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The GoldenPass Express

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8 days From £2,795 £2,595 per person
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Experience Switzerland’s newest panoramic train travelling from the glitzy lakeside resort of Montreux to idyllic Interlaken in the Jungfrau region

Save up to £400

Save up to £400 per booking on July-October 2024 holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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2024 Tour code: GPJ24

About the tour

From glittering Montreux to the mountainous surroundings of Interlaken, enjoy an effortless journey on an instantly iconic train that has been more than 100 years in the planning.

Explore the fairytale Château de Chillon and savour a Belle Époque cruise across the shimmering Lake Geneva from your base in stylish Montreux, before travelling over the Swiss highlands to Gstaad and Interlaken on the cutting-edge GoldenPass Express.

View the north face of the Eiger up close from the modern Eiger Express gondola before witnessing the incredible beauty of the majestic Jungfrau and ethereal Aletsch Glacier from the 'Top of Europe'.

Round off a sensational holiday to stunning Switzerland by sailing the full length of crystal-clear Lake Thun on board a vintage boat.

Unforgettable Experiences

Experience the new GoldenPass Express from Montreux to Interlaken
Experience the new GoldenPass Express from Montreux to Interlaken
Opened in December 2022, this route allows travellers to enjoy a beautiful journey in panoramic carriages direct from the chic lakeside resort of Montreux to idyllic Interlaken, nestled between two lakes and spectacular mountains, where we stay for four nights.
Visit the ‘Top of Europe’ via the Eiger Express and the Jungfrau Express
Visit the ‘Top of Europe’ via the Eiger Express and the Jungfrau Express
Savour excellent views of the north face of the Eiger from a state-of-the-art cable car and the Jungfrau Express on the way up to the ‘Top of Europe’ which overlooks the mighty Aletsch Glacier.
Explore the stylish French mountain resort of Chamonix on the Mont Blanc Express
Explore the stylish French mountain resort of Chamonix on the Mont Blanc Express
Cross across the mountains into France on the Mont Blanc Express, arriving in famous Chamonix – the home of mountaineering – and experience fantastic views of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe.
Stay in a lakeside Montreux hotel and cruise across Lake Geneva on a Belle Époque boat
Stay in a lakeside Montreux hotel and cruise across Lake Geneva on a Belle Époque boat
Spend three nights in Montreux in a shoreline hotel with uninterrupted views across glistening Lake Geneva. After a tour of a fairytale château, enjoy a relaxing and captivating trip across the lake in a Belle Époque paddle cruiser.
Board a vintage boat to cruise the full length of Lake Thun
Board a vintage boat to cruise the full length of Lake Thun
Set sail on a classic pleasure boat to cruise the sparkling waters of Lake Thun from the historic town of Thun to your base in Interlaken, viewing stately mountains, charming villages and Spiez Castle along the way.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London to Lake Geneva

This excellent Swiss holiday starts as soon as we meet at London St Pancras International and board the Eurostar. After enjoying a light meal in Standard Premier Class, we arrive in Paris where we change to the First Class carriages of the high-speed TGV service direct to Lausanne in Switzerland. A 20-minute transfer by train sees us arrive in glitzy Montreux, where we check in to our lakefront hotel for three nights. Located on the lakeside promenade, just a short, downhill walk from the station, the hotel boasts uninterrupted views across glistening Lake Geneva to the atmospheric French Alps. Tonight, we enjoy our first dinner as a group - a three-course meal in the hotel.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Light Meal
Day 2 – Château de Chillon tour and Lake Geneva cruise

After breakfast, we have the morning at leisure to get acquainted with our new surroundings. Montreux is a cultural town, with many actors and musicians choosing to live nearby along the shore of Lake Geneva. A short walk down the promenade illustrates Montreux's connection with the arts. A graceful park separates our hotel from the convention centre that hosts the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival, while the promenade is dotted with statues relating to culture. Composers Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky are honoured close to our hotel, while closer to the centre of the town is a popular tourist destination - a statue of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who bought a retreat here in 1978. Alternatively, our hotel includes spa and wellness facilities, including a pool, for a morning of complete relaxation.

In the afternoon, we make our way to the stop directly outside our hotel for a journey by trolleybus along the lake to Villeneuve. Here, a local, English-speaking guide takes us on a tour of the beautiful Château de Chillon, a fairytale castle that appears as if it is floating on Lake Geneva. Formerly occupied by the influential House of Savoy, this romantic medieval castle has attracted tourists since the early 1800s, including the likes of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley.

After some free time to explore this picture-postcard scene, we board a Belle Époque paddle cruiser for a delightful trip across Lake Geneva. These beautifully decorated boats have catering on board for snacks or refreshments as we sail on the crystal-blue waters surrounded by mountains. We make our way to the colourful lakeside village of St-Gingolph on the border with France, before the elegant boat gently glides back across the lake to Montreux.

Montreux has a wide range of restaurants of various cuisines and tonight might be a good opportunity to try one, before enjoying an evening lakeside stroll or taking the trolleybus back to the hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – Mont Blanc Express across the Alps to the French resort of Chamonix

An exciting highlight of the holiday awaits today as we travel by train in First Class across the Alps to France. From Martigny, we join the Mont Blanc Express and the route climbs as it clings to dramatic mountainsides above spectacular gorges. Entering France, the jagged peaks of the snow-covered mountains we have admired from our hotel drift into view as the route approaches the premium resort of Chamonix, backed by the famous Mont Blanc.

With a few hours of free time to explore the 'mountaineering capital of the world', there are many options at your disposal. A gentle walk round Chamonix's scenic town centre could be combined with a delicious French lunch at one of this lively town's charming restaurants. Chamonix's historic core of Baroque churches and idyllic chapels, along with an attractive main street, has attracted visitors since the 18th-century when traveller Dr Richard Pococke visited the area, before locals Dr Michel-Gabriel Paccard and Jacques Balmat made the first ascent of Mont Blanc. From that point, mountaineering was born and the chic resort grew in popularity, hosting the first-ever Winter Olympics in 1924.

For those who would like to explore further, you could head up to the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) Glacier. Located near Chamonix station, the Montenvers-Mer de Glace cogwheel railway carries passengers up more than 3,000 ft in just over 20 minutes. It's an incredible journey through dense pine forests and high up the mountainside to an otherworldly landscape. Overlooking the Mer de Glace Glacier that sweeps through the valley between piercing, snowy peaks, this is the spectacular scene that inspired Mary Shelley during the writing of her most famous novel, Frankenstein. Mary and her future husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, had made the arduous journey here in 1816, and it was on this 4.5-mile-long glacier that she decided Victor Frankenstein should have his first confrontation with his creation. Nowadays, the charming train transports people up to witness this view, and there is even the option in summer to head deep inside the glacier to view a display of impressive ice sculptures.

In late afternoon, we leave Chamonix by First Class rail, returning to lakeside Montreux in time to enjoy a three-course dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – The GoldenPass Express from Montreux to Interlaken

A special day today sees us boarding the stylish royal blue and gold panoramic carriages of the GoldenPass Express for an incredible journey from lakeside palm trees to snow-capped mountains.

This route is a feat of engineering of which the Swiss are rightly proud - and one that has been more than 100 years in the making. Innovative cutting-edge technology now means the train can adapt its gauge, negating the need to change trains at Zweisimmen. As such, the non-stop GoldenPass Express completed its maiden journey on 11 December 2022, opening up the incredible route direct between Montreux and Interlaken.

The excellent scenery along this otherworldly rail journey is currently less well known than Switzerland's other famous trains, but won't be for long. Leaving Montreux, the train winds its way up the hill with shimmering Lake Geneva and vineyards in the background. The untamed pine forests and rolling mountains of the Pays-d'Enhaut highlands are dotted by picturesque small villages and alpine meadows. The halfway point of this gorgeous three-hour journey is Gstaad - the upmarket mountain resort favoured by Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Roger Moore.

The last stretch of our journey to Interlaken sees the GoldenPass Express come down the hills towards the beautifully colourful Lake Thun at Spiez. Our panoramic carriages mean we get better views of the lake and fairytale castle than any other tours of the region.

We arrive at our destination of Interlaken, an attractive town set between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and the majestic peaks of the Bernese Oberland, and check into our hotel which boasts spectacular views of the surrounding scenery. The town's compact size means that most of its sights can be discovered on foot, and with plenty of open spaces, it is a vivacious and charming place to enjoy a free afternoon before we gather back at our centrally located hotel for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Gondola to the snow-covered ‘Top of Europe’

An unforgettable experience greets us this morning as we embark on an incredible journey up the Jungfrau. We take the train to the delightful alpine village of Grindelwald, from where we hop on the Eiger Express gondola that takes us up to the Eigergletscher station in under 20 minutes - the only one of our tours that uses this state-of-art mode of transport. The modern gondola with panoramic windows allows us to get incredible views of the alpine meadows below and pass close to the north face of the imposing Eiger during this four-mile trip. A slick transfer sees us board the cog-wheel train to Jungfraujoch and Europe's highest train station at the 'Top of Europe'.

With snow all year round, the vistas are truly awe-inspiring. At the top, we're close to the stunning Aletsch Glacier - a UNESCO World Heritage wonder - which stretches as far as the eye can see. We have free time to explore this natural spectacle, during which you may wish to take in the incredible views from the Sphinx Observatory, where you can also learn more about the glacier and mountains, or maybe step out on to the plateau.

Inside you can indulge in a relaxed lunch at one of the many restaurants and bars or learn about delicious Swiss chocolate at Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven.

We descend the mountains via the amazing Jungfrau Express. Through tunnels with carved-out viewing windows we travel under the Mönch and Eiger mountains - an astonishing feat of engineering - before the cogwheel train re-emerges at Eigergletscher and twists down to Kleine Scheidegg. From here, we step onto the train to the valley town of Lauterbrunnen and back to Interlaken in time for a three-course dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Exploring the Bernese Oberland at leisure

Today is a free day to explore as you wish. After a relaxed breakfast, you may wish to spend some time in our hotel, marvelling at the glorious views from the roof terrace.

Exploring Interlaken further is a good option. Down Höheweg boulevard, you will come to the historic castle with its Gothic cloister and the 12th-century monastery that was converted into a castle church. Across the emerald Aare river from our hotel is the adjoining town of Unterseen, with historic buildings gathering around its cobbled main square, at the centre of which is the impressive former town hall. At opposing corners stand two towers, a pencil-like stone tower that is all that remains of the town's medieval church, and a tiled conical tower adorning an administration building. For those who want an overall view of Interlaken and the surrounding areas, you could take a ride on the steep Harderbahn railway up to Harder Kulm for special views of lakes Brienz and Thun, and the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.

With an envious location, there are so many excellent destinations close at hand. Using your Swiss Travel Card for 50% discounts on train and mountain railway fares, you could head south to the picturesque traffic-free mountain resorts of Wengen and Mürren. At the latter, you can also travel on the Schilthorn cableway to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant that appeared in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Alternatively, explore turquoise Lake Brienz by catching the train along its northern shore to Brienz, where you can choose to join the delightful steam-hauled Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway or marvel at the picture-perfect Brunngasse - a winding street around which are gathered old wooden chalets decorated with beautiful flowerboxes.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Explore Thun and cruise the length of the lake

After breakfast, we take the short walk to the station, where we join the train heading to Thun. This typical Swiss town on the Aare is dominated by its picturesque 12th-century castle and we have free time to explore independently. With a charming medieval centre and covered wooden bridges crossing the river, Thun is a fascinating town to wander round. As one of the major centres in the area, it also bustles with shoppers and diners. You may wish to take the opportunity to indulge in a spot of lunch before we reconvene and head to the boat terminal.

Our journey back to Interlaken is on board a vintage lake boat that cruises the length of lovely Lake Thun. This scenic excursion provides a relaxing atmosphere as the boat glides across the clear glacial waters as pleasant villages with Romanesque churches look on from the shore. Surrounding the route are forested alpine slopes and impressive peaks such as the pyramidal Niesen or the Niederhorn which protrudes into the lake. One of the highlights of any visit to Lake Thun is the fairytale Spiez Castle. Jutting out into the serene water, this 10th-century castle and its grounds shield a pretty marina dotted with small boats.

The boat moors directly adjacent to the rail platform at Interlaken West, meaning it is only a short walk back to our hotel for our three-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Homeward bound

After a breakfast reflecting on yesterday's delightful way to round off a trip to beautiful Switzerland, we travel by train to Basel, from where we board the high-speed TGV in First Class to Paris. As the Jura mountains and hills of Burgundy flash past our windows, we can recall the incredible sights of mountainous Switzerland, from the grandeur of Montreux to the splendour of the GoldenPass Express and the majesty of snow-capped peaks and the 'Top of Europe' at the Jungfraujoch.

In Paris, we transfer to Standard Premier Class of the Eurostar, where we enjoy a light meal at our seats before arriving back at London St Pancras International and saying a fond farewell to our fellow travelling companions.

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 Metropole Interlaken, Interlaken

Hotel Metropole Interlaken, Interlaken

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Royal Plaza Montreux and Spa

Royal Plaza Montreux and Spa, Montreux

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Trains

Eurostar
The GoldenPass Line
Jungfrau Railway
Mont Blanc Express
TGV

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