Swiss Rail Adventure

Blonay-Chamby
Blonay-Chamby
Brienze Rothorn Bahn - © John Robson
Chur - © Stephan Engler
Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva - © Switzerland Tourism
Steam train on Furka Bergstrecke
Rhaetian Railway - © Swiss Travel System
Steam loco on the Wiesen viaduct - © Eric Nicholass
Chateau Chillon near Montreux - © swiss-image.ch
The Furka-Bergstrecke at the Rhone glacier - © swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger

Holiday Highlights

  • Scenic journey to Switzerland using the classic Rhine route
  • First class Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel whilst in Switzerland
  • No expensive excursions to pay for
  • Steam excursions on Rhaetian Railway, Brienzer Rothorn, Furka Bergstrecke & Blonay-Chamby Railways
  • Journey by privately chartered steam tram
  • Stays in Chur, Thun and Brig allow for exploring the local area
  • First class travel on Bernina and Glacier Express trains with reserved seats
  • 15 Days from £3,453pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Thursday 9 September to Thursday 23 September 2021

This is a tour in which the pleasures of steam train travel are enhanced by their location. Lovers of rail travel, culture and nature will delight in the diversity of the locations and stunning scenery that Switzerland has in abundance.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – London to Cologne

Depart lunchtime by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels, then onwards by train to Cologne where we have an overnight stay.

Day 2 – Graubünden

Leaving Cologne we head south to Basle where we change trains for Chur and, from this point on whilst in Switzerland, we will be travelling in first class using our unlimited Swiss Travel Pass which is provided as part of the holiday. We stay for 4 nights in this charming historic city and our hotel is in the traffic free area of the old town.

Day 3 – Steam on Rhaetian Railways

Today we have a full day excursion on the Rhaetian Railways network. The locomotive and coaches are stored at the depot in Landquart and the company operates steam on 3 routes throughout the year.

Day 4 – Bernina Express

Today our spectacular excursion is a return trip from Chur to Tirano on the Bernina Express, climbing across Europe’s highest railway Alpine pass at a height of over 2000m. The spirals and tunnels of the Albula section and the spiral viaduct at Brusio near the end of the line, make this a day not to be missed. Reserved seats both ways in first class.

Day 5 – Free Time

Being the home of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railways network, what better way to explore than taking one of their red trains into the surrounding area. You can visit Arosa, Davos and Klosters, all of which are within easy reach. Our excursion booklet, which will be sent to you prior to departure, provides lots of sightseeing suggestions and there will be an optional escorted excursion on offer.

Day 6 – Glacier Express

One of Switzerland’s most scenic rail journeys, delivering the best views through its panoramic windows, so sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery as we travel to Brig. We have reserved seats in first class and on arrival into Brig we change trains and continue north to Thun, via the Lötschberg Base Tunnel. The region is home to the peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and the 12th Century castle in Thun dominates the town. We have a 3-night stay here.

Day 7 – Brienzer Rothorn

The pretty little village of Brienz is only a short journey from Thun. From here the steam driven rack railway travels to the summit of the Rothorn, a journey of around an hour, and an altitude of approx 2250m. We have time for lunch before the descent.

Day 8 – Bern and the Steam Tram

A leisurely day excursion to Bern, with free time to explore, before enjoying a private charter on Bern’s unique steam tram.

Day 9 – Bernese Oberland

After a morning at leisure a short trip south through the Lötschberg Base Tunnel sees us in Brig, in the Rhone Valley for a 5-night stay.

Day 10 – Furka Bergstrecke Steam

Travelling on a local service from Brig to Realp, we arrive in time to embark on a full return trip by steam on what was once the original alignment of the Glacier Express route over the Furka Pass. Return late afternoon by local service to Brig.

Day 11 – Blonay-Chamby

We take the train from Brig around the shores of Lake Geneva, to the Blonay-Chamby Railway for a day of steam and nostalgia. The railway is home to one of the best continental collections of historic metre gauge railway stock, mainly from former Swiss manufacturers or operating companies. Return to Brig early evening.

Days 12 & 13 - At Leisure

Using your travel pass there are several metre gauge branch lines in the vicinity worth a visit or take the scenic Centovalli route into Italy. An optional escorted excursion will be a full day to Zermatt with free time to allow the opportunity to take the Gornergrat Railway to the summit, which rewards you with great views of the Matterhorn (additional charge on production of your travel pass).

Day 14 – Cologne

We depart Brig and make our way via Basle to Cologne where we have an overnight stay.

Day 15 – London

From Cologne we will make a connection in Brussels with Eurostar and we arrive back into London St Pancras early afternoon.

Please note that the details of the steam excursions may be subject to change.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ibis Köln am Dom, Cologne

Hotel Freieck, Chur

Hotel Holiday, Thun

Hotel Ambassador, Brig

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Standard class rail travel to and from Basle
  • First class Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel on trains, postbuses, lake steamers, many city buses and trams
  • Bernina and Glacier Express supplements
  • Daily excursions as listed in itinerary
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £3,453
Single room supplement: £550
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.

Download

Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

Logos

Pharos Response AITO Quality Charter