European Rail Holiday

8 Day France, Italy & Swiss Alps by Rail

Make your European escape to France, Italy and the Swiss Alps on our specially crafted rail package including flights from South Africa. Enter the dreamworld or European heritage, sampling some of the best western cultures and some of the most amazing cuisines on earth!

Your first stop on the France, Italy and Swiss Alps Rail Adventure is Paris, known as the city of romance and art. See the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, some of the countries most iconic monuments. Follow french heritage and explore the history of Napoleon Bonaparte or glance at some of the worlds most renowned art pieces including the Van Gogh's self portrait, Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo and of-course, the Mona Lisa.

Your second stop on the France, Italy and the Swiss Alps package is Zurich, one of Switzerland's largest cities and one of Europe's most fashionable destinations. Visit the Lindt chocolate shop or ride the cogwheel railway for a stunning view of the city. See some of the best museums, art galleries, opera, ballet and musicals in Zurich. Your package includes a guided tour to the Eiger Mountain, climbing the Swiss Alps by cogwheel railway and passing the serene villages of Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Grindewald as you ascend to the 'Top of Europe', known as Jungfraujoch.

The final stop is the island city of Venice, where the only mode of transport is gondola or boat. Explore this historic little city by yourself as you walk through the narrow waterways and bridges connecting piazza's and hidden alleys filled with cafe's, art galleries and quaint little souvenir shops selling anything from Venetian masks to glass art. Make your way down the Grand Canal and discover the Rialto Bridge, Saint Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace to name only a few.

IDEAL FOR: Families, Couples and Friends

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Mona Lisa and other world-known art pieces
  • Lindt Chocolate Shop in Zurich
  • Climb the Swiss Alps to the 'Top of Europe'
  • Gondola ride down the canals of Venice
  • Saint Mark's Square

Package is inclusive of flights from South Africa (Johannesburg). Flights from Cape Town, Durban and other airports are available on request.

See also our 7 Day London and Paris by Rail Journey

Summary

Bed & Breakfast

8 Days / 7 Nights
Train and Bus

France, Switzerland & Italy

Tour Itinerary

The below itinerary applies to our Tour Upgrade Option (see rates), which adds the following to your package:

  • Arrival and Departure Airport Transfers in Paris and Venice
  • Replace 1 night in Zurich with a night in the Swiss Alps (Grindelwald)
  • Adds a 2 day tour package of the Swiss Alps including a scenic Cable Car Ride to Jungfraujoch through a glacier

Day 1 - Arrival in Paris
Upon arrival in Paris you will be met by your driver who will take you to your hotel where you will spend the next 2 nights. The rest of the day is at your own leisure in Paris.

Day 2 - Free day in Paris
You have a full day at your own leisure to explore the city of Paris.

See the Cathedrale Notre Dame and take a guided tour of the Louvre to admire the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the famed Mona Lisa. Take a full day tour of the Palace of Versailles or experience a night to remember with a spectacular dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge. Take a picnis in the shadow of the Eiffel tower and walk down the Champs-Elysees and climb up the Arc de Triomphe for a 360 view of the city.

Day 3 - Train to Zurich
Make your own way to the Gare Du Lyon train station, where you will board the train to Zurich. Upon arrival in Zurich you will need to make your own way to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your own leisure in Zurich

Day 4 - Interlaken & Grindelwald
From Zurich we embark on a scenic coach journey through splendid countryside to one of Switzerland's most attractive Alpine regions, the idyllic Bernese Oberland. Spend two days in the heart of the magnificent Jungfrau region mountain world topped by a visit to Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, listed by UNESCO as "World Heritage of the Swiss Alps". Choose your overnight stay in Interlaken or Grindelwald.

Option 1: Interlaken. Interlaken, uniquely located between two lakes (Lake Thun and Lake Brienz), is known as the region's shopping paradise – the choices on offer are diverse, from regional produce to precious jewelry and watches. The popular holiday destination offers a wide variety of attractions and activities – why not enjoy a cruise on one of the lakes or pay a visit to Interlaken's home mountain Harder Kulm (optional activities). A cable car takes you to the top (not included) where you will be rewarded with splendid views of the surrounding area.

Option 2: Grindelwald. Grindelwald, also named Eiger or Glacier Village, is nestled in an impressive Alpine landscape. A paradise not only for nature lovers! Hike one of the well prepared trails and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding impressive mountainscape including the world famous triple peaks Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau from one of the numerous lookout points. Experience a cable car ride to the sunny terrace of “Mt. First” or undertake a fun trottibike ride (optional activities, operating approx. mid May – mid October). In the evening, various restaurants in Interlaken (resp. Grindelwald) await you for dinner (not included). With cuisine that ranges from trendy to authentic local food, folk music as well as ski lodges and bars that turn night into day, there is a broad variety of activities in Interlaken (resp. Grindelwald) just waiting to be discovered. Overnight stay including buffet breakfast.

Day 5 - Jungfraujoch & Lauterbrunnen
After enjoying the buffet breakfast at your hotel, you meet our tour guide at Interlaken Tourist Service (resp. Grindelwald-Grund train station) for the guided excursion to the Jungfraujoch - TOP OF EUROPE, the highlight of your Swiss holiday. Your luggage will be stored in the bus before we board the cogwheel train in Grindelwald for a spectacular ride via Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch. Stunning views of the Jungfrau region mountain panorama accompany you all the way to the top and the imposing Eiger North Face seems to be within one’s grasp. Once at the top of Jungfraujoch, immerse yourself in the fascinating high-Alpine wonderland of ice, snow and rock. Experience the adventure tour “Alpine Sensation” marking the 100-year anniversary of the Jungfrau Railway and visit the Sphinx Observation Terrace and Plateau with the most breathtaking panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, neighboring countries and Europe’s longest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier. Don’t forget to stroll through the tunnels of the Ice Palace located in the heart of the glacier – a once in a lifetime experience you don’t want to miss. After this unforgettable winter experience the descent passes car-free holiday destination Wengen taking you to Lauterbrunnen, where the coach awaits you for the return trip to Zurich. Spend the night in Zurich.

Day 6 - Train to Venice
Today you will depart Zurich, boarding the train to Venice. The rest of the day is at your own leisure in Venice.

Day 7 - Free Day in Venice
You have a full day at your own leisure to explore the island of Venice.

Take a stroll along the Grand Canal and explore the winding streets in Venice. Visit the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square where you will find Doges Palace and the Basilica di San Marco. For the real Venetian experience try a ride on a gondola on the waterways of Venice or visit the island or Murano for a Glass Blowing tour.

Day 8 - Depart Venice
Your driver will be waiting for you at the Venice Island Parking lot where from which you will be taken to the airport for your flight back home.

Foot Notes:

  1. Transport to and from train stations are not included in this package. Hotels are selected to be close to the train station, however should you prefer transport included, this can be added.
  2. The scheduled tour to the Swiss Alps departs from a parking lot close to the Zurich train station. Passengers will need to make their own way to the starting point to join the tour.
  3. There are no roads in Venice. The driver will be waiting for guests at the parking lot, which is less than 800m from the hotel. Alternatively pick up can be arranged at extra cost by private boat.

8 Day France, Italy and Swiss Alps by Rail

IN ZAR Package Rates from
December '20 R 20,195 pp sharing
January  - March '21 R 19,800 pp sharing
April'21 R 22,670 pp sharing
May - June '21 R 25,000 pp sharing
*Optional Tour Upgrade Add R 5,200 pp

Peak season surcharges may apply to:
School Holidays, Easter Holidays, Christmas & New Years

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Package rates includes:

  • Return economy class airfares from South Africa to  Paris / Venice
  • Airport taxes
  • 7 Nights Accommodation in 3 Star Hotels (close to train stations for convenience)
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 2nd Class train ticket from Paris - Zurich - Venice

Tour Upgrade option Includes:

  • Arrival and Departure Airport Transfers in Paris and Venice
  • Replace 1 night in Zurich with a night in the Swiss Alps (Grindelwald or Interlaken)
  • 2 Swiss Alps Guided Tour :
    - Scenic cogwheel train ride to the top of Jungfraujoch through a glacier
    - Experience the adventure tour “Alpine Sensation”
    - Visit the Sphinx Observation Terrace with the most breathtaking panoramic views of snow-capped peaks
    - Visit the Ice Palace
    - Pass through the scenic mountain towns of Wengen & Lauterbrunnen

Package rates excludes:

  • Meals not specified
  • Road transfers (available on request)
  • Excursions
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Items of Personal Nature

Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases, currency exchange, fluctuations and any unforeseen circumstances, without prior notice.

 

Below are a few optional extras you can add to your holiday:

Paris

  • Big Bus Paris Hop-on Hop-off Tour - from R 785 pp
  • Paris City Tour - R 590 pp
  • Eiffel Tower Tour (2nd floor)  - R 930 pp
  • City Tour, Seine River Cruise & Eiffel Tower (Summit)  - R 2,000 pp
  • Audio Guided Visit of the Louvre Museum - R830 pp
  • Guided Tour of the Louvre Museum(skip the line) - R 1,395 pp
  • Versailles and its Gardens with audio guide - R 1,422 pp
  • More tour options on request

Zurich

  • Lucerne and Mount Pilatus (Lake Cruise, Cable Car & Cogwheel Rail Ride)- R 2,885 pp
  • Zurich City Tour - R 640 pp
  • Grindelwald and Interlaken Day trip - R 1,760 pp
  • Rhine Falls and Stein am Rhein - R 1,293 pp
  • More tour options on request

Venice

  • Venice in a Day (incl Gondola Ride) - R 2,610 pp
  • Gondola Ride with audio guide - R 670 pp
  • Piazza San Marco Walking Tour - R 400 pp
  • Dolomites and Cortina Excursion Tour - R 3,135 pp
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