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 038 1664.
April 2021 – October 2022
Daily departures available
Depart London in the morning and head towards Geneva for an overnight stay, ahead of your journey into the Alps tomorrow. On Day 2, your rail journey will take you alongside the shores of Lake Geneva and into the mountainous heart of Switzerland. You’ll be greeted by the sight of the mighty Matterhorn as you arrive into Zermatt by train, where you will stay for two nights.
You’ll have a full day to enjoy Zermatt, and we’ve included a return trip on the Gornergrat Railway from which you will enjoy the most outstanding views of the famous mountain at 3,089m above sea level.
Today it’s all aboard the “slowest express train in the world” – the Glacier Express trundles at 24mphfor 181 miles towards your base for the next three nights, St Moritz – and at that pace there is plenty of time for you to take in the ever-changing scenery, including the magnificent Landwasser Viaduct, perfectly framed by the train’s large-scale windows.
During your stay in St Moritz you have an included round-trip to Tirano and back on the glorious Bernina Express; you’ll be spellbound as you watch the Swiss mountains and lakes give way to Italian greenery. You also have a further day to relax or make use of your Swiss Half Fare Card.
Today’s train journey makes the most of some of Europe’s prettiest views as you skirt the edges of Lakes Wellensee and Zurich, before sweeping through the beautiful Rhine Gorge and following the river to Cologne where you’ll spend your final evening before heading back to London tomorrow morning.
Please note, this trip is also available in reverse and can be customised to suit your requirements, please call for details.
Upgrade to first class rail from £350 per person please call for more details.
Price is based on two adults sharing a room departing London St Pancras on 9th October 2021.
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