Switzerland – Flying Longhorns
  • $3,555
  • $600
  • AHI
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Please note the new trip dates of: August 30th – September 9, 2017

Discover the pristine beauty of Switzerland. Immerse yourself first in the German-speaking area of the country, and settle in lakeside Thun. With an included Swiss rail pass, visit the towns of Kandersteg and Brienz, famous for woodworking and a steam train that winds its way up a mountain for a magnificent view of hundreds of mountains, including the iconic Jungfrau, Monc and Eiger peaks. Walk (or take a train if you prefer) through the Lauterbrunnen Valley to the car-free mountain village of Murren, and explore the capital of Bern. Conclude your journey with a stay in the French-speaking village of Villars-sur-Ollon. Visit a dairy farm in Gruyères and sample farm-made cheese. Journey to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn. Local guides and experts provide fascinating insight during included excursions and lectures. This Alumni Campus Abroad program is limited to only 28 travelers. The program includes first-class accommodations, engaging excursions, an enrichment program and an extensive meal plan plus wine with dinner.


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Itinerary

Day 1 :
Depart gateway city
Depart your gateway city for Zürich, Switzerland.
Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service
Day 2 :
Zürich, Switzerland/Thun
Arrive at Zürich Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them.
Transfer to Thun, and check in to the Hotel Freienhof.
Excursion: Thun
A classic Swiss town in the Bernese Oberland, Thun is ideal for exploring on foot. Become acquainted with the town during a walking tour. See the medieval castle, the town hall and other highlights.
Accommodations – Hotel Freienhof
Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service
Day 3 :
Thun/Kandersteg
Educational Focus: Introduction to Switzerland
Discover the history of Switzerland and what makes this mountainous country unique among its European neighbors.
Excursion: Kandersteg
Board a train for a scenic ride to Kandersteg. Take the lift to Lake Oeschinen, where you can stretch your legs on a walk around the lake. The sparkling, blue water is typical of the glacial lakes of the region, and the surrounding mountains provide a stunning backdrop. Return to Kandersteg by lift. There also are horse-drawn carriages available at an additional cost.
Local Flavor
Sample local specialties at lunch in Kandersteg.
Return by train to Thun.
Accommodations – Hotel Freienhof
Meals – Breakfast and lunch
Day 4 :
Bern
Excursion: Bern
Visit the Swiss capital of Bern. Enjoy a guided walking tour of this beautiful, historic city. Some of the city’s most popular sites include the Clock Tower, Einstein House and the Cathedral of Bern, a stunning example of late Gothic architecture.
Independent Exploration
Enjoy some free time for lunch and exploring on your own in Bern.
Accommodations – Hotel Freienhof
Meals – Breakfast
Day 5 :
Brienz/Rothhorn/Interlaken
Excursion: Bernese Mountains
The lakeside town of Brienz is steeped in the tradition of woodcarving. Take a breathtaking train ride up the Brienzer Rothorn, the highest point in the canton of Lucerne. From here, you you can see peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. After lunch, return to Brienz and cruise Lake Brienz to Interlaken, where you will return to Thun by train.
Local Flavor
Enjoy lunch with a view atop the Rothorn.
Independent Exploration
If you wish, you can spend some time at leisure in Interlaken and return to Thun by train on your own.
Accommodations – Hotel Freienhof
Meals – Breakfast and lunch
Day 6 :
Lauterbrunnen Valley/Mürren
Educational Focus: Mountain Climbing
Mountain climbing is one of the most popular sports in Switzerland. Learn about this favorite pastime.
Excursion: Lauterbrunnen Valley
Journey by train to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Take the train or walk the flower trail at Allmendhubel to the car-free village of Mürren and enjoy spectacular mountain views.
Local Flavor
Enjoy dinner in Thun.
Accommodations – Hotel Freienhof
Meals – Breakfast and dinner
Day 7 :
Gruyères/Villars-sur-Ollon
Today, travel to Villars-sur-Ollon.
Excursion: Cheese and Chocolate
Travel through the Jaunpass, a scenic mountain pass, as you make your way from the German-speaking area of the country to the French-speaking region. Visit a dairy farm to try the local cheese. Continue to Gruyères, a medieval town. Next, visit a chocolate factory to learn about Switzerland’s other famous food and enjoy a sample.
Independent Exploration
Spend some time at leisure in Gruyères for lunch and exploring on your own.
Upon arrival in Villars, check in to the Hotel du Golf & Spa.
Accommodations – Hotel du Golf & Spa
Meals – Breakfast and dinner
Day 8 :
Montreux/Villars
Excursion: French Connection
Travel to the Edwardian town of Montreux, which has charmed artists, musicians and literati for centuries. Cruise Lake Geneva to visit the castle that inspired Lord Byron’s epic poem, “The Prisoner of Chillon.”
Local Flavor
Savor a delicious dinner in Villars.
Accommodations – Hotel du Golf & Spa
Meals – Breakfast and dinner
Day 9 :
Zermatt/Villars
Excursion: The Matterhorn
Journey to Zermatt, the charming Alpine resort town, to see the mighty Matterhorn, glaciers, waterfalls and mountain flora.
Independent Exploration
Spend some time at leisure in Zermatt. If you wish, you can take the cog railway (at an additional cost) to the Gornergrat for views at more than 10,000 feet. Enjoy lunch on your own.
Return to Villars.
Educational Focus: Swiss Wine
Switzerland is not as famous as its French, Italian and German neighbors for its wine, but that may be because nearly all Swiss wine is consumed within its borders. Learn about Switzerland’s best-kept secret!
Accommodations – Hotel du Golf & Spa
Meals – Breakfast
Day 10 :
Villars
Independent Exploration
Enjoy a full day at leisure. An Elective Activity is available.
Elective Activity: Two Countries, One Lake
Explore the picturesque town of Lausanne, which has a delightful medieval Old Town, before cruising across Lake Geneva to Évian, France, one of France’s leading spa towns. Enjoy guided tours in both cities and time for lunch on your own in Évian. Available at an additional cost.
Enjoy a Farewell Reception followed by a Graduation Ceremony and a special Farewell Dinner featuring fondue, the famous Swiss specialty.
Accommodations – Hotel du Golf & Spa
Meals – Breakfast and dinner
Day 11 :
Depart for gateway city
After breakfast, depart for the Geneva Airport for your return flight home. (Provided for AHI FlexAir passengers.)
Meals — Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service
NOTE: Itinerary schedule may change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.

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