An all-inclusive tour of wintry Switzerland
Discover the magnificent wintry setting of Switzerland on this fabulous tour. Enjoy an all-inclusive stay with visits to elegant St Moritz, charming Tirano and Arosa on some of the most iconic Swiss trains.
Meet your group at the Rail Discoveries dedicated Departure Office ahead of your Eurostar journey to Paris from where you will continue to Strasbourg for the night. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant this evening.
This morning be sure to see Strasbourg's magnificent cathedral in your free time. This Roman Catholic building is considered to be one of the best examples of high-Gothic architecture in Europe, and between 1647 and 1874 it was the world's tallest building. Alternatively you could visit Petite France, one of the historic quarters of Strasbourg. In the Middle Ages it was home to many of Strasbourg's craftsmen, such as millers and fishermen. In 1988 it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Today it is recognised for its wood panelled buildings along the river front.
Later you head south to Basel and join the efficient Swiss rail network for the journey to Tiefencastel. This small town only has around 250 inhabitants and retains its traditional Swiss charm, set against the rugged landscape of Switzerland's Albula district. Tiefencastel is home to St Stefan Church which was referenced in 1343 as a nationally important heritage site. In 1650 it was rebuilt by Capuchin monks.
Travel to St Moritz today, along the UNESCO-listed Albula Line, which passes through stunning Alpine scenery. St Moritz, with its glistening frozen lakes, emerald forests, and towering mountains, is often referred to as Switzerland's original winter wonderland, and is favourite holiday destination for the celebrities and royalty. A luxury Alpine resort town in Switzerland's Engadin valley, it has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. You are free to explore the town on arrival. Perhaps visit Lake St Moritz, famous for hosting winter polo. You could also ride the funicular to Piz Nair, which regularly hosts world skiing championships.
If you have a more artistic bent of mind, perhaps pay a visit to the Segantini Museum, displaying the works of painter Giovanni Segantini. The architecture of the museum is such that the paintings are lit by several skylights, meaning the colours change depending on the time of the day and the angle of the light. You may not want to miss out on the gourmet delights that the various top-class restaurants this luxury ski resort has to offer.
Experience an excursion on the Bernina Express this morning, one of the highlights of your tour. This remarkable railway line is over 100 years old and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Beginning in Tiefencastel, your journey offers breathtaking views of the snowcovered Alps as you travel through the dramatic landscape of Switzerland's beautiful Graubünden region. The route takes you 65 miles south, passing through multiple tunnels and impressive bridges, including the Landwasser Viaduct which crosses over the valley, and is surrounded by rugged mountains and frosted pine forests. Meandering through the alpine winter wonderland, the train enters the 5,955 foot long Albula Tunnel before climbing over the Bernina Pass at 6,669 feet.
The train also crosses the iconic Brusio Viaduct, an incredible spiralling bridge that lowers the train gracefully to the valley floor in order to continue your epic journey. Finally, you weave through the Engadine Valley to Tirano in northern Italy.
On Day 5 you are free to explore Tiefencastel on your own. Why not take advantage of 50% fares with your included Rail Discoveries Tailor-made card and explore the beauty of the surrounding region? Or maybe take the cable car up into the mountains for breathtaking panoramas of the valleys below.
Today, you discover the charming lakeside town of Arosa, passing by some lovely historical landmarks, including the Obertor town gate and the famous Maltese Tower. Although the track starts fairly flat, the line soon begins to ascent steeply, eventually overcoming a height difference of 3,280 feet to reach your destination. The scenery surrounding the line becomes more wild and dramatic, as you take in the rocky scenery of the Graubünden canton before skirting the crystal clear waters of Obersee. Spend your time in Arosa at leisure before making the return journey.
Afterwards, take the train to Chur, Switzerland's oldest settlement. Chur is a quintessentially Swiss town, with superbly well-preserved medieval town walls. With a history dating back to 3900 BC, this small and beautiful town has a wealth of history waiting to be explored.
Discover the authentic Old Town, grouped around Martinsplat its home to the arcaded Rathaus - Town Hall - dating from 1464. Another sight well worth seeing is the incredible 12thcentury cathedral, which combines Gothic and Romanesque architecture to make for a truly striking building.
Leaving Tiefencastel, travel on the iconic Glacier Express, one of the highlights of your tour. The 'slowest express train in the world' gently makes its way through glorious scenery. This striking natural beauty is revealed on your journey which, with it being winter, is transformed into a picture-postcard landscape of snowy meadows, frozen streams, and white mountaintops.
The train passes through icy forests, frozen rivers, and sparkling glaciers, which all play their part in creating the winter wonderland setting for which Switzerland is renowned. The train also features panoramic windows, allowing you to truly appreciate the surrounding Alpine scenery. Travel to Brig, and continue on the local rail service to Basel where you stay overnight.
After breakfast, check out transfer to the station where you connect with the TGV to Paris. Here join the return Eurostar service into London.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 5 verified reviews
Our tour manager Graham Carter did a great job in making every day of our holiday run perfectly. He sorted any issues when necessary. He even gave valuable advice for our free days.
organization perfect weather fab hotel wonderful everything we expect from rail discoveries
The holiday was all and more that we expected, from the booking process, the hotel and trips each day. Three months later we are still talking about it.
Well organised, lovely hotels and food. Plenty of time to look around at the amazing scenery.
Absolutely fabulous holiday. The weather was glorious whilst we were there and all the trips were great. Lots of trains - 20 in all! The hotel couldn't be faulted. They were very friendly and the food was superb - with seconds!!
Outward and homeward journey with luggage,was the let down
Well organized the hotels were excellent , with a good tour manager.
Well organised, Good accommodation, Excellent company.
Good itinerary on paper proved to be excellent in practise. Spectacular train journeys in comfortable trains. The holiday had been well planned, & the tour manager did a brilliant job, making sure nobody got lost, everyone knew where to go, & when a French train was delayed so that we missed a connection, smoothly getting us aboard another. Hotels were good, food good, although a choice would have been better than a single set menu (although hotel did provide an alternative if the set meal was unacceptable). Steep walk to & from main hotel could catch older or physically challenged people & should have been mentioned in brochure, no one on this trip which included a few of us older people, had a problem though. Definitely recommend this holiday and this company.
Good planning, good hotels, good food, great tour manager.
An all-inclusive tour of wintry Switzerland