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Classic Glacier Express

(Tour code: GEJ17)Discover the majestic Swiss Alps by First Class rail

Spectacular views and stunning scenery have made the Glacier Express from Chur to Brig famous the world over. Discover Zermatt by mountain railway, visit beautiful Interlaken, take a journey on the Bernina Express and explore the Alps at your own pace during this popular mountain holiday.

SPECIAL OFFER

Take advantage of our latest saving of up to £50 per person when booking your Europe, UK and Ireland Summer 2017 holiday on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Historic Brig
  • Zermatt
  • The Matterhorn
  • Interlaken and views of the Jungfrau
  • First Class journey on the iconic Glacier Express
  • Chur, Switzerland’s oldest town
  • The fabulous Bernina Express
  • GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card
What’s Included (Full details)
  • First Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
    Heritage Rail Excursions
  • 3* Hotel Accommodation
    Selected Breakfasts
    Selected Evening Meals
    1 Lunch
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Eurostar
Days 1-2

To Switzerland and Chur

After meeting at our St Pancras Departure Office, we board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by train to Chur. The following day, we explore Chur on a leisurely walking tour.

Includes:
  • Day 1 - Eurostar meal
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Bernina Express
Day 3

The Bernina Express

Today's excursion takes us on the historic Bernina Express - a railway journey on the superb Bernina Line that passes mighty glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The railway line is over 100 years old and has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status as a testament to the incredible civil engineering that was required to create the line, as well as for the breathtaking scenery through which it travels. From Chur we head south, travelling through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges, including the instantly recognisable Landwasser Viaduct, an architectural treasure. The track clings to the mountainside as we 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 to an altitude of more the 7,000 feet. We then begin our descent towards colourful Poschiavo, entering the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland before arriving at our destination. Pastel-coloured houses line the streets of picturesque Poschiavo, where we have time for lunch before our journey in the opposite direction, arriving back in Chur in time for dinner. We stop off at the mountain station of Alp Grüm on the way to enjoy a special reception and the wonderful views of the Alpine mountains.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursion
Chur
Day 4

At leisure in Switzerland

Your day is free to explore historic Chur and the surrounding region. Today is the perfect opportunity to discover the area by mountain railway, using your included Great Rail Journeys Swiss Travel Card for 50% fares. The wild, rugged and rocky landscape of the glorious Graubünden region is waiting to be discovered, with superb railway journeys available from Chur that take you over, around and across the dramatic valleys that make this one of Switzerland's most attractive cantons.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Glacier Express
Day 5

Aboard the Glacier Express to Brig

We leave Chur today, travelling from the rocky landscape of the Graubünden canton to the fantastic sunny Valais on the iconic Glacier Express - 'the slowest express train in the world.' Our entire journey is accompanied by views of the scenery for which Switzerland is justly famous; sloping meadows, broad vineyards lined with lush greenery and dense forests rising up the hillside beside the track towards towering snow-capped peaks. We travel along the beautiful Rhine Valley, climbing steadily and then steeply as we make our way up and over the Oberalp Pass, the distant peaks of the Italian Alps in view to the south. At 6,670 feet, the Oberalp Pass is the highest point of the route. From here we descend past the countless small villages that line our route, nestled in the foothills of the surrounding mountains, before travelling through the Furka Base Tunnel and into the flourishing Rhône Valley. The final part of our journey on the Glacier Express takes us through expansive vineyards that line the surrounding hillsides to the small town of Brig.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Glacier Express to Brig
Zermatt
Day 6

To Zermatt

Today we visit the charming, car-free resort of Zermatt. We travel to Brig to join a narrow-gauge train, heading south through picturesque vineyards and alongside the River Rhône to Visp. From here we join the mountain track for the steep ascent to Zermatt. The train clings to the track as we wind left and right, ascending past small clusters of houses and tiny hamlets that together form the region's village communities. The spectacular approach to Zermatt takes us through eight tunnels and across 42 bridges, the gradient of the ascent requiring cogwheels to be engaged. Finally we reach the grandiose scenery of Zermatt, nestled below the tilted peak of the instantly recognisable Matterhorn.

In Zermatt you are free to spend your time as you choose. One option that you will find hard to resist is the ascent to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway (payable locally). Running for just under six miles, the route travels from Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat, some 10,135ft above sea level.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free to explore Zermatt
Zermatt
Day 7

Exploring at Leisure

Your day is free to explore this beautiful region, using your GRJ First Class Swiss Travel Card which gives 50% reduction on rail fares. We particularly recommend travelling along the Rhône Valley to Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. Here you can join the GoldenPass Line panoramic train to make the spectacular trip to the chic winter resort of Gstaad, a favourite destination of the rich and famous. Alternatively, a journey on the Centovalli Railway across 'a hundred valleys' is an excellent choice for the day.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Interlaken
Day 8

Interlaken

Today we travel to the lakeside city of Interlaken. Interlaken is an excellent starting point for adventures into the Bernese Oberland and provides an excellent 'base camp' for a comprehensive exploration of the surrounding Alps - over 45 mountain railways, cable cars, chair lifts and ski lifts lead to 200 kilometres of groomed ski pistes and a dense network of hiking trails. Excursion ships, including historic paddle steamers, ply the waters of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Eurostar
Day 9

Return to London

Today we begin our journey home, walking to the station for the high-speed rail service to Paris via Geneva. Once in the French capital, we transfer to the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Please note

Please note that whilst every departure of Classic Glacier Express will feature the same excursions, the order of the itinerary may differ from that given above.

You may opt to return to the UK by air. In this case, you will transfer to Zurich airport for the flight to London on Day 9.

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