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 by rail to glamorous St Moritz today along the UNESCO-listed Albula Railway. Famed as a bustling ski resort, St Moritz is a hive of activity dotted with cafés, boutiques and a picturesque lake front. Take time to absorb the enthralling mountain scenery before returning to Tiefencastel. St Moritz was one of the first Swiss resorts to popularise winter sport holidays, and more recently has been a favourite of many celebrities, lending the town its glamorous reputation.
Experience an excursion on the Bernina Express this morning, one of the highlights of your tour. The line winds its way over steep ravines and frozen waterfalls on the way to Tirano. Pass through the Engadine Valley and over the Brusio Viaduct, known as a 'spiral' viaduct. It was opened in 1908 and was required to limit the railway's slope to 7%, importantly this meant that the train would no longer have a chance of 'slipping' on the ascent. Originally it had been planned to bore a tunnel through the rock, however because of geological complications this approach became no longer viable. This remarkable railway line is over 100 years old and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, as testament to the incredible feat of human engineering that it took to successfully create this line. In Tirano you have some free time to enjoy this Italian town. Another option is a visit to the Santuario Madonna di Tirano, considered to be one of the most important religious monuments in the Valtellina region.
Your day is at leisure so 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.
Take the train to Chur today, Switzerland's oldest settlement. There is time here to explore the delightful Old Town, with its quaint cobbled streets and Gothic church. Alternatively you could take a spectacular ride on Chur's cable car. Starting in the centre of the town the cable car takes you up to the plateau of Brambrüesch. At the top you are welcomed by spellbinding Alpine views. Also on the plateau are a number of mountain restaurants to accompany your cable car ride. The starting point of the cable car is unique, as it connects the town centre directly to the mountain's plateau above, therefore making the ascent viable any day of the week and very easy to access. Next is a journey along the stunning Arosa line which climbs 1km from Chur to the lakeside resort of Arosa.
Experience the climax of your tour today as you depart Tiefencastel, travelling back to Chur where you connect with the iconic Glacier Express, affectionately referred to as the slowest express train in the world. You travel along the narrowgauge railway, idyllic vistas unfold as you wind through striking ravines and snow-covered peaks, making your way towards Andermatt. The train features fantastic panoramic windows which afford superb views of the delightful Alpine scenery for which Switzerland is known. From the comfort of your seat, pass through neat vineyards, charming Alpine meadows and woodland rising up to meet the mountains. At Andermatt, change trains for Basel where you will spend the night.
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.
An all-inclusive tour of wintry Switzerland