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The Lakes & Mountains of Italy and Switzerland
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At a glance
Turin, Milan, Menaggio and Grindelwald | 9 days: Hunt for truffles and sip local wines in Langhe, northern Italy Experience two of the great alpine railway journeys: The Bernina Express and the Glacier Express Savour breakfast in the fresh mountain air on a Swiss farm visit
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
Turin
End Destination
Zurich
What's included
  • Return flights from the UK
  • Private overseas transfers to and from the airport
  • 8 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Experienced Back-Roads tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • First class rail travel through the Swiss Alps
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 x evening meals
  • Local guide in Turin
  • Truffle hunt
  • Wine and cheese tasting
  • Entrance fee included to: Turin Cathedral, Casa Martini and Milan Cathedral
What's not included
  • Unless otherwise specified in the listed inclusions, airfares are not included in the tour price.
  • Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights,&rsquo items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
  • Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
  • Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Unless otherwise listed in the inclusions, transfers are not included in the tour price.
Itinerary
1
Day 1
UK - Turin

Depart the UK on your flight to Turin. Upon arrival enjoy a private transfer to your pre-tour accommodation where the rest of your day is at leisure.

2
Day 2
Turin - Langhe

Turin is the gateway to our alpine adventure, and we get to know its stylish streets and treelined boulevards on a walking tour. A highlight is a visit to Turin Cathedral, where pilgrims have gathered for hundreds of years to see the legendary shroud. Next we step inside the hallowed halls of Casa Martini to learn the secrets behind themaking of these famous wines and vermouths – followed by a tasting, of course. By afternoon, we’re ready to board our luxury mini-coach, where we take the scenic route into rural Piedmont. With its endless fields and rolling hills, this bountiful region of northern Italy is renowned for its wines, cheeses and truffles. Our home for the night is a charming hotel in a local town, where we look forward to the experiences ahead over a welcome dinner. (D)

Overnight: Hotel Castello di Santa Vittoria (or similar)

3
Day 3
Langhe - Alba - Barolo - Langhe

This morning takes us into the countryside near Alba, where treasure waits to be unearthed. Claiming the title of truffle capital, this is the perfect place to hunt for these gourmet delights. Learn to spot their ideal growth habitats before venturing into the woods with your expert hunter – their specially trained dog running ahead to sniff out black and white truffles. After our hunt, we venture into Alba itself to wander the laid-back streets of this rural town. Then we stop by Barolo, home of ‘the king of wines and the wine of kings’. You could seek out a café here to try a glass of the rich, aromatic Barolo reds, or simply saunter through the historic centre, taking in views that stretch across surrounding vineyards. Tonight we enjoy an authentic cooking experience, using local produce to prepare our own dinner. (B,D)

Overnight: Hotel Castello di Santa Vittoria (or similar)

4
Day 4
Langhe - Milan - Lake Como

Today we turn our attentions to the glitz and glamour of Milan and the Italian lakes. Our first stop is Milan’s spectacular cathedral – an ornate, marble confection covered in delicate spires. Afterwards, you can take some free time to explore the city centre. But it won’t be long before we hear the clear waters and mountain vistas of Lake Como calling. Our elegant waterside base is on the Western shore, where we make ourselves at home with a group dinner. (B, D)

Overnight: Albergo Rusall (or similar)

5
Day 5
Lake Como

With a day at leisure beside the lake, how you spend today is entirely up to you. You could follow one of the many gentle walks from Lake Como into the surrounding hills. Instead, take the ferry to Bellagio, a town known as the ‘pearl of Lake Como’, or over to Varenna, a former fishermen’s village known for its beautiful villas. (B)

Overnight: Albergo Rusall (or similar)

6
Day 6
Lake Como - Sondrio - Tirano - Davos

Our path turns north today as we travel through the Valtellina region, our road edged with apple orchards, vineyards and mountain pastures. After pausing in Sondrio to explore its heritage, we continue on to Tirano – where a highlight of our trip awaits. It’s here that we board the Bernina Express to embark on one of the world’s iconic railway journeys. Our train climbs steadily into the mountains, passing through tunnels where views of soaring peaks and awe-inspiring glaciers await on the other side. Our final stop is the Alpine resort of Davos, where we’re welcomed to Switzerland with a warming group dinner. (B, D)

Overnight: Morosani Posthotel (or similar)

7
Day 7
Davos - Andermatt - Grindelwald

We take to the rails once more today, giving us the chance to view Switzerland’s most spectacular scenery from aboard the Glacier Express. This remarkable feat of engineering includes countless beautiful bridges over gorges and between mountain passes, with pine forests and wildflower meadows stretching out below you. Arriving in Andermatt, we swap the train for mini-coach and continue on to Grindelwald, where your evening is your own. (B)

Overnight: Aspen Alpin Hotel (or similar)

8
Day 8
Grindelwald

Steep-gabled wooden chalets. Sparkling lakes and green fields. Rugged, snow-capped peaks. Grindelwald is the perfect picture of a sleepy Swiss village – and it’s yours to explore today. Wander through sublime valleys, take the train to the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe, or perhaps take the cable car up to the panoramic terrace and mountain restaurant. From here, clear weather reveals panoramic views of spectacular mountains, including Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. This evening, we come back together to share our exploits over a farewell dinner. (B, D)

Overnight: Aspen Alpin Hotel (or similar)

9
Day 9
Grindelwald - Lucerne – Zurich - UK

Our last breakfast together is truly something special. First, we visit a small, family-run dairy farm, where we sit down to a traditional Alpine breakfast amid unforgettable views. But our adventure isn’t over just yet. We pay a visit to Lucerne, whose medieval old town and lakeside setting enchanted everyone from Goethe to Queen Victoria. Finally we reach Zurich, where we say goodbye amid the elegant buildings, grand squares and artisan chocolate houses of this heart-stealing city. (B)

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