Switzerland's most stunning scenery by train
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The spectacular mountain landscapes and lush meadows of the majestic Alps await on this unforgettable holiday in Switzerland's famous Bernese Oberland. Travel to the summit of the Schilthorn and experience the tremendous Trümmelbach waterfalls, all on some of the best heritage railways in Europe.
We meet in St Pancras International at our dedicated departure office before boarding the Eurostar to Paris. Here we transfer to the high-speed TGV service for Strasbourg where we spend one night.
We have a relaxed morning on Day 2, giving you some free time to explore the delights of Strasbourg. You may like to visit the city's Old Town, dominated by the spectacular Notre Dame Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock, this church has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages. Petite France, located on the Grande Île, is the ancient heart of the city and well worth a visit. Here you can take a short boat ride through this World Heritage site, taking in the pretty medieval timbered houses and baroque sandstone buildings that line the river's banks. This afternoon we head back to the railway station and connect with our train into Switzerland.
We travel first to Basel then onwards to Interlaken where we briefly join the Bernese Oberland Railway and start to climb up into the majestic Swiss mountains. We arrive into peaceful Wengen this evening, a traffic-free mountain resort with breathtaking views of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Here we enjoy dinner later in the evening.
Today is free for you to explore Wengen and the surrounding areas at your own pace. A paradise for hikers, skiers and snowboarders as well as those seeking out the tranquil beauty of this region, Wengen is the perfect base from which to discover the Swiss Alps. The early 19th century saw an influx of wealthy tourists flocking to the timber chalets and Belle Epoque charm of this peaceful village, and ever since, visitors have come to enjoy Wengen's unique location amongst the ancient mountains.
Wengen is situated in the stunning Bernese Oberland, an area known for its outstanding natural beauty. Perhaps enjoy a stroll in the picturesque village, soaking in the Alpine tranquillity.
Our excursion today takes us on this innovative cableway, originally built in 1954 to connect Wengen resort with the mountains for the safety of skiers and walkers. Within five minutes, the difference in altitude reaches 2,970m and we are in Männlichen for more sensational views that can be enjoyed from the café here. After some time to look around, we continue our journey to Grindelwald on Europe's longest gondola cableway.
This pretty Alpine village is nestled at the foot of the imposing north face of the Eiger and as a popular tourist destination, there is plenty to enjoy. Surrounded by lush meadows and grazing cattle, there are many popular walking paths in the area or you may just like to explore the town, visit some of its souvenir shops and relax in one of the numerous cafés or bars. We later return to Wengen by train where we enjoy dinner tonight at the hotel.
Today is unquestionably the highlight of our visit to the Bernese Oberland region as we travel on the Jungfrau Railway to the Jungfraujoch - the highest railway station in Europe. The famous narrow-gauge line was completed in 1912 and is now celebrated as a major feat of engineering.
As we climb from Kleine Scheidegg the distinctive string of red and yellow carriages disappear into the tunnel through the Eiger. 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 incredible ice sculptures. You can also spend time on the Sphinx Terrace, enjoying superb views onto the Aletsch Glacier, at 22 km the longest ice stream in the Alps. After time to explore and to enjoy lunch, we descend back down to Wengen passing picturesque villages and idyllic farming cabins. You are at leisure on Day 6. Why not explore the surronding area using your included GRJ Swiss Tracel Card for 50% fares?
Today we continue our journey into the dramatic Swiss landscape with an excursion by cable car to the summit of the Schilthorn. We travel firstly by train to Lauterbrunnen, changing for our onwards service to delightful Mürren, before joining the cable car for our ascent to the summit, 2970m above sea level. The views are truly unparalleled and on a clear day we are able to admire a magnificent vista.
You have some free time here to appreciate our stunning surroundings. Why not visit the fantastic revolving restaurant and enjoy a 360 degree panorama of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains as you sample a delicious, traditional Swiss menu and maybe a martini, shaken not stirred? The restaurant is named Piz Gloria in honour of the James Bond film, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' that was filmed here, and there are many 007 references to spot in the building and out on the mountain.
On our descent, there is the opportunity to stop at Stechlberg to visit the mighty Trümmelbach Falls. Nestled deep into the canyon, the falls have carved a path for themselves through the hillside making this a waterfall with a difference. Trümmelbach boasts Europe's largest subterranean waterfalls, and the only glacial waterfalls accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms. A monument to nature itself and its thunderous power, these waterfalls resemble a scene from an adventure fi lm, and the roaring sound of white water crashing against ancient rock is not soon to be forgotten.
Today is free to spend at leisure, exploring the Bernese Oberland using your included Swiss Travel Card for 50% fares. Perhaps journey up to the Schynige Platte and travel in restored 19th century carriages, hauled by a vintage electric locomotive, as you ride on this classic cog railway. Be prepared for more aweinspiring views of the towering mountain ranges as well as the lakes of Thun and Brienz, visible to the north. Why not visit the Alpine Botanical gardens up here, home to around 500 plant species, or relax and drink in the views from the café terrace?
Alternatively, you could take a ride on the Brienz-Rothorn railway, one of the steepest in Switzerland and powered almost entirely by steam engines. This rackand- pinion line traverses a number of bridges, crossing the steep, stony mountain trails and offering glittering views of Lake Brienz as you climb to the terminus at the summit of Rothorn.
After breakfast, we begin our journey home. Departing Wengen, we travel by rail via Interlaken, Basel (on the high-speed service) and Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar service back to London. Here our holiday concludes.
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
Enhancing your tour
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 16 verified reviews
Good because of excusions and tour managers info. Good hotel room but food choices could be better
It was brilliant, it was all very good
An excellent, well organised holiday. It would have been 5 stars had we not had to drag luggage across Paris, and had arrangements been made with the hotel to transfer luggage in Strasbourg.
Well planned . Excellent tour guide. Hotel just right. Group mixed well. Beautiful country. Varied and interesting outings.
Simply the best adventure we’ve had - amazing places , amazing railways, and brilliant organisation
Exceptional holiday. Had not been to Switzerland before this was a great way of undertaking it.
Excellent itinery with wonderful hotels and a superb tour manager in Steve Gillon
Tour manager was a bit diffident at times. The earlier start than the plan made for a very long day. Our daughter was not impressed with paying the SINGLE supplement and having a. Room in the rafters with low beams, which were difficult work without banging your head and an inferior bathroom with badly cracked tiles. She arranged her own move to another room.
All arrangements and documentation, both pre-tour and during the tour, were excellent. I also much appreciated the pre-holiday telephone call from our leader, Alison Harris, to introduce herself and to make sure that all was well.
Everything worked out great; the scenery was absolutely fantastic; the quite complicated train connections all worked out wonderfully, thanks to the excellent efforts of our tour manager Yvonne.
Switzerland's most stunning scenery by train