Base Tunnels and Mountain Passes
26 July to 07 August 2019

Join Geoff as he explores the famous Swiss railway base tunnels and the mountain passes that they have replaced as well
as his favourite trains and towns.

Highlights for the tour include:

Travel through the recently opened Gotthard Base Tunnel
Bellinzona and its three UNESCO-listed castles
The city of Lucerne with the Chapel Bridge and its beautiful lake
Travel on the GoldenPass line and the Bernina Express line
A ride on the Furka Steam train between Oberwald and Realp

Good three and four star hotels are used and your luggage will be transferred between hotels for a relaxed holiday.

Geoff Cooke will host the tour which will run with up to 20 guests. Join him for an outstanding exploration of Switzerland by
train with a small group of new found friends!

Friday, 26th July 2019. Arrive in Switzerland
Upon arrival in Zürich Airport, make your way by rail to the main railway station in downtown Zurich (about SFr 3.40). Your hotel is conveniently
located, a 10 minute walk from the station. The rest of the day will be at leisure, your centrally located hotel making an exploration of the city and
lake easy. Meet this evening for a pre-dinner drink and an included dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Glockenhof, Zürich. Dinner included.

Saturday, 27th July 2019. Zürich – Lugano – Bellinzona
Take a train to Lugano through the recently opened Gotthard base tunnel. This is the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world, replacing
the Gotthard Pass line that we will travel over later. Take the funicular railway from Lugano Station to the city and a short walk to the waterfront.
The Lugano Città–Stazione funicular has an upper station within the main railway station of Lugano, and the lower station is in the historic city
centre below. It is one of the busiest funicular lines in Switzerland.
After a break for lunch, join a boat trip on Lake Lugano before continuing by train to Bellinzona. For your convenience, your luggage will be
transported from your hotel in Zürich to your hotel in Bellinzona.
Hotel Internazionale, Bellinzona. Breakfast and dinner included

Sunday, 28th July 2019. Follow the route of the Gotthard Panorama Express
Travel by rail from Belinzona to Lucerne by the old railway route over the Gotthard Pass to Fluelen, where you will join a lake steamer to
continue your journey to the transport museum in Lucerne. Later this afternoon, continue by boat to your hotel in central Lucerne, a few minutes
walk from the main railway station, with time to relax before dinner. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Bellinzona to your hotel
in Lucerne.
Hotel Astoria, Lucerne. Breakfast and dinner included.

Monday, 29th July 2019. Excursion to Mount Pilatus
Our destination today is Mount Pilatus, accessible by the world’s steepest rack (cog) railway after a boat trip across Lake Lucerne. There will
be time  to take in the wonderful views before we make the journey back to Lucerne by cable car, gondola and bus.
The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore Lucerne at your own pace.
Hotel Astoria, Lucerne. Breakfast and dinner included.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019. Lucerne to Interlaken and the Brienzer Rothorn
Today we travel from Lucerne to Interlaken, breaking our journey at Brienz for a trip up the Brienzer Rothorn railway. Your luggage will be
transported from your hotel in Lucerne to your hotel in Interlaken. Enjoy time at the summit of the Rothorn to admire the breath-taking views
over the high peaks of the Bernese Oberland and the two lakes below, have lunch (not included) before travelling back down to Brienz and on
to Interlaken by paddle steamer. Your hotel is a short walk from the quay.
Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken. Breakfast and dinner included.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019. Schynige Platte, Lauterbrunnen, Grütschalp and Mürren
An exciting day awaits as we travel on mountain trains and cable cars through some of the prettiest places in the Bernese Oberland, enjoying
incredible scenery on the way. Ride an historic and scenic electric rack railway to Schynige Platte with time to explore the wild flower gardens
before returning to Lauterbrunnen. Take a postbus and cablecar to Murrren, followed by a narrow gauge train to
Grutschalp and a cable car
down to Lauterbrunnen for a train back to Interlaken.

Hotel Interlaken, Interlaken. Breakfast and dinner included.

Thursday, 1st August 2019. GoldenPass line to Montreux & Château de Chillon
Today we travel on the scenic GoldenPass line to Montreux, a pretty town on the shores of Lake Geneva. Your luggage will be transported from
your hotel in Interlaken to your hotel in Montreux.
Upon arrival in Montreux, enjoy some time at leisure to have lunch before we travel
by train to Château de Chillon, with time to explore the
famous Chateau
before we return to Montreux by paddle steamer.
Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux. Breakfast and dinner included.

Friday, 2nd August 2019. Chocolate Train
Board an exciting Chocolate Train, which will give you an insight into two of the best Swiss products: cheese and chocolate.
Start your exploration on the Belle Epoque or Panoramic train from Montreux to Gruyères. Upon arrival, visit the Maison du Gruyere to find out  
how cheese is produced. Enjoy some free time in the medieval town of Gruyères with its impressive 13th century castle before a bus transfer
to Broc to visit Maison Cailler, the famous chocolate factory to taste some delicious chocolates. End your day with a train to Montreux.
Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, Montreux. Breakfast and dinner included.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019. Montreux to Zermatt and the Gornergrat
Travel by train from Montreux to Brig where you will change trains to ride over the original Lotschberg alpine pass to Spiez.
The Lötschberg line connects Spiez in the canton of Bern with Brig in the canton of Valais. It crosses the Bernese Alps through the Lötschberg
Tunnel. Together with the Simplon Tunnel south of Brig, it constitutes one of the major railways through the Alps and an important north-south
axis in Europe. The line is famous for its double loop of spiral tunnels in the Kander Valley on its northern approach to the Lötschberg Tunnel
and the climb out of the Rhone Valley on a steep mountainside through numerous tunnels and viaducts on the southern approach. Its
culminating point is 1,240 metres above sea level, making it the highest line of the main Swiss railway network.
Enjoy a short break in Spiez before returning to Visp through the lower Lötschberg Base Tunnel, continue to the car free resort town of Zermatt.
Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Montreux to your hotel in Zermatt.
This afternoon, take the mountain train to the Gornergrat, which offers incomparable views of the famous Matterhorn. On return to Zurmatt, your
hotel is a short walk from the station.
Hotel Derby, Zermatt. Breakfast and dinner included.

Sunday, 4th August 2019. Furka steam train to Realp and Chur
Take a train to Oberwald to board a steam train on the Furka Railway bound for Realp. The original railway, now replaced by a tunnel, is
preserved with steam trains running through a scenic gorge. From Realp, join Regio local trains for the scenic journey
over the Glacier Express
to Chur. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Zermatt to your hotel in Chur.
Romantik Hotel Stern, Chur. Breakfast and dinner included.

Monday, 5th August 2019. Chur to St Moritz via Filisur, Bergün and Preda
Travel by train from Chur to St. Moritz, breaking our journey at Filisur and Bergun. The first stop at Filisur will be to visit the famous Landwasserr
Viaduct, a short walk from the station. After photographing trains on the viaduct, return to the station for an onward connection to Burgen where
we will visit the museum for the Albula line. Your luggage will be transported from your hotel in Chur to your hotel in St Moritz. This afternoon,
there will be
free time to explore St Moritz before your included dinner.
Hotel Laudinella, St Moritz. Breakfast and dinner included.

Tuesday, 6th August 2019. Bernina Express line to Tirano
Ride the famous Bernina Express to Tirano in Italy over the dramatic Bernina route, one of only three railways awarded World Heritage status.
The railway includes some dramatic scenery and impressive engineering and the arrival in Tirano includes a section of rare street running as
the train passes the Basillica Madonna di Tirano. After time to look around the attractive Italian town and enjoy lunch, return by train to St. Moritz.
Hotel Laudinella, St Moritz. Breakfast and dinner included.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019. End of the tour
The tour finishes after breakfast today, but you can still make use of your 15-day First Class Swiss Travel Pass today and up until Saturday 10th
Page updated on
1 August 2018
Switzerland by Rail 2019
Per person sharing a twin or double room
Single room supplement
Your tour includes:
  • 1 night at the Hotel Glockenhof (Zürich) in standard room including porterage
  • 1 night at the Hotel Internazionale (Bellinzona) in standard room including porterage
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Astoria (Lucerne) in standard room including porterage
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Interlaken (Interlaken) in standard room including porterage
  • 2 nights at the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (Montreux) in standard room including porterage
  • 1 night at the Hotel Derby (Zermatt) in standard room including porterage
  • 1 night at the Romantik Hotel Stern (Chur) in standard room including porterage
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Laudinella (St Moritz) in standard room including porterage

  • Breakfast daily (x13)
  • Dinner daily (x13)

  • 1st class rail/boat within Switzerland (where available)
  • Seat reservations throughout (where possible)
  • Luggage transfer (1 piece per person) from Zürich to Bellinzona, from Bellinzona to Lucerne, from Lucerne to Interlaken, from
    Interlaken to Montreux, from Montreux to Zermatt, from Zermatt to Chur and from Chur to St Moritz

  • Boat trips on Lake Lugano, Lake Lucerne, Lake Brienz, Lake Geneva
  • Mount Pilatus by boat, cog railway, cable car and gondola
  • Brienzer Rothorn
  • GoldenPass line from Zweisimmen to Montreux
  • Château de Chillon
  • Chocolate train
  • Excursion to the Gornergrat
  • Furka steam train from Oberwald to Realp
  • Albula Railway Museum
  • Bernina Express line from St Moritz to Tirano

Your tour does not include:
  • Air travel.
  • Meals not mentioned or any drinks with meals.
  • Gratuities.
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, internet access (except where complimentary) and laundry.

Important information:

Disabilities: When you book this tour it is accepted that you are able to walk at a reasonable pace between hotels and railway stations, this
may  take up to 15 minutes. If you are uncertain about the suitability of the tour, please discuss this with us when you book.

Dress: Smart casual dress is appropriate.  The weather in Switzerland in July in the villages and towns and up the mountains should be warm,
rain is possible.

Meals: A continental breakfast and a set menu dinner are included on all days. Any dietary requirements must be advised at the time of
booking, they will be listed on your invoice and all service suppliers will be advised.

Gratuities and porterage: There is no need to tip for service in Switzerland as a service charge is added to all bills. It is normal to tip a porter
(recommended US$1 or UD$2 per bag).

Detailed information will be sent to all participants about two weeks prior to the start date.

Hotels: All of our hotels have been selected for easy access from railway stations, they are all 3 and 4 star standard.
Because of  their location, you may experience some street noise in city centre hotels.
All hotels are subject to change for an equivalent or better one.
Where porterage is included in Swiss hotels, it may be only as far as the lobby. Porterage to rooms may be extra.

Luggage: Your luggage will be transferred between hotels during the holiday. This is strictly limited to one suitcase per person, additional
luggage cannot be shipped and wil have to be carried by the owner between hotels
. Please keep this in mind when you pack, making sure
that you are able to deal with your own suitcase for short distances, and that your day bag is not too large for you to comfortably carry.

Train travel: We use first class. We will have reserved space on all of our trains (providing there are 10 or more travelling together) and the
coaches are spacious and clean.

Maximum number of participants: 2
This tour has adequate bookings to confirm that it will run.

Click here to book now
Our booking conditions can be found here
If you have any questions, please click her
Fete des Vignerons

Something special to look forward
to. Every 20 years, the town of
Vevey, near Montreau, has a
winegrower's festival to celebrate
the region's wine industry. The
festival will be in full flow when we
are in Montreau and it would seem
to be remiss not to enjoy the
experience, probably with an
optional visit to an evening
performance. Prices will not be
available until early 2018, and
tickets will go on sale some time
after that.

As soon as we have more details,
anyone booked on the tour will be
contacted with the option to include
this interesting event.

To find out more, look at the
official website here.

It would be nice to have a personal
recommendation, but we have not
yet found anyone who was there 20
years ago!