Travel through Switzerland by rail and take in its spectacular countryside while staying in beautiful Swiss towns along the way.
About the Tour
Discover the diverse regions of Switzerland on this 11-day vacation. This trip, which takes you on a variety of Swiss rail lines, is a train lover's dream. Filled with twists and turns along rivers and mountainsides, you can relax and enjoy stunning views only available via rail.
You'll view stunning landscapes such as the Bernese Oberland, Simmen Valley, Lake Geneva, the Rhine Gorge and, of course, the Matterhorn. As you travel from city to city, there is plenty of free time to explore each area and immerse yourself in Swiss culture.
- Rail travel on the Swiss Travel System
- Five scenic rail excursions: GoldenPass Panoramic,Glacier Express,Bernina Express, Gotthard Panorama Express and Jungfrau Railway
- Hotel accommodations for 10 nights
- 11 meals, including lunch onboard the Glacier Express
- Excursion to Mount Jungfraujoch, an UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Lake Lucerne cruise
- Swiss Coupon Pass providing attractive offers in 11 destinations
Day 1 - Arrive in Zurich
Arrive in Zurich and settle into your hotel. Your day is free to discover the world-famous shopping mile Bahnhofstrasse or stroll along the banks of Lake Zurich. Overnight Zurich.
Day 2 – GoldenPass Panoramic Train
Today board the GoldenPass Panoramic for a beautiful trip to Lucerne, which is filled with medieval architecture. The train takes you over the Brunig pass into the Bernese Oberland, where it winds along the lovely Lake Brienz. After a short journey, you arrive in Grindelwald or Wengen.
The Eiger village of Grindelwald is embedded in a welcoming and green hollow, surrounded by a commanding mountainscape with the majestic view of Eiger north face and the Wetterhorn. Wengen is a holiday resort area that lies on a wind-protected sun terrace at the foot of the Jungfrau, 400 meters above the Lauterbrunnen Valley at an altitude of 1274m. The tradition-imbued, car-free holiday resort offers family-friendly activities and plenty of hiking and biking opportunities. Overnight Grindelwald or Wengen*. (B)
*April, May, & October departures will overnight in Grindelwald. June – September departures will overnight in Wengen.
Day 3 – Excursion to Jungfraujoch
Take the train to the mountain pass of Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the famous Eiger. Here you will board the Jungfrau Railway and ride via Eiger Gletscher to the Jungfraujoch – the highest railway station in Europe at 3454m. Take in the breathtaking views of the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch Glacier, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight Grindelwald or Wengen*. (B)
Day 4 – Train to Montreux
Your journey on the Golden Pass Panoramic continues today. Along the shores of Lake Thun you reach the Simmen Valley with the quaint village of Zweisimmen and the world-renowned holiday resort of Gstaad. You'll continue to travel through the wild romantic Pays d'Enhaut Highlands with the scenic villages of Chateau d'Oex and Montbovon. Pass through a tunnel before the panoramic view of Lake Geneva and Montreux opens in front of you. Overnight Montreux**. (B)
Day 5 - Train to Zermatt
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then travel to Zermatt, which lies at the foot of the amazing Matterhorn. Zermatt is a car-free zone and has preserved its original character. You have free time here to take in the local shops and restaurants with a magnificent backdrop. Overnight Zermatt. (B)
Day 6 – Optional Excursion to Gornergrat
Today you have the opportunity to take a non-guided excursion to the Gornergrat. You will ride Europe's highest open-air cogwheel train to the summit and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and the Matterhorn. Overnight Zermatt. (B)
Day 7 – Glacier Express
In the morning, board the Glacier Express for a thrilling ride in the panoramic carriage, where you can take in some of Switzerland’s most dramatic scenery. Along the deep Rhone Valley, the Glacier Express travels through an incredibly fascinating part of the Alps as it drives over the Oberalp Pass and through the impressive Rhine Gorge. After an exhilarating trip, you will arrive in Chur, Switzerland's oldest city, which will charm you with its fine mountain setting, twisting alleys and historic buildings. Numerous boutiques, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries in the largely traffic-free Old Town create a Mediterranean-style atmosphere. Overnight Chur.*** (B, L)
Day 8 – Bernina Express
Board the narrow-gauge Bernina Express and enjoy one of the most impressive scenic rail journeys Switzerland offers. Travel over the impressive Brusio Circular Viaduct and pass through 55 winding tunnels before reaching Tirano, Italy. Change to the Bernina Express Bus, which takes you onwards to Ticino. The journey ends in Lugano, Southern Switzerland's largest town. Overnight Lugano****. (B)
Day 9 – Excursion to Monte Bre or Boat Ride to Gandria
Today you have a chance to journey up to Monte Bre, the sunniest mountain in Switzerland, or take a boat ride to the picturesque town of Gandria. On the excursion to Monte Bre, ride a cable car to the summit at 933 meters and admire the magnificent Alpine foothills from a sunlit terrace overlooking Lake Lugano. Gandria is a fishermen village perched at the bottom of Monte Bre, famous for its romantic atmosphere. The tranquil town's center is closed to traffic and features tiny streets and stairways with views of gorgeous landscapes. Should you not wish to purchase either of these optional excursions, you will have a day at leisure in Lugano to explore this southern city at your own pace. Overnight Lugano****. (B)
Day 10 – Gotthard Panorama Express
Travel by first class panorama carriage from Lugano to Fluelen via Bellinzona, the lowest point in the route the train reaches via amazing spiral loops. The train journey takes you from the Mediterranean south right into the heart of Switzerland via the Gotthard tunnel which was built in 1882. In Fluelen, board a historic paddle steamer and enjoy a relaxing cruise across Lake Lucerne. Overnight Lucerne. (B)
Day 11 – Departure
Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel before your trip comes to an end. (B)
Hotels commonly used are the Hotel Adler, Zurich, Hotel Alpenrose Wengen, Tralala Hotel, Montreux, Hotel Adonis, Zermatt, Hotel Post, Chur, Hotel Colorado, Lugano, and Hotel Alpina, Lucerne. Rail reservations are in second class. Upgrades to first class are available upon request.
Hotels commonly used are the Glockenhof Zurich, Sunstar Alpine Hotel Wengen, Hotel Eden Palace au Lac, Montreux, Schlosshotel Life & Style, Zermatt, Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur, Hotel De la Paix, Lugano and Hotel Des Balances, Lucerne. Rail reservations are in second class. Upgrades to first class are available upon request.
Excellence Class travelers will enjoy the same hotel accommodations as Superior Class, with first-class rail reservations. In addition, travelers will experience Excellence Class on the Glacier Express for the journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz. This is the newest class of service on the famous Glacier Express and the luxurious experience is available on the train’s full route between the resort towns of Zermatt and St. Moritz. Guests in Excellence Class enjoy comfortable lounge seating beside large panoramic windows, exclusive access to the Glacier Bar, and a first-class dining experience during the entirety of the journey, including an elegant five-course meal featuring seasonal cuisine paired with wine.
Hotels are subject to availability, substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.
Ride in modern train cars on the Goldenpass Panoramic that provides panoramic views of cities and scenery. You might want to visit one of its wine cellar coaches to enjoy a drink or snack as you relax. The Goldenpass Panoramic is all about ease of comfort and blending into the surrounding landscape. This smooth ride will make you feel like you are a part of nature
This train winds its way through the Swiss Alps, travelling through 91 tunnels, and crossing 291 bridges. Relax and enjoy the view through the panoramic windows at your seat, or take in a drink at the bar. You'll have views of snow-capped mountains, canyons, narrow valleys, and rushing waters.
Depart Switzerland and cross the border into northern Italy. The route passes through a variety of terrain including orchards, chestnut trees and vineyards on its way to Tirano. Cross the famous Brusio Circular Viaduct on this narrow-gauge train that begins in the mountains and winds down to street level. Pass through the town of Tirano as you reach the city's station. The train includes refreshments and the commentary of a tour guide.
Gotthard Panorama Express
Previously named the Wilhelm Tell Express, the Gotthard Panorama Express is a wonderful piece of railway engineering with many spiral loops, bridges and tunnels. The journey includes travel by train and boat offering very diverse scenery with snowcapped mountains and palm trees along the way.
+Additional departures are available on request, please speak with your Rail Travel Specialist for more details.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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***Passengers selecting Excellence Class will overnight in St. Moritz on Day 8.
****Over June 15-20, 2021, a stay in Lugano is on request, and will most likely be relocated to a city nearby (Locarno, Bellinzona, Giubiasco).