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The Glacier Express

From Chur to Lucerne by rail
 
Experience one of the world’s most spectacular train journeys, and take a trip into the mountains around Lake Lucerne, on this memorable, self-guided holiday combining two of Switzerland’s finest cities with a stay at a much-loved mountain hotel, where you can try a range of winter activities.
 

Holiday information

 

A journey on the Glacier Express

through majestic scenery
This, one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, is at its most dramatic in the winter months. The rolling meadows, silent forests, deep lakes and traditional villages are all the more enchanting under a blanket of snow, framed by majestic mountains whose snowy peaks glisten in the sunlight.
Taking you up to 2,033 metres through scenery of incomparable grandeur, it combines stays in two of Switzerland’s finest historic cities with a stay at our most popular mountain hotel.

As such, it is a very varied holiday, featuring a wonderful blend of history, culture and unforgettable views, plus the chance to try your hand at a range of winter activities in the picture-book village of Kandersteg.
 

Our expert says

“This is a truly iconic rail journey. The highlight is the Oberalp Pass. That the trains make it over the pass is a miracle of engineering, and the scenery is truly inspirational.”
Rebecca Bruce, Inntravel snow holiday expert
 

Book with confidence

Our flexible booking arrangements, commitment to safety and financial protection mean that you can book with confidence. More details >

Your holiday experience: what to expect >
Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Chur
    Night 1: at Romantik Hotel Stern (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Chur
    Your first day is spent in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland north of the Alps. The medieval streets of the Old Town boast some fine examples of Italianate architecture, as well as buildings in the distinctive local style. The focal point of the Old Town is the Arcas-Platz, and it is also worth seeking out the Fine Arts Museum, the 15th-century town hall and the magnificent 12th-century cathedral, a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
    Arcas Platz, Chur © Chur Tourismus
    Try delicious local specialities
  • Chur to Kandersteg
    Today you take your reserved seat on the world-famous Glacier Express, as it makes its journey across Switzerland. Against a backdrop of snow-clad mountains, the train climbs steadily through the valley of the infant Rhine, just a few metres from the rushing water, to the Oberalp Pass (2,033 metres), the highest point on the route. From here, the train follows the River Rhône, descending to Brig, where you change trains to pass through the Lötschberg Tunnel to the picture-book village of Kandersteg and the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria. This incredible journey takes approximately five-and-three-quarter hours. (Lunch on the Glacier Express is pre-bookable; pay locally)
    The iconic Glacier Express
  • Free time in Kandersteg
    As well as indulging in the comforts of the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, a stay in Kandersteg is all about embracing the joys of winter, with a number of activities available from the village.

    The winter walking in particular is superb, with options ranging from leisurely, low-level strolls to wonderfully scenic hikes around nearby Lake Oeschinen and up the Gemmi Pass. Kandersteg also makes a great base for anyone looking to try out cross-country skiing, as trails pass directly by the hotel and there are a number of easy routes along the surrounding valley floor. Further winter walking and cross-country trails can be found by taking the train (pay locally) to the Lötschental, a beautiful and unspoiled valley situated between the Bernese Oberland and Valais regions.

    If you’d prefer to stay close to Kandersteg, there are several more activities to choose from: you can hire snowshoes and explore the idyllic glacial valley of Gastern; enjoy a thrilling descent by toboggan from Oeschinensee; pass an enjoyable few hours ice-skating or curling on the village rink; or even take to the local pistes on downhill skis. The choice is yours!
    Beautiful Oeschinensee © David Wandfluh, Oeschinensee Tourismus
  • Kandersteg to Lucerne
    Leaving Kandersteg, you take an exhilarating train ride along steep valleys, beside deep lakes, over high passes and beneath towering mountains. The first leg descends to the lakeside town of Interlaken before following the northern shore of the Brienzersee towards the small town of Brienz. From here, the train continues in a north-easterly direction over the spectacular Brünig Pass en route for historic Lucerne, where you spend two nights at the delightful Hotel Wilden Mann.
  • Explore Lucerne
    Spend your last day exploring historic Lucerne, wandering through the atmospheric streets, admiring the Renaissance architecture and visiting the city's famous bridge, the Kapellbrücke. Alternatively, spend a day discovering the lake and its environs – included in your travel pass is the chance to make a wonderful round-trip by boat, cog railway and cable car into the surrounding mountains for outstanding views.
    Atmospheric Lucerne © Lucerne Tourism/Beat Brechbühl
    Enjoy a paddle boat trip © Lucerne Tourism/Perretfoto
 

Accommodation

In the two cities as well as in the mountains, you stay in well-located hotels.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 02 January 2021 - 12 January 2021 & 13 January 2021 - 15 March 2021

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

    Starting Price Single room
    2 - 5 Jan 2021 £1195 £115
    6 - 12 Jan 2021 # not available not available
    13 - 24 Jan 2021 £1245 £115
    25 Jan - 3 Feb 2021 £1265 £115
    4 - 24 Feb 2021 £1325 £115
    25 Feb - 2 Mar 2021 £1245 £115
    3 - 8 Mar 2021 £1195 £115
    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.

    # one of the hotels is closed during this period

    Included travel: return rail from Zürich airport, plus rail Chur–Kandersteg–Lucerne

    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.

    7 nights: 02 January 2021 - 12 January 2021 & 13 January 2021 - 15 March 2021

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

    Starting Price Single room
    2 - 5 Jan 2021 £1495 £115
    6 - 12 Jan 2021 # not available not available
    13 - 24 Jan 2021 £1545 £115
    25 Jan - 3 Feb 2021 £1565 £115
    4 - 24 Feb 2021 £1625 £115
    25 Feb - 2 Mar 2021 £1545 £115
    3 - 8 Mar 2021 £1495 £115

    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.

    # one of the hotels is closed during this period

    Included travel: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Chur & return Lucerne–Paris (regional rail/TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar). Approx. duration out 9h30/home 9h including changes
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    Other included travel: rail Chur–Kandersteg–Lucerne

    Upgrade option: add £180pp 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.

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

    Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne (B&B) Double room Single room
    02 Jan - 15 Mar 2021 £125 £150
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Zürich

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Zürich. 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
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Zurich Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    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 Zürich. 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 £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 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 Zürich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Zürich airport to Chur (1h40), walk Chur station to hotel (0h10) included 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    walk hotel to Lucerne station (0h10), rail Lucerne to Zürich airport (1h) included 1130
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 3 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • self-guided walking tours of Chur & Lucerne
  • rail travel Chur - Kandersteg - Lucerne
 
Reviews

There are currently no reviews for this holiday. If you have experienced it, why not be the first to write a review?

 

FAQs

  • We sincerely hope that your holiday experience will be as enjoyable as it would have been before the pandemic – we’re not operating holidays if the key highlights can no longer be delivered – but, naturally, there will be some changes to ensure your and other people’s safety.
    Your holiday experience: what to expect >
    Safety measures being taken by hoteliers & others >
  • 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 £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to 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.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • 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 travel insurance 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 – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your alternative policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • 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 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 for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. 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.
  • 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, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 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 : 9/18/2020 6:51:30 PM