Scenic Switzerland II


DIRECTIONS FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE ZURICH HOTELS: After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, follow signs to the train platforms downstairs in the airport. Take any train going to the main train station (Zurich Hauptbahnhof). Walk in the direction that everybody else is heading and then exit the train station to the right. You will see a tram stop and then either take the #6 streetcar (in the direction of Bahnhof Enge), #7 (in the direction of Wollishofen), #11 (in the direction of Rehalp) or #13 (in the direction of Albisgütli). Get off at the Rennweg-Augustinergasse stop. Early Birds: walk straight up a pedestrian street to the Hotel Glockenhof, Zurich. Main Group: walk back down the street for a distance of approximately 65 feet and turn left at the first  street. You will see the Sorell Hotel Seidenhof ahead on the left after just a few more yards.

Wednesday, September 7–Early Birds Fly from USA

Thursday, September 8-Early Birds Arrive Zurich

After checking in, do what you need to do to shake off the effects of the long flight. Use your SwissRailPass for access to any number of Zurich museums. Breakfasts are included, but no lunches or dinners. Overnight in the Hotel Glockenhof, Zurich +41 44 225 91 91

Friday, September 9- Main Tour Fly from USA

Early Birds: Continue exploring Zurich. Overnight in the Hotel Glockenhof, Zurich

Saturday, September 10- Main Tour Arrive Zurich

Early Birds: Check out and move to the nearby Sorrel Hotel Seidenhof.  Main Tour: After arrival and checking in, do what you need to do to shake off the effects of the flight–shower, short nap, exploratory stroll, whatever. Let’s plan to meet in a central area (bar?) at 7:00 for announcements, distribution of some materials, and then go to dinner at Restaurant Commihalle across the river from the train station. Overnight in Sorrel Hotel Seidenhof. Tel.: +41 44 228 75 00

Sunday, September 11- Zurich

Breakfast at the hotel (included) every morning. Free day in Zurich. Zürich is Switzerland’s largest city and well known for its wide range of cultural attractions, a spectacular Old Town, well worth exploring for its small shops and boutiques, and a variety of museums to visit: Museum Rietberg–renowned collection of works from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. Swiss National Museum – Landesmuseum—permanent exhibitions at the museums present Swiss culture history from its beginnings to the present, and give an insight into Swiss identity, the country’s history and culture. (The Landesmuseum is highly recommended) The Kunsthaus—houses the most important collection of modern art in Zürich. International works of significance include many paintings by Edvard Munch, Van Gogh, Picasso and leading Expressionists. There is also a significant group of works by Claude Monet and Marc Chagall. Overnight in Sorrel Hotel Seidenhof. Dinner at 7:30 in in nearby Zeughauskeller Restaurant.

Monday, September 12- Zurich-Davos/Glacier Express from Brig to Chur

Prepare and leave luggage to be transported to Davos. Take with you a small bag/backpack with what you will need for the day: passport, rail pass, water bottle, camera and/or smart phone. Depart hotel no later than 7:10 to take tram to Zurich Hauptbahnhof.

Zurich/Brig, 8:02/10:11, Train #808 .
Brig//Filisur,  1118/1700, Glacier Express, Train 904
Filisur/Davos Platz, 17:04/17:29 Train #1844
Upon arrival in Davos we will find a lift in a Coop Supermarket which will take us put to the main street. From there it is a short walk to the funicular station, transfer to hotel by funicular to the Hotel Schatzalp.

Today we will make our way by rail to Brig, where we will board the world famous Glacier Express for a thrilling ride in the panorama carriage to Chur, taking in some of the most dramatic scenery Switzerland has to offer. The journey is narrated explaining the amazing engineering feat in overcoming extreme altitude variations by train. The Schatzalp, also known as the “Magic Mountain”, is located on a sun-drenched plateau directly above Davos. The Schatzalp is not known as the “Magic Mountain” for no reason: firstly readers of the literary masterpiece of the same name by Thomas Mann imagine his “magic mountain” to have been located here and, secondly, the Schatzalp is still today enchanting its visitors in a very special and mysterious way. Built in 1898-1900 as a luxury sanatorium, it was converted into a first class hotel in 1953. Be sure to click on the link to the hotel to find more details. Overnight in Hotel Schatzalp, Davos. +41 81 415 51 51 Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel.

Tuesday/Wednesday, September 13-14- Free days in Davos

We will be given “Davos-Klosters” cards which allow us free use of local buses, some trains and cable cars while we are in Davos. The cable cars will take you high into the mountains for some spectacular views, though the view from our hotel is not all that shabby. Overnight in Hotel Schatzalp, Davos. Dinners at 7:30 in the hotel.

Thursday, September 15- Bernina Express to Tirano

Prepare luggage and daypack as before. Depart hotel by funicular in time to get to Davos Platz station for 9:53 departure for Tirana on the Bernina Express.

Davos Platz/Tirano/ 9:53/13:32, Bernina Express Train #961. Short time to grab some lunch in Tirano.
Tirano/Lugano, 14:20/17:30, Bernina Express Bus  #595. Upon arrival in Lugano we will take Bus #4 to Piazza Luina stop. (Bus covered by Swiss Pass)

The Bernina Express has to be the most spectacular Alpine crossing, with the crimson-coloured train ascending to the Engadine before weaving its way behind the Bernina Hospiz (2253 metres) through the Poschiavo Valley into Valtellina in Italy. The first highlight awaits passengers near Filisur, where the train traverses an awe-inspiring landmark – the 65-metre-high Landwasser viaduct. The train continues through 55 tunnels and across 196 bridges, making short work of the gradients even without a rack-and-pinion system. The Bernina Express stops in Tirano where we will have lunch (at own arrangements) before continuing on by bus to Lugano. 

Overnight in Hotel International au Lac, Lugano. +41 91 922 75 41 Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel

Friday, September 16- Optional Monte San Salvatore excursion or free day in Lugano

Day free to enjoy Lugano. Optional visit to Lugano’s landmark, the Monte San Salvatore by funicular railway from Lugano-Paradiso. Lugano’s home mountain and pinnacle of enjoyment – that’s San Salvatore. The striking mountain south of the town boasts 360° views over the lake and environs, far south and to the high Alps in the west. (Bring back ticket and I will reimburse you.) Or you can spend a day in Gandria, the little village which lies at the foot of Monte Brè, on the shores of Lake Lugano. Cruise on Lake Lugano to immerse yourself in the nostalgic atmosphere, which has been unchanged for about 100 years. The Swiss Customs and Smuggler Museum, which is located on the opposite shore of the lake, can be reached by lake boat and is worth a visit. Overnight in Hotel International au Lac, Lugano. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel

Saturday, September 17– Lugano to Lucerne (Luzern) on the William Tell Express

Prepare luggage and daypack as before. Take Bus #4 back to train station in time for 10:57 departure on Train

Lugano/Bellinzona, 10:57/11:25, Train #25116, change trains.
Bellinzona/Flüelen, 12:06/13:23, The William Tell Express, Train #2324. Short walk to Flüelen SGV.
Flüelen SGV/Lucerne, 14:00/16:24,  Steam Boat. Short walk to hotel.

The Wilhelm Tell Express isn’t just another panoramic route. This is where train and boat team up to show you two of Switzerland’s most beautiful regions – the canton of Ticino and Central Switzerland.
It’s hard to say which part of the journey is more memorable. The railway journey on the famous Gotthard rail route or the 3hr cruise on Lake Lucerne? What it lacks in speed, this ‘express’ route makes up for with the most varied travel experience imaginable. You will be gliding past ancient Swiss sites such as the Rütli Meadow, Schiller Stone and Tell’s Chapel. You will travel in a 1st class panorama car for the rail journey to Flüelen, where you will board a steam boat which will take you to Lucerne and enjoy a meal on board while taking in the magnificient scenery and views.  Overnight in Hotel Ambassador & De La Paix, Lucerne. +41 41 418 81 00. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel

Sunday, September 18– Free day in Lucerne

Lucerne is located in a perfect setting by the shores of Lake Lucerne, flanked by Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus, this beautiful city remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Switzerland. Walk through the Old Town and marvel at the painted facades and historic buildings. Enjoy a stroll through narrow cobbled streets lined with shops selling traditional Swiss goods. Or walk across the river on the famous wooden ‘Kapellbrücke’ (Chapel Bridge) with its triangular paintings, some of which date back to the 17th century. Other places of interest include the impressive Lion Monument, made of natural sandstone, and the Glacier Garden. There are several museums, such as the Transport Museum, which is regarded as one of the most comprehensive in Europe and well worth a visit. (NOTE: Depending on the weather, we might flip-flop these two dates since Mt. Rigi is best experienced on a clear day.) Overnight in Hotel Ambassador & De La Paix, Lucerne. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel

Monday, September 19– Second free day in Lucerne or optional excursion to Mt. Rigi.

Assuming a clear day, we will explore one of Switzerland’s most popular day-trips by visiting Mount Rigi.

Luzern Bahnhofquai/Vitznau.11:12/12:09, Steam boat
Vitznau/Rigi Kulm,12:15/12:47,  Cogwheel Train
Free time
Rigi Kulm/Rigi Kaltbad-First,14:30/14:52 Cogwheel Train
Rigi Kaltbad/Weggis,15:10/15:20
Weggis SGV/Luzern Bahnhofquai, 16:05/16:47

A short cruise takes us from Lucerne to Vitznau and a cogwheel train up to the 1800m Rigi Kulm. After our trip to Rigi Kulm on Europe’s first ever mountain railway (1871), we’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking 360° panoramic view. The combination of the snow- capped Alps, the lowlands with 13 lakes, views of Germany and France and a bird’s-eye view of the cities of Lucerne and Zug make this a truly unique experience. We will return via Arth Goldau and will be able to spend time at leisure in the afternoon. Mount Rigi is often referred to as the “Queen of the Mountains” by the locals and a mountain for all seasons. Overnight in Hotel Ambassador & De La Paix,  Lucerne. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel

Tuesday, September 20– Lucerne to Wengen via the Brunig Pass

Prepare luggage for transport to Wengen. Check out of hotel and walk to station as group in time for departure:

Lucerne/Brienz, 1005/1133 Train# 2920
Brienz (See)/Interlaken Ost (See), Steam boat #64, 1240/1353
Interlake Ost/Lauterbrunnen, 1400/1425, Train #167
Lauterbrunnen/Wengen, 1437/1451, Train #367

Taking a trip on the GoldenPass Line is rather like taking a short vacation. On leaving Lucerne and its enchanting lake and mountains, enjoy more scenic splendour as the brand-new Lucerne-Interlaken Express climbs leisurely up to the Brünig Pass, followed by the descent to Meiringen, before the train passes Brienz with its same-named lake and the Giessbach Falls en route to Interlaken, from where you change trains to continue to Wengen (to reach Wengen, you travel by mountain railway up from Lauterbrunnen. This delightful journey winds its way up in 14 minutes with an ever changing scene of the valley below). Short walk to the hotel. The hotel will provide a brief welcome chat outlining various activities you can pursue tomorrow. Overnight in Hotel Sunstar, Wengen +41 33 856 52 00. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel

Wednesday, September 21- Free day in Wengen

Wengen is perched on a sheltered, sun-soaked terrace with spectacular views to the high Alps and with the backdrop of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Its relaxed atmosphere, wooden chalets, local stüblis with open terraces, stunning walks and a great variety of sightseeing opportunities, make Wengen one of our most popular destinations. Wengen was one of the high points of the first tour, both literally and figuratively. Swim in the heated pool, finish your page turner, stroll around the small town, or take a cable car up to the top of the mountain.
Overnight in Hotel Sunstar. Dinner at 7:30 in the hotel.

Thursday, September 22- Wengen to Zurich

Prepare luggage for transport to Zurich.

Wengen/Lauterbrunnen, 0933/0951, Train #336
Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken Ost, 1003/1024, Train #136
Interlake Ost/Bern, 1100/1152, Train #968
Bern/Zurich HB, 1332/1428, Train #719

We return to Zurich to visit some attractions that we missed in our jet-lagged state at the beginning of the tour. Optional: Spend your day in Bern instead if you feel that you saw all that you wanted to see in Zurich. Whichever option you choose–Overnight in Hotel Glockenhof, Zurich. (Notice that this is NOT the same hotel as before. I will point it out before we leave Zurich on September 12.) Dinner at 7:30 TBA

Friday, September 23– To Zurich airport & home, or wherever.

Take any of the four trams to the train station and then take the next train to the airport (Zurich Flughafen) in time for your return flight.


Room Type

Arrival Flight

Departure Flight

Laurence Barker  Single 9/10, AA6482, 12:20 9/23, Train to Milano
Paul Alessi Single 9/10, AA64, 7:50 9/23, Train to Milano
Gail Jarratt & Carrol Smith Twin 9/8, AA 64, 7:50 (G) AA 92, 8:35 (C) 9/23, AA 65, 13:35 (G&C)
Mel Cohen Single 9/10, UA 52, 8:05 9/23, UA 135, 10:15
Dale & Patsy Meyers Double 9/10, UA 134, 8:30 9/23, UA 135, 10:15
Elaine Gumm Single 9/10, UA 52, 8:05 9/23, UA 135, 10:15
Carolyn Skloss Single 9/10, UA 52, 8:05 9/23, UA 135, 10:15
Bohn & Vivien Smith Double 9/10, AA 64, 7:50 9/23 BA 6457, 10:25
Robert & Luisa Price Double 9/10, AA 64, 7:50 9/23 Train to Paris
Margaret Cowden & Chris Larkin Double 9/8 UA 134, 8:30 9/23 UA 135, 10:15
Rheanolte & Annie Marie LeBarbour  Twin 9/8 UA 134, 8:30 9/23, AC 879, 9:35
Sharon Kelly Single 9/8, DL 66, 8:54 9/23, Dl 76, 10:30
Ben & Gail Plummer Twin/Double 9/10, UA 52, 8:05 9/23, UA 135, 10:15
Thurman Adkins & Maureen Nowotny Twin 9/8 UA 52 8:05 9/23 UA 53, 11:55
La Rue Atterbury & Mary Ellen Cala Twin 9/10, UA 52, 8:05 (LRA); LX17, 8:00 (MEC) 9/23 UA 53, 11:55 (LRA); LX 14, 12:55 (MEC)