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Grand Alpine Explorer

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An exciting adventure at the top of Europe on Switzerland’s superb mountain railroads

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
14 days From $4,895 per person

2021 Tour code: GR-APGA-21

About the tour

Find yourself surrounded by the immeasurable beauty of Europe's alpine countries on this voyage through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The scenery is brought to life through visits to unique destinations and beautiful resort cities, where we enjoy fascinating tours and memorable excursions. Further, we enjoy rides on six of the most scenic rail journeys in the Alps, including the Zugspitzbahn, Bernina Express, Glacier Express, and Jungfrau Railroads. The journey begins in Munich, Germany and continues into Austria, where we visit Salzburg and Innsbruck before traveling into Switzerland to the cities of St. Moritz, Interlaken and Zurich. Surrounded by rolling alpine meadows, beautiful bodies of water and stunning vistas in every direction, this journey through the Alps is what dreams are made of.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - Munich

Upon arrival at Munich International Airport, collect your luggage and meet your driver to transfer to the Maritim Munich Hotel, where we have a two night stay. Located within sight of the Alps, lively Munich is the capital of Bavaria, as well as one of Germany's best-loved cities. A welcome reception with your group and tour manager is included at the hotel this evening. On Day 2 we discover more of Munich. With a rich culture and heritage, the city has a wonderful collection of museums, galleries, and architectural treasures. We enjoy a guided tour to introduce the highlights of the city, before time to explore. Overnight Munich.

Includes
  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast
Days 3-4 - To Salzburg and the Austrian Lakes

Leaving Munich behind, today we take the train into Austria. We arrive in Salzburg, a city with a wealth of musical heritage, known the world over as the birthplace of Mozart, and the setting for Rogers & Hammerstein's 'The Sound of Music'. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour. Spread out below the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the churches, squares, and alleyways of Salzburg's beautiful Old Town are incredibly well preserved, dominated by fabulous Baroque spires, and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After the tour, you are free to discover more of the city. Later we head to the Hotel Goldenes Theater, Salzburg for a three night stay. Day 4 is at leisure. Overnight Salzburg.

Includes
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast
Day 5 - Austrian Lakes and the 'Sound of Music'

Today we explore the stunning Austrian Lake District. We head first to the remarkable Kaiservilla, a stately home of Emperor Franz Joseph I, before continuing to Lake Wolfgang where we enjoy a gentle cruise across the serene waters to St Wolfgang, a charming, historic town. We then travel to pretty Mondsee, made famous by the wedding scene of 'The Sound of Music'. Overnight Salzburg.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - To Innsbruck

We transfer by coach to Prien am Chiemsee, and cross by boat to the island of Herreninsel, sat proudly across the mirrored waters of Chiemsee. Here there is a chance to visit the remarkable Herrenchiemsee Palace, constructed by the fairytale king, Ludwig II of Bavaria. From here, you could also cross by ferry to another of the smaller islands, which offer some charming views of the mountains beyond. Later, we continue to our next hotel in the timeless surroundings of the famous town of Innsbruck, nestled among the peaks. Overnight Innsbruck.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Neuschwanstein Castle and Zugspitzbahn Railroad

Today we cross back into Germany, visiting Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The wonderful castles of Bavaria are some of the most famous in the world thanks to their fairytale design, wonderland landscapes, and cinematic heritage. Our day today is spent visiting 2 of the finest, beginning at glorious Neuschwanstein Castle. A magnificent structure built into the mountains, it stands proudly above the surrounding forests, its turrets and halls a resplendent white against a backdrop of green. Hohenschwangau is a more laid-back affair, with pretty interiors and wonderful gardens. We also embark on a journey on the cheerful Zugspitze Railroad (Standard Class), ascending to the summit of Zugspitze Mountain. Overnight Innsbruck.

Includes
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast
Day 8 - Through the Alps to Switzerland

This morning in Innsbruck we head out for a guided tour. Afterward, we board a train and travel alongside the Rhine and its dramatic scenery to Chur. We continue our ascent through the majestic mountain peaks, overlooking the lush meadows running down to the valley floor. We then arrive in the elegant lakeside resort of St Moritz. Overnight St. Moritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 9 -10 - The Bernina Express

Today we take a journey on the superb Bernina Express, which passes glaciers, rushing mountain streams, and flower-filled Alpine meadows. The railroad has been rewarded with UNESCO World Heritage status - as a testament to the incredible engineering that was required to create the line, as well as for the scenery through which it passes. During our journey, we travel across the spiraling viaduct at Brusio. The track clings to the mountainside as we wind our way above deep ravines and past waterfalls to more than 7,000 feet above sea level. Later we arrive in Tirano in Italy. You have some free time in Tirano before our return journey. Day 10 is at leisure. Overnight St. Moritz.

Includes
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast
Day 11 - The Glacier Express and Interlaken

We take the famous Glacier Express along the iconic route from St Moritz to Brig, enjoying the incredible views through the panoramic windows of our First Class carriage. Our journey takes us through Switzerland's classic landscapes; from jagged mountain peaks to sprawling vineyards and over the famous Landwasser Viaduct. The train climbs steadily and steeply up and over the Oberalp Pass, the peak of the route, and spirals down past little villages before reaching Brig. Here we change trains and travel to Interlaken. Overnight Interlaken.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 - The Jungfrau Railway

Today we travel to Jungfraujoch (Standard Class) - Europe's highest railroad station. Our ascent takes us through ever-changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railroad for the final leg of the journey. During our time onboard, the train pauses at two observation stops; windows hewn out of solid Alpine rock between the tunnel and the infamous north face of the Eiger, with spectacular views down the valley. Finally, the train arrives at Jungfraujoch, the 'Top of Europe'. We descend via charming Grindelwald. Overnight Interlaken.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Days 13-14 - Interlaken

Your day is free to spend at leisure in Interlaken. After breakfast on Day 14, you will take the train to Zurich airport, where your tour concludes and you are free to get your flight back home.

Includes
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 14 - 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 Innsbruck, Innsbruck

Hotel Innsbruck, Innsbruck

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Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken

Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken

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Maritim Hotel, Munich

Maritim Hotel, Munich

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Goldenes Theater Hotel, Salzburg

Goldenes Theater Hotel, Salzburg

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Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

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Trains

Bernina Express
The Glacier Express
Jungfrau Railway
Zugspitze Railway

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Upgrades

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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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