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.
Porterage included to and from Chur station to the 3-Star Hotel Freieck, to and from Kandersteg station to the 3-Star Belle Epoque and between Chur and Kandersteg
Excursions & Entertainment
The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International
Food & Drinks
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
Day 1 - By train to France
We meet at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras before
boarding the Eurostar to Paris. We change for the high-speed
service to Strasbourg where we stay for the night.
Please note: For Departures GYW2002, 03
& 04 you will overnight in Colmar with the morning at
leisure on Day 2
Day 2 - Onward to Switzerland
We leave Strasbourg by train for Switzerland. Our journey takes
us across the border and travelling via Basel, we join the superb
Swiss railway network, famous for its efficiency and punctuality.
We make our way to Chur, Switzerland's oldest town with over 5,000
years of settlement history for you to explore.
Day 3 - A day at leisure exploring Chur
Your day is free to explore historic Chur and the surrounding
region. Take time to stroll through the medieval cobbled alleyways
and squares of the Old Town, and visit the 12th century cathedral,
a blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Today is a superb chance
for you to discover the area by mountain railway using your
included Swiss Card for 50% fares. The wild, rugged and rocky
landscape of the glorious Graubünden region is waiting to be
discovered, with superb railway journeys available from Chur that
take you over, around and across the dramatic valleys that make
this one of the most attractive cantons in Switzerland. A journey
on the Arosa Line to lakeside Arosa, surrounded by dramatic snowy
peaks, is a popular option for today. Alternatively, visit Lucerne,
an historic lakeside city of cobbled streets, squares and ornate
churches. Whilst in Lucerne, see the famous Kapellbrücke covered
bridge or perhaps visit the Swiss Transport Museum.
Please Note: For
departure GYW2004 Day's 3 and 4 have
Day 4 - Over the Bernina Pass to Poschiavo
Our excursion today takes us on the Bernina Express, a journey
on the superb 100 year old Bernina Line that passes mighty glaciers
and sloping Alpine meadows laden with snow. We travel over the
incredible Landwasser Viaduct, and cling to the mountainside,
winding above deep ravines and past frozen waterfalls. We have time
for lunch amongst the pastel coloured houses of quaint Poschiavo,
before our return journey to Chur.
Please Note: For
departure GYW2004 Day's 4 and 3 have
Day 5 - The iconic Glacier Express to Kandersteg
We leave Chur today, travelling from the rocky landscape of the
Graubünden canton to the fantastic Valais on the iconic Glacier
Express - the 'slowest express train in the world'. Our entire
journey is accompanied by views of the scenery for which
Switzerland is justly famous; beautiful, snow-covered pastures, and
frosted forests rising up the hillsides beside the track towards
towering snow-capped peaks. We travel along the beautiful Rhine
Valley, climbing steadily and then steeply as we make our way up
and over the snowy Oberalp Pass, the distant peaks of the Italian
Alps in view to the south. At 6,670 feet, the Oberalp Pass is the
highest point of the route.
From here we descend past the countless small villages that line
our route, nestled in the foothills of the surrounding mountains,
before travelling through the Furka Base Tunnel and into the Rhône
Valley. The final part of our journey on the Glacier Express takes
us through expansive vineyards that line the surrounding hillsides
to the small town of Brig. Here we take the local railway for a
wonderful journey over the imposing Kander Viaduct, through the old
Lotschberg tunnel and past soaring mountain peaks to the town of
Kandersteg. The resort of Kandersteg is one of Switzerland's truly
unspoilt gems - a picturesque destination surrounded by
breathtaking mountain scenery.
The Glacier Express
Day 6 - Narrow-gauge mountain railway to Zermatt
Today we travel to the charming, car-free resort of Zermatt. We
travel to Brig to join a narrow-gauge train, heading south through
dramatic valleys and alongside the River Rhône to Visp. From here
we join the mountain track for the steep ascent to Zermatt. The
spectacular approach to Zermatt takes us through 8 tunnels and
across 42 bridges, the gradient of the ascent requiring cogwheels
to be engaged. Finally we reach the grandiose scenery of Zermatt,
nestled below the snowy tilted peak of the instantly recognisable
Matterhorn. In Zermatt you are free to explore.
Excursion to Zermatt
Day 7 - A day at leisure in the Eastern Swiss Alps
Today is free for you to explore Kandersteg, renowned for its
breathtaking views and scenic trails. You could take the cable car
up to the stunning Oeschinen Lake. The lake is frozen in winter,
and offers incredible vistas. Or, explore the wider region using
your Swiss Travel Card for 50% fares. We particularly recommend
travelling along the Rhône Valley to Montreux. From here you can
enjoy a cruise on Lake Geneva or join the GoldenPass Line panoramic
train for the journey over the Golden Pass to Spiez. Otherwise
travel to Interlaken, a charming town situated between Lakes Thun
Day 8 - Through France to London by rail
We depart from Kandersteg, and travel by train via Brig and
along the shores of shimmering Lake Geneva, before joining a direct
TGV service to Paris. After crossing Paris by coach we
connect with Eurostar to London.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature
the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown
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.
Please note: This may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
A wonderful full itinerary, well organized and planned. The hotels were a great contrast...one in a town and one in a small village of typically Swiss wooden houses surrounded by mountains, and only accessible by train. The country was expensive, but the provided meals were good and local. Our group was friendly and a good mix of pleasant people, who all got on well. The weather couldn’t have been better....five days of sunshine for all the trips on the glacier and Bernina Express, so amazing views, then snow on the last day for a wonderful woodland walk from the chairlift above our last hotel.
One of the best holidays we have had with Great Rail.
Mrs B Bone
Good organisation Office open on time at St Pancras. Very friendly helpful staff. Better positioning of the office at St Pancras. Where it was when we went before was a bit crowded and squashed.
Mrs S Wainwright
Very good and well organised trip, plenty to see. Bad weather stopped the glacier express and cut off Zermatt though.
The weather caused a few disappointments and travel problems. Whilst these were not the fault of the company, they did do their best to recompense for the disappointment. The majority of the holiday went to plan and was wonderful. We can't fault GRJ on their response to the problems whilst we were there, or their reply to our correspondence once we were home. We will be travelling with them again soon!
Although two out of the three excursions were cancelled due to poor weather conditions, we still thoroughly enjoyed the week. Your tour operator was most helpful and attentive even though she had a number of difficult decisions to make.
Mrs B Glanville
Excellent tour, even when the weather tried to foil the itinerary the tour manager sorted everything out with the minimum inconvenience to us. Allows just the right level of independence and although a few things did go wrong, it didn't detract from the overall experience.