Discover Europe's highest railway station
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From our base in the quintessentially Swiss town of Meiringen, we enjoy journeys by mountain railway and lake steamer, crowned with an excursion on the Jungfrau Railway to the breathtaking 'Top of Europe.'
After meeting at our St Pancras Departure Office, we take the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Strasbourg for the night.
Today we continue our journey to Meiringen, travelling by rail, via Basel. A small town dating back to the early Middle Ages, Meiringen became famous thanks to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels in which a climactic battle was set in this region.
Enjoying a glorious location nestled along the Haslital Valley, the town of Meiringen benefits from mountain vistas in all directions. The nearby Aare Gorge is a spectacular sight, and is well worth exploring. This thin and deep chasm, splitting a limestone ridge, channels the river through this rocky terrain, with the gorge itself bored through by millions of years of relentless water crashing against the limestone.
This morning we travel by funicular mountain railway to the Reichenbach Falls and the platform where the dramatic final duel between Sherlock Holmes and archenemy Moriarty took place. From the falls, you have the option of exploring the area on a signposted walk.
Alternatively, enjoy lunch at the café above the stunning falls, before returning to Meiringen at your leisure. Your afternoon is free in this Swiss town. Historically, the town is known for its claims to have been the place where the meringue dessert was first invented. You may wish to visit the small Sherlock Holmes Museum, located in the basement of a former English church.
Your day is free, perhaps to explore with your 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 walk along the picturesque promenade, complete with its vivid flower beds and trees. Alternatively, you could take the Giessbachbahn funicular railway, the oldest of its kind in Europe, and travel up to the impressive Giessbach Falls. The city of Thun is nearby, located at the point where the River Aare flows into the shimmering waters of Lake Thun.
We head west by train along the Brünig line to Brienz, located in the middle of charming mountains at the eastern end of the turquoise-coloured Lake Brienz. The cosy village is our starting point for excursions to the Bernese Oberland, and it is here that we begin 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. This is an excellent opportunity to simply sit back and take in the marvellous surroundings. The remarkable colour of the pure Alpine waters are the perfect contrast to the green slopes of the mountains which border this enormous lake. From the boat, we can enjoy the towns and village which dot the shores of the lake, many of which reside under the shadow of a church steeple. Later, we return to Meiringen.
*Please note: This railway does not operate in the early season. Departures before June will enjoy an excursion by rail and cable car to the summit of the Schilthorn mountain.
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 flowerfilled 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, which, at 22km is the longest ice stream in the
Alps, and 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.
Our excursion today takes us by cable car up to the Alpen Tower. Located high up in the mountains surrounded by the Bernese and Central Alps, there are few better places in the world to enjoy a bite to eat or a drink from the Alpen Tower restaurant with its 360 degree panorama. This attractive building is designed to make the most of its magnificent surroundings, and from here, away from the crowds, you can enjoy a stretch of mountain peaks for which Switzerland is so famous. Breath in the crisp mountain air and enjoy the views of the valleys, towns and lakes below before we return to Meiringen where you have free time to explore before dinner.
Today we take a train to the town of Lucerne, known for its cobbled streets and ornate churches. Later on, we make our way to Interlaken, from where we ascend the Harder Kulm by cable car, granting us extraordinary views across Lakes Thun and Brienz, the villages dotted along their shores, and over the top of Interlaken. On arrival at the top, we enjoy a farewell dinner against a sensational backdrop of forest covered mountains.
We leave Meringen for Lausanne, joining the high-speed service to Paris and there continuing on to London St Pancras via the Eurostar.
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
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 22 verified reviews
Great trips, wonderful scenery and good weather was a bonus.
Hotel fine,Tour Guide excellent,excursions very good, but evening meals very poor and the hotel did not have a wine list. I found out later that the Manager was trying to off load more expensive wines before re-stocking
Days out, and guidance given by the tour manager was excellant. Overall the hotel was good apart from service at dinner which was sometimes very slow ( lack of staff?)
Fantastic, the scenery in this area is stunning. The itinerary is fabulous. The breakfast buffet in the hotel is excellent.
As always well led. My first Great Rail Holiday on my own and the tour leader looked after me very well amid all his other responsibilities
A very nice holiday with great excursions in generally good weather. It was over rather too quickly and our goodbyes at the end were rather rushed,due to onward travel times.
Holiday was as described on website. All well organised and efficiently managed by our ****** who took the trouble to make sure everyone was happy, and suggested extra excursions with full instructions as to how to carry them out.
Whilst generally the holiday was excellent and lived up to our expectations there was the blip in Paris as below and whilst the tour manager did his level best to sort it it should not have happened to put him in the position he found himself! It did not help that the weather in Paris was extremely hot. But Switzerland itself was great. We found the scenery and the Alpine meadows stunning.
Itinerary was good , scenery superb , weather excellent after first couple of days , but should have included the visit to the gorge . Food in hotel was disappointing , not enough choices for evening meal . Food was cooked in the neighbouring Steakhouse and carried across to the hotel ! No cover on reception late evening or during the night . Tried to sit in the garden on a hot afternoon , sparse , uncomfortable furniture , had to ask for cushions , manager was rude . The trip up the Jungfrau was disappointing , far too crowded , poor cafe , restaurant pre-booked by other groups ,had to walk a long way through tunnels to reach the outdoor areas .
MOST OF THE HOLIDAY WA VERY GOOD.
Discover Europe's highest railway station