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Traditional Glacier Express

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4.4 stars(46 reviews)
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Explore the stunning Swiss Alps by rail

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
8 days From £1,595 per person

2022 Tour code: GYJ22

About the tour

Stunning scenery accompanies us as we travel by rail through the heart of the Swiss Alps on the world-famous Glacier Express. Journey on mountain railways, explore charming Swiss towns and take part in a one-of-a-kind alphorn workshop 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 impressive array of museums, cafes and restaurants. The Grande Ile, or Large Island, 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, the 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 that take 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 Old Town, which harks back to medieval times, maybe finding a quaint café to relax in.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - The Bernina Express

Today's excursion is on the panoramic Bernina Express along the Bernina Line, passing mighty glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The line is over 100 years old and has UNESCO World Heritage status - a testament to the incredible civil engineering required to create the line, as well as the breathtaking scenery through which it carves a route. Travelling south through tunnels hewn out of 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

Journeying through the craggy landscapes of the Graubünden canton, we make our way to Valais aboard the iconic Glacier Express - 'the slowest express train in the world'. The entire journey is accompanied by panoramic views for which Switzerland is famous; sloping meadows, majestic mountains and dense forests rising up the hillside towards towering, snow-capped peaks. We travel along the beautiful Rhine Valley, climbing steadily and then steeply as we make our way up and over the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of the route. From here, we descend into the flourishing Rhône Valley, where vineyards line the hillsides. Arriving in Brig, we transfer to a local railway for a journey 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 crooked Matterhorn. With free time, you could visit the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway, a six-mile journey that boasts the title of the highest open-air railway on the continent as well as fabulous views of the Matterhorn.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Alphorn workshop and Oeschinen Lake

Our day begins as we travel by cable car to the crisp and peaceful waters of Oeschinen Lake, cradled in the Oeschinen Valley. Here we meet with two walking guides who offer a choice of hiking routes around the lake, giving us the chance to soak in the Alpine backdrops while we learn about the local flora and fauna. Our afternoon is spent in true Swiss style with a traditional alphorn workshop run by a local expert. A long horn made of wood, this instrument takes experience to play, and we'll get the chance to try for ourselves after a skilled demonstration.

*Lake Oeschinen cable car does not operate until mid-May. Departures before 10 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

Please Note

Please Note: For our winter departures GYJ2201, GYJ2202 ,GYJ2203, GYJ2204, GYJ2205, GYJ2206, GYJ2207, GYJ2208, GYJ2209 these will run a slightly different itineray. Day running order below:

  • Days 1-2 - London, Strasbourg and Chur
  • Day 3 - Chur
  • Day 4 - The Bernina Express
  • Day 5 - The Glacier Express
  • Day 6 - Zermatt
  • Day 7 - Kandersteg
  • Day 8 - Kandersteg and London

Please note: One of the excursions on this tour is at high altitude. If you have any medical conditions or concerns that could impact this part of the tour, we recommend you seek medical advice and talk to us. We want to make sure that any holiday you book is right for you.

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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Hotel Bernerhof, Kandersteg

Hotel Bernerhof, 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

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 46 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (26)
  2. 4 stars
    (16)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Mr R Hedges

4 stars

Submitted Sep 22 2020

A very good, well organised tour,

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs J Davis

5 stars

Submitted Sep 18 2019

Everything was more than expected. I had forgotten how stunning Switzerland is. I filled in the questionnaire on the homeward train and that tells you how great I found the holiday.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr K O'Donnell

5 stars

Submitted Sep 16 2019

Excellent trip we'll planned and organised.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs C Cameron

5 stars

Submitted Sep 02 2019

Good holiday, very enjoyable

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Randy Smythe

3 stars

Submitted Oct 08 2018

Our tour leader Martin Lockwood was marvelous! However, there was way too much rail travel, and some of the rail connections were rather short moving from one platform to another. In one case we had only 7 minutes to change trains. Most of us were running and completely out of breath by the time we got to the next train. Whoever set up this connection obviously had not actually been to the station. On our last tour in 2016 we had better meals available on the trains, and some of the hotels were more comfortable and much newer. Finally, I left a toiletry back at the Hotel Maritim in Kohl. I called that hotel and paid a good deal of money to have it forwarded to me in Kandersteg, but it never arrived. I have asked that it be sent to me at my home in Tennessee but it hasn't arrived. Please get it to me!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs R Dunn

5 stars

Submitted Oct 08 2018

Excellent organisation thoroughly enjoyable no stress

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show 6 more reviews
Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

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Explore the stunning Swiss Alps by rail

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