Experience the white splendour of the Swiss Alps on this seasonal holiday to a genuine winter wonderland.
Trips on Switzerland’s most iconic mountain railways are conveniently included, giving you a chance to sample ‘the best of the best’.
Monday 27th January
London to Vevey
Travel on Eurostar and TGV via Paris to Geneva, then by SBB service train to Vevey, on the northern shore of Lake Geneva. Here you check in to the 4-star Hotel Astra, conveniently located opposite the station. A welcome dinner will be served at the hotel tonight. (D)
Tuesday 28th January
Swiss Riviera and Mont Pelerin Funicular; Rochers de Naye Rack Railway
You start your holiday by exploring Vevey and Lake Geneva’s famed ‘Swiss Riviera’. You catch a funicular to the terraced vineyards high above the lake, reaching a formidable observation point at the summit of Mont Pelerin. Later on, you can use your complimentary, public transport rover ticket to take the trolleybus route to Montreux and see the mediaeval Chillon Castle. Early afternoon you board a rack railcar for the steep journey from Montreux to the summit of Rochers de Naye, 2042 metres above sea level. From the top there are panoramic views of the French and Swiss Alps. You return to Montreux, for a further look around town or ride on another local funicular before returning back to Vevey. Dinner will be served at your hotel this evening. (B D)
Wednesday 29th January
Golden Pass in Pullman coaches; Blue Arrow railcar in the Bernese Oberland
Today you travel in style from Montreux via Gstaad to Zweisimmen over the Golden Pass in elegant ‘Belle Epoque’ Pullman coaches on the Golden Pass Classic train. The line climbs to the highest point, near Saanenmöser, at 1279 metres. In Zweisimmen you board the vintage 1938 BLS ‘Blue Arrow’ with luxurious passenger accommodation and open cab vestibules, allowing you to sit or stand beside the driver. The route winds through the Simmental Valley to Spiez and along Lake Thun to Bern. You’ll have free time to visit the medieval city of Bern, before travelling back to Lake Geneva via the Gruyere foothills and Lausanne. Back in Vevey you’ll have a free evening to enjoy dinner at a lake-side venue of your choosing. (B)
Thursday 30th January
Glacier Express route to Zermatt; Gornergrat Railway; the Matterhorn
This morning you board SBB service train from Vevey station to Visp, where you’ll travel on a panoramic narrow-gauge train for the final section of the Glacier Express route. This scenic railway line winds through rocky valleys and over steep inclines to reach Zermatt. Here you transfer to the Gornergrat rack railway, ascending to 3089 metres above sea level. It’s Europe’s second highest railway, eclipsed only by the Jungfrau. From this high Alpine plateau, enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding glaciers and a fabulous front perspective of the Matterhorn. After refreshments at Gornergrat you can film the passing trains in their characteristic chocolate-brown livery, before riding back down to Zermatt. You’ll have some time to look around car-free Zermatt, with its rows of wooden chalets and stone churches. Then you board another panoramic narrow gauge train for the onward journey on the Glacier Express route to Brig. You’ll spend the night in this historic, elegant city, which has become famous as a major railway junction and gateway to nearby Italy. Your hotel is conveniently located near the railway station and dinner will be served at the hotel restaurant. (B D)
Friday 31st January
On the Glacier Express and via the Oberalp Pass to Chur
A true highlight awaits, as you step aboard the legendary Glacier Express and travel in First Class accommodation on one of the world’s most famous trains! Enjoy the sleek dome cars with their grandiose windows as well as the refinement of on train catering, for the half-day journey from Brig to Chur. The Glacier Express initially traverses the narrow valleys of the Obergoms, before travelling through Andermatt and climbing up to the breath-taking Oberalp Pass. From there you descend through the Surselva region and along the Rhine Gorge, arriving in Chur, one of Switzerland’s oldest cities. You check into a centrally located hotel with free time to explore, before dinner is served. (B L D)
Saturday 1st February
Rhaetian Railway from Chur to Arosa by private Pullman Coach; Ascent to the Weisshorn
Today you experience the famous Rhaetian Railway in a privately chartered, original 1930s Pullman car. Aside from the luxury of deep cushioned chairs, large panoramic windows give fine views of the mountainous landscape, as you traverse the impressively engineered 25 km branch line from Chur to Arosa. The route climbs 1155 metres via tunnels and bridges, including the 284-metre-long Langwieser Viaduct, first opened in December 1914. On arrival in Arosa you take the cableway to the summit of the 2653 metre Weisshorn, where majestic views await. You return to Arosa in the early afternoon, with ample time to explore the town and stroll along the picturesque lake. Later, you reboard the RhB train and private Pullman car for the return trip to Chur. You have the evening to explore the heart of the medieval old town. (B)
Sunday 2nd February
Albula Railway to Pontresina; Bernina Railway to Tirano by private Pullman coach
Another signature attraction awaits, as 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. This allows you to ride over the iconic Landwasser Viaduct and experience the countless horseshoe curves that make the Albula line renown around the world. In Pontresina you change onto the Bernina Railway and are once again 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 and you finish your journey amidst palm trees in Italy. In Tirano, you stop for lunch (wine included) and have time for a stroll to the basilica, before continuing back north in your Pullman coach. On returning 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)
Monday 3rd February
Return to London
Today you return to London from Switzerland, travelling via Chur, Zürich and Paris on RhB, SBB, TGV and Eurostar trains. (B)
First Class travel from London St. Pancras International to Vevey and Return from Chur. First Class travel within Switzerland where possible.
Standard Class travel from London St. Pancras International to Vevey and return from Chur. Standard Class travel throughout Switzerland.
Standard Class travel throughout Switzerland. First Class option is available upon request.
All prices shown are per person based on two persons sharing.
All prices include:
Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner
*Please be advised that First Class travel will be allocated in Standard Premier carriages on Eurostar services.