The Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps Explorer
6 day tour

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Succumb to the charms of Lake Como and Maggiore in North Italy and marvel at the handsome heights of the Swiss Alps on this round trip from Milan.

Highlights

National Parks
Lakes
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Mountains
Castles
Boat Cruises

Places you explore


Lake Como and Lake Maggiore - Prestigious villas, lush nature and charming villages. Fall in love with the beguiling beauty of the azure blue lakes

Lauterbrunnen – Stare in awe at this postcard-perfect village nestled deep in a valley of 72 waterfalls with views of the Eiger

Gruyères – This little quaint Swiss village has it all: lush green fields, charming houses coverd in flowers, a medieval castle, and legendary cheese and chocolate

Chillon Castle – Located on a little island with the Alps in the background, this iconic Medieval castle looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale

Lausanne - Enjoy lakeside promenades, a cobblestone town centre, cool cafes, and eclectic bars in the city located on the glimmering Alpine lake

Zermatt - A glamorous resort adorned with the hypnotically-beautiful Matterhorn


Your journey


207,000 square kilometres of granite peaks, deep lakes, and snow: the Alps are Europe’s grandest attraction. And on this tour, you take in its views from both the glamorous lakes of Northern Italy and the green valleys of Switzerland.

At Lake Como and Maggiore, you’re spoilt with Renaissance style architecture and celebrity hang-out spots. From Lausanne, you set off to lakeside castles and the home of Gruyère cheese. And in Lauterbrunnen and Zermatt you admire the postcard-perfect alpine peaks, forests, and waterfalls.

Venture through scenes of the Alps and discover the best views Europe has to offer.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Milan Pick Up, Business Palace Milan, Milan,
Finishes (approx.)
19:00 - Milan Drop Off, Business Palace Milan, Milan,
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts
Important information
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach with a local driver
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide
  • 5 nights in 3-4 star hotels with continental breakfast
  • Boat trip across Lake Como
  • Return train tickets from Täsch to Zermatt
Tour exclusions
  • Meals, unless listed above
  • Attractions, unless specified above

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Experience Lake Como from the water on an included boat trip
  • Marvel at the Mediterranean feel of Lugano

You travel directly from the metropolis of Milan to Lake Como, the most stunning lake in the region. Framed by the Rhaetian Alps, this Italian slice of heaven’s crystal-clear waters seduced the most famous writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Admire the mountainous vistas and colourful villas from the unique perspective of the water, as you hop on an included boat trip across to Lenno.

Once you’re on dry land, you can grab lunch in Lenno. The town boasts an 11th-century octagonal baptistry, a Romanesque-style crypt, and enough lovely lakeside views to last a lifetime.

You then cross the border into Switzerland and visit Lugano. You have a couple of hours here to explore however you please. People watch over a coffee in Piazza della Riforma, pour over the frescos at the Church of S. Maria degli Angioli, or feast your eyes on more waterside scenes on the shores of Lake Lugano.

You travel to the quaint and cultural town of Locarno for your evening and overnight stay.

 

Included Activities

  • Boat trip across Lake Como

 

Accommodation

Home Hotel Locarno or similar, Locarno

Day 2

  • Admire Lake Maggiore from the promenade in Stresa
  • Stroll through the old town of Varese

Wake up, eat a scrumptious breakfast, and get ready for more lakeside adventures.

You first travel to elegant Stresa. Here you have the option to take a boat ride to Isola Bella. This island sits in Lake Maggiore and offers visitors a chance to wander through gorgeous gardens and admire the exuberant extravagancies of a wealthy 17th-century family in Palazzo Borromeo.

In the afternoon, you venture to Varese, also known as the ‘Garden City’. Grab a snack here and enjoy a guided stroll through the old town centre to find out how this town earned such a nickname.

You travel via the lush Campo dei Fiori landscapes back to Locarno for your second night on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

 

Optional Activities

  • Boat ride out to Isola Bella and admission to Palazzo Borromeo

 

Accommodation

Home Hotel Locarno or similar, Locarno

Day 3

  • Feel like an age-old smuggler as you go over the Simplon Pass
  • Be awed by up-close views of the Matterhorn in Zermatt

You leave Locarno and head deep into the Alps.

Your first stop of the day is in Domodossola. You have time here to grab a coffee, snap a few photos of the piazza, and acclimatise to the sky-touching mountain views.

The winding roads take you to the Simplon Pass. This is a historic location that’s been used as a key route through the Alps by Stone Age dwellers, Romans, and smugglers of the Middle Ages.

Now, it’s time to discover one of the most admired peaks in all of Europe, the Matterhorn. You arrive in Täsch and take a round trip on a train to car-free Zermatt, a “base camp” for aspiring mountaineers, to enjoy the views and grab lunch.

Back on our coach, you travel to Lausanne. Overlooking Lake Geneva, this town is home to the Olympic Museum, grand mountain views, and your bed for the next two nights.

 

Included Activities

  • Return train tickets from Täsch to Zermatt

 

Accommodation

Hotel Alpha Palmiers by Fassbind or similar, Lausanne

Day 4

  • Savour the quintessential flavours of Gruyères
  • Go celebrity-spotting in glamorous Gstaad
  • Admire the iconic Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva

We hope you have an appetite, because your first stop of the day is the home of Gruyère cheese, Gruyères. You have time here to go beyond the dairy delights and discover the Medieval town and its views of the Saane Valley.

You then travel alongside Alpine peaks to Gstaad. This glamourous Alpine village is a favourite hangout spot for ski-loving celebrities; see who you can spot.

Near Montreux, you have the option to visit Chillon Castle, an unbelievably idyllic stronghold that deserves its claim as Switzerland’s most visited castle.

You arrive back in Lausanne in time for dinner.

 

Optional Activities

  • Chillon Castle

 

Accommodation

Hotel Alpha Palmiers by Fassbind or similar, Lausanne

Day 5

  • Experience Switzerland’s most inspirational views
  • Walk the trail of waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen

The valley of 72 waterfalls, an outdoor pursuits paradise, and your first stop today.

You spend time in Lauterbrunnen any way you choose today. There are lovely walks, trains to mountain peaks, and more. You’re spoilt for choice, so ask your guide for advice on what you should do.

Once you’ve gratified your senses with Lauterbrunnen’s imposing mountain views and pastoral Swiss splendours, you travel to Interlaken. This small resort town, nestled snug between the mountains, is your home for the evening.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Weisses Kreuz or similar, Interlaken

Day 6

  • Meet William Tell
  • Enjoy the typical Swiss landscape of Biosphere Entlebuch
  • Be impressed by the defences of Bellinzona

You leave Interlaken and head through the bucolic landscape of the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch. Stroll through typical sound-of-music style scenes of cows chomping through fields of green grass and along mossy paths to Chessiloch Falls.

Nature may rejuvenate the senses, but it doesn’t fill your belly; so your next stop is for lunch in Altdorf. This historic town is famous for being the place where William Tell shot an apple off his son’s head.

You then descend from the heights of the Alps to Bellinzona. Since Roman times, grand castles, now UNESCO heritage sites, have stoically guarded the access to northern Italy. You have the choice here to visit the castles or relax in the town.

You arrive back in Milan in the evening.

 

Optional Activities

  • The castles of Bellinzona

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Locarno, two nights in Lausanne, and one night in Interlaken. For examples of the accommodation, please see the tour itinerary.

 

How does the accommodation work?

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel.

So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys.

Your accommodation is included in the tour price; and when you book your trip, you can choose whether you want a double room, a twin room, or a single room.

 

Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour accommodation and for the tour itself. It also includes a tourist tax. This figure is based on shared accommodation. When you're booking your tour and select a single room, an additional single room supplement will be added to the price.

 

FAQs

Do I need a visa to take this tour?

You may need a Schengen Visa to travel throughout Europe. Check the official tourism website of the country you’re visiting for up-to-date and reliable information. Travel between countries is easy because there are no passport checks at the borders.

 

Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues?

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it's worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

So that we can ensure you're comfortable travelling with us, please let us know about any special requirements or needs at the time of booking. If you have any more questions, simply email tours@rabbies.com .

 

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

Europe's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure and avoid contributing to congestion issues, we start our trip from hotels located conveniently on the edge of cities. We choose hotels with good public transport connections to the city centre, so you can enjoy your evening explorations.

To make your tour more convenient, you can add an optional pre and post-departure accommodation in the hotel we use as a pick up or a drop off point.

 

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your departure time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to wait for you if you’re late due to vehicle restrictions. But depending on your situation, we may be able to help you catch up with your tour.

 

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 42 days for our Europe tours. If you cancel your trip before this period, we give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this time frame, you’re liable for the cost of the tour package.

We understand how disappointing it is when you have to cancel a trip with us, so please contact our friendly team who will try their best to resell your ticket and refund you.

Click here to view full terms and conditions.

 

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

 

Can routes change?

Your friendly driver and guide are passionate about the places they visit and know all the local gossip. This means your tour itinerary can change a little due to festivities, attraction opening hour changes, and spontaneous photo opportunities.

 

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable mini-coaches offer a good view.

 

Are there toilets on the bus?

We like to keep our coaches small, nimble, and odour free. This means we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you frequently stop in local towns and villages for comfort breaks.

 

Do you take children on your tours?

We're unable to permit children under 15 years old on our Europe tours due to the nature of the activities that are included.

 

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy your trip to Europe. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of stops to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

 

What are 'included activities' and 'optional activities'?

We've arranged experiences for you on your tour. The 'included activities' are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase 'optional activities' while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.

 

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to pack or bring along food on the mini-coach. We stop in small European towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

 

What should I do if I have too much luggage?

It’s more enjoyable to travel with light luggage. You can take less by cleaning clothes along the way. Most hotels provide affordable laundry service.

But if you're travelling with more than 20kg, don't worry! There are left luggage facilities close to the majority of our departure points, and courier companies who could ship your excess luggage on to your chosen destination. Our team are happy to help if you need any suggestions or recommendations.

 

Should I tip the driver and the guide?

Let's be honest, our drivers and guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

 

What about travel insurance?

We highly recommend you take out travel insurance, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey.

 

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you book a tour with us. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we run into any issues. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Our packages are covered by the Package Travel Regulations. For full details of your key rights please click here.

 

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities


Customer reviews



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