ON A SWISS ROLL; Captivating city of Lucerne is an eclectic mix of old and new, from rich history and architecture to music festivals, a carnival and famous Christmas markets.
Lucerne has a fairy-tale lakeside location below lofty peaks. The city of bridges, spires and clock towers is in the heart of what may be the 'true' Switzerland - think mountains, lakes, cowbells and Alpine meadows. Small enough to discover by foot, the quaint, cobbled streets, squares and colourful, frescoed buildings of the old town are captivating.
The Chapel Bridge and octagonal Water Tower form Lucerne's iconic centrepiece. The covered wooden bridge with its historic gabled paintings and bright flower boxes is named after nearby St Peter's Chapel. Part of the city wall, the Water Tower has been a torture chamber, prison and treasury.
Ahead of its time
Dating back to the 14th Century, the original city wall (Museggmauer) still stands, almost complete except for one tower. The oldest city clock on the Zyt Tower has the privilege of chiming one minute before all the others.
City of lights
Legend has it that an angel with a light showed the first settlers where to build a church in Lucerne. It was here, too, that William Tell is said to have shot the apple from his own son's head. Once a simple fishing village, the now thriving city is a mix of medieval and modern.
Music to my ears
Vibrant events keep the city buzzing all year, with museums, concert halls, theatres, shops and restaurants aplenty. There are many music festivals, a Lucerne Carnival and Christmas markets.
Don't miss cruising Lake Lucerne on the paddle steamers, panorama yachts and catamarans that sail around the shoreside villages. Hop on and off, discovering towns such as Weggis and Altdorf, the birthplace of William Tell. Views can also be lapped up from spas.
Reaching a peak
Escaping into the Alps where there are many breathtaking trails is popular with hikers and mountain bikers. The steepest cogwheel train chugs to the top of Mt Pilatus, while Europe's oldest mountain railway winds up Mt Rigi.
Trains, planes & automobiles
Switzerland's efficient public transport network of trains, ferries, post buses and cable-cars makes it a joy to explore. Inghams' guests receive a half-price travel card (children go free with parents).
Up, up and away
Inghams offer seven nights' half-board at the 4.5-star Art Deco Hotel Montana from PS1195pp (two sharing) and departing May 16, 2016. Includes return flights from Edinburgh to Geneva and resort transfers. A free Inghams rucksack for guests booking their Swiss summer 2016 holiday before September 30. Visit inghams.co.uk or call 01483 791 116.
Departures Tenerife 3* Checkin Bungalow Atlantida, AI, 11 nights from Edinburgh/Glasgow, June 24, PS659pp, family of three PS1799, family of four PS2319. Gran Canaria 3* Turbo Club, AI, 9 nights from Prestwick/Glasgow, July 7, PS519pp, family of three PS1319, family of four PS1729.
Lanzarote 4* Beatriz Playa & Spa, AI, 10 nights from Edinburgh/Glasgow, July 20, PS929pp, family of three PS2199, family of four PS2699.
Gran Canaria 3* Altair Apartments, SC, 16 nights Prestwick/Glasgow, July 14, PS389pp, family of three PS1099. n Visit www.holidayandlfightcentre.com or call 01698425444. Majorca 3* Club Cala Romani, AI, 7 nights from Glasgow, Sept 26, PS399pp. Western Med cruise Norwegian Epic, FB, 7 nights, from Edinburgh, June 21, PS597pp. Barbados 3* Time Out Hotel, B&B, 7 nights from Glasgow, Nov 29, PS697pp. Italy 4* Leonardo da Vinci, Limone, AI, 7 nights, Glasgow, August, PS697pp. n Visit www.barrheadtravel.co.uk or call 0141 222 2223.
do you know a destination Bridget should feature? contact her at B.mcgrouther@SUNDAYMAIL.
co.uk follow me on twitter @BSMCGROUTHER Last minute choice Princess Cruises have cut prices for June bookings on 71 Caribbean voyages between September and April 2016. Prices start from PS499pp for a seven-day cruise, calling at the Bahamas and US Virgin Islands. Also, save up to PS200pp on air fares and free balcony upgrades. Call 0843 374 2402, visit princess.com or see your local travel agent.
peak Mount Pilatus at sunset is a spectacular sight as it towers over Lucerne
WALL OF FAME A splendid view of Lucerne's city walls at night