Lake Como via the Bernina Express
- Travel out to Chur in Switzerland via Paris
- Take the beautiful Bernina Express into Italy, then a boat along the lake into Como
- Five nights in Como town, with plenty of time to explore the towns and villages along the lake
- Return via the Gotthard Pass, staying overnight in Freiburg on the edge of the Black Forest
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 7 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets and hotel vouchers
- All credit card surcharges and delivery of your travel documents
Your holiday begins with a mid-morning Eurostar from London across to Paris. After a straightforward transfer of stations to Gare de Lyon, you board a sleek TGV Lyria service down to Basel.
At Basel, you transfer onto a high-quality Swiss domestic InterCity, which transfers you seamlessly across northern Switzerland to the city of Chur, your base for the night. Check in at the ABC Swiss Quality Hotel Chur (or similar), located right outside the station.
This morning you head back to Chur station, where your Bernina Express train awaits. Travel south via St Moritz into Italy – look out for the famous Landwasser Viaduct as you twist and turn through the canton of Graubunden. Eventually, you cross into Italy and the train terminates in the small town of Tirano. At Tirano, join a local Italian train which runs southwest towards Lake Como. Alighting at Colico, you connect here with a boat, which travels down the length of Lake Como. Check in for a 5 night stay in at the Barchetta Excelsior Hotel (or similar).
You have four full days to explore the marvels of Lake Como. Within easy walking distance of the hotel, you will find the pier where you can board boats to a range of destinations up and down the lake.
Head to Cernobbio and its famous millionaires’ villas, or maybe to the lower-key resorts of Moltrasio or Faggeto Lario for an authentic Lake Como experience. The highlights of the lake are undoubtedly the pretty towns Menaggio and Bellagio, midway up the lake.
Leave Lake Como this morning and board a smart Swiss EuroCity train north. Watch as you pass through the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, alongside Lake Lugano and then climb up to the top of the Gotthard Pass, before descending into the German-speaking part of the country.
Making an easy platform change at Zurich, you board a top-quality German ICE train, which crosses the mighty Rhine at Basel and delivers you into the heart of Freiburg im Breisgau, where you check in for an overnight stay at the Novotel Konzerthaus (or similar).
Depart at lunchtime today and make your way north to Frankfurt, where you make an easy platform change and zoom across to Brussels on another German ICE. Once you’re in Brussels, you can connect easily with the Eurostar back to London, arriving midway through the evening at St Pancras International station.
TMR RECOMMENDS: Make an earlier start on the final day from Freiburg and take a very scenic journey up the lovely Rhine Gorge (pictured), after an additional easy change in Mannheim.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
This 4-star hotel is located just 400 yards from the railway station and offers a sauna and a steam room on site. With a pleasant bar/lounge, you’ll find the perfect place to have a drink. Guests are also welcome to make use of the free high-speed Wi-Fi available throughout the property.
Overlooking Piazza Cavour on the shore of Lake Como, this modern hotel offers elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars. Some rooms have lake views and/or balconies. Guests can enjoy fine regional cuisine at the in-house restaurant, Bistro.
The Novotel Freiburg am Konzerthaus is situated next to the city’s major Concert Hall and offers easy access to the historic old town as well as the station, which is just 100 metres away. The hotel also boasts an indoor pool, a spa area, a restaurant and a bar where you can enjoy drinks and snacks in the evening.