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Classic Glacier Express

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4.6 stars(119 reviews)
Small Group

Discover the majestic Swiss Alps

9 days From £2,295 £2,145 per person
Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your Europe 2023 holiday when you book between 16th November 2022 and midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

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2023 Tour code: GEJ23

About the tour

Spectacular scenery has made the Glacier Express famous the world over. Discover the Alps by mountain railway and sample unique Swiss wines at Spiez Castle on a holiday that also includes relaxing lake cruises and a jaunt to Italian-speaking Switzerland on the Bernina Express.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Strasbourg

After meeting at London St Pancras, we board the Eurostar to Paris. On arrival, we change trains for the local service, travelling to Strasbourg for an overnight stay.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Chur

We continue our rail journey to Switzerland, arriving in the quaint town of Chur - our base for the next three nights. Chur is the country's oldest town and is home to a number of historic attractions, including a 12th century church, the 15th century town hall and Martinsplatz, found in the heart of the Old Town.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Bernina Express

Today takes us on the historic Bernina Express, a route that, at 100 years old, has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Travelling in First Class on this picturesque heritage railway, we head south. Our journey sees us meander through dozens of tunnels and bridges, including the landmark Landwasser Viaduct. We then wind our way above deep ravines and past idyllic waterfalls. Looping and spiralling through the rugged landscape of the Engadine Valley, our ascent takes us through the Albula Tunnel and over the Bernina Pass. The train begins its descent towards colourful Poschiavo, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland where pastel-coloured houses line the streets and we pause briefly to soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere. On the way back, we make a short stop at the chic mountain resort town of St Moritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Chur

With a free day, why not explore Chur and the surrounding region using your Swiss Travel Card? Giving you 50% off on local transport and most mountain railways, you can explore the wild and rugged landscapes of the glorious Graubünden region. You could take the train to the glamorous mountain resort of St Moritz. This historic town expanded around the church of St Maurice, which is also known as 'the church of the springs' and is an important Christian pilgrimage site. Or you might prefer to embark on a journey along the scenic Arosa Line. Navigating a gradient of over 3,000 feet in less than 17 miles, outstanding mountain views are guaranteed.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The Glacier Express

We board the iconic Glacier Express, travelling in First Class, leaving behind the rocky landscape of the Graubünden canton as we head towards sunny Valais. Our journey takes us through idyllic Swiss scenes of meadows, dense forests and snow-capped mountains. We amble along the beautiful Rhine Valley aboard the 'slowest express train in the world', crossing the Rhine Gorge and climbing up to the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of our journey at 6,670 feet. After descending past isolated hamlets, we emerge from the Furka Base Tunnel into the scenery of the lush Rhône Valley and the vineyards surrounding Brig. From the station we walk to our hotel for the next four nights, either the Hotel Ambassador or Hotel Stockalperhof (departure dependent).

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Zermatt

Visiting the car-free resort of Zermatt, we join the narrow-gauge train southwards, travelling alongside the River Rhône to Visp before changing tracks for the steep ascent, the gradient of which requires cogwheels to be engaged. Finally, we reach the lofty scenery of Zermatt. Here you have free time to look around the charming old village. There's also the opportunity to visit a nearby helicopter site and meet with a pilot who is experienced in mountain rescue. Another popular option in Zermatt is to ride to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway. From the top, admire uninterrupted views of the Matterhorn, a pyramid set against a crisp Alpine sky. You could also visit the fascinating Matterhorn museum

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Brig, and beyond

With a free day today, you may want to use your Swiss travel card to explore the towns and hamlets around Brig. Perhaps visit Eggishorn, where you could take a gentle hike, enjoy a drink or meal with wonderful views at the Horli Hitta restaurant. Alternatively, travel by cable car to the viewpoint platform in nearby Bettmerhorn, swim in Lake Bettmersee and visit the famous chapel, 'Mary of the Snow'. Otherwise, Riederalp is home to Villa Cassel, once a summer residence for British Royals, it's now a nature conservation centre.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Spiez Castle

We take the train to Spiez Castle, located in the town of Spiez and overlooking the waters of Lake Thun. A Swiss heritage site dating back to the 10th century, this impressive castle and its decorative gardens play host to a unique Swiss wine tasting event today, and we sample wines created from grapes grown amid stunning medieval surroundings. Hosted on one of the castle's private terraces, we soak in views of the verdant vineyards below. We then enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Thun as the evening starts to draw in.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - London

After breakfast we take the high-speed train to Paris, travelling via Geneva. Once in the French capital, we join the Eurostar back to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • 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.

Hotels

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

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Hotel Stockalperhof, Brig

Hotel Stockalperhof, Brig

View hotel

Hotel Stern, Chur

Hotel Stern, Chur

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 119 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (82)
  2. 4 stars
    (31)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Caroline Patey

4 stars

Submitted 31/Oct

Initial meet & greet - poor Overall trip - very good

Collected by Trustpilot

E Harris

4 stars

Submitted 25/Oct

Fantastic scenery, efficient train services from beginning to end of the holiday. Memorable life time experience. Can highly recommend journey on Glacier and Bernina Express and train journey from Brig to Arosa. Hotel in Strasbourg excellent also hotel in Hotel Stern Chur although shower small. Hotel Ambassador in Brig less good but mainly due to small, dated room which for four nights as a single traveller expecting the promised four star standard was most disappointing. Rooms for couples were fine.

Collected by Trustpilot

James Brent

5 stars

Submitted 22/Oct

Very enjoyable

Collected by Trustpilot

Chris Morgan

5 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

A very well planned and organised holiday

Collected by Trustpilot

HB

5 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

A well organised tour, staying at very comfortable hotels. Reasonable fitness required for walks to hotels and between trains. Highly recommend the scenery and opportunities available in free time. Will definitely be looking at other Great Rail Journey offerings.

Collected by Trustpilot

Julie Kay

4 stars

Submitted 12/Oct

Enjoyable tour. Bernini Line & Glacier Express very scenic. Good hotels, though dinner service at Hotel Ambassador Brig could have been better - sat down at 7.30 main course served after 9pm on two evenings. Good itinerary. Visit to Air Zermatt Rescue Heliport, yodelling workshop, wine tasting, Lake Thun cruise. A few early mornings but the scenery more than made up for them.

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