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Across the Roof of Europe

From the Eiger to the Matterhorn
 
This is a very scenic, self-guided journey by rail from beneath the Eiger to the foot of the Matterhorn. As well as iconic mountains, there’s the Reichenbach Falls of Sherlock Holmes fame, the impressive Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat railways, and little-known wines from the Valais.
Across the Roof of Europe . 14 nights
Across the Roof of Europe . 14 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the extraordinary becomes commonplace. Sapphire mountain lakes, glinting in emerald-green valleys and surrounded by glacier-encrusted, white-tipped mountains that twinkle like diamonds in the sun, are thick on the ground. Incredible feats of engineering that take trains through some of the planet's most unforgiving terrain with precise punctuality hardly warrant a raised eyebrow.
And mountains whose names conjure up images of heroic men with frozen beards and sunburned faces, and whose scale reboots our definition of size, arrive like buses – in quick succession. In this land, famed for its silky-smooth chocolate, its efficient, cuckoo-clock timekeeping, its jangling cowbells and its crater-filled cheese, the clichés are but a small part of the story. Switzerland is a postcard brought vividly to life, and although the extraordinary is commonplace, it is absolutely priceless.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Meiringen
    Night 1: at Hotel Victoria (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore from Meiringen
    Set on the verdant valley floor of the Haslital, Meiringen was single-handedly put on the Victorian tourist map by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who set the apparent murder of his hero, Sherlock Holmes, at the nearby Reichenbach Falls. Aficionados from across the world still come to pay homage, though the real reason to visit is to explore the 1,400-metre Aare Gorge, following a walkway just above the river, as it winds between 200-metre cliffs which are, in places, close enough to touch on both sides. As the birthplace of Alpine guiding, you can reach serious Alpine peaks with minimal effort, by bus up the Gen Valley for a stroll around Engstlensee, or by cable car to the top of the Meiringen ski domain for incomparable views. Alternatively, head to the lakeside village of Brienz for a stroll along the promenade; or seek out the open-air museum of Ballenberg – its dreamscape setting in a wooded valley, beset by mountains and decorated with old farms and houses from all corners of the country, reflects its moniker ‘Switzerland in miniature’, and instils in the visitor a sense of peaceful contemplation.
  • Meiringen to Wengen
    Today you journey up the Reichenbach Valley with the opportunity to ride the historic funicular to the Reichenbach Falls before continuing by post bus to the Victorian Rosenlaui Hotel and the nearby glacier gorge filled with thundering meltwater. The valley, which was both a trading route and important grazing area since before records began, remains unspoiled, with limited car access; you have a chance to walk some of the historic route before heading on by bus via Grosse Scheidegg and your first views of the mighty Eiger’s north face, to Grindelwald. Then take the cog railway up and over Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen and the Hotel Alpenrose for a three-night stay.
  • Explore from Wengen
    The singular becomes sublime as you ride the Jungfraubahn on its incredible journey to the inside of the Eiger, through a surreal world of sculpted ice and glacier tunnels, before you emerge at the highest railway station in Europe: the views from here over the Aletsch Glacier are such that you will forgive the many camera-toting tourists! You could also take the cable car from Wengen to Männlichen, for spectacular but undemanding walking in the shadow of the Eiger, to reach the restaurants and station of Kleine Scheidegg. Return either by train or on foot – in part tracing the famous Lauberhorn downhill ski run – through meadows back to Wengen. Alternatively, opt for another spellbinding ride by cable car and rail, ascending to the lofty village of Mürren and its futuristic revolving restaurant atop the Schilthorn mountain. Featured in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the 360-degree views over the mighty triumvirate of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau will leave you stirred, rather than shaken.
  • Wengen to Kandersteg
    You journey down to the shores of Lake Thun and the village of Spiez for a visit to the 12th-century church, castle and gardens by the marina, before travelling the length of the Kander Valley where the train climbs through looping tunnels to gain height, to reach the picturesque village of Kandersteg where you stay three nights at the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria.
  • Explore from Kandersteg
    Use Kandersteg’s gondola to reach the spectacular Lake Oeschinen, a UNESCO site, whose crystal-clear, turquoise water – almost entirely encircled by steep rock faces – invites you to drift across its silky surface in a rowing boat. Alternatively, take the cable car to the high meadows of Sunnbüel for a gentle walk following an ancient trading route to the historic Schwarenbach Hotel and a well-earned lunch. Further afield, Interlaken is easily reached by train, for gentle lakeside strolls and boat excursions.
  • Kandersteg to Salgesch
    Your onward journey today takes you from the north of the Bernese Oberland mountain massif through the Lötschberg Tunnel into the Valais, Switzerland’s premier wine-producing region, whose south-facing lower slopes are clad for miles with vineyards. Here you stay for two nights at the Hotel Arkanum in Salgesch, a small village with no fewer than 38 wine producers. Having left the high mountains, you have an opportunity to bask in an almost Mediterranean climate, enjoying meals on the hotel terrace beneath vines. This is the perfect spot to try some of the grape varieties which are unique to the Valais. Forget the Swiss staples of Fendant and Dôle, and try instead a Petite Arvine, Malvoisie or Heida among the whites; and a Humagne or Cornalin from the reds.
  • Explore from Salgesch
    Stroll through vineyards and along ancient waterways known as bisses, following the Valais wine trail, marked at either end by wine museums. Arrive in Sierre, having crossed the official language border (from German to French) at the narrow river gorge of La Raspille, to reach the beautiful Château de Villa for a glass or two of local wine on the restaurant terrace. Or head by train to Sion, the canton’s capital, to explore the exceptional pedestrianised Old Quarter with its museums, galleries, bars and restaurants, and the hill-top castles of Tourbillon and the Valère basilica, once a bishop’s palace and fort, with a 13th-century church, museum and views along the Rhône valley.
  • Salgesch to Zermatt
    Continue by train along the Rhône valley, passing one of the largest pine forests in the Alps, the Pfynwald, which contains an important protected wetland area which is home to a range of flora and fauna. To the south, the mountains are split by the massive ‘Illgraben’, where a whole mountain collapsed over millennia to the valley floor, leaving a distinctive alluvial fan and vast ravine where once a peak had towered. From Visp, you head up the Matter Valley by historic cog railway to the traffic-free town of Zermatt, famous for mountaineering and its position below the summit of the mighty Matterhorn, where you stay for three nights at the Hotel la Ginabelle.
  • Explore from Zermatt
    Take our included trip on the cog railway to the top of the Gornergrat and Europe’s highest hotel, the 3100 Kulmhotel, with restaurant and observatory. The views are some of the best in the region: the Monte Rosa massif, including Switzerland’s highest summit, the 4,634-metre Dufourspitze; the Gorner Glacier, second largest in the Alps; and not least, 29 mountains above 4,000 metres, including the imposing Matterhorn. Back in Zermatt village, walk through the old town with its wooden barns, visiting the historic Monterosa hotel, church and superb museum which gives atmospheric insight into not just the mountaineering history of the valley but to mountain life and its adaptation to tourism in the shadow of the world’s most iconic mountain. Or enjoy a stroll in the mountains through larch forests, passing green and blue lakes for perfect Matterhorn reflections and on to a memorable final day’s lunch at Chez Vrony, whose cushioned wooden loungers offer peerless views of this 'King of the Alps'.
 

Accommodation

As this is a holiday of outstanding scenery, we have found hotels to match, to make your stays all the more special. In Wengen, we include a south-facing room.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
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  • 14 nights: 13 June 2020 - 11 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    13 - 27 Jun 2020 £2645 £300
    28 Jun - 16 Aug 2020 £2695 £300
    17 - 31 Aug 2020 £2645 £300
    1 - 10 Sep 2020 £2545 £290
    11 - 27 Sep 2020 £2485 £290
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: return rail from any Swiss airport, rail/bus Meiringen–Wengen–Kandersteg–Salgesch–Zermatt, plus Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat trips, and Half Fare Card giving 50% discount on any other travel purchased

    Add £80pp to upgrade to first class rail travel within Switzerland

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    14 nights: 13 June 2020 - 11 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    13 - 27 Jun 2020 £2995 £300
    28 Jun - 16 Aug 2020 £3075 £300
    17 - 31 Aug 2020 £2995 £300
    1 - 10 Sep 2020 £2865 £290
    11 - 27 Sep 2020 £2795 £290
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes all elements in the 'journey price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris/Meiringen (TGV/regional rail), approx. duration 9h30. Home Zermatt–Paris (TGV/regional rail), Paris–UK (Eurostar) approx. duration 11h15 plus 0h02 taxi transfer.

    Other included travel: rail/bus Meiringen–Wengen–Kandersteg–Salgesch–Zermatt, plus Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat trips, and Half Fare Card giving 50% discount on any other travel purchased

    Add £80pp to upgrade to first class rail travel within Switzerland

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Victoria, Meiringen
    Superior: 13 Jun - 11 Oct 2020 £26
    Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg
    Mini-suite: 13 Jun - 11 Oct 2020 £38
    Hotel la Ginabelle, Zermatt
    'Comfort' with Matterhorn view: 13 Jun - 11 Oct 2020 £15
    Superior with Matterhorn view 4*s: 13 Jun - 11 Oct 2020 £25

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Victoria, Meiringen (with dinner) Double room Single room
    13 Jun - 11 Oct 2020 £167 £200
    Hotel Alpenrose, Wengen (with dinner) Double room Single room
    13 Jun - 14 Jun 2020 £122 £138
    15 Jun - 14 Jul 2020 £134 £150
    15 Jul - 14 Aug 2020 £144 £160
    15 Aug - 14 Sep 2020 £134 £150
    15 Sep - 11 Oct 2020 £122 £138
    Hotel la Ginabelle, Zermatt (with dinner) Double room Single room
    13 Jun - 15 Aug 2020 £155 £182
    16 Aug - 11 Oct 2020 £150 £177
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Geneva, Zürich

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich or Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Geneva easyJet 
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Geneva easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Geneva British Airways,  easyJet,  Swiss 
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Geneva easyJet 
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Geneva easyJet 
    Manchester - Zurich Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Geneva easyJet 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Zürich or Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Geneva

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Geneva airport to Meiringen via Lucerne (3h30), walk to hotel (0h02) included 1630
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer to station (0h02), rail Zermatt to Geneva airport (3h55) included 1400

    Connecting travel options - flying via Zurich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Zürich airport to Meiringen (2h30), walk to hotel (0h02) included 1730
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    hotel transfer to station (0h02), rail Zermatt to Zürich airport (3h40) included 1400
What is included
  • 14 nights
  • 14 dinners
    14 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • travel Meiringen-Wengen-Kandersteg-Salgesch-Zermatt
  • tickets for Jungfraujoch & Gornergrat
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Switzerland, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official languages are German, spoken in the majority of the country; French, spoken in the south-west; Italian, spoken in the south-east; and Romansch, mostly limited to the Engadine valley. The currency is the Franc. Swiss time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 11/12/2019 4:31:11 AM