An Alpine Adventure Tour
16 Breathtaking Days
- Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
- Small groups from just 10 to 28
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- Character hotels in superb locations
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- 'My Time' guaranteed
Discover the breathtaking scenery of the French and Swiss Alps from the remarkable Aiguille du Midi, to the meadows of the Bernese Oberland, climb high into the mountains to the Jungfraujoch, see Zermatt and the mighty Matterhorn, ride across the breathtaking Alps on the Glacier Express and explore delightful Lake Garda.
- Stay 3 nights in Chamonix under the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif
- Experience two incredible mountain rides – a cable car to the top of the stunning Aiguille du Midi (3,842 metres high!) & the famous ‘Little Red Train’ up to Montenvers station
- Stay 3 nights in a superb spa hotel in Grindelwald
- Enjoy a guided tour of Byron’s Château de Chillon in Montreux
- Explore hilltop Gruyères, one of the great sights of Europe
- Take the incredible funicular train up to the Jungfraujoch, explore the Ice
Palace, look down on the massive Aletsch Glacier
- Stay 2 nights in the stunning village of Zermatt with views of the mighty Matterhorn
- See the thundering Trummelbach Falls inside a mountainside
- Stay 4 nights beside stunning Lake Garda
- Spend a day at leisure exploring the lakeside port and villages of Lake Garda
- Enjoy a guided tour of Romeo and Juliet’s Verona
- Enjoy a wine tasting and farewell lunch at the Redaelli de Zinis wine estate
Hear about this tour first hand from an Albatross traveller - read about Kimberly's experience on this tour.
Are the mountains calling you?
This 16 day Alpine Adventure is precisely that a real Alpine Adventure! It is such a completely different experience to take a leisurely walk on well-worn trails through meadows bursting with spring alpine flowers, or to take an exciting mountain cable car ride to savour lunch on a restaurant terrace, set on a sunny plateau ringed with snow, with views stretching for literally hundreds of kilometres! To do this you need time - and with this unique Alpine Adventure that is exactly what you get!
I have an absolute love of the mountains. Every magical step, every curve and turn opens up a completely new vista, and the character changes all the time. That’s why I designed this tour to really experience the complete diversity offered by the French and Swiss Alps. From standing above the clouds on the tip of the remarkable Aiguille du Midi, to being inside the Trummelbach mountain as the thundering waterfall roars down around you, shaking the ground you stand on. From delightful, lakeside Annecy and Chateau Chillon beside Montreux, to staying in a fantastic spa hotel in Grindelwald with views of the Eiger, or Zermatt beside the Matterhorn, and especially experiencing the incredible Glacier Express panoramic train ride that cuts through the glorious Alps.
Why Lake Garda at the end? Maybe as a logical finale completing your grand Alpine mountain traverse by relaxing beside a glacier carved, deep blue, beautiful Italian Lake? Or perhaps….just for the sheer pleasure of it! Enjoy!
Day 1: Zurich Welcome
Your tour commences this evening in Zurich. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.
Day 2: Geneva and Chamonix
We arrive in Geneva around lunch time. You will have time at leisure to explore Switzerland’s second largest city and once home of the Red Cross. Make sure you take a walk along the beautiful foreshore of Lake Léman (Lake Geneva) to see the city’s symbolic 140 metre high Jet d’Eau fountain which is set offshore in the lake. Crossing back into France we continue deep into the heart of the mighty French Alps and the Chamonix Valley in the Haute Savoie, to Chamonix, where we stay the next three nights. Set at an altitude of 1000 metres, and surrounded by a dozen world class ski resorts, Chamonix is the world capital of skiing
*21 August departure stays at Chalet Hotel Le Prieuré.
Day 3: Aiguille du Midi and the 'Sea of Ice'
Today we have included not one, but two incredible mountain rides. The first, arguably one of the world’s greatest mountain rides, is by cable car up to the very tip of the Aiguille du Midi - the ‘Needle of Midday’. At an altitude of 3842 metres (12,605ft) you are seemingly within reach of Mont Blanc and the views across the French, Italian and Swiss Alps are astounding. The second ride is on the famous ‘Little Red Train’ – a funicular railway that follows a scenic route through the forests of conifers up to Montenvers station. Soaring high above you is the spike of the Drus Mountain and the massive rock wall of the Grands Jorasse. Filling the valley below you is France’s largest Glacier, the ‘Mer du Glace’ or ‘Sea of Ice’. You can even take a cable car (subject to opening) down to explore the hand carved ice caves, beautifully illuminated deep inside this glacier*.
The less adventurous can of course relax in Montenvers panoramic restaurant or enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring the shops and boutiques of lovely Chamonix.
* From the foot of the cable car you need to go down a large number of steps to access the ice caves entrance.
Hand Selected Experience
Mountains are meant to be conquered!
Fortunately, nowadays we can so easily capture that exhilarating mountain experience without any effort at all. Like our ride up the astounding Aiguille du Midi. To give you an idea of what a feat of engineering this is, the steel cable or hawser on just the second cable car stage is an unbelievable, continuous 7 kms long! On top, at an altitude of 3,842 metres (12,605ft), you will find observation platforms, a café, mountaineering and alpine exhibition, plus a glass bottom observation booth. Stand on that if you dare, and you will ‘feel’ the whole world dropping away beneath your feet! Far below you can see where the massive ‘Mer du Glace’ or ‘Sea of Ice’ is born and how it snakes its way down the valley. And ‘down there’ is where we go on our afternoon adventure on the Little Red Train. The Glacier moves 70 metres a year so each season they hop back inside the glacier and re-carve the cave labyrinth, lining it with blue carpets, beautiful lighting shows and adding ice sculptures and chairs. A fantastic experience!
Day 4: Chic Megeve and lakeside Annecy
First stop this morning will be in the exclusive, chic ski resort of Megève. Running from the delightful cobblestoned central square, the main pedestrian street is lined with medieval buildings, al fresco cafés and some hideously expensive designer boutiques. The rest of the day will be in the delightful French lakeside town of Annecy. A local guide will show us around the cobblestoned streets, half-timbered and beautifully painted houses that sit beside picturesque canals which are criss-crossed with stone bridges. With a back drop of mountains and the turquoise lake, the Vieille Ville (Old Town) is incredibly pretty.
Day 5: Chateau de Chillon
Driving over the spectacular Forclaz Pass into Switzerland we reach Montreux. Our first stop will be to enjoy a guided tour through Château de Chillon. Made famous in Byron’s poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’, this 13th century fortress juts out imposingly into Lake Geneva. The rest of the morning is at leisure on the grand lakeside promenade and foreshore of Montreux. In the afternoon we visit the fortified village of Gruyères, which rises out of the flat valley floor, perched on top of a steep rocky hill. The broad cobblestoned main street, flanked by centuries old houses, is an astounding time capsule and one of the great sights of Europe. Later we drive deep into the heart of the Bernese Oberland to Grindelwald where we stay the next three nights. Grindelwald is known the world over for its dramatic setting surrounded by massive snow covered peaks and meadows. The views of the north face of the Eiger are exceptional! The village is full of restaurants, cafés and shops. Tonight we will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 6: Jungfrau mountain ride & ‘My Time’ in Grindelwald
Boarding a local train we climb high into the mountains to Kleine Scheidegg. Changing on to the Jungfrau Railway we travel into a tunnel which takes us through the inside of the north face of the Eiger, and up to the Jungfraujoch – the highest rail station in Europe. At 3,454 metres (11,332 ft) the views down onto the Aletsch Glacier are magnificent. You will find several restaurants, an Ice Palace and the Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven display. You can also take a lift another 100 metres higher to the dramatic Sphinx lookout point. Your afternoon is entirely free for you to enjoy the spectacular Swiss scenery. Perhaps go for a walk in the hills or catch a train to explore nearby Interlaken.
Day 7: Lakeside Luzern and medieval Bern
Our morning will be spent at leisure exploring the lovely lakeside town of Luzern with its quaint old town and the famous Chapel and Mill wooden bridges which cross the river. In the afternoon we set off to explore the medieval cobblestoned streets of Bern. A UNESCO World Heritage Listed landmark, this capital city is set on a spectacular bend above the River Aare, and boasts kilometres of sheltered arcaded shopping ways, an intriguing clock tower and the famous ‘Bärengraben’ bear pits.
Day 8: Lauterbrunnen, Trummelbach Falls and Zermatt
Our first stop of the day will be in the nearby delightful village of Lauterbrunnen. Set spectacularly with 1000 foot sheer cliffs rising either side, this valley is often called the ‘Valley of the Waterfalls’ – these are the cliffs that James Bond keeps leaping off when he is being chased by the baddies. Here we visit the unusual Trummelbach Falls. Taking a funicular up inside the cliff face we then walk through the mountain caverns that are still being carved by these ‘living waterfalls’ which thunder right beside us, down through the inside of the mountain. An extraordinary sight and sensation! Later we drive through spectacular scenery into ‘Le Valais’ and Taesch where we catch a cog railway train up to the world-famous alpine resort of Zermatt. Set at an altitude of 1620 metres (5315 feet), the village is surrounded by a dozen huge peaks and dominating all is the mighty Matterhorn. Petrol-driven vehicles are banned from the village and as such the peace and quiet enhances the beauty of the wooden chalets and small winding village streets. Stunning!
Hand Selected Experience
The mighty Trummelbach falls!
Lauterbrunnen village is in a spectacular setting but the highlight of the day is actually a visit where sunlight never penetrates. Inside the sheer mountain walls, like a scene from ‘The Lord of the Rings’, a massive waterfall is channeled by nature to pummel down through the core of the mountain, vigorously carving and expanding the rock chambers. On carefully constructed walkways (yes, safe) you will be amongst it, right by it, feeling the sheer power and ferocity as the vibration and energy engulfs you. An extraordinary sight, feeling and sensation!
Day 9: 'My Time' in Zermatt
Today has been left free for you to explore the town, walk on the well sign posted hiking trails to mountain restaurants and waterfalls, and relax in the crisp clean air. Alternatively pamper yourself in the hotel’s excellent indoor pool, spa and wellness centre. Looking for another classic mountain ride? The Sunnegga Paradise cable car is situated right beside the hotel, or maybe jump on the nearby funicular train which takes you up to the Gornergrat station and terraced restaurant with its massive views across to the Matterhorn. Alternatively if you want to spend a day skiing, maybe catch a cable car ride up the Kleine (little) Matterhorn, where there are twenty-five kilometres of pistes and eight ski lifts which remain open all summer long!
Day 10: Glacier Express, Chur & Klosters
This morning we board the famous Glacier Express train which takes us along the ‘Valais’ through Switzerland’s finest mountain scenery. Ranked as one of the world’s top train trips, you will be seated in panoramic carriages as we cross some of the 291 bridges, the 2033 metre Oberalp Pass and go through 91 tunnels. Early afternoon we arrive and have time to explore Switzerland’s oldest city, Chur. The traffic free zone in the old town has a wonderful atmosphere with its boutiques, shops, bars and restaurants. Later we continue to Klosters where we stay two nights.
*30 May 2021 departure stays 2 nights in the AMERON Hotel in Davos instead of Klosters.
Day 11: ‘My Time’ in Klosters
Your day is free to relax and explore Klosters.
*30 May 2021 departure includes a visit to St Moritz on Day 11 and does not visit Klosters.
Day 12: Bolzano and lakeside Bardolino
Today we go to Italy! Passing through the Alps, we enjoy lunchtime in the centuries old town of Bolzano. Influenced by both Tyrolean and Italian cultures, you will find intricately carved gables, painted timber façades and an elegant arcaded main street. Later we continue to the charming lakeside town of Bardolino, where we stay the next four nights. Dinner tonight will be in our hotel restaurant.
Day 13: 'My Time' in Lake Garda
We have left today entirely free. Do as little or as much as you want. Lake Garda is Italy’s largest and perhaps most beautiful lake, and its shores are lined with quaint villages and colourful ports. The shopping is excellent and the cafés, lakeshore restaurants and shady gardens, all have that distinctly Mediterranean feel. Perhaps catch a ferry across the lake and wander around Gardone Riviera with its botanical gardens on the hill, or explore the characterful ‘picture postcard’ ports of Lazise or Sirmione.
Day 14: Verona and lakeside town of Garda
Skirting the lake we will visit Romeo and Juliet’s Verona. A local guide will bring to life this beautiful city, where these tragic lovers avowed a love that spanned the centuries. After free time to explore and find a restaurant for lunch, we return to glorious Lake Garda and enjoy an afternoon visit to the delightful lakeside town of Garda, after which the lake is named.
Day 15: Lakeside Salo and Redaelli de Zinis
This morning we visit the delightful lakeside town of Salo to explore its historical centre filled with lanes and little squares adorned by noble houses, elegant shops and the longest promenade on Lake Garda. Later we continue to Redaelli de Zinis in Calvagese della Riviera. This is a famous local winery and restaurant. Here we enjoy a wine tasting and sample some of the locally grown produce before enjoying our farewell lunch.
Day 16: To Milan
We soon reach the stylish city of Milan where your tour ends on arrival. Drop off points will be Milan Centrale train station and Milan Malpensa Airport. We recommend you book flights that depart Milan after 3pm.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
- 15 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- 23 Meals – including breakfast daily (B), Lake Garda wine estate lunch (L) and 7 dinners (D)
- Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
- Welcome drink in Zurich
- Hand Selected Albatross Experiences - Lake Garda wine tasting, cable car excursion to Aiguille du Midi, Jungfrau Railway excursion, Glacier Express train
- Local guides as described in the itinerary
- ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
- Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels
No additional 'on tour' costs!
Chalet Hotel Le Prieuré, Chamonix – 3 Nights
This 3 star hotel is only a short walk from the city centre and offers magnificent mountain views.
Sunstar Hotel, Grindelwald - 3 Nights
This superb hotel is in a central location with unspoilt views of the north face of the Eiger. The atmosphere is charming and features traditional alpine design with large, comfortable rooms and modern amenities.
Hotel National, Zermatt – 2 Nights
This distinctly first class hotel is wonderfully located in the heart of stunning Zermatt, and offers excellent dining. The south facing rooms with balconies usually offer views onto the mighty Matterhorn mountain. Add to that an excellent wellness centre…what more could you ask for?
Alpina Hotel, Klosters - 2 Nights
Set in the centre of town, this chalet style hotel offers Alpine style ambience, an indoor pool and spa centre and large well furnished rooms with balconies, complete with window boxes bursting with geraniums.
*30 May 2021 departure stays 2 nights in the Ameron Hotel in Davos, and does nto visit Klosters. Instead a visit to St Moritz is included on Day 11.
Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa Resort, Bardolino - 4 Nights
Situated on the shores of Lake Garda this 4 star resort & spa hotel offers spacious and comfortable air conditioned rooms.
I thought this was an excellent tour. A fabulous itinerary, well thought out, and every hotel was in an ideal location.
I would look at going on another Albatross tour as I loved the small group and the well thought out itinerary with up to 3 & 4 night stays in some towns.
Rosemany, travelled June 2015
There were many highlights with some of the excursions sensational. Our tour director was very competent and his command of many languages made things very simple. He certainly enhanced our trip.
I will be travelling with Albatross again soon!
Robert, travelled September 2015
Excellent coaches very comfortable side trips very interesting. Alpine scenery exceptional and the varied gondola rides very good, as was the cable cars. The visit to Trummelbach Falls would be high on the list of fabulous sights.
Beverley, travelled September 2015
What an adventure!! A trip of contrasts – heat and cold, mountain and valleys, large cities and small mountainside towns. The tour was full of surprises and treats.
I loved the extended stays at each place, the small group sixe and the large coach.
Our tour leader was organised and knowledgeable about the places we visited the local guides were excellent. The pace was easy and relaxed. I am looking forward to my next Albatross tour.
Angela, travelled August 2015
The tour was excellent and met all my expectations. Reinward, the Tour Manager was excellent and went out of his way to ensure everything went smoothly and to provide assistance when required.
Stephen, travelled May 2016
This was a magic trip.... beyond expectations! Value for money 100%.
Everything hs been just perfect, weather, tour leader, the group. I have seen so much an loved every second.
Thank you Albatross!
Helen, travelled May 2016
Grand Hotel - Gardona Riviera was so full of world charm that made me feel so privileged and special. This whole area was a highlight for me. Climbing to the heights of Aiguille Di Midi was also a highlight. The entire trip was well planned and executed. Our drivers were really good. Our tour guide was excellent 10/10. All of the wonderful old cities we strolled through while on tour couldn't help but make me smile with the joy of just being there.
Carol, travelled June 2016
There were so many unexpected highlights on this tour. Every day there was something exhilarating and exciting. Indeed it was SPECTACULAR tour almost the first to the last day. Our tour director Gianfranco was wonderful. He was knowledgeable, amusing, and flexible and showed so much equanimity and fairness to everyone in the group. He was also considerate and kind.
The hotels overall were excellent. The scenery between Klosters and St Moritz was fabulous.
The time at Zermatt was also an experience not to be forgotten. The Matterhorn and the journey to near the summit by the cog train was awe inspiring. Some of us walked part of the track back and that also was a highlight affording wonderful photo opportunities.
The conclusion of the trip at Lake Garda was wonderful and the Grand Hotel Gardone Riviera was quite an experience of a grand hotel from a more gracious age. Our travel experience was enhanced by all of the specialist regional tour guides who were excellent and showed thorough knowledge of their specialist areas.
We certainly were treated to the most amazing and breathtaking sights that nature had on offer on this tour. Around every corner there was something to inspire the imagination. The human feats of engineering were also amazing and incredible in their endeavour. As a final comment I believe you should consider re naming this tour. THE ALPINE SPECTACULAR because that is what it is in every sense of the word.
Thank you Albatross for a wonderful experience. An Alpine Adventure would be the best tour we have ever done! Gilberto was an exceptional guide who made the whole tour effortless and great fun. We will go back to Australia with such amazing memories. The two, three and four day stops were definitely a plus.
Penny Gryguc - July 2018
As you can see from the questionnaire I really, really enjoyed the whole Alpine Tour. Thanks to Gilberto for such informative coverage of this tour, his personal attention and assistance was second to none. Thanks Gilberto!
A wonderful tour, every room we had, had magnificent views of the mountains. Perfect weather, friendly group and great guide, thanks to Reinhart. This was our 2nd tour with Albatross and maybe another one if possible. Thank you.
Fabulous tour and would highly recommend Albatross to friends and family. Loved the relaxed pace and low numbers on coach. Special thanks to Reinhart. He was very professional, caring, passionate and all with a sense of humour.
Enjoyed this tour immensely. Hope to tour again with Albatross, also enjoyed ‘Italian Grande’ 3 years ago.
On the whole we felt it was an excellent tour and was made into an amazing tour thanks to our tour director Gilberto Bionda. He is an asset to your company, his knowledge and love of the places we travelled was unbelievable. He was caring and organised and also a lovely gentleman. We have travelled extensively in the past and he was definitely the best director we have ever had.
Ian and Di Shelton
We would like to praise our tour manager for his friendly manner and for his expertise and competent management of the tour Gilberto, through his efficient but relaxed manner made the trip a wonderful experience never to be forgotten a gentleman of the highest class.
Noelene and Graeme Neill
Our tour guide Reinhart was excellent. So much knowledge, organised, friendly with a great sense of humour. Grindelwald hotel lovely, incredible views from terrace. Tour of Verona very good. We had been before but this tour was much more comprehensive. Thoroughly enjoyable. Overall tour was wonderful. Nice friends made and all very organised. Nice having Kim on the bus, obviously an asset to Albatross. Thank you for a lovely holiday. Will definitely recommend you to our family and friends and hope we will travel with you again.