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The Glacier Express

Winding its way one hundred and eighty miles through the magnificent mountains of Switzerland, the Glacier Express is one of the most iconic trains in the world.

The Glacier Express

Travel from Zermatt to St Moritz

The Glacier Express is undoubtedly Switzerland's best known train. The 181 mile trip from Zermatt to St Moritz lasts around eight hours winding its way through some of Europe's most beautiful scenery. Beginning in Zermatt, the Glacier Express glides northwards from under the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn and follows the Matter Vispa River and the Rhône Valley to Visp. The train then heads to Brig, before climbing through Betten, Grengiols and Oberwald on its journey to the Furka Base Tunnel. 

The train emerges and makes its way to the village of Andermatt, before beginning its ascent towards the Oberalp Pass which at 6,670 feet (2,033m) is the highest point on the line.  It then makes the steep descent towards Disentis, where the train is attached to an RHB locomotive. From here we pass the historic town of Ilanz, descending to the stunning Rhine Gorge where we continue on to the attractive cantonal capital of Chur.

Highlights of the journey

Highlights of the route include the ascent of the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the line at 2,033 metres above sea level, the stunning Rhine Gorge through which the train travels alongside the river and the remarkable - and famous - Landwasser Viaduct, a vast and curving limestone structure of six arches which spans the Landwasser River sixty-five metres below and leads the Glacier Express directly into the adjoining Landwasser Tunnel. 

The only times at which there is little of interest to observe from the Glacier Expressis when the train is passing through one of the ninety-one tunnels which lie along its route. Otherwise, passengers enjoy a constantly-changing vista of Switzerland's most breath-taking landscapes as they traverse imposing snow-clad mountain ranges, skirt the shores of vast lakes and pass through rolling Alpine wildflower meadows.

Read on below...



Glacier Express and the Oberalp Pass

There are 6 tours matching Glacier Express

Glacier Express & Five-Star Rhine Cruise

Embark on one of the world's finest rail adventures aboard the Glacier Express before descending down the valley for a cruise on the spectacular Rhine. Switzerland's incredible natural beauty is on full display on this panoramic rail journey through mountain passes and lush valleys.

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11 days from £2,095 pp

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Traditional Glacier Express

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. We enjoy thrilling mountain railways, charming towns and dramatic Alpine scenery for which Switzerland is justly famous.

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8 days from £1,495 pp

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Glacier Express & St Moritz

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, where we enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.

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10 days from £3,015 pp

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Bernina ExpressBernina Express

Grand Tour Of Switzerland

Journey through the heart of the Alps on this grand tour of majestic Switzerland. Visit the picturesque cities of St Gallen and Lucerne, explore delightful Lugano and Bern and experience wonderful Swiss rail over and around the spectacular Swiss peaks.

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12 days from £3,295 pp

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Classic Glacier Express

Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Chur to Brig famous the world over. Discover Zermatt by mountain railway, visit beautiful Interlaken, take a journey on the Bernina Express and explore the Alps at your own pace during this popular mountain holiday.

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9 days from £2,295 pp

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Grand Alpine ExplorerGrand Alpine Explorer

Grand Alpine Explorer

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.

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15 days from £3,870 pp

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Those making the spectacular journey between Zermatt and St. Moritz on the Glacier Express benefit from a wide range of Great Rail Journeys itineraries. Second Class carriages are comfortable, light and spacious and are designed to carry a maximum of forty-eight passengers via a configuration of twelve tables, six on either side of the carriage, each seating four passengers. Second-class carriages benefit from large panorama windows which extend into the ceiling of the carriage.

Each Glacier Express train consists of two First Class carriages, a carriage containing a bar and toilets, and three Second Class carriages. Between 2006 and 2009, every item of the Glacier Express's rolling stock was renewed to ensure that travellers enjoyed comfort and facilities of the highest standards.



Glacier Express Interior

The more expensive First-class carriages carry a maximum of thirty-six passengers, offering six four-seat tables and six two-seat tables. As a result, First Class carriages are more spacious and offer larger seats with greater leg room. The panoramic windows in First Class carriages are also larger. Travellers in both classes can enjoy a two or three-course lunch with at-seat service. First Class carriages are served before Second Class carriages. Additional snacks and drinks can be ordered in The Panorama Bar carriage at the centre of the train for delivery to your seat in either class. Carriages in both classes are air-conditioned.

Since 2005 the Glacier Express has carried around a quarter of a million passengers each year. Although the train began operation in 1930 it only ran during the summer months until as recently as 1982 when construction work was completed to ensure that the train could safely negotiate the Furka Pass and the Oberalp Pass in winter.

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