Explore the highlights of the Swiss Alps
Explore the highlights of the Swiss Alps from your fantastic base in the 5-Star Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof in charming Grindelwald. Ascend to Europe's highest railway station, cruise over the tranquil waters of Lake Brienz and enjoy classic Swiss luxury in your all inclusive hotel.
Our journey to Switzerland begins at our dedicated St Pancras Departure Office. Here we board the Eurostar service to Paris, before continuing on to the beautiful Alsatian town of Colmar, where we overnight. We enjoy dinner in the hotel in the evening.
We continue into Switzerland today, boarding the rail service to the beautiful mountain resort of Grindelwald, travelling via the Swiss city of Basel. Upon arrival in Grindelwald, we walk to our all-inclusive 5-Star hotel, the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof.
Grindelwald is one of Europe's oldest mountain resorts, surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Its name is derived from the old German word 'grindel', meaning a piece of wood that serves as a barrier, and the 'wald', a forest closed off from the rest of the world. In the 1920s, with the 'invention' of skiing as a pleasure activity, Grindelwald lost its remoteness as members of the 'Downhill Only Club' headed to the village by train to ski. The village itself is filled with Swiss charm and is surrounded by flower-filled meadows during the summer.
Today we board the local Grindelwald First cable-car system to ascend the nearby mountain that shares its name with this resort. Drifi tng up to Grindelwald First in the sky gondola is a true delight and affords some wonderful panoramas of the magnifi cent Alpine mountainscape. This area boasts some of the finest views across the sharp snowy peaks which stretch up into the clear sky above. Far below, the swathes of forests look like moss as they encroach on the minuscule villages. Enjoy some free time here, to breath the fresh mountain air before returning to Grindelwald.
The following day is at leisure in Grindelwald and the surrounding area. There are a number of easy walks around this region which are well worth trying out to make the most of this wonderful part of the world. The town itself is very much a traditional resort, and there are a number of cafés and bars to relax in here.
Today we enjoy what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our stay in the Bernese Oberland, as we travel on the Jungfrau Railway (Standard Class) to the Jungfraujoch - Europe's highest railway station. We join our train at Grindelwald's station. Our journey takes us to Kleine Scheidegg where we join the remarkable Jungfrau Railway. Climbing further from Kleine Scheidegg, the distinctive string of red and yellow carriages of the Jungfrau Railway disappear into the tunnel through the Eiger Mountain. During the journey the train pauses at two separate observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down to the valley below. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe', located at 3454m 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 fascinating works of art require a great deal of skill, thanks to the intricacy involved in creating such ornate and decorative iceworks.
You can spend time on the Sphinx Terrace, enjoying superb views onto the Aletsch Glacier, at 22 km the longest ice stream in the Alps, which provides a sharp contrast to the lush meadows and Alpine pastures of the lower lying hillsides near the valley floor. You can also enjoy the walking plateau, which is eternally covered in snow.
Today we travel to picturesque Interlaken, on the shores of two crystalline lakes. The entire region provides a year-round playground for walkers, climbers, hikers and skiers, combining towering mountains with picturesque lakes and endless forests.
The charming town is wedged between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and is surrounded by the majestic triple peaks of the Jungfrau, the Eiger and the Mönch mountains. Here, we carry on past Lake Brienz to the small town that shares its name with this body of water. The cosy village is our starting point for our ascent of the Brienz Rothorn mountain, and it is here that we begin an excursion by steam mountain railway, climbing to over 5,000 feet (1,524m), to the summit of the mountain. The summit offers fabulous views of the deep-blue lakes below.
Today we take the cog railway through Alpine meadows to Schynige Platte. We travel in restored 19th century carriages, hauled by a vintage electric locomotive, to the peak at 6,463 ft (1,970m). Along the way, this train hugs the side of a mountain range, crossing bridges and tunnels on a journey which encapsulates the true beauty of this charming region.
At the summit, why not explore the Alpine Botanical Garden, home to around 600 plant species, or relax and drink in the views from the café terrace? The scenery is simply breathtaking, where the snow-capped peaks are framed by a blue Alpine sky. The sights are postcard-worthy, with the Schynige Platte railway winding through pine covered mountainside. Keep an eye out for the wonderful wildlife which call these mountain peaks home.
Your day is free, perhaps to explore with your Swiss Travel Card which gives a 50% discount on most trains, buses and lake steamers in the area. You could travel to the Schilthorn, a 2,970m high summit overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen. The mountain is ascendable by local cable-car. The lakeside town of Thun is nearby, located at the point where the River Aare flows into the shimmering waters of Lake Thun.
Here you could visit the 12th century Thun Castle, now a museum. Originally built around 1200 by the Dukes who called this region home, Thun Castle displays many artefacts from Thun's history including suits of armour, weaponry and various golden and ceramic artefacts. It is easy to forget during your time here that this superb establishment is indeed a castle, and as such, much of the attraction is in the building itself. Perhaps spend some time in the wonderfully well-preserved Grand Hall, or ascend the turrets to enjoy sublime views of the town and the surrounding canton of Bern. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner.
This morning we begin our return home by rail, travelling to Paris via the Swiss city of Basel. Upon arrival in Paris, we transfer to the Eurostar service for the journey to London St Pancras. On arrival into the English capital, your tour comes to an end.
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
Explore the highlights of the Swiss Alps