Glacier Express & St Moritz GZJ20

Resort: Glacier Express & St Moritz GZJ20
Operator: Great Rail Journeys
Destination: Switzerland
Price From: Contact for latest offers

Overview

Dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lakes provide the
setting for this magnificent tour, as we take the iconic Glacier
Express through the Swiss Alps, staying in glamorous St Moritz, and
Zermatt, where we enjoy breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.

Highlights

  • The Glacier Express
  • The Bernina Express
  • Tours of Zermatt and Stresa
  • Lake Maggiore
  • Cruise to Isola Pescatore
  • The Gornergrat Mountain Railway

whats Included

  • First Class Rail
  • Eurostar Standard Premier
  • Eurostar Meals
  • Heritage Rail Excursions
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
  • NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
  • 9 nights’ hotel accommodation
  • Throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room
  • First Class rail travel throughout (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)
  • All rail and coach transfers
  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras

Itinerary

Day 1 – London to Cologne

After meeting your Tour Manager, we board the Eurostar at our St
Pancras Departure Office, travelling to Brussels before continuing
on to Cologne in First Class, where we overnight.

 

Day 2 – To St Moritz

Today we depart Cologne and travel to Basel , before we start
the scenic ascent through the Alps to St Moritz, set at 6,000 feet
amidst majestic mountain peaks. We travel through countless tunnels
and across numerous bridges, including the instantly recognisable
Landwasser Viaduct, an architectural treasure. The track clings to
the mountainside as we wind our way above deep ravines and past
rushing waterfalls. Looping and spiralling through the rugged
landscape of the Engadine Valley, our ascent takes us through the
Albula Tunnel then down to the Upper Engadine valley.

On arrival in St Moritz we walk to the Hotel Schweizerhof for a
three-night stay. Situated in the centre of St Moritz, this
beautifully appointed 4-Star hotel benefits from a piano bar, spa
and original Belle Epoque surroundings. It is the perfect base for
exploring this wonderful region.

Day 3 – Over the Bernina Pass to Tirano

From St Moritz we join the historic narrow-gauge Bernina
Express, a railway journey on the superb Bernina Line which passes
mighty glaciers, rushing mountain streams and flower-filled Alpine
meadows. The railway line has been rewarded with UNESCO World
Heritage status for the incredible civil engineering that was
required to create the line, as well as for the breathtaking
scenery through which it travels.

Our ascent takes us over the Bernina Pass to an altitude of more
than 7,000 feet. Enjoy breathtaking views of the snowcapped peaks
and turquoise glacial lakes as we travel to Tirano in Italy,
traversing the spiralling Brusio Viaduct en route. You have some
free time in Tirano before we return to St Moritz.

Day 4 – At leisure in St Moritz

Today could begin by exploring St Moritz by cable car, free of
charge using your included St Moritz Travel Card. Alternatively, go
and see the mountains further afield with 50% fares using your
Swiss Travel Card. Each village, town and railway station has
something to offer, whether it is an insight into how the Alpine
populations live amongst these glorious surroundings, or a hidden
gem in the shape of various mountain walking trails.

Day 5 – First Class aboard the Glacier Express

Today we take the famous Glacier Express narrow-gauge train
along the iconic route from St Moritz to Zermatt, enjoying the
incredible views through the panoramic windows of our First Class
carriage. Our journey takes us through the classic landscapes which
have made Switzerland famous; from the jagged mountain peaks to the
flower-filled meadows below, and from the sprawling vineyards to
dense woodland dotted along the hillsides. The train benefits from
large panoramic windows, so every piece of the picture-postcard
surroundings is unmissable, including the beautiful Rhne Valley
and the Oberalp Pass – the highest point of the line at 6,670
feet.

On leaving St Moritz we descend towards the valley floor,
emerging from a rock tunnel to cross the famous Landwasser Viaduct
and into the upper Rhine Valley. A two-course lunch is served at
our seats during the journey, followed by tea and coffee – the
perfect accompaniment to our time on board ‘the slowest express
train in the world’, whilst you watch stunning scenery pass slowly
by.

The train climbs steadily and steeply up and over the Oberalp
Pass, the peak of the route, and spirals downwards past countless
villages, before crossing the spectacular gorge at Brig. From Brig
we ascend once more, as we wind left and right, passing small
hamlet communities, rushing mountain streams, and spectacular
waterfalls. The approach to Zermatt takes us across 42 bridges and
through 8 tunnels, before finally we reach the grandiose scenery of
this tranquil mountain town, nestled below the tilted peak of the
Matterhorn. Our base here for the next four nights is the fabulous
Parkhotel Beau Site.

Day 6 – The Gornergrat Mountain Railway and Zermatt

Today we ascend via Gornergrat Mountain Railway, opened in 1898,
the highest open-air cogwheel railway in Europe. The train climbs
to the summit of the Gornergrat at 10,134 ft and offers spectacular
views of the Matterhorn; on a clear day at the top you can see 29
snow-capped peaks of more than 4000 metres. After some time at the
top to enjoy the scenery and views over the Gornergletscher, the
second largest glacier in the Alps, we descend and enjoy a guided
tour of beautiful Zermatt. The pretty town is a car-free zone, with
timbered buildings and an English church dating back to 1870, and
is known as a popular ski resort.

Day 7 – Stresa and Lake Maggiore

Today we travel by train to Domodossola in Italy, where we take
a coach to Stresa, on the shore of Lake Maggiore. On arrival, we
take a cruise across Lake Maggiore to the charming island of Isola
Pescatore, a wonderfully atmospheric rustic fishing village
boasting some fantastic restaurants and shops.

The island measures just 350 metres in length and is 100 metres
wide, and only has a population of around 50 people. Take some time
here to visit the beach or take a stroll along the main street
against the small piers and minute harbours which jut out into Lake
Maggiore. Of particular note is the pretty chapel of San Vittore.
We return to Zermatt for dinner this evening.

Day 8 – Exploring Zermatt

Today is free for you to explore Zermatt. Perhaps relax and take
advantage of the hotel’s excellent pool and spa facilities, enjoy a
walk along one of the many marked trails or climb the Kleine
Matterhorn by regional cable car.

Another option is to use your First Class Swiss Travel Card to
explore further afield. The card allows 50% fares on most trains,
buses and lake steamers. Among the most popular options available
to you is a journey ‘across a hundred valleys’ on the Centovalli
Railway, a narrow-gauge line that winds over high bridges and past
sleepy villages to the town of Locarno, located on the shores of
delightful Lake Maggiore.

Days 9-10 – To Colmar and London

Today we begin our journey home. We travel via Visp to Basel,
then join the onward service to Colmar, where we spend the night.
On Day 10 we travel through France to Paris. Here
we connect with Eurostar to London.

Please Note: For departure GZJ2004 on
Day 9 you will overnight in Strasbourg

Please Note

Please note: One of the excursions on this tour
is at high altitude. If you have any medical conditions or concerns
that could impact this part of the tour, we recommend you seek
medical advice and talk to us. We want to make sure that any
holiday you book is right for you.

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