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Our eleven day, ten-night tour combines a voyage through the spectacular mountain scenery of Switzerland with Italy's most iconic cities. Journey by rail through the legendary Gotthard Pass, witnessing the pristine alpine scenery, sail through the winding canals in Venice and absorb the fascinating history in the charming cities of Florence and Rome.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to Basel, Switzerland. You will be met on arrival by a local guide and transferred to your hotel, conveniently located close to the train station. The rest of your afternoon is free for you to enjoy the city in your own time. Take a leisurely stroll around the picturesque old town or relax in the hotel's spa facilities before enjoying a welcome dinner at a local restaurant with your group.
Following breakfast, enjoy a morning city tour of Basel visiting historic landmarks such as the Marktplatz with its richly decorated red sandstone town hall and the late Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore at your own pace, visit a selection of Basel's 40 museums, indulge in some traditional Basel honey cake or relax in the botanical gardens by the Rhine. Should you wish to venture a little further afield, we will provide a complimentary travel pass on local transport for Basel and the surrounding areas.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel to embark on the highlight of your tour, the legendary Gotthard Pass, one of the most scenic rail journeys in Europe. Travelling across intricate bridges and through loops and tunnels, your journey from Switzerland to Italy showcases the ever-changing landscapes of the Swiss Alps which extend from fir-tree forests to stunning mountains. Upon arrival in Milan, it is just a short walk to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this elegant city and enjoy the unparalleled shopping.
This morning take the high-speed train to Venice Mestre station and check in to your hotel ideally located near the station. After a leisurely lunch, take the short train journey to Venice Saint Lucia and embark on a private boat journey through the winding canals of which Venice is so famous for. Built to facilitate transportation of goods as early as 400 A.D, over 350 colourful gondolas navigate the canal system daily transporting people and merchandise throughout the city. Arrive at St. Mark's square, one of the most beautiful squares in the world and the city centre for centuries. Begin a leisurely guided tour through mysterious passageways in one of the most alluring cities in the world. Enter St. Marks Basilica and absorb one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture before boarding your boat back to the station for your return train to Mestre.
Today is free for you to explore the stunning architecture of Venice at your own pace. An optional private boat excursion is available from St. Mark's square; sail past the island of San Giorgio Maggiore en-route to Murano, famous for its magical glass manufacturing. Continue to the island of Burano and marvel at the brightly coloured fisherman's houses before sailing to Torcello; the earliest civilisation in the lagoon where only a cathedral and church remain as a testament to its former glory.
Following breakfast, depart by train to the beautiful city of Florence. On arrival check in to your hotel and take the remainder of the afternoon to acquaint yourself with this simply stunning city.
Following breakfast enjoy a guided tour of Florence; boasting priceless masterpieces, striking Renaissance architecture and winding streets, this historic metropolis still looks as it did during 1550. Stroll over the Ponte Vecchio 14th century bridge, lined with antiquated jewellery boutiques, admire the Duomo cathedral, the terracotta tiled dome is rightly one of Florence's most iconic sites. Museums, palaces and churches are in abundance which you can enjoy at your own pace in the afternoon. In the evening, why not watch the sunset over the river Arno - a breath- taking photo opportunity.
This morning is at leisure to finish exploring beautiful Florence, meander through the old streets, view the copy of Michelangelo's statue of David or climb the hill to the church of Sam Miniato al Monto for an enchanting final view of the city. In the afternoon board the train to magnificent Rome and check in to your hotel, remainder of the day at leisure.
Today is free to uncover Italy's capital city, lose yourself in the tangled streets and savour the beauty of this breath-taking city. Relax in one of the many squares, savour a delicious gelato whilst watching the world go by or sit down to a dish of traditional pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar ragu) at a local trattoria with a delicious glass of Frascati. An optional excursion (at a fee) will be available to discover the Vatican, one of the most beautiful, holiest Christendom sites in the world.
After breakfast, embark on a walking tour of Baroque Rome's most iconic sites. Marvel at the Pantheon, dating back to 125 AD, the magnificent ancient temple now converted to a church is one of the city's most spectacular sites. Next climb the 'Scalina Spagne' the Spanish Steps irregular butterfly design takes you to the upper Piazza Trinita dei Monti affording wonderful views with the twin tower church dominating the skyline. The tour ends at the explicitly theatrical Trevi fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in the city and renowned as the most beautiful in the world. Legend has is that if you throw a coin into the fountain you will return to Rome. A coach will take you back to the hotel allowing adequate time to relax before your farewell dinner.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the U.K.
A visa is not required for your trip to Switzerland and Italy. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Basel with British Airways (BA), departing from London Heathrow, Terminal 5. Flights schedules are subject to change, further information regarding your flights will be provided 10 days before your departure. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding in size and 1 personal item such as a handbag, briefcase or laptop case. Weight restrictions will be finalised on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure. a 23kg checked baggage. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of passengers on your tour will be 20, and the maximum number of passengers will be 35. If in the unlikely event your tour does not reach the minimum passenger numbers, then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is an escorted tour, meaning that you will have the services of an English-speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF) and in Italy is the Euro (EUR). We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK, however cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, drinks and snacks. Approximately £400-£500 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is completely at your discretion. Tips are accepted in the local currency, however, it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged.
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|06 Apr 2018||16 Apr 2018||£1589pp|
|01 Jun 2018||11 Jun 2018||£1569pp|
|06 Jul 2018||16 Jul 2018||£1569pp|
|05 Oct 2018||15 Oct 2018||£1589pp|
The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. For this reason, we have indicated approximate times only. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times or sailing conditions. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to the local conditions.
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