In Switzerland you are never far from water with lakes, rivers and spectacular waterfalls. It is surrounded by diverse neighbours who have influenced its history and resulted in four languages (five if you include yodelling) and very different regional cultures. Two thirds of Switzerland is covered by the Alps with some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. It is a destination that lends itself to tailor-made travel with an efficient and comprehensive train system making journeys easy and enjoyable. Adeona Travel are accredited specialists for arranging holidays to Switzerland with the knowledge and resources to suggest activities and create bespoke itineraries.
There is so much on offer in Switzerland but if I had to pick just one place to visit it would be Lucerne which combines the three essential elements of city, lake and mountains. Located in the heart of Switzerland at the point where 5 cantons meet it is just 1 hour from Zurich and easily accessible from Manchester with daily flights. Built on the banks of Lake Lucerne the city has a spectacular mountain backdrop and well preserved medieval old town. Visit from late November and the city is alive with its Christmas Market.
From Lucerne you can take the train to Mount Pilatus or ‘Dragon Mountain’ – reached by the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. Stay overnight at the recently refurbished summit hotel Pilastus-Kulm to dine at the ‘top of the world’, one night packages start from £179 including rail, hotel and dinner. In spring 2015 a new aerial cableway opened, the centrepiece consisting of two modern cabins which give passengers the impression of flying – a mountain experience to get the adrenalin pumping.
From Lucerne take The Golden Line Rail journey from Lucerne via Interlaken to Monteux. This is one of the iconic train journeys of the world and the ‘Belle Époque’ carriages of the Golden Pass Classic are in the style of the Orient Express. The first part of the journey takes you across the Brunig Pass and Lake Brienz to Interlaken at the heart of the Bernese Oberland, an area full of spectacular mountain scenery. Schilthorn (James Bond Mountain) boasts the world’s first revolving restaurant, Jungfraujoch at 3,454 meters is Europe’s highest railway station and a masterpiece of engineering with the final section built right inside the mountain and the platform of the observatory built above the Aletsch Glacier.
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From Interlaken you continue south passing through the villages of the Lavaux vineyards to Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. Very little wine is exported from Switzerland meaning that to savour the high quality vintages you have to be in situ. Our vintage car and wine tour allows you to do this in style – you will tour the area in an authentic Morgan convertible, along with English speaking chauffeur to sample the regional wines of Lavaux.
Montreux is synonymous with by-gone glamour, attracting over the years many celebrities to the charm and beauty of the lakeside Riviera. The Fairmont Le Montreux Palace is a great hotel choice, situated directly on the shores of Lake Geneva, its Belle Époque lounge and lakeside terrace are a wonderful places to relax and watch the world go by.
Winter is a wonderful time to visit with Santa’s grotto high in the mountains at Rochers-de-Naye. This true Christmas experience begins with a journey up to over 2000 metres and children have the opportunity to play in the snow as well as make a visit to Santa’s Grotto whilst parents can enjoy the spectacular views over Lake Geneva.
St Bernard Dogs have become a beloved Swiss national Icon and in summer from Montreux you can visit Foundation Barry in Mountigny and accompany the dogs on a walk along the Great St Bernard Pass. No trip to Montreux is complete without a trip on the Chocolate Train – a wonderful day in the vintage 1915 carriages or modern panoramic carriages to the picturesque villages of Gruyeres and Broc home of chocolate and cheese.
Switzerland’s is a perfect choice for those who want to include some activity into their holiday. In the winter there is skiing and snowboarding, during the summer climbing and walking are the popular activities but there are also great options for cyclists and adrenalin junkies. Switzerland makes a great choice for families with thrill seeking teenagers!
Of all the famous Swiss rail journeys The Glacier Express must be the most dramatic - taking you across the Alps on a 180 mile journey from Zermatt to St Moritz, through 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges including the Oberalp Pass and Landwasser Viaduct. A photographer’s paradise!
If you would like to find out more about Switzerland or want to start planning your own tailor-made trip then contact us on 0161 486 9247 and let our Swiss experts do the rest.
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