Take a magical Alpine rail journey past soaring peaks, dramatic ravines and pretty villages, plus enjoy the best of Bern, Lucerne and Interlaken

The Alps might not be the world's tallest mountain range, but they are certainly one of the most beautiful. This is especially true in winter, when a fresh layer of snow has fallen, and the towns dotted along the Alpine valleys are at their most romantic.

On our five-day February tour of the Swiss Alps, you'll stay in a charming hotel in Interlaken, visit Lucerne and Bern, cruise across picturesque Lake Thun, and ascend Mount Rigi on a traditional cogwheel railway. You'll also spend a day on the Glacier Express, enjoying a leisurely three-course lunch while you climb slowly and steadily higher up into the mountains, travelling through the mighty Oberalp Pass.

Ride the Glacier Express

After a short train journey to Chur, in East Switzerland, you'll board the iconic Glacier Express for one of the most unforgettable days of your tour. The 'slowest express train in the world' has been in operation since 1930, though it now boasts modern, comfortable and airy carriages. Large windows offer panoramic views of the surrounding fantastical landscapes, as you inch your way through snow-coated woodland and up into the Oberalp Pass, standing 2,033 metres above sea level. During the journey, you'll be served a delicious three-course lunch, and in the evening, you'll return to Interlaken for a relaxing evening at your hotel.

Charming Interlaken

Sitting in a narrow valley between two lakes, Interlaken, in central Switzerland, is a classic Alpine resort town with a picturesque, olde-worlde feel. Timberclad buildings line the streets - one of which, the Hotel Carlton-Europe, will be your base for five days. With an on-site spa, vintage décor and a restaurant serving a menu of traditional Swiss dishes, it will give you a real sense of life up in the Alps. You'll also be close to the emerald waters of Lake Thun, and the mountains, forests and meadows of the Bernese Oberland region.

Lake Thun cruise

Day four of your tour will feature an afternoon cruise on Lake Thun, one of Switzerland's most scenic spots, surrounded on all sides by dramatic landscapes, including quaint mountain villages, historic churches and 12th-century Thun castle. You'll also be able to spot the distant peaks of the region's most famous summits - the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Mount Rigi and Lake Lucerne

A visit to the colourful lakeside city of Lucerne will be a chance to breathe in plenty of fresh mountain air. Following leisure time to explore the city's shops, cafes and squares, you'll take the train to nearby Arth-Goldau, where a traditional cogwheel railway will lift you slowly to the summit of Mount Rigi - from where you'll be rewarded with sweeping views across the surrounding mountains and glittering Lake Lucerne below.

Explore Bern

The morning of your final full day will be spent exploring the fascinating Swiss capital Bern, where the carefully preserved, pedestrianised Old Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its many fountains, narrow streets, ancient spires and ornate public buildings still stand proud decades, and in some cases centuries, after their construction. Most famous among these building is Bern Cathedral, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture, and the intricate 13th-century Zytglogge (clock tower). The arrival of each new hour sets off an incredible mechanical puppet show, including roosters, dancing bears, a jester and the Ancient Greek god of time, Chronos. The city's mountainous skyline adds to its romantic appeal.

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Reasons to book

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Price includes

  • Take the Eurostar and a high-speed train from London to Interlaken (return)
  • Spend four nights at the historic Hotel Carlton-Europe in Interlaken, including breakfast and porterage
  • Join the Glacier Express from Chur to Brig
  • Enjoy a three-course lunch on board the Glacier Express
  • Travel by second class rail within Switzerland
  • Visit Bern and explore Lake Thun by rail and boat
  • Discover Lucerne and Mount Rigi by rail and boat

Availability

From
Fri, Fri, Feb 21, 2020
To
Tue, Tue, Feb 25, 2020
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£995*
* Price based on two sharing a room, subject to availability and to booking conditions of Arena Rail Holidays. Single supplement: £195. The maximum group size is 40. Promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands
From
Fri, Fri, Feb 28, 2020
To
Tue, Tue, Mar 3, 2020
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£995*
* Price based on two sharing a room, subject to availability and to booking conditions of Arena Rail Holidays. Single supplement: £195. The maximum group size is 40. Promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands
Call now to book 01473797365
Quote ref: HEARST GLACIER EXPRESS
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Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    London – Interlaken
    Interlaken, Switzerland

    Journey from London to Paris by Eurostar, followed by an onward connection to join the high-speed train to Strasbourg and onward train to Interlaken, Switzerland. Check in at the Carlton-Europe Hotel for a relaxing evening.

  2. Day
    2
    Lucerne via GoldenPass Line – Mount Rigi
    Lucerne, Switzerland

    Today you'll travel along a section of the GoldenPass Line to Lucerne, where colourful pitched roof buildings perch on the edge of a blue lake, framed by a magnificent mountain range. After some free time you'll take the train to nearby Arth Goldau and then join the cogwheel railway up Mount Rigi for breathtaking panoramic views across the Alps and of Lake Lucerne below.

  3. Day
    3
    Glacier Express
    Chur, Switzerland

    This morning you'll travel by rail to Chur and join the Glacier Express for a memorable journey along the broad valley before climbing through pasture and woodland. Enjoy a delicious three-course lunch on board as the train spirals its way towards the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of the route at 2,033 metres, before descending to the Rhône valley and stopping at Brig. You'll then continue by rail, returning to Interlaken in the early evening.

    Meals - Lunch
  4. Day
    4
    Bern – Lake Thun Cruise
    Bern, Switzerland

    The capital of Switzerland, Bern, is your destination this morning. This charming city is perfectly preserved, with many fountains, facades, narrow streets and ancient towers. Traffic is kept out of the old town, so it's a delight to explore with the added beauty of the Aare river and surrounding mountains. In the afternoon you can enjoy dramatic scenery with a cruise on Lake Thun, whose deep blue waters are framed by quaint villages and historic castles, right up to the peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

  5. Day
    5
    Interlaken – London
    Interlaken, Switzerland

    Depart this morning, retracing your route to Paris where your Eurostar connection returns us to London.

Accommodation

Carlton-Europe Hotel

0
Interlaken, Switzerland

Close to the emerald waters of Lake Thun lies the Hotel Carlton-Europe, an 120-year-old adult's only vintage hotel

With an on-site spa, vintage décor and a restaurant serving a menu of traditional Swiss dishes, the Hotel Carlton-Europe will give you a real sense of life up in the Alps. Some of the rooms and the legendary Johnny's dancing bar were recently renovated to enhance its alpine-chic look. All rooms are individually designed using unique furniture and are equipped with a flat screen TV, a telephone, a safe, Wi-Fi, hairdryer, an electric kettle and either a shower or a bathtub.

Brought to you by

Arena Travel
This tour is operated solely by Arena Travel
Arena Travel, with its portfolio of top experts, is one of the UK's leading special interest holiday companies. At Arena Travel, a team of experts and tour managers look after you from start to finish.

To view Arena Travel’s supplier’s terms and conditions click here.

Availability

From
Fri, Fri, Feb 21, 2020
To
Tue, Tue, Feb 25, 2020
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£995*
* Price based on two sharing a room, subject to availability and to booking conditions of Arena Rail Holidays. Single supplement: £195. The maximum group size is 40. Promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands
From
Fri, Fri, Feb 28, 2020
To
Tue, Tue, Mar 3, 2020
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£995*
* Price based on two sharing a room, subject to availability and to booking conditions of Arena Rail Holidays. Single supplement: £195. The maximum group size is 40. Promotion is exclusive to Hearst UK and may be promoted by other Hearst UK brands
Call now to book 01473797365
Quote ref: HEARST GLACIER EXPRESS