Connecting Switzerland and Italy via the highest mountain railway in the Alps, the Bernina Express train rises to the challenges presented by snow, ice and the steepest gradients to delight passengers with a four-hour journey of breath-taking beauty through this iconic mountain range.
Beginning in the north at Chur, capital of the canton of Graubünden and the oldest city in Switzerland, the narrow-gauge railway that carries the scarlet-liveried Bernina Express winds its way south-eastwards through the Alps, crossing into Italy shortly after Poschiavo, to its destination in Tirano.
Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Brig to Chur famous the world over. Explore the Alps on Switzerland's terrific rail network during this incredibly popular mountain holiday.
Stunning scenery and spectacular views are enough to take your breath away as we travel by rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express train. Admire the classic scenery as Switzerland emerges from winter, with the first flowers budding in the Alpine meadows.
Stunning scenery and spectacular views are enough to take your breath away as we travel by rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express train. During our Swiss adventure, we enjoy thrilling mountain railways, charming towns and dramatic Alpine scenery for which Switzerland is justly famous.
Beautiful scenery and spectacular views have made the Glacier Express famous world over. On this magnificent rail tour, we also visit pretty Lake Lucerne and travel to Zermatt to enjoy views of the imposing Matterhorn.
Lake Como, pretty Italian towns, lake steamers, mountain scenery and historic mansions provide the setting for this spectacular tour. Our holiday is based around Lake Como, which has been attracting visitors to its beautiful shores for more than 200 years.
Alluring Lake Como has been attracting visitors to its beautiful shores for more than 200 years. On our spectacular tour based around the lake, we take in pretty Italian towns, lake steamers, mountain scenery and historic mansions. We also enjoy an enthralling journey into Switzerland on the Bernina Express, a stunning railway line with UNESCO protection.
Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Brig to Chur famous the world over. Shimmering winter peaks and sugar-frosted forests provide a picture-postcard backdrop to our wonderful winter rail adventure.
Dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lakes provide the setting for this magnificent tour, as we take the iconic Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps, staying in glamorous St Moritz, and Zermatt, enjoying breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.
Dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lakes provide the setting for this magnificent tour, as we take the iconic Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps, staying in glamorous St Moritz, and Zermatt. We enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, as Zermatt celebrates 150 years since this iconic mountain was first scaled.
This adventurous twin-centre rail holiday provides ample opportunity to explore the majestic Swiss Alps cloaked in their winter finery, and to enjoy our trip on the famous Glacier Express, surely the slowest, and certainly one of the most scenic 'express' trains in the world.
Highlights of a Journey on the Bernina Express
The Alpine passage that the Bernina Express makes from Switzerland to Italy has been acclaimed as Switzerland's most scenic journey, and passengers have much to admire from the train's panoramic windows.
The first part of the route from Chur passes through the area of Switzerland most populated with castles. As the train ascends into the glacier-dominated region of Bernina itself, the scenery becomes increasingly breath-taking. However, the views are at their most magnificent at the mountain-ringed Lake Bianco, whose placid waters mirror the sky above.
Of the 55 tunnels and 196 bridges that help the train negotiate the trickier natural elements of the route, Solis Viaduct and famous Landwasser Viaduct are particularly spectacular.
Two Classes of Travel
Bernina Express trains typically comprise two or three First and Second class carriages separated by a bar and services carriage at the train's centre.
The carriages in both classes are spacious and offer air conditioning, panoramic windows, comfortable seating and an at-seat trolley service providing light refreshments.
Second Class carriages are designed to carry more passengers and are configured with two rows of tables, one each side of the carriage, each of which provides seating for four people.
First Class carriages comprise one row of four-seater tables and one row of double seats. Carrying fewer passengers than Second Class carriages means that First Class passengers enjoy more space and greater legroom and larger, leather-upholstered seats.
Fewer seats in First Class also mean that the views from the carriages' larger panoramic windows are less obstructed.
More about the Bernina Express
The section of the Bernina Express's route that passes through the Albula and Bernina regions between the Swiss Town of Thusis and the Italian town of Tirano became a UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2008.
This prestigious status recognises the supreme feats of engineering that were achieved by railway builders in the early twentieth century in overcoming natural obstacles to connect remote Alpine settlements whilst simultaneously minimising the impact upon the stunning landscape.
Passengers can learn more about the route, its history and its highlights courtesy of an on-board commentary during the journey.
From the train's terminus in Tirano, the connecting Bernina Express allows passengers to continue their journey by road along a route that follows the shores of Lake Como and Lake Lugano to the city of Lugano itself on the Swiss/Italian border.