Make memories in Switzerland
Check into Hotel Sacher
On arrival at the airport, a car and driver will be waiting for you to transfer you to the Hotel Sacher, one of Vienna’s most luxurious five star hotels. There’ll be time to unpack and settle in before a light lunch at the hotel.
City tour within the ring road
Later, we’ll set out for a private city tour. This will incorporate many of central Vienna’s most iconic sights, such as the colourful St Stephan’s Cathedral with its fabulous roof.
Belvedere Palace and Schönbrunn Palace
From there, we’ll palace-hop, stopping off at the Belvedere before moving on to exquisite Schönbrunn, whose gardens are almost as much of a thrill as the house itself.
After dinner at the hotel, we’ll head to Prater Park for a ride on one of the world’s most famous Ferris wheels. The Riesenrad is a 65m tall wheel which has featured in films such as The Third Man and the Bond movie, The Living Daylights.
Spanish riding school
We’ll begin with breakfast at the hotel, after which you’ll be transferred to the Spanish Riding School at Alte Hofburg to watch the morning exercises of the famous Lipizzaner horses which have been based there since 1735. These elegant horses are renowned the world over for their grace and skill.
Continuing our journey out of Vienna, we’ll enjoy some afternoon sunshine in the Wienerwald, or Vienna Woods.
Perchtoldsdorf and Grinzing
Making for the vineyard town of Perchtoldsdorf, you’ll visit the castle before looping back through the delightful forested countryside towards the town of Grinzing where you’ll enjoy a wine tasting and dinner.
On this our final day in Vienna, we’ve arranged time for you to visit some of the city’s best museums. In the Museums Quarter, you’ll encounter a trio of art museums: the Leopold Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kunsthalle. It’s a lively district with plenty of cafés. If you’re still in the mood for museums, we’d recommend the House of Music or the State Opera Museum, both a short walk away, which celebrate Vienna’s great love of classical music. Don’t miss the Palmenhaus at the Burggarten. By mid afternoon, you’ll be ready to put your feet up, so we’d suggest heading back to the hotel and sampling a cake that was invented on the premises. Sachertorte is a rich, dense chocolate cake that’s now exported all over the world.
Chocolate treatments at the spa
Afterwards, relax in the hotel spa and enjoy some of its signature “Time to Chocolate” treatments. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
Drive to Salzburg
It’s time to explore one of Austria’s most enchanting cities: Salzburg. The city was the birthplace of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and after checking in to the Hotel Goldener Hirsch we will head to his house on Getreidegasse this morning.
Old town tour
After touring the house, we’ll move on to nearby Markatplatz to visit the museum dedicated to his life’s work, in the house he moved to from Getreidegasse. In the Old Town, you’ll have plenty of chance to find lunch in and amongst the city’s most attractive sights. Afterwards, you’ll take an accompanied walking tour in the company of an entertaining and knowledgeable local guide.
Sound of Music Cycle tour
This morning we’re leaving you in the capable hands of Fräulein Maria´s Bicycle Tours. A little over fifty years ago, the world was captivated by the release of the movie The Sound of Music, which has delighted audiences of all ages ever since. Humming the melodies and singing the catchy songs (all words provided) we’ll follow in the footsteps of the Von Trapps and see Salzburg through their eyes.
After lunch, we’ll drive you back to Hellbrunn Palace and make a lengthier stop to see the famous Baroque palace and its entertaining trick fountains. This evening, you’ll dine at the Michelin starred Esszimmer, located a short stroll along the banks of the Salzach River from the hotel. It’s renowned for its creative and delicious cuisine.
Salt mine at Hallein
This morning we’ll begin with an excursion to the Salzwelten Hallein, a salt mine complex located about a half hour by car from Salzburg itself. This is the world’s oldest salt mine, and visitors can explore its miles of tunnels on a subterranean treasure hunt. After you’ve enjoyed a ride on the centre’s famous underground wooden slide, our driver will take you to the pretty village of Hallstatt.
This lakeshore settlement is so pretty, the Chinese have made an exact copy of it.
Mozart Dinner Concert
Back in Salzburg, to round off the day, you’ll enjoy the Mozart Dinner Concert in the Baroque hall of St Peter Stiftskeller, Europe’s oldest restaurant. Charlemagne ate here in the 9th century and the Mozarts showed up centuries later. As you dine by candlelight, a selection of Mozart’s most popular operatic hits will be performed.
Take the train to Innsbruck
This morning after breakfast, we’ll deliver you to the main train station where you’ll take the OBB Railjet to Innsbruck, travelling first class.
Grand Hotel Europa
Two hours later we’ll get you checked in to the Grand Hotel Europa, a five star hotel that’s hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in its long history.
Old town tour
After time to rest, freshen up and have lunch, we’ll take you on a tour of Innsbruck’s beautiful Altstadt. The Old Town is packed with historic buildings including the Golden Roof, built by Emperor Maximilian about 1500AD, which has become the city’s most famous symbol. Our sightseeing continues with Hofkirche, Hofburg Palace, Bergisel Ski Jump designed in 2001 and finally Ambras Castle. We’ll return to the hotel for dinner.
Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Just twenty minutes from Innsbruck you’ll find the enchanting Swarovski Crystal Worlds attraction in the town of Wattens. It’s a combination of museum, theme park and art installation, and of course there’s the possibility of shopping for some of its affordable yet beautiful creations.
Leaving the museum, we’ll drive further into the Tyrol region, one of Austria’s loveliest, visiting the town of Mayrhofen for lunch.
Hintertux Glacier and Krimml Falls
Afterwards, you’ll tour the scenic countryside, first to the nearby Hintertux Glacier and then visiting the spectacular 380m high Krimml Falls, the country’s highest waterfall. Dinner tonight back in Innsbruck will be at the modern Lichtblick, a glass box boasting incredible panoramic views.
Once again the pretty Tyrol region is our focus. This time we’ll drive you to the attractive town of Kitzbuhel where we’ll pause for light refreshments in one of its pretty pavement cafes before moving on to nearby Wildpark Aurach where you can wander among some of the region’s typical creatures such as deer and marmots.
From there, you’ll be traverse the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, one of the most spectacular drives in Europe, with 36 hairpin bends to negotiate before you reach the Pasterze Glacier at the summit.
Zell am See
On the return leg, we’ll make a stop at the lakeside resort of Zell am See for refreshments before returning to Innsbruck. Dinner tonight will be in the wonderfully atmospheric and wood panelled Ottoburg Restaurant which was once a watchtower.
Drive to Innsbruck
After a leisurely breakfast, our driver will be waiting to collect you for your transfer to Innsbruck. It’s a morning’s drive, so we’ll break the journey at the pretty town of St Gallen.
Abbey of St Gall
The main attraction here is the UNESCO-listed Abbey of St Gall. You’ll have a private tour with an informed guide who’ll explain the significance of the abbey and show you the 9th century books in its library. Arriving at Zurich, we’ll speed the check in process at the historic Widder Hotel and have you seated for lunch in no time. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a city tour of this impressive Swiss city.
Zurich city tour
You’ll see many of Zurich’s most iconic sights including mediaeval Lindenhof Square and some of its most beautiful churches. You can take a ride on one of the lake cruisers if you wish or stroll along the lakeshore paths. We’ll stop at the famous Café Sprüngli for afternoon cakes; we recommend their famous Luxemburgerli macaroons. Later this evening you’ll dine at the hotel at its Widder fine dining restaurant.
Take the train to Luzern
The pretty lakeshore setting of Luzern (also known as Lucerne) makes it a firm favourite with visitors to this part of Switzerland. It’s an easy train journey from Zurich and you’ll enjoy a first-class seat of course. Once you’re there, you will check into the Grand Hotel National Lucerne.
Luzern city tour
In Luzern, you’ll begin with an orientation tour which will give you a chance to see the city’s historic buildings.
Cogwheel railway Pilatus Kulm
After lunch, we’ll drive you to the base of the Pilatus Kulm cogwheel railway at nearby Alpnachstad. It’s the world’s steepest cogwheel railway, defying gravity as it ascends slopes with gradients of up to 48%. The views from the top are spectacular even by Swiss standards and there are numerous walking trails that you can take before descending for the return trip to Luzern.
Dinner at Grottino 313
Dinner tonight will be Grottino 313, one of the best restaurants in Luzern.
Today’s excursion focuses on the popular town of Interlaken. As its name suggests, it’s located between two lakes, Thun and Brienz. Both lakes are exquisite.
Boat trip on Lake Brienz
You’ll take a boat trip across Lake Brienz to the little town of the same name. There, you’ll board the country’s oldest steam train to ascend to the top of the Rothorn mountain. At the summit station, you can enjoy superb views and take a short hike.
Back on the lake, you’ll visit the Giessbach Falls. Alight at the Grand Hotel Giessbach, like a fairytale castle in appearance, and take the funicular up to the waterfall. Return to Brienz where we’ll drive you back to Luzern in plenty of time for dinner. Perhaps tonight you’ll head out for fondue?
This morning we’ll leave Luzern and drive the short but scenic route to Engelberg, built around a delightful 12th century monastery.
The main draw here is Mount Titlis. Reached by a revolving gondola, the ascent up the mountain is a fabulous way to appreciate the scenic beauty of the area. At the top, you’ll walk the Titlis Cliff Walk suspension bridge and have the opportunity to try snow tubing even in summer. There are some excellent walking trails on the lower slopes and it’s also worth making a stop at the pretty glacial lake, Trübsee.
Dinner at RED restaurant
We’ll return to Luzern late in the afternoon and dine at the sought after RED restaurant, where the Swiss-Mediterranean cuisine more than holds its own against the breathtaking views over Lake Lucerne from its windows.
Transfer to the airport for flight back home
This morning we’ll end our tour. A driver will be waiting for you to take you to Zurich airport for your flight home.