Known as the “World’s slowest express train” the Glacier Express is widely-regarded is one of the world’s most famous rail journeys, and features high on any rail-enthusiast’s list of must-dos. The Glacier Express climbs to 2,044m above sea level and traverses a wide range of landscapes on its journey between Zermatt to the west of Switzerland, and St Moritz in the east. The journey can also be done in reverse, or partially from most of the stops along the route.
The route trundles at 24mph for 181 miles (290km) over an assortment of 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels, and at that pace there is plenty of time – nearly 8 hours in fact! – for you to take in the ever-changing scenes, perfectly framed by the train’s large-scale windows.
Beginning in Zermatt, the mighty Matterhorn provides a towering backdrop as the train leaves the station and heads through the mountains towards Visp, where it continues; clinging to the edge of the River Rhône towards the Furka Pass. Ascending to the heights of the Oberalp Pass at 2044m (where there is often snow), the train will glide through the mountain range before snaking through the Rhine Gorge towards Chur.
Leaving Chur - the oldest city in Switzerland - you are surrounded on all sides by mountain slopes, in a landscape peppered with castles. Not content with boasting some of the most glorious scenery the world of rail has to offer, from Thusis onwards the Glacier Express travels along the Albula Line; a masterpiece of engineering. Completed in the early 1900s, the railway line has UNESCO World Heritage status, successfully and inconspicuously blending the practicality of rail travel into the surrounding awe-inspiring backdrop.
The train will wind its way towards the world-famous Landwasser Viaduct; one of the undisputed highlights of this journey as you feel yourself being absorbed by the rock face after crossing the 213ft-high drop (also featured on the Bernina Express).
Excellence Class was introduced in 2019 at a supplement of 420CHF per person. This may seem a high price tag, but there is no denying the enhanced quality of the experience. Excellence Class offers a very high standard of service, with its own concierge, luxury reclining seats - all of which are window seats - a 5-course regional menu with wine included, as well as complimentary snacks, drinks and the all-important Champagne! There are a few other goodies too like souvenirs and a cocktail bar.
Call our team of helpful specialists to build this train into your dream holiday on 0800 988 3369.