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First-Class Glacier Express, Zermatt and Matterhorn

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9 days From £3,295 per person
4.2 stars(73 reviews)
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Delight in Switzerland’s dramatic alpine scenery on this spectacular First Class holiday to chic resorts, and experience two iconic rail journeys through epic mountain landscapes

Mobility Rating 3

2024 Tour code: GZJ24

About the tour

Astonishing mountains and serene alpine lakes provide the extraordinary setting for this incredible holiday as we travel in First Class all the way, including on the iconic Bernina Express and Glacier Express through the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the Swiss Alps.

Stay in the chic lakeside resort of St Moritz with its upmarket boutiques, and tranquil Zermatt nestled at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn.

Journey along the wonderful Gornergrat Mountain Railway to savour magnificent views of the mighty Matterhorn, step off the train to enjoy a chilled glass of prosecco on the railway platform at Alp Grüm in view of the captivating Palü glacier, and explore a winter wonderland before heading deep inside the magical Matterhorn Glacier Paradise to view remarkable ice sculptures.

Unforgettable experiences

Glacier Express in First Class with lunch
Glacier Express in First Class with lunch
Embark on one of the world’s greatest rail experiences on a First Class journey with two-course lunch through awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks and alpine valleys as we travel in panoramic carriages the full length of the route from St Moritz to Zermatt.
First Class Bernina Express to Italy with prosecco
First Class Bernina Express to Italy with prosecco
Travel First Class on the UNESCO-listed Bernina Express from St Moritz to the charming Italian town of Tirano. Step off the train and enjoy a chilled glass of prosecco on the platform at Alp Grüm in view of the spectacular Palü glacier.
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
Ride the gondola to the highest cable car station in Europe where the 360° views reveal an incredible 38 mountain peaks and 14 glaciers. This amazing experience is capped off as we delve deep inside the glacier to a magical kingdom of ice sculptures.
Gornergrat Mountain Railway
Gornergrat Mountain Railway
Witness unparalleled views of the distinctive Matterhorn from the second-highest railway in Europe. A captivating six-mile cogwheel journey transports us close to the mountain that has become a symbol of Switzerland and inspired the design of Toblerone.
Stay in peaceful Zermatt
Stay in peaceful Zermatt
Spend three nights amidst the tranquility of this quintessential mountain resort and long-time mecca for climbers with its clusters of timbered chalets at the foot of the imposing Matterhorn.
Spend three nights in stylish St Moritz
Spend three nights in stylish St Moritz
Stay in this glamorous lakeside resort which has been welcoming visitors for more than 150 years. With its upmarket boutiques and incredible mountain views, there’s something for everyone.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Cologne: Your breathtaking holiday starts here

London St Pancras is our meeting point on this luxury holiday to Switzerland. Travelling in Standard Premier Class on the Eurostar to Brussels, we enjoy a light lunch on board before we are whisked to Cologne in First Class. This lively German city on the banks of the Rhine is dominated by its twin-spired Gothic cathedral, which is only a short walk from our central hotel near the station where we spend the night and get to know one another over our first dinner together.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar light meal
Day 2 – Cologne to St Moritz: From the spectacular Rhine Valley to serene alpine lakes

From our First Class seats on the morning train to Basel, we absorb spectacular views on the meander down the Rhine Valley between Koblenz and Mainz. Adorned by clifftop castles and ancient steeped vineyards, this is one of Europe's most enchanting riverscapes. Look out for the imposing Lorelei rock near Sankt Goar, associated with the romantic legend of a heartbroken siren whose song is said to be heard in the river's roar. A captivating climb through the Alps welcomes us into mountainous Switzerland. We snake across deep ravines and scenic viaducts, past snow-capped peaks and rushing waterfalls before arriving in chic St Moritz, where a three-course dinner awaits at our central hotel with uninterrupted views of the lake.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Bernina Express: Crossing the Alps in Elegance

Dubbed the rail experts' best-kept secret, crossing the Alps into Italy on the UNESCO-listed Bernina Express is an incredible experience. From our First Class panoramic carriages, the exceptional alpine scenery continuously impresses. A truly memorable experiences is to be had when we step off the train at Alp Grüm for a chilled glass of prosecco. We are greeted by the jaw-dropping views of the Palü glacier, which we soak up while enjoying our prosecco from the station platform. This stunning route twists its way down the mountains, spiralling round the corkscrew viaduct at Brusio. Free time allows us to explore the narrow, cobbled streets and characterful piazzas of the charming Italian valley town of Tirano, where we can enjoy local delicacies in one of the town's delightful trattorias. We return to St Moritz on the local train, which provides an opportunity to pull down a train window for spectacular photos.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – St Moritz: Chic Boutiques and Lakeside Walks

Nestled amidst the mountains and lakes of the Engadine Valley, a free day in the glamorous resort of St Moritz lends itself to an abundance of possibilities. Right outside our central hotel, the Via Serlas is one of the world's most famous shopping streets and brims with upmarket fashion boutiques. The St Moritz resort card provides free travel on the cable cars and funiculars surrounding the town so you can be ferried up to the snow-capped peaks in minutes. The Swiss Travel Card's 50% discount on trains means adventurers can explore the fashionable resorts of Davos or Klosters. For a more relaxing day, St Moritz's serene lake can be enjoyed on a gentle stroll or from our hotel's glorious terrace along with uninterrupted mountain views.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The Glacier Express: A First Class Experience in Awe-Inspiring Scenery

It's one of Europe's most iconic train journeys and this incredible holiday takes in the full length of the Glacier Express from St Moritz to Zermatt. The 'slowest express train' clings to mountain edges before delving into the Rhine Gorge, where our panoramic First Class carriages provide a front-row seat to the 'Swiss Grand Canyon' as the emerald river winds its way past limestone cliffs. Enjoying a two-course lunch, the breathtaking scenery is constant. Zigzagging up the fairytale Matter valley for a dramatic conclusion, through lush alpine wildflower meadows and past thundering waterfalls, the magnificent Matterhorn looms into view as we approach Zermatt. Accessible only by train, the sense of peace in this chic resort is instantly arresting. A warm welcome and three-course dinner awaits at our chalet-style spa hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 – The Gornergrat Mountain Railway: Viewing the Matterhorn from the glacial plateau

The charming Gornergrat Mountain Railway celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2023. Switzerland's original electric rack railway first carried travellers the six miles up the mountain in August 1898. We trace their journey, over valleys and through alpine forests, to an altitude of more than 10,000ft above sea level. The views from the top are jaw-dropping, and on a clear day an astonishing 29 mountaintops are visible, including the best view of the majestic Matterhorn's pyramidal peak. This iconic symbol of Switzerland also provided the inspiration for the design of the Toblerone. Back amongst the low-pitched roofs of Zermatt's timbered chalets, an expert guide reveals that this quintessential alpine resort has several surprising connections to the UK, including the intriguing story of English mountaineer Edward Whymper.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Entering the magical wonderland of the Matterhorn glacier

At the top of the highest cable car station in Europe lies a magical experience, as well as incredible year-round vistas. The snow-covered alpine wonderland of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise provides monumental views of the famous peak, and the enchanting ice palace - the highest of its kind in the world. The experience is further enhanced as a lift lowers us 15-metres inside the glacier, where we are greeted by remarkable sculptures crafted from the perpetual ice that surrounds us, adding a decorative touch to a surreal landscape. A leisurely afternoon provides the opportunity to explore the plateau and the magnificent Matterhorn views from Schwarzsee or relax in the hotel's outdoor jacuzzi or on the terrace.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Zermatt to Strasbourg: To the Alsace via idyllic lakes and the Rhine

After breakfast, we travel in First Class to the enchanting French city of Strasbourg. Making our way back down the stunning mountain railway to Visp, our journey then takes us past Lake Thun and the quaint lakeside town of Spiez. With its grand architecture, including the half-timbered riverside houses of La Petite France, the historic Alsatian city of Strasbourg is well worth exploring from our central hotel before we gather at a local restaurant for our final dinner together.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Homeward bound

The journey home gives us plenty of time to reflect on this magical trip and recall the wonders of mountain railways, glacial plateaus, serene lakes and the charming Swiss towns that welcomed us so warmly. After the high-speed train to Paris in First Class and a light meal on the Eurostar to London St Pancras, this holiday may have concluded but the memories will remain.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar light meal

Additional information

Please Note

Please note: 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 Schweizerhof, St Moritz

Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

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Hotel Sonne

Hotel Sonne, Zermatt

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
Gornergrat Mountain Railway
Thalys

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Upgrade to a lake view room in St Moritz
London Hotels
UK rail connections
Door to door luggage service

Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 73 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (40)
  2. 4 stars
    (18)
  3. 3 stars
    (10)
  4. 2 stars
    (2)
  5. 1 star
    (3)

Maureen

3 stars

Submitted 10 Oct 2023

Have already filled in your questionnaire Why this second review?

Collected by Trustpilot

Tom A.

5 stars

Submitted 10 Oct 2023

It was the best trip we have ever taken. Of course, we have perfect weather throughout the trip, a great group and the BEST Tour Director in Patricia Issac.

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Rosemary

3 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 2023

Disappointed with the overall experience. Too many delays and ill thought out route to Switzerland. Once in Switzerland the experience was more what we were expecting.

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Vanessa Green

3 stars

Submitted 09 Oct 2023

Traveling 1st Class was great but it was still exhausting changing trains four times on certain days while even Swiss trains running late or cancelled. Not to mention a cup of Swiss coffee for £7 in the buffet car.

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Malcolm Hall

1 stars

Submitted 04 Oct 2023

Good holiday but cases not come back via courier service. Great Rail Journeys don’t seem bothered…

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Lynne Leary

3 stars

Submitted 02 Oct 2023

The views and the hotels were great. However this was not a first class experience, as too many train journeys became second class. The reasons for the down grades were not all explained, and the compensation was minimal.

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