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Classic Glacier Express

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20242025
9 days From £2,625 per person
4.6 stars(249 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

No Single Supplement

No Single Supplement subject to availability on selected departures. 

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.

**Please note: For departures 23/04/2024 & 10/05/2024 will be staying in Mulhouse (not Strasbourg).

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.

*For departures 25/09/2024 we will stay at the Hotel Bernerhof in Kandersteg.

**For departures 22/07/2024, 22/08/2024 and 05/09/2024 we will stay at the Hotel de Londres in Brig.

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.

**Please Note: For departures in April before 29/04/2024, will not go to Speiz Castle, and instead will go to Grindelwald by rail and return by boat from Interlaken to Thun; then back to rail.

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 Stern, Chur

Hotel Stern, Chur

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Hotel Bernerhof, Kandersteg

Hotel Bernerhof, Kandersteg

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections
Door to door luggage service

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 249 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (170)
  2. 4 stars
    (62)
  3. 3 stars
    (9)
  4. 2 stars
    (6)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

Customer

5 stars

Submitted 19/May

Goodi itinerary, good companions, good leader, good weather, good scenery, good organization.

Collected by Trustpilot

SueB

5 stars

Submitted 19/May

Great views and countryside. Interesting to see Swiss industry and agriculture on the way. Mind broadening.

Collected by Trustpilot

Tony

5 stars

Submitted 19/May

Great trip, magnificent scenery, good accomodation and food. Tour leader was excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Janet

5 stars

Submitted 18/May

A memorable experience.

Collected by Trustpilot

John Weiss

5 stars

Submitted 15/May

For a mini immersion in the beauty and variety of Switzerland, you'd be hard pressed to find a better travel alternative or a better travel bargain. Swiss trains provide a level of comfort and flexibility that's uncommon in public transit, and the tour's hotel choices offer quaint, comfortable rooms and surprisingly excellent cuisine. Pair that with an experienced escort like Richard Hare, whose nuanced local knowledge, subtle humor, personal attention, and detailed delivery, combine to make transfers and stopovers all the more enjoyable. Of course, you can expect to do a fair bit of walking on hard surfaces, and Swiss exchange rates can make meals and souvenirs expensive, but the character of the towns and the population's general knowledge of basic English also make for many unexpected delights. We were blessed to have cool, sunny weather and a small, congenial group early in the Spring shoulder season when crowds were manageable and sites readily accessible, so our vivid memories and overall experience rates an easy five-star recommendation.

Collected by Trustpilot

johnheath

5 stars

Submitted 14/May

The great rail journeys classic glazier express tour had spectacular scenery, the hotels were excellent and the tour manager was very available to give advice and guidance. My wife and I thourally enjoyed the whole experience.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe Holidays 2024

Europe Holidays 2024

Rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning scenery await in Europe. Whether you want to reach new heights in the Swiss Alps, indulge in the culinary delights of Italy, or wander castles and vineyards in France, discover Europe’s best destinations.

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