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All Aboard Exploring the Swiss Glaciers by Rail

17 August 2023

With a landscape as visually stunning as the Swiss Alps, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy it. And the Swiss train system ensures you can do that in style. There are 18 lines delving across the country of Switzerland, taking passengers to traditional Swiss towns and villages and easing by mountains and glaciers with grace and an 'all the time in the world' attitude.

Aboard the trains it's a relaxed affair. Lavish dinners and lunches are served onboard, depending on your ticket, and the general atmosphere is one of slowing down and enjoying the moment. The Glacier Express has panoramic windows that curl up and over the train, reaching to the roof, so passengers get an uninterrupted view of the landscape. It's also the slowest express train in the world, and it takes the train eight hours to travel from Zermatt to St Moritz. The journey goes through 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges. But you don't have to take the full eight hours journey, and escorted trips will typically include part of this journey, spending time in the small towns that dot the route. Train tours like The Classic Glacier Express in Winter and The Traditional Glacier Express in Winter give you the best of train time and time spent within the landscape.

Part of the wonder of discovering the Swiss Alps by train is the incredible ingenuity of the railways system. Tunnels burrow deep into mountain sides while bridges stretch from peak to peak, railways arches yawning deeply beneath them and the world below unfolding in green valleys and deep ravines. The infrastructure of the railways in this region is as beautiful as the natural landscape.

Many of the picture-perfect towns and villages along the route of any train journey through the Swiss Alps, are surrounded by winter sports venues. Ski slopes and snowboarding courses bring tourists in bus loads, or train loads, but these pretty little towns have a lot to offer besides a solid base for winter sports enthusiasts. In summer visitors come to hike and breathe in the fresh alpine air, and in winter the thermal spas and Christmas markets make these towns jewels in a blanket of white snow.

Apart from snow-capped mountains and pretty towns with traditional church spires that point to the sky, the Swiss Alps features just about every type of landscape you can imagine, with the exception of beaches. Vast alpine forests cover the mountains and valleys like a layer of fur, waterfalls tumble over rocks, plunging from mountains, rivers meander and weave their way through fields, and still glassy lakes reflect the world around them, creating perfect images of blue skies, frosted peaks, and gentle swaying trees.

Enjoy all of this from the comfort of a slow moving train that glides through the beauty of this area, stopping off at castles, stately homes, and intriguing little alpine towns with chalet houses amid green meadows, and rolling vineyards that surprise and delight. The journey, the transport itself, and the destinations all come together to make this an immersive experience for the senses.