Celebrate an unforgettable Christmas 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. We return to Interlaken in time for our special Christmas Eve dinner.
After a relaxed start to Christmas Day, 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 a gala Christmas dinner together in the hotel.
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.
Your day is free, giving you the opportunity to use your GRJ Swiss Travel Card for 50% fares to explore further afield.
On Day 7 we travel to Basel before continuing to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar to London.
Please note that departure LNX1902 runs in a different order:
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.
|21 December 2019||From $3,665|
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 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 wonderful train journey up to Jungfraujoch is the highlight of a number of our holidays and includes travel on the Bernese Oberland Railway, the Wengernalpbahn and the Jungfrau Railway. Providing visibility is good, passengers not only enjoy spectacular views from Jungfraujoch, but also throughout the journey itself. The sections that follow describe each stage of this journey in turn.
For customers starting in Meiringen, our journey begins as we travel along the valley to picturesque Lake Brienz, before closely following the lake's northern shore through the village of Brienz to Interlaken.
At Interlaken Ost station we change for the distinctive blue and yellow carriages of the historic Bernese Oberland Railway, which has been in operation since its opening in 1890. On leaving Interlaken, the train crosses the Bödeli and heads up a narrowing valley to Zweilütschinen. From here, the train follows the White Lütschine River valley to Lauterbrunnen, a village flanked by two sheer walls of rock. We leave the Bernese Oberland Railway at Lauterbrunnen to connect with the Wengernalpbahn.
As well as offering Switzerland's longest continuous stretch of rack railway at 12 miles (19.2km), the Wengernalpbahn was built to different gauge to the Bernese Oberland Railway and the Jungfraubahn. This means that we make two changes of trains during our journey up to Jungfraujoch, giving us the opportunity to stretch our legs and take in the magnificent Alpine scenery.
Work on the Jungfrau Railway from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch began in 1896. Built in stages so that ticket revenue could be used to fund construction, the line up to Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest railway station at 11,333 feet (3,454m) was finally completed in 1912.
We ascend in lifts to the Top of Europe Glacier restaurant, the Sphinx observation hall and terrace to take in the awe-inspiring scenery. The views over the Aletsch glacier are absolutely superb and on a particularly clear day it is possible to see as far as Germany's Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains in France.
There is plenty to do during your time at Jungfraujoch. Snow and ice cover the ground all year round, giving you the opportunity to take a snowy walk on the plateau or a husky-drawn sledge ride (payable locally). There is also a High Alpine Research Exhibition - and don't forget to leave time to visit the Ice Gateway and the Ice Palace, with its icy labyrinth of tunnels and sculptures before we re-board the Jungfrau Railway to begin our descent.
The 4-Star Hotel Metropole is ideally located in the centre of
Interlaken, on the main street, lined with chic boutiques. The
hotel offers very spacious public areas, and from the higher floors
magnificent views of the Jungfrau.
The hotel has two restaurants, the Bellini on the 4th floor, a traditional Swiss speciality restaurant, which will impress you with first class service and exquisite cuisine; and the Top O'Met on the top floor, the highest restaurant in the area, and affording unrivalled views, where you can take coffee or cake in the daytime whilst enjoying the panorama. Leisure facilities in the hotel include a sun deck and a sauna.
Rooms are attractively furnished and feature a telephone, television, minibar and a safe. All rooms offer wonderful views of Interlaken and the surrounding mountains, and many feature a balcony.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
GRJ Swiss Travel Card
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!