Grand Train Tour of Switzerland
From Zurich, To Lucerne, Interlaken, Zweisimmen, Jungfraujoch, Montreux, Visp, Zermatt, Gornergrat Mountain, Chur, Tirano, Lugano, Fluelen. - 10 Nights
- Departing from:
- Lucerne, Interlaken, Zweisimmen, Jungfraujoch, Montreux, Visp, Zermatt, Gornergrat Mountain, Chur, Tirano, Lugano, Fluelen.
- 10 Nights
- 8 tour departures between May and September each year. Check with our office for dates and prices.
- Tour Operator:
- Vacations By Rail
- Reference Code:
Price per person
Aboard iconic rail lines through the mountains and by boat on picturesque lakes, soak in the majestic landscapes of Switzerland as you embark on this grand tour.
Small in size, endless in amazing scenery: Welcome to Switzerland. Adventures here may take you high into the peaks of the Swiss Alps or deep into broad, colourful valleys. Brilliant blue lakes complement the beautiful clear skies, and in the cities, the buildings weave a multi-century tapestry. Experience the best of this incredible European destination with a grand tour of Switzerland. This escorted expedition begins in Zurich, the largest city in the country. From here, enjoy train rides throughout Switzerland, venturing to cities such as Grindelwald, Montreux, Zermatt, Chur, Lugano and Lucerne. Connect these world-class destinations with rides aboard the country's intricate rail network and some of its most famous trains: Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Gotthard Panorama Express, GoldenPass Panoramic, Gornergrat Mountain Railway, and the Jungfrau Railway. Soak in the awe-inspiring scenery as you traverse between historic cities and resort towns. Each locale brings new adventures, including mountain rail excursion to the "Top of Europe," the Jungfraujoch, a paddle steamer cruise on dazzling Lake Lucerne and free time to explore the historic and modern sites of the cities. Spend 11 days falling in love with the scenery and splendor that are uniquely Switzerland.
Arrive in Zürich and transfer to your downtown hotel. After checking in, enjoy free time to get acquainted with the city ahead of your welcome dinner at the hotel this evening. Overnight Zürich.
We depart Zürich by train this morning and embark on a beautiful journey to Grindelwald in the heart of the country. The train makes stops in Lucerne and Interlaken before arriving in Grindelwald, known to be one of the most scenic resort towns in Switzerland. Picturesque vistas can be seen from every angle as we make the short walk from the train station to the hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the amenities of this wonderfully scenic locale. You may wish to take a mountainside gondola ride or to take in the dramatic scenery from the First Cliff Walk. Hiking trails surround Grindelwald, with one of the most popular being the Eiger Trail. Of course, you may also wish to visit the Grindelwald Museum to learn more about the region’s history. Overnight Grindelwald.
Today we embark on a journey to the “Top of Europe,” Jungfraujoch. Our climb begins with a cog railway ride to Kleine Scheidegg. Here, we switch rail lines and continue our journey to the top. At over 11,000 feet above sea level, the Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe. You have some free time to explore its attractions, including the Ice Palace, the Top of Europe shops, the Lindt chocolatier or the Sphinx observation deck. As we return to Grindelwald this afternoon, you can continue your explorations at leisure ahead of tonight’s group dinner at the hotel. Overnight Grindelwald.
After breakfast at the hotel, we walk as a group to the train station and join the train to Montreux. Montreux is beloved for its breathtaking location, with steep hillsides on one side and Lake Geneva’s sparkling waters on the other. The train ride takes just under 4 hours to complete, and while you ride, enjoy views of several beautiful cities and the changing Swiss countryside. On arrival in this famous resort town, we transfer from the train station to our hotel with an afternoon at leisure to soak in the magnificent scenery and endless amenities. Guests that arrive in July may be able to visit the Montreux Jazz Festival, a highly anticipated annual event filled with countless concerts and fantastic events that bring the spirit of music to life. Overnight Montreux.
A brief walk takes us from our hotel to the train station in Montreux, where we board a train to Zermatt in the southern tip of Switzerland. The train trip takes us through scenic national park land and past towering mountain peaks as we follow the southerly route. You know we have arrived when the mighty Matterhorn comes into view. We transfer to our hotel upon arrival, and the remainder of the day is yours at leisure. Zermatt is simply amazing, with its car-free streets and immense history. There are plenty of modern shops and restaurants to explore, as well as a historic Old Village, home to over 30 traditional wooden Walser houses and ancient barns and stables. You may wish to visit the Matterhorn Museum or to pamper yourself in one of the luxurious spas. Overnight Zermatt.
A spectacular adventure lies ahead today on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway. The walk to the train station in Zermatt city centre takes just a few minutes to complete, and we are in for a wonderful journey as the eclectic cog railway makes its way up the mountainside. Europe’s highest open-air cog railway, this mountain train passes through tunnels, crosses bridges and offers views of lakes, forests and ravines. The route takes under an hour to complete and makes stops at four stations as we travel up the mountain. Take some time to enjoy impressive scenes from the top, such as that of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. There is an excellent viewing platform from which to take it all in, as well as plenty of room to walk around. We return to Zermatt with the afternoon at leisure before enjoying dinner at the hotel this evening. Overnight Zermatt.
A jewel in the crown of this grand train tour of Switzerland is today’s ride on the Glacier Express. We depart our hotel after breakfast this morning and make our way to the Zermatt station to board this classic train. Watch as the Matterhorn fades into the distance and some of the region’s other tall peaks come into view. We cross through the V-shaped Upper Rhone Valley and makes its way across the Furka Pass before crossing through a long tunnel en route to Andermatt. We venture across the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the train ride, and descend into the Rhine Valley. The Rhine Gorge region is often referred to as the Swiss Grand Canyon, thanks to its dramatic scenery, and you have the opportunity to take it all in before arriving in Chur. Lunch is served on board before arrival. When the train makes its stop in Chur, transfer to the hotel and have the remainder of the day to relax or to explore this alpine town. Perhaps take a cable car ride on the Brambrüesch aerial cableway or begin your explorations of the 13th-century Old Town, free of vehicular traffic. Overnight Chur.
Keep your camera handy and your eyes peeled for amazing sights as we cross through the Alps aboard the Bernina Express. This train ride follows the highest route in the Alps and highlights the unique regions of Switzerland. Travel high into the mountains, gazing upon snow-covered peaks and mighty glaciers, before gliding down the mountainside toward the palm trees of Switzerland’s Italian region. Your time on the Bernina Express is filled with incredible scenery, twists and turns. Cross through 55 tunnels and pass over 196 bridges as the journey proceeds. Because the train is equipped with panoramic rail cars, you can take in all the glory at every turn as you approach Tirano. As the train stations, we switch modes of transportation and continue from Tirano to Lugano. On arrival, we take the underground funicular railway from the station to the city centre and embark on a lakeside walk to our hotel. This evening is at leisure to soak in Lugano’s immense beauty, from its stunning lake to its mountain backdrop. Perhaps take a stroll through Parco Civico or seek out the city’s magnificent cathedrals. Overnight Lugano.
Gain a different perspective on the majestic landscape during today’s expedition: a cruise on Lake Lugano. The port is located right across from our hotel, and as we board the boat, take in views of palm trees and verdant mountains as we sail toward Gandria on the north shore of the lake. Take some time to look at the beautiful lakeside villas and visit Gandria’s museums during your time here. Soak in the warm sun as the ship sails back toward Lugano, where your afternoon is at leisure to continue your sightseeing. Overnight Lugano.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel this morning before embarking on one last railway adventure, this time aboard the Gotthard Panorama Express. Take in vistas of castles, palm trees and wine-growing regions as the route begins. The train passes through spiral loops and several tunnels, including the spectacular Gotthard Tunnel, dating back to 1882. The train continues through another set of spiral loops as it nears the town of Wassen and cascades through the valley of the River Ruess before arriving in Flüelen, where we switch modes of transportation. Sheer beauty surrounds us as we travel by paddle steamer across Lake Lucerne to the one and only Lucerne. During the 3-hour boat ride, enjoy views of Tell’s Chapel, the snow-capped peaks of Gotthard Pass and high rock walls that rise up on both sides of the lake. Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus come into view as you approach Lucerne – the perfect scenic ending to this idyllic journey. As we dock, the group transfers to the hotel. Take some time to freshen up ahead of the group’s farewell dinner tonight at the hotel. Overnight Lucerne.
Your grand tour through Switzerland concludes this morning after breakfast. Use your Swiss Rail Pass to transfer to Zurich International Airport. Your Tour Manager will provide hotel departure time based on your return flight schedule.
Following a UNESCO World Heritage route on the Rhaetian Railway between Chur, Switzerland, and Tirano, Italy, the Bernina Express is one of the most beloved rail lines in the Swiss Alps. Mountains, lakes, spiral loops, and the iconic Landwasser Viaduct are all featured on the 76-mile course. Steep grades are negotiated with ease, and the train passes through 55 tunnels and crosses 196 bridges in pursuit of the Mediterranean landscapes of Northern Italy. Travelers soak in the sights from panoramic train cars during the 4-hour expedition.
A journey of over 180 miles through the spectacular Swiss Alps awaits on the Glacier Express. Drink in all the breathtaking views, including some of the highest peaks in the Swiss Alps, the Upper Rhone Valley, Oberalp Pass, the Rhine Gorge, and the Landwasser Viaduct, while passing through 91 tunnels and crossing 291 bridges. The train is billed as the “World’s Slowest Express Train” and presents all these views and more at an average pace of just 24 miles per hour. In all, the full route from Zermatt to St. Moritz takes approximately 8 hours to complete.
The GoldenPass Panoramic train is one incredibly scenic portion of the more extensive GoldenPass Line in Switzerland. Traveling on a course between Montreux on Lake Geneva and Zweisimmen in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, the train crosses the French-German language border and presents memorable scenes of Switzerland’s interior. Travelers may choose from First- or Second-Class seating for the duration of the 39-mile journey, both of which offer impeccable sightseeing opportunities from specially designed picture windows and clerestory windows on the ceiling. The trip takes approximately 2 hours to complete.
The highest open-air railway in Europe and the first all-electric cog railway globally, the Gornergrat Railway has been impressing guests and offering fantastic views since 1898. Zermatt village centre is the starting point for the route, and passengers climb over 4,870 feet in elevation as the train approaches Gornergrat Station. Views of some of the tallest mountains in the Swiss Alps, including the grand Matterhorn, make this one of the most impressive rail journeys Switzerland has to offer.
From the dramatic peaks of the Swiss Alps in central Switzerland to the palm trees of the Mediterranean south on the Italian border, the Gotthard Panorama Express route impresses travellers at every turn. The journey from Lucerne to Lugano is unique in that it begins with a paddle steamer ride across Lake Lucerne before the actual train journey commences in Flüelen. From Flüelen, the train traverses the scenic Reuss Valley, hugs the mountainside through a series of spiral loops, and ventures into the Gotthard Pass tunnel before arriving in sunny Lugano approximately 5 1/2 hours after the trip began.
Venture to the “Top of Europe” on Switzerland’s Jungfrau Railway. Planning for this electric cogwheel rail line began in 1896, and after nearly 17 years of hard manual labour, digging, excavating, and laying track within the face of Eiger to reach the summit of Jungfraujoch, the line opened in 1912. Passengers have been enjoying this incredible journey for over 100 years. Inspiring panoramas of the Swiss Alps await at each station, and at the summit, attractions range from a spectacular viewing platform to an ice palace.
A traditionally Swiss hotel, the stunning Romantik Hotel Stern has stood for 360 years in central Chur and is the perfect blend of rustic heritage and modern convenience. The well-established onsite restaurant specializes is delicious Swiss cuisine and there is also a rooftop terrace that provides wonderful views of the surrounding natural environs. The Romantik Hotel Stern is just a short walk from Chur’s regional station.
The very walls that greet you as you approach the Hotel Derby Grindelwald are steeped in history. The “Hotel de la Gare” was built here by the legendary Captain Gsteiger at the end of the 19th century. The same underlying principle applied then as it does now: we want to offer our guests a holiday that will long remain with them as a happy memory.
Lean back and be our guest and engage on an experience for all senses. Relax on our rooftop terrace or in one of our stylish rooms, discover the culinary art of the traditional Swiss cuisine, try one of the creations of our experienced kitchen team and enjoy one of the excellent wines. What the region offers is the greatest gift of all: the natural world surrounding you on all sides, the fresh mountain air to drink in. Winter and summer, morning and evening.
The much envied position in the town centre and right on the lakeside gives the centenary Hotel Walter au Lac (since 1888, 4th generation Cereda Family) a host of advantages. It is located on the lake promenade and near the traffic-free town centre. All the 38 bedrooms are with lake view and are equipped with every comfort: bath or shower, WC, hairdryer, telephone, radio, TV, safety box, kettle, minibar, air conditioning and WiFi.
This hotel is beautifully located at the heart of Lucerne. The hotel is located within easy access of a host of attractions in the area, including the Chapel Bridge. This hotel offers guests a great setting from which to explore the rich culture of the area. Links to the public transport network are to be found nearby. The hotel greets guests with warm hospitality and the promise of an enjoyable stay. The guest rooms are beautifully designed, featuring refreshing tones and a relaxing atmosphere. The rooms come well equipped with modern amenities, for added comfort and convenience. The hotel features a host of exceptional facilities, catering for the business, leisure and dining needs of guests.
The 5-Star Royal Plaza Montreux and Spa overlooks breathtaking Lake Geneva, and is located close to the center of stylish Montreux. Hotel amenities include 2 bars, both of which overlook the lake, a restaurant, and a spa which offers a variety of treatments (payable locally). The rooms may view either the lake, or the gorgeous mountains that fringe the lake, and come with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a television, and tea & coffee making facilities.
Under our motto ‘truthful and well-being’ you can expect all the elements of the feeling of well-being. Recover and rejuvenate after a day on the sloops or hiking the mountains, whatever your pastime this exceptional retreat will invigorate you. Our unique heated outdoor hot tub adjacent to the indoor pool is exceptional; the hot tub is located in front of a natural cascade of water which becomes the centrepiece of our wellness oasis as an extraordinary ice wall during the colder months. Enjoy your favourite aperitif in the intimate hotel bar and lounge and join us for a gourmet meal. The Hotel Sonne has been awarded four times by ‘Switzerland Tourism’, as one of the friendliest Swiss hotels. We stand for hospitality and quality at the highest level.
Enjoy your visit to our special city to the full by staying in one of Zurich’s top hotels. We are lucky enough to enjoy a prime position in the heart of the city with the famous Zurcher Bahnhofstrasse (shopping street) a few steps away and the banks of Lake Zurich a couple of minutes on foot. Warm to Zurich! soak up the nature and spirit of this exciting destination. We look forward to welcoming you!
- Hotel accommodations for 10 nights
- Baggage Handling
- Select transfers
- EXCURSIONS & ENTERTAINMENT
- The services of a professional Tour Manager from start to finish
- FOOD & DRINKS
- 15 meals, including lunch on the Glacier Express
- WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
- Six scenic rail excursions: Jungfrau Railway, Gornergrat Mountain Railway, GoldenPass Panoramic, Glacier Express, Bernina Express and Gotthard Panorama Express
- Cruise on Lake Lugano
We offer a selection of upgrades and ‘add-ons’ designed to help you make the most of your holiday – and make it even easier!
Many of our guests choose to spend additional nights before or after their trip. Guidepost Tours would be happy to make hotel and sightseeing arrangements for you.