Echo Rails & Trails Itinerary – 13 Days

13-Day Swiss Alps by Scenic Rail – Overview

Day 1 – Arrive in Lucerne

  • Introduction of all participants, leisurely informative walk around the old town.
  • Dinner at local authentic Lucerne restaurant.
  • Overnight in Lucerne

Day 2 – Lucerne’s two home mountains, Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi

  • Experience Europe’s first cogwheel railway to the top of Mt. Rigi, 1800 m/ 6000 ft with 360 degree views of the surrounding alps.
  • Experience the world’s steepest cogwheel railway up to Mt. Pilatus, 2000 m / 7000ft
  • Overnight in Lucerne

Day 3 – By Voralpen Express from Lucerne to St. Gallen then by Glacier Express to St. Moritz

  • Depart Lucerne on the Voralpen Express to St. Gallen through the rollong landscape of eastern Switzerland
  • Visit the Abbey Library in St. Gallen, one of the oldest libraries in the world
  • Transfer by private bus to Maienfeld to visit Heidi’s original home and see the inspiration for the much loved Heidi story.
  • Continue by train to Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city.
  • Then by Glacier Express from Chur to St Moritz over the iconic curved Landwasser Viaduct
  • Overnight in St Moritz

Echo Trails Rails & Trails - Bernina Express

Day 4 – All day in the St. Moritz-Engadine Valley area for scenic Alpine highlights and optional panorama hikes.

  • Cable car ride up to Corvatsch or Diavolezza
  • Bernina Express train to Alp Grüm for awesome views of the  Bernina mountain peaks, glaciers and waterfalls.
  • Optional Panorama Hike to experience these Bernina mountains and green pastures first hand.
  • Optional 3½ to 4 hr, 5½ mi/9 km Panorama Trail on relatively flat natural dirt and stone path
  • Overnight in St Moritz

Day 5 – From St. Moritz via Glacier Express to Andermatt

  • Glacier Express highlights – Albula railway section and Landwasser Viaduct from the South-to-North
  • Rhine Gorge, Switzerland’s ‘Grand Canyon’
  • Oberalp Pass at 2033 m / 6000 ft.
  • Hot meal served at your seat
  • Afternoon at leisure to visit the 2017 Hotel of the Year, the Chedi in Andermatt, or take an alpine walk
  • Overnight in Andermatt

Day 6 – All day in the Andermatt / Gotthard region, visit a military bunker and ride a 1920’s steam train

  • Ride up to the Gotthard Pass summit and walk through the form top secret Elsasso Gothardo military bunker inside the mountain.
  • 2-hour Furka Steam Train ride over the Rhone and Mutt glaciers
  • Overnight in Andermatt

Gotthard Tunnel Rail Pass

Day 7 – From Andermatt to Lugano; afternoon Olive Trail walk and dinner at outdoor Grotto

  • Ride through the Gotthard Tunnel from the German-speaking region to the Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland
  • Arrive Lugano in time for lunch
  • Afternoon at leisure – various options available
  • Boat ride to dinner at outdoor Grotto
  • Overnight in Lugano

13: 00 Briefing for new participants joining the Rail Tour

Lake Como - Bellagio

Day 8 – Full day in nearby Como, Italy

  • Full day tour to Lake Como region of Italy
  • 2-hour boat ride on Lake Como past exquisite villas and gardens
  • Visit the towns of Bellagio, Varenna, Lenno and Como
  • Return to Lugano for overnight

Centovalli Express

Day 9 – From Lugano by Centovalli Railway to reach Zermatt in time for afternoon to see the Matterhorn

  • Depart Lugano on Centovalli Railway (Hundred Valleys), a spectacular narrow-gauge considered a “gem” of a railway line
  • Reach Zermatt in time for a walk through the town and to get a first view of the Matterhorn.
  • Enjoy the wellness facilities and indoor-outdoor pool at the hotel
  • Overnight in Zermatt

Gornergrat Railway and Matterhorn

Day 10 – Gornergrat Railway and a guided hike with breathtaking views of the Matterhorn

  • By Gornergrat Railway, Europe’s second highest railway and the highest open-air railway of the continent, up to the 10,134 ft / 3089 meter Gornergrat with incredible views of the Matterhorn
  • 1-2 hour guided hike through an alpine nature reserve with stunning Matterhorn views mirrored in pristine alpine lakes.
  • Overnight in Zermatt

Golden Pass Rail Line

Day 11 – From Zermatt by GoldenPass Line to Grindelwald with 2-hr stop in Montreux on Lake Geneva or visit Chillon Castle

  • From Zermatt travel down the valley of the Rhône River past miles of vineyards to the French-speaking region of Switzerland
  • A 2-hour stop-over in Montreux allows time to enjoy the lake or visit the famous island castle of Chillon
  • Experience what it was like to travel in the Belle-Epoque period on the GoldenPass Line from Monteux to Grindelwald past picture postcard scenes all the way
  • Overnight in Grindelwald

Day 12 – Excursion up to the top of Jungfraujoch, lunch at Eigergletscher, afternoon in Lauterbrunnen to visit the Trümmelbach Falls

  • A highlight day of the whole trip – three mountain train rides up to the top of the 3,400m / 13371 ft Jungfraujoch, built on the saddle between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains.
  • Travel by train in a tunnel built inside the Eiger mountain
  • Experience Europe’s largest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier, and view mountains, snow, and ice as far as you can see.
  • Afternoon return to Lauterbrunnen and transfer by postal bus to the Trümmelbach Falls, the world’s only glacier waterfalls that are accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms.
  • Overnight in Grindelwald

Day 13 – Grindelwald – Lake Thun – return to Zürich Airport hotel

  • Morning at leisure to enjoy the Jungfrau Region mountain surroundings
  • Afternoon take a ride on a lake steamer on Lake Thun enjoying last views of the surrounding Alps
  • In Thun we transfer to the last train journey of the tour to take you directly to the Zurich airport train station
  • Overnight at the airport hotel (or continue with individual onward travel)

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