Lugano, St Moritz, Zermatt, Lucerne 10 days
Sit back and let the train take the strain. Seeing Switzerland by train is a relaxing, elegant and stress-free way of visiting the highest peaks, the prettiest valleys, the most popular resorts, the liveliest cosmopolitan cities and seeing the best scenic views in the country. Some of these train journeys combine train and boat, so simply sit back, and enjoy wonderful boat journeys across clear blue lakes, train journeys with quintessentially Swiss mountain views either side, and rides past lakes, pastures, waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. Magical!
The Glacier Express, known worldwide as the ‘world’s slowest express train’, takes you through mountain landscapes, very deep gorges, 91tunnels, and across 291 bridges in about seven hours. This is a journey of a lifetime.
Four great train journeys, four scenic routes
Zurich is Switzerland’s high-energy metropolis – shop in the Bahnhofstrasse’s fine boutiques.
Enjoy the village experience in Zermatt – there’s always something going on from the Forest Fun Park and the Matterhorn Museum to the fabulous shopping and the sight of the famous black-neck goats that wander around the village.
Sit back and enjoy a three-hour boat journey across Lake Lucerne on the Wilhelm Tell Express – super meal in the dining salon included!
Day 1 - Zurich – Lucerne – William Tell express to Lugano
Hop on board the William Tell Express Swiss scenic route from Lucerne and head towards Lugano. From Lucerne you will enjoy spectacular Swiss mountain views for practically the whole of this ride, as well as pleasant three-hour boat journey across Lake Lucerne to Fluelen. From Fluelen continue on the panoramic train to Bellinzona, and then take a regional train with open seating to Lugano. A beautiful trip with beautiful views.
Day 2 - Lugano
Lugano is a vivacious city with chic boutiques, bars and pavement cafes, huddling in the spaghetti maze of steep cobblestone streets that untangle at the end of the lake and along the flowery promenade. Stroll along the Lungalago – the lakefront promenade that twists along the shore of glassy Lago di Lugano, set against a backdrop of rugged mountains. See the Cherry Building – the Mario Botta office block that has a cherry tree planted on the roof and was designed by local artist, Mario Botta. And chomp in to some cocoa culture at the Museo del Cioccolato Alprose – a choc-crazy museum with some fascinating chocolate history.
Day 03 - Bernina Express to Pontresina – 2 nights at St. Mortiz
This is a fabulous journey from Lugano to Tirano by bus, and then on to St. Moritz by train through some of the most amazing scenery in the world. Pass over 196 bridges including the spectacular Landwasser Viaduct, through 55 tunnels, past snow-capped mountain peaks, past glaciers, an alpine garden and rushing mountain streams, and up and over the Bernina Pass at 6,669ft before arriving in St. Moritz.
Day 04 - St. Moritz, sightseeing and attractions
St. Moritz is Switzerland’s original winter wonderland and the cradle of Alpine tourism – it has been luring royals and celebrities since 1864. You will be taken in by its shimmering aquamarine lake, its emerald forests, and its aloof mountains. Stroll around the town and visit the Engadiner Museum, a reproduction of the traditional sgraffitied home the museum has displays of furniture, tools and pottery in rooms that are decorated in styles from different periods.
Day 05 - Glacier Express to Zermatt
This is the most incredible train ride of them all, and probably the longest. Known worldwide as the ‘world’s slowest express train’, it will take you through mountain landscapes, very deep gorges, 91 tunnels, and across 291 bridges in about seven hours. The highest point of the trip is over the Oberalp Pass which reaches over 6600 feet above sea level. Begin your day with views of the Matterhorn and end it in the holiday destination of St. Moritz. Some of the inclines are so steep that drinks are served in a special tilted glass so as to avoid spills!
Day 06 & 07 - Zermatt, sightseeing and attractions
Zermatt’s main attraction is the Matterhorn. Whether you choose to try and climb the peak yourself or simply take photos, it looms over everything here. Zermatt is a car-free town and easy to explore. Visit the Materhorn Museum for lots more information about the famed mountain. And St. Peter’s Church was built for English climbers seized by the desire to conquer the Matterhorn – there’s also a cemetery for those who didn’t make it. Why not bike the trails surrounding Zermatt – about 24km of downhill tracks have been specifically set aside for the activity.
Day 08 - Montreux, sightseeing and attractions
This wonderful lakeside resort has been attracting artists, writers and musicians for years. Montreux has its own mild microclimate – perfect for peaceful walks along a pretty lakeshore that is dotted with elegant 19thcentury hotels, and strolls through an ancient hilltop Old Town. Visit the Chateau de Chillon on the lakeside, an unusual oval-shaped castle that was so loved by Lord Byron, and learn about the town’s local history at the Musee de Montreux. Place fresh flowers at the feet of the statue of Freddie Mercury that’s located in front of Montreux’s old covered market on the waterfront.
Day 09 - Golden Pass train journey to Lucerne
This train journey connects the mountains to central Switzerland via the picturesque town of Interlaken. Travel through vineyards and country estates up towards Gstadd, the favourite playground for the rich and famous, and then cross the Brunig pass, passing Brienz with its same-named lake and the Giessbach Falls, towards historic Lucerne and its enchanting lakes and mountains.
Day 10 - Lucerne, sightseeing and attractions
Arrive in Lucerne whose waterfront is straddled by the picturesque Chapel Bridge, Europe’s oldest. Enjoy the dramatic explosion of gilt, marble and baroque frescoes that is the Jesuit Church. And, towering over the city is the majestic Mount Pilatus – you can take a cable car or a cog railway up to the top of the mountain. Take a lake steamer cruise across pretty Lake Lucerne, and wander the city’s Old Town that straddles the narrowed waters. Take a day tour to Engelberg in the Swiss Alps and a ride in a revolving cable car to the top of might Mount Titlis for some majestic views of ice boulders and crevasses. Get closer to the crevasses on the Ice Flyer chairlift and walk across Europe’s highest suspension bridge for more spectacular views. Or relax on the sun terrace and have lunch overlooking the snow-capped peaks.
Day 11 - Depart
Breakfast at the hotel Check-out from the hotel.