3Days 2Nights Glacier Express Tour (Zermatt – St Moritz)
Truly one of the world's most spectacular rail. Diving through 91 tunnels and traversing 291 bridges: Some eight hours on the crimson-and-white adventure train will take you across the Alpine chain. The Glacier Express with its roof-high panoramic windows opens unparalleled views of magnificent landscapes. The impressive Matterhorn, the 2,033-metres high Oberalp Pass or the 400-metre deep Rhine Gorge are just a few of the many highlights of this route.
- Matter Valley
The Matter Valley between Zermatt and Stalden spans some 25 kilometres and offers a remarkable range of scenic splendours – eternal ice, deep ravines and rugged rockfaces; 29,400-metre
peaks and flowering Alpine meadows; the highest-altitude vineyards in Europe and superb ski runs. Running through the valley is the wild and foaming River Matter Vispa, which converges with the Saaser Vispa at Stalden before joining the Rhone at Visp.
- Bies Glacier
The Bies Glacier to the east of the Weisshorn massif is the only glacier still visible from the Glacier Express train. In the spring of 1991, millions of cubic tonnes of rock thundered to the valley floor from the opposite side of the valley, changing the landscape forever. The glacier tongue is currently located at 2,000 metres above sea level. The ice stream flows into the valley with a downhill gradient of up to 60%.
- Kipfen Gorge
Close to Kalpetran, the Glacier Express continues through the wild and romantic Kipfen Gorge along one of the route’s most scenic sections. The train line and the River Vispa run parallel at close quarters, and in the past flooding and avalanches have caused considerable damage. The flow of the Vispa is now regulated and the railway track protected by masonry to avoid further damage.
The Saas and Matter Valleys meet at Stalden, also known as the «village of bridges». Stalden’s many bridges date from different eras, all pointing to the village’s past as a major hub for transporting goods. Shortly before the village entrance is the steepest section of the Glacier Express line; here the trains have to climb a challenging 12.5 % ascent requiring peak power performance.
- Kin Bridge
The Kinbrücke is an arched stone bridge dating back to the 16th century. It was built by Ulrich Ruffiner – «the father of architecture in Canton Valais» – and crosses the River Matter Vispa. Until 1934 all traffic between Stalden and the Saas Valley crossed the Kinbrücke. Today, this historic and picturesque structure is a protected monument.
- Stockalper Palace
The people of Brig in Canton Valais are proud of their Palace. It dates from the 17th century and was built by Kaspar Stockalper («King of the Simplon»), an eminent silk merchant, banker and politician. The cellars, arcades, halls and rose garden are open to visitors, and the Palace offers fine views of Brig’s beautiful old town, monastery and Jesuit Church. The Palace halls feature fine tapestries and silk paintings, designed in Paris in the 18th century.
A popular hiking region in summer, a varied cross-country skiing paradise in winter: This uppermost valley of the Rhone River features traditional timbered dwellings raised on wooden piles. It enjoys a spectacular setting amid 3,000-metre peaks and the eternal ice of the Rhone Glacier. The Goms was the birthplace of the legendary César Ritz (1850-1918) the peasant’s son who founded the renowned
Ritz-Carlton Hotels. He is buried in the village of Niederwald.
Andermatt is located at the foot of the 2,033-metre Oberalp Pass in the canton of Uri, along the 144-kilometre network of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. From here trains depart for Disentis, Göschenen and Zermatt. Due to the already partly opened new tourism resort Andermatt Swiss Alps, Andermatt is developing into an attractive year-round vacation destination.
- Oberalp Pass
The Oberalp Pass links Disentis/Mustér in Canton Graubünden with Andermatt in Canton Uri. At 2,033 metres, it is the highest point on the route of the Glacier Express. Located even higher to the south is Lake Toma (2,345 metres), recognized as the source of the River Rhine.
- Disentis Monastery
Disentis is dominated by the oldest Benedictine monastery in Switzerland, built in the late 17th century. In 1799 the monastery church was burned and plundered by Napoleon’s army. Extensive restoration work was undertaken in the late 19th century. Today it houses a school.
- Rhine Gorge – the “Swiss Grand Canyon”
It began 10,000 years ago as the famous Flims landslide – now it is a unique natural backdrop. Over many centuries the River Rhine has carved a path through the bedrock. The result is a ravine renowned as the Swiss Grand Canyon, and one of Switzerland’s most impressive natural spectacles. The Rhine Gorge is a popular attraction for hikers, bikers and river-rafters – and can even be toured by train.
- Domleschg Region.
The Domleschg is a region renowned for its countless castles, due mainly to its strategic position on the route to three main Alpine passes – the Splügen, San Bernadino and Julier. Fortresses were built to control this ancient route, making the Domleschg one of the regions in Europe richest in castles. The largest is Schloss Ortenstein, which is located on a 120-metre rock overhang high above Tomils.
- Solis Viaduct
In ancient Roman times, according to legend, Saint George escaped his pursuers by making a mighty leap over the Albula River on horseback. The modern form of gorge-crossing is also mighty in its own way. The Solis Viaduct, built in 1902, rises to 89 metres and spans 42 metres – making it not only the highest bridge of the Rhaetian Railway but also the widest span of any along the Albula line.
- Landwasser Viaduct
The Landwasser Viaduct is the most spectacular construction on the 63-kilometre Albula stretch between Thusis and St. Moritz – and the most photographed feature of the entire Rhaetian
Railway. It comes into view on the right shortly before the village of Filisur, is 142 metres long and rises impressively to a height of 65 metres. The natural stone viaduct extends in a curve over the rugged Landwasser Valley directly into a tunnel entrance on a vertical rock wall.
- Bergün and Preda
The direct distance between Bergün and Preda is only six kilometres. But the Rhaetian Railway has to travel more than twice that distance to make the maximum gradient climb of 3.5 percent between the two. To cover the 418-metre difference in altitude, trains have to pass through five loop tunnels, cross four valleys and negotiate many smaller tunnels, viaducts and dams.
- Engadine houses
Between Bever and Celerina in the Engadine, the traditional farmhouses of the region never fail to fascinate travellers. These mainly three-floor dwellings are characterised by strong stone walls
and deep funnel-shaped windows – but most of all their stylish Sgraffiti (special facade decoration). The word is derived from the Italian «sgraffiare» (to scratch) and refers to the technique of this traditional craft.
Day 1: ARRIVAL SWITZERLAND - ZERMATT (-/-/-)
Individual transfer by train to Zermatt. Short walk to the hotel and check in. Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. The town's tourist development is closely linked to what is most probably the world's most famous mountain, The Matterhorn. Zermatt, which is a car-free zone has preserved its original character and offers nearly unlimited possibilities for excursions.
Day 2: GLACIER EXPRESS (ZERMATT - ST MORITZ) (-/-/-)
Today, board the world famous Glacier Express for a thrilling side through some of the most dramatic scenery in Switzerland. You will find out everything you need to know about this particular route through the Alps via headphones and accompanying guidebook - making sure you don't miss a single highlights.
Day 3: DEPARTURE (-/-/-)
Check out from the hotel and continue on to your onward journey by public transport.
Price from CHF 445 per person*
- 1 x Rail ticket 2nd class: border/airport - Zermatt - St. Moritz - border/airport
- Add on: Upgrade to 1st class rail CHF 134
- Add on lunch on Glacier Express CHF 54
- Excursion to Gornergrat (non-guided) CHF 67
- 1 x Night stay with breakfast and city tax in Zermatt (double-occupancy)
- 1 x Night stay with breakfast and city tax in St. Moritz (double-occupancy)
- 1 x Seat reservation on the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz
- 1 x Swiss Coupon Pass (value CHF49)