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Tour highlights

  • Meiringen
  • Reichenbach Falls
  • Lucerne
  • Lake Brienz Cruise
  • Brienz Rothorn Steam Railway
  • Jungfrau Railway to Europe's highest station
  • GRJ Swiss Travel Card
  • Bernese Oberland Regional Pass
  • Day 1 - By train to Luxembourg

    Luxembourg

    We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Brussels in Standard Premier Class. A light meal and drinks are served at our seats before our arrival. We continue by train through the extensive forests and rolling hills of the Ardennes region to Luxembourg. We overnight at the Mercure Grand Hotel Alfa, located opposite the railway station.

    Eurostar meal, dinner

  • Day 2 - Through the Bernese Oberland

    Lake Brienz

    From Luxembourg, we travel by train to Basel, where we transfer onto the efficient Swiss rail network for a wonderful journey through the Bernese Oberland to Meiringen. Our route takes us south then east via Interlaken as the scenery becomes ever more majestic with each passing mile, with towering mountains and serene glacier-fed lakes of deep turquoise and aquamarine. At Interlaken, we make a quick change onto the narrow-gauge train to Meiringen. This, the final leg of the journey, takes us around Lake Brienz before the train ascends to Meiringen; one of Switzerland's best kept secrets. The small, quiet town remains unspoilt and typically Swiss. The author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle loved Meiringen and was so taken with the resort that he let his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, plunge to his death at the impressive Reichenbach Falls close to the town. Our hotel for seven nights is the Park Hotel du Sauvage, just a short walk from the station and surrounded by peaceful meadows. We walk through Conan Doyle Place to the hotel.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 3 - Introduction to Meiringen

    Sherlock Holmes Museum, Meiringen

    This morning we travel by mountain railway to the Reichenbach Falls and the platform where the dramatic final duel between Sherlock Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty took place. From the falls, you have the option of exploring the area on a terrific 90-minute signposted walk. Alternatively, enjoy lunch at the café above the falls, before returning to Meiringen at your leisure. In the afternoon why not pay a visit to Meiringen's small Sherlock Holmes Museum and then enjoy some free time to relax and explore the town.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 4 - Beautiful Lucerne

    Kandersteg

    Today we take a train to the town of Lucerne, known for its cobbled streets and ornate churches. Your time in Lucerne is free to explore. Enjoy a stroll through the town to see the famous Kapellbrücke, a 14th century wooden bridge that separates Lucerne's Old Town and New Town. Alternatively, travel on the Pilatus or the Rigi mountain railways, or enjoy a paddle steamer cruise across beautiful Lake Lucerne.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 5 - Brienz-Rothorn Steam Railway and lake cruise

    Brienz-Rothorn Steam Railway

    We head west by train along the Brünig line to Brienz for an excursion by steam mountain railway, climbing to over 5,000 feet (1,524m), to the summit of Rothorn.* The summit offers fabulous views of the deep-blue lakes below and the snow-capped mountains in the distance, including one of the highest mountains in Europe, the Jungfrau. On our return to Brienz, we enjoy a cruise on Lake Brienz to Interlaken, before returning to Meiringen.

    Breakfast, dinner

    *Please note: This railway does not operate until 19 May 2014. Departure MEJ402 departing 24 April will therefore enjoy a lake cruise from Brienz to Interlaken, and will then take the Harder Kulm funicular for superb views over Interlaken and its two lakes, before returning to Meiringen.

  • Day 6 - To the highest station in Europe

    Jungfrau railway

    Today we enjoy what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our stay in the Bernese Oberland, as we travel on the Jungfrau Railway to the Jungfraujoch - Europe's highest railway station. We begin on the Bernese Oberland Railway, trundling through the foothills of the Alps from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, through flower-filled pastures and past pretty villages. Over the course of the route, the line climbs 1,532 feet (467 metres) above sea level, passing isolated chalets and small farming cabins. In Lauterbrunnen we join the Wengeralp Railway, continuing our ascent through ever changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway for the final six miles of our journey. Climbing further from Kleine Scheidegg, the distinctive string of red and yellow carriages of the Jungfrau Railway disappear into the tunnel through the Eiger Mountain. During the journey the train pauses at two separate observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down to the valley below. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe', located at 3454m above sea level. With free time at the summit station, you will have plenty of time to explore the Ice Palace and its many ice sculptures. You can spend time on the Sphinx Terrace, enjoying superb views onto the Aletsch Glacier, at 22 km the longest ice stream in the Alps, which provides a sharp contrast to the lush meadows and Alpine pastures of the lower lying hillsides near the valley floor. You can also enjoy the walking plateau, which is eternally covered in snow. After time to explore and to enjoy lunch, we descend via the charming mountain resort of Grindelwald.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 7 - Mountain cable car ride

    Alpen Tower

    We venture into the mountains around Meiringen by cable car, to the Alpentower at 7,381 feet (2,250m). On a clear day at the top station you can see over 400 mountain peaks from the lookout platform. We enjoy some free time perhaps for a walk through the Alpine meadows, before we return to the hotel for dinner.*

    Breakfast, dinner

    *Please note this cable car does not operate until 28 June 2014. Departures before then will enjoy an excursion to the delightful lakeside town of Thun, followed by a cruise along the length of Lake Thun to Interlaken, passing delightful villages and lakeside castles en route.

  • Day 8 - A day at leisure

    Brienz

    Your day is free, perhaps to explore with your GRJ Swiss Travel Card which gives a 50% discount on most trains, buses and lake steamers in the area. You could travel to Brienz and visit the Ballenberg Open-air Museum, or take the mountain railway to Schynige Platte for spectacular views over the Alps (seasonal operation).

    Breakfast

  • Day 9 - Meiringen to Cologne

    Cologne

    We leave Meiringen and travel to Basel. Our journey continues through Germany via the Rhine Gorge, with its fairytale castles nestled amongst extensive vineyards. We arrive in Cologne and stay at the TRYP by Wyndham Cologne City Centre or the Wyndham Cologne, both located close to the station and the magnificent cathedral.

    Breakfast, dinner

  • Day 10 - To Brussels and London

    Eurostar

    Our mid-morning departure to Brussels connects with the Eurostar to St Pancras International in London.

    Breakfast, Eurostar meal

    These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday

Experience
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Value
  • Our tours include rail travel, transfers, a Tour Manager, quality hotels and many meals
  • Enjoy a full programme of exciting excursions, guided tours and sightseeing
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Service
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  • Flexibility to add UK rail, domestic flights, overnight hotels, upgrades and tour extensions
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