The Alps and More

Semmering area Railway - © Österreich Werbung, OEBB (Oest.Bundesbahnen)
Albula Valley
Bernina Express crosses the famous Brusio Circular Viaduct - © Murbach
Chur - © Stephan Engler
Engadine valley
Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna
Zillertal Railway - © Ray Smith

Holiday Highlights

  • Scenic rail journeys through Germany, Switzerland Italy and Austria
  • Ride the UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railway
  • Narrow gauge rail journey to Collalbo
  • Steam loco trip on the renowned Zillertal Railway
  • Achensee steam rack railway
  • Semmering Pass – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Ascend the Scheeberg by rack railway
  • Stunning mountain scenery and views
  • Free time to explore Chur, Bolzano, Innsbruck, Graz and Vienna
  • Centrally located hotels
  • 16 Days from £2,030pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Thursday 13 June to Friday 28 June 2019

A selection of wonderfully scenic rail journeys in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria together with visits to steam hauled tourist lines and free time in Vienna, makes this a holiday to suit all tastes.


Day 1 – London to Cologne

Depart on mid-morning Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels, then onwards to Cologne for an overnight stay. 

Day 2 – Cologne to Chur

Leaving Cologne after breakfast we follow the course of the River Rhine as we head south to Basle, then onwards to Chur. We stay here for 2 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 3 – Explore

Using your rail pass, a free day allows you the chance to explore Chur and the surrounding area using the UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railways network. There will be an optional escorted excursion on offer too.

Day 4 – Across the Alps to Italy

The Albula line from Chur to Samedan is a classic example of outstanding railway engineering. Using a series of hairpin bends and spiral tunnels to gain height, the views are breathtaking. From Samedan we head down the Engadine valley to Zernez, where we change to a postbus for the journey to Malles, over the border in Italy. Here we meet up with the line to Merano, before ending the day in Bolzano in the Italian Alps. We stay 2 nights with breakfast included.

Day 5 – Renon

A day based in Bolzano. This area was part of Austria until ceded to Italy in 1918 so you are more likely to hear German spoken than Italian. We have a return excursion on the cable car from Bolzano, followed by a narrow gauge rail journey to Collalbo. The historic railway operates partly with original cars and partly with more modern ones. It is the only one of its kind left in South Tyro and offers spectacular views of the Dolomites.

Day 6 – Brenner Pass

Leaving after breakfast, we have a leisurely journey over the Brenner Pass to the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Free afternoon for some city sightseeing or riding the light rail to Igls or Fulpmes.

Day 7 – Steam Trains

No trip to this area would be complete without a visit to the renowned Zillertal Railway where we take a trip behind the steam loco and heritage coaches. On our return route we chnage in Jenbach to the Achensee steam rack railway for a trip up to the stunning alpine lake of the same name. Return by train to Innsbruck.

Day 8 – Tauern Pass

Leaving Innsbruck we travel south via the scenic Tauern Pass which links Austria to the Balkans. Our final destination is Graz, very close to the Slovenian border, where we stay for 3 nights with breakfast included.

Day 9 – Leisure Time

The old city of Graz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well worth exploring. For transport enthusiasts the city’s well developed tram network is the icing on the cake.

Day 10 – Narrow Gauge Steam

Close to Graz is the Feistritzalbahn, a preserved narrow gauge steam line which runs between Weiz and Birkfeld. We travel by coach to the line, allowing time for a full return journey, before returning by road to Graz.

Day 11 – Semmering Pass

The line linking Graz with Vienna is well known for its railway engineering and is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our Vienna hotel is well situated for local transport (underground) and we include a city transport pass for the duration of our stay. The pass is valid on buses, trams and the U-bahn (underground).

Day 12 – Mountaineering by Train

A full day excursion by train to Puchberg for an ascent of the Scheeberg by rack railway, affording wonderful views of the surrounding area.

Days 13 & 14 – Exploring Vienna

Free days based in Vienna. The sightseeing in this city is well documented but there is also a very comprehensive transport system for those interested. On one of the days, if there is sufficient interest, your tour leader will organise an excursion by rail to Mariazell.

Day 15 – To Mainz

We start heading home today and travel via Linz, Passau and Nuremberg on a direct train to Mainz. Overnight with a farewell dinner included.

Day 16 – To London

Early morning train from Mainz, via Cologne, will make a connection in Brussels with Eurostar and we arrive back into London St Pancras late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ibis Köln am Dom, Cologne

Hotel Freieck, Chur

Hotel Regina, Bolzano

AC Hotel, Innsbruck

Ibis Graz Hotel, Graz

Novum Hotel Prinz Eugen, Vienna

IntercityHotel, Mainz

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All travel as stated in standard class based on a Global Rail Pass
  • Vienna transport ticket
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • 1 dinner in Mainz
  • All excursions as detailed
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,030
Single room supplement: £490
Supplement for Non European residents £182
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

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