Unique location between Lake Thun and Brienz
The unique location of Interlaken, nestled between Lakes Thun and Brienz, and watched over by the mighty Jungfrau, make the ideal base for a holiday exploring the majestic winter peaks of the Bernese Oberland by train, including spectacular trips to the summit of the Jungfrau and Schilthorn peaks.
We leave St Pancras International on the Eurostar to Brussels after meeting at our dedicated Departure Office. Here we change trains and continue to Cologne for the night.
Departing Cologne after breakfast, we journey into Switzerland travelling by train along the scenic Rhine Gorge. This wonderful stretch of German valley channels the gentle Rhine River as it winds its way between mysterious fairytale castles, steep cliffs and deep forests.
Our destination is Interlaken, in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, one of the most beautiful regions in the Swiss Alps. This remarkable town is found on a stretch of land between the Lakes Thun and Brienz and lies in a beautiful valley watched over by the combined gazes of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. These exceptional surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for the mountain trails and crystalline lakes of the Interlaken area. During your time here, it is worth experiencing a boat ride across one of the two lakes, a serene and tranquil trip which allows you to make the most of Interlaken's unique position under the mountains of the Alps.
We travel to the pretty Alpine village of Grindelwald, a delightful town nestled at the foot of the imposing north face of the Eiger, surrounded by wonderful Alpine landscapes. Conjuring up images of classic Alpine postcards, Grindelwald combines the spectacular views with a cosy, quintessentially Swiss feel in and around the town. Take some time to admire the attractive wooden chalets and the squares which combine the old comforts of classic Alpine architecture with the contemporary winter sports facilities.
From Grindelwald we enjoy a traditional carriage ride through the snowy streets and picturesque mountain scenery, followed by tasty gingerbread and glühwein. Both of these treats are well-known in this part of Switzerland, with glühwein as a particular favourite. A kind of mulled wine, popular in this part of Europe, glühwein is made from a variety of spices and provides the perfect antidote to the crisp air of the Alpine You are then free to explore the village and perhaps enjoy lunch before we return to Interlaken.
Today, we travel on the Jungfrau Railway to Jungfraujoch - Europe's highest railway station at 11,333 feet (3,454m). Upwards we go through an spectacular route climbing the Jungfrau Mountain on an increasingly complex series of spirals and over a range of impressive bridges. Enjoy sumptuous views of the mountains below, showered in snow and covered in the misty clouds.
On arrival at Jungfraujoch, we have plenty of free time to enjoy the incredible views over the Alps. You may wish to sample the food in the restaurant or take a drink on the magnificent terrace. We also visit the Aletsch Glacier, a 12-mile river of ice, with its labyrinth of ice caves and sculptures carved inside. This striking geological wonder winds its way down from the Jungfrau region through to the Massa Gorge covering around 2500 metres in height. The sheer amount of water here is incredible, even more so that it is frozen in time and ice.
We return to Interlaken via the mountain resort of Grindelwald or, for those who are feeling adventurous, there is the option to take a marked toboggan run from Kleine Scheidegg & rejoin the train in Grindelwald for the final ascent to Interlaken. This is a wonderful way to traverse the Alps, as it twists and turns its way across and down through the mountains.
Your day is free, giving you the opportunity to use your GRJ Swiss Travel Card to explore further afield with 50% fares. From our base in Interlaken there are many beautiful peaks and places to be discovered - why not make the journey across the Brünig Pass to Lucerne, a favourite destination among Great Rail Journeys customers due to its wonderful lakeside location and stunning mountain scenery? The compact city boasts charming streets and the famous 14th century Chapel Bridge. Built in 1333, it is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe. Alternatively, you could visit Montreux, which is easily accessible by rail and beautifully located on the shores of Lake Geneva. From here you can take a fabulous journey into the mountains by cog railway to Rochers de Naye, one of Switzerland's most beautiful viewpoints. After a day's sightseeing, why not return to Interlaken along the beautiful GoldenPass Line.
We travel by train to the picturesque mountain village of Mürren today. Situated high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, this chocolate-box village is a popular tourist destination all year round thanks to its incredible mountain views; in winter in particular, it is alive with activity. After arriving in the traffic-free village, we continue into the mountains by cable car, ascending to the peak of the mighty Schilthorn. Once at the summit, you can take in the superb views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains; on a clear day, there is a wonderful panorama of a further two hundred peaks. Here you can also visit the Piz Gloria, the world's first revolving restaurant, made famous by James Bond in the film 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'. Back in Mürren, you are free to perhaps take a walk on one of the well-prepared scenic footpaths, or even have a go at skating on the open-air ice rink. Later we return to Interlaken, where we enjoy dinner together in the hotel.
Leaving Interlaken, we travel west to Basel where we join the onward service to Paris. On arrival we transfer to the Eurostar service that will take us back to London St Pancras. Here our tour comes to an end.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
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.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Unique location between Lake Thun and Brienz