Gems of Switzerland

swizzgemsheadernew

This 11-day rail adventure really encapsulates the very best Switzerland has to offer.

From the mountainous heart of the Bernese Oberland to the glitz and glamour of Montreux and the beautiful shores of Lake Lugano. All via 2 of the most popular mountain top excursions and 4 of the greatest rail (and boat) journeys on earth!

DAY 1 - Welcome To Switzerland

On arrival at Zurich airport, take the short train journey to Zurich main station and make your way to your hotel. In the evening, enjoy Zürich's old town and the lakeside. (Overnight Zurich)

DAY 2 - Grindelwald

At a time of your choosing, take a train to Bern, Switzerland where a change of trains is needed onto Interlaken, then Grindelwald. You can travel at any time of your choosing, and spending a few hours exploring the Swiss capital city Bern is highly recommended. Check in to your hotel on arrival in Grindelwald, then take some time to explore this beautiful Swiss village in the shadows of the Eiger. (Overnight Grindelwald)

DAY 3 - Jungfrau Day Trip

Today you'll take the journey of a lifetime, to the highest railway station in Europe atop the Jungfrau Mountain. There's a change of trains in Kleine Scheidegg: a mountain passes 2,000m above sea level, and the Jungfrau narrow gauge railway runs the steep 9km to the mountain's peak some 3,454m above sea level. On a clear day, visitors can enjoy views across the alps, France and Germany, as well as the Aletsch Glacier, Europe's largest. Take your time to explore the facilities before heading back down the mountain, either the same route, or perhaps via a visit to Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken. (Overnight Grindelwald)

DAY 4 - The Golden Pass To Montreux

Head down the mountain this morning and from Interlaken to Zweisimmen, where you board the classic Golden Pass train to Montreux. Enjoy a lunch onboard the evocative Belle Epoque carriages of local meats and cheese before arriving into the capital of the Swiss Riviera. Montreux enjoys a warm micro climate, which has historically made it home to the jet-set, and has a rich musical heritage everywhere. In the evening perhaps enjoy a flutter in the infamous casino, or dinner and dancing in the Montreux Jazz café. (Overnight Montreux)

Clear sky on Gornergrat, Zermatt Switzerland

Clear sky on Gornergrat, Zermatt Switzerland

DAY 5 - Zermatt

When you are ready to leave, use your Swiss Pass to Zermatt via Visp. On arrival, check into your hotel for a two-night stay. (Overnight Zermatt)

DAY 6 - Gornergrat Day Trip

Today take the 32-min historic Gornergrat Cog Railway for the best views of the imposing Matterhorn Mountain and surrounding peaks. Enjoy any of the leisurely walking paths through the nature reserve or some lunch, before returning to Zermatt for the evening, where you can enjoy the numerous small bars and restaurants on the car free roads of this beautiful village. (Overnight Zermatt)

DAY 7 - The Glacier Express

Take the Glacier Express from Zermatt to the capital of the historic canton of Graubünden Chur. Along the way, enjoy the full length of this famed Switzerland rail journey. Spectacular views of the alps, breath-taking valleys, dense forests, and mountain streams make for treasured memories and a luxurious experience. (Overnight Chur)

(**Between mid-October and early December, the Glacier Express train does not run, so local trains will make the journey. Ask me for more details).

DAY 8 - The Bernina Express

Board the Bernina Express for an exciting train ride through the gorgeous mountain scenery of Switzerland. Onboard you'll pass glaciers, the Bernina Pass, and travel along Lago Bianco down toward Poschiavo. In Tirano, Italy, you'll board the Bernina Express Bus and traverse through Valtellina to Lugano. If there's one thing you'll discover while in Lugano, it's that this southern Switzerland town is one of country's most charming. Check into your hotel and start exploring this sunny destination. (Overnight in Lugano)

DAY 9 - Lugano

Today, take advantage of your Swiss Pass and enjoy a cruise on gorgeous Lake Lugano (also called Lake Ceresio) in the afternoon sunshine. During the cruise, you'll encounter quaint towns that sit along the bank and take in the serene views. The rest of the day and evening are free to do as you wish. Practice your Italian, which is the local language here. Consider an authentic, local dish at one of the many grotto lakeside restaurants, or stroll along the flower-lined promenade. (Overnight Lugano)

DAY 10 - Gotthard Panorama Express

Experience a fantastic, scenic train ride through the historic Gotthard Pass to Fluelen, and then a paddle steamer cruise to Lucerne, all in first class. You'll enjoy unparalleled views of central Switzerland, mountain peaks, and world-class railway construction. In Lucerne, spend time experiencing all of Lucerne's, such as the Rosengart Collection, which is home to many classic works by Picasso. The Glacier Garden, which exhibits glacier potholes from the last Ice Age, is also a must-visit site within the city, and don't forget the magnificent Chapel Bridge. In the evening, dine lakeside, with incredible mountain views all around you. (Overnight in Lucerne)

DAY 11 - End Of Tour

Take a direct train to Zurich airport for your flight home, or contact me to discuss perhaps continuing your travels elsewhere.