Switzerland: Europe's Crown Jewel
Snow caps, ice castles and you… One of the world's favorite year-round playgrounds, Switzerland astounds with natural beauty. In summer, sunlight warms wildflower meadows, picturesque mountain villages and glistening lakes to invite in-depth exploration of some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Europe. Switzerland takes you from the soaring panoramas of the Alps to the serene beauty of her lakes, chic resorts, and four distinct cultures – plus a glimpse of northern Italy's fashionable lake district... Journey into the Alps in a domed observation car on the Glacier Express... climb mighty mountains by cogwheel train to Gornergrat to view the Matterhorn... stay in historic hotels in the heart of world-famous resort towns like Lausanne, Lugano and St. Moritz, including a two-night stay at Interlaken's Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa in guest rooms featuring views of the Jungfrau... cruise aboard a private boat to the Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore and on a wine-tasting cruise on Lake Lugano... attend a Tauck Exclusive, private reception at the Ice Palace on the Jungfraujoch, and more. Stunning scenery, centuries of rich history and warm, welcoming people await you on Tauck's ultimate Switzerland journey.
With its warm climate and Latin Character, Lugano is a carefree town nestled between the peaks of San Salvatore and Monte Bré. The swaying palms and cypress trees give it a distinct Italian feeling, and it is the largest town in the Italian-speaking Tessin canton. Due to its pleasant climate and breezy Mediterranean ambience, Lugano is one of the all time favorites and most visited resort areas during the warmer months. The old town has many buildings of historical interest. Palazzo Civico is filled with restaurants and boutiques and is the pulsating heart of the town. The irregularly shaped Lake of Lugano is spectacularly picturesque as is the bordering scenery. Indulging in some excellent shopping along Via Nassa. Lugano offers a wide variety of cultural, art and musical events each offering a unique way to explore the city's history and traditions. The famous Thyssen-Bornemisza art gallery, Villa Favorita, attracts countless visitors. Historic churches including Santa Maria degli Angioli and the cathedral San Lorenzo are well worth a visit.
Without a doubt one of the prettiest towns in Switzerland, Lucerne lies in the heart of the country on famous lake of Lucerne. Dotted with Renaissance and Baroque fountains, colorful paintings on the gables and commanded by the exquisite wooden bridge, the Kapellbrücke and Wasserturm, the 13th century octagonal water tower, Lucerne's character is pure charm. Spectacular views and sights abound from almost every vantage point in and around Lucerne. The Old Town Hall is a fine example of a Renaissance building while the City Wall, built between 1350 and 1405 stands proud above the city. A stroll along the quay leads past the modern health resort and onto the largest, most important Transport Museum in Europe and the only Planetarium in Switzerland. The famous Lion Monument and Glacier Garden make for remarkable viewing as do the mountain peaks surrounding the city. A short drive from town takes visitors to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth, and a short drive from Viewaldstätter Lake leads to nearby winter resorts and many more lakes.
Friendly, welcoming Zermatt, with its grandiose panoramas of snow-capped peaks that include the legendary Matterhorn, boasts the longest winter season in Europe and the highest skiiing area. Horse-drawn carriages in summer and snow sleighs in winter add further ambience to Zermatt's quaint Walliser houses and the elegant, often world famous hotels.
The absence of cars has helped bestow an elite status on Zermatt. The picture perfect streets and snow-lined pathways are clean, pristine and romantic in atmosphere. In the summertime, walking and climbing enthusiasts can enjoy the unlimited scope of the magnificent mountains and glaciers, while skiing devotees enjoy the seemingly endless pistes in wonderful powder snow. Zermatt attracts tourists, not only for its fresh and clean mountain air, but also for its excellent restaurants, bars and nightclubs; the tempting, exclusive shops and boutiques and the friendly hospitality of the local residents.
The snow-clad mountains of St. Moritz are loved by ski enthusiasts from all over the world. Outstanding accommodations and nightlife are just the trimmings for a winter playground of superlative quality. Oberengadin's mineral springs are also a major drawcard. St. Moritz is the most famous ski resort in the world: chic, elegant and grand with a very cosmopolitan ambience. It lies in a beautiful setting around the lake in the Engadin valley. The 'sparkling dry champagne climate of St. Moritz' is legendary: its famous sun shines 322 days of the year. The famous health springs have been in use since the Bronze Age and a modern spa complex complements their soothing properties. St. Moritz is the birthplace of winter tourism and modern winter sports in the Alps and is Switzerland's only Olympic host resort. It literally offers 'snow how' at its best: skiing - downhill and cross-country - the Cresta and Bob runs; horse races, polo and golf on the frozen lake, plus a consummate nightlife, gala events, shopping fashion shows and much more.
Interlaken's foundations can be seen in the 12th century castle and its fascinating Augustinian monastery. Nestled beneath the legendary triad of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, Interlaken is a wondrous health resort and an international favorite. The superb mountainous scenery and gentle climate are ideal venues for virtually every leisure activity. Höheweg is the business and social center of Interlaken. The shopping is varied and interesting from simple souvenirs to luxurious timepieces. Grand hotels and inviting restaurants and cafes to spoil the visitor abound while a traditional horse-drawn carriage transports guests in fine style. The famous Kursaal - Interlaken's casino - is situated in the center of Höheweg. There are many types of entertainment including elegant balls, annual music festivals, Folklorica, local and trade shows in addition to the delights of the casino tables. Interlaken is also an ideal starting point for excursions to the Bern upperlands and breathtaking Jungfrau region with the centrepiece's massive peak soaring into cloudless skies.
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