Discover the magnificent wintry setting of Switzerland on this fabulous tour. Enjoy an all-inclusive stay with visits to elegant St Moritz, charming Tirano and Arosa on some of the most iconic Swiss trains.
Meet your group at the Rail Discoveries dedicated Departure Office ahead of your Eurostar journey to Paris from where you will continue to Strasbourg for the night. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant this evening.
This morning be sure to see Strasbourg's magnificent cathedral in your free time. This Roman Catholic building is considered to be one of the best examples of high-Gothic architecture in Europe, and between 1647 and 1874 it was the world's tallest building. Alternatively you could visit Petite France, one of the historic quarters of Strasbourg. In the Middle Ages it was home to many of Strasbourg's craftsmen, such as millers and fishermen. In 1988 it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Today it is recognised for its wood panelled buildings along the river front.
Later you head south to Basel and join the efficient Swiss rail network for the journey to Tiefencastel. This small town only has around 250 inhabitants and retains its traditional Swiss charm, set against the rugged landscape of Switzerland's Albula district. Tiefencastel is home to St Stefan Church which was referenced in 1343 as a nationally important heritage site. In 1650 it was rebuilt by Capuchin monks.
Travel to St Moritz today, along the UNESCO-listed Albula Line, which passes through stunning Alpine scenery. St Moritz, with its glistening frozen lakes, emerald forests, and towering mountains, is often referred to as Switzerland's original winter wonderland, and is favourite holiday destination for the celebrities and royalty. A luxury Alpine resort town in Switzerland's Engadin valley, it has hosted the Winter Olympics twice. You are free to explore the town on arrival. Perhaps visit Lake St Moritz, famous for hosting winter polo. You could also ride the funicular to Piz Nair, which regularly hosts 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. The architecture of the museum is such that the paintings are lit by several skylights, meaning the colours change depending on the time of the day and the angle of the light. You may not want to miss out on the gourmet delights that the various top-class restaurants this luxury ski resort has to offer.
xperience an excursion on the Bernina Express this morning, one of the highlights of your tour. This remarkable railway line is over 100 years old and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Beginning in Tiefencastel, your journey offers breathtaking views of the snowcovered 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 which crosses over the valley, and is surrounded by rugged mountains and frosted pine forests. Meandering through the alpine winter wonderland, the train enters the 5,955 foot long Albula Tunnel before climbing over the Bernina Pass at 6,669 feet.
The train also crosses the iconic Brusio Viaduct, an incredible spiralling bridge that lowers the train gracefully to the valley floor in order to continue your epic journey. Finally, you weave through the Engadine Valley to Tirano in northern Italy.
Your day is at leisure so why not take advantage of 50% fares with your included Rail Discoveries Tailor-made card and explore the beauty of the surrounding region? Or maybe take the cable car up into the mountains for breathtaking panoramas of the valleys below.
Today, you discover the charming lakeside town of Arosa, passing by some lovely historical landmarks, including the Obertor town gate and the famous Maltese Tower. Although the track starts fairly flat, the line soon begins to ascent steeply, eventually overcoming a height difference of 3,280 feet to reach your destination. The scenery surrounding the line becomes more wild and dramatic, as you take in the rocky scenery of the Graubünden canton before skirting the crystal clear waters of Obersee. Spend your time in Arosa at leisure before making the return journey.
Afterwards, take the train to Chur, Switzerland's oldest settlement. Chur is a quintessentially Swiss town, with superbly well-preserved medieval town walls. With a history dating back to 3900 BC, this small and beautiful town has a wealth of history waiting to be explored.
Discover the authentic Old Town, grouped around Martinsplat its home to the arcaded Rathaus - Town Hall - dating from 1464. Another sight well worth seeing is the incredible 12thcentury cathedral, which combines Gothic and Romanesque architecture to make for a truly striking building.
Leaving Tiefencastel, travel on the iconic Glacier Express, one of the highlights of your tour. The 'slowest express train in the world' gently makes its way through glorious scenery. This striking natural beauty is revealed on your journey which, with it being winter, is transformed into a picture-postcard landscape of snowy meadows, frozen streams, and white mountaintops.
The train passes through 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 also features panoramic windows, allowing you to truly appreciate the surrounding Alpine scenery. Travel to Brig, and continue on the local rail service to Basel where you stay overnight.
After breakfast, check out transfer to the station where you connect with the TGV to Paris. Here join the return Eurostar service into London.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Whether you are planning a holiday in the UK, mainland Europe or further afield, a Rail Discoveries tour offers you a superb way to experience some of the world's most beautiful destinations. You can watch the wonderful and ever-changing scenery glide past; after all, rail journeys often go where no other form of transport can.
Rail Discoveries believe that experience counts – and as part of the Great Rail Journeys group, they have over 45 years of it. They create interesting and exciting holidays, combining the best or most scenic rail journeys with conveniently located hotels and inclusive excursions so that you enjoy the journey out and back as much as your time exploring each new destination.
One of the most important features of a Rail Discoveries holiday is the added value that the friendly, helpful and knowledgeable Tour Managers bring to every tour, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday with the knowledge that everything is in capable hands.
You have the peace of mind of 100% financial protection when you book with Rail Discoveries. Their price promise provides transparency and ensures once your booking is confirmed, they won’t increase the price of your holiday, even if their costs go up. They are members of the Association of Independent Tour Operators and flight-inclusive holidays are ATOL or ABTOT protected, while non-flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ABTOT.
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