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Great Swiss Lakes

Through the heart of Switzerland by rail
 
You’ll get to travel on paddle steamers, the Golden Pass line, and cog railways on this self-guided journey from Lake Geneva to Lake Lucerne via Lake Brienz. These glittering lakes are set against a stunning Alpine backdrop, which you can explore with ease thanks to the Swiss transport system.
Great Swiss Lakes . 7 nights
Great Swiss Lakes . 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in Switzerland

Famed for its mountains, Switzerland is also a land of spectacular lakes. This journey, by paddle steamer, Golden Pass train and historic mountain cog railways, links the best of Lake Geneva – vineyards, castles and historic towns – with the literal heart of Switzerland, Lake Lucerne (where the confederation was founded), via Lake Brienz and nearby Meiringen, home to spectacular gorges and mountains.
From Montreux – renowned for its jazz festival and with famous residents over the years as diverse as Byron and Charlie Chaplin – to the summit of Mount Pilatus near Lucerne, there’s something for everyone. Whether on a walk through the UNESCO-recognised Lavaux vineyards or sitting at a chestnut-shaded table on the terrace of the Hotel Victoria in Meiringen, gourmets can explore the finest local produce and traditions. Lovers of history shouldn’t miss the spectacularly set Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva, nor the exceptional Ballenberg open-air museum, with its extensive collection of vernacular architecture from all over Switzerland, as well as the beautiful city of Lucerne. And all this is never far from a breathtaking cable-car ride to a mountain top, for an eagle's-eye view of the summits and glittering waters far below.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Montreux
    Night 1: at Hotel Suisse Majestic (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Lake Geneva
    There’s a wide variety of things to see and do from this lakeside location: take one of the historic side-wheel paddle steamers on the lake; enjoy some Swiss wines in the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Lavaux vineyards which line the lakeshore; step back in time with a visit to the Château de Chillon, whose dramatic medieval towers inspired Lord Byron's poem, The Prisoner of Chillon; or follow in Charlie Chaplin’s footsteps with a visit to his former home, Manoir de Ban, now a museum to his life and work, complete with the sets from his greatest films.
  • Montreux to Meiringen
    Today you board the Golden Pass panoramic train for a scenic journey as it climbs away from the lakeside, passing through chic Gstaad and into the mountains of the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland’s central massif, home to countless peaks such as the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. After reaching Interlaken, it is a short train ride along the northern shore of turquoise Lake Brienz to the village of Meiringen, and the nearby Reichenbach Falls where Conan Doyle set the infamous struggle between his hero Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. Here you stay at the Hotel Victoria for three nights.
  • Explore from Meiringen
    You are now right in the heart of the Swiss mountains, with time to explore the sublime Alpine scenery. A short walk from the centre of Meiringen is the 200-metre-deep Aare Gorge, whose narrow twisting length you can follow on easy walkways. Alternatively, take the cable car and gondola to the 2,250-metre-high Alpen Tower restaurant at the top of the Meiringen ski domain, for views and food to take your breath away. To the west, near Lake Brienz, is the outstanding open-air museum of Ballenberg, where you can step back in time as you explore the extensive collection of Swiss vernacular architecture (complete with authentic cottage gardens) set in magnificent parkland. On the lakeshore beyond is the pretty town of Brienz, the departure point for boats to the Grandhotel Giessbach, with its own funicular and waterfalls – a perfect spot for lunch; or the 1892 steam-driven cog railway to near the summit of the Rothorn, from where you can count 693 peaks on a clear day. (Or so they say!)
  • Meiringen to Lucerne
    The last leg of your journey takes you over the Brünig Pass (1,001 metres above sea level) to reach Lucerne and the Hotel Wilden Mann, your base for your final two nights.
  • Explore Lucerne
    Spend your time exploring the atmospheric, compact city with our self-guided walking tour which follows the historic city walls and crosses the covered, flower-bedecked bridges for which Lucerne is famous. Or take to the mountains for one last Alpine panorama from either Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus – both easily accessible from the town, with vintage cog railways to take the strain out of the climb.
 

Accommodation

You stay in three high-quality hotels, each well located for exploration.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
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  • 7 nights: 18 May - 13 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    18 May - 14 June £1245 £355
    15 - 26 June £1295 £370
    27 June - 12 July £1435 £515
    13 July - 11 August £1365 £430
    12 - 26 August £1295 £370
    27 August - 13 October £1245 £355
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: return rail from any Swiss airport, rail Montreux–Meiringen–Lucerne, plus Half Fare Card giving 50% discount on any other travel purchased

    Add £60pp to upgrade to first class rail travel within Switzerland

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 18 May - 13 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    18 May - 14 June £1570 £355
    15 - 26 June £1615 £370
    27 June - 12 July £1745 £515
    13 July - 11 August £1685 £430
    12 - 26 August £1615 £370
    27 August - 13 October £1570 £355
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes all elements in the 'journey price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris-Montreux via Lausanne or Geneva (TGV/regional rail), approx. duration 8-9h out. Home Lucerne–Paris via Basel (TGV/regional rail), Paris–UK (Eurostar) approx. duration 8h45.

    Other included travel: rail Montreux–Meiringen–Lucerne, plus Half Fare Card giving 50% discount on any other travel purchased

    Add £60pp to upgrade to first class rail travel within Switzerland

    If you book your holiday less than 3 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the sames services at a supplement.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Suisse Majestic
    Deluxe with lake view: 18 May - 27 Jun 2019 £20
    Deluxe with lake view: 28 Jun - 13 Jul 2019 £25
    Deluxe with lake view: 14 Jul - 17 Jul 2019 £20
    Deluxe with lake view: 18 Jul - 11 Aug 2019 £25
    Deluxe with lake view: 12 Aug - 13 Oct 2019 £20
    Superior with partial lake view: 18 May - 27 Jun 2019 £8

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Suisse Majestic (B&B) Double room Single room
    18 May - 25 Jun 2019 £130 £220
    26 Jun - 13 Jul 2019 £198 £360
    14 Jul - 16 Jul 2019 £130 £220
    17 Jul - 11 Aug 2019 £155 £280
    12 Aug - 13 Oct 2019 £130 £220
    Hotel Wilden Mann (B&B) Double room Single room
    19 May - 07 Oct 2019 £140 £170
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Geneva, Zürich

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich or Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Geneva easyJet 
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Geneva easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Geneva British Airways,  easyJet,  Swiss 
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Geneva easyJet 
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Geneva easyJet 
    Manchester - Zurich Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Geneva easyJet 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich or Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Geneva

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Geneva airport to Montreux (1h20) included 1800
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    rail Lucerne to Geneva airport (3h) included 1200

    Connecting travel options - flying via Zürich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Zurich airport to Montreux (3h) included 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    rail Lucerne to Zurich airport (1h) included 1100
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 3 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • rail travel Montreux-Meiringen-Lucerne
  • Half-Fare Card giving discounts on other travel
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Switzerland, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official languages are German, spoken in the majority of the country; French, spoken in the south-west; Italian, spoken in the south-east; and Romansch, mostly limited to the Engadine valley. The currency is the Franc. Swiss time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/17/2019 8:05:30 AM