Explore the charms of Switzerland’s scenic mountain resort
Explore the charms of Switzerland's scenic mountain resort of Grindelwald and one of Italy's best-loved lakes, on a captivating holiday by rail. Travel on the iconic Jungfrau and Bernina Express trains, cruise across Lake Como to superb Bellagio, and take in vibrant Milan on this delightful tour.
Our tour begins at London St Pancras International, where your Tour Manager is on hand to greet you at our dedicated Departure Office. We then take the Eurostar to Paris, travelling in Standard Premier Class and enjoying light refreshments as we make our way to the French capital. On arrival, we change trains and continue to Strasbourg, where we overnight. On Day 2, we continue to Grindelwald, a delightful village in the Bernese Alps, dotted with Alpine chalets and surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, and our base for the Swiss part of our holiday.
Our excursion today takes us on an iconic journey, and a true highlight of any tour to the Bernese Oberland, as we travel on the Jungfrau Railway to the Jungfraujoch - Europe's highest railway station. We begin on the Bernese Oberland Railway, trundling through the foothills of the Alps from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, through flower-filled pastures and past pretty villages. Over the course of the route, the line climbs 1,532 feet (467 metres) above sea level, passing isolated chalets and small farming cabins. In Lauterbrunnen we join the Wengeralp Railway, continuing our ascent through ever changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway for the final six miles of our journey. Climbing further from Kleine Scheidegg, the distinctive string of red and yellow carriages of the Jungfrau Railway disappears into the tunnel through the Eiger Mountain. During the journey the train pauses at two separate observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down to the valley below. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, (Standard Class only) the 'Top of Europe', located at 3454m above sea level. With free time at the summit station, you will have plenty of time to explore the Ice Palace and its many ice sculptures. You can spend time on the Sphinx Terrace, enjoying superb views onto the Aletsch Glacier, at 22km the longest ice stream in the Alps, which provides a sharp contrast to the lush meadows and Alpine pastures of the lower lying hillsides near the valley floor. You can also enjoy the walking plateau, which is eternally covered in snow.
Today is free to spend as you wish in charming Grindelwald. Grindelwald is one of Europe's oldest mountain resorts, surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Perhaps enjoy its typical Swiss charm with a stroll through the village.
Today we take the cog railway through Alpine meadows to Schynige Platte*, for spectacular views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau Mountains. We travel in restored 19th century carriages, hauled by a vintage electric locomotive, to the peak at 6,463ft (1,970m). At the summit, why not explore the Alpine Botanical Garden, home to around 500 species of plants and alluring wildflowers, or relax and drink in the views from the café terrace?
*Please note this railway does not operate until early June. Departures before then will take an alternative excursion.
We bid a fond farewell to Switzerland today, as we travel by rail and coach to Italy. Travelling through scenic Swiss countryside in First Class, we make our way through the Bernese Oberland and through Lucerne to Lugano, a delightful Italian-speaking Swiss town, from where we transfer by coach to Menaggio on Lake Como's western shore. On arrival, we check in to the 4-Star Grand Hotel Victoria, where we enjoy dinner together tonight.
Today we enjoy a scenic cruise across Lake Como to picturesque Bellagio. Situated on the edge of a peninsula that juts into the lake, Bellagio has magnificent views across the crystal blue waters, and is one of the oldest tourist towns in Italy, with origins dating back to the Roman era. Packed with pretty pastel-coloured houses and verdant gardens shaded by cypress trees, the town is a treasure to discover. After free time to explore at your own pace, we return to Menaggio by boat.
Take in Italy's glamourous capital today, on a full-day excursion. Home to fashion power houses including Gucci, Armani and Versace, Milan is also a cultural hub, known for its elegant architecture, bustling local life and vibrant arts scene. On a guided tour, we discover the city's famous features, including the spectacular Gothic Duomo and the Teatro alla Scala - Italy's most famous Opera House. Following the tour, you have free time to enjoy exploring Milan at your leisure; perhaps soak up the atmosphere with an espresso in a café, watching as the city's busy inhabitants hurry by.
Today is free for you to relax on the shores of Lake Como. Menaggio is a pretty resort in its own right, perfect for you to enjoy a stroll along the promenade. Perhaps take advantage of the hotel's facilities, or visit the harbour for unspoiled views across the lake.
We take a spectacular journey aboard the Bernina Express today, an iconic route steeped in history. Travelling in panoramic carriages, we climb the Bernina Pass to more than 7,000ft, marvelling at the stunning Alpine views from our comfortable vantage point. The superb Bernina Line is over 100 years old and has been awarded with UNESCO World Heritage status for its incredible engineering as well as for the breathtaking scenery it passes through. On arrival in St Moritz, you have some free time for lunch, before we return to Lake Como.
We begin our journey home today. After breakfast, we leave Lake Como behind, transferring by coach to Milan before catching the high-speed rail service to Turin, where we spend the night. We enjoy a final dinner together in our hotel this evening.
Today we leave the continent behind, as we travel by high-speed rail from Turin to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, we change trains and continue to London on the Eurostar. Travelling in Standard Premier Class, we enjoy a light meal and drinks en-route to London St Pancras International, where our tour comes to an end.
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
Enhancing your tour
Explore the charms of Switzerland’s scenic mountain resort