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Classic Glacier Express

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20242025
9 days From £2,595 £2,395 per person
4.6 stars(227 reviews)

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Charming towns and incredible alpine views are calling as we experience two incredible rail journeys through Switzerland’s breathtaking mountain scenery

Save up to £400

Save up to £400 per booking on July-October 2024 holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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Save up to £200pp

Save up to £200pp on selected 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: GEJ24

About the tour

Experience magnificent mountain landscapes and alpine lakes on this fantastic holiday to the Swiss Alps.

Discover the mountains by railway on the world-renowned Bernina Express and Glacier Express from our bases in Chur and Brig, traditional Swiss towns surrounded by mountains.

Enjoy a private aperitif on the terrace of the lakeside 10th-century Spiez Castle with spectacular views over the glistening Lake Thun.

Explore the popular alpine town of Zermatt, a tranquil mountain resort nestled at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn.

Unforgettable experiences

Glacier Express with lunch
Glacier Express with lunch
Experience a stunning journey with lunch onboard as we travel past awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks and alpine valleys in panoramic carriages from Chur to Brig.
Chur to Poschiavo on the Bernina Express
Chur to Poschiavo on the Bernina Express
Travel on the world-renowned and UNESCO-listed Bernina Express from Chur to the Italian-speaking town of Poschiavo, pausing to view the spectacular glacier at Alp Grüm.
Private drink at Spiez Castle
Private drink at Spiez Castle
Indulge in a private aperitif on the terrace of the 10th-century fairytale Spiez Castle while soaking up incredible views of shimmering Lake Thun and the Emmental Alps.
Lake Thun cruise
Lake Thun cruise
Relax during a leisurely cruise along the beautiful Lake Thun as we bask in the scintillating mountain scenery on a boat ride from Spiez Castle to the town of Thun.
Views of the Matterhorn from Zermatt
Views of the Matterhorn from Zermatt
Enjoy the calm buzz of this quintessential alpine resort at the foot of the Matterhorn. Spend time exploring this beautiful town with its wooden chalets, geranium-filled balconies and history of mountaineering.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Strasbourg: An Alsace Stopover

London St Pancras is our meeting point as we board the Eurostar to Paris in Standard Premier Class and enjoy a light meal. We dash past châteaux and through the characterful French countryside to Paris, before heading east to Strasbourg. This historic Alsatian city has a compact but captivating centre, with grand squares and picturesque narrow waterways. We get a flavour of the Alsace with the group's first dinner together at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar light meal
Day 2 – Strasbourg to Chur: A Warm Alpine Arrival

Strasbourg's impressive main square, Place Kléber, or the beautiful half-timbered, riverside houses of La Petite France are only a short stroll from our centrally located hotel. Both can be easily reached with a free morning to explore before we travel down the Rhine to Basel. Entering Switzerland, the scenery quickly increases in beauty and altitude. From the gentle shoreline of Lake Zurich, the imposing Swiss Alps begin to surround our route as the landscape becomes more dramatic. As the country's oldest town, delightful Chur is full of history - as is our central hotel. After a welcome drink and a three-course dinner, we settle down to spend the first of three nights in a 360-year-old hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Bernina Express: Breathtaking Journey Across the Alps

Dubbed the rail experts' best-kept secret, a journey on the UNESCO-listed Bernina Express in panoramic carriages is a highlight of this holiday. This 100-year-old route twists and spirals its way south through the rugged landscape of the Engadine Valley, across the curved Landwasser Viaduct and looping its way through tunnels as it climbs the Albula Line. Crossing the Bernina Pass, we pause to view the spectacular Palü glacier beside the tracks at Alp Grüm and wind our way down to the Italian-speaking town of Poschiavo. Pastel-coloured buildings line the streets of this compact alpine town where we can have lunch. On the way back to Chur, we stop briefly to take in the lake or upmarket fashion boutiques in the chic mountain resort of St Moritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Chur: Switzerland’s Oldest Town

A leisurely breakfast begins a free day today, and there are plenty of fantastic destinations to explore in this impressive part of the world. Chur itself is backed by mountains and the colourful buildings of its charming old town mean it is a delightful place to wander. With the Swiss Travel Card providing 50% discounts on all rail journeys across the country, the scenic Arosa Line which climbs more than 3,000 feet in less than 17 miles to the beautiful lakeside town of Arosa is a popular option. The stylish atmospheres of premier mountain resorts such as Davos and Klosters, a favourite of the Royal family, are easily reachable too.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The Glacier Express: An Incredible Experience in Awe-Inspiring Scenery

It's one of Europe's most iconic train journeys and, after breakfast in charming Chur, we board the incredible Glacier Express to Brig. The 'slowest express train' delves into the Rhine Gorge, where our panoramic carriages provide a front-row seat to the 'Swiss Grand Canyon' as the emerald river winds its way past limestone cliffs. Enjoying lunch from the comfort of our seats, waterfalls, ravines and rivers dazzle. Emerging from the 15km-long Furka Base Tunnel, we arrive in the charming valley town of Brig, nestled next to the Rhône at the northern edge of the famous Simplon tunnel. It is here we check-in for our four-night stay at a family-run 4-Star hotel and enjoy a three-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Zermatt and the Mighty Matterhorn

A dramatic, scenic journey greets us this morning as our train zigzags through lush wildflower meadows, dense alpine forests and past rugged, snow-capped mountains that guide our way to beautiful Zermatt. Only accessible by train, the tranquility of this renowned mountain town is immediately arresting. We learn from a helicopter pilot about the life-saving work of mountain rescue in this popular destination for climbers, before having a free afternoon to explore the quintessential alpine resort. From its location at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn, the Swiss national symbol, you may choose to take the Gornergrat Mountain Railway up to the Alps' second largest glacier or hop into a cable car past Schwarzsee and into a year-round winter wonderland. It's an incredible landscape and the Matterhorn is never far from view.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Brig and Beyond: Time to Explore

A free day provides the opportunity to see more of this beautiful part of Switzerland. The glamorous Swiss Riviera can be reached in under 90 minutes. Celebrities including Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury flocked to live in the villas of Montreux and Vevey, and with hillside vineyards and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Geneva looking out across to the French Alps, it's easy to understand why. Bern (65 mins) is also nearby, with its UNESCO-listed medieval town, picturesque bridges, and streets lined with arched arcade frontages. For those wanting to remain in the mountains, the Aletsch Glacier can be reached by cable car, and the Italian town of Domodossola is a short ride from Brig through the tunnel formerly used by the evocative Simplon-Orient Express. Alternatively, have a relaxing day in charming Brig or stay at our welcoming hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Spiez: A Private Aperitif at the Castle

The gorgeous Spiez Castle in the quaint town that shares its name is set in beautifully maintained grounds beside the crystal-clear Lake Thun. Displaying conical turrets and a central keep with stone walls that are nearly 10-feet thick, this fairytale fortress originally dates from the 10th century and looks like it is floating on the waters of Lake Thun. After an engaging tour of the castle and its medieval exhibits, we relax on the glorious terrace for an exclusive private aperitif. Leaving Spiez by boat, we cruise along the sedate lake, with mountain views in every direction, to the town of Thun, where we catch the train back to Brig in time for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Homeward bound

After our final breakfast as a group, the morning train journey to Geneva ensures the fantastic vistas keep coming. This route guides us past Rhône Valley vineyards and along the shore of the stunning Lake Geneva. Heading behind the romantic lakefront castle of Chillon, we pass through elegant Montreux and Vevey as we traverse the northern shoreline of Switzerland's largest lake, home to the Swiss Riviera. Departing Geneva in a First Class TGV carriage, the southern Jura mountains pass by our windows on our way to Paris, and ultimately the Eurostar back to London St Pancras. Over a light meal, we get to reflect on the incredible memories Switzerland has given us and will stay with us for ever.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar light 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

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Hotel Stern, Chur

Hotel Stern, Chur

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
TGV

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Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections
Door to door luggage service

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 227 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (152)
  2. 4 stars
    (59)
  3. 3 stars
    (8)
  4. 2 stars
    (6)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

sara blore

5 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2023

It was a great first experience of an organised train holiday. Accommodations, food, guide, all excellent

Collected by Trustpilot

customer

5 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2023

Wonderful views and good information

Collected by Trustpilot

Dr Gavin Lewis

5 stars

Submitted 17 Oct 2023

Extremely well organised (particularly our excellent tour guide) and very enjoyable.

Collected by Trustpilot

Trevor Surgenor

5 stars

Submitted 15 Oct 2023

Dear Dave Riley, The email which I asked Lindsay Cooper to pass on to you -she did do that - about the wonderful efficiency and outstanding care of Veronica Coleman for every member of the group and especially the two widowers are the main reason for my 5 star+ rating of the holiday. Her use of my long experience of Swiss rail and boat excursions, which I used privately for my own variants as agreed well in advance with your staff in keeping the Tour Manager informed, in an item for one of the "free" days, was gratifying - she knew quite lot about Switzerland herself. The hotels were good with none of the noise problem mentioned in the Rough Guide for Chur. The distance to walk between rail stations and hotels should be mentioned. The train accommodation was very good. The wearying crush in St. Pancras was not GRJ's fault.

Collected by Trustpilot

Tony Gamble

5 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2023

A scenic and educational trip in great comfort

Collected by Trustpilot

martin wood

5 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2023

Great tour . All ran fairly smoothly but had to travel 2nd class a couple of times due to change of train . Our tour guide Alan made the holiday with his help and knowledge of Switzerland. Luggage company Sherpr that great rail journeys use left a lot to be desired . Going out had an email 2 days before our case was collected informing us that we had to print all the paperwork before it was collected (don’t have a printer so had to run around finding somewhere to get this done ) When case was delivered back to us received an email about 1hour beforehand informing us that it was coming . Luckily we had not gone out

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