Highlights of Switzerland in Autumn

Monday 12th October to Sunday 18th October 2020
7 - Days


Prices from: £1825


Experience the Alpine splendour and scenic mountain railways of Eastern Switzerland during the most colourful time of the year.


Departure Date: 12-Oct-2020
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  • Based in the historic city of Chur throughout, you’ll stay at a charming, centrally located hotel featuring typical Swiss hospitality.
  • Discover some of the most spectacular mountain railways in the world, including the famed Albula, Bernina, Gotthard and Glacier Express routes.
  • Travel aboard the iconic “Little Red Trains” on both the impressive Rhaetian Railway network and in the green hills of the idyllic Appenzell region.
  • Sample the very best of Swiss historic rolling stock, by travelling on classic trains hauled by the legendary brown “Crocodile” locomotives or formed of private Art Deco Pullman coaches and vintage electric railcars, creating a wonderful revival of the 1920s and 30s.
  • Enjoy a private charter cruise on the breathtaking Alpine Lake Walensee, with its fjord-like features and dramatic rock cliffs jutting straight into the pristine water; then ride on a majestic paddle steamer on Lake Lucerne.
  • Go ’peak-hopping’ on formidably engineered rack railways and panoramic funiculars and , taking you to wonderful vantage points with sweeping views of lakes and pinnacles.
  • See such famous mountain resorts as Arosa, Davos, Andermatt and enjoy a touch of Italy amidst the palm trees of Tirano, at the southern end of the Bernina line.

Monday 12th October
London to Chur
Your tour begins on a Eurostar train from London St. Pancras International or Ebbsfleet to Paris Gare du Nord. There you transfer to Paris Gare de l’Est and journey on to Basel in Switzerland via Strasbourg. You change trains at Basel and use a Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) service to Chur via Zurich before checking in to your comfortable and charming hotel in Chur. (D)

Tuesday 13th October
Rhaetian Railway from Chur to Arosa by private Pullman coach; Ascent to the Weisshorn
Today you’ll experience the very best of the famous Rhaetian Railway in a privately chartered 1930s Pullman car. Its large windows offer outstanding views of the mountainous landscape as you travel down the impressively-engineered 25 kilometre branch line from Chur to Arosa. The route climbs 1155 metres via several tunnels and bridges, including the 284 metre long Langwieser Viaduct – a Swiss heritage site first opened in December 1914. On arrival in Arosa you take the cableway to the summit of the 2653 metre Weisshorn, for superb views from the top. You return to Arosa in the afternoon to explore the town or stroll along the picturesque lake. Later, you return by RhB train and Pullman car to Chur, where dinner is served at the hotel. (B D)

Wednesday 14th October
Mountain Magnificence in Davos and heritage train with a classic ‘Crocodile’ locomotive
This morning you have a day-trip to the ski resort of Davos, with a visit to both of its funicular railways for incredible panoramic views from the summits. This includes the Parsennbahn funicular, which takes you in two stages to an altitude of 2663 metres above sea level, and the nostalgic Schatzalpbahn funicular, to a height of 1864 metres. Marvel at the rugged scenery and panoramic views in the expansive valley below you. In the afternoon, you continue south by special RhB heritage train on the ‘Davos Circular’ to Filisur. The train is formed of historic coaches and is hauled by a brown ‘Crocodile’ locomotive dating from the 1920s. This icon of Swiss railways will pull your train over the spectacular Wiesen Viaduct. On arrival at Filisur, your RhB panoramic train takes you north over the world-famous Albula line, with its distinctive horseshoe curves and stone-arched bridges. You arrive back to Chur by early evening. (B)

Thursday 15th October
Mountain railways in the Appenzell; Voralpen Express panoramic train; and scenic cruise on Lake Walensee
Today you experience the iconic little red trains of the Appenzell as they wind their way up into the foothills of Mount Säntis. First, you travel on an SBB service train to Altstätten, before changing onto the scenic rack railway to Gais, dating from 1911 and one of the most spectacular yet least known mountain railways in Switzerland. You’ll travel over these scenic lines of the Appenzell narrow gauge network on privately chartered historic trains dating from the 1930s. Full of elegant style and nostalgic charm, these photogenic charter trains will pause en route for various photos and additional sightseeing. You‘ travel from Gais via Appenzell and Urnäsch to Herisau, enjoying views of Mount Säntis. After lunch you take the Voralpen Express on the main line via Wattwil and Rapperswil to Pfäffikon. This flagship service is one the premium panoramic trains running on the Swiss standard gauge network and has just received brand-new rolling stock with luxurious coaches. In Pfäffikon there is time to see the local chateau, before your SBB service to Unterterzen, located on the banks of Lake Walensee, this is probably one of the most naturally impressive Alpine lakes in the world. Here you‘ll have the refined comfort of a private afternoon sunset cruise with complimentary coffee and cake. After the cruise, you continue from Unterterzen to Chur by SBB service train. (B L)

Friday 16th October
Lake Lucerne Paddle Steamer, Gotthard Panorama Express, Schöllenen Gorge, Oberalp Pass
It’s another tour highlight today on one of the most spectacular combined boat and railway journeys in the world. You’ll travel first to Lucerne and then board one of the iconic paddle steamers there for the journey across Lake Lucerne. Lunch will be served in the ornate salon of one of the graceful Belle Epoque steamboats. In Flüelen you change onto SBB’s Gotthard Panorama Express and enjoy the comfort of First Class dome cars as you ascend the Gotthard North Ramp with its numerous horse-shoe curves and impressively engineered spiral tunnels. At Göschenen, you change onto a narrow gauge train of Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn for the short but scenic trip through the Schöllenen Gorge, with its steep rocky cliffs. Having arrived at the Alpine resort town of Andermatt, you board another narrow gauge train to take you over the Oberalp Pass, which is the most line breathtaking section of the legendary Glacier Express. As the train winds itself up the cauldron-shapped Urseren Valley and ascends the Oberalp Pass, you will have sweeping views in all directions. You continue to Disentis-Muster, where the Rhaetian Railway network commences and then travel through the Surselva Region and the Rhine Gorge back to Chur, capping an utterly fantastic circular journey for the day. (B L)

Saturday 17th October
Albula Railway to Pontresina; Bernina Railway to Tirano by private Pullman coach
Today you journey over both the UNESCO-designated Albula and the Bernina railways. From Chur you take an express train over the beautiful Albula line to Samedan and Pontresina. You‘ll ride over the iconic Landwasser Viaduct and experience the countless horseshoe curves of the Albula line. In Pontresina you change onto the Bernina Railway, accommodated in a private Pullman coach for the journey over the wonderful Bernina pass, the only Swiss trans-alpine railway that climbs over the ridges between north and south without using a tunnel. Enjoy the ascent to the summit at Alp Grüm and the spiralling descent to Poschiavo, before the famed circular viaduct is reached at Brusio. You stop for lunch (wine included) in Tirano, before continuing back north. On your return to Pontresina you travel back to Chur over the Albula line aboard another RhB express service. Farewell dinner is served at your hotel. (B L D)

Sunday 18th October
Return to London
You return to London by way of Zürich and Paris on SBB, TGV and Eurostar trains. (B)


Details

Price

  • First Class Eurostar, TGV and other SNCF service trains. £2095
  • Standard Class Eurostar, TGV and other SNCF service trains. £1945
  • Single supplement £195
  • Ground only (Chur – Chur) £1825

All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.

Price Includes

  • First or Standard Class rail travel from London St. Pancras International to Chur and return
  • 6 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Standard Class travel whilst in Switzerland
  • 3 dinners and 3 lunches
  • First Class travel on the Bernina Express in a private carriage
  • First Class travel on the Gotthard Panorama Express
  • All rail trips as detailed in the itinerary
  • All seat reservations and transfers
  • The services of a tour manager

Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner

 

Map feature coming soon!