Alpine Lakes & Mountains and the Orient Express
- 9 Days
- From £3,499
- Salzburg – home to Mozart and the Sound of Music
- The beautiful Austrian resort of Zell am See
- Innsbruck: capital of the Austrian Tyrol and surrounded by mountains
- An unforgettable journey with the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Innsbruck back to London
- Choose your departure date
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- First Class travel from London to Austria via Germany
- Lounge access in German and Austrian stations
- 7 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Double cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Innsbruck to London
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Leave London St Pancras late morning via Eurostar and change platforms at Brussels for your German ICE train through to Cologne. After a brief glimpse of the mighty cathedral, which looms over the station entrance, board your InterCity service which runs through one of the most picturesque routes in all of Europe, the Rhine Gorge. As your train twists and turns in time with the river, admire the castles, steep-sided vineyards and charming villages that you pass. In the evening, your train pulls into the riverside town of Heidelberg, where you will stay overnight in the Heidelberger Hof Hotel (or similar).
Heidelberg is a historic town with a fabled Schloss (Castle) and a quaint Altstadt (Old Town) that are well worth exploring in the morning. Return to the station at lunchtime to take the direct service through Germany and into Austria.
You will roll into Salzburg in the early evening. On arrival, make your way to the famous Sacher Hotel (or similar), where you will have a 2-night stay.
The birthplace of one of the world’s greatest composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg plays host to an array of concerts throughout the year that celebrate his work.
In more recent history, Salzburg was, of course, the setting of The Sound of Music, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. There are plenty of tours available if you want to explore the famous filming locations this epic motion picture, or alternatively, you can shop for the renowned local Swarovski Crystal in the various ornamental boutiques.
An ‘open’ ticket covers your onward journey today, from Salzburg to the resort of Zell am See, which means that you can make your way to the station whenever you are ready. Regional trains run every two hours through the most beautiful scenery as the rolling hills of northern Austria give way to the more dramatic scenery of the high Alps.
Upon arrival in Zell am See, you will check into the Grand Hotel Zell am See (or similar) for a 3-night stay, including dinner and breakfast.
One of Austria’s prime ski resorts in winter, Zell am See is a chocolate-box mountain resort in summertime, alongside a lake and enormous, looming mountains. Bask in the sun and fresh alpine air as you relax in the hotel’s extensive outdoor areas, or venture up onto the surrounding mountains with the help of chairlifts or cable cars. Hiking is, of course, plentiful in this area with a large number of marked trails to follow and mountain hut cafes to recharge the batteries as you go. Speckknödel (dumplings with pieces of bacon) is a famed local dish, and you can sample this along with other specialities of the region at Steinerwirt, a fabulous local restaurant that has been serving happy customers since 1493.
After a final morning in Zell am See, board your EuroCity train in the early afternoon heading west. Soak up the scenery as you enter the state of Tyrol and pass through the famous ski resort of Kitzbühel. The large overhanging roofs of the villages give way to a slightly bigger-city feel as you enter the town of Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol region.
Your hotel, the Grand Hotel Europa (or similar), is located opposite the station and is ideally situated for your overnight stay.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express does not arrive until the evening, so you have plenty of time to explore Innsbruck. Wander the streets of the Old Town and have an alfresco meal at one of the many restaurants on the squares and cobbled lanes.
Around 5pm, board the famous Wagons Lits coaches, hauled by an Austrian Railways locomotive, and settle into your cabin. Enjoy a leisurely four course meal as you glide along the rails of the western Tyrol, admiring the scenery of the Arlberg Pass and Liechtenstein. After dinner, head for a nightcap in the bar or simply retire to your cabin for the night.
Enjoy a continental breakfast from the comfort of your cabin as you watch the countryside of eastern France pass by. After a brief stop in Paris, you will continue north towards Calais, through the meadows of Picardy while you enjoy a splendid brunch in the restaurant car.
At Calais, you are seamlessly transported through the Channel Tunnel by luxury coach and onto the British Pullman carriages at Folkestone, for the final leg of your journey. Enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea as you ease through the Kent countryside and into London’s Victoria station just after 5pm.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
This family-run hotel is located in Heidelberg’s central university district, right next to the start of the city-centre pedestrianised zone. All non-smoking bedrooms come with sound-proofing, a 37 inch flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi internet access. The hotel also offers a sauna and a small gym.
One of the most famous hotels in Salzburg, the historic Hotel Sacher occupies a grand building on the banks of the river in the heart of the city. All bedrooms and suites are individually furnished, with state-of-the-art facilities. There are two restaurants to choose from as well as the Café Sacher, where you can enjoy a slice of the original Sachertorte.
The Grand Hotel Zell am See occupies a unique location on a private peninsula on the lake front. As well as a rooftop spa with panoramic views, there is also a lake view restaurant serving Pinzgau specialities as well as a welcoming cafe bar.
Conveniently located across the road from the station in Innsbruck, the Grand Hotel Europa is a luxurious property combining modern comforts with an elegant Italian design and Tyrolean warmth. Bedrooms are equipped with flat screen TVs, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi access.