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Europe in September 2017

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Europe in September 2017

Visiting Luzern, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Verona, Venice, Salzburg, Munich’s Oktoberfest & more!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Lunch on beautiful Lake Lucerne
  • Breathtaking Lauterbrunnen Valley with a view of Jungfrau summit
  • Spectacular train journey across the Swiss Alps into Italy
  • Wine tasting at Lake Como
  • Water taxi along the Grand Canal at Venice
  • Cable car ride in the Dolomite Mountains
  • Sightseeing in Salzburg, the “Sound of Music City”
  • Lunch and music and Munich’s Oktoberfest
  • Days in the charming Alpine village of Seefeld, Austria

Itinerary:

Tuesday, September 19 – CHICAGO / EN ROUTE - (I)

This afternoon we depart Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport by scheduled non-stop service on Swiss Air for the overnight transatlantic flight to Zurich, Switzerland, arriving in the morning.  Europe is 7 hours ahead of US Central Daylight Time. 

Wednesday, September 20 – ZURICH / LUZERN - (L)

After passing through customs and passport control we’ll meet our European Tour Escort, who will remain with us throughout our tour.  The journey to our hotel takes us through the scenic countryside to the original capital of Schwyz, a quiet town at the foot of the twin peaks of the Mythen, and then to the shores of Lake Lucerne to the lovely lakeside village of Weggis for lunch.  After lunch we’ll take a scenic lakeside drive to the city of Luzern, ranked among the prettiest cities in the world. 

Thursday, September 21 – LUZERN (Bernese Oberland) - (B)

Today we’ll travel into the beautiful region of Switzerland known as the Bernese Oberland.  After crossing over the scenic Brunig Pass we’ll stop at the fashionable resort of Interlaken where we’ll have an opportunity to stroll along the Hoheweg bordered on one side by the grand hotels and casino and on the other by the lawns and flowerbeds that open to a dazzling view of the Jungfrau summit.  Then we’re headed into the scenic Lauterbrunnen Valley where we’ll see the Staubbach Waterfall plunge 1,000 feet from the terrace at Murren, before visiting the thundering Trummelbach Falls.  Trummelbach alone drains the enormous glacial walls of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau and its ten glacial waterfalls inside the mountain are truly unique.  Afterward, we’ll travel to the spectacular glacier village of Grindelwald where we’ll have time for shopping before returning to Luzern in the late afternoon.

Friday, September 22 – LUZERN / Verona / SOTTOMARINA - (B,D)

Our travels today take us by rail across the majestic St Gotthard Pass and into the Swiss Italian Lake District, set in an idyllic landscape of mountains and rugged hillsides.  Here we’ll enjoy a cruise on Lake Como, one of Europe’s most famous and picturesque lakes. Afterward we’ll continue our journey to Verona, the romantic setting of Shakespeare’s tale, Romeo and Juliet and one of Italy’s most fascinating cities.  We’ll visit the ancient Roman Arena, still used to day as the venue for operas, Juliet’s Balcony, and the vibrant main square, Piazza Erbe.  Our day will end on as we make our way to the Adriatic Coast of Italy and the resort of Sottomarina.

Saturday, September 23 – SOTTOMARINA (Venice) - (B,D)

This morning we travel to Venice, a treasure trove of art and architecture rising up out of the waters of the Venetian Lagoon.  Our sightseeing begins as we travel by vaporetto (water taxi) along the spectacular Grand Canal.  Along the way we’ll see countless palazzos and pass under the Rialto Bridge, one of Venice’s most famous sights, and the wooden Ponte dell’Accademia.  From San Marco we’ll begin our walking tour that will offer a view of the Bridge of Sighs, the covered bridge that links the Doge’s Palace to the old prisons from where Casanova was said to have made his fantastic escape.  Here, we’ll get our first glimpse of the Piazza San Marco, a great marble saloon that is home to the Campanile, a 325-foot-high bell tower that provides an unforgettable view of the city, and the remarkable Basilica San Marco.  At the end of our tour, free time will be set aside for shopping and to explore Venice on your own.  In the late afternoon, we will return to Sottomarina. 

Sunday, September 24 – SOTTOMARINA / KITZBUHEL - (B,D)

Our day of travel takes us through one of the most spectacular mountain regions in Europe known as the Dolomites, where the mountain peaks soar up from the surrounding forests and pastures with towers and pinnacles, to the resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, located in the heart of the southern Alps in the Veneto region of Northern Italy.  Here we’ll enjoy a cable car ride allowing us to appreciate the picturesque villages, rolling green pastures and steep mountain trails with breathtaking views that make up this vast region.  This afternoon we’ll continue north across the Austrian border to arrive in the market and famous ski resort of Kitzbuhel.

Monday, September 25 – KITZBUHEL/Salzburg/SEEFELD - (B,D)

This morning we depart Kitzbuhel and make our way to Salzburg, the “Sound of Music City,” where the charm is apparent in its picturesque streets full of wrought-iron signs, noble architecture and highly decorated fountains.  An introductory tour of the city will start on the right bank of the Salzach River.  Our walking tour takes us through the Old Town where we’ll see the 15th century Altes Rathaus and take in the sites along the romantic Getreidstrasse, and also find Mozart’s birthplace, now a museum with many of his early manuscripts and instruments.  We’ll see the Collegiate Church and the Franciscan Church as we make our way to the Residence Square, home to the medieval bishops’ residence.  Nearby, we’ll visit Salzburg Cathedral and pass St. Peter’s Abbey, seen so frequently in the “Sound of Music.”  Afterward we’ll continue through the Inn Valley and the Tyrolean mountains to the lovely Alpine center of Seefeld.

Tuesday, September 26 – SEEFELD (Oktoberfest Excursion) - (B,L)

Today the beauty of the Alps will fade into the background as we depart Seefeld and travel to Munich, the capital city of Bavaria and the heart of artistic Germany.  Cheerful and vivacious, boasting magnificent architecture from Bavaria’s royal past, Munich is the center of the Bavarian zest for life that we’ll experience firsthand with an afternoon at the Oktoberfest. Celebrated at the “Wies’n” Fair Grounds, we’ll enjoy a Bavarian style lunch and beer, along with traditional music, in one of huge festival tents.  Seven Munich breweries welcome visitors from far and wide with their lively brass bands, lederhosen and bright folk costumes.  Late this afternoon we’ll depart Munich and return to Seefeld. 

Wednesday, September 27 – SEEFELD (Leisure Time) - (B)

Today is free for shopping and to explore Seefeld. As few resorts can match the region’s unique combination of traditional charm and modern amenities the day is at leisure. Browse the delightful shops in search of that perfect gift, relax with quiet meadow and mountain walks, horse-drawn carriage rides, or even a chair lift and cable car journey into the surrounding Alps to enjoy one of Austria’s most beautiful mountain views. An optional excursion will be available for travelers who wish to visit Linderhof Palace, perhaps the most interesting of the castles built toward the end of the 19th century by “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and the charming Passion Play village of Oberammergau.   

Thursday, September 28 – ZURICH/CHICAGO - (B,I)

Early this morning we travel to Zurich Airport in preparation for the non-stop Swiss Air flight home.  No better time to reflect on memories of our European Vacation to last a lifetime and new friendships made along the way!  Your Tour Escort will assist you with check-in requirements for your flights.

*** Welcome Home ***

I = In-flight Meal        B = Breakfast        D = Dinner

 

 

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