An Alpine Adventure Tour
17 days from $7,539 pp twin share
- Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
- Small group size with a maximum of 28 travellers
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- Character hotels in superb locations
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- Guaranteed group departures
Discover the breathtaking scenery of the French and Swiss Alps from the remarkable Aiguille du Midi, to the meadows of the Bernese Oberland, see Zermatt and the mighty Matterhorn, ride across the breathtaking Alps on the Glacier Express and explore delightful Lake Garda.
- Spend 3 nights in Chamonix in the fabulous French Haute Savoie, under the shadow of the Mont Blanc massif, visit Annecy and Megeve and experience the extraordinary cable car ride to the top of the stunning Aiguille du Midi - the ‘Needle of Midday’
- Drive over the spectacular Forclaz Pass to Byron’s Chateau de Chillon in Montreux, explore hilltop Gruyères and Geneva on Lake Léman
- Stay 3 nights in a spectacular spa hotel in Grindelwald, high in the Bernese Oberland, with views of the infamous Eiger, visit medieval Bern and the wooden bridges of Luzern, plus Lauterbrunnen’s thundering Trummelbach Falls in the scenic ‘Valley of the Waterfalls’
- Experience the spectacular scenery of ‘Le Valais’, stay 2 relaxing nights in chic Zermatt, and see the magnificent Matterhorn
- Ride in panoramic carriages on the amazing Glacier Express, passing over chasms and through the mighty Alps, to explore ancient Chur
- Stay 2 nights in Klosters and visit world famous St Moritz
- Relax over 4 nights beside Lake Garda, visit Romeo and Juliet’s Verona
- Explore D’Annunzio’s extraordinary Villa and Gardens, and enjoy a wine tasting and dinner at the Redaelli de Zinis wine estate
Are the mountains calling you?
This 17 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: Paris
Your tour commences this evening in Paris, the city of light. 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: Chamonix in the French Alps
Catching the high speed TGV train we reach the Swiss city of Geneva around midday. 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 and mountaineering.
Day 3: Chamonix in the French Alps
Today we have included an incredible mountain cable car ride up to Aiguille du Midi, which translated means the ‘Needle of Midday’. This two stage cable car trip is the highest cable car ride in Europe and arguably one of the world’s greatest mountain rides. The first section climbs up from Chamonix to the ‘Plan du Aiguille’, at about 2310 meters. Changing cable cars, the next section is an extraordinary experience as you climb the sheer Aiguille du Midi. At an altitude of 3842 metres (12,605ft) you are seemingly within reach of Mont Blanc. At the top there is a shop, café, mountaineering and alpine exhibition, plus a recently completed glass bottomed observation platform. Stand on that if you dare, and you will ‘feel’ the whole world dropping away beneath your feet! There are of course ‘regular’ walkways and observation points with astounding views across to the Matterhorn, Monta Rosa and the Grand Combin in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. Your afternoon will be spent at leisure exploring the famous resort of Chamonix.
Day 4: Chamonix in the French Alps
First stop this morning will be in the exclusive, chic ski resort of Megeve. Running from the delightful cobbled 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 cobbled stone 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: Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland
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 cobbled stone 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, cafes and shops. On arrival we will enjoy a welcome drink, followed by dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 6: Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland
We have left this day 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. Alternatively, take the cog train which tunnels up inside the mountain to the snowbound Jungfraujoch. At 3,454 metres (11,333 feet) high there is a large restaurant complex and the views are breath taking. Here you will also find an ice cave, curling rink with ice bar and a fascinating mountain museum.
Day 7: Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland
Our morning will be spent at leisure exploring the lovely lake-side 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 cobbled stoned 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: 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 also 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 (5,315 ft), 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!
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 channelled 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: 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: 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.
Day 11: Klosters
Travelling via Davos we follow the Engadine Valley to spend the morning in the world famous town of St Moritz. Returning to our hotel early afternoon, the rest of the day is free to relax and explore.
Day 12: Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda
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 Gardone Riviera, where we stay the next four nights. On arrival we have included a welcome drink on the tree shaded lakeside terrace of Winnie’s Piano Bar (named after Winston Churchill who frequented it!). Dinner tonight will be in our hotel restaurant, right beside the lake.
*5 September departure stays 4 nights at Villa Luisa San Felice del Benaco
Day 13: Gardone Riviera on 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 wander around Gardone Riviera town with its botanical gardens on the hill, or maybe catch a ferry down the lake to Salo, or across the lake to explore the bustling resort towns of Bardolino, Garda or Lazise.
Day 14: Gardone Riviera on Lake 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 will stop at the foot of Lake Garda and visit one of the colourful and diverse lakeside towns.
Day 15: Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda
This morning we have included a visit to one of the strangest museums you will ever visit. The Villa and Gardens of Il Vittoriale degli Italiani was created by D’Annunzio – the remarkable Italian patriot, aviator, hero, writer and poet and (of course) great lover. This amazing art and heritage museum will completely engage you. In the gardens around the villa, statues and walkways surround you, and a huge WWII war ship has been reassembled high up in the hills! Incredible! After a free afternoon we will visit the Redaelli de Zinis in Calvagese della Riviera. This is a famous local winery and restaurant. Here we enjoy a delightful wine tasting and sample some of the locally sourced produce before a special dinner. Grappa anyone?
Being away from Lake Garda’s shore, the villa and gardens of Il Vittoriale degli Italiani, remains off the main tourist radar. Gabriele D’Annunzio, one of Italy’s greatest romantic heroes, lived an extraordinary life and was an avid collector of anything of interest and beauty. His villa became an assembly of the weird and wonderful. He made every room a personal museum for his ‘life collection’, bulging with memorabilia, statues, antiques, books, art, parts of airplanes he once flew, all displayed to his daring design. Soft light, rich velvet drapes… eccentricity abounds. Here, high on the hillside, you will not only find his villa and gardens but also his massive mausoleum, and believe it or not a fully re-constructed, genuine full size battleship with its prow pointing across the lake far below. To see it is to believe it. Incredible!
Day 16: Milan
We soon reach the stylish city of Milan where we enjoy a guided panoramic tour followed by time at leisure. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 17: Milan
Your tour ends today after breakfast.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
- TGV train Paris to Geneva
- 16 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- Station porterage Paris and Geneva (1 bag per person)
- Breakfast daily
- 10 dinners including a welcome dinner, farewell dinner, local restaurant dinner in Grindelwald and special Lake Garda wine estate dinner
- Welcome drink in Paris, Grindelwald and Winnie’s Piano Bar, Lake Garda wine tasting
- All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Special Highlights - cable car excursion Aiguille du Midi, Glacier Express train
- Local guides as described in the itinerary
- Albatross travel app
- Free WiFi available on most coaches and at hotels
- End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides
Mercure Chamonix Centre – 3 Nights
This traditional alpine hotel is located in the heart of Chamonix. The Mont Blanc view hotel rooms that we have confirmed provide the comfort and services of a contemporary 4-star hotel.
Sunstar Hotel, Grindelwald - 3 Nights
This superior hotel is in a central location with unspoilt views of the North Face of the Eiger. The atmosphere is charming featuring a traditional alpine design with large, comfortable rooms featuring modern amenities. This delightful hotel offers a wellness centre complete with a sauna, pool and roman baths.
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.
Grand Hotel, Gardone Riviera - 4 Nights
Set directly on the lakeshore with its own private promenade and jetty, and facing across beautiful Garda, the aptly named ‘Grande’ is absolutely reminiscent of the ‘grand days of old’. Winnie’s piano bar is a delight
and breakfasts beside the water will never be the same.
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.
Dates and Prices
|Start Date||End Date||Price Per Person||Guaranteed to Depart||Availability|
|25 Jul 2017||10 Aug 2017||AUD $8,489||Space Limited - Call Now|
|5 Sep 2017||21 Sep 2017||AUD $7,539||Space Limited - Call Now|
|19 Sep 2017||5 Oct 2017||AUD $7,689||Space Limited - Call Now|
|27 May 2018||12 Jun 2018||Space Available|
|17 Jun 2018||3 Jul 2018||Space Available|
|1 Jul 2018||17 Jul 2018||Space Available|
|29 Jul 2018||14 Aug 2018||Space Available|
|14 Aug 2018||30 Aug 2018||Space Available|
|2 Sep 2018||18 Sep 2018||Space Available|
|23 Sep 2018||9 Oct 2018||Space Available|
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