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Mountaintops of Switzerland

4.7 stars(3 reviews)
Small Group

Spend nine days with your head in the clouds

9 days From £2,795 per person

2022 Tour code: MTS22

About the tour

Spend your holiday with your head in the clouds as we enjoy journeys aboard many mountain railways, including the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express and the Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway. Three of Switzerland's most unique mountaintop hotels also help make this holiday extra special.


What’s included


Day 1 - London and Basel

After meeting at London St Pancras, we travel to Paris on the Eurostar, changing trains for Basel, where we spend the night.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Giessbach

Walking to the train station, we travel to Interlaken, where we board a boat to cruise across Lake Brienz. Sailing through the heart of scenic Switzerland, we admire the remarkable colour of the pure Alpine waters, which contrast with the green slopes of the mountains. From our boat, we enjoy watching the towns and villages which dot the shores of the lake, many of which reside under the shadow of a church steeple. Waiting for us as we disembark is the Giessbach funicular railway, ready to transport us in style to our mountaintop hotel, the Grandhotel Giessbach. On arrival, we're treated to a welcome drink in the saloon bar as a local expert tells us all about the history of this glorious and unusual hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway

We board the steam-hauled Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway, a rack-and-pinion line which traverses steep and stony mountain trails. For much of the route, the glittering waters of Lake Brienz can be seen, and as we climb further, the view becomes yet more dramatic. Before long, we reach the first of three passing loops for oncoming locomotives, travelling through woodland and a series of tunnels hewn from the rock. We then arrive at the second passing loop, where some of the older steam engines pause to take on water. Finally, we reach the line's terminus at the summit of Rothorn, 7,362 feet above sea level, and four-and-a-half miles away from our starting point in Brienz

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - The Glacier Express

Leaving Giessbach, we travel by rail and coach to Brig for one of the world's most unique rail experiences, a journey aboard the Glacier Express. Famed as the slowest 'express' train in the world, the distinctive red and white carriages - painted to match the colours of the Swiss flag - make their way across hundreds of bridges and viaducts, as well as through 90 separate tunnels. Using cogwheels at the steepest points, we enjoy views of green valleys, picturesque villages and the Alpine lake on the Oberalp Pass. We enjoy lunch on board before reaching Samedan and transferring to the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, accessible only by its own funicular railway.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 – The Bernina Express

Connecting Switzerland and Italy via one of the highest mountain railways in the Alps, the Bernina Express rises to the challenges presented such steep gradients to delighting us with a journey of breathtaking beauty through the Iconic Alps. Joining the train in St Moritz, we travel to an altitude of more than 7,000 feet, enjoying views of snow-capped peaks and glacial lakes as we make our way to Italy, traversing the spiralling Brusio Viaduct en route. In Tirano, you're free to explore before we make the return trip.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – The Mount Pilatus Railway

We make the most of the efficient Swiss rail network again today, travelling to Lucerne where there's some free time before we board the Mount Pilatus Railway, the steepest cogwheel railway in the world with a 48% gradient. We spend a delightful half hour ascending from lakeside Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, where our unique hotel, the Hotel Pilatus Kulm, awaits. We arrive in time to enjoy the sunset over the surrounding lakes and mountains.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Lucerne

We return to Lucerne for some independent sightseeing. Set in an impressive location, overlooking the surrounding landscape with Mounts Pilatus and Rigi visible on the horizon, Lucerne's famous landmark is the Kapellbrücke Bridge, separating Lucerne's Old and New Town. The oldest wooden bridge in Europe, built in the 14th century, it was constructed to help protect the city of Lucerne against attacks. Inside, a series of paintings from the 17th century display the city's history. With its ornate churches, cobbled streets, and charming Old Town, Lucerne offers traditional culture as well as a plethora of cosy cafés.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Strasbourg

We begin the journey back to London today, with the first leg of our travels delivering us to Strasbourg for the night. Here you have some free time to explore the historic Old Town, dominated by the city's spectacular Notre Dame Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – London

We catch the train to Paris, where we join the Eurostar returning to London St Pancras

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

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

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Grand Hotel Giessbach

Grand Hotel Giessbach, Giessbach

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Hotel Pilatus Kulm

Hotel Pilatus Kulm, Kriens

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Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl

Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, Samedan

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Bernina Express
Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway
The Glacier Express
Mount Pilatus Railway

Enhance your holiday


Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections


4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 3 reviews

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

H Ford

4 stars

Submitted 19 Oct 2021

Wonderful trip. The three hotels were all lovely, but the Grandhotel Giessbach was absolutely gorgeous! The only things that spoilt the trip was the constant and strict Covid regulations, producing passes every time we went into cafes, etc, and the weather so we couldn't see a lot from the windows of the trains. The Tour Manager, Sheila Boyes, was brilliant, going that extra mile to ensure that we were all looked after.

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2021

This is the fourth time we have been to Switzerland with Great Rail, best tour to date, but never been disappointed with the tours or the standard of hotels.

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2021

A magical tour...great hotels in magnificent settings.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Mountaintops of Switzerland

Spend nine days with your head in the clouds


Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
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