A festive tour on iconic railways
The winter wonderland of Switzerland awaits on this all-inclusive festive break. With fantastic excursions on some of Switzerland's most iconic railways, enjoy elegant resorts, snowy vistas and Swiss hospitality.
Travel from London St Pancras on the Eurostar to Paris. Change trains and continue to Strasbourg for the night. On Day 2, which is Christmas Eve, enjoy a morning to discover Strasbourg and its Christmas market. The city has been hosting Christmas markets since 1570, and within Strasbourg's city centre there are up to 12 markets boasting more than 300 chalets. Enjoy the festive decorations, pottery, glass jewellery, toys, and different festive foods before continuing to Tiefencastel for a special Christmas Eve dinner with beer and wine.
Please note: Departure 20TFX02 will overnight at the 3* Grand Hotel with dinner in Le Dix
Today is Christmas and you celebrate the day on board the famous Bernina Express, travelling along a line that was awarded UNESCO Heritage status, thanks to its incredible construction and stunning beauty. Beginning in Tiefencastel, the journey offers breathtaking views of the snow-covered Alps as you travel through the dramatic landscape of Switzerland's beautiful Graubünden region. The route takes you 65 miles south, passing through multiple tunnels and impressive bridges, including the Landwasser Viaduct, a spectacular bridge that crosses over a valley surrounded by rugged mountains and frosted pine forests. Meandering through this Alpine winter wonderland, the train then enters the 5,955 foot long Albula Tunnel before climbing over the Bernina Pass, at 6,669 feet.
You also cross the iconic Brusio Viaduct, an incredible spiralling bridge that lowers the train gracefully to the valley floor. Finally, you weave through the Engadine Valley to Tirano in northern Italy, where there is free time before you make the return journey. Perhaps explore the Catholic shrine of Madonna di Tirano and visit the Museum of Palazzo Salis, admiring its fresco-covered rooms and the hidden Italian garden. Back in Tiefencastel, you enjoy a Christmas dinner tonight.
Day 4 is Boxing Day. Travel to the glamorous resort of St Moritz on the Albula Line, which passes through stunning Alpine scenery. St Moritz, with its frozen lakes, emerald forests, and towering mountains, is often referred to as Switzerland's original winter wonderland. A luxury Alpine resort town in Switzerland's Engadin valley, it has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. You are free to explore. Bedecked in its festive finery, charming Christmas light displays and Christmas decorations lining the streets, St Moritz looks glorious at this time of year . Perhaps visit Lake St Moritz, famous for hosting winter polo. You could also take the funicular ride to Piz Nair, which hosts the world skiing championships. If you have a more artistic bent of mind, perhaps pay a visit to the Segantini Museum, displaying the works of painter Giovanni Segantini. You may not want to miss out on the gourmet delights that the various topclass restaurants have to offer.
Day 5 is free for you to explore Tiefencastel at leisure.
Today take the train to Chur, where you have time to look around. Chur is a quintessentially Swiss town, with superbly well-preserved medieval town walls. With a history dating back to 3900 BC, this small town has a wealth of history waiting to be explored. Discover Chur's authentic Old Town, grouped around Martinsplatz with its arcaded Rathaus - Town Hall - dating from 1464. Another sight well worth seeing is the incredible 12th-century cathedral, which combines Gothic and Romanesque architecture to make a truly striking building.
Later, you discover the charming lakeside town of Arosa, passing by some lovely historical landmarks, including the Upper Gate and the famous Maltese Tower. Here, board a train for a journey along the scenic Arosa Line. As you leave the town, the line soon begins to ascend steeply, eventually overcoming a height difference of 3,280 feet to reach your destination. The surrounding scenery becomes more wild and dramatic, before skirting the crystal clear waters of Obersee. On arrival in Arosa, your time is at leisure before making the return journey.
Leaving Tiefencastel, travel on the iconic Glacier Express for an amazing journey to Andermatt. This train is called the 'slowest express train in the world', as it gently makes its way through glorious scenery on its way to its destination in Andermatt.
Beginning in Zermatt, the Glacier Express glides northwards from under the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, following the Matter Visper River and the Rhône Valley to Visp. Continuing on from here, the line climbs through Betten, Grengiols, and Overwald, passing icy forests, frozen rivers and sparkling glaciers, which all play their part in creating the winter wonderland setting for which Switzerland is renowned.
The train features panoramic carriages which offer fantastic views of the mountain vistas as you snake through the Alpine scenery before reaching Andermatt. Here, change trains and head to Basel, where you overnight.
We join the TGV to Paris this morning. Here we connect with the Eurostar to 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.
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
A festive tour on iconic railways