Dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lakes provide the setting for this magnificent holiday as we travel in First Class on the Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps, journey on the Bernina Express, sample traditional foods and enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.
After meeting at our London St Pancras Departure Office, we board the Eurostar to Brussels. We catch the high-speed train to Cologne, where we stay for one night.
Continuing our journey on Day 2, we travel by rail to Basel where we start our scenic climb through the Alps to St Moritz, set amidst majestic mountain peaks. We travel through countless tunnels and across numerous bridges, including the instantly recognisable Landwasser Viaduct. As the track clings to the mountainside, we wind our way above deep ravines and past rushing waterfalls, looping and spiralling through the rugged Engadine Valley to St Moritz. On arrival, we check into our hotel for a three-night stay.
We join the historic Bernina Express today, a rail route that takes us by deep-set evergreen forests, rushing mountain streams, and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The line has UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to the efforts taken to build the track, as well as for the breathtaking scenery it passes. Our ascent over the Bernina Pass elevates us over 7,000 feet above sea level, showcasing panoramic views across snow-capped peaks and turquoise glacial lakes as we travel to Tirano in Italy via the spiralling Brusio Viaduct. You have some free time to look around and perhaps sample some delicious Italian treats.
On Day 4, you're free to explore St Moritz by cable car, or go further afield, making the most of your St Moritz and Swiss Travel Cards.
Today we take the famous Glacier Express to Zermatt, enjoying incredible views through the panoramic windows of our First Class carriage. Leaving St Moritz, we descend towards the valley floor, crossing the famous Landwasser Viaduct and working our way along the upper Rhine Valley. A two-course lunch is served at during the journey as the train climbs steadily and steeply over the Oberalp Pass, the peak of the route, before crossing the spectacular gorge at Brig. From here we ascend once more, winding left and right on our approach to Zermatt, a tranquil mountain town nestled below the Matterhorn Mountain. We stay here for the next four nights.
We board the Gornergrat Mountain Railway today. Opened in 1898, it's the highest open-air cogwheel railway in Europe and climbs to the summit of the Gornergrat, at 10,134 feet. On a clear day, you can see an astonishing 29 mountaintops. After time at the top to enjoy the views over the Gornergletscher, the second largest glacier in the Alps, we descend and enjoy a guided walking tour of beautiful Zermatt. The pretty town is a car-free zone, with timbered buildings and an English church dating back to 1870, and is overlooked not just by the Matterhorn, but also Monte Rosa, Switzerland's highest peak.
On Day 7, we travel by cable car to Schwarzsee, the starting point of the Matterhorn glacier trail. With some free time, you might like to stroll down to the chapel by the lake or take a gentle walk along one of the hiking trails. We enjoy lunch at a traditional restaurant, the perfect chance to savour some classic Swiss specialties.
Day 8 is free once again. Perhaps climb the Kleine Matterhorn by regional cable car or use your Swiss Travel Card to journey 'across a hundred valleys' on the Centovalli Railway, a narrowgauge line that winds over high bridges and past sleepy villages to the town of Locarno, on the shores of delightful Lake Maggiore.
Boarding the train after breakfast, we travel to Basel via Visp. Here we catch the train to Colmar, our home for the night. Continuing our journey on Day 10, we travel by rail through France to Paris, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The narrow-gauge Bernina Express connects northern and southern Europe and offers a spectacular means of crossing the Alps. The route runs through the ancient landscape of Switzerland's beautiful Grisons/Graubünden region and provides essential links to the Italian-speaking population in the south.
The Centovalli Railway was originally planned to connect Locarno in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland with Domodossola in the very north of Italy. The line's opening was delayed considerably owing to the First World War, but construction was resumed almost immediately afterwards and the first services began in 1923.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.
The Glacier Express is undoubtedly Switzerland's best known train. The 181 mile (290km) trip from Zermatt to St Moritz lasts around eight hours winding its way through some of Europe's most dramatic and beautiful scenery.
Beginning in Zermatt, a pretty Alpine resort close to the Matterhorn, 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 east to Brig, before climbing through Betten, Grengiols and Oberwald on its journey to the 9¼ mile (15km) long 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.
The Gornergrat Mountain Railway runs for just less than six miles from the pretty town of Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat some 10,135ft above sea level. It is the highest railway in Europe to run and mostly in the open air (the Jungfrau Railway runs to a higher point but is predominantly in a tunnel).
Thalys is a brand run by two companies, Thalys International, whose shareholders are French, Belgian and German rail companies, with Dutch Railways (NS) as a privileged partner, and also The Railway Company THI Factory, 60% of whose capital is held by SNCF, and 40% by SNCB.
It runs rail services linking Paris and Brussels with Amsterdam or Cologne. The trains are similar in design to French TGVs and can reach up to 190mph (305km/h) when travelling on dedicated high speed lines.
Comfort 1 (First Class) passengers benefit from spacious seating and are usually served complimentary light refreshments once underway. Both Comfort 1 and Comfort 2 (Standard Class) passengers have access to the Thalys Bar, which serves a selection of snacks, meals and hot and cold drinks during most journeys.
The 4-Star Hotel Schweizerhof is situated in the centre of St Moritz with superb views over the lake from the front of the hotel and within walking distance from the Chantarella funicular station. The original Belle Epoque surroundings and modern comforts include the Acla restaurant famous for its boiled beef, piano bar and spa. Rooms are comfortably furnished with a television, telephone and minibar. All rooms have a queen size bed and rooms with a view of the lake are available at a supplement.
Set at the foot of Switzerland's Pennine Alps, in the shadow of the recognisable Matterhorn, the 4-Star Superior Hotel Sonne in Zermatt is within walking distance of the resort's main attractions and transport links. Enjoy the terrace and outdoor hot tub, perfect for admiring the scenery. There's also a well-stocked wine cellar, a gym, indoor pool, sauna and steam bath. The tastefully-decorated guest rooms all come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, Nespresso machines, a minibar and a balcony.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
To arrange for a second suitcase to travel door to door, just let us know when you book. Prices start from £65 per bag (size and weight allowances may vary depending on airline polices), Please call for more details.
Upgrade to a lake view room in St Moritz from £85 per person (twin occupancy only)
Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a
difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the
capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager
the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West
End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your
return to London, you would like to break your journey with an
overnight stay before continuing home.
We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.
|Hotel||Room Rate From Price|
|The Ambassador Hotel||From £65 per person|
Above prices are approximate, subject to availability, and per room per night based on two people sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805.
Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.
We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.
For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.