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Traditional Glacier Express

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4.5 stars(147 reviews)
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Small Group

Explore the stunning Swiss Alps by rail

8 days From £1,595 £1,445 per person
Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your Europe 2023 holiday when you book between 16th November 2022 and midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

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Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your All Inclusive Europe 2023 holiday when you book before midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

View terms and conditions

2023 Tour code: GYJ23

About the tour

Stunning scenery accompanies us all the way as we travel by First Class rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express. Journey on mountain railways, explore charming Swiss towns and enjoy a one-of-a-kind alphorn experience as we're immersed in the rich culture and natural beauty of Switzerland.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Strasbourg

We meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Paris, continuing by rail to Strasbourg for the night.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Chur

With a free morning to look around Strasbourg, you could take some time to explore the historic Old Town, dominated by the spectacular Notre Dame Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock. The Cathedral has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages, and clustered around it you'll find an impressive choice of museums, cafés and restaurants. The Grande Ile is a UNESCO World Heritage site in the midst of the River Ill and is the ancient heart of the city, with the vast main square, Place Kléber, at its centre. In the afternoon, we continue our journey to Switzerland, travelling by train firstly to Basel, then onwards to Chur - our base for three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Discovering Chur

Enjoy a free day in historic Chur and the surrounding region. The wild landscapes of the Graubünden region are waiting to be discovered, with superb railway journeys available from Chur using your Swiss Travel Card (for a 50% discount on local trains, boats and many mountain railways) taking you around one of Switzerland's most attractive cantons. Or you could explore Chur itself, which, as the first settlement in Switzerland, has a wealth of history to uncover. Enjoy a stroll through the medieval Old Town, following the twisting streets up to the cathedral, maybe stopping for a while at a quaint café.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - The Bernina Express

Today's excursion is a journey in spacious First Class on the panoramic Bernina Express along the Bernina Line, passing mighty glaciers, rushing mountain streams and Alpine meadows. The line has UNESCO World Heritage status, a testament to the incredible civil engineering required to create it, and to the breathtaking scenery surrounding it. Travelling south through tunnels hewn from rock and over 196 bridges, including the incredible Landwasser Viaduct, the track clings to the mountainside as we wind above deep ravines and past idyllic waterfalls. We emerge from the Albula Tunnel and traverse the mighty Bernina Pass, arriving in Poschiavo in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. There's free time in this picturesque town before our return journey.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - The Glacier Express and Kandersteg

We make our way to Valais, travelling First Class on the iconic Glacier Express - 'the slowest express train in the world' - through the craggy landscapes of the Graubünden canton. The entire journey is accompanied by panoramic views for which Switzerland is famous; sloping meadows, majestic mountains and dense forests rising upwards to towering, snow-capped peaks. We travel along the beautiful Rhine Valley, climbing steadily, then steeply as we travel over the Oberalp Pass - the highest point of the route - then descend into the flourishing Rhône Valley, where vineyards line the hillsides. Arriving in Brig, we travel by local railway to Kandersteg. This resort town is surrounded by incredible mountain scenery and is one of Switzerland's unspoilt gems. We stay here for three nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Zermatt

We visit the charming resort of Zermatt, travelling firstly to Brig, where we join a narrow-gauge train that takes us alongside the River Rhône to Visp. Here, we board the mountain railway, passing picture-perfect vistas as we travel through eight tunnels and across 42 bridges. Finally, we reach Zermatt, nestled below the peak of the Matterhorn. With free time here, you could visit the fascinating Matterhorn Museum - there is no entry charge with your Swiss Travel Pass. Or you may like to travel to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway, a six-mile journey on the highest open-air railway on the continent, with fabulous views of the Matterhorn.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Oeschinen Lake

We travel by cable car to pristine Oeschinen Lake, cradled in the Oeschinen Valley. This vast glacial lake is fed by several brooks from surrounding mountain peaks, and the area is a joy to explore. Here you have a choice to wander at your own leisure or join a guide for a hike with a chance to learn more about the local flora and fauna. Or you could simply find a peaceful spot to enjoy the sound of cowbells, clear mountain air and pretty Alpine flowers.

*Lake Oeschinen cable car does not operate until mid-May. Departures before 14 May will enjoy a day trip to Interlaken by rail.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – London

Our holiday draws to an end today as we leave Kandersteg, travelling by rail to Brig and Lausanne, where we change trains for Paris. Here, we board the Eurostar back to London St Pancras

Includes
  • Breakfast

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 Freieck, Chur

Hotel Freieck, Chur

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Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg

Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
InterCity
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Upgrade to Standard Premier Class on Eurostar
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 147 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (99)
  2. 4 stars
    (32)
  3. 3 stars
    (11)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Roger B

4 stars

Submitted 4/Nov

Well organised and enjoyable trip with an excellent tour leader in Caroline Bryan. Good hotels - Freieck in Chur did the best breakfast I've eaten on the continent. Bernerhof pretty good too. Booking staff helpful especially when we had to change arrangements to get to London due to rail strikes. Very pleased with the luggage transfer service - GRJ should make more of this in publicity. Similarly for the coach transfers between Paris stations. Have never liked travelling through Paris since a long ago attempt attempted theft on the Metro so coach transfer great. Drawbacks, not many, perhaps more meals could have been included. Also we could have got an earlier Eurostar back from Paris: that would have helped us get home at a more sensible time but overall a good scenic holiday. At the reduced price it was reasonable value for money

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr J Green

5 stars

Submitted 30/Oct

My wife and friends and I had a really good time and good value . The guide Debra was very helpful and knowledgeable and kept us all together and looked after the couple who had a problem very well but still managed to keep an eye on us too. I would definitely think about going on a tour again with G,R,J.

Collected by Trustpilot

SueT

5 stars

Submitted 30/Oct

Stupendous experience: stunning scenery, excellent hotels, unflappable, friendly tour manager. We greatly enjoyed the entire holiday with a lovely group of other travellers. Doubt we would’ve been able to do the whole thing on our own as we relied on Deborah to get us in the right place at the right time. Clearly the experience and expertise of Great Rail Journeys were the foundation for the success of the whole trip. The weather was sunny and wonderful,too.

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Mr Nick Templeton

5 stars

Submitted 29/Oct

Really fantastic tour guide and wonderful group on the holiday

Collected by Trustpilot

Helen Bull

5 stars

Submitted 29/Oct

What a fantastic tour , we saw most of Switzerland with great people and a wonderful tour guide Deborah. We would go back with Great Railways again, they take all the stress out of travelling.

Collected by Trustpilot

John

5 stars

Submitted 24/Oct

Well organised holiday and a terrific way to see the Swiss countryside. Long final day, needing to be at the station at 8am and not back in London until after 8PM. Our first holiday of this type but it will not be our last. Having a tour manager took all of the hassle out of travelling in a foreign country which meant you could relax and really enjoy the holiday. Would recommend to anyone!

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Explore the stunning Swiss Alps by rail

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