NEW: The Bernese Oberland
travelling in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond
Saturday 21st - Saturday 28th September 2019
8 daysDeposit: £75pp
Travel Insurance: £43pp
Single supplement: £186
The Bernese Oberland is located in the western part of Switzerland. Enjoy fabulous Alpine scenery and ascend two of the region’s highest mountains. Our hotel on Lake Brienz is situated next to a waterfall and has Europe’s oldest funicular railway. Switzerland is an unashamedly expensive country – the included excursions on this tour add up to about £180 per person, therefore if you wish to travel with us and stay at the Grandhotel Giessbach and plan your own itinerary whilst in Switzerland, the holiday price is £975 per person (please note that this price does not include the excursions planned for days 3 to 6).
For operational reasons and to make the best use of the weather conditions, it may be necessary to chenge the order of the excursions during our stay in Switzerland.
Please note that, due to Hotel access and to the nature of some of our visits, this tour is unsuitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
Your Holiday Hotel
The impressive Grandhotel Giessbach sits dramatically above Lake Brienz, and is a winner of “Swiss Historic Hotel of the Year”. Built in the belle-époque era, the building is more reminiscent of a stately home than a hotel, with a variety of salons and seating areas. Each of the bedrooms, accessed by lift, is decorated in a mix of traditional styles with elegant furniture. The main restaurant on the ground floor overlooks a waterfall, and there are terraces offering fabulous views of the Lake. The Hotel has its own funicular railway, constructed in 1879, that descends through the woods and over bridges to the Lake. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
(DAY 1) Saturday 21st September
Join your drivers and fellow travellers on the coach. Eurotunnel to France, then through Belgium and Luxembourg to our overnight Hotel, the Mercure Saarbrucken Sud.
(DAY 2) Sunday 22nd September
Via Strasbourg, Basel and Lucerne and arriving at our Hotel overlooking Lake Brienz by the end of the afternoon. A welcome drink will be served whilst porters take luggage to the bedrooms.
(DAY 3) Monday 23rd September
A local day today, visiting Meiringen, a pretty town considered to be the birthplace of the meringue. We will take the funicular to the Reichenbach Waterfalls, from where the famous detective Sherlock Holmes plunged to his death. After our descent we continue to the end of the valley to view the Aareschlucht Gorge. Walk along the pathway that follows the Gorge and marvel at how it has been carved out of the rock over centuries. Lunchtime in Meiringen and an afternoon visit to the Ballenberg Open Air Museum which houses over 100 original centuries-old buildings from all over Switzerland.
(DAY 4) Tuesday 24th September
A real highlight of our holiday today, travelling through the steep-sided Lauterbrunnen Valley. We board a cable car for a ride to the summit of the Schilthorn, made famous by the exploits of James Bond. This cable airway is one of the longest in Switzerland and was one of the most technically challenging to build. The summit is almost 10,000 feet above sea level and has a revolving restaurant, the Piz Gloria, which featured in the 1969 James Bond Movie ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ starring George Lazenby as Agent 007. This Australian actor and former model only appeared in one of the Bond films.
(DAY 5) Wednesday 25th September
We drive along the Lake and take the road that winds its way up to the mountain village of Adelboden. This classy ski resort is situated on a terrace looking south to the Engstligen, and is popular with hikers in summer. Next, we visit Thun at the end of the Lake. There will be time to explore and find lunch in this historic town with its 12th century castle. The return journey takes us along the northern shore to complete a full circuit of Lake Thun.
(DAY 6) Thursday 26th September
Our drivers have deserved a day off, so we will ride down on the Hotel funicular to the Brienzersee and take the boat across the Lake to the woodcarving village of Brienz. Here we join the Brienz Rothorn Railway, riding behind a vintage steam locomotive as the train puffs its way to the summit, taking over an hour to climb 1,690 metres.
(DAY 7) Friday 27th September
Sadly we have to leave the Grandhotel Giessbach and begin the homeward journey. Overnight at the Mercure Hotel in Saarbrucken.
(DAY 8) Saturday 28th September
Returning through France we take the Eurotunnel home and reach Sussex during the middle part of the evening.