Transfer from Geneva or Zurich airport to the beautiful lakeside resort of Montreux at the heart of the “Swiss Riviera“, famed for Jazz, Belle Époque buildings and of course Christmas festivities. The shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) are idyllic with stunning views across the water to the soaring snowclad alpine peaks. Over 160 miniature Swiss chalets spread along the lakeside promenades offer handcrafted gifts and local delicacies. Visit Chillon Castle in all its historic festivity where at weekends in December the Medieval Magic festival presents storytellers, dancers and craft demonstrations. Overnight Lausanne/Montreux area.
This morning travel into Lausanne, HQ of the International Olympic Committee. Here you may choose to visit Europe’s largest freshwater Aquarium or the Olympic Museum this morning or just take a steamer cruise across the lake to the chic French resort of Evian. During the afternoon explore the various markets and activities across the city centre collectively known as Bo Noel including a covered market full of local craft designers, food and wine stalls and a children’s village. In the evening the city is illuminated in a Festival of Lights, featuring luminous works created by contemporary local artists. Overnight Lausanne/Montreux area.
Leave the Swiss Riviera this morning into the rolling hills of central Switzerland for a fascinating tour of the world famous Gruyere Swiss Cheese factory. Learn how one of the finest cheeses is made using painstakingly selected organically farmed milk. Enjoy a tasting and perhaps purchase a wedge to take away with you! After time for lunch in the medieval village of Gruyere itself, head across the valley to to enjoy a tour of the Cailler chocolate factory. Learn about the magical process that turns beans into chocolate and how the factory became part of the worldwide Nestlé company – and you get to taste a good range of its products at the end of the tour too!! Continue to Switzerland’s iconic capital city of Bern and its sparkling Christmas Market which is situated in the city’s UNESCO listed historic city centre. Overnight Bern.
Head north to the city of Basel situated on the mighty River Rhine, which claims to have Switzerland’s largest and prettiest Christmas Market with a magnificent Christmas tree, superb craft stalls and Gluhwein and hot chocolate vendors in rustic wooden Swiss chalets. Children love the Fairy-tale Forest with candle making, gingerbread decorating, campfire bread and more hot chocolate. While in Basel don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Johan Wanner Christmas Shop where you can find every type of Christmas decoration and bauble. Johan Wanner himself has been known to decorate Christmas trees all over the world for the rich and famous. Overnight Basel or Zurich.
Today is dedicated to Zurich, the cosmopolitan commercial “capital” of Switzerland home to many designer shops and outstanding restaurants. Zurich boasts no less than five fantastically atmospheric Christmas Markets spread around the historic old town centre. There are literally hundreds of fascinating stalls offering out-of-the-ordinary pieces of jewelry and unusual finds, while a colorful choice of culinary delights ensures that visitors do not go hungry. Whether international specialties or traditional Swiss fare in the Fondue-Chalet – the main focus is placed on having fun together amidst a truly festive ambiance, a splendid way to complete your wonderful visit to Switzerland’s Christmas Markets. Overnight Zurich.
Enjoy free time for some Christmas shopping in Zurich’s many superb shops before transfer to the airport.