Grand Rail Tour of Switzerland

Tour Highlights

This unique rail tour will transport us through some of the most majestic and stunning panoramic routes in the world! 
There is no better way to experience Switzerland than by rail.  Relax onboard and gaze through the large picture windows as our train climbs and winds its way through the Alps. Sometimes we will ascend to dizzying heights which offer some of the most spectacular views on earth, consisting of crystal clear mountain lakes nestled in pristine wilderness set against towering mountain ranges, and lakeside towns and picture-perfect villages dotting the landscape. To experience this from the comfort of a modern train is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

Legendary trains during our tour:

  • Jungfrau Railway to the Kleine Scheidegg - connects to Europe’s highest railway station.
  • Bernina Express - This UNESCO Heritage line from St. Moritz to Tirano passes over an incredible 196 bridges!
  • Railway to Rocher de Naye, with its views of the Swiss and French Alps from Mont Blanc to Lake Geneva.
  • Panoramic Express (part of the Golden Pass Line) -   From Lucerne we travel through Interlaken to Montreux, passing lakes, pastures, waterfalls and quaint chalets trimmed with flowerboxes, all nestled in picturesque valleys surrounded by jagged, snow-topped peaks. This is the quintessential Swiss experience.
  • Glacier Express - Perhaps the most popular route. Beginning in Zermatt and ending in St. Moritz, it takes us through mountain landscapes (including the mighty Matterhorn), deep gorges, 91 tunnels and across 291 bridges. The highest point of the trip is crossing the Oberalp Pass - over 6600 feet above sea level!
  • Mount Pilatus - Panoramic gondolas take us to the summit to view 73 mountain peaks of Central Switzerland.

*** Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

We board our direct flight for Zurich.
We arrive in Zurich and transfer to the town of Vitznau, situated on Lake Lucerne. From here we enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains as we cruise to our hotel in Lucerne - our home for the next 3 nights. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
We will have a guided walking tour through the city’s Old Town, seeing the Hofkirche Church, wooden covered Chapel Bridge (the symbol of Lucerne) and the world famous Lion Monument – carved in deep relief into a sandstone cliff. We will enjoy a wonderful Swiss folklore show and dinner, and then some leisure time to explore this beautiful city on your own.
We board an aerial cableway and panoramic gondola, to reach the summit of Mount Pilatus. Known as the “Dragon Ride”, the cockpit-like cabin of the gondola has windows extending to the floor and provides breathtaking views in every direction.
Our scenic train ride on the Golden Pass Line departs from the Bruenig Pass and travels to Interlaken through the heart of the Swiss Alps. We first travel by train to Brienz, located in the midst of towering mountains overlooking the turquoise-coloured Lake Brienz. From here we take a steam mountain railway and climb over 5000 ft. to the summit of Rothorn, which offers fabulous views of the deep blue lakes below and snow-capped mountains in the distance (including one of Europe’s highest mountains - the Jungfrau!) We return to Brienz and enjoy a cruise on the lake to Interlaken, for a 2-night stay.
We board the Jungfrau Railway to Kleine Scheidegg, home to Europe’s highest mountain - Jungfraujoch. We begin on the Bernese Oberland Railway to Lauterbrunnen, then board the Wengeralp Railway and ascend through ever changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg. Afterwards, we descend to the charming mountain resort of Grindelwald, and return to Interlaken.
The Panoramic Express is part of the famous Golden Pass Line from Lucerne to Montreux. The elegant Golden Train takes us from Interlaken to the banks of Lake Geneva. We then travel along Lake Thun and through the scenic Simme Valley to Zweisimmen, where we board the Golden Pass Panoramic of the Montreux Bernese Oberland Railway that takes us to Montreux located on Lake Geneva, for a 2-night stay. There will be time today in Montreux to stroll along the beautiful Swiss Riviera waterfront.
This morning we visit Chateaux Chillon, located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva. This water-castle is Switzerland’s most visited historic building. For 400 years it was the residence of the Counts of Savoy as well as where Lord Byron was imprisoned when he wrote “The Prisoner of Chillon”. Be sure to look for his name carved into his cell wall! Later we board the local railway to Rocher de Naye, and enjoy the panoramic view of the Swiss and French Alps from Eiger to Mont-Blanc, and further to Lake Geneva. We may take some delightful short hikes and perhaps see one of the adorable Marmots that live in these mountains, as well as the countless species of wildflowers.
We travel by coach to La Gruyere, where we will have some free time and enjoy a typical fondue lunch at a local chalet! Then we continue to Broc to the famous chocolate factory - Cailler. We’ll learn about making chocolate and have a taste of some of their finest chocolates. From Tasch we enjoy a short train ride to Zermatt - a village at the foot of the Matterhorn, for a 2-night stay.
We enjoy a short walking tour of this quaint village, with the rest of the day at leisure. The air here is clear and clean because only electric cars without combustion engines are allowed to operate in the village. You may wish to climb by rail to Gornergrat – Europe’s highest open air cogwheel train that operates all day. The train crosses impressive bridges, tunnels and also the Matterhorn - the most photographed mountain in the world.
We board The Glacier Express - perhaps the most famous railway in the world! We travel from Zermatt to Chur, meandering through untouched pristine mountain landscapes, deep gorges, breathtaking valleys, through 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges.
Moritz / Chur. We board the Bernina Express for a truly spectacular rail journey. This 100-year-old heritage line has earned UNESCO World Heritage status for its ingenious engineering and the striking beauty of the scenery it winds through. Travelling past craggy mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls we make our way to Poschiavo, then before returning to Chur we pause at St. Moritz. Our Farewell Dinner will be this evening!
Our scenic bus ride to Zurich passes by snowcapped mountains and sparkling lakes. We will enjoy a late afternoon tour of this beautiful lakeside city, followed by our dinner and overnight.
We board our direct flight back to Canada.

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