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Classic Glacier Express at Christmas

4.7 stars(3 reviews)

Enjoy a wonderful winter rail adventure at Christmas time

9 days Not yet on sale

2023 Tour code: GEX24

About the tour

Snow-bound views and stunningly seasonal scenery have made the Glacier Express famous at this time of year, while glistening winter peaks and sugar-frosted forests provide a picture-postcard backdrop as we explore local resort towns over the Christmas period.


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What’s included


Day 1 - London and Strasbourg

After meeting at London St Pancras, we board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by highspeed rail to Strasbourg for an overnight stay.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Strasbourg Christmas market and Brig

Your morning is free to visit to Strasbourg's famous Christmas market, set on the Grande Île near Strasbourg Cathedral and Place Kléber. Enjoy walking through the warren of festive stalls, sampling the delicious home-made food and drinks and admiring the traditional decorations. Afterwards, we take the local railway for a wonderful journey over the imposing Kander Viaduct, through the old Lötschberg tunnel and past soaring mountain peaks to the town of Brig. A historic town in the Valais canton, Brig dates back to the Roman era and we enjoy a three-night stay here. With free time in the afternoon, the cob- blestones of the Stadtplatz are well worth visiting, capped by the remarkable Stockalper Palace - built in the 17th century by a prosperous silk merchant.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Zermatt

We visit the charming, car-free resort of Zermatt, where we board a narrow-gauge train heading south through wintry vineyards and alongside the River Rhône to Visp. From here, we join the mountain track for our steep journey to Zermatt. The spectacular approach takes us through eight tunnels and across forty-two bridges as the Matterhorn comes into view. On arrival, you're free to spend your time as you choose. One option is to make the ascent to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway. Running for just under six miles, the route travels to the mountain's peak where you can enjoy stunning views across to the Matterhorn. Alternatively, you could visit the town's fascinating climbing museum.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Brig

Today is free in Brig and you could make the most of your Swiss Travel Card by taking the train along the Rhône Valley to Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Here, you can join either the GoldenPass Line panoramic train to Gstaad or the Centovalli Railway for a journey across '100 valleys'.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The Glacier Express

We leave Brig, travelling on the iconic Glacier Express to Chur, Switzerland's oldest town and our base for four nights. Switzerland's striking natural beauty is revealed on our journey which, at this time of year, is transformed into a picture-postcard landscape of snowy meadows, frozen streams and white mountaintops. The Glacier Express passes icy forests and frozen rivers, all playing their part to create a jaw-dropping winter wonderland setting, as we marvel at the Alpine scenery from our panoramic windows. Unmissable views come as we travel over the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the route, and make our way through the Rhine Gorge to Disentis.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Christmas Eve in Lucerne

We make our way by rail to Lucerne, situated on the shores of Lake Lucerne at the foot of the Swiss Alps and known for its cobbled streets and ornate churches. The festive atmosphere here adds an almost magical touch, as we take in the illuminated streets and decorated plazas. Your time in is free to explore, so why not enjoy a stroll through the town to see the famous Kapellbrücke, a 14th-century wooden bridge that separates Lucerne's Old and New Town? The Old Town is situated north of the River Reuss and has a rich history. Houses decorated with frescoes line the picturesque squares, with several half-timber structures and the remnants of the old town walls a reminder of just how old Lucerne is. The Jesuit church, dating from the 17th century, is regarded as Switzerland's first baroque building and the twin towers of the Hofkirche form an integral part of the townscape. Alternatively, travel on the Pilatus or Rigi mountain railways or enjoy a paddle steamer cruise across Lake Lucerne using your Swiss Travel card for 50% fare reductions. Back in Chur this evening, the celebrations begin with a special five-course dinner, accompanied by wine and followed by carols around the Christmas tree.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Christmas Day in Chur

Christmas Day is free for you to look around Chur, a destination with a history dating back over 5,000 years. Its quaint Old Town boasts some fantastically-preserved medieval buildings and is entirely traffic-free, making it the ideal place to explore on foot. It's here you'll find the city's 800-year-old Cathedral of Assumption, as well as the terracotta-fronted Bishop's Palace. And once you've marvelled at the historical landmarks and wintry mountain setting, back at the hotel we sit down to a traditional festive dinner with all the trimmings

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - The Bernina Express

We take the Bernina Express to Poschiavo on Boxing Day, enjoying a festive journey over the Alps, admiring views of ancient castles and the magnificent, mountain-ringed Lake Bianco as we wind above deep ravines and past idyllic waterfalls, emerging from the Albula Tunnel and crossing the mighty Bernina Pass.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Chur and London

Departing Chur by train, we travel to Paris via Basel for the Eurostar back to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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.


Hotel Ambassador, Brig

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

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Hotel Stern, Chur

Hotel Stern, Chur

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Bernina Express
The Glacier Express

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4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 3 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Ms M Kennedy

4 stars

Submitted 18 Apr 2019

Delightful holiday overall, but there was a surprisingly long trek, dragging luggage to pick up the coach for transfer between stations at Paris, no problem for us but some of the less mobile guests struggled. Very poor meal in Strasbourg on the first night

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr R Davidson

5 stars

Submitted 19 Jan 2018

Everything went smoothly and was problem free

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr G Watt

5 stars

Submitted 12 Jan 2018

Got lucky with the weather

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Classic Glacier Express at Christmas

Enjoy a wonderful winter rail adventure at Christmas time


Jo Jones
Lynne Broadley
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