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Traditional Glacier Express

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20242025
8 days From £2,160 per person
4.6 stars(243 reviews)
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Delve deep into the stunning Swiss Alps by rail and experience two fantastic journeys through incredible mountain landscapes

No Single Supplement

No Single Supplement subject to availability on selected departures. 

Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: GYJ24

About the tour

Spectacular scenery accompanies us all the way as we travel by rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express and Bernina Express.

Explore charming and historic Swiss towns such as Zermatt and Chur and get up close to the mighty Matterhorn as we immerse ourselves in the rich culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty of Switzerland.

Experience the unspoilt, traditional Swiss village of Kandersteg, nestled in an incredible landscape of imposing mountains.

Unforgettable experiences

Travel on the Glacier Express
Travel on the Glacier Express
Experience a stunning journey through awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks and alpine valleys as we travel in panoramic carriages from Chur to Brig.
Bernina Express from Chur to Poschiavo
Bernina Express from Chur to Poschiavo
Travel on the world-renowned and UNESCO-listed Bernina Express from Chur to the Italian-speaking town of Poschiavo, pausing to view the Palü glacier at Alp Grüm.
Visit Zermatt and view the Matterhorn
Visit Zermatt and view the Matterhorn
Enjoy the peace of this quintessential mountain resort and long-time mecca for climbers which, with its clusters of timbered chalets and incredible views of the Matterhorn.
Three nights in Kandersteg
Three nights in Kandersteg
Stay in this gorgeous and characterful alpine village that is one of Switzerland’s unspoilt gems. Beautiful chalets huddle round a babbling stream, while imposing mountains provide an incredible backdrop.
Stay in charming Chur
Stay in charming Chur
Spend three nights in Switzerland’s oldest town. Nestled in the Rhine Valley, the narrow, cobbled streets of its old town are lined by beautiful buildings and open on to picture-perfect squares.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Strasbourg: Through France to the Alsace

Meeting our companions at London St Pancras, the Eurostar awaits as we are whisked through the scenic French countryside to Paris, before heading east to Strasbourg. The compact but captivating historic centre of this Alsatian city is dotted with grand squares and picturesque narrow waterways. We head to a local restaurant for our first dinner together and enjoy the cuisine of the Alsace.

**Please note: For departures 11/05/2024 & 22/06/2024 these will be overnight in Mulhouse (not Strasbourg).

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Strasbourg to Chur: An Alpine Arrival

Strasbourg's impressive main square, Place Kléber, or the beautiful half-timbered, riverside houses of La Petite France are only a short stroll from our centrally located hotel. Both can be easily reached with a free morning to explore before we travel down the Rhine to Basel. Entering Switzerland, the scenery quickly increases in beauty and altitude. From the gentle shoreline of Lake Zurich, the imposing Swiss Alps begin to surround our route as the landscape becomes more dramatic. As the country's oldest town, our delightful destination Chur is full of history. After dinner at the Stern Hotel, we settle down to spend the first of three nights in our charming, family run hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Chur: Switzerland’s Oldest Town

A leisurely breakfast begins a free day today, and there are plenty of fantastic destinations to explore in this impressive part of the world. Chur itself is backed by mountains and the colourful buildings of its charming old town mean it is a great place to explore, and sample one of its many popular restaurants. With the Swiss Travel Card providing 50% discounts on all rail journeys across the country, the scenic Arosa Line which climbs more than 3,000 feet in less than 17 miles to the beautiful lakeside town of Arosa is a favoured choice. The stylish atmospheres of mountain resorts such as Davos and Klosters, a firm favourite of the Royal family, are easily reachable too.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - The Bernina Express: Breathtaking Journey Across the Alps

Dubbed the rail experts' best-kept secret, the UNESCO-listed Bernina Express is a highlight of any holiday to the Swiss Alps. This 100-year-old route twists and spirals its way south through the rugged landscape of the Engadine Valley, across the curved Landwasser Viaduct and looping its way through tunnels as it climbs the Albula Line. Crossing the Bernina Pass, we pause to view the captivating Palü glacier at Alp Grüm and wind our way down to the Italian-speaking town of Poschiavo, where pastel-coloured buildings line the streets. Returning to Chur, we enjoy tonight's dinner at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - The Glacier Express: An Incredible Experience in Awe-Inspiring Scenery

After breakfast, we embark on one of Europe's most iconic train journeys - the incredible Glacier Express to Brig. The 'slowest express train' delves into the Rhine Gorge, where our panoramic carriages provide great views of the 'Swiss Grand Canyon'. The breathtaking scenery continues to impress. Emerging from the 15km-long Furka Base Tunnel, we travel from Brig to Kandersteg via a stunning route that climbs through beautiful peaks and meadows. One of Switzerland's unspoilt gems, Kandersteg is surrounded by incredible mountain scenery visible from our historic hotel, where we check-in for a three-night stay and have dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Zermatt and the Mighty Matterhorn

The dramatic Matter Valley provides the scenery this morning as we wind our way up to traffic-free Zermatt through lush wildflower meadows, past thundering waterfalls and rugged, snow-capped mountains that guide us into beautiful Zermatt. Only accessible by train, the tranquility is immediate, yet Zermatt retains the buzz of a typical alpine resort. With free time to explore independently, you can wander through the charming town and the picturesque, historic wooden chalets of Hinterdorfstrasse, or take a gentle horse-drawn carriage ride. The Matterhorn is the Swiss national symbol and this iconic peak looms large over Zermatt. The Matterhorn Museum reveals more about this majestic mountain and how the area has become a must-visit for mountaineers, while those wishing to get closer could board the charming Gornergrat Mountain Railway for spectacular views of the Matterhorn. Zermatt has many inviting cafés and restaurants in which to enjoy lunch or drinks.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Free day in Kandersteg

With a turquoise, blue or green shimmer depending on the time of day or weather, Oeschinen Lake is simply stunning. Backed by huge peaks, it can be easily reached from Kandersteg by cable car as we spend a free day in this alpine wonderland. For breathtaking views of the Oeschinen Valley and its slate-grey peaks, hop into the cable car to the lush meadows of Allmenalp. Alternatively, take advantage of the Swiss Travel Card and enjoy a 50% discount for the short train journey to Spiez and its fairytale lakeside castle, or board the handy post bus to the ski resort of Adelboden for free with the Kandersteg Visitors Card. Kandersteg itself is a classic Swiss village dissected by the babbling Kander river, with charming chalets either side. In this perfectly positioned village, you won't be stuck for inspiration before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Homeward bound

Switzerland puts on another grand show for our journey home. After our final buffet breakfast in the charming Kandersteg hotel, we board the train to Brig and then to Lausanne. This route guides us past Rhône Valley vineyards and along the shore of the stunning Lake Geneva. Heading behind the romantic lakefront castle of Chillon, we pass through elegant Montreux and Vevey and into the lakeside city of Lausanne. The southern Jura mountains pass by our windows on our way to Paris, and ultimately the Eurostar. On our journey, we get to reflect on the incredible memories Switzerland has given us before arriving back at London St Pancras in the evening.

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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Seiler’s Vintage Hotel, Kandersteg

Seiler’s Vintage Hotel, Kandersteg

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
InterCity
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Upgrade to Standard Premier Class on Eurostar
London Hotels
UK rail connections
Door to door luggage service

Reviews

4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 243 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (170)
  2. 4 stars
    (51)
  3. 3 stars
    (16)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (2)

barry thornycroft

4 stars

Submitted 18/May

Good holiday, but some very poor meals.

Collected by Trustpilot

SG

5 stars

Submitted 14/May

Wow! We went on this trip on 30th April and it was amazing ??. Beautiful scenery, fab hotels and a great tour guide, who was so helpful and committed. We loved every day ??. Highly recommend ??

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Iceman

5 stars

Submitted 13/May

Outstanding, breathtaking - definitely not to be missed

Collected by Trustpilot

P Bryon

3 stars

Submitted 11/May

The tour was too rushed. It should have been a few days longer to fit everything in. The tour manager was well past her use by date, giving out duff and incorrect info.

from Great Rail Journeys
Dear Paul, Thank you for your review. That is a real shame to hear. I have passed your comments across to our team so we can review them for the future. Kind regards, Sophie.
1 comment

Collected by Trustpilot

R Hedges

5 stars

Submitted 8/May

A great holiday all-round, cannot fault the tour.

Collected by Trustpilot

patricia

3 stars

Submitted 5/May

Bernina express trip cut short by Great Rail journeys getting off at Poschiavo. We were able to buy an extension to Tirano to complete this iconic rail journey. Surely the full journey should have been included. Day off in Chur Monday all galleries and museums were closed.We could have been on a train and had a day when these sites were open. Zermatt again Gornergrat Mountain Railway was an extra.

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Europe Holidays 2024

Europe Holidays 2024

Rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning scenery await in Europe. Whether you want to reach new heights in the Swiss Alps, indulge in the culinary delights of Italy, or wander castles and vineyards in France, discover Europe’s best destinations.

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