Florence, Lake Garda & Swiss Alps

Holiday Highlights

  • Scenic rail routes
  • Listed excursions at no extra cost
  • Global Rail Pass for unlimited travel throughout the holiday
  • Journeys on the Glacier and Bernina Express trains
  • Arranged optional escorted excursions on free days at no extra cost
  • Rail via the classic route from Switzerland to Germany along the Rhine River.
  • Hotels in Florence, Chur and Interlaken close to the station enabling easy access for sightseeing on free days.
  • Free travel from your home station to London pre/post tour (on date of outbound/return travel)
  • 15 days from £2,630pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Monday 12 September to Monday 26 September 2022

This tour offers classic Italian scenery and culture followed by stunning Alpine settings in Switzerland. Memorable rail journeys through breathtaking scenery and leisurely sightseeing make this a relaxing yet exhilarating tour.


Day 1 – London to Chambery

Depart on Eurostar early morning from London St Pancras to Paris then onwards by TGV train to Chambery where we have an overnight stay.

Day 2 – Tuscany

We leave Chambery by train after breakfast and travel via Milan to reach Florence. The city sits on the banks of the River Arno and is steeped in culture, art and history. We have a 3-night stay in this wonderful city.

Day 3 – Leisure Time

Florence can be quite overwhelming as there is so much to see. This one day can only be a taster but all of the main sights are within easy walking distance of each other and a good starting point is the 14th Century Cathedral (Duomo) which dominates the skyline. There are also numerous museums, the most famous being the Uffizi, home to the Medici family’s private collection.

Day 4 – Pisa

A full day optional escorted trip by train to Pisa. Straddling the River Arno there are several bridge crossings to aid exploring. Pisa is home to the iconic Leaning Tower. Completed in 1372 it stands 56m high and is built of white marble. There are also many other buildings and museums worthy of a visit. Return to Florence late afternoon.

Day 5 – Genoa

An easy half day transfer by train from Florence, via Milan, will bring us to Genoa where we stay for 2 nights. The busy port town is also the capital of the Liguria region. Take time to visit the old town with its narrow lanes and picturesque squares, as well as the Cathedral of San Lorenzo with its black and white striped façade.

Day 6 – Train to Casella

An optional escorted excursion on the narrow gauge railway which links Genoa with Casella. The 25km scenic route through the Scrivia Valley takes approximately one hour each way. The trains are electric and operated by vintage stock.

Day 7 – Lake Garda

We leave Genoa behind and travel inland to the largest of the Italian lakes. Lake Garda lies on the edge of the province of Lombardy and has the Alps on its northern shore. Desenzano is one of only two locations served by train and we are based here for 3 nights. We will arrive mid-afternoon, leaving the rest of the day free.

Days 8 & 9 – Relax

From Desenzano you can explore the lake using either the boats or a network of local buses. Villages such as Sirmione and Malcesine with its cable car to the top of Monte Baldo are just two of the options.

Day 10 – To Switzerland

Departing after an early breakfast we travel via Milan then north through Lombardy to Tirano. The UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railways operate this far and from here we travel on the Bernina Express to Chur, the capital of Graubunden. We stay in Chur for 2 nights.

Day 11 – Explore

A free day to relax or explore more of the Rhaetian Railway network using your rail pass. Possible destinations are Davos, Klosters and Filisur.

Day 12 – Glacier Express

Leaving Chur after breakfast we join the Glacier Express for one of Switzerland’s most scenic journeys. Sit back and enjoy the stunning scenery as the train makes its way via the Oberalp Pass, where the summit of the line is reached at 2033m (6670ft), and the Furka tunnel to emerge into the Rhône valley at Brig. We continue on to Interlaken for a 2 night stay.

Day 13 – Exploring from Interlaken

You can very easily take the train into the surrounding area. Our excursion list gives lots of options and your tour leader will be more than happy to advise and to offer an optional escorted excursion.

Day 14 – To Aachen

Leaving Interlaken after breakfast we take the main line service to Basle and onwards via Cologne to Aachen for an overnight stay. Dinner included.

Day 15 – To London

Taking the morning ICE service to Brussels we make a connection with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, arriving early afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Hotel Mercure Chambery Centre, Chambery

Hotel Croce di Malta, Florence

Hotel Metropoli, Genoa

Hotel Vittorio, Desenzano

Hotel Freieck, Chur

The Hey Hotel, Interlaken

Ibis Hotel Marschiertor, Aachen

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Eurostar travel in standard class
  • Global InterRail Pass in standard class for unlimited travel throughout the holiday
  • Free travel from your home station to London pre/post tour (on date of outbound/return travel)
  • Bernina and Glacier Express supplements
  • Accommodation in good, quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
    2 evening meals
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,630
Single room supplement: £860
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
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  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
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  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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