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Mountaintops of Switzerland

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
9 days From $4,895 per person

Spend nine days with your head in the clouds

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

Mobility Rating 3

2024 Tour code: MTS24

About the tour

This escorted adventure is one to remember. The tour begins as your Eurostar train travels from London to Basel and from Basel to Interlaken, where the first grand adventure awaits: a cruise on Lake Brienz. It is from this lake that we see the colorful villages and wondrous scenes of the Alps unfold. As we arrive in Giessbach, we board the Giessbach Funicular Railroad, the first of five scenic railways this trip has to offer. Moving on, the voyage through the mountaintops continues with rides aboard the Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railroad to Brienz; the Glacier Express to St. Moritz; the Bernina Express to Tirano, Italy and the Mount Pilatus Railroad to Pilatus Kulm. Each rail adventure boasts its own dramatic scenes, and each locale has offerings that introduce visitors to both the modern and historical sides of the country. Rounding out the tour with trips to Lucerne and Strasbourg before returning to London, this adventure through the clouds presents the most beautiful pieces of the Swiss Alps.


What’s included


Day 1 – London to Basel

Meet your group and Tour Manager at St Pancras International where we travel to Paris aboard the Eurostar, enjoying the journey in Standard Premier Class. On arrival, we take the train from Paris' Gare du Lyon to Basel. Overnight Basel.

  • Eurostar Meal, Dinner
Day 2 – Giessbach

After breakfast, we make the short walk to the railroad station, with our bags being separately transported so all we have to worry about is enjoying the journey. Our train takes us directly to Interlaken where we board a boat, sailing across Lake Brienz which delivers us into the heart of scenic Switzerland as we admire the remarkable color of the pure Alpine waters contrasting with the green slopes of the mountains. From the boat, we can enjoy watching the towns and villages which dot the shores of the lake, many of which reside under the shadow of a church steeple. Waiting for us as we disembark is the Giessbach Funicular Railroad which transports us in style to our mountaintop hotel, the Grandhotel Giessbach. Overnight Giessbach.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway

Traveling back down the mountain and across the lake to Brienz, we make our way to the town's station where we board the steam-hauled, narrow-gauge Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railroad as it begins its steep ascent up the mountain. The rack-and-pinion line traverses a number of bridges, crossing the steep, stony mountain trails as it continues to climb. For much of the route the glittering waters of Lake Brienz can be seen, and as we climb further, the view becomes yet more dramatic. We continue through the undulating greenery, with views out to the surrounding jagged peaks. Before long, we reach the first of three passing loops for oncoming locomotives, before traveling through woodland and a series of tunnels hewn from the rock. We then arrive at the second passing loop where some of the older steam engines pause to take on water. Finally we reach the line's terminus at the summit of Rothorn, 7,362 feet above sea level, and four-and-a-half miles away from our starting point in Brienz. There's free time at both the summit of Brienzer Rothorn and back in the town of Brienz. Overnight Giessbach.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - The Glacier Express to St Moritz

Checking out of the Grandhotel Giessbach today, we travel by rail to Brig for one of the world's most unique rail experiences, a journey aboard the one and only Glacier Express. Famed for being the slowest 'express' train in the world, the distinctive red and white carriages - painted to match the colors of the Swiss flag - link Brig with St Moritz. Along the route the train makes its way across hundreds of bridges and viaducts, as well as through 90 tunnels, and one of the highlights comes as we climb the 6,669 foot Oberalp Pass. Using cogwheels in the steepest places, the train allows us unimpeded views across green valleys, picturesque villages and the high Alpine lake on the Oberalp Pass. We enjoy lunch on board before reaching our final destination and transferring to the Hotel Schweizerhof. Overnight Hotel Schweizerhof.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - The Bernina Express

Connecting Switzerland and Italy via one of the highest mountain railroads in the Alps, the Bernina Express train rises to the challenges presented such steep gradients to delight passengers with a journey of breathtaking beauty through this iconic mountain range. Joining the train in St Moritz, we travel to an altitude of more than 7,000 feet enjoying views of the snow capped peaks and turquoise glacial lakes as we make our way to Tirano in Italy, traversing the spiraling Brusio Viaduct en route. In Tirano you are at leisure to explore before we make the return trip. Overnight Hotel Schweizerhof.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - The Hotel Pilatus Kulm

We utilize the efficient Swiss rail network once again, traveling to Lucerne where we have some free time to explore. Afterwards we board the Mount Pilatus Railroad. Reacging a gradient of 48%, it is the steepest cogwheel railroad in the world. We spend a delightful half-hour ascending almost two kilometers from lakeside Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, where our unique hotel, the Hotel Pilatus Kulm, awaits. Overnight Pilatus Kulm.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – At leisure

If you wake in time, you may be fortunate enough to witness a sensational sunrise that gradually illuminates the mountainous surroundings in dramatic and wondrous style. While today is spent exploring independently, you might not want to leave this heavenly location. However, with a complimentary return ticket on the Pilatusbahn, you could head down the hills to explore Lucerne or beyond. According to local legend, Lucerne was formed after an angel beamed a light on to the spot where a chapel should be built. The 'City of Lights' has a charming old town with plenty of interesting attractions, from ornate churches to frescoed historic houses, while its cobbled streets embody tradition and culture with their well-preserved medieval architecture. Set on the crystal-clear lake, lively and vibrant Lucerne is a great place to wander and find somewhere to eat at one of the many cosy cafés and restaurants.

Alternatively, you may want to explore further afield. With your Swiss Travel Card, you receive a 50% discount on rail, boat and most mountain railways, so you could hop on a boat for a cruise across Lake Lucerne to Vitznau. The Rigi Mountain Railway, Europe's first mountain railway, has been departing from here since 1871 and still offers beautiful views across to Mount Pilatus and the southern peaks as it travels up Mount Rigi. Overnight Pilatus Kulm.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – To Strasbourg

We begin the journey back to London today, with the first leg of our travels delivering us to Strasbourg for the night. Here you have some free time before we sit down to dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Strasbourg.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Return to London

After breakfast we board the train to Paris, joining the Eurostar returning to London St Pancras, where our Swiss adventure comes to an end and you are free to make your way to the airport for your flight back home.

  • Breakfast, Eurostar Meal

Additional information

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.


Grand Hotel Giessbach

Grand Hotel Giessbach, Giessbach

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Hotel Pilatus Kulm

Hotel Pilatus Kulm, Kriens

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Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl

Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, Samedan

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Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

Hotel Schweizerhof, St Moritz

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Bernina Express
Brienz-Rothorn Mountain Railway
The Glacier Express
Mount Pilatus Railway
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