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Jewels of Alpine Europe

13 days
Journey from Switzerland’s mountain-lined Lake Lucerne to France’s inspiring Lake Annecy. Take in the picturesque Chamonix Valley and stroll along Italy’s Lake Como. Then, cross Liechtenstein and hit the winter wonderland of Innsbruck before heading to Munich, the lively capital of Bavaria.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with few hills or stairs.

Celebrate Oktoberfest on a special fall departure of this tour.

See itinerary

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Germany

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Zurich today.

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Switzerland

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Switzerland! After arriving in Zurich, transfer to Lucerne to meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the charming lakeside city.  

• Explore Lucerne’s Old Town

• View the sandstone lion statue commemorating the Swiss Guards

• Stroll over Chapel Bridge, a 17th-century covered footbridge, for views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps

Enjoy a free afternoon in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus $115pp* Details

This scenic excursion begins with a cruise on Lake Lucerne. After docking, ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Legend holds that the mountain was named for Pontius Pilate, blown here by the devil after the Crucifixion. From the peak, the views of the Alps are stunning; on a clear day, you can see for 200 miles. Toward the end of your trip, you’ll return to the base of the mountain via gondola. Please note: The cruise and cogwheel railway only run from mid-May through October. During the winter months, this excursion includes the cable car ride only. If the cogwheel railway is unavailable, you’ll enjoy lunch on the mountain.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Annecy 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Annecy via Bern

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the Alps, taking in stunning scenery as you pass Lakes Sarnen, Brienz and Thun. 

• Stop in Interlaken to catch a glimpse of Jungfraujoch, or the “Top of Europe”

• Cross the Aare River, a tributary of the Rhine, and discover the Swiss capital of Bern with your Tour Director

• Walk by the Gothic cathedral on a tour of Bern’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site

• Pass through the vineyards of Lausanne and Lake Geneva as you drive to Annecy

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Annecy

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Annecy today with your Tour Director leading the way.

• Walk through Annecy’s Old Town

• Take in sweeping views of the Alps

• Get a close-up look at the villas on Lake Annecy’s shores during a cruise (Please note: From November through February, the cruise may be substituted with a walking tour.)

Lake Como Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Lake Como Region via Chamonix

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Italy, stop to explore Chamonix, a picture-perfect village at the base of Mont Blanc. Then, continue through the scenic Aosta Valley en route to the Lake Como Region.

Day 7: Como & Villa Carlotta

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know the city of Como’s charming medieval quarter with your Tour Director.

• Pass by the 15th-century Como Cathedral

• View the 12th-century Porta Vittoria, a defense tower overlooking the old city

• Stroll through the elegant gardens at Villa Carlotta, a palace completed in 1690 (Please note: From November through February you may alternatively take a funicular ride to Brunate.)

Enjoy a free evening in the Lake Como region or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio $79pp* Details

Hop aboard a scenic cruise of Lake Como to soak in some of Italy’s most beautiful estates and gardens. Float past charming lakeside towns to Bellagio, a village whose scenery has inspired poets and young lovers for centuries. You’ll have time to take in Bellagio’s classic beauty before heading to a local restaurant, where you’ll sample cuisine from a carefully chosen menu. Please note: Your included meal may be lunch or dinner. This excursion is seasonal and runs from March through October, and its departure time varies by season.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

St. Moritz 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Travel to St. Moritz

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Return to Switzerland today, making your way to St. Moritz, a prestigious resort town and scenic hub of wintertime sports.

Innsbruck 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Innsbruck

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality that dates back to the Holy Roman Empire, and continue on toward the wintertime wonderland of Innsbruck, where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour.

• Visit Liechtenstein’s capital of Vaduz and pass the royal family’s hilltop castle, still in use as a royal residence

• Arrive in Innsbruck, site of two winter Olympic Games

• See the famed Golden Roof and the City Tower in Innsbruck’s historic Old Town

• Pass the Hofburg, a former Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and walk into its cobblestoned courtyard

• Enter the Baroque Cathedral of St. James

Day 10: Free day in Innsbruck

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Innsbruck or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Neuschwanstein Castle $99pp* Details

Spend your day discovering the regal Neuschwanstein Castle. The historic retreat of Bavaria’s “Fairytale King” Ludwig II, who was known for his reclusive tendencies, was the inspiration for Disney’s Magic Kingdom Castle. On a guided tour, explore the residential areas of the castle, including the oak-furnished servants’ quarters and the king’s lavishly decorated staterooms. Afterward, enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Munich 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Free day in Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast

Cross into Germany to arrive in Munich, where you can spend a free afternoon exploring on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dachau $25pp* Details

Once a typical German town, Dachau served as the first Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Visit this somber site, which has since been transformed into a Holocaust memorial museum that serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Listen to an audio guide while you view Dachau’s poignant exhibits and the memorials to the victims.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $35)

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour. 

• Travel past the Englischer Garten and fashionable Schwabing district 

• Enter the Nymphenburg Palace, the Baroque-style former home of Bavarian royalty 

• Walk from Odeonsplatz through the nearby Hofgarten to view the Residenz, once home to the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria

• Explore Marienplatz, Munich’s medieval heart, and see the famed Glockenspiel

Say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to Salzburg.

Add Salzburg $399 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Dubbed the 'Rome of the North' because of its many churches, Salzburg is a beautiful city filled with museums, mansions, parks and churches. Spend two days soaking up the city’s celebrated musical history.

Salzburg 2 nights

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Salzburg, where a local guide leads you on a walking tour of the Old Town.

• View the University of Salzburg and the churchyard of St. Peter

• See the Kapitelplatz, Residenzplatz and Alter Markt, in the city’s Old Town

• Enter the 17th-century Salzburg Cathedral, built in the Baroque style

• Pass through scenery from the beloved film “The Sound of Music”

• Take the funicular to the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe’s largest medieval castles

Enjoy a free afternoon in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mozart Concert & Dinner $109pp* Details

Step inside the 1,200-year-old St. Peter Stiftskeller, located within St. Peter’s Abbey. Enjoy an evening of fine dining and music. Mozart composed over 600 works in his short life, and tonight, you’ll hear his masterpieces accompanied by opera singing as you sample local delicacies.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Day 14: Free day in Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines $105pp* Details

Drive through the Bavarian Alps to the mountain village of Berchtesgaden, where you’ll tour the 450-year-old salt mines that brought wealth to Bavaria and Salzburg. Take an underground boat ride on Mirror Lake before enjoying free time for lunch. Continue to Obersalzberg, where a scenic bus ride along steep gorges offers beautiful views of the snow-capped Alps. Enter the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum with an exhibition on the history of Nazi dictatorship. Then, take a gilded elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest, an Alpine retreat built for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. On your way back down, stop at a distillery to sample a liqueur made from Alpine flowers. Please note: The elevation of the Eagle’s Nest is approximately 5,500 feet, which may not be advisable for travelers with heart/lung problems or other altitude-related limitations. This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-May through late October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Germany

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Zurich today.

Lucerne 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Switzerland

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Switzerland! After arriving in Zurich, transfer to Lucerne to meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Lucerne

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the charming lakeside city.  

• Explore Lucerne’s Old Town

• View the sandstone lion statue commemorating the Swiss Guards

• Stroll over Chapel Bridge, a 17th-century covered footbridge, for views of Lake Lucerne and the Alps

Enjoy a free afternoon in Lucerne or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mount Pilatus $115pp* Details

This scenic excursion begins with a cruise on Lake Lucerne. After docking, ascend 7,000-foot Mount Pilatus on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Legend holds that the mountain was named for Pontius Pilate, blown here by the devil after the Crucifixion. From the peak, the views of the Alps are stunning; on a clear day, you can see for 200 miles. Toward the end of your trip, you’ll return to the base of the mountain via gondola. Please note: The cruise and cogwheel railway only run from mid-May through October. During the winter months, this excursion includes the cable car ride only. If the cogwheel railway is unavailable, you’ll enjoy lunch on the mountain.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Annecy 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Annecy via Interlaken & Bern

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the Alps, taking in stunning scenery as you pass Lakes Sarnen, Brienz and Thun. Visit the Swiss cities of Interlaken and Bern en route to Annecy, France.

• Stop in Interlaken to catch a glimpse of Jungfraujoch, or the “Top of Europe”

• Cross the Aare River, a tributary of the Rhine, and discover the Swiss capital of Bern with your Tour Director

• Walk through Bern’s charming Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, passing the Gothic Bern Cathedral

• Pass through the vineyards of Lausanne and Lake Geneva as you drive to Annecy

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Annecy

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Annecy today with your Tour Director leading the way.

• Walk through Annecy’s Old Town

• Take in sweeping views of the Alps

• Get a close-up look at the villas on Lake Annecy’s shores during a cruise 

(Please note: From November through February, the cruise may be substituted with a walking tour.)

Lake Como Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Lake Como Region via Chamonix

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Italy, stop to explore Chamonix, a picture-perfect village at the base of Mont Blanc. Then, continue through the scenic Aosta Valley en route to the Lake Como region.

Day 7: Como & Villa Carlotta

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know the city of Como’s charming medieval quarter with your Tour Director.

• Pass by the 15th-century Gothic Duomo

• View the 12th-century Porta Vittoria, a defense tower overlooking the old city

• Stroll through the elegant gardens at Villa Carlotta, a palace completed in 1690 (Please note: From November to February you may alternatively take a funicular ride to Brunate.)

Enjoy a free evening in the Lake Como region or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Lake Como Cruise & Bellagio $79pp* Details

Hop aboard a scenic cruise of Lake Como to soak in some of Italy’s most beautiful estates and gardens. Float past charming lakeside towns to Bellagio, a village whose scenery has inspired poets and young lovers for centuries. You’ll have time to take in Bellagio’s classic beauty before heading to a local restaurant, where you’ll sample cuisine from a carefully chosen menu. Please note: Your included meal may be lunch or dinner. This excursion is seasonal and runs from March through October, and its departure time varies by season.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

St. Moritz 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Train ride to St. Moritz

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Tirano, where you’ll board the Bernina Express. Enjoy a scenic train ride through the stunning, UNESCO-recognized landscapes of the Alps to St. Moritz, a prestigious Swiss resort town and hub of wintertime sports.

Innsbruck 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Innsbruck

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel into Liechtenstein, a tiny Alpine principality dating back to the Holy Roman Empire, and continue on toward the wintertime wonderland of Innsbruck, where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour.

• Visit Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, and pass the royal family’s hilltop castle, still in use as a royal residence

• Arrive in Innsbruck, site of two winter Olympic Games

• See the famed Golden Roof and the City Tower in Innsbruck’s historic Old Town

• Pass the Hofburg, a former Hapsburg Imperial Palace, and walk into its cobblestoned courtyard

• Enter the Baroque Cathedral of St. James

Day 10: Free day in Innsbruck

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Innsbruck or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Neuschwanstein Castle $99pp* Details

Spend your day discovering the regal Neuschwanstein Castle. The historic retreat of Bavaria’s “Fairytale King” Ludwig II, who was known for his reclusive tendencies, was the inspiration for Disney’s Magic Kingdom Castle. On a guided tour, explore the residential areas of the castle, including the oak-furnished servants’ quarters and the king’s lavishly decorated staterooms. Afterward, enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Munich 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Free day in Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast

Cross into Germany to arrive in Munich, where you can spend a free afternoon exploring on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dachau $25pp* Details

Once a typical German town, Dachau served as the first Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Visit this somber site, which has since been transformed into a Holocaust memorial museum that serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Listen to an audio guide while you view Dachau’s poignant exhibits and the memorials to the victims.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $35)

Day 12: Free day in Munich

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get to know the Bavarian capital on a guided tour. 

• Travel past the Englischer Garten and fashionable Schwabing district 

• Enter the Nymphenburg Palace, the Baroque home to past Bavarian royalty

• Walk from Odeonsplatz through the nearby Hofgarten to view the Residenz, once home to the Wittelsbach dukes of Bavaria

• Explore Marienplatz, Munich’s medieval heart, and see the famed Glockenspiel

Say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to Salzburg.

Add Salzburg $399 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Dubbed the 'Rome of the North' because of its many churches, Salzburg is a beautiful city filled with museums, mansions, parks and churches. Spend two days soaking up the city’s celebrated musical history.

Salzburg 2 nights

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to Salzburg, where a local guide leads you on a walking tour of the Old Town.

• View the University of Salzburg and the churchyard of St. Peter

• See the Kapitelplatz, Residenzplatz and Alter Markt, in the city’s Old Town

• Enter the 17th-century Salzburg Cathedral, built in the Baroque style

• Pass through scenery from the beloved film “The Sound of Music”

• Take the funicular to the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe’s largest medieval castles

Enjoy a free afternoon in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mozart Concert & Dinner $109pp* Details

Step inside the 1,200-year-old St. Peter Stiftskeller, located within St. Peter’s Abbey. Enjoy an evening of fine dining and music. Mozart composed over 600 works in his short life, and tonight, you’ll hear his masterpieces accompanied by opera singing as you sample local delicacies.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Day 14: Free day in Salzburg

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Salzburg or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Eagle's Nest & Salt Mines $105pp* Details

Drive through the Bavarian Alps to the mountain village of Berchtesgaden, where you’ll tour the 450-year-old salt mines that brought wealth to Bavaria and Salzburg. Take an underground boat ride on Mirror Lake before enjoying free time for lunch. Continue to Obersalzberg, where a scenic bus ride along steep gorges offers beautiful views of the snow-capped Alps. Enter the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a museum with an exhibition on the history of Nazi dictatorship. Then, take a gilded elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest, an Alpine retreat built for Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday. On your way back down, stop at a distillery to sample a liqueur made from Alpine flowers. Please note: The elevation of the Eagle’s Nest is approximately 5,500 feet, which may not be advisable for travelers with heart/lung problems or other altitude-related limitations. This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-May through late October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Annecy, France
  • Como, Italy
  • St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • Innsbruck, Austria
  • Munich, Germany
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

This tour includes the following countries: Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, the principality of Liechtenstein (on the transfer) and Germany. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return to the United States. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

Travelers should be aware of high-altitude conditions in this region. Chamonix is 3,400 feet above sea level, while some bus transfers may also pass through high altitudes. The tour also includes two optional excursions by rail or cable car to peaks of over 7,000 feet. Consult your doctor or health care provider for specific recommendations and up-to-date overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Swiss food, influenced by surrounding countries, is varied and sophisticated. The most famous local dish is fondue, made from molten cheese, flavored with wine, garlic and liquor, into which pieces of skewered bread are dipped. Raclette is another delicious cooked cheese dish, served with roasted or boiled potatoes, air-dried beef and pickled onions. Sausages, breaded veal fillets and freshwater fish are also popular. Swiss dairy products are among the world’s finest, and full-cream milk is the essential ingredient for the exceptionally good chocolate produced here.

In France, a country that loves its fine foods, you’ll find a variety of cheeses, richly prepared meats and freshly baked breads and pastries.

Northern Italian cuisine is light and savory, emphasizing fresh pasta, simply prepared seafood and vegetables roasted with herbs.

In Austria, thick soups of paprika and onion, veal, beef and venison with cranberries are all popular, as is the renowned Wiener Schnitzel. Fish lovers will find wild trout, roast carp and crayfish. Austrain desserts are perhaps the most memorable including, strudels made with all kinds of fruit and nuts, souffles and elegant chocolate cakes such as the world-famous Sachertorte.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Zurich and depart from Munich. Included transportation is by private motor coach. In your free time, the best way to explore Alpine cities and towns is on foot, as most are small and built for walkers, with little public transportation. You can break up the walking with rides on city buses in Lucerne and Innsbruck. Keep in mind that taxis are usually costly in Switzerland.

Electricity

All destinations operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

France, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany are all one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6 p.m. on tour.

Currency

The euro (in Austria, France, Italy and Germany) and the Swiss franc (in Switzerland and Leichtenstein) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATM’s on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Annecy, France
  • Como, Italy
  • St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • Innsbruck, Austria
  • Munich, Germany
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

This tour includes the following countries: Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, the principality of Liechtenstein (on the transfer) and Germany. In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return to the United States. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

Travelers should be aware of high-altitude conditions in this region. Chamonix is 3,400 feet above sea level, while some bus transfers may also pass through high altitudes. The tour also includes two optional excursions by rail or cable car to peaks of over 7,000 feet. Consult your doctor or health care provider for specific recommendations and up-to-date overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Swiss food, influenced by surrounding countries, is varied and sophisticated. The most famous local dish is fondue, made from molten cheese, flavored with wine, garlic and liquor, into which pieces of skewered bread are dipped. Raclette is another delicious cooked cheese dish, served with roasted or boiled potatoes, air-dried beef and pickled onions. Sausages, breaded veal fillets and freshwater fish are also popular. Swiss dairy products are among the world’s finest, and full-cream milk is the essential ingredient for the exceptionally good chocolate produced here.

In France, a country that loves its fine foods, you’ll find a variety of cheeses, richly prepared meats and freshly baked breads and pastries.

Northern Italian cuisine is light and savory, emphasizing fresh pasta, simply prepared seafood and vegetables roasted with herbs.

In Austria, thick soups of paprika and onion, veal, beef and venison with cranberries are all popular, as is the renowned Wiener Schnitzel. Fish lovers will find wild trout, roast carp and crayfish. Austrain desserts are perhaps the most memorable including, strudels made with all kinds of fruit and nuts, souffles and elegant chocolate cakes such as the world-famous Sachertorte.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Zurich and depart from Munich. Included transportation is by private motor coach. In your free time, the best way to explore Alpine cities and towns is on foot, as most are small and built for walkers, with little public transportation. You can break up the walking with rides on city buses in Lucerne and Innsbruck. Keep in mind that taxis are usually costly in Switzerland.

Electricity

All destinations operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

France, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany are all one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6 p.m. on tour.

Currency

The euro (in Austria, France, Italy and Germany) and the Swiss franc (in Switzerland and Leichtenstein) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATM’s on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/18/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a Lifetime!!!!

This trip was unbelievable! From the AMAZING scenery to the unforgettable excursions, this trip beats all others. Be prepared to walk a lot, though! It is a jammed pack itinerary but well worth the exhaustion. The only thing I would add to this trip would be extra time to do our own things and have more time to discover the major cities, such as lake como. The dinners included were subpar, as well. I suggest taking a bit off of the tour price and letting us go get authentic food instead of bland pieces of pork doused in Marsala sauce. (Bleh!) Besides feeling "rushed" and not better food choices, this trip is truly an unforgettable experience that will live in my memories FOREVER. I love GO AHEAD and have already planned another trip with them next April. CIAO :)

 

Hi Julie! Thank you for your review. We’re so glad you had an amazing time on tour! We appreciate your feedback about feeling rushed and the food not meeting your expectations. We will be sure to communicate these points to our team internally so that we can continue improving this itinerary. Again, we’re thrilled that you enjoyed this experience, and we are super excited to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 24, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/25/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Tour!!

Traveled April 25-May 6, 2016 with Paula as our Tour Director. Paula was such an amazing director! She was familiar with the areas where we traveled, gave us tons of information on each area so we could be comfortable as we got to know the area. She was familiar with the restaurants, directions, stores, language, and history of the area. She was funny, organized, flexible, patient, and was able to keep everyone on schedule, but also gave us plenty of free time to explore. Franc, our driver did the most amazing job maneuvering our bus through those small Alpine villages without any problems. If you are looking for beautiful, Alpine scenery, picture postcard beautiful at every turn and small Alpine towns, full of charm, this is the tour for you!!

 

Hi Theresa! It sounds like your Tour Director was a wonderful resource for you throughout your tour, and we’re happy to hear it. Between her great organization, passion, and knowledge for the region, we’re glad she enhanced your time in Europe. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 16, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/1/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful itinerary AND tour guide

We just returned from the Jewels of Alpine Europe...Atto was our magnificent tour director with Roberto, our outstanding trusted driver! We started our tour on Monday October 5th in Lucerne. We had a meet and greet with our fellow travelers. We had a GREAT group of folks from all over the US and Canada! The weather didn't cooperate a couple of days, but all in all it was a spectacular trip. Atto was the BEST! He was VERY knowledgeable of ALL the locations we visited. He gave us outstanding tours of many of the villages and had us stop had a couple destinations not on our itinerary! The highlight of our trip....there were of course MANY, but we had the best time on our stop at Mont Blanc!!!! And Atto arranged for us to take the Bernina Express! Oh my gosh! It was breathtaking! AND he even threw us a party on board the train!! Nice touch!!! We also enjoyed our side excursion to the Eagle's Nest! The vistas were outstanding. All our hotels were lovely and very convenient for the most part to the center of the villages/towns. The meals provided at most of our destinations were excellent. FULL breakfasts EVERY morning. This started our days on a very positive note. Thank you, Go Ahead Travels, for an outstanding itinerary AND staff (Atto and Roberto, too!!) to make our trip extra special!

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Atto is the BOMB!

Atto takes tour guide to another level. Incredibly thoughtful on so many level. Your guide can make or break your trip. This was an excellent trip & he made it so fun. Well put together, great sights. Very beautful countries, still glowing.

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/5/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Birds Eye View

The Alps really need to be experienced in person to understand their Majesty. This is the trip to find out first hand. Breathtaking views from the top of Mont Blanc, Mt.Pilatus, Excursion to Berchtesgaden up to the Eagles nest. As well as the views from below, the lakes surrounded by the Alps. The food was outstanding, and the wine and beer was flowing. All parts of the tour are seemless, ie; pick-up, transfers by coach, checking in and out of hotels. A truly worry and stress free environment. Just enjoy your trip and let Go Ahead handle all the logistics. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgable, helpfull,and friendly as well as genuinely careing in meeting our individual needs ps. the porterage service is a fantastic plus.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/24/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Itinerary - Best Tour Director

Excellent itinerary with good accommodations -- high-quality, close to the center of things. Driver Vincenzo was safe, smooth, skilled, and congenial; and tour director Juergen K. was, simply, the best. I don't mean just that we liked the guy (which we did). He conducted the tour masterfully. In addition, he was able to provide informal familiarization walks in most of the places we visited. As for excursions, the lake steamer-funicular railway-cable car excursion to Mt. Pilatus (from Luzern) was great because the day was beautiful. I have been before, on a cloudy day, and the trip is an interesting excursion but when you reach the top your view is just of the tops of gray clouds, and it's chilly and damp. Toss the dice on this one. Highly recommended tour: A good, reasonably "complete," tour of the Alps in a convenient, cost-effective manner.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Jewel of the Alps

This was a great tour. Though there was a lot of driving. Maybe St. Moritz could have been left out and give us a free day on our on somewhere else like Munich. Bus drivers should not see water but give to those on tour and also should be more attentive to those on the bus to help in and out. Bathrooms on bus should always be open to travelers, even if they don't like to clean them. Not for emergency only. Stay away from giving buffetts which were really not good and give a choice on the dinners. Cities and small towns were excellent. Old town Europe, which to me is great. Would highly recommend this trip.

 

Dear Phil, We are so happy that you felt this was a great tour, and we thank you for your thoughtful suggestions. We are glad that our bus drivers are able to provide our customers with the opportunity to purchase water on the bus, and will consider your suggestion that the water should be free. We are sorry to learn that you did not feel your bus driver was attentive enough in regards to helping travelers on and off the bus. This is certainly not feedback that we want to hear, and we will be addressing it with the bus company directly. While many busses in Europe are equipped with bathrooms, the laws regarding their use are much more restrictive than those in the United States. The bathrooms on the bus are for emergency use only not because they are inconvenient to clean, but rather because it is illegal to use them while the vehicle is moving. Thank you for highly recommending this trip, and for taking it with us! We do hope you travel with us again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 23, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/24/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Juergen K.

I had a fantastic trip with the excellent tour guide who performed above and beyond his call of duty. He was very mindful of the needs of the group and was quick to anticipate & meet pertinent concerns. He is well versed with the historical facts and relevant information with a bit of humor. He is the best. Overall, the itinerary is well planned and the not too hurried pace of the journey suited me very well. The only disappointment with the accommodation was the BW Carlton in Annecy, France. The air conditioning was not working and it was making a disturbing noise at night which kept me awake. I reported the problem to the person on desk duty, but they said that nothing can be done about it until the next day. He offered a solution to move us to another room at 2:30 a.m. We refused to haul our luggage at an unholy hour. There was no point moving since we are leaving in the morning. Otherwise, we had a safe and exciting tour. Kudos to the Driver, Vincenzo who drove us all over Alpine Europe with great care and expertise.

 

Dear Edna, We are so pleased to learn that your trip with us to view the many Jewels of Alpine Europe was Fantastic! We are of course sorry to hear that you experienced some difficulty with the air conditioning unit in one of your hotel rooms. It is our genuine hope that all our travelers have pleasant and comfortable experiences on tour, and we are glad that your tour overall was safe and exciting! Thank you for taking this journey with Go Ahead, and we hope welcome you onto another tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 11, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

First Go Ahead Tour

We really enjoyed this tour, loved the tour director Sylvana and the people we traveled with. If you do all of the options, plus what Go Ahead had scheduled, it could be a very tiring tour. I could not do everything, but Slyvana made sure that I could rest when needed. She even arranged for me to check in to the hotel in Munich early, when I could not do the city tour. My wife was able to do the tours, so I did not really miss it. Most of the hotels were located near city centers and most rooms were nice. There were some down sides that could not be helped, such as the heat wave, traffic jam or the twin beds in one hotel. As an experienced traveler, you just learn to deal with it and go on. We would definately recommend Go Ahead tours.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful experience.

This "Jewels of the Alpine" trip was everything promised, and then some. Our bus provided great viewing of the cities, countryside and breathtaking vistas in the mountains. Our tour director, Sylvana, took care of all the details, never let us worry about a thing. Her energy and good humor were infectious. All of our hotels were quite nice and well located. I didn't give accommodations overall a "5" because a few hotels turned off the a/c at night and the stuffiness woke us up. Europe is experiencing a heat wave this year so this energy saving practice might not normally be a problem. It was a problem this year. Meals were good with just a couple of exceptions. We did have some free time to explore on our own. The extra excursions were well worth their cost (especially Lake Lucern/Mt. Pilatus).

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