Swiss Alps and Geneva

Bern - © STC
Chillon Castle - © STC
Geneva - © STC
Gornergratbahn Zermatt - © STC
Jet d'Eau, Geneva - © STC
View of the Matterhorn via the Gornergrat Railway
Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva - © Switzerland Tourism
Old town, Geneva
Zermatt - © Leander Wenger

Holiday Highlights

  • Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel by train, lake steamer and city buses/trams
  • Geneva old town and the Jet d’Eau
  • Sightseeing in Bern and Zermatt
  • Chillon Castle
  • 8  Days from £1525
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Series 5, Episode 2, Great Continental Rail Journeys. Switzerland is an inevitable destination for a European rail journey as Bradshaw discovered and documented in his 1913 Continental Railway Guide. Now we see a modern version of this rail route as Michael Portillo travels to Switzerland, visiting Geneva, Bern and the Swiss Alps resort of Zermatt. This tour mirrors this journey but with the added flexibility of a Swiss Travel Pass allowing you to explore using trains, lake steamers, city buses and trams.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – To Geneva

Morning departure by Eurostar to Paris, connecting with TGV service to Geneva. Stay 1 night in Geneva.

Day 2 – Train to Bern

Spend most of the day sightseeing in Geneva before taking a late afternoon train to Bern, the capital city for a 2-night stay. You will be provided with a Swiss Travel Pass which gives unlimited travel on trains, boats and city buses and trams. This allows for lots of excursion opportunities throughout the whole trip.

Day 3 – Free Time

Free day based in Bern. As well as its beautiful old town with its cobbled streets the city is home to the bears that legend say gave the city its name and the Federal Assembly. Alternatively use your Travel Pass and make a short excursion to Biel/Bienne, the home of Swiss watchmaker Omega.

Day 4 – Swiss Alps

Leave Bern after breakfast to travel by train into the Swiss Alps and the resort of Zermatt. Stay 2 nights in Zermatt in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn.

Day 5 – Matterhorn

Free day based in Zermatt. The town has prospered since 1865 when the British climber Edward Whymper reached the top of the Matterhorn, the first person to do so. Today Zermatt has two distinct seasons, in winter it is a mecca for snow sports and in summer people visit for walking and climbing. Your Travel Pass allows you to take the mountain rack railway to Gornergrat at a reduced fare. The spectacular route affords several different views of the Matterhorn as it climbs to a height of 3000m.

Day 6 – Lac Leman

Time to take the train down to the Rhone valley at Visp, making a connection westwards to Montreux, situated on the shores of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). Free afternoon to stroll along the promenade or possibly take a lake cruise. Stay 2 nights in Montreux.

Day 7 – Chillon Castle

Free day based in Montreux. Dominating the waterfront is Chateau de Chillon. This fortress was built by the House of Savoy to defend the road that is tucked in between the lake and the hillside and is the subject of the Byron poem of the same name. It is open daily to the public. Another excursion possibility from Montreux is the cheese train – sit back and marvel at the glorious scenery whilst eating traditional fondue (train operates on certain winter dates only).

Day 8 – Returning Home

Leave Montreux after an early breakfast, changing trains in Geneva for Paris to board the Eurostar service back to St Pancras, arriving late afternoon.

Selected Hotels

Hotel Strasbourg, Geneva

Hotel Bern, Bern

Hotel Simi, Zermatt

Hotel Tralala, Montreux

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Rail travel to and from Switzerland in standard class
  • Standard class Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited travel on trains, lake steamers and city buses/trams
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis

Price per person

From £1,525 per person sharing

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