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Classic Glacier Express

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Discover the stunning scenery and famous mountain railways of the majestic Swiss Alps

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
9 days From $2,495 per person

2021 Tour code: GR-GEJA-21

About the tour

Welcome to Switzerland, a country renowned for its breathtaking scenery, thanks to the Swiss Alps. Your 9 days here are split between two major cities, Chur and Brig, with unforgettable excursions to surrounding resort towns and villages, including the car-free resort town of Zermatt. Additionally, enjoy scenic travel through the Alps aboard two of the world's most beloved scenic railways: the Bernina Express with its 55 tunnels and 196 bridges and the Glacier Express past alpine meadows, the "Swiss Grand Canyon," beautiful vineyards and, of course, amazing mountain views. Guests of this journey enjoy first-class train travel to Switzerland from London, as well as high-end hotel accommodations, including 3 nights in Chur's 360-year-old Romantik Stern Hotel. This introduction to Switzerland is one to remember.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To France

Arrive at London St. Pancras, and meet your group and Tour Manager at our designated St. Pancras Departure Office. Together we board a Eurostar train to Paris, and upon arrival, we switch to a high-speed TGV train bound for Strasbourg for an overnight stay. Overnight Strasbourg. 

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 - To Chur

Our journey presses onwards by train as we continue into Switzerland. We first arrive in Basel and then move onto Chur. As the oldest town in Switzerland, Chur boasts over 5,000 years of history. After checking into your centrally located hotel, the rest of the afternoon is yours to begin your explorations. Take some time to wander through car-free Old Town or peruse the fine works of art that fill the Bündner Kunstmuseum. Overnight Chur.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Bernina Express

Today's excursion takes us on the historic Bernina Express. This railroad line is over 100 years old and has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status, thanks to the incredible civil engineering that was required to create the line and the breathtaking scenery through which it travels. We board in Chur and begin our southerly journey, traveling through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges and viaducts, including the instantly recognizable Landwasser Viaduct. The train clings to the mountainside as we wind above deep ravines and past idyllic waterfalls. Looping and spiraling through the rugged landscape of the Engadine Valley, our ascent takes us through the Albula Tunnel and over the Bernina Pass to an altitude of more than 7,000 feet. We then begin our descent towards colorful Poschiavo in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Pastel-colored houses line the streets of picturesque Poschiavo. We disembark here and enjoy time for lunch before our journey continues in the opposite direction, arriving back in Chur in time for dinner. Overnight Chur. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - At leisure in Chur

Take the day at leisure to explore historic Chur and the surrounding region. Today is the perfect opportunity to discover the area by mountain railroad; use your included Swiss Travel Card for half-off fares. Departing from Chur, there are railroad journeys that travel all throughout the surrounding valleys and rugged mountains. If you prefer to stay in the city, perhaps visit the Chur Cathedral or wander through Arcas square. Overnight Chur. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Aboard the Glacier Express to Brig

We leave Chur aboard the iconic Glacier Express, often referred to as "the slowest express train in the world." The rocky landscape of the Graubünden canton fades into the distance as we journey towards sunny Valais. During the journey, legendary Swiss landscapes are brought to life as the train traverses meadows, vineyards and dense forests, with snow-capped peaks forming the backdrop of the entire journey. We travel along the beautiful Rhine Valley and cross the Rhine Gorge, also known as the "Swiss Grand Canyon." The highest point of our journey is Oberalp Pass at 6,670 feet, and from here, we descend past hamlets, cross the Furka Pass via the Furka Base Tunnel and make our way into the Rhône Valley. A 2-course lunch is served onboard during our travels.

The final leg of our Glacier Express  journey takes us through vineyard-lined hillsides of Brig and into the heart of the historic town. Check-in at your hotel, and then enjoy some free time to wander along the cobbled streets, explore Stadtplatz or visit the remarkable Stockalper Palace - built in the 17th century by a prosperous silk merchant. Overnight Brig.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - To Zermatt

The car-free resort town of Zermatt is our destination today. From Brig, a narrow-gauge train takes us south through picturesque vineyards and alongside the River Rhône to Visp. From here, we join the mountain track for the steep ascent to Zermatt. The approach to Zermatt takes us through eight tunnels and across 42 bridges. The first hint of the grandiose scenery of Zermatt that comes into view is the instantly recognizable Matterhorn.

In Zermatt, you are free to sightsee at leisure. You may wish to climb to the summit of the Gornergrat by funicular railroad (payable locally). The railway climbs to a peak of 10,135 feet above sea level during its 6-mile course. In Zermatt village, Old Village has the essence of a living museum, with its 30 "Walser" houses. We return to Brig this evening for dinner. Overnight Brig.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - At leisure in Brig

The day is yours to explore Brig and the surrounding region. Again with your Swiss Travel Card in hand, enjoy a 50 percent reduction on your rail fair while you explore the region's scenic railways. Some of the most enticing include the GoldenPass Line panoramic train to the resort town of Gstaad and the Centovalli Railroad across "a hundred valleys." In Brig, the 17th-century Stockalper Palace is filled with opulent furnishings. Overnight Brig. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Spiez Castle

Today's excursion takes us to the town of Spiez, overlooking Lake Thun, to visit Schloss Spiez or Spiez Castle. This impressive castle dates back to the 10th century and has been designated as a Swiss heritage site, thanks to its cultural significance. We wander the grand halls of the castle and visit some of the impressive rooms, including the wood-paneled Renaissance room and the banquet room, which features early Baroque styling. In a special moment, we sit down to a wine tasting against a spectacular backdrop of mountains and the lake's blue surface. We continue back to Brig this evening for one final dinner together. Overnight Brig. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Return Home

After our final breakfast, your tour concludes as you make your way to Brig's station and head to the Geneva airport for your flight home (airfare not included). 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

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

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

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 vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

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Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur

Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur

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Trains

Bernina Express
Eurostar
The Glacier Express
TGV

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Global Rail Adventures Brochure

Global Rail Adventures Brochure

The definitive guide to our 2021/22 Global Rail Adventures

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