WORLDWIDE CULTURAL AND CULINARY VACATIONS
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Cheese, Chocolate and Culinary Adventures in the Swiss Alps

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Priced From
$3,798 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

A Swiss Alps Culinary Adventure
From Gruyères to Montreux, Switzerland!

The Swiss Alps has been Europe’s playground for hundreds of years. This paradise of glistening peaks, tumbling glaciers, and gushing waterfalls has a magical way of inspiring creative genius. Poets, musicians, inventors—and especially culinary artists—have all flourished in the Alps. Now it’s your turn. The Romans left a legacy of viniculture on the sundrenched slopes of the Swiss Alps. The Swiss invented meringues, fondue, muesli, and Raclette. They invented and perfected chocolate as we know it. Their cheeses are world renown. Switzerland’s restaurants have been awarded more Michelin stars per capita than any country in the world. Explore your own food passions as you make Gruyère cheese in an alpine chalet over an open fire as local cheesemakers have done for over 900 years. Then standing side-by-side with a master chocolatier you develop your own chocolate creations. You learn the secrets of preparing a bubbling caquelon of classic cheese fondue. Your culinary experience will be enhanced by walks through vineyards with breathtaking views, spectacular mountaintop excursions, and guided outings through walled medieval villages and storied castles. Your food adventure in the Swiss Alps includes round trip transfers from the Geneva Airport, six nights hotel accommodations, breakfasts, dinners, ground transportation, excursions, classes, demonstrations, tastings, guided walks, recipes, interpretive notes, and the services of an English-speaking expert guide. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable visual and sensory feast in the Swiss Alps.

Cheese, Chocolate and Culinary Adventures in the Swiss Alps

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ Testimonials
VACATION INCLUSIONS
2 Nights in Gruyères at the Inn
4 Nights in Montreux at the Hotel
Round-trip Geneva Airport Transfers
Daily Buffet Breakfast
Daily Dinners at Select Restaurants
Gruyère Cheese-Making
Hands-On Traditional Bread Baking
Hands-On Fondue Cooking Class
Farmstead Goat Cheese Visit & Tasting
Maison Gruyère Fromagerie Tour
Artisan Chocolate Class: Bean to Bar
Maison Cailler Tour
Working with Chocolate (Master Class)
Ganache & Truffles (Master Class)
Alpine Herbs Walking Tour
Chaplin’s World Visit and Tour
Lavaux Vineyards Tour & Tasting
Market Tour & Cheese Serving Class
Guided Village Tour - Gruyères
Guided Castle Tour - Chillon Castle
AVAILABLE DATES
Two weeks each month from early June to mid-October, 2017
SAMPLE ITINERARY
(click item for details)
Day 1
Rendezvous | Transfer to Gruyères | Artisan Chocolate Demonstration | Village & Castle Tour, Welcome Dinner You’ll be greeted at Geneva International airport and transferred to the walled medieval village of Gruyères, with its picture-perfect setting on a hill overlooking rolling pre-alpine farmlands. The cows that graze the lush grass and fragrant flora of alpine meadows in the peaceful valley of the River Sarine produce the milk for Gruyère cheese and Switzerland’s finest milk chocolate. Once you’ve arrived and settled in, you will set off for a guided walk of the historic village and its 13th-century castle, home to the Counts of Gruyère. Within the village walls meet with a traditional chocolate maker who roasts, grinds, and conches his own select cacao beans to produce his unique creations. We enjoy a welcome dinner in a traditional chalet within the village walls.
Day 2
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking mountain views. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk around the village.
Artisan Bread Baking | Hands-on Fondue Cooking Class | Dinner In your first cooking class you’ll discover the secrets of traditional baking in a 200-year-old wood-fired oven. We’ll learn successful techniques for kneading, rising, and shaping the dough. Then once in the oven we discover how to create a crackling crust. Later, you’ll explore the history and tradition of cheese fondue—made with the finest Gruyère cheese, of course—then carefully prepare this classic Swiss comfort food to savor for your evening dinner, along with the bread you’ve just baked.
Day 3
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking mountain views. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk around the village.
Traditional Gruyère Cheese-Making After breakfast we set off for a mountain dairy where we’re on hand for the morning cheese making. Using time-honored tools and methods, the cheesemaker combines the morning milk with the evening milk before cutting the curds. Holding the hem of the cheesecloth in his teeth, he snatches the curds from the whey, and then presses the steaming hot curds into the round forms to produce hand-crafted wheels of Gruyère, Switzerland’s most popular cheese and its most widely exported cheese.
Montreux Hotel Accommodations Your next four nights lodging will be in the historic town of Montreux. This mountaintop setting on the heights of Montreux with its gardens suspended over the waters of Lake Geneva has inspired the likes of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron. On a summery day, to sit on the terrace gazing out over the lake and the Alps verges on bliss. From humble roots in 1869 the Hotel Victoria soon added magnificent lounges and acquired over 500 objects d’art and collector’s items to create a sumptuous atmosphere bearing witness to the Belle Époque art of living. Each room is individualized and tastefully arranged within its generous space. Modern embellishments include a swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness room, sauna, spa, and golf practice greens to transform your stay into many moments of pleasure and relaxation. After some time to relax in Montreux, you'll enjoy a delicious dinner served in a local restaurant.
Day 4
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking mountain views. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk around the village.
Alpine Herbs | Farmstead Goat Cheese | Raclette at the Source | Dinner Terraced vineyards, a Roman amphitheater, and other ruins attest to the influence ancient Rome wielded in the Rhône Valley. Flanked by the Bernese Alps to the north and showstoppers like the Matterhorn and Weisshorn to the south, the sunny Upper Rhône Valley is Switzerland’s leading wine region and an agricultural paradise where orchard fruits, nuts, and herbs flourish. At a nearby goat cheese dairy we taste the versatile and varied types of goat cheese from tangy chèvre to ash-ripened bleus. On a walk through mountainside herb fields with a Ricola herb grower we discover both the culinary and medicinal uses of available plants and conclude with a meal in the farmer's home. Raclette cheese originates in this region and at dinner in a chateau we’ll sample five different renditions of this favored cheese from top local fromageries and come to appreciate its nuanced characteristics from a knowledgeable racleur.
Day 5
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking mountain views. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk around the village.
Making Chocolate Truffles at Läderach After breakfast a funicular descent to Montreux and a short boat ride on Lake Geneva take you to the neighboring town of Vevey—a foodie Mecca. It is the birthplace of the chocolate bar in 1819, milk chocolate in 1875, and white chocolate in 1930. Imagine a town of just 18,000 people with four Michelin-starred restaurants and the world headquarters of Nestlé. In Vevey you will be exclusive guests at the Läderach chocolate studios and shop. Läderach chocolate represents the highest levels in chocolate design, quality and taste, and you will learn the art and techniques for making chocolate ganache and truffles from a master chocolatier.
Lavaux Vineyards | Guided Walk | Dinner This afternoon you head off to explore the sun-kissed terraced vineyards of the Lavaux World Heritage Site. If you want to experience the scenery with all your senses you should also taste it! Your guided walk from Cully to Lutry includes cellar visits, wine tastings and vineyard demonstrations. You’ll walk through the vineyards comprised of 14 wine villages nestled among the vines and reflecting the region’s 1000-year winemaking heritage. The vineyard walk is very interactive; you will actually participate in the care and cultivation of the grapes, and in the process, understand the cultural traditions of the region and the complexity and terroir of the wine. The route leads through the medieval villages of St. Saphorin Cully, Villette and Grandvaux with their narrow alleys and characteristic vintner’s houses from the 16th to 19th centuries. The vineyards are daringly constructed on steep hills, so a glass of Chasselas makes the trail to Lutry twice as much fun. You will conclude the day perfectly with dinner in one of Vevey's Michelin-starred restaurants.
Day 6
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking mountain views. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items. If long, leisurely breakfasts aren’t your thing, grab a quick bite and take a morning walk around the village.
Montreux Market Tour Montreux's vibrant weekly market is the perfect place to sample local fresh products--artisan oil, cheese, honey, liqueur, or local wine. The Friday market is a treasure, not only for local producers but also for specialty foods from a wide region, including France and Italy. There's no better place to find interesting cheeses and other unusual culinary delights.
Walk to Chillon Castle and Guided Tour A tranquil walk along the shores of Lake Geneva takes us to the stunning and well-preserved 12th-century Chillon Castle. This impressive citadel with its exceptional natural setting on the lake was immortalized by Lord Byron. In inclement weather, or for anyone not able to make the 45-minute walk, alternative transportation is available.
Class in Cheese Tasting | Serving a Cheese Course | Wine Pairings | Farewell Dinner Clos de Chillon wines are made at the castle itself: a Grand Cru and part of the Lavaux appellation area reflecting the tradition, prestige, and quality of Chillon. In the company of a maître fromager, select an array of cheeses you will use to create an impeccable cheese plate. Gain practical and professional guidance in how to select the cheeses used in your cheese course, along with serving, pairing, accompaniment, and presentation tips that will separate you from the novices and elevate you to the ranks of a true fromager. You’ll conclude a perfect day and a perfect week with a multi-course lakeside farewell dinner where you’ll all relax and gaze out over the Alps.
Montreux Market | Serving Cheese | Chillon Castle | Farewell Dinner Montreux’s vibrant weekly market, along with some of the specialty food markets in the old city, are the perfect place to sample local fresh products—artisan oil, cheese, honey, liqueur, or local wine. In the company of a mâitre fromager we select an array of cheeses you will use to create an impeccable cheese plate. You gain practical and professional guidance in how to select the cheeses used in your cheese course, along with serving, pairing, accompaniment, and presentation tips that will separate you from the novices and elevate you to the ranks of a true fromager. A tranquil walk along the shores of Lake Geneva takes us to the stunning and well-preserved 12th-century Chillon Castle. This impressive citadel with its exceptional natural setting on the lake was immortalized by Lord Byron. You’ll conclude a perfect day and a perfect week with a multi-course lakeside farewell dinner where we relax and gaze out over the Alps.
Day 7
Morning Breakfast Buffet Each morning, relax and enjoy breakfast with breathtaking mountain views. The hotel serves a full international buffet breakfast to energize you for the adventures ahead. Savor fresh fruits, yogurts, breads and pastries, as well as cooked items.
Check-Out and Departure | Transfers to Airport After breakfast, pack your bags and your memories, say goodbye to new friends, and bid farewell to your own little slice of Switzerland, with a solemn promise to return. You will be transported to the Geneva Airport in plenty of time to check-in for your departure flight.
Gruyères Hotel
Your first 2 nights Lodging will be in the village of Gruyères. Over 300 years ago the Hotel de Gruyères was a livery inn where coachmen would stay as they delivered nobility to the hilltop village. Located adjacent to the walls and ramparts of Gruyères, the hotel is perfectly situated and offers dramatic views of the castle, in a romantic and peaceful setting. Deer graze in meadows below the hotel and dazzling mountain views abound. The traditional chalet-styled rooms are accented in natural woods and heavy hewn timbers. A bounteous breakfast features the traditional local favorite—double crème and meringues.
Montreux Hotel
Your next four nights lodging will be in the historic town of Montreux. This mountaintop setting on the heights of Montreux with its gardens suspended over the waters of Lake Geneva has inspired the likes of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Lord Byron. On a summery day, to sit on the terrace gazing out over the lake and the Alps verges on bliss. From humble roots in 1869 the Hotel Victoria soon added magnificent lounges and acquired over 500 objects d’art and collector’s items to create a sumptuous atmosphere bearing witness to the Belle Époque art of living. Each room is individualized and tastefully arranged within its generous space. Modern embellishments include a swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness room, sauna, spa, and golf practice greens to transform your stay into many moments of pleasure and relaxation.
Gruyères, SwitzerlandMontreux, Switzerland
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
All prices are quoted in USD. The price quoted on the first page of a tour is always per person, double occupancy.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Our full cancellation policy is stated in the Terms and Conditions when making your reservation. Cancellations with a full refund are allowed up to 31 days or more prior to departure for USA and Canada tours, or up to 61 days or more prior to departure for international tours. No refund is allowed 30 days or less prior to departure for USA and Canada tours, or 60 days or less prior to departure for international tours.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Should I Purchase Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a Travelex travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the recommended plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228- 9792 and reference location number 06-0248.

Travel Insurance is underwritten by Transamerica Casualty, Insurance Company, Columbus, OH; NAIC #10952.1308294
We had a fabulous time -- one of my top favorite vacations. Greg and Elaine, our tour guides, were wonderful. They were very knowledgeable, personable, and efficient. They took us to GREAT destinations with GREAT experiences. Switzerland is a great destination in itself. The bread making, chocolate making, and fondue making were highlights. I have and will continue to recommend this tour and Epitourean to my friends and my travel agent.
KC - October 2016
Winner
OUTSTANDING
CULINARY TRAVEL
Category
Member of ASTA
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