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9 night / 10 day holiday by First Class rail on daytime trains, based on a departure in low to mid-season, including 3 nights B&B in a twin/double room at the Hotel Independent (4 star) in Rome and 4 nights B&B in a sea view twin/double room at the Hotel Bristol (4 star) in Sorrento, plus overnight stays B&B in twin/double rooms at the Hotel Helmhaus (4 star) in Zurich and the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) in Montreux, plus private taxi transfers in Paris and Sorrento from £1,995 per person.
You begin your ‘Grand Tour’ as you enter the spectacularly restored St Pancras International station.
Stroll beneath the station’s wondrous arched-glass roof before you relax in your Standard Premier Class seat on board the Eurostar on your journey through to Paris.
As you arrive into the Gare du Nord you are greeted by your private taxi driver at the platform end, who will transfer you through Paris to the Gare de Lyon. Here you board your comfortable TGV service for the onward journey through the changing French and Swiss countryside and past quaint rural towns and villages before you arrive into the attractive lakeside city of Zurich.
Here you spend tonight at the highly-rated Hotel Helmhaus (4 star), ideally situated close to the city’s main attractions.
This morning why not make the most of your time in Zurich with a tour of some of the most charming attractions? The beauty of this compact city lies in the ability to showcase a sample of its culture, history and stunning architecture on only a short walk. Start with a saunter through the glamorous Bahnhofstrasse, a street crammed with luxurious shops, selling the best Switzerland can offer, before a visit to some of Zurich’s most famous landmarks, the Old Town burgher houses, Rathaus (Town Hall) and many historic churches. As you reach the opening of Lake Zurich, cross the river and loop back on yourself along the western banks of the Limmat to the Lindenhof Hill, an oasis in the centre of the city and an ideal vantage point for a final view across Zurich.
Make the journey back to Zurich HB station, for the scenic journey along the impressive Gotthard route through the Swiss Alps. The line transports you through picturesque scenery, climbing to the foot of the snow-capped Alps and through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel and a marvellous feat of engineering. You soon emerge and continue across the Swiss border and through the outstanding Italian Lakes before arriving in Milan.
Stretch your legs as you change trains in Milan’s impressive Centrale station and join the flagship Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) service for the journey south to Rome and into Roma Termini station. Enter the Eternal city and make your way to your base for the next three nights, the well-located Liberty Boutique Hotel (4 star).
Rome is truly one of the most thrilling and seductive cities in the world.
Discover a feast of architectural wonders, fine art and indulgent dining seemingly around each corner on your two full days in the Eternal city. With an array of world renowned attractions including the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Coliseum and Vatican city you will find your days filled with glorious sights before perhaps having a break with a ‘gelato’ in Piazza Navona or enjoying some time shopping on Via del Corso.
An attraction not to be missed is Michelangelo’s masterpiece, located in the Sistine Chapel. Alternatively, if you would like to sample some spectacular panoramic cityscape scenery, then make sure you take a trip to the top of St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Today you journey by first class rail south-east from the eternal city to the Sorrento peninsula and the Bay of Naples. The high-speed connection takes you just over an hour.
On arrival at Naples station a private taxi will transfer you to Sorrento and your hotel for the next 4 nights, the Hotel Bristol (4 star), ideally situated just up the hill from the centre of Sorrento with stunning views over the Bay of Naples.
From your base in Sorrento there are plenty of options available to you. You might like to take a boat to the legendary island of Capri (pictured), popular with many famous stars, with its incredible blue grotto or along the dazzling Amalfi Coast to the pretty village of Positano, perched above the sea, as if glued to the cliffside.
Alternatively visit Pompeii or Herculaneum, poignant reminders of the brooding Vesuvius which still looms above them today.
Savour your final morning on the Italian coast before your private taxi transports you back to Naples station to board the Eurostar Italia Frecciarossa service to Milan. Sit back and watch the world go by or simply revel in the romanticism of rail travel across Europe.
As you arrive into Milan station connect with your onward Euro City service for the picturesque journey as you weave between the towering peaks of the Swiss Alps and descend to the charming town of Montreux, nestled on the eastern shores of Lake Geneva.
Your ideally located hotel in Montreux is the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior), situated directly opposite the station. This evening you might like to make the most of your lakeside position with an evening stroll along the elegant promenade.
Awake this morning to stunning views over the crystal clear waters of Lake Geneva. You may have time to make the journey on foot (approx. 40 min walk) or on board the trolley bus to the Château de Chillon, an architectural jewel located in one of the most beautiful settings in the region.
Savour the views from this majestic setting before making your way back to the station for your onward journey along the northern shores of Lake Geneva to Lausanne. Here you change trains for the high-speed first class journey north through France aboard the TGV service to Paris.
Relax on board as you gaze across the passing scenery before the train arrives into the Gare de Lyon. You are greeted by your taxi transfer which transports you across Paris back to the Gare du Nord, where you can make your way to the Eurostar terminal and board the comfortable Eurostar service.
Relax on-board as the train leaves the bustling Parisian metropolis and builds to speeds of up to 186mph. Reminisce about some of the highlights of your glorious tour as you leave the countryside of northern France and cross the English Channel into Kent for your return to London St Pancras International for the last stage of your route home.
The stylish and intimate Hotel Helmhaus Zurich (4 star), located in the Old Town dates from the 14th century, and is a minute’s walk from both the Helmhaus Art Museum and tram stop. The air-conditioned, individually decorated rooms have minimalist modern furnishings and oak wood parquet floors, plus free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars; tea and coffeemaking facilities are available on request. A complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet is offered daily in an artsy dining room. Other amenities include loaner iPads and seasonal welcome drinks.
The Liberty Boutique Hotel (4 star) enjoys a convenient location just 500 metres from Roma Termini station. The stylish brand-new boutique hotel has just 25 tastefully appointed rooms, equipped with wi-fi, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, memory foam mattress, Espresso maker, minibar, electric kettle, complimentary bottled water and toiletries. Each sound-proofed room is decorated in classic liberty style to the finest detail with the highest quality materials and finished by the local artisans. Rooms include a private bathroom with a shower.
The Hotel Bristol (4 star) is set on the cliff-side with stunning panoramic views from the picturesque fishing village of Marina Grande below to Punta Scutolo in the distance and directly across the Bay of Naples to the majestic Mount Vesuvius, with Pompei and Naples at its feet. This hotel, run for generations by the professional Acampora Family, prides itself on its exceptional service and hospitality. Typically Italian in style, the hotel is furnished with local hand-painted ceramics and art. Light, airy lounges complement the 129 fresh and bright fully-equipped guest rooms with picture postcard views. The Junior Suites also offer a large terrace with table, armchairs and sunbeds. Some Junior Suites also have an external Jacuzzi bath. The hotel boasts two elegant restaurants on the 7th floor, where you can take breakfast with incomparable views over the bay, and in the evenings enjoy the excellent international cuisine. You can also dine at the al fresco roof-top Restaurant La Pergola. The Hotel Bristol also has two bars, including a lively roof-top pool bar (day time) and the elegant Bar Marina, decorated in a colonial style with a beautiful floor made up of herringbone parquet and local Vietri tiles. The swimming pool backs onto peaceful olive groves and guests can spend their days relaxing on the rooftop solarium in the large wicker armchairs.
The Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4-star superior) is a traditional Belle-Époque hotel, originally built in 1870 and located right in the centre of Montreux, just a few steps from the railway station. The hotel has 140 rooms and benefits from fabulous views of Lake Geneva and the Alps from its summer terrace. All the comfortable en-suite rooms in this stylish hotel feature air conditioning, TV, minibar, radio and telephone.
Throughout the year and tailor-made to suit your holiday needs
For information and booking Tel: 01347 825292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org