Grand Alpine Explorer
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT*
Stretching across much of mainland Europe, the wild and rugged Alps are home to some of the world's most magnificent landscapes. On this marvellous tour we discover the incredible attractions in three of the countries around the towering peaks - from the German city of Munich to the beautiful Austrian Lakes and Switzerland's superb mountain railways.
Our adventure begins at St Pancras International, where we meet our group at our dedicated Departure Office, before joining the Eurostar to Brussels. Here we change trains and continue to Cologne, where we overnight.
On Day 2 we travel southwards along the scenic Rhine Gorge and onwards by rail to Munich. Located within sight of the Alps, lively Munich is the capital of Bavaria, as well as one of Germany's best-loved cities. We spend two nights here at the Maritim Hotel.
On Day 3 we discover more of Munich. With a rich culture and heritage, the city has a wonderful collection of museums, galleries and architectural treasures. We enjoy a guided tour to introduce the highlights of the city, before time to explore at leisure.
Leaving Munich behind, today we take the train into Austria. We arrive in Salzburg, a city with a wealth of musical heritage, known the world over as the birthplace of Mozart, and the setting for Rogers & Hammerstein's 'The Sound of Music'. On arrival we enjoy a guided walking tour. Spread out below the grand Hohensalzburg Fortress, the churches, squares and alleyways of Salzburg's beautiful Old Town are incredibly well preserved, dominated by fabulous Baroque spires, and are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After the tour, you are free to discover more of the city. Later we travel by coach to Lake Traunsee, a spectacular lake which resembles a fjord, for three nights in the lakeside village of Traunkirchen, at the Hotel Post.
Today is free for you to relax in Traunkirchen. Perhaps take a stroll around the village's twisting cobbled lanes, and admire the authentic fishermen's cottages, or visit nearby Bad Ischl.
Today we explore the stunning Austrian Lake District. We head first to St Wolfgang, a charming, historic town, before continuing to St Gilgen, full of Baroque and Rococo character and colourful streets lined with pavement cafés. We continue to pretty Mondsee, whose 15th century church featured in the wedding scene of 'The Sound of Music'.
We transfer by coach to Salzburg, where we join the rail service for the journey into the Tyrol. The route takes us past the towering peaks of the rugged Austrian Alps, before arriving in Innsbruck. Our base for two nights is the Hotel Innsbruck.
Today we take a trip on the superb Achenseebahn Railway. After journeying to Jenbach by mainline rail (Standard Class), we join the steam powered cogwheel railway for the ascent to Achensee. Here we take a relaxing cruise across the crystal-clear emerald waters of the lake. We later return to Innsbruck.
Today's journey takes us into the spellbinding scenery of Switzerland. On leaving Innsbruck, the train cuts through the mighty Alps, which dominate the skyline. The journey continues through attractive Liechtenstein and into the Swiss town of Sargans. Here we change trains and travel alongside the Rhine and its dramatic scenes to Chur. We continue our ascent through the majestic mountain peaks, overlooking the lush meadows running down to the valley floor. The line uses a series of loops, spirals and switchbacks to gain altitude. We then arrive in the elegant lakeside resort of St Moritz for three nights at the Hotel Schweizerhof.
Today we take a journey on the superb Bernina Express, which passes glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The railway has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status - as a testament to the incredible engineering that was required to create the line, as well as for the scenery through which it passes. During our journey we travel across the spiralling viaduct at Brusio. The track clings to the mountainside as we wind our way above deep ravines and past waterfalls to more than 7,000 ft above sea level. Later we arrive in Tirano in Italy. You have some free time in Tirano before our return journey.
Today you are free to explore St Moritz. You may like to take advantage of your included St Moritz travel card, which allows you free travel on the town's cable cars. Why not ride to the summit of the Diavolezza, which boasts stunning views over the surrounding peaks?
We take the famous Glacier Express along the iconic route from St Moritz to Brig, enjoying the incredible view through the panoramic windows of our First Class carriage. Our journey takes us through Switzerland's classic landscapes; from the jagged mountain peaks to the sprawling vineyards and over the famous Landwasser Viaduct.
The train climbs steadily and steeply up and over the Oberalp Pass, the peak of the route, and spirals down past little villages, before reaching Brig. Here we change trains and travel to Interlaken.
Today we travel to the Jungfraujoch (Standard Class) - Europe's highest railway station. Our ascent takes us through ever changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway for the final leg of the journey.
During the journey the train pauses at two observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down the valley. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe'. We descend via the charming mountain resort of Grindelwald.
Your day is free to spend at leisure in Interlaken. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner here. On Day 15, we take the train to Basel, before continuing by high-speed TGV to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar to London.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
An exciting adventure at the top of Europe