Call to book1300 208 712
Tour Search

Grand Alpine Explorer

4.4 stars(5 reviews)

An exciting adventure at the top of Europe

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
14 days Sold out

2021 Tour code: APG21

About the tour

Discover the incredible sights and landscapes of Bavaria, the Austrian Lakes, and the Alpine landscapes of Switzerland with visits to Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg, as well as journeys on some of the most iconic Swiss rail routes.


What’s included


Day 1 - London to Munich

Our adventure begins at St Pancras International, where we meet our group at our dedicated Departure Office, before joining the Eurostar to Brussels. Here we change trains and continue by high-speed rail to Munich where we have a two night stay. Located within sight of the Alps, lively Munich is the capital of Bavaria, as well as one of Germany's best-loved cities.

  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast
Day 2 - Guided tour of Munich

On Day 2 we discover more of Munich. With a rich culture and heritage, the city has a wonderful collection of museums, galleries and architectural treasures. We enjoy a guided tour to introduce the highlights of the city, before time to explore.

Day 3 - Salzburg

Leaving Munich behind, today we take the train into Austria. We arrive in Salzburg, a city with a wealth of musical heritage, known the world over as the birthplace of Mozart, and the setting for Rogers & Hammerstein's 'The Sound of Music'. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour. Spread out below the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the churches, squares and alleyways of Salzburg's beautiful Old Town are incredibly well preserved, dominated by fabulous Baroque spires, and are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After the tour, you are free to discover more of the city. 

  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast
Day 4 - Salzburg

Day 4 is at leisure in Salzburg.

Day 5 - Austrian Lakes and the 'Sound of Music'

Today we explore the stunning Austrian Lake District. We head first to the remarkable Kaiservilla, a stately home of Emperor Franz Joseph I, before continuing to Lake Wolfgang where we enjoy a gentle cruise across the serene waters to St Wolfgang, a charming, historic town. We then travel to pretty Mondsee, made famous by the wedding scene of 'The Sound of Music'.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Innsbruck

We transfer by coach to Prien am Chiemsee to visit the remarkable Herrenchiemsee Palace before driving to Innsbruck for two nights.

Day 7 - The castles of Bavaria

On Day 7 we cross back into Germany, visiting Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The wonderful castles of Bavaria are some of the most famous in the world thanks to their fairytale design, wonderland landscapes and cinematic heritage. Our day today is spent visiting 2 of the finest, beginning at glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. A magnificent structure built into the mountains, it stands proudly above the surrounding forests, its turrets and halls a resplendent white against a backdrop of green. Hohenschwangau is a more laid-back affair, with pretty interiors and wonderful gardens. We also embark on a journey on the cheerful Zugspitze Railway (Standard Class), ascending to the summit of Zugspitze Mountain.

  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
Day 8 - Through the Alps to Switzerland

We start our day with a walking tour of Innsbruck before boarding the train to Sargans. Afterwards, we board a train and travel alongside the Rhine and its dramatic scenery to Chur. We continue our ascent through the majestic mountain peaks, overlooking the lush meadows running down to the valley floor. We then arrive in the elegant lakeside resort of St Moritz.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 9 - The Bernina Express

Today we take a journey on the superb Bernina Express, which passes glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The railway has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status - as a testament to the incredible engineering that was required to create the line, as well as for the scenery through which it passes. During our journey, we travel across the spiralling viaduct at Brusio. The track clings to the mountainside as we wind our way above deep ravines and past waterfalls to more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Later we arrive in Tirano in Italy. You have some free time in Tirano before our return journey. 

  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast
Day 10 - St Moritz

Day 10 is at leisure. Perhaps visit the Badrutt's Palace Hotel for a traditional 1930s Swiss high tea, or stop by the Segantini Museum.

Day 11 - The Glacier Express and Interlaken

We take the famous Glacier Express along the iconic route from St Moritz to Brig, enjoying the incredible views through the panoramic windows of our First Class carriage. Our journey takes us through Switzerland's classic landscapes; from jagged mountain peaks to sprawling vineyards and over the famous Landwasser Viaduct. The train climbs steadily and steeply up and over the Oberalp Pass, the peak of the route, and spirals down past little villages before reaching Brig. Here we change trains and travel to Interlaken.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 - The Jungfrau Railway

Today we travel to Jungfraujoch (Standard Class) - Europe's highest railway station. Our ascent takes us through ever-changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway for the final leg of the journey. During our time on board, the train pauses at two observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down the valley. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe'. We descend via charming Grindelwald.

  • Breakfast
Day 13

Your day is free in Interlaken.

  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 14 - Breakfast
Day 14 - Zurich and London

On Day 14, we take the train to Zurich airport, where we board our flight to London Heathrow.

Additional information

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Please note: This may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.


Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken

Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken

View hotel

Maritim Hotel, Munich

Maritim Hotel, Munich

View hotel

Steigenberger Hotel München

Steigenberger Hotel München, Munich

View hotel

Goldenes Theater Hotel, Salzburg

Goldenes Theater Hotel, Salzburg

View hotel

Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

View hotel


Bernina Express
The Glacier Express
Jungfrau Railway

Enhance your holiday


Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections


4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 5 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mr M Ward

4 stars

Submitted 16 Aug 2018

The hotels were of variable standard. We felt the hotel in Traunkirchen was not of 4 star standard with regard to facilities, room, and the hotel was not particularly well situated. The dinners served in St Moritz were of poor quality and appeared to have been prepared on an extremely tight budget. However the hotel in Innsbruck was excellent and we would have preferred more time there than in Traunkirchen. The total porterage worked excellently which is why we give the holiday 4 and not 3.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr P Kindley

4 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2017

Some of the trains were changed from 1st class after the tour was paid for. The itinerary could be changed, parts of the trip had two very long days back to back, then the third day would be free time. With a long day, free time day and a second long day would provide a rest day in between. I did not like that the trip ended in interlaken Switzerland with the recommended departure airport was in Zurich. I had to ask the agent how I was supposed to get to the airport and have hotel reservations made in Zurich. The hotel room was very small and in a not so desirable section of town. The company should have transportation options. The tour had to many people, this made it hard to change trains

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr A Parker

5 stars

Submitted 07 Oct 2017

A very good experience, from start to finish

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr R Millman

5 stars

Submitted 17 Jul 2017

Every thing we encountered was first rate. Hotel Accommodations: excellent, Rail travel: excellent (mostly first class accommodations). Plenty of time in each city we visited. But most of all our tour manager, Alex Green, was the most helpful in every way. He gave us many options on free days. Guided us to rail platforms and cars. I know this is his job but he appeared to sincerely enjoy his job. Thanks Alex.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr G McHugh

4 stars

Submitted 05 Jun 2017

A nice enjoyable trip, but let down by the behaviour of some of the other guests. Too noisy.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Grand Alpine Explorer

An exciting adventure at the top of Europe


Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley
Related inspiration from our journey blog