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Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

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Travel through Switzerland by rail and take in its spectacular countryside while staying in beautiful Swiss towns along the way.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
11 days From $2,375 per person

2021 Tour code: WE-GTSS-21

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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

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*.

*April, May, & October departures will overnight in Grindelwald. June - September departures will overnight in Wengen.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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*.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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**.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.*** 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
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****.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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****. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 11 - Departure

Enjoy a final breakfast at your hotel before your trip comes to an end.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Moderate
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. 

Superior 
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
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. 

Please Note

**27 Jun - 13 Jun 2021 will overnight in Lausanne during the Montreux Jazz Festival.

***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).

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.

Trains

Bernina Express
The Glacier Express
The GoldenPass Line
Gotthard Panorama Express

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Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Ellen B, Glenside, PA

4 stars

Submitted 13 Nov 2018

We were very pleased with the accommodations, itinerary and train travel. Also, Vacations by Rail was very prompt about making adjustments to our air travel. Our travel coordinator responded to our requests in a timely manner

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Melinda B, Kirkland, WA

4 stars

Submitted 11 Jan 2018

This trip was very good. Using the Swiss Railpass was fantastic for convenience and ease of use

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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