The journey to Europe's highest railway station
Celebrate an unforgettable New Year with a breathtaking ride on the Jungfrau Railway to the highest train station in Europe, a spectacular ascent of the Schilthorn, a winter wonderland carriage ride from Grindelwald amongst the snowy Alpine peaks and a visit to charming Mürren.
We meet our group and Tour Manager in St Pancras at our dedicated Departure Office, before boarding the Eurostar to Brussels, continuing to Cologne, where we overnight.
Our journey to Switzerland continues today as we travel by train to Interlaken, our base for the next five nights. We stay at the centrally located Hotel Metropole. Interlaken is situated between Lakes Thun and Brienz in the Bernese Oberland, and is an ideal base from which to explore this scenic region of Switzerland.
We travel by train to the picturesque mountain village of Mürren today. Situated high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley at 5,413 ft (1,650 m) above sea level, the village is a popular tourist destination all year round, thanks to the incredible mountain views it offers - and in winter in particular, it is alive with activity. After arriving in the traffic-free village, we continue further into the mountains by cable car, ascending through the spectacular scenery to the peak of the mighty Schilthorn. Once at the summit, you can take in the superb views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains; on a clear day, there is a wonderful panorama of a further two hundred peaks. Here you can also visit the Piz Gloria, which was the world's first revolving restaurant and was made famous in the James Bond film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Back in Mürren, you are free to perhaps take a walk on one of the well-prepared scenic footpaths, or even have a go at skating on the open-air ice rink if you're feeling adventurous.
Your day is free, giving you the opportunity to use your GRJ Swiss Travel Card for 50% fares to explore further afield. From our base in Interlaken there are many mountain peaks and beautiful places to be discovered - why not make the journey across the Brünig Pass to Lucerne, a favourite destination among Great Rail Journeys customers due to its wonderful lakeside location and stunning mountain scenery. The compact city boasts charming streets and the famous 14th century Chapel Bridge, which was built in 1333 and is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe. Other highlights include the nearby water tower, which has served as a prison and a treasury in its long history. The Swiss Transport Museum, with its fascinating collection of artefacts on land, air and sea transportation, is also a popular option. Alternatively, you could visit Montreux, which is easily accessible by rail and superbly situated on the shores of Lake Geneva. From here you can take a fabulous journey into the mountains by cog railway to Rochers de Naye, one of Switzerland's most beautiful viewpoints. You could then return to Interlaken along the beautiful GoldenPass Line panoramic train, taking in the magnificent scenery along the route.
Today we travel to the pretty Alpine village of Grindelwald, a delightful winter resort nestled at the foot of the imposing north face of the Eiger. At this time of year, the idyllic village is covered in snow, making it a haven for skiers. From Grindelwald we enjoy a carriage ride through the snowy scenery, followed by tasty gingerbread and glühwein. You have time to explore Grindelwald at your own pace before we return to Interlaken together to enjoy our gala New Year's Eve dinner buffet.
On New Year's Day we enjoy what is undoubtedly the highlight of our stay in the Bernese Oberland, with our excursion to the summit of the Jungfrau. We begin on the Bernese Oberland Railway trundling through the foothills of the Alps from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, through snowy pastures and past pretty villages. In Lauterbrunnen, we change trains to continue our ascent through ever changing scenery, to reach Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway itself. Rising higher still, from Kleine Scheidegg the distinctive string of red and yellow carriages disappear into the tunnel through the Eiger mountain, making stops at the observation windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock, before emerging at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe', located at 3545m above sea level. With free time at the summit station, you will have plenty of time to explore the Ice Palace and its many ice sculptures, the Sphinx Terrace with superb views onto the Aletsch Glacier, at 22 km the longest ice stream in the Alps, and the walking plateau, eternally covered in snow. After time to explore and to enjoy lunch, we descend via the charming mountain resort of Grindelwald.
Today we travel to Basel before continuing to Paris, where connect with the Eurostar to London. On arrival in the capital, your tour concludes.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
The journey to Europe's highest railway station