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Itinerary (Fall, 2019)
1. Sunday, September 15-Leave Washington Dulles on British Airways Flight 216 (Boeing 747-400) at 6:30 PM to London Heathrow, Terminal 5.
2. Monday, September 16-Arrive London Heathrow, Terminal 5, at 6:55 AM (3,675 miles). Depart London Heathrow, Terminal 5, for Milan, Italy (Malpensa, Terminal 1) on British Airways Flight 576 (Airbus 319) at 9:20 AM, arrive Milan 12:20 PM (591 miles). Take Malpensa Express to Milan Central Station next to hotel. 43 Station Hotel
3. Tuesday, September 17-Milan-Travel by bus to Lake Como and cruise the lake. A 2-hour cruise will allow views of the tranquil landscape from the water. The guide will point out famous villas used as locations for Star Wars and James Bond movies along with the homes of international stars like George Clooney. Next, travel to the famed village of Bellagio, the “pearl of Lake Como,” and come ashore. Explore the best shopping and food, or feel free to wander the cobbled lanes and discover hidden gems. Return to the private coach once again and cross the border to the Swiss town of Lugano. Traveling to Lugano takes only one hour across stunning scenery. After reaching the lakeside Swiss city at the foot of the alps see why they call it the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”. It attracts celebrities, athletes and entertainers with its breath-taking panoramas and elegant shopping. Once again, there is time to explore boutique shops full of rich Swiss chocolate and fine goods. Those who prefer to sample Renaissance culture can make their way to the Santa Maria degli Angioli Church on the waterfront. Inside see the magnificent ‘Passion and Crucifixion’ fresco which was created by Da Vinci’s apprentice, Bernardino Luini. Finally, the bus will return to Milan in time for evening dinner. 43 Station Hotel
4. Wednesday, September 18-Milan.Get acquainted with the most historically significant landmarks of Milan on a 3-hour guided walking tour. Witness the beauty of the city as the guide explains the city's history, culture and, traditions. Admire the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most sought-after masterpieces of all time. The guide will be sure to make the most of the 15-minutes inside the Refectory to bring this mural painting to life. The tour will then proceed to the Sforza Castle, a Medieval stronghold rebuilt and embellished by the Sforza family in 1450 that is surrounded by a beautiful park. Stroll through the park and marvel at the castle from the outside, then walk across the beautiful streets of Milan to reach the La Scala Opera House, the all Milanese Temple of Music, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an opulent shopping mall topped with vaulted glass and iron arcades, named after the first king of Italy. Admire the beautiful gothic Duomo Cathedral, a true architectural wonder and the 5th-largest Cathedral in Europe. 43 Station Hotel
5. Thursday, September 19-Milan. Take a one hour morning train to Stresa on Lake Maggiore. Visit The Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées & Spa and garden grounds. Stroll the Promenade de Stresa and explore the town of Stresa. Later, take a short boat ride to Isola Bella, an island not far from shore. On the island, visit the villa and terraced gardens. Return to Milan by train in the late afternoon. 43 Station Hotel Italian Lakes Photos
6. Friday, September 20-Milan. Tour Milan and visit La Scala in the late afternoon. 43 Station Hotel Milan Photos
8. Sunday, September 22-Meet the Travel Director and travel companions, followed by a short stroll to the Welcome Dinner hosted at Au Petit Chalet. The evening is full of Swiss delight at the cozy, chalet-style decor while being served typical Swiss specialities including mouthwatering chocolate fondue for dessert. Hotel d'Angleterre Geneva Photos
9. Monday, September 23-Start the day with the highlights of Geneva, the ‘city of gardens', nestled at the end of its lake. See the Jet D'Eau, Floral Clock and Reformation Monument. Then relax and enjoy the enchanting scenery, continuing on to the scenic town of Montreux, at the foot of the Alps, boasting one of the most beautiful lakeside walks. Enjoy free time to explore this pretty town. Journey to the great arc of Lake Geneva where a local expert will explain the medieval Chillon Castle, former home to the Counts of Savoy, immortalized by Byron's ‘Prisoner of Chillon'. Continue along the Rhone Valley, with high summer temperatures that support vines and other fruits. The final stage of the journey is by cogwheel train to the traffic-free mountain resort of Zermatt. Feast on the distinctive triangular silhouette of the Matterhorn. At night, enjoy a stroll in the clean mountain air to the chosen restaurant on the Dine-Around evening. Hotel Alex, Zermatt
10. Tuesday, September 24-Zermatt in summertime offers many leisure time possibilities: try swimming or hiking or spend a whole day relaxing in the clean mountain air. Perhaps take an optional ride on Europe's highest cable car to the snow-capped roof of the world for a magnificent panorama of the highest peaks in Switzerland, Italy and France. Hotel Alex, Zermatt Zermatt Photos
11. Wednesday, September 25-Descend to Täsch and rejoin the coach. Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon to ascend the Simplon Pass, taking in magnificent views over the Alps from the 2,000-metre summit. Cut through northern Italy, stopping on the gentle shores of Lake Maggiore. Perhaps take a delightful boat trip to see the stunning Isola Bella. Hotel Simplon, Baveno Baveno Photos
12. Thursday, September 26-(Relaxed Start) Head north back into the high mountain country of the Grison Alps today. Ascend the Julier Pass to arrive in the sparkling Engadine Valley with a climate characterized by clear skies. On arrival in the cosmopolitan resort of St. Moritz, a brief orientation will explain the spa quarter and the brilliantly sparkling glacial lake. Then jostle with the jet-set in the elegant boutiques. In the evening, enjoy a delicious fondue dinner at a local restaurant. Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski, St. Moritz St. Moritz Photos
13. Friday, September 27-Start the day with a scenic train ride along part of the route of the Glacier Express, across the Grison Mountains and through unforgettable scenes of ice-capped mountains, stone-built villages and lush meadows. At Chur, reboard the coach and drive along the valley of the Upper Rhine to spend a while in Vaduz, the tiny capital of Liechtenstein. Then a beautiful path follows the dramatic Walensee and Lake Zurich that ends in Lucerne. See the sorrowful sculpture of the wounded lion, commemorating the brave Swiss guards who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. The Travel Director also leads a tour of the Jesuit Church and Chapel Bridge. Renaissance Lucerne Hotel
14. Saturday, September 28-Start the day with a morning stroll along lakeside promenades, shopping for fine watches while enjoying the scenery. Then, from the town of Stans, embark on a scenic journey by funicular railway and cable car to the summit of the stunning Stanserhorn. On a clear day, in addition to the beautiful mountains and surrounding hills, there are views as far as Alsace and the Black Forest in Germany. Later, embrace a fantastic wining and dining experience at a Celebration Dinner at Restaurant Seeblick, offering magnificent views of Lake Lucerne. Renaissance Lucerne Hotel Lucerne Photos
15. Sunday, September 29-The tour ends in the morning. Take an afternoon train from Lucerne to Zurich. Motel One Zurich
16. Monday, September 30-Zurich. Take an afternoon walking tour of Zurich. Discover Zurich’s fascinating Old Town and travel back through more than 2,000 years of history. Explore the winding alleys and hear legends of the city's foundation. Walk by the remains of the Roman baths, churches with monumental towers, and medieval guild houses on this walk into the past.
The tour through the Old Town is a rewarding journey of discovery for both visitors and locals. Come face to face with Zurich’s past and present through a selection of amazing buildings, stories, and anecdotes. Listen to the rich testimonies to bygone days which document the early international significance of the city. Motel One Zurich Zurich Photos
17. Tuesday, October 1-Zurich. Take a morning train to the Swiss capital of Berne. Upon arrival in Berne, take an informative walking tour of the charming Old Town. Marvel at the late Gothic architecture of the cathedral (Münster). Stroll under characteristic arcades to the Zytglogge (Clock Tower). Pay a visit to the Parliament building overlooking the beautiful River Aare. Return to Zurich in the late afternoon. Motel One Zurich Berne Photos
18. Wednesday, October 2-Zurich. Motel One Zurich
19. Thursday, October 3-Leave Zurich, Switzerland on British Airways Flight 713 (Airbus 320) at 1:10 PM to London Heathrow, Terminal 5, arriving at 2:05 PM (483 miles). Leave London Heathrow, Terminal 5, on British Airways Flight 217 (Boeing 747-400) at 5:10 PM, arrive Washington Dulles at 8:20 PM (3,675 miles).