The grand train tour of Switzerland

By Donna Duggan

The grand train tour of Switzerland
There’s good reason why people say the Grand Train Tour is the only way to experience Switzerland. Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, the tour gives you the comfort, ease and accessibility to explore all the glorious sights and experiences this tiny, awe-inspiring European country has to offer.

The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland (GTToS) merges all the country’s panoramic rail lines into one breathtaking route. Year-round, this train ride of 1,280km connects the most charming Swiss cities to alpine hotspots, through UNESCO World Heritage Sites and breathtaking landscapes.

You can choose your own adventure with GTToS, with a host of sections and destinations to choose from to suit your interests, whether that’s skiing the Swiss Alps or exploring the museums and landmarks. The GTToS also includes access to boats and buses, so your one pass takes care of all your transport needs.

All you need to do is sit back and enjoy.

Choose your adventure

As well as having the option of customising your tour, there are numerous travel suggestions to choose from. The seven-night Original Tour allows guests to experience the entire Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, including 11 top sights, a choice of 21 mountain excursions as well as a relaxing boat cruise.

If the view of the Matterhorn from the mountain resort of Zermatt, a ride on the Glacier Express, or a stroll over the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne is on your bucket list, then the Classic Tour may be the pick for you.

The Classic Tour offers something of everything: picturesque towns, breathtaking train lines and thrilling mountain excursions, including the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Jungfrau Region that features the magnificent Eiger, Mönchand Jungfrau.

With so many unique sights and landmarks in Switzerland, the Top Attractions Tour is also hard to beat. It takes travellers to the stunning locations of Interlaken, Lucerne, Montreux and Zermatt, allowing them to visit all the highlights including Chapel Bridge, Chillon Castle andRhine Gorge, along with mountain excursions.

Chillon Castle, on the shores of Lake Geneva, is one sight not to be missed. Immortalised by English poet Lord Byron in The Prisoner of Chillon, it has had a long and colourful history since the 12th century when it was used as a strategic checkpoint for passengers between the northern and southern parts of Europe.

The Glaciers & Palm Trees Tour delivers on its promises: a magical journey in the warmer months that starts in the temperate regions of St Moritz before climbing more than 2,000 metres into the mountains.

First, imposing glaciers take turns with sparkling lakes and hilltop castles which you can view through ceiling-high windows on board the Bernina Express. Shortly afterwards, the train winds its way down to Italy, where guests can continue to Lugano by bus – immersing themselves in a little ‘dolce vita’ before taking the historic Gotthard Line back to Lucerne.


From Europe’s largest waterfall to sparkling turquoise alpine lakes, the Stunning Waters Tour takes you to some of Europe’s best water scenery. Get up close and personal on a river cruise or marvel from afar in the comfort of a train carriage. The three-day/two night tour follows the scenic routes on the Voralpen-Express and along the Thurbo lake line through numerous picturesque sites including the Rhine Falls and Lake Lucerne.

The Stunning Waters Tour also takes you through the central Swiss Alps where you can view Mount Rigi, known as the Queen of the Mountains, and Pilatus, home of the world’s steepest cogwheel railway.

For culture vultures, the Hidden Treasures Tour may be for you. This route bridges two cultures: from the urban centre of Zurich, the Hidden Treasures Tour leads over the picturesque, lesser-known Lötschberg Line down to the charming Italian Mediterranean town of Locarno through the Centovalli (‘100 valleys’), and then along the historic Gotthard Line back to the German-speaking region of Switzerland.

Three days of urban charm, rolling countryside and Mediterranean grottos makes this one of the most popular trips on the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. Perfect for any time of year, the tour is particularly enjoyable in spring.

Discover the new Winter Magic Tour

Frozen lakes, fluffy powder snow and majestic glaciers are guaranteed on the new Winter Magic Tour, which launched in September 2020. The train journey allows you to experience the winter highlights of Switzerland with jaw-dropping vistas wherever you turn. Starting at Lucerne, the tour continues on to Interlaken where you can spend a few nights in this stunning town before heading on to Zermatt – right by the world-famous Matterhorn.

Enjoy a couple of days in this mountain resort town before the Glacier and Bernina Express trains take guests through the heart of the Swiss winter wonderland to St Moritz across landscapes that aren’t accessible to cars in the winter months.

The suggested itinerary is eight days (with two nights in Interlaken, Zermatt and St Moritz). Alternatively, tailor-made ticket packages are also available through your travel agent.

Excellence class on the Glacier Express

A panoramic trip through the Swiss Alps aboard the Glacier Express is now even more spectacular with the new Excellence Class. Excellence Class sets standards that are as high as the mountain peaks along the legendary route, guaranteeing you a window seat and a superb panoramic view while travelling across 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels between St Moritz and Zermatt.

Excellence Class also includes a regional five-course menu with accompanying wines as well as a concierge to provide information and support your comfort throughout your trip.

For more information, visit

Clean and safe

To strengthen the confidence of guests in Switzerland as a safe and clean travel destination, the tourism industry associations have created a “Clean & Safe” label.

This label shows guests that the establishment has made a conscious commitment to comply with the rigorous protection plans that were established by the federal government.

For more information, visit

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