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The Glacier Express in Winter

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.
The Glacier Express in Winter. 7 nights
The Glacier Express in Winter. 7 nights
 

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
 
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.
  • 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)
  • Free time in Kandersteg
    You can be as active or as inactive as you like during your two days in Kandersteg. If you can tear yourselves away from the comforts of the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the snow, not least cross-country and downhill skiing (pay for a lesson or two if you have never skied before); winter walking along signposted, specially flattened trails; snowshoeing; curling; ice-skating and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Alternatively, you may wish to travel by train (pay locally) to the unspoiled Lötschental Valley.
  • 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.
 

Accommodation

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

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel
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  • 7 nights: 04 January 2020 - 16 March 2020

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

    Starting Adults
    04 Jan - 14 Jan 2020 £1320
    15 Jan - 19 Jan 2020 £1365
    20 Jan - 03 Feb 2020 £1380
    04 Feb - 28 Feb 2020 # £1420
    29 Feb - 09 Mar 2020 £1320

    Includes all elements of the holiday itself (accommodation, meals and any additional elements as described), plus flights (usually, but not always, from London) and onward travel as described.

    # Supplement applies on 15 Feb; please contact us for details

    Single room: add £110 

    Included travel: British Airways or Swiss Heathrow-Zürich (1h45) (hold luggage included; timings vary, please call for details), out rail from Zürich Airport to Chur (1h50), home rail (1h10)

    Upgrade to first-class rail: add £170pp to all prices

    Prices are subject to availability and flight supplements may apply. Book early for Christmas, New Year and school holidays. We can also book different flight routes (see flight section below). Please contact us to discuss any pricing implications.

    7 nights: 04 January 2020 - 16 March 2020

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

    Starting Adults
    04 Jan - 14 Jan 2020 £1420
    15 Jan - 19 Jan 2020 £1465
    20 Jan - 03 Feb 2020 £1480
    04 Feb - 28 Feb 2020 £1515
    29 Feb - 09 Mar 2020 £1420

    Includes all elements of the holiday itself (accommodation, meals and any additional elements as described), plus Eurostar and onward rail services from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet or Ashford, plus any transfer to the hotel as described below.

    Single room: add £110

    Included travel: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Chur & return Lucerne–Paris (Regional rail/TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar). Approx. duration out 9h30/home 9h including changes

    Upgrade to first-class rail (in Switzerland only): add £170pp to all prices

    Prices are subject to availability and supplements may apply. Book early for Christmas, New Year and school holidays.

  • Room upgrades (supplement per room per night)

    Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg
    Mini-suite: 04 Jan - 16 Mar 2020 £65
    Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne
    Superior: 04 Jan - 16 Mar 2020 £28

    Extra nights

    Hotel Wilden Mann, Lucerne (B&B) Double room Single room
    04 Jan - 16 Mar 2020 £132 £170
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Zürich (latest flight arrival time: 1600; earliest flight departure time: 1130)

    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 alternative 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 stated above, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice if you would prefer to fly via a different route to the one included in our standard arrangements. A supplement may be payable for other flights.

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 3 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • self-guided walking tours of Chur & Lucerne
  • rail travel or flights from London (regional flights available)
  • itinerant rail travel
 
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

  • Living far from the capital ourselves, we know better than most that flying from London can be a bind, so we are very flexible with our travel arrangements. Call or email us, and one of the team will be happy to list the different options available to you, and any price implications.
  • 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 : 9/21/2019 6:59:16 AM