Day 1: London to Germany. Meet your tour guide and fellow passengers at London’s St. Pancras International railway station, and board the Eurostar to Brussels. Traveling in Leisure Select class, we enjoy a complimentary meal and drinks. On arrival, we change trains and continue our journey in first class to Cologne, where we overnight at either Euro Garden Hotel or Four Points Hotel Central. Included: (E), (D).
Day 2: Cologne to St Moritz. From Cologne, we travel by EuroCity train from Germany to Switzerland. Our journey takes us along the scenic Rhine Gorge past lush vineyards and fairytale castles. We pass through Basel, then Zürich, before we start the scenic ascent through the Alps to St Moritz, set in the heart of Graubunden. On arrival, in St. Moritz we transfer to the Hotel Monopol (Hotels 1) or Hotel Schweizerhof (Hotels 2) for a three-night stay. Included: (B), (D).
Day 3: Over the Bernina Pass. From St. Moritz we join the narrow-gauge Bernina Express, climbing over the spectacular Bernina Pass to more than 7,000 feet (2,134 m). Enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks as we travel to Tirano in Italy on this historic line that was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. You have some free time for lunch and perhaps a visit to the beautiful Basilica della Madonna, before we return to St Moritz. On selected dates we travel in 1930s Art Deco Pullman carriages from St. Moritz to Tirano. Included: (B), (D).
Day 4: A day at leisure in St. Moritz. Today is free for you to enjoy St. Moritz and its “sparkling champagne” climate. You may wish to take a cable car up Diavolezza Mountain, at 9,970 feet (3,039m), which boasts stunning views over the surrounding peaks. Use your First Class Swiss Travel Pass or St. Moritz Travel Pass on nearby cable cars and mountain railways or regular trains (we like hiking the Railway Historical Trail, which begins just a half hour's train ride away from St. Moritz.). Alternatively you could visit the nearby town of Davos or captivating Klosters, with its excellent restaurants. Included: (B), (D).
Day 5: The Glacier Express to Zermatt. Today we travel first class on the famous Glacier Express narrow-gauge train along the 100-year-old iconic route from St. Moritz to Zermatt. Our train descends, emerging from a rock tunnel to cross the spectacular Landwasser Viaduct and eventually entering the upper Rhine Valley. We travel through pastures and woodland before climbing once more into the mountains. Lunch on board the Glacier Express is included and served at your seat, while you watch the stunning scenery pass slowly by.
Once we've ascended to the highest point of the journey—the Oberalp Pass, at 6,670 feet (2,033 m) — we snake and spiral towards Andermatt and the head of the Rhône Valley. The final part of our journey takes us through a spectacular gorge. As we near our ultimate destination, we should have our first views of the dramatic Matterhorn towering above the pretty town of Zermatt. Our base here for the next four nights is the Parkhotel Beau-Site (Hotels 1) or La Ginabelle Hotel (Hotels 2). Included: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Zermatt and the Gornergrat. Today we climb to the summit of the Gornergrat at 10,134 feet (3,089m) aboard a Gornergrat Mountain Railway train. Weather permitting, we'll have spectacular views across the valley to the Matterhorn. We also enjoy a guided tour of beautiful Zermatt, with its timbered buildings and English church dating back to 1870. Enjoy the Alpine Museum, a moving tribute to the epic early attempts to scale the Matterhorn. Included: (B), (D).
Day 7: Excursion to Stresa and Lake Maggiore. Today we travel by train to Lake Maggiore, the second largest of the Italian lakes, in the lovely mountainous region of Northern Italy. On our arrival in Stresa, we take a short cruise across Lake Maggiore to the charming island of Isola Pescatore, with its wonderful rustic fishing village boasting some fantastic restaurants and delightful shops. The island is also known as Isola Superiore, but it measures just 383 yards in length and 110 yards wide, and has a population of only around 50 people! Of particular note is the pretty chapel of San Vittore. We return to Stresa and then Zermatt, before enjoying dinner together. Included: (B), (D).
Day 8: A day at leisure in Zermatt. Today is free to explore Zermatt. Relax and take advantage of the hotel's excellent pool and spa facilities. Shop in some of Zermatt's glitzy boutiques. Enjoy a walk along one of the many marked trails. Or climb the Kleine Matterhorn. Another option is to use your First Class Swiss Pass to venture further out—the pass allows unlimited First Class travel on most trains, buses and lake steamers as well as free entry to most museums. Included: (B), (D).
Day 9: By train to Dijon. After descending from Zermatt to Brig, we board a high-speed French TGV and travel past Lake Geneva to Dijon, France. Our overnight stay is the Mercure Dijon Clémenceau, located close to the town center. Included: (B), (D).
Day 10: To Paris and London. We depart for Paris by TGV. Upon arrival at the French capital, we cross the city by coach and connect with the Eurostar service to London. Following an onboard complimentary meal and drinks, we arrive at St. Pancras International. Includes Eurostar ticket. Included: (B).
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Europe England France Switzerland Local Culture Railway Trips Cultural Journey