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10 Day Swiss Scenic Alps by Rail Tour

Your " Immersion in the best that Switzerland offers" Experience! 

Imagine the spectacular alpine scenery through the panoramic "vista" windows that run from your elbow to the ceiling while you sit comfortably in your first class Swiss rail seat. Your eyes gazing effortlessly on the beautiful Swiss Alp peaks, the sparklling lakes, the postcard looking green pasture meadows, historic castles, the gigantic Matterhorn, Swiss valleys, vineyards, gushing white water streams, magic mountains with glacier European roof altitudes all the while in your comfortable and room legendary Swiss train car.

The legendary trains of Switzerland are among the finest in the world and the Swiss have perfected making mountains accessible. Their ingenious network of trains, rack railways, trams, and funiculars easily puts you in the midst of the most spectacular glaciers in the Alps and the highest peaks in Europe.

You'll tunnel through the Eiger to arrive at the Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. Then you ascend the Gornergrat above Zermatt to arrive at an alpine panorama where you are surrounded by more 4,000 meter peaks than anywhere else in the alps.

Enjoy the Swiss Alps in the comfort of your first class rail car, and in the company of Swiss rail experts. You'll discover the scenery, history, and engineering that have made Switzerland's rail system the finest and most popular in the world.

There's a reason the Swiss travel an average of over 1300 miles a year on trains by far the highest in the world. Swiss trains are efficient, comfortable, offer the fastest and easiest way to take you where you want to go. And the unforegettable alpine scenery is the icing on the cake.

You'll enjoy the comfort of First Class on the most legendary of alpine railway journeys The Glacier Express and discover the charms of other scenic routes such as the Bernina Express and the Goldenpass Line, also in First Class.

Highlights:

  • You see and experience up close the most scenic Swiss Alps; The Matterhorn, The Jungfraujoch, Mt. Pilatus
  • You enjoy Switzerland’s majestic scenery through the panorama windows of the most famous trains in first-class; Glacier Express – St. Moritz to Zermatt, Bernina Express – Lugano to St. Moritz, Goldenpass – Montreux to Interlaken.
  • You hear ongoing first-hand input about each of the places you visit by your Swiss based native English speaking guide, René Welti, who’s listed in Lonely Planet’s “Discover Switzerland” guidebook who receives raving reviews from previous tour participants. René’s combination of English & Swiss-German provides for lot’s of spontaneous fun and good times.
  • The hassle of your luggage handled without you having to worry – René helps you get them on and off the trains and the local hotels meet us at the train stations plus the bags get expedited on two segments from Montreux to Interlaken and Interlaken to Zurich airport.
  • You become a Swiss expert and able to tell all your friends about Swiss cheese, chocolate, wines, everday Swiss life and show all your wonderful pictures with lot’s of fun stories.
  • Lifetime of great memories and moments!

Activity Level

ECHO Trails tours are designed for people who are energetic, active, and filled with a spirit of adventure. We rate this tour as easy to moderate. You should be able to walk  2 miles per hour easily and be able to walk 3 to 4 hours per day with hourly stops for taking pictures and breaks. You will be hiking in an elevation range of 3,000ft to 7,000ft with mostly level "mountain trails". On one day we will take the Jungfrau cog wheel train up to the Jungfraujoch to an elevation of 11,340 ft.

Season:

June 11 to June  20, 2018
July 30 to August 08, 2018
Aug 13 to Aug 22, 2018
Aug 27 to Sept 05, 2018
Sept 22 to Oct. 1, 2018
Or, Let us know if you would like us to custom a private departure for you

Children under 6 years are free of charge.
Children from 6 to 16 get a reduction of 50%.
All rates are in Swiss Francs CHF.

Rate list:

$4595 per person, double occupancy from Zurich or Geneva
$399 single supplement
Reserve your place on this tour with a $300 per person deposit

The rates include:

  • The services of an expert guide.
  • All accommodations (9 nights in hotel) in 3 and 4 star hotels.
  • All meals as shown (B=breakfast, D=dinner)
  • First Class rail transportation and all ground transportation including trams and mountain railway excursions, admissions.
  • Luggage handling on and off the trains, bags expedited between Montreux-Interlaken and Interlaken-Zurich airport.

The rates exclude:

Lunches, Beverages (beer, wine) with meals, items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls, room service)

Cancellation policy

Cancellations made more than 60 days prior to departure are refundable less a $100 per person service fee. Cancellations made between 60 and 15 days prior to departure are subject to a $500 per person cancellation penalty. Cancellations made less than 15 days before departure are subject to a $1000 cancellation penalty. Cancellation of individual room nights or non-use of prepaid meals are not refundable. Transportation vouchers and railpasses are bearer documents and cannot be refunded if lost or stolen. 

 

Itinerary

 

Day 1 – Arrive in Lucerne; easy access from the Zürich airport. 

After meeting the other tour members, you will ascend to the top of the 7000 ft. Mt. Pilatus via the cable car in Kriens. At the top you will enjoy the beautiful Central Swiss Alps panorama and Lake Lucerne below you. You will then descend via the world's steepest cogwheel train and return to Lucerne. Overnight in Lucerne at a historic hotel near the train station. D

Day 2 – Swiss Alps in the Historic Heart of Switzerland 

Lucerne--Gothard Pass -- Lugano

Ride a historic paddle steamboat along the Wilhelm Tell express route to Fluelen on Lake Lucerne.  In the afternoon you will take a train to Lugano through the historic beginnings of Switzerland where you see the Ruetli meadow where Switzerland was founded in 1291 and ride through the 15 km Gotthard tunnel first openedin 1888. This 13th century Gotthard pass became the shortest North-South route through Europe and still one of the reasons for Switzerland's economic success. You can enjoy an early lunch in the dining room on this historic boat. Once in Lugano you will be delighted to enjoy this Italian speaking part of Switzerland called Ticino, representing 10% of the Swiss population. Overnight in Lugano. BD

Day 3  ITALIAN LAKE COMO & ALPS POSTCARD TO REALITY

Lugano – Bernina Express Bus & Train – St. Moritz
After enjoying your breakfast on the outside terrace overlooking Lake Lugano, you begin a morning Swiss postal bus ride through the awesome George Clooney married, Lake Como area and wonder how the steep hillside vineyards are harvested. You stop in the Italian village of Tirano where there is time for lunch where you sit with locals and can watch the local Chef create your favorite pizza from scratch and do his magic in the old style wood burning brick oven. After lunch you relax in your first-class section assigned comfortable seat spending the afternoon experiencing the scenic narrow valley terrain as you climb from 400m/1200ft up and over the 2250m/7300ft Bernina pass summit all the while watching the 4000m/12900ft Bernina mountain range, the highest alpine peaks, though the panoramic vista windows that run from your elbow to the ceiling. You will be busy taking lot’s of pictures as the beautiful alpine scenery changes with the many twists and turns of your Bernina Express train that runs along 122 km of track passing through 55 tunnels and over 196 bridges and viaducts. On arrival in St. Moritz, we are met and transferred to our 3rd generation family owned hotel. BD

Day 4 BEAUTIFUL SWISS ALPS, LAKES & VISTAS

All Day St. Moritz to relax, discover and enjoy
This wide Engadine valley is one of the most scenic in all of Switzerland as you see numerous alpine lakes from the Muottas Muragl funicular railway reached 2454m/7362ft summit. The vistas are inspiring as you see the snow capped Bernina Mountain range peaks and the green pasture St. Moritz ski slopes all in the same view. You have choices to walk along the paved level St. Moritz lake situated in the midst of thick pine forests and experience the wonderful smells and beautiful sights of this world famous alpine resort. You will be amazed at the trendy fashions you see in the store windows and understand the “Champagne climate” branded St. Moritz. Your Engadine card entitles you to access all the local transportation and the summit Piz Nair, Piz Corvatsch & Diavolleza cable cars. Your guide, Rene´Welti, represented St. Moritz in the USA, will suggest the best things to do and will do them with you. BD

Day 5 MOUNTAINS, MEADOWS, ROLLING MOVIES

St. Moritz – Glacier Express – Zermatt;
The fastest 8-hour train ride you will experience! After savoring the St. Moritz home made croissants, breads, jams buffet breakfast you are transferred to the train station to begin one of the most beautiful stretches of railway in the world where you experience the one-of-a-kind mountain landscape in the Swiss Alps. In addition to the awesome scenery, you have headphones where information in English is provided so you also hear and understand what you are seeing. You will be amazed at the engineering feats this 1930 first-time route offers as you cross 291 bridges and go through 91 tunnels while you ascend and descend, 500m/1600ft through the varied and culturally changing mountain valleys. Throughout the journey you will wonder in awe how the service staff cater to the needs of the passengers and also provide and serve warm meals at one’s seat. Through out the day there’s ample room to get up and walk around as you will want to visit the panorama bar where you can comfortably lean against a leather padding and enjoy the scenery traveling by. On arrival in Zermatt, you are transferred to one of the nicest properties you will ever experience. BD

Day 6 THE MATTERHORN & MAJESTIC SURROUNDING HIGHEST ALPS IN EUROPE

All day in Zermatt to discover and enjoy
Today is one of the trips highlights as we take an early morning Gornergrat cogwheel train to 3000m/10000ft and experience the Matterhorn from an eye level and a 360 degree view of the surrounding 4000m/13000ft highest peaks in Europe. You are now encircled with incredible mountain and glacier views and have the time to immerse yourself in the awesome alpine snow covered peak scenery. To deepen / enhance your Matterhorn experience, options include easy hiking on signposted paths to and through tiny alpine ponds that offer great photo taking opportunities. For the afternoon your guide offers the best afternoon Zermatt activities for either a historical walk and / or nature walk. Dinner is at a local Zermatt restaurant where you can order your meal choices off the menu. BD

 Day 7 Swiss Valleys, Gruyères Castle, Cheesemaking 

Zermatt – Gruyères

Today we will travel to the prealp of the French-speaking Fribourg canton where we stay in the walled medieval village of Gruyères. In Gruyères, you will learn why this is some of Switzerland's best tasting cheese and also what it takes to make it by seeing cheesemakers at work. We will also have time to explore the 800-year-old castle. There’s no better place to enjoy fondue than in Gruyères.

Overnight in Gruyères. BD

Day 8 SWISS SCREEN SAVER & LEGENDERY TRAINS

Montreux – Gruyere Cheese – Cailler Chocolate - Interlaken
The Goldenpass Classic train car allows you to experience what it was like during the Belle-Epoque, Golden Age period when the rich and famous where the only ones traveling on such trains. Soon in Gruyere, you learn why this is some of Switzerland’s best tasting cheese and also what it takes to make it by seeing cheese makers at work. Close by a visit to one of Switzerland’s best tasting chocolate factories also allows you to taste all the chocolate you can eat! The continuing alpine flower multi-colored valleys, rolling hills, green pastures, wooden chalets, Disney looking villages, cow grazing farms bring us to one of Switzerland’s oldest and still most popular resorts. Overnight Interlaken BD

Day 9 HUGE & MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAINS WITH GLACIER ROOF OF EUROPE EXPERIENCE

Interlaken – Jungfraujoch – Interlaken – Zurich Airport
Today caps one of the trips highlights with a three different train ride up to the top of the 3,400m / 13371 ft Jungfraujoch, the 1914 built complex between the Mönch & Jungfrau mountains. You are inside and outside to experience Europe’s largest Aletsch glacier and view mountains, snow and ice as far as you can see. There’s time to walk outside on the hard packed snow glacier and be part of the scenery. Sit in on one of the free standing deck chairs or go tubing and enjoy Europe’s highest man made splendor. Train to Zurich with farewell dinner in one of Zurich’s historic restaurants that combines great ambiance and cuisine. Overnight Airport Radison Blu BD

Day 10 Depart Zurich for return and / or onward travel

This trip designed for people who are energetic, active, and filled with a spirit of adventure. We rate this trip as easy. You should be capable of walking about one to two miles per day. On one day you will take a mountain railway to an elevation of 11,388 feet and should be comfortable to spend 3 to 4 hours at this altitude.

 

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Bank: Post Finance
Company Name: ECHO Trails
René W. Welti
Langensandstr 52, 6005 Lucerne
Acct # CH62 0900 0000 8063 5518 0
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