Length: 8 Days. Group educational tour from Venice to the Alps for 12 or more students or adults. Self-designed custom tours typically led by teachers of high school juniors and seniors.
Highlights Venice Walking Tour, Venice City Tour, Doges’ Palace, Murano Glass Blowing Demonstration, Salzburg City Tour, Mozart’s Birthplace, Salt Mines Tour, Salzburg Walking Tour, Dachau Tour, Liechtenstein, Lucerne Walking Tour
Itinerary: Venice (2), Salzburg (2), Garmisch (1), Lucerne (2), Lake Como Area (1)
Day 1 – Depart
Overnight flight to Italy.
Day 2 – Venice
Benvenuto in Italia! Your private bus and guide will transfer the group to Venice, city of lagoons and luminous light. Later a walking tour among the churches, cafés, palaces, and pigeons of the Piazza San Marco sets the tone for enchantment.
Day 3 – Venice
This morning’s guided Venice City Tour takes you past the city’s palazzos, along the Grand Canal, across the Rialto Bridge, and back to the Piazza to visit the pink marble Doges’ Palace with its many art treasures. Also featured is a visit to see traditional Venetian glass blowers at work producing the famous Murano crystal.
Day 4 – Salzburg
Journey through the Alps to Austria, and arrive in a beautiful city set in a steep valley with a majestic castle looming above. A guided Salzburg City Tour takes you to see Hohensalzburg Fortress, Schloss Mirabell, St. Peter’s Abbey, and for a visit inside Mozart’s Birthplace, featuring memorabilia that includes the child prodigy’s first violin.
Day 5 – Salzburg
Venture to one of Austria’s famous salt mines. From the days of the Celts to the Salzburg Archbishops, salt brought riches and prosperity. A visit to the salt mines is a journey to the time when salt was still called “White Gold.” Descend into the mines by sliding down a chute. Glide on a raft along the subterranean salt lake and hear the fascinating story of the “Man in the salt.” The visitor’s route eventually reaches the underground salt lake. Return to Salzburg for a walking tour, strolling along the atmospheric old streets.
Day 6 – Garmisch
Travel to the sunny Bavarian area of Garmish-Partenkirchen, with Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. Stop for a guided tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. Dachau was not one the foremost extermination camps, but a detention camp and a research center for the Auschwitz experiments. Arrive in an alpine resort that still retains the charm of an ancient village. Traffic comes to halt each evening for the Return of the Herds, and picturesque old peasants’ houses can be seen on Frühlingstrasse.
Day 7 – Lucerne
Transfer to Switzerland through Liechtenstein, one of the smallest nations in the world. Arrive in the lovely lakeside town of Lucerne, nestled in the Swiss Alps. A Lucerne Walking Tour takes you over the Mill Bridge (Spreuerbrücke) and the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) with its painted roof and octagonal water tower. See the Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus), the medieval town ramparts, and other highlights.
Day 8 – Lucerne
Today is free for discovery. Option: An excursion to Mount Pilatus, the mountain of Lucerne, is an absolute must. Mt Pilatus (7,000 feet) with the steepest cog railway in the world (48% gradient) and is magnificent view of the Alps, six lakes and the city of Lucerne is an unforgettable experience. The Pilatus cogwheel railway’s Alpnachstad station is on the main line between Lucerne and Interlaken, making Pilatus an easy stopover on a trip from Lucerne. A panoramic restaurant at the top of the mountain provides you with a fantastic view of the alpine world surrounding you.
Day 9 – Lake Como Area
Travel to the Lombardy Lakes region of Italy. Spend your last day enjoying its unique combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks.
Day 10 – Depart
Transfer to the Milan airport and board your flight home, with magnificent memories of all you’ve seen, from Venice to the Alps.