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Zermatt & St. Moritz featuring Glacier Express

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Join the Gornergrat Railway, the Glacier Express, and the Bernina Express for an in-depth discovery of Switzerland’s alpine wonders.

6 days From $1,469 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: WE-ZSMR-23

About the tour

If there is one thing Switzerland is known for, it is its otherworldly mountain scenes. The Swiss Alps are an icon, and when views of them are combined with stays in charming resort towns and rides aboard some of the world's most scenic railways, it is the recipe for an unforgettable vacation.

Begin in Zurich with a day to get acclimated to the Swiss landscape before transferring to Zermatt by train. The car-free village of Zermatt is located at the base of the Matterhorn and offers an incredibly scenic base for exploration. Your time here is enhanced by a ride to the top of Gornergrat Mountain aboard the Gornergrat Railway, with each step of the trip punctuated by captivating views of the Matterhorn. Join the Glacier Express, an iconic alpine sightseeing train from Zermatt, for an all-day trip through the mountains to the beloved resort town of St. Moritz. Join the historical lines of the Bernina Express for one last rail adventure, this time to the palm tree-clad city of Tirano, Italy, before returning to Zurich by local train. Whether it is fascinating destinations or the endless alpine beauty you seek, get ready to be impressed by Switzerland.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Zurich

With gorgeous views of the Alps in the backdrop and the glittering blue water of the Limmat River running through the heart of the city, Zurich is a destination that is as scenic as it is enticing. This cosmopolitan city is steeped in modern amenities yet has centuries of history to ground it. Find yourself amid it all as you arrive today and make your way to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the offerings of this dynamic city. You may wish to wander through Old Town on foot or explore the high-end shops. Overnight Zurich. 

Day 2 - Zermatt

Venture south from Zurich to Zermatt aboard one of Switzerland's fast and efficient trains. The three-hour route sweeps through the Swiss interior, passing through gorgeous pastoral terrain, small mountain towns, and even big cities like Bern and Visp. Once the distinctive, pyramid-shaped peak of the Matterhorn comes into view, you have arrived. Transfer to your centrally located hotel for check-in, then begin getting acquainted with your new destination.

With your Swiss Travel Card, you enjoy reduced fares for bus transportation, local train rides, and boat expeditions. This makes it easy to confidently go from place to place and opens up a new realm of possibilities for your day. Staying in Zermatt brings plenty of adventures, too. There are endless options for hiking trails throughout the region, all of which boast idyllic views of the surrounding mountains. Mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and glacier explorations are just a sampling of the other ways you can enjoy the great outdoors. Staying in Zermatt, you may wish to pop into the shops that line Bahnoffstrasse, a premier pedestrian-only shopping area. The Old Village, called Hinterdorf, has over 30 preserved buildings that date as far back as the 16th century and is a joy to discover. Overnight Zermatt.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Gornergrat Railway

Today is your chance to soak in the full glory of the Matterhorn, and you do so from aboard the Gornergrat Railway, the highest open-air cog railway in Europe. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before walking to the station, conveniently located across from the central train station in Zermatt. The ride takes just over half an hour to complete and showcases the incredible beauty of the Matterhorn. As you climb to a final elevation of 10,134 feet above sea level, enjoy fantastic alpine vistas from both sides of the train, including mountainside lakes, deep ravines, evergreen forests, and the Gorner Glacier. The ride also offers sweeping panoramas over the mountains as you climb in your rust-colored carriage. If you are feeling adventurous, hop off the train at one of the midpoint stations and continue to the top along one of the hiking trails.

The views on the way up are impressive, but those from the top are breathtaking. Soak in the wonders from one of the viewing platforms or while hiking the 360-degree Scenic Loop at the top. Do not forget to visit the Matterhorn Photo Point to take your picture with the behemoth in the backdrop. The summit houses a hotel, the 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat, which is the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps. Unique offerings at this sky-high lodge include a space observatory, a restaurant, and Europe's highest shopping mall. Back out on the peak, wander past the summit chapel, seek out the shaggy black nose sheep that live on the mountainside (some are trackable via GPS and a website), or try out a virtual reality experience at Zooom the Matterhorn. Revel in another perspective on the gorgeous scenery as you descend the mountain and return to the base in Zermatt. Overnight Zermatt.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Glacier Express

Moving at a slow and steady pace of no more than 24 miles per hour, marvel at the endless beauty of the Swiss Alps aboard Europe's slowest express train today, the one and only Glacier Express. Transfer on your own to Zermatt's train station after breakfast at your hotel to join the train, and settle into the comfortable seat of your carriage with the promise of some of Switzerland's most dramatic scenery just down the tracks. Your destination is the charming town of St. Moritz.

Begin your 7 1/2-hour train journey by crossing the Mattertal Valley alongside the Mattervispa River. Pass through Brig and the picturesque Rhone Valley, laden with idyllic Swiss villages that seem to be plucked right from a storybook. Look over sparking mountain peaks, gentle foothills, sweeping valleys, and lush evergreen forests. The train passes through the Furka Base Tunnel before beginning its climb up the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the line. Because of the elevation, it is primarily wide-open wilderness at this point, giving the landscape a timeless appearance. From this point, the Glacier Express begins its descent toward the beautiful Rhine Gorge. While following the river through steep-sided valleys, it will be easy to see why this region is called the Swiss Grand Canyon. Continue through pretty towns, past an ancient castle perched upon a hill, and over the instantly recognizable Landwasser Viaduct before reaching St. Moritz, a world-class resort town tucked on the southern slopes of the Albula Alps. Transfer to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure to soak in the opulent atmosphere. Overnight St. Moritz.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Bernina Express

Another beloved rail line hosts your adventures today as you join the Bernina Express for a route that travels from the snowy peaks and glaciers of Switzerland to the palm trees of Tirano, Italy*. Impressively, the journey takes just a few hours to complete. Soak in the changing views while crossing numerous bridges and viaducts and passing through carved mountain tunnels. The train winds through valleys and passes by glaciers and beautiful mountain panoramas. Some stretches of the route have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to their masterful engineering and scenic delights. A true highlight of the course comes as the Bernina Express crosses the Brusio Spiral Viaduct just before crossing the Italian border.

You have a chance to get out and explore Tirano for a bit once the train has stationed amongst the town's historic buildings. You may wish to pop into one of the local shops or grab a bite to eat at one of the sidewalk cafés. There is a beautiful 16th-century cathedral in Tirano and plenty of interesting architecture to behold. Enjoy an encore of the views as the Bernina Express travels back to St. Moritz. Overnight St. Moritz.

*Please note that during the winter, the Bernina Express route begins in Pontresina instead of St. Moritz. Travelers must utilize the local rail lines to travel to Pontresina, where the bright red Bernina Express awaits.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – St. Moritz to Zurich by Train

After breakfast at the hotel, depart St. Moritz by train and make your way back to Zurich. On arrival, your memorable journey through the Swiss Alps concludes, and you are free to return home. Should you wish to extend your stay, consider adding a post-tour extension in Zurich. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

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.

Trains

Bernina Express
The Glacier Express
Gornergrat Mountain Railway
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