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Classic Glacier Express

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4.7 stars(34 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the majestic Swiss Alps

9 days From £2,095 per person

2022 Tour code: GEJ22

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, a traditional yodelling lesson 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. We head south, travelling through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges, including the instantly recognisable Landwasser Viaduct, before winding 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. Pastel-coloured houses line the streets and there's free time to soak up the Mediterranean lifestyle. On the way back, we also enjoy some free time to explore 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 mountain railways, you can explore the wild and rugged landscapes of the glorious Graubünden region. You could take the train to the mountain resort of St Moritz, which expanded around the around the church of St Maurice - also known as 'the church of the springs', an important Christian pilgrimage site, or even enjoy 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, leaving behind the rocky landscape of the Graubünden canton as we travel towards sunny Valais. Our journey takes us through undeniably 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 a 4-night stay.

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 to visit a nearby helicopter site where we meet with a pilot who has many years' experience in mountain rescue. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to look around. A popular option 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 climbing museum in the town.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Brig

We enjoy a traditional Swiss pastime today, heading up a nearby mountain to take part in a yodelling workshop led by a local yodelologist. One of the most unique sounds the human voice can make, we'll get top tips on how to achieve the unique yodelling sound, as well as expert demonstrations amid the beauty of the Alps. With free time afterwards, make the most of your Aletsch Explorer Pass, perhaps making your way to the Aletsch Arena, a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting views of the Eggishorn and Bettmerhorn, the longest glacier in the Alps, as well as the Jungfrau, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc mountains.

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, during which we enjoy tasting wines created from grapes grown amid stunning medieval surroundings. Hosted on one of the castle's a private terraces, we soak in views of the verdant vineyards below ahead of a scenic cruise on Lake Thun as the evening starts to draw in.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - London

Our holiday comes to an end after breakfast, when 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

Winter Departures

Please Note: For our winter departures GEJ2201, GEJ2202, GEJ2203, GEJ2204, GEJ2205, GEJ2206, GEJ2207, GEJ2208, GEJ2209, GEJ2210, GEJ2211 these will run a reverse itineray. Day running order below:

  • Day 1 - London and Strasbourg
  • Day 2 - Brig
  • Days 3-4 - Zermatt
  • Day 5 - Speiz Castle
  • Day 6 - The Glacier Express
  • Day 7 - Chur
  • Day 8 - The Bernina Express and St Moritz
  • Day 9 - Chur and London

Winter departures operate a reverse itinerary and do not include the Air Zermatt excursion or yodelling workshop.

One of the excursions on this tour is at high altitude. If you have any medical conditions or concerns that could impact this part of the tour, we recommend you seek medical advice and talk to us. We want to make sure that any holiday you book is right for you.

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 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

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 34 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (25)
  2. 4 stars
    (9)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr John Aliband

4 stars

Submitted 20/Oct

Very well organised trip, and certainly lived up to its promise to show outstanding Swiss scenery. Travel on Swiss railways was easy, and comfortable, and the hotel accommodation was generally very good. The only reason we haven't given 5 stars is that we kept that rating for the Rocky Mountaineer trip which we did in 2019.

Collected by Trustpilot

Iris Corfield

4 stars

Submitted 20/Oct

I enjoyed it because scenery is very beautiful, but I feel that it is a bit overrated. The train has lots of windows, but if you wish to take photographs without reflections, the only somewhat uncomfortable option is to stand by the open window at the entrance. Such a pity that there are no observation carriages on this train. The commentary was quite interesting. If you just want to sit on the train, eat a meal, and look at the scenery then it is perfect. But if you want to take loads of photos then perhaps a service train might be a cheaper option.

Collected by Trustpilot

Richard Jaramillo

5 stars

Submitted 19/Oct

This holiday had everything you could wish for and more the scenery was outstanding and our tour manager Alan was always there if you wanted him a great holiday and looking forward to many more with Great Rail Journeys.

Collected by Trustpilot

Ian Best

4 stars

Submitted 19/Oct

A great holiday only slightly marred by the quality of food in the tour hotels

Collected by Trustpilot

J Ashcroft

5 stars

Submitted 19/Oct

Excellent service, good company and very helpful Tour Manager. The documentation required were not all that clear but I suppose that was to be expected given the circumstances. The hotels were very good. Everything ran very smoothly. The only negative point was the use of First Luggage to deal with bags etc. Two couples used them that I know of had problems with them. They wanted to collect our luggage TEN days before departure! We decided not to use them.

Collected by Trustpilot

M Butler

5 stars

Submitted 14/Oct

Stunning scenery

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe by Rail 2022

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