the San Bernardino Pass is many drivers favourite pass in Switzerland, so make sure you stop at the top to admire the views, before the ride back down. The Grand Tour then continues north via Splügen and Andeeer to Thusis before dropping back down through the Graubünden region, known for its dramatic Alpine scenery, to St. Moritz, an upscale resort town and home to the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948. Arrival in St. Moritz should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage approx. 115 miles
DAY 11 (HB) – St. Moritz to Lake Constance (known locally as Bodensee) - Departing St Moritz and the hotel after breakfast, today you have the choice of three routes to Lake Constance. Option 1 - is via Zuos and Zernez before boarding the Vereina train through the world's longest metre gauge railway tunnel. Built in 1999 to avoid the Flüela Pass, the journey takes approx. 20 minutes and transport cars from to Engadin to Prättigau - costy approx 35 CHF. After disemarkation your route then takes you via Klosters, Bad Ragaz, Vadaz and Widnau to Rorschacherberg on Lake Constance. Option 2 - takes you from Susch to Davos via the Flüela Pass which at 2383m offers stunning views over Lake Davorsee and the surrounding area. Finally, Option 3 - takes you from St Moritz back through the Graubünden region and the Julier Pass. The road over the Julier Pass is an old Roman road, and it was built in 1820, to connect the Engadin valley with the rest of Graubünden. The Julier Pass Route (2284m) cuts through deep Alpine valleys, over the to St. Moritz. En route you can visit Switzerland’s oldest town, Chur, via Churwalden and Valbella with spectacular sights, and sweeping views over the Lenzerheide. Arrival at Lake Constance should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage via the Vereina tunnel train approx. 105 miles / via the Flüela Pass approx 115 miles / via Julier Pass approx. 110 miles.
DAY 12 (HB) – Lake Constance to Lake Lucerne via the Rhine Falls - Departing the hotel after breakfast, today your routing follows the shores of Lake Constance via Romanshorn, Kreuzlingen and Konstanz as you make your way to Schaffhausen and the spectacular Rhine Falls which at 150 metres wide and 23 metres high is Europe's largest waterfalls. The roar of up to 600,000 litres of water per second crashes over the rocks and there are some lovely walks around the falls, however, the must-do experience is a boat trip to the rock that stands at the base of the falls! From Schaffhausen your journey continues south via Egliau, Regensdorf, Cham and along Lake Zug to Weggis on Lake Lucerne. Arrival at the Lake should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage approx. 115 miles.
DAY 13 (HB) – Lake Lucerne to Lake Brienz - Departing Weggs and the hotel after a leisurely breakfast, today the Grand Tour follows the shores of Lake Lucerne via Meggen, Lucerne and Hergiswill before continuing south past Lake Sarnen and Lungersee as you make your way to Lake Brienz and the spectacular Grandhotel Giessbach where you should arrive mid/late afternoon. After check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage approx. 50 miles
DAY 15 (HB) – Lake Brienz to Neuchâtel - Departing Brienz and the hotel after breakfast, today sees you making your final journey on the Grand Tour as you make your way from Brienz to Neuchâtel. The direct route takes you via Thun, Münsingen and Bern, while the scenic route takes you via Interlaken, Thun and Reidenbach before heading through the Jaun Pass (1509m) to Jaun and Charmey in the heart of the Gruyère region. Your routing then continues via Pont-en-Ogoz and the Lake of Gruyère, Prez-vers-Noréaz and Payerne before skirting around the shores of Lake Neuchâtel to the hotel. Snuggled up against the foothills of the Jura Mountains, Neuchâtel is the jewel in the crown of its eponymous lake – an attractive medieval waterfront city with a rich history and a delightful Old Town. Arrival in Neuchâtel should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Direct Route approx. 80 miles / Scenic route approx. 150 miles.
DAY 16 (BB) – Neuchatel to Troyes - Departing Neuchâtel and the hotel after breakfast, today you'll start to re-trace your steps back through France. The direct route takes you via Morteau, Besançon, Dijon and Langres to Troyes. A more scenic routing however takes you through Pontarlier, Salins-les-Bains, Is-sur-Tille and Courban. Arrival in Troyes should be late afternoon and after check-in and some free time to freshen up dinner the evening is at leisure in Troyes - Direct Route approx. 230 miles / Scenic Route approx. 208 miles.
DAY 7 (BB) – The Day at Leisure to Explore the Passes - Situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps and surrounded by eight spectacular mountain passes, the Andermatt Region offers a unique driving experience unique to anywhere in the world! The Oberalp Pass from Andermatt to Sedrun (2046m), Furka Pass from Realp to Oberwald (2436m), Gotthard Pass from Hospental to Airolo (2091m), Susten Pass from Wassen to Innertkirchen (2224m), Grimsel Pass from Innertkirchen to Gletsch (2165m), Nufenen Pass from Airolo to Ulrichen (2478m), Lukmanier Pass from Disentis to Biasca (1914m) and the Klausen Pass from Altdorf to Linthal (1948m).
DAY 10 (BB) – The Day at Leisure in St. Moritz - St. Moritz is more than just a holiday resort. It was also the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism (in 1864) and has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Nevertheless, St. Moritz first became famous thanks to its mineral springs, which were discovered 3,000 years ago and established the town as an upscale summer spa resort. Today you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a breathtaking ride on the famous Bernina Express as it takes you through the incredible alpine landscapes and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - it's that amazing, think of all the clichés about the beauty of scenic train travel and multiply them by 100!
DAY 14 (HB) – The Day at Leisure to explore the Region - Enjoy a full day exploring the attractions of the Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland. Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. Explore the holiday resort of Interlaken. Visit the viewpoint at Harderkulm (1321m) overlooking the towns of Interlaken and Unterseen. Take a trip on the cog railway to the top of the Jungfrau, Europe’s highest-altitude railway station at 3454m at the heart of the UNESCO heritage site, the railway runs steeply up through a tunnel to the Jungfraujoch from Kleine Scheidegg or take a cable car from Mürren to the top of the Schilthorn, made famous in the James Bond movie 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' where it was the hideout of Bond's enemy Blofeld, and known as Piz Gloria. Today, the name is still being used for the Schilthorn and there is an interactive 'Bond World 007' exhibition showing movie scenes and information about how the film was made. From the hotel you can visit the Giessbach waterfalls as it tumbles 500m and down 14 levels from valleys of the Faulhorn down to Lake Brienz.
Meal Basis - BB = Bed & Breakfast / HB = Dinner, Bed & Breakfast / D = Dinner Only
© Switzerland Tourism Markus Buehler