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What People Are Saying About Us

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Lovely Lucerne, including Kapellbrücke covered bridge
  • Cogwheel train to Mt. Pilatus
  • Famed Glacier Express Alpine train route
  • Gornergratbahn open-air railway with views of the Matterhorn
  • Private Lake Lugano cruise
  • Inside visit to Bellinzona’s Castelgrande, a UNESCO site
  • Alfresco grotto lunch
  • Tour and tasting at Schloss Salenegg, Europe’s oldest winery
  • Baroque Old Town of Salzburg
  • Eagle’s Nest, Nazi clifftop retreat
  • Medieval Hohensalzburg, one of Europe’s finest castles
  • Intimate Mozart concert
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Zurich, Switzerland

Day 2: Arrive Zurich/Lucerne We arrive in Zurich and transfer by coach to Lucerne. After checking in at our hotel, we meet for a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by dinner at a local restaurant. D

Day 3: Lucerne/Mt. Pilatus This morning we encounter historic and alluring Lucerne, surrounded by mountains and sitting on its namesake lake. We visit the medieval Old Town; and cross treasured Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), the oldest covered bridge in Europe. There’s time for lunch on our own before we ride the world’s steepest cogwheel train to the summit of nearby Mt. Pilatus for stunning views across the surrounding countryside. After descending by cable car and gondola, we return to Lucerne. B

Day 4: Lake Lucerne/Zermatt Today’s scenic overload begins with a ferry ride on Lake Lucerne, where we pass numerous villages as well as Rütli meadow, legendary “birthplace of Switzerland.” Disembarking at Flüelen, we coach to Andermatt to board the celebrated Glacier Express train, renowned for its panoramic views as it sweeps through striking valleys, past mountain hamlets, and follows the course of the fabled Rhône. Our adventure on this famed route ends in Zermatt, gateway to the Swiss Alps in the shadow of the Matterhorn. Tonight, we enjoy a Swiss fondue dinner together at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 5: Zermatt/Gornergrat Sitting in a low-slung notch, Zermatt is surrounded on all sides by towering slopes. We get a unique view of the spectacular scenery this morning as we ride the Gornergratbahn, the highest open-air railway in Europe, to the summit of the Gornergrat. Atop this rocky ridge, a dramatic tapestry unfolds all around us: 29 Alpine peaks, each over 13,000 feet, including the majestic Matterhorn standing alone at nearly 15,000 feet. After admiring the jaw-dropping scenery, we begin our descent by train to Zermatt, where the remainder of the day is free to explore this very walkable village as we wish. B

Day 6: Zermatt/Stresa, Italy/Lugano We travel by coach today through more superb Swiss scenery, and cross into northern Italy via the legendary Simplon Pass through the Alps where, from 1801 to 1805, Napoleon constructed a road in order to expand his empire. Late morning, we arrive in Stresa, Italy, along the shores of lovely Lake Maggiore, where we have time to explore and enjoy lunch on our own. Then a scenic drive through the famed Italian lake district returns us to Switzerland and our hotel in lakeside Lugano. B,D

Day 7: Lugano/Bellinzona/Ascona Today’s tour of Ticino, Switzerland’s southernmost canton, begins in medieval Bellinzona, with its three feudal castles, all UNESCO sites. Here we visit Castelgrande, the iconic central castle where we explore the ramparts and expansive grounds, then enjoy regional fare as we lunch alfresco at a local grotto restaurant built around mountain caves. Then we coach to the artists’ colony of Ascona on the shores of Lake Maggiore before we return to Lugano. B,L

Day 8: Lake Lugano After a free morning to explore Lugano independently, we board a motorboat for a private half-day cruise around Lake Lugano. We put ashore at Morcote, a town barely a mile square whose cobbled streets, terraced gardens, and Mediterranean charm led Swiss citizens in 2016 to name it the nation’s loveliest village. After lunch together and time to explore, we continue on our cruise with a stop in Gandria, whose stucco façades seem to cling precariously to the side of Monte Brè. B,L

Day 9: Lugano/Maienfeld/Vaduz, Liechtenstein/Seefeld, Austria We’re bound for Austria today by way of the tiny sovereign nation of Liechtenstein. Late morning we arrive in the border town of Maienfeld, Switzerland, setting for the beloved novel Heidi. Here we enjoy a tour and tasting at Schloss Salenegg, Europe’s oldest winery (c. 1068 ce). Continuing north, we cross into the Principality of Liechtenstein, the fourth-smallest European country. We stop for lunch on our own in the capital of Vaduz then continue on to the mountain village of Seefeld, Austria, and our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,D

Day 10: Seefeld/Innsbruck This morning we coach to nearby Innsbruck, host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. A walking tour highlights the postcard-worthy sights, including the many pedestrian squares surrounded by pastel-colored façades. Then we take a cable car to a lookout in the Nordkette, the “mountain at the heart of Innsbruck,” where we enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding Alps. We have time on our own in Innsbruck before returning to Seefeld. B,D

Day 11: Seefeld/Tyrol/Salzburg Today we travel through Tyrol, a crossroads of Western Europe, en route to Salzburg. We stop to visit the Museum of Tyrolean Farms, an interactive outdoor exhibit featuring dozens of preserved farmhouses dating from the 15th century onwards. Then we continue on to Salzburg, Austria’s riverside jewel and city of Mozart and The Sound of Music. Our walking tour this afternoon features the geometrically-styled Mirabell Gardens, dating to the 17th century; the Baroque Old Town, now a UNESCO site; and visits to Salzburg Cathedral and medieval Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe’s largest and best-preserved castles. B,D

Day 12: Salzburg/Eagle’s Nest/Berchtesgaden We travel today to the Bavarian resort town of Berchtesgaden, site of the clifftop Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest), the Nazi Party’s alpine retreat. Arriving by the original 1930s brass elevator, we tour the chalet given to Hitler on his 50th birthday and captured by the Allies in the closing days of WWII. After lunch together, we enjoy a walking tour of the town of Berchtesgaden, once a residence of the Bavarian royal family. We then return to Salzburg, where the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. B,L

Day 13: Salzburg Today is free to explore Salzburg as we wish. Late this afternoon, we attend an intimate chamber concert performed by the Salzburg Mozart Players then celebrate our splendid journey at a farewell dinner. B,D

Day 14: Depart for U.S. We transfer today to the Munich airport for our return flight to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain in a natural environment. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest. Elevations at hotel locations are not severe, ranging from 1,400 ft. to 5,200 ft. The altitude on some excursions – Gornergrat (10,300 ft.) and other Alpine venues (6,000–7,500 ft.) – could pose problems for guests with certain health conditions. You should consult your personal physician if you have concerns.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 12 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 22 meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 9
May 16^
Sep 16+
Sep 19
Sep 23+^
May 23
May 30
Aug 22
Sep 2+
Sep 5
Sep 9 +^
Jun 10+^
Jun 20
Jul 4
Jul 18*
Aug 8*
Boston, New York,
Philadelphia
$5,292$5,492$5,692$5,792
Atlanta, Charlotte,
Washington, DC
$5,492$5,692$5,892$5,992
Chicago, Cinc,
Cleve, Detroit, Miami,
Orl, Tampa
$5,592$5,792$5,992$6,092
Dallas, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$5,692$5,892$6,092$6,192

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $497, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,095 Jul, Aug; $895 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airlines taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Salzburg Festival: Guests will have the opportunity to be in Salzburg during this classical music and performing arts festival (no formal activities planned)

Accommodations: Days 2-3: +Beau Rivage (Weggis); Days 6-8: ^Hotel International au Lac (Lugano); Days 11-13: Radisson Blu Alstadt (Salzburg)

Post-Tour Munich Extension: $795 Sep; $595 all other dates. Single Supplement: $595 Sep; $355 all other dates

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on Trans-Atlantic flights: Business Class – $3,795 per person; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Renaissance Lucerne Hotel, Lucerne / Days 2-3 / Superior First Class

    The Renaissance Lucerne Hotel offers guests an ideal location from which to explore this Swiss gem.  The hotel’s stately exterior gives way to a chic, modern interior with amenities including a South American restaurant, an Asian-inspired bar and lounge, library, fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, rainfall shower, and lighted makeup mirror, as well as an in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Schlosshotel Zermatt, Zermatt / Days 4-5 / First Class

    The Schlosshotel Zermatt sits directly across the street from the Gornergratbahn train station, and within walking distance of several of Zermatt’s small shops and restaurants.  The elegant hotel is decorated in an Alpine style with light-colored wooden beams and exposed stone interiors.  Amenities of the Schlosshotel Zermatt include a lobby bar and lounge, fitness center, spa, sauna, indoor swimming pool, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Guest rooms include private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.  Please note:  Due to its elevation and generally cool Alpine climate, the Schlosshotel Zermatt does not offer air-conditioned guest rooms.

    Hotel Lugano Dante, Lugano / Days 6-8 / First Class

    Situated on a quiet street in a pedestrian area of Lugano, the Hotel Lugano Dante sits just a five minute walk from the town’s namesake lake.  Amenities include a bar, lobby snack corner with tea and coffee, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms include private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar with complimentary soft drinks, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Seelos, Seefeld / Days 9-10 / First Class

    A true Alpine lodge with wonderful views of the town of Seefeld and its surrounding peaks, Hotel Seelos offers modern amenities in a comfortable mountain setting.  The hotel sits just a short walk from Seefeld’s main street, the Olympiastrasse, named in honor of the several Winter Olympics competitions held here.  The hotel has a restaurant and bar, and includes a sauna and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Guest rooms are decorated with Alpine touches and have balconies with views of the Alps, private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.  Please note:  As with the Schlosshotel Zermatt, Hotel Seelos does not offer air conditioning in guest rooms.

    Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg, Salzburg / Days 11-13 / Superior First Class

    The Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg was extensively renovated in 2014 after being originally opened by the Pitter family in 1864. Located in Salzburg’s New Town, the hotel sits a short walk away from the Mirabell Palace and Garden and a 10-minute walk from the historic Old Town. Amenities include a beer cellar, a rooftop restaurant and bar, fitness center, sauna, laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Eurostars Book Hotel, Munich / Extension / Superior First Class

    Additional information to come.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Munich – On Your Own

4 days/3 nights from $595 total price
Single Supplement: from $355

Explore Bavaria’s cosmopolitan capital at your own pace.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Private motorcoach transportation Salzburg/Munich
  • 3 nights’ accommodations at Eurostars Book Hotel (Superior First Class)
  • 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Guests on September 9, 16, & 19 departures will be in Munich during Oktoberfest celebration.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Enrica Angeli

“Many thanks to Odysseys for providing this excellent tour director. She helped us personally on several occasions.”
Tommy & Sharon Hartley
Dallas, TX

Chiara Baroni

“Chiara pays a great deal of attention to little things as well as big. I have been a tour guide in both Europe and the U.S., and she was just about the best I have ever encountered.”
Barney & Susan Milstein
Portland, OR

Eva Bunner

“Eva was very professional, caring and outstanding in her capacity as tour director.  We would select her with great pleasure for an Odysseys tour in the future.”
Virginia Trchalek and Juergen Schallwig
Georgetown, TX

Gabriel Castillo

“This was our 7th Odysseys tour and we would rate Gabe at the top of our list.”
Allan Bauer
Hackensack, NJ

Ingrid van Mil

“We really enjoyed Ingrid. She was excellent.”
Robert & Jane Mann
Northborough, MA

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

John McPhee
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Swiss army, presenting an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset.

Stephen O’Shea
The Alps, A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
In an entertaining narrative, O’Shea drives, hikes and climbs through 500 miles of the Alps while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. A thoughtful introduction to the Alps.

Fergus Fleming
Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps
Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn 150 years ago.

Freytag & Berndt
Alps Map
This regional map (1:500,000), centered on the Alps, includes portions of Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France.

Kendall Maycock
Culture Smart! Switzerland
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland’s customs, etiquette and culture.

Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Hans Gerlach
Alpine Cookbook
Subtitled “Comfort Food from the Mountain,” DK’s Alpine Cookbook collects 110 delicious recipes from Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. The dishes, which combine traditional cuisine with modern trends, include schnitzel, potato pancakes, meaty main courses and savory vegetarian options.

Beppe Severgnini
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.

Andrew Beattie
The Alps, A Cultural History
Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the Alps, where early pioneers of tourism, mountaineering and scientific research have each left their mark.

Brenda Fowler
Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier
The complete story of the discovery of and controversy surrounding the frozen corpse of a prehistoric man found in the Tyrolian Alps.

Edward Whymper
Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69
Edward Whymper’s classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps.

Mark Twain, David Eggers (Introduction), Kerry Driscoll (Introduction)
A Tramp Abroad
Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain’s second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers.

Maria von Trapp
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
The true story of the von Trapp family singers, as remembered by Maria von Trapp herself. Maria was indeed a novice nun, but there ends her resemblance to the Julie Andrews character in The Sound of Music.

Jon Krakauer
Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains
A collection of some of Krakauer’s (Into Thin Air) best journalism, these stories and essays focus on the mindset and determination of world-class mountaineers, including Alpine and Himalayan climbers.

Michael Dibdin
A Long Finish, An Aurelio Zen Mystery
Another enjoyable “Aurelio Zen Mystery” from Michael Dibdin. This time private investigator Zen is in Rome and Alba, enjoying wonderful wine and food while uncovering a murderous plot that may jeopardize the Piemontese wine industry.

James Salter
Solo Faces
The story of an American climber who, dissatisfied with his everyday life, travels to the Alps of southern France to tackle mountain peaks. The prose is glorious and the mountain- climbing scenes are as vivid as they get. Much of the action takes place in and around Chamonix.

Lars Svensson
Birds of Europe
Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide features updated text and maps.

Gillian Price
Cicerone Alpine Flowers, How to Recognize over 230 Alpine Flowers
An easy-to-carry companion for Alpine walks featuring 230 flowers and their names in English, French, German, Italian and Latin.

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