A train ride like no other

Author: Ipsita Barua, Travel Editor

Can a train journey be an experience and a destination in itself? Certainly so, in Switzerland.

The Glacier Express combines two of the best things Switzerland has to offer – breathtaking panoramas and comfort of a rail carriage. This special train runs between the mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz via Andermatt in the central Swiss Alps, taking you through the cantons of Valais, Uri and Graubünden. The end-to-end journey takes around eight hours and you have the option to board or leave the train in any of the seven stops along the way. 

As the train chugs past impressive Alpine canyons, viaducts, bridges and through tunnels (291 bridges and 91 tunnels), an audio guide offers you interesting information about the route and its highlights in seven different languages.

My Swiss Story: A train ride like no other , Pic: http://www.glacierexpress.ch

Highlights

The Matterhorn

As one of the most photographed mountains in the world, this jagged mountain peak is synonymous with Switzerland, also popular as the peak featured in the Toblerone logo. The pyramid-shaped peak has four distinct sides that align with the cardinal directions: north, south, east and west. The north side faces Zermatt Valley and the east overlooks Gornergrat Ridge, both in Switzerland, while the south face points toward the Italian town of Brueil-Cervinia and the western side overlooks the Swiss-Italian border.

The Oberalp Pass

The Oberalp Pass connects Disentis Sedrun in the Surselva and Andermatt in the canton of Uri. At its highest point, the mountain pass reaches 2,044 metres above sea level. In the Middle Ages, the Pass gave the people of Graubünden access to the pig and goat markets in the cantons of Uri and Ticino.

My Swiss Story: A train ride like no other, Pic: http://www.fuchs-on-tour.ch

Landwasser Viaduct

With its 65m high pillars, tapering towards the top, the viaduct is one of the most elegant bridge constructions in Graubünden and the most frequently photographed feature of the Rhaetian Railways on the Albula stretch, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list as first of three railway lines worldwide.

My Swiss Story: A train ride like no other, Pic: http://www.glacierexpress.ch

The Rhine Gorge

This massive ravine is aptly referred to as the Swiss Grand Canyon. The bizarre stone formations bordered by pine tree captivate train passengers, ramblers, mountain bikers and river rafters from around the world. The Glacier Express crosses the gorge on its route between Chur and Zermatt.

My Swiss Story: A train ride like no other, Pic: http://www.chur.graubuenden.ch

The Route

From Zermatt to St. Moritz and vice versa with stops in Brig, Andermatt, Disentis Mustér, Chur, Tiefencastel, Filisur and Samedan.

Gastronomy

As you gaze out at the stunning alpine panorama, you can choose from the dish of the day (CHF 34 per person) or a 3-course meal (CHF 47 per person) of traditional dishes, all freshly prepared on board and served at your seat. You could pair your meal with fine wines from the cantons of Graubünden and Valais to round off your culinary experience. You need to reserve your food preferences prior to your trip while reserving your seats online or by phone +41 (0)81 300 15 15 or email at sales@panoramic-gourmet.ch

My Swiss Story: A train ride like no other, Pic: http://www.glacierexpress.ch

Reservation

You will need to make your seat reservation with the applicable fee depending on the length of your journey chosen and the class selected.

  • Half-price travel with the Half-Fare travel card or Swiss Half-Fare Card
  • GA travel card, Swiss Travel Pass and day passes, Eurail pass and Interrail passes are valid
  • Children under 6 years: free
  • From 6 to 16 years: 50% discount
  • With the Junior Card, children under the age of 16 accompanied by a parent travel for free. 
  • A surcharge is payable for the Glacier Express

The Glacier Express brings back the romance of classic train journeys with everything designed for your comfort as you take in the sights of this beautiful country through snow-covered magical landscapes in winter and lush vistas all other seasons. It’s the perfect thing to do for special occasions combined with a stay in the beautiful resorts of either Zermatt or St. Moritz.

NOTE: Due to the current pandemic situation the winter schedule of the Glacier Express will run from 19 December 2020 and remains suspended until then

Find all information about the Glacier Express here to plan your trip


Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, our team is talking about – Swiss travel, expat living, mental health, nutrition, wellness, recipes, home & lifestyle and activities for children. Stay well and stay with us!

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