Rail through Switzerland

A visit to Switzerland is a visit to another world. One where fairytale-like villages and pristine scenery are the norm. A place where every frame is perfect and where every detail makes you feel like you are in a dream. This is the Swiss effect. Due to the compact size of Switzerland, you can see its stunning highlights even on a short trip. Here’s a guide on how to get the most out of your Swiss holiday.

The most efficient and convenient way to experience the country is with the Grand Train Tour using a Swiss Travel Pass. A truly spectacular tour, it combines eight of the country’s most panoramic rail journeys covering 1,280km, unveiling majestic snow-capped mountains, verdant meadows, glistening lakes and much more. Peeling yourself away from the over-height train windows as you weave your way through the country will be your greatest challenge. The longest express train ride in the world, this 7½ hour journey is a must for train lovers. Thoroughly scenic from end to end between the resort towns of Zermatt and St Moritz, the train crosses a whopping 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and ascends up to 2,033m, the highest point of the track. A large part of the journey also travels along the World Heritage Listed site of the Rhaetian Railway. To say this is one impressive train journey would be an understatement. If the luxury of time is an issue, there are four shorter sections along the journey which will give you a taste of the Alps. The Gotthard Panoramic Express links Lucerne and Lugano via a scenic steamboat ride on Lake Lucerne. Taking 17 years to construct, the journey goes through the longest train tunnel in the world stretching 57km. A route that first started its services in 1882, this engineering feat proved an immediate success. Today, 135 years later, it remains one of the most panoramic and time efficient ways to connect between the two destinations. Leading the way in ecological evolution, The Gotthard Base Tunnel is powered by hydroelectricity. As a passenger, you will no doubt enjoy the 200 bridges you cross and the seven loop tunnels you pass, but also be delighted with the ever-changing landscape.

Starting or ending in Lucerne, this picturesque city will grip you like no other with its rich history, colourful Old Town and of course, the unmistakable and iconic Chapel Bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in the world. The views around Lake Lucerne aren’t too bad either when you’re gliding along the waters in the steamboat. With your Swiss Travel Pass, exploring the city and its vicinity is easy. With the Alps as a backdrop and positioned on a picturesque lake in southern Switzerland, Lugano has a distinct Italian touch. Discover art and architecture amongst steep cobblestone streets occupied by trendy eateries and boutiques in Switzerland’s third most important financial centre.