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    travel experience

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What People Are Saying About Us

I have come to expect excellence from Odysseys Unlimited and have never been disappointed.

Michael E. Leahy
Oak Lawn, IL

We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

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

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

Very early in the tour we saw we got much more for our dollar than anything we could have put together ourselves. The value exceeded our expectations.

Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

Jean Hall
Prairie Village, KS

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

The combination of excellent hotels with a small group is the way I like to travel. I would highly recommend Odysseys to everyone I know.

Patricia Joyce
Peoria, AZ

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys is the best company we have traveled with. You have first-rate tours at affordable prices, with great itineraries, excellent guides, and outstanding accommodations.

Jane & Ronald Decker
Chicago, IL

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

This trip far exceeded our expectations: the small group size, the quality of the tour director (the best we’ve ever had), the ability to have dinners on our own, the lower cost without a significant reduction in the quality of the accommodations.

Barry & Bobbi Rosner
Somerset, NJ

I thought I would not like traveling in a group but I was wrong! [Our tour director] was so good at making the group seem as one that it turned out to be the best part of the trip.

Donna Stevenson
Dublin, OH

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

I like the small size of Odysseys tours. [You] have excellent Tour Directors, great itineraries and spend more time in areas than some of the other tour companies.

Lynn Bafaloukos
Glendale, AZ

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH

Six-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

Explore the Region

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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
  • 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/Lake Lucerne We arrive in Zurich and transfer to our hotel on the shores of Lake Lucerne. After checking in, we meet for a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by dinner at our hotel. 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. Later we ride the world’s steepest cogwheel train to the summit of nearby Mt. Pilatus for stunning views across the surrounding countryside. B

Day 4: Lake Lucerne/Zermatt Today’s scenic overload begins with a ferry ride on Lake Lucerne, where we pass 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, 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. 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 former 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 Swiss border town of Maienfeld, 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 walk-ing 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. Following dinner together, we attend a Baroque chamber music concert in the Marble Room of famed Mirabell Palace. B,D

Day 12: Salzburg Our walking tour this morning 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. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure for independent exploration and dinner on our own. B

Day 13: 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 where Hitler paid multiple visits before it was captured by the Allies in the closing days of WWII. In the event Eagle’s Nest is closed because of unseasonal weather, we’ll visit the nearby Berchtesgaden Salt Mine, which has operated continuously for more than 500 years. After lunch together, we take a walking tour of the village of Berchtesgaden, once the residence of the Bavarian royal family. Then we return to Salzburg, where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure before we celebrate our splendid journey at a farewell dinner. B,L,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

2020 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 7+^
May 11
May 14+
Sep 24+^
Sep 28
May 25
May 28+
Jun 1^
Sep 14
Sep 17+
Sep 21^
Jun 8, 15^
Jun 22, 29^
Jul 6
Aug 24^
Aug 27+^
Aug 31
Sep 3+
Sep 7^
Jul 13*^
Jul 20*
Jul 27*^
Aug 3*
Aug 10*^
Aug 17*
Boston, New York,
Atlanta, Charlotte,
Washington, DC
Chicago, Cinc,
Cleve, Detroit, Miami,
Orl, Tampa
Dallas, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle

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 $995. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2020 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: +Renaissance Lucerne (Lucerne); Days 6-8: ^Hotel de la Paix (Lugano)

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on Trans-Atlantic flights: Business Class – $3,895 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

    Hotel Central Am See, Weggis / Days 2-3 / First Class

    Additional information to come.

    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.

    Hotel Kaiserhof, Vienna / Extension / First Class

    Additional information to come.

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

Vienna – On Your Own

4 days/3 nights for $795 total price
Single Supplement: $355

Savor an unstructured stay in this city of arts and culture. Music, opera, and museums abound.

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Rail transportation Salzburg/Vienna
  • 3 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Kaiserhof (First Class)
  • 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
  • Vienna city orientation tour with local guide
  • Transfer from rail station and to airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Extension not available on Aug 24 and Aug 27 departures

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

Gabriel Castillo

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

Raffaele Marmo

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Ingrid van Mil

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

Angel Ramirez Ortiga

Angel was a great tour guide. He was always eager to share his knowledge of Switzerland and Austria with an interesting manner, as well as a great sense of humor.”
Bill & Jan Tecklenburg
Broomfield, CO

Sabine Traeder

“Sabine was experienced, knowledgeable and fun!”
Donna Willson
Brewster 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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