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Majestic Switzerland: Cultural and Painting Tours


Nestled in the heart of Europe, this small country of soaring mountains and sparkling lakes is a gem. Swiss traditions and art de vivre have enchanted us, and we are eager to share our secret findings with you!

You can choose our cultural tour or our painting tour to Switzerland:




Cultural Tour



There is more to Switzerland than mountains and lakes. On this unique trip, you'll also experience authentic Swiss traditions, such as chocolate- and cheese-making and the ancient art of paper cutting.
 

Day 1: Arrival in Switzerland



We’ll pick you up at the train station in Vevey, capital of the Swiss Riviera at Lake Geneva, and drive you to our hotel. Upon arrival, you’ll be able to unpack and get settled for the week, rest and relax or explore this charming village with its hilltop chalets and lakeside parks.

Before our dinner together, you’ll meet your fellow travelers at a welcome reception and a short orientation meeting.


Day 2: Welcome to Heidi's country in Gruyères


We'll spend the day in medieval Gruyères, famous both for its cheese and impressive hilltop castle.

Morning: Old tradition of cheese making

The French have their champagne and the Swiss have their Gruyère, one of the world's finest cheeses. You’ll have a chance to see how this specialty cheese is made the ancient way, in a old chalet in the mountains. We will have lunch in this chalet tasting the fresh cheese and other Swiss specialties.

Afternoon: The castle town of Gruyères

You'll be enchanted by this fortified town, which has retained its character and charmed visitors for hundreds of years.

Indulge in shopping in boutiques that sell what Switzerland is known for: clocks, watches, knives, bells, cheese and more. You can also immerse yourself in the world of Fantastic Art at the museum of HR Giger. In 1980, this Swiss artist won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for his participation in the film Alien.

Tonight we’ll have dinner in a Swiss chalet restaurant in the heart of the village.










Day 3: The art of papercutting: We'll try it.



Morning: The biggest chalet in Switzerland

We'll visit the Grand Chalet, the biggest chalet in Switzerland and one of the largest wooden dwellings in Europe. Known for its immense size and 113 windows, the chalet was once home to modern artist Henri Balthus, whose work we'll also see in the village museum.

Afternoon: Get your scissors out

Rougemont, the last stop before entering the German-speaking cantons of western Switzerland, is an attractive historic village with a 11th century Romanesque church and dozens of wooden chalets: picture postcard views from every vantage point, wooden doors, flowery balconies, grazing cows and majestic mountain peaks.

We'll meet a local artist specializing in scherenschnitte, the art of Swiss paper cutting and a specialty of the area. Not only will she show you the secrets of this ancient art but you will also have a chance to try out your skills and design your own model.

Day 4: Swiss for a day



Visit to a local house and tasting of local specialties
We believe a truly authentic travel experience includes meeting the locals. Switzerland is known for its thousands of small family-run organic farms, so today we'll meet a Swiss family who've opened their home and hearts to us. You'll learn what it is like to be a farmer in Switzerland and enjoy a typical Swiss lunch with fresh ingredients and dishes prepared especially for you by our hostess.




Day 5: Breathtaking Lake Geneva: Chocolate Making and Chateau Chillon


After exploring alpine villages, now it's time to see a more bustling side of Switzerland. We'll spend one day in Vevey, an exclusive Mediterranean-style resort along the shores of Lake Geneva.

Home of the rich and famous (Charlie Chaplin, Barbara Hendrix, Igor Stravinksy and Queen singer Freddie Mercury lived here), Montreux sits in a sheltered bay and is surrounded by vineyards and snow-covered Alps.


Morning: Visit to Chillon Castle

Château de Chillon is an architectural jewel located in the most beautiful setting imaginable, between the shores of Lake Geneva and the Alps.

This monument, with over 1,000 years of history has been a source of intense literary inspiration to British and American writers over the last centuries, ever since Lord Byron wrote his epic "Prisoner of Chillon". The castle has inspired the novel "Frankenstien" by Mary Shelley.

You will fall under its charm during our visit.


Afternoon: Chocolate Making: Hands on

Your trip to Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without famous Swiss chocolate, so we’ll visit a small chocolate maker in Vevey.

You will taste all the different specialties from the chocolate maker but even better, you will be able to make your own tablet.

Choose the spices you like to make your own chocolate. You will be a chef in the chocolate world.


 

 

Day 6: From Underground Tunnels to High Peaks


Morning: Visit to salt mines

Today, we will visit the old salt mines of Bex. This visit will take us through the most spectacular and most characteristic of the various mining techniques used since the first gallery was excavated in 1684, up to the present times. A small train brings us to the heart of the mine. From there a pedestrian circuit of about one hour allows you to discover the incredible effort put in the underground search for salt springs which, at the time, was worth its weight in gold.

Afternoon: The top of the world

After being underground, what about going to the top of the Moleson Peak? A funicular will take us there and will leave you unspoken with the breathtaking view of the mountains.

We'll wrap up this wonderful day in style at the top of Moleson Peak with a lovely cheese fondue dinner and a breathtaking panoramic view of the Alps.



Day 7: Unique festival: la desalpe


"La desalpe" is the best-known of all traditional mountain festivities: cows make their way down from the mountains to the plain.

The cows descend in clusters herded by local farmers dressed in traditional garments through the town. Thundering bells hang from their necks and brightly colored flowers on their heads.

Smells of food and sounds of music fill the fresh, crisp air. Besides the parade of cows, this unique festival includes a local market, art craft and traditional musical performances.

This annual festival is not to be missed !

 

 



 

 


Day 8: Departure


After our last breakfast, we’ll say good-bye and drive you to the Vevey train station, your heart-warming memories of a glorious week in the summer Alps still fresh for your journey home or wherever your travels may take you.


Dates & Rates:


July 4-11, 2015-women-only tour: US $3,290 (+$550 for single room)


Includes:

  • Vevey train station pick up at 2pm and drop off at 11am
  • A welcome reception
  • Accommodations every night
  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners (incl. drinks and wine)
  • Transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
  • A personal bilingual tour leader throughout the week
  • Entrance fees to all sites described in the itinerary

Excludes:
  • Flights to and from Switzerland (Geneva)
  • Train to Vevey
  • Lunches and 3 dinners (however, we’ll go with you for these meals)
  • Personal expenses and tipping




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contact@frenchescapade.com