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EXPLORING THE ALPS TO THE DOLOMITES

Embark on a five country adventure into one of the most awe-inspiring breathtaking regions of Europe – from the Alps to the Dolomites. Explore postcard perfect vistas, storybook villages, and iconic peaks on this invigorating journey.

Dates

Sat Sep 23 – Wed Oct 4, 2023

Location

France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy

Cost

$4899/Person

Deposit

$850/Person

EMBARK ON A FIVE COUNTRY ADVENTURE THROUGH THE PEAKS OF EUROPE

OPTIONAL VENICE EXTENSION FINALE

Stray off the beaten path into the most sensory-immersive, visually breathtaking regions of Europe – from the Alps to the Dolomites – on an amazing journey through France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy. Embark on an invigorating adventure through Europe’s towering Alps and idyllic towns, and ascend four unique mountains via cable car and cogwheel train. Marvel at the magnificent beauty of Chamonix, Mont Blanc, Gstaad, and Lucerne. Visit Jungfraujoch and stand at the “Top of Europe” and take in its marvelous vistas. Highlights include traveling onboard the GoldenPass train through Switzerland; enjoying alpine walks and nature experiences throughout the itinerary; visiting the lovely Swiss vineyards of Lavaux, and the charming Italian vineyards of Prosecco – enjoying a tasting at both. Spending time in the idyllic storybook towns of Lucerne, Innsbruck, and Cortina crowned by towering Dolomite mountains; along with slumbering in a Venetian villa, will all add to this memorable adventure. Discover the heart of the Dolomites with a full-day exploration into the UNESCO protected area of the Badia Valley and delve into the Ladin culture with a delicious farm-to-table lunch. Enjoy an afternoon in Bavaria to visit the world famous Oberammergau village and indulge in Tyrolean cuisine. Take a mesmerizing peak walk along the Glacier 3000 ascending via cable car to a 9,700-ft summit for a mountaintop lunch. Come explore with us across France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy, to encounter the extraordinary natural beauty and inviting local charm that each of these countries beckon you to experience. Opt-in for a finale extension with two additional nights in the romantic city of Venice, “The Queen of the Adriatic”.

This is a private THIRDHOME small-group tour with a maximum occupancy of 24.  Our group size is kept small, allowing this Adventure to be a more engaging and rewarding experience for participants. On this active, immersive journey, travelers will connect with the culture of the extraordinary destinations of five alpine countries in an authentic and more intimate way. 

Who Can Participate

Exchange Club & Adventure Club Members, along with their family & friends ● Age requirement 12+ 

Activity Level

To experience this unique destination, you will need to be able to participate in physical activities such as walking tours, that includes walking over uneven terrain, climbing stairs and various time-period lengths of standing (between 1-2 hrs). You can navigate hills and uneven ground, climb onboard various modes of transportation and adapt to changes in elevation. You can expect some longer guided days, balanced with ample free time to relax or set out on your own to explore each city. Some of the touring days have pre-planned select included group activities in addition to occasional meals together as a group. Guests should bring adequate sun protection, appropriate layers and sturdy walking shoes adequate for walking and climbing on uneven surfaces.

THE ALPS & DOLOMITES HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the panoramic beauty of the majestic Alps and the Dolomites
  • Explore five extraordinary countries – France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy
  • Enjoy the French town of Chamonix, nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc
  • Immerse yourself into the QC Terme Chamonix, one of the most luxurious spas in the Alps
  • Ascend the Aiguille du Midi mountain range in Chamonix via scenic cable car
  • Journey on the GoldenPass Train through the picturesque Swiss countryside
  • Be rejuvenated with the fresh alpine air within four unique mountaintop experiences
  • Encounter the “Pups of Barryland”, a foundation protecting the heritage of the St. Bernard
  • Taste artisanal raclette cheese production and enjoy a brunch at a local produce farm
  • Experience the Trummeblach waterfalls within the cavern in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
  • Relax within the serenity of Grindelwald nestled at the base of legendary Mount Eiger
  • Marvel at the winter wonderland of Jungfraujoch at “The Top of Europe”
  • Stroll through the three storybook towns of Lucerne, Innsbruck and Cortina
  • Visit the terraced vineyards of Lavaux and enjoy a delightful tasting among the vines
  • Delight in a vineyard visit and wine tasting in the gorgeous Prosecco region of Italy
  • Toast to the end of your journey during a farewell dinner and stay in a Venetian villa
  • Soak up the idyllic Alpine quintessential ambiance throughout this adventure
  • Choose to Add-On an optional Post-Adventure Venice Extension – Enjoy a 2-night/3-day extension into Venice. Details can be found in the Itinerary expanded version and in the Adventure Optional Extension section.
  • Choose to Add-On optional Premium Excursions – Choose to experience one or all of these: Heart of the Dolomites UNESCO’s Badia Valley with a farm-to-table lunch; an Afternoon in Bavaria’s Oberammergau with an authentic Tyrolean lunch; and Glacier 3000 Peak Walk with lunch at the summit. Details can be found in the Itinerary expanded version and in the Adventure Optional Premium Experience section.

ADVENTURE ROUTE MAP

Itinerary

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ARRIVAL INTO CHAMONIX, FRANCE (GENEVA)

The adventure begins today with arrivals into Geneva’s International Airport. Based on each traveler’s unique flight needs, transfers will be provided for the scenic 1-hour road journey to our spectacular beginning to Chamonix, France. Upon arrival, say “Bonjour” to Chamonix – the perennial ski-hub nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc. Enjoy the afternoon at your own leisure to wander the pedestrian-friendly streets of this quaint town steeped in hundreds of years of history. Tonight, join up with all your new friends and toast to the start of our alpine adventure with a wonderful Welcome Group Dinner. Overnight at Hotel La Folie Douce. (Dinner included)

EXPLORE CHAMONIX

This morning enjoy breakfast, and experience a “Your Choice Excursion of how you wish to explore the legendary Mont Blanc – the birthplace of mountaineering! Choose either option (A) – Ascend the Aiguille du Midi by cable car to an elevation of over 12,600 feet – this is the closest you can get to the summit of Europe’s tallest peak (OR) choose option (B) – Relax aboard the Tramway du Mont Blanc rack-railway taking in its vintage charm and the impressive views from the Eagle’s Nest, located 7,782 feet above sea level. This afternoon, enjoy a stroll through the wooded forest serenity at the bottom of the valley. Evening free to relax, stroll on your own and enjoy dinner in one of the many local establishments. Overnight at Hotel La Folie Douce. (Breakfast included)

Special Note: In addition to the high altitude, the Aiguille du Midi choice requires the ability to negotiate 200 steps up/down at the altitude of over 12,600 feet (3,842 meters) above sea level where oxygen levels are scarce.

GOLDENPASS TRAIN TO GSTAAD

After breakfast, we will bid adieu to Chamonix and France, and set out for Switzerland. During today’s impactful adventure moment, we will encounter with the world-famous “Pups of Barryland”, a local foundation that promotes and protects the heritage of the St. Bernard and their long history of being the official dog of Switzerland. Next we will journey on a memorable afternoon train ride onboard the GoldenPass, which will whisk us through the pastoral Swiss landscape en route to Gtsaad. Upon arrival, we will check-into our group hotel. Freshen up, relax and bit, and then enjoy a lovely group dinner at a local restaurant located in a traditional chalet. Overnight at Golf Hotel les Hauts de Gstaad. (Breakfast and dinner included)

DISCOVER GSTAAD

Following breakfast, we will venture into Gstaad this morning and explore this car-free scenic town dotted with iconic ski chalets immersed in the surrounding charming countryside. The remainder of the day is free – OR perhaps opt-in for the highly-recommended Premium Excursion: Join an optional tour to Glacier 3000, ascending via cable car to its 9,700-foot summit. Take in the views over the Bernese Oberland while dining at a mountaintop restaurant. Scan the horizon for famous peaks such as the Grand Combin, or even the legendary Matterhorn, before taking the exciting walk across a suspension footbridge spanning two summits. Remainder of the late afternoon and evening to enjoy as you wish. Overnight at Golf Hotel les Hauts de Gstaad. (Breakfast included)

JOURNEY TO GRINDELWALD

This morning after breakfast, we depart Gstaad for our onward destination. We will travel through the alpine meadows of the Bernese Oberland, an area renowned for its cheese production, visiting an artisanal creamery producing raclette cheese and taste the local produce during a brunch on the farm. We will continue to Trümmelbach, a complex of waterfalls located inside a cavern in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This afternoon, we will arrive into Grindelwald, nestled at the base of legendary Mount Eiger. Upon arrival, we will check-into our group hotel located in this charming alpine village. Overnight at Sunstar Alpine Hotel Grindelwald. (Breakfast and lunch included)

JUNGFRAUJOCH “TOP OF EUROPE”

After breakfast this morning, we depart on a memorable journey – onboard a short cogwheel train ride to Jungfraujoch (UNESCO World Heritage Site), known as the “Top of Europe.” Take your time to explore this eternal winter wonderland with impressive views of the imposing triple peaks of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Wander the frosty halls of the Ice Palace to see works of icy art carved by local artists or stand next to the Swiss flag to capture your time above it all. Return to the hotel, with the evening at leisure to enjoy as you wish, dining in a local establishment. Overnight at Sunstar Alpine Hotel Grindelwald. (Breakfast included)

JOURNEY TO LUCERNE & SEEFELD, AUSTRIA

Following breakfast this morning, we will spend some time along the lakeside city of Lucerne, considered one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland. We then will journey onward, making our way through Liechtenstein, the only country to lie entirely within the Alps, on our way to Austria. Upon arrival into Seefeld, we will check-into our group hotel. This evening is yours to relax and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant or dine within the hotel. Overnight at Seelos Hotel Seefeld. (Breakfast included)

EXPLORE SEEFELD & OPTIONAL OBERAMMERGAU

After breakfast this morning, we will explore the idyllic town of Seefeld in a horse-drawn carriage, pausing to take in the unspoiled beauty of the Tyrolean mountains and forests. This afternoon you may choose to either relax (OR) opt in for a Premium Excursion into Oberammergau – journey across the nearby border from Austria into Germany, onward to Oberammergau, the world-renowned home of the Passion Play. This Bavarian village of traditionally painted houses comes together every 10 years to perform a 10-hour folk theatre rendition of the Passion of Christ in thanksgiving for escaping the plague of 1633. After visiting the theatre site and town, we will indulge in homemade Tyrolean cuisine at a local restaurant before returning to Seefeld for the evening. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight at Seelos Hotel Seefeld. (Breakfast included; lunch included for those who opt-into the Oberammergau excursion)

JOURNEY TO INNSBRUCK, CORTINA & BELZANO

Following breakfast, we will depart Seefeld, and continue on our adventure to our next destination. We will take in the spectacular scenery of the majestic Bavarian Alps en route to enchanting Innsbruck. Here we will enjoy the charming streets, discover the historic old town, and see the landmark highlights such as the famous Golden Roof and other Baroque architectural wonders, including the city tower, the Imperial Palace and the colorful houses along the riverbank. Afterwards we will depart Austria for Cortina, Italy, en route we will view the unique jagged limestone peaks of the Dolomites. Upon arrival into Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Queen of the Dolomites (UNESCO World Heritage Site), we will enjoy a photo opportunity. We will continue a short distance to Belzano, the charming city in this Southern Tyrol province of north Italy. Set within a beautiful valley amid hilly vineyards with a medieval city center, it is a gateway to the Dolomites mountain range in the Italian Alps. We will check-into our group hotel to relax. This evening enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Bellevue Bolzano. (Breakfast included)

EXPLORE BELZANO & CORTINA

After breakfast, the day is yours to decide how you wish to experience it — either bask in the charm of Cortina, strolling along its main street and taking in the views of the surrounding Dolomite peaks, do some shopping or just relax (OR) perhaps opt-in to a Premium Excursion into the “Heart of the Dolomites“: Explore further into this legendary mountain range’s heart to discover its natural beauty and local traditions. During this excursion, we will enjoy a guided walk in the Badia Valley, learning about the centuries-old Ladin culture before stopping at a nearby maso – a local alpine farm – for a taste of authentic Ladin fare. Afterwards we will enjoy a cable car ride to Rifugio Lagazuoi for stunning views of the peaks. This evening we return to Belzano, to relax and enjoy dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Bellevue Bolzano. (Breakfast included; lunch included for those opting into the Premium Experience Excursion)

VISIT PROSECCO WINERY – JOURNEY TO MOGLIANO VENETO

Today after breakfast, we will journey south into the rolling hills of Italy’s Prosecco region. We will stop to enjoy a visit at a local vineyard where we will taste the region’s famous sparkling specialty combined with assorted local cheeses and cold cuts during a light lunch. We will continue to our group hotel located in Mogliano, Veneto, approximately 20-minutes from Venice. This evening, explore the beautifully frescoed halls and lovely grounds of our historic countryside villa before we gather for group dinner and toast to newly forged friends, fond memories, and unforgettable scenery we have all experienced. Overnight at Hotel Villa Condulmer. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

DEPART FOR HOME (OR) VENICE EXTENSION

Enjoy breakfast this morning and depart the hotel with ground transportation to the Venice Marco Polo International Airport for your return flight home (OR) Opt-in for the add-on Venice Extension below. (Breakfast included)

VENICE EXTENSION

OCT 4: Enjoy breakfast this morning and depart the hotel with a ground transfer into Venice; followed by a motorboat transfer to the main center of Old Venice, where we will meet our local guide for a walking tour of this incredible city, including the Bridge of Sighs, the Clock Tower, and St. Mark’s Square. You’ll also learn about the Venetian art of glassblowing during an interactive demonstration in an artisan studio. Remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure to relax or enjoy as you wish, with lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight at the Ca’dei Conti Hotel. (Breakfast included)

OCT 5: After breakfast this morning, enjoy a day to explore Venice at your leisure. From your centrally located hotel, the city is yours to uncover. Meander amongst the historic streets, taking in the city’s unique architecture and gondola-laden canals. We recommend enjoying the local cuisine at a typical bacaro, a small wine-bar where locals stop for a glass of wine – traditionally called ombra – and a quick bite of local tapas – that Venetians call cicchetti. Or perhaps take a local public waterbus ride to the nearby island of San Giorgio which offers spectacular views of St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight at the Ca’dei Conti Hotel. (Breakfast included)

DEPART VENICE – JOURNEY HOME

Enjoy breakfast this morning and say “Arriverdeci” to Italy as your adventure comes to an end. Depart the hotel with ground and boat transportation to the Venice International Airport for your return flight home or onward destination. (Breakfast included)

EXTENDING YOUR ADVENTURE

Extend the Adventure with 2 additional nights in Venice at the end
Please refer to “Adventure Pricing” below for more details

ACCOMMODATIONS

Enjoy 4-5 star boutique accommodations throughout the Adventure in the order of the itinerary nights, at the following properties:

What’s Included

  • 11 Nights Accommodations in 4-5-star properties throughout group itinerary – 2 Nights Chamonix, 2 Nights Gstaad, 2 Nights Grindelwald, 2 Nights Seefeld, 2 Nights Bolzano, 1 Night Mogliano Veneto/Venice + Optional Extension in Venice for 2 additional Nights
  • Small-group deluxe bus transportation where applicable in each region of the itinerary, including other modes of unique transportation as noted per adventure itinerary
  • Internal Rail Journey onboard the GoldenPass Train as noted per itinerary
  • Internal Domestic flights (when required) per adventure itinerary organized group tour
  • 17 Group Meals including 11 breakfasts, 21 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Insider expert tour guides throughout adventure itinerary
  • All sightseeing experiences as noted per adventure itinerary

What’s not Included

  • International Airfare – into Geneva for arrival / departure from Venice to home
  • Airport/Hotel Transfers – Arrival in Geneva to Chamonix / Departure from Venice to airport – $150 per person
  • Visas may be required for each destination based on traveler’s nationality (TBA)
  • Meals “on your own” when not provided in the scheduled group itinerary
  • Optional activities, spa treatments and hotel incidentals are on your own
  • Optional Premium Experiences offered are excursions while on tour at additional cost as noted
  • Optional Extension – Stay longer in Venice offered post tour (as package noted below)
  • Additional pre and post nights at group hotels (if available)
  • “Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance (refer to pricing details as it is highly recommended)

VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS

  • PASSPORTS – All traveler passports MUST have validity of minimum 6 months or longer at the time travel occurs, otherwise the risk of denied travel could be experienced per airline carrier rules and country entry requirement mandates with Customs & Immigrations. We recommend that our members travel abroad with a photocopy of their passport and applicable visas. Your photocopy should be packed separately from your actual passport. We also recommend leaving a copy at home with your emergency contact or entrusted family/friend.
  • PROOF OF RETURN OR ONWARD TICKET – Italy requires proof of onward ticket or return to your original destination or another destination outside of their country, to ensure you are not staying past the 90-days allowance; travelers must present proof of purchase of your airline carrier ticket through the Customs & Immigrations process

OPTIONAL PREMIUM EXCURSIONS

ADD-ON this Premium Excursion in Gstaad

Glacier 3000 Peak Walk & Summit Lunch | $169 per person | Duration: 5 Hours – Take a spectacular aerial journey to Glacier 3000, ascending via cable car to its 9,700 foot summit (2,965 meters). Here the Tsanfleuron glacier dominates the perennial winter wonderland. Take in the views over the Bernese Oberland while dining at a mountaintop restaurant designed by the Swiss architect. Scan the horizon for famous peaks such as the Grand Combin, or even the legendary Matterhorn, before taking the exciting walk across a suspension footbridge spanning two summits. Due to limited availability, this optional tour must be purchased at or before time of final payment. The Glacier 3000 cable car will close for maintenance October 9 – November 3, 2023. An alternative option to Lake Thun will be offered. Transportation is included.

ADD-ON this Premium Excursion in Seefeld

An Afternoon in Bavaria & Oberammergau | $150 per person | Duration: 7 Hours – Cross into Germany for a visit to Oberammergau, the world-renowned home of the Passion Play. This Bavarian village of traditionally painted houses comes together every 10 years to perform a 10-hour folk theatre rendition of the Passion of Christ in thanksgiving for escaping the great plague of 1633. After visiting the theatre site and town, indulge in homemade Tyrolean cuisine at a local restaurant before returning to Seefeld. Transportation is included.

ADD-ON this Premium Excursion in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Heart of The Dolomites: Ladin Culture & Summit | $140 per person | Duration: 8 Hours – Journey deeper into the Dolomites for a full day of exploration of the Badia Valley. You’ll walk through the natural beauty of this UNESCO-protected area, learning about the centuries-old Ladin culture as you go. Stop at a nearby maso – an alpine farm – for a taste of local Ladin fare during a delicious farm-to-table lunch. Afterwards, climb aboard a cable car to the summit of Mount Lagazuoi, where you’ll get stunning views of the Dolomites in every direction. Transportation is included. Please note a minimum of 2 passengers is required.

ADVENTURE PRICING

$4899 per person based on Double Occupancy

$5699 Single Occupancy

DEPOSIT REQUIRED to Confirm: $850 per person

FINAL PAYMENT DUE:  JUN 30, 2023

Deposits are non-refundable. Adventure is non-refundable after final payments have been made. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (reference below section). This Adventure requires 24 people to operate at the price quoted; if less participants join this adventure than an increase in cost would be required.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO VENICE

VENICE EXTENSION | $699 per person (based on Double Occupancy)

Duration: 2 Additional Nights 

This extension requires a minimum of 6-participants to operate; please inquire on Single pricing

“Cancel for Any Reason” Travel Insurance: $399 per person

Adventure is non-refundable after deposits and/or final payments have been made. THIRDHOME requires all participants to purchase travel insurance. Insurance is required to be purchased by a deadline date that will be advised which occurs prior to final payment date. Collette Tours has partnered with TripMate Travel Insurance for this Adventure, offering a special group tour rate of $349 per person for coverage. Click here to learn more about what’s covered. Collette Tours reserves the right to modify or change itinerary accommodations and/or alter tour routing if conditions beyond their control require such alterations thereof due to unforeseen circumstances.

THIRDHOME strongly recommends that all travelers purchase travel insurance prior to participating in a THIRDHOME Adventure and that all such insurance be purchased when a tour deposit is made. THIRDHOME travelers can purchase travel insurance through (1) the THIRDHOME preferred provider Allianz Travel or (2) the traveler’s insurance provider of choice. THIRDHOME will require proof of such travel insurance protection when a tour deposit is made.  

Any traveler that elects not to purchase travel insurance, by either of the above means, agrees to release THIRDHOME from liability for any loss of funds incurred due to the cancellation of a specific Adventure as a result of, but not limited to, an act of God, a failure to purchase travel insurance, the cessation of business with respect to a tour operator/ground operator, the failure of a tour operator/ground operator to refund consumer deposits or payments within 120 days following the cancellation of a THIRDHOME Adventure or a material failure to complete performance of a THIRDHOME Adventure.

Click here to view the THIRDHOME Adventures Terms and Conditions

CURRENT COVID-19 UPDATE per Collette Tours

This Adventure is provided in partnership with Collette Tours

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