Arrive in Geneva and take the train to Neuchatel. Meet & Greet and transfer to the hotel. The Palafitte Hotel is in a sublime location on the lake shore just a short distance from the centre of Neuchatel. It is the only hotel in Europe built on stilts and offers guests a welcoming and relaxing environment. Built as part of the National Expo 2002, the hotel rooms have been carefully designed to ensure the breathtaking, panoramic views are visible from every part of the room.
Overnight: Palafitte Hotel
After breakfast, explore Neuchatel in the company of your local guide. This pretty town has a rich cultural and architectural past, with a Gothic-style castle and collegiate church dating from the Middle Ages. A delightful medieval city with pedestrian areas, cafes and restaurants, Neuchatel also has a wonderful traditional local produce market, as well as fantastic museums. Afterwards, your driver will take you up into the Jura Mountains. The best way to discover the second largest mountain chain in Switzerland after the Alps is by hiking and your experienced local mountain guide will be on hand to explain all about the diverse flora and fauna. Walk through the Val de Travers, an area with fascinating and beautiful scenery, before you come to a cave entrance. Your guide will lead you inside the cave on foot to explore, before you enjoy a lunch of traditional Swiss raclette inside the cave in truly spectacular surroundings. After lunch, return outside and continue on foot to visit the Creux du Van, a natural rock arena of immense proportions. Impressive 160m high vertical rock faces surround a 4km x 1km valley basin. Before returning to Neuchatel, your driver will take you to the Absinthe Museum, where you will have an insight into the eventful history of the "green fairy" and all its secrets. You will learn all about the production process and of course there's time for some tasting. Return to the hotel.
Overnight: Palafitte Hotel
La Chaux-de-Fonds, the birthplace of Le Corbusier, was the world capital of the watch-making industry for over a hundred years. It thus makes sense that the first house designed by the world-famous architect and the International Watch Museum are located here. You will be shown around by an experienced local guide who will help to explain all about the history of this special place. You will be able to experience how it feels to be a genuine watchmaker in your private watchmaking workshop. Wearing a white smock and a loupe headband, participants take turns at the workbench to execute one of the stages in assembling a watch. All the steps are explained - from inserting the hands to affixing the wrist band - with expert advice provided by the head of the workshop. At the end, you will take home a diploma certifying your watchmaking skills. After an exciting day inspired by watches, art and architecture, enjoy your last evening in a fantastic tree house overlooking the lake. The Glass Diamond tree house is part of La Pinte du Vieux Manoir, set in a picturesque, peaceful spot in spacious grounds on the shores of Lake Murten (Lac de Morat). Built with reflective glass from floor to ceiling, affording 360 degree panoramic views, this is a supremely comfortable tree house where guests can be at one with nature, providing privacy and relaxation in a private nest. La Pinte du Vieux Manoir also has a fine lakeside restaurant with a verdant garden and terrace.
Overnight: La Pinte du Vieux Manoir
Return by rail to Geneva Airport.
|£££||Great quality at competitive prices|
|££££||Excellent accommodation at a moderate to higher price level|
|£££££||The very best in class and priced accordingly|