Discover the outstanding natural beauty of Switzerland on a tour to the Bernese Oberland, renowned for its shimmering lakes and the most famous peaks in the Swiss Alps, including the towering Jungfrau and the Eiger.
The delightful mountain village of Wengen is your holiday base, from where you’ll explore the Bernese Oberland on some of Switzerland´s outstanding railways. Thanks to your Swiss Regional Pass, you’ll enjoy unrestricted travel on Swiss trains and some other transport in free time during the tour. You’ll also enjoy extensive scheduled travel on mountain rack railways, including the Brienz Rothorn Railway and Jungfrau Railway to the ‘Top of Europe’. There’s a two hour steam tram tour of Bern, the Swiss capital, to savour, as well as boat cruises on Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, plus an excursion to the Schynige Platte mountain area, famous for its outstanding views and wildflower gardens. So book now for this exceptional tour and discover first-hand the unspoilt beauty and diverse nature of the Bernese ‘Highlands’.
London to Wengen via Basel
You travel First Class by Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Transferring to Paris Gare de l’Est you then journey to Basel in Switzerland via Strasbourg. You join a high-speed service at Basel to Interlaken Ost, before continuing on the narrow-gauge lines of the Bernese Oberland Railway (BOB) to Lauterbrunnen and the Wengernalp Railway (WAB) to the mountain village of Wengen. Here you check into your 4-star Sunstar Alpine Hotel, located close to the railway station. This will be your based for the duration of the tour, and a light dinner will be provided at your hotel this evening. You’ll also be issued with your 6-day Bernese Oberland Regional Pass for easy exploration of the surrounding areas. (D)
Free day for exploration in and around Wengen
After breakfast, your day is free for a choice of activities. You can either relax at the hotel and make use of the indoor swimming pool, steam bath and sauna there, or take a morning stroll through the village where the British ‘invented’ downhill ski racing. Another more energetic option is for hiking to some incredible local viewpoints. Yet another alternative is to use your issued Regional Pass to visit the Trümmelbach Falls, a series of ten illuminated glacier-waterfalls inside a mountain, made accessible by a tunnel-lift. Take the train to Lauterbrunnen Station and a bus from there to the Falls. Another option for your day is to visit the car-free village of Mürren by cable and mountain railway from Lauterbrunnen, which features views of three famous Swiss mountains, the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Dinner is back at your hotel this evening. (B D)
Lake Brienz Cruise; Steam on the Brienz Rothorn Railway
This morning you travel by train to Interlaken to enjoy a leisurely steamship cruise on Lake Brienz to Brienz at its eastern end. Here you’ll join a steam train on the 800mm gauge Brienz Rothorn Railway (BRB), Switzerland’s oldest rack railway. This line climbs 1,678 metres (5,505 ft) from Brienz to Rothorn Kulm Station, a little below the summit of Brienz Rothorn Mountain. En route there are outstanding views of the surrounding mountains and the lake below. You’ll have free time at the summit to enjoy lunch, and on return to Brienz there’s an exclusive visit arranged to the BRB depot to view the locomotives and workshop facilities there. In the afternoon you return to Wengen by train where you can relax before dinner is again served in the hotel restaurant. (B D)
Excursion to Jungfraujoch & ‘Top of Europe’
A real tour highlight awaits today on a trip to the famous Jungfraujoch and the ‘Top of Europe’. Non-mountaineers can only reach the Jungfraujoch by travelling on the metre gauge Jungfrau Railway (JB) through a 7.3 km (4.5 mile) long tunnel, a significant achievement in engineering and construction. You’ll travel on a WAB train to Kleine Scheidegg before joining a JB train en route to the highest railway station in Europe. The train stops twice at points where there are large windows in the rock face for passengers to admire the views. The ‘Top of Europe’ itself is a high-altitude building connected to the underground Jungfraujoch Railway Station by a tunnel. There’s a choice of restaurants in which to take lunch, and also a permanent exhibition about the Jungfrau Railway and the Alps. For your return back to Wengen this afternoon you can either travel the same route by train from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen or travel from Kleine Scheidegg on to Grindlewald at your own leisure, then make your way back to Wengen via Lauterbrunnen. Upon your return dinner will be served at the hotel. (B D)
Bern Steam Tram; Cruise on Lake Thun
Today you travel by train to the Swiss capital, Bern, for a chartered two-hour tour of the city by legendary steam tram. The metre gauge 0-6-0 tramway locomotive pulls a classic wooden carriage with open-ended balconies. You’ll pass many of Bern’s historic landmarks on the way, including the famous Zytglogge clock tower and the medieval city centre. In the afternoon there’s free time to visit the shops along the arcaded walkways, or the famous Bear Park and nearby River Aare. Later, you’ll take a service train to Thun to board a boat for the onward journey. Cruising along the length of Lake Thun you’ll appreciate the unsurpassable beauty of the Bernese Oberland, with views of famous mountain peaks including the Niederhorn, Niesen, and Jungfrau. You then disembark at Interlaken West Railway Station and return by train to Wengen via Lauterbrunnen. (B D)
Free day to use your Regional Pass; Optional visit to the Schilthorn
Today is a free day to make more use of your Regional Pass and travel to places of your choice. An optional extra is also available, a trip to the summit of the Schilthorn, a 2,970 m mountain overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen. It’s the highest mountain in the Bernese range and is reached by a cable car from the village of Mürren. At the summit there’s a panoramic revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, once the location of a James Bond film, and free entrance to the Bond World interactive exhibition. A mountain excursion surcharge is payable for this trip but if booked in advance you can take advantage of our special discounted price. Alternatively, if you want to make the most of your regional pass, you can travel by train to Lucerne. The city is located on Lake Lucerne, within sight of Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi in the Swiss Alps. You’ll get to Interlaken using WAB and BOB trains from where metre gauge Zentralbahn express trains go direct to Lucerne, a great experience in itself. The route follows the scenic Brünig Line beside Lake Brienz and the River Aare to Meiringen, where the train reverses and climbs over the Brunig Pass using a rack system. The terminus station at Lucerne is opposite the landing stage from which passenger boats, including paddle steamers, serve lakeside communities. The Chapel Bridge is a landmark of Lucerne and the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Other places of interest include the Old Town of Lucerne, the Lion Monument, and the Swiss Museum of Transport. (B D)
Excursion to Schynige Platte
Today you have an exciting excursion scheduled to the Schynige Platte mountain area, rightly famous for its wildflower gardens and views of the majestic mountain scenery.. You travel by WAB train to Lauterbrunnen and BOB train to Wilderswil, which is the junction for the 800 mm gauge Schynige Platte Railway. Opened in 1893, this is one of Switzerland’s pioneering lines. The cog train climbs at a sedate 12 kph up to Schynige Platte, passing many panoramic viewpoints overlooking Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, eventually revealing the glistening giants of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains to the south. (B D)
Return to UK
After breakfast in the hotel it is time to say your farewells and take local trains to Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken. You then travel by express train from Interlaken to Basel before changing trains and continuing to Paris Gare de L’Est via Strasbourg. There you transfer to Paris Gare du Nord and take a Eurostar service back to London St. Pancras International. (B)
All prices shown are per person.
Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner