Explore Switzerland by rail on a GRJ independent tailor made holiday. Discover regions making a melting pot of German, Italian and French cultures.
The best of Switzerland
Everywhere you look, Switzerland is a country that is blessed with outstanding aesthetic allure. Mirror-glazed lakes, lofty mountain peaks watching over your every step and rolling meadows filled with wild flowers in spring and blanketed in snow during winter, all make for a truly enchanting backdrop to a destination that fluctuates seamlessly between chic urban sophistication, and rustic chalet charm.
Getting there by rail
With efficient rail routes running throughout Switzerland and the five surrounding countries that share its borders, getting to Switzerland from Britain is plain railing the whole way. After a journey on the Eurostar, continue through central Europe and go cross country aboard trains that run to schedule whatever the weather. For added convenience, you can ask us to organise your rail travel from your closest station all the way through.
Benefits of rail
Exploring Switzerland by rail takes you through an intriguing melting pot of German, Italian and French cultures. With so many facets to explore, Switzerland provides an exciting and rewarding Alpine adventure for everyone, all easily accessible thanks to the ingenuity of the Swiss rail system. Such beauty deserves to be discovered at a gentle pace, and train travel allows you to give your full attention to each mountain and meadow.
Bernina Express, Jungfrau Railway & the Glacier Express
Connecting Switzerland and Italy via the highest mountain railway in the Alps, the Bernina Express rises to the challenges presented by snow, ice and the steepest gradients to delight passengers with a four-hour journey of breath-taking beauty through this iconic mountain range.
The Alpine passage that the Bernina Express makes from Switzerland to Italy has been acclaimed as Switzerland's most scenic journey, and passengers have much to admire from the train's panoramic windows, and the views are at their most magnificent upon reaching the mountain-ringed Lake Bianco, whose placid waters mirror the sky above. Of the 55 tunnels and 196 bridges that help the train negotiate the trickier natural elements of the route, the Solis Viaduct and famous Landwasser Viaduct are particularly spectacular.
The wonderful train journey up to Jungfraujoch is the highlight of a number of Swiss 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, (the 'top of Europe') but also throughout the journey itself.
From Kleine Scheidegg, the distinctive string of red and yellow carriages 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, allowing you to see down to the valley below. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, located 3454m above sea level.
The Glacier Express is undoubtedly Switzerland's best known train. The 180-mile trip from St Moritz to Zermatt lasts around eight hours winding its way through some of Europe's most beautiful scenery. Beginning in St Moritz, the Glacier Express begins its ascent towards the Oberalp Pass, which at 6,670 feet is the highest point on the line, before emerging in the village of Andermatt. The train then makes its way through the Furka Base Tunnel before climbing upwards towards Brig, travelling via Betten, Grengiols and Oberwald. Following the path of the Rhône Valley to Visp, the shadow of the Matterhorn soon looms over you as you glide into Zermatt.
The spectacular railways of Switzerland
The true joy of a rail tour of Switzerland is that its numerous scenic and mountain railways provide easy access to some of the most awe-inspiring destinations in Europe. Switzerland also reinforces the observation that sometimes the journey is as great an experience as the destination as you pause to admire some of the near-miraculous feats of engineering that were required to construct these railways.
Welcoming mountain towns
If you can tear yourself away from staring at Switzerland's scenery for a moment you'll realise that the cities, towns and villages en route are almost equally as stunning. Synonymous with glamour, the prestigious resort of St Moritz is incredibly popular as a year-round resort. Zermatt offers plenty of attractions for visitors, including a selection of specialist food shops and chocolatiers.
Suggested Swiss Itineraries
The Itineraries shown are intended to give an overview of what is possible and are by no means the only options available, designed to offer an idea of all the places you could visit and give you an overview of each destination. We arrange holidays to suit all tastes and budgets, so you can pick and choose from below or come up with something completely unique.
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