The GoldenPass Line - Journey to Interlaken
Leaving Montreux, the GoldenPass Line twists and turns through a series of impressive horseshoe curves as it climbs into the vineyards above the town, offering magnificent views of Lake Geneva and the surrounding peaks. After passing through the winter resort of Les Avants, the train takes us through woodland up an impressive 1 in 37 gradient - the steepest on the line - towards the Jaman Tunnel. During our journey through the tunnel, the longest on the line, we leave the Mediterranean landscape of Montreux behind, emerging to wild and dramatic Alpine scenery. We descend through a remote valley to the village of Montbovon and continue through the Pays d'Enhaut valley to Châteaux d'Oex - a popular destination for hot air ballooning.
As the GoldenPass Line heads into the Saanenland region, the names of the pretty, chalet-filled villages become German. We ascend to the fashionable skiing and summer resort of Gstaad and then climb further, crossing a viaduct before reaching the summit of the line, the Saanenmöser Pass, at 4,183 feet (1,275m). The train travels through the resort of Saanenmöser and steadily descends to the village of Zweisimmen.
At Zweisimmen we change trains and embark on a journey through the Simmental region, closely following the River Simme along a narrow valley covered with dense forest. We pass through numerous pretty villages, renowned for their distinctive style of wooden chalets with elaborately painted and carved façades, and criss-cross the river as we head towards the village of Wimmis and its 15th-century castle. The GoldenPass Line continues to historic Spiez and then descends to Lake Thun, where it follows the southern shore through the resort of Leissigen to our destination, Interlaken.