Grand Rail Tour of Switzerland

Grand Rail Tour of Switzerland

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:

• Mount Rigi – Europe’s oldest cogwheel train.
• Jungfrau Railway to Europe’s highest railway station.
• 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.
• Railway to Rocher de Naye, with its views of the Swiss and French Alps from Mont Blanc to Lake Geneva.
• Chocolate Train – from Montreux on the Swiss Riviera to La Gruyere, where we enjoy a savoury lunch and a sampling tour at the Cailler-Nestle chocolate factory.
• 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!
• Bernina Express – This UNESCO Heritage line from St. Moritz to Tirano passes over an incredible 196 bridges!

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

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Departure

We board our direct flight for Zurich.

Day 2: Zurich / Vitznau

We arrive in Zurich and transfer to the town of Vitznau, situated on Lake Lucerne, for a 3-night stay. Our hotel, the Hotel Vitznauerhof, has breathtaking views over the lake and the surrounding mountains, and features luxurious Spa services. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Cruise / Lucerne / Vitznau

We cruise on the lake to Lucerne, enjoy stunning views of the mountains along the way. 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.

Day 4: Mount Rigi / Vitznau

We board Europe’s oldest rack and pinion railway dating back to 1871 which takes us up to spectacular viewpoints of the mountains and Lake Lucerne.

Day 5: Golden Pass Train / Interlaken

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.

Day 6: Jungfrau Railway / Interlaken

Today is one of the tour’s highlights, as we travel on the Jungfrau Railway to the Jungfraujoch – Europe’s highest railway station. We begin on the Bernese Oberland Railway to Lauterbrunnen, then on the Wengeralp Railway we ascend through ever changing scenery to Kleine Scheidegg, where we join the Jungfrau Railway for the final 6 miles of our journey. There will be plenty of time at the summit to enjoy the views. Then we descend to the charming mountain resort of Grindelwald, and return to Interlaken.

Day 7: Golden Pass Train / Montreux

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. Enjoy some free time before our visit of Chateaux Chillon, located on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva. This water-castle is Switzerland’s most visited historic building. For nearly four centuries 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! We will spend 2 nights in Montreux.

Day 8: Rocher de Naye / Montreux

We board the local railway to Rocher de Naye, where we enjoy the panoramic view of the Swiss and French Alps from Eiger to Mont-Blanc, and still 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. There will be free time in Montreux to further explore the centre and the old town.

Day 9: Chocolate Train / La Gruyere / Zermatt

We take the Chocolate Train 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. We continue by coach to Zermatt, a village at the foot of the Matterhorn, for a 2-night stay.

Day 10: At leisure in Zermatt

A day at leisure to explore Zermatt. The air here is clear and clean because only electric cars without a combustion engine 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.

Day 11: Glacier Express Train / Chur

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.

Day 12: Bernina Espress / St

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!

Day 13: Zurich

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.

Day 14: Home

We board our direct flight back to Canada.


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Cost per person: $5197
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See what our value added tours include!
Home pick-up and drop-off (from most Canadian cities).

All airfare and all airport taxes.

Carefully selected accommodations).

All gratuities (for hotels, drivers, guides & cruise staff).

Most meals.
Insurance for cancellation and health while outside Canada.
Services of one of our cheerful experienced Tour Managers.

All prices guaranteed in Canadian funds.

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