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Classic Glacier Express

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4.7 stars(82 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the majestic Swiss Alps

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
9 days From £2,095 per person

2022 Tour code: GEJ22

About the tour

Spectacular scenery has made the Glacier Express famous the world over. Discover the Alps by mountain railway and sample unique Swiss wines at Spiez Castle on a holiday that also includes relaxing lake cruises, a traditional yodelling lesson and a jaunt to Italian-speaking Switzerland on the Bernina Express.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Strasbourg

After meeting at London St Pancras, we board the Eurostar to Paris. On arrival, we change trains for the local service, travelling to Strasbourg for an overnight stay.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Chur

We continue our rail journey to Switzerland, arriving in the quaint town of Chur - our base for the next three nights. Chur is the country's oldest town and is home to a number of historic attractions, including a 12th-century church, the 15th-century town hall and Martinsplatz, found in the heart of the Old Town.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Bernina Express

Today takes us on the historic Bernina Express, a route that, at 100 years old, has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. We head south, travelling through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges, including the instantly recognisable Landwasser Viaduct, before winding our way above deep ravines and past idyllic waterfalls. Looping and spiralling through the rugged landscape of the Engadine Valley, our ascent takes us through the Albula Tunnel and over the Bernina Pass. The train begins its descent towards colourful Poschiavo, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Pastel-coloured houses line the streets and there's free time to soak up the Mediterranean lifestyle. On the way back, we also enjoy some free time to explore the chic mountain resort town of St Moritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Chur

With a free day, why not explore Chur and the surrounding region using your Swiss Travel Card? Giving you 50% off on local transport and mountain railways, you can explore the wild and rugged landscapes of the glorious Graubünden region. You could take the train to the mountain resort of St Moritz, which expanded around the around the church of St Maurice - also known as 'the church of the springs', an important Christian pilgrimage site, or even enjoy a journey along the scenic Arosa Line. Navigating a gradient of over 3,000 feet in less than 17 miles, outstanding mountain views are guaranteed.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The Glacier Express

We board the iconic Glacier Express, leaving behind the rocky landscape of the Graubünden canton as we travel towards sunny Valais. Our journey takes us through undeniably Swiss scenes of meadows, dense forests and snow-capped mountains. We amble along the beautiful Rhine Valley aboard the 'slowest express train in the world', crossing the Rhine Gorge and climbing up to the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of our journey at 6,670 feet. After descending past isolated hamlets, we emerge from the Furka Base Tunnel into the scenery of the lush Rhône Valley and the vineyards surrounding Brig. From the station we walk to our hotel for a 4-night stay.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Zermatt

Visiting the car-free resort of Zermatt, we join the narrow-gauge train southwards, travelling alongside the River Rhône to Visp before changing tracks for the steep ascent, the gradient of which requires cogwheels to be engaged. Finally, we reach the lofty scenery of Zermatt to visit a nearby helicopter site where we meet with a pilot who has many years' experience in mountain rescue. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to look around. A popular option is to ride to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railway. From the top, admire uninterrupted views of the Matterhorn, a pyramid set against a crisp Alpine sky. You could also visit the fascinating climbing museum in the town.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Brig

We enjoy a traditional Swiss pastime today, heading up a nearby mountain to take part in a yodelling workshop led by a local yodelologist. One of the most unique sounds the human voice can make, we'll get top tips on how to achieve the unique yodelling sound, as well as expert demonstrations amid the beauty of the Alps. With free time afterwards, make the most of your Aletsch Explorer Pass, perhaps making your way to the Aletsch Arena, a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting views of the Eggishorn and Bettmerhorn, the longest glacier in the Alps, as well as the Jungfrau, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc mountains.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Spiez Castle

We take the train to Spiez Castle, located in the town of Spiez and overlooking the waters of Lake Thun. A Swiss heritage site dating back to the 10th century, this impressive castle and its decorative gardens play host to a unique Swiss wine tasting event, during which we enjoy tasting wines created from grapes grown amid stunning medieval surroundings. Hosted on one of the castle's a private terraces, we soak in views of the verdant vineyards below ahead of a scenic cruise on Lake Thun as the evening starts to draw in.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - London

Our holiday comes to an end after breakfast, when we take the high-speed train to Paris, travelling via Geneva. Once in the French capital, we join the Eurostar back to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Winter Departures

Please Note: For our winter departures GEJ2201, GEJ2202, GEJ2203, GEJ2204, GEJ2205, GEJ2206, GEJ2207, GEJ2208, GEJ2209, GEJ2210, GEJ2211 these will run a reverse itineray. Day running order below:

  • Day 1 - London and Strasbourg
  • Day 2 - Brig
  • Days 3-4 - Zermatt
  • Day 5 - Speiz Castle
  • Day 6 - The Glacier Express
  • Day 7 - Chur
  • Day 8 - The Bernina Express and St Moritz
  • Day 9 - Chur and London

Winter departures operate a reverse itinerary and do not include the Air Zermatt excursion or yodelling workshop.

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 Ambassador, Brig

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

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Hotel Stern, Chur

Hotel Stern, Chur

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 82 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (58)
  2. 4 stars
    (21)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

thomas verghese

5 stars

Submitted 5/Aug

Well organised trip with an excellent tour manager. A great experience and made a few friend's

Collected by Trustpilot

Karen Hame

4 stars

Submitted 5/Aug

Lovely views

Collected by Trustpilot

Katrina Waddington

3 stars

Submitted 26/Jul

Tour Guide was excellent I expected the food to be better it was edible only bedrooms one was a good size the second hotel bathroom tiny your knees hit on the shower when you were using the loo and I am only 5’4” When you book the holiday you know the itinerary but not the times between each train and also the time at each resort times were either too short or too long

Collected by Trustpilot

I Blundell

4 stars

Submitted 21/Jul

Overall a very enjoyable holiday, but the journey on the Glacier Express from Chur to Brig was very disappointing. Whilst we had pre-booked allocated seats we shared a block of 4 with non-GRJ passengers meaning that the window seats weren’t available for us and in addition the service of the inclusive meal was appallingly slow! Some passengers waited far too long for the rice to be served as the accompaniment to the main meal and the after dinner coffee was served half an hour before the apple pie dessert was served! In a normal restaurant we would have refused to pay for such poor service.

Collected by Trustpilot

Tony

3 stars

Submitted 21/Jul

A mixed experience. The substitute tour manager did her best but several problems were incurred. We learned that the holiday may have been cancelled when we arrived at St Pancras. Sadly the system seems to be falling apart. We have had many excellent Great Rail holidays in the past and will treasure the memories.

Collected by Trustpilot

Kathryn Grey

5 stars

Submitted 17/Jul

Wonderful scenic tour of Switzerland led by an excellent tour manager. Hotels were very good and our small group of 18 all got on very well which added to make it a very enjoyable trip.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe by Rail 2022

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