Scenic Kaleidoscope by Rail
- The hills of the Ardennes and the beautiful valleys of the Moselle and Rhine
- Spectacular gateway to Austria between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck
- Arlberg Pass in western Tyrol
- Iconic Swiss scenic trains; the Bernina and Glacier Expresses
- Stay in Zermatt, at the foot of the Matterhorn
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 9 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- 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
PLEASE NOTE: The Glacier Express does not run between 14 October and 14 December 2019. Between these dates, you can still make the journey of the Glacier Express using public trains.
Depart London’s magnicent St Pancras station this morning bound for Belgium. After an easy platform change at Brussels Midi, it is time to board your direct train through the Ardennes to Luxembourg. The train twists and turns through wooded valleys and alongside scenic rivers, crossing seamlessly into the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, before arriving at Luxembourg City in time for an evening meal.
Your base for the night is the Novotel Luxembourg Centre (or similar).
Luxembourg’s old town is dramatically situated across a gorge, and boasts evocative narrow lanes, open squares and various government buildings. Discover a range of museums, most notably the recently renovated National Museum of History and Art (MNHA), the Luxembourg City History Museum, both of which are highly recommended for a visit.
In the evening, sample delicious local cuisine – we recommend Am Tiirmschen restaurant in the Old Town, as one of the best exponents of local delicacies.
A real riverside feast for the eyes awaits today as you board your InterCity train and head north through the Roman city of Trier and alongside the Moselle river as is winds through rolling hills towards the town of Koblenz, where it flows into the Rhine.
It is here that you change trains, and head south-east on a direct service to Nuremberg – the first hour of this journey is the real highlight, with steep-sided vineyards, castles and beautiful villages adorning the stunning valley. Arrive in Nuremberg and check in for an overnight stay at the Victoria Hotel (or similar).
After a morning exploring the beautiful old town of Nuremberg, it is time to board a high-speed train for an hour southbound to Munich, where you change onto a regional train to Innsbruck. This journey is one of Europe’s hidden gems: the Alps loom large as you roll towards them on the plains of southern Germany.
Passing through the renowned ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the train cuts through dramatic valleys and past lush alpine meadows, before arriving into Innsbruck in the afternoon. Check in for 2 nights at the Hotel Innsbruck (or similar).
Dubbed “the largest mountain resort in the Alps”, Innsbruck has a plethora of outdoor pursuits in the summer, such as hiking, mountain biking, paragliding and fishing. For the less adventurous, there are narrow lanes, cobbled open squares and beautiful ice-cream to seduce you into spending a whole day in the Old Town.
If you fancy another train journey, you have a choice of a day-trip to the east towards the resorts of Kitzbuhel and Zell am See, or south over the Brenner Pass into Italy.
Travel west on one of the excellent Austrian RailJet trains towards Switzerland. First, you traverse the Arlberg Pass and enjoy stunning scenery through the wide picture-windows, before heading through the tiny principality of Liechtenstein and down to the strategically-situated town of Chur in eastern Switzerland. You have 2 nights here, at the ABC Swiss Quality Hotel (or similar), located near the main station.
The oldest city in Switzerland, Chur’s old city is a medieval city and Welschdörfli a prehistoric settlement and Roman Vicus.
One of the most scenic journeys in all of Europe, the Bernina Express is a simply beautiful journey through valley, tunnels and viaducts, including the photogenic Landwasser Viaduct, at a height of 214 feet (65 metres).
The journey takes you close to the famous resort of St Moritz, before heading further south and eventually across the Italian border to the town of Tirano. Enjoy lunch in Italy before heading back to Chur in the afternoon.
Another scenic journey awaits today as you head down to Chur station late morning to meet the distinctive glass-roofed Glacier Express train. Settle down in your comfortable seat, plug in your headphones and enjoy the English commentary as you pass by fascinating sights and spectacular views. Lunch is served at your seat as you continue your journey over the Oberalp Pass near Andermatt, and down alongside the Rhone in the canton of Valais.
After Visp, the train heads towards the resort of Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn. Check into the Sunstar Style Hotel (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Enjoy a day exploring Zermatt, and take the cog railway to Gornergrat, offering panoramic alpine views, including the distinctively-shaped Matterhorn. Alternatively, follow the many walking trails from the village, or take the various cable cars to panoramic viewpoints where you can either relax with a drink, or stride along the well-marked trails at altitude and breathe in the fresh mountain air.
In the evening, if you fancy raclette, a cheese or meat fondue, or Zermatt lamb specialties, we recommend heading to Schaeferstube – a local restaurant in the heart of the village.
Travel north out of Zermatt to Basel, then connect with a French TGV service to Paris. Once in the French capital, change stations using our complimentary metro tickets and head back to the UK on a Eurostar service.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Just a ten minute’s walk from the medieval Old Town, the Novotel Luxembourg Centre is the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring. Rooms are well-equipped with free Wi-Fi, a large work space and flat-screen TVs, and they also benefit from plenty of natural light.
Set in an attractive 1896 building, this stylish, independent hotel sits opposite Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof rail station and within the city’s historic quarter. The cosy rooms have free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, and the hotel boasts an Italian terrace cafe and a bar.
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.
The Hotel Innsbruck is located in the old town area of the city, close to the famous ‘Golden Roof’. The hotel offers modern bedrooms with air-conditioning, safe and flat-screen TV as well as an indoor swimming pool and two spa areas, one on a roof terrace overlooking the city. Enjoy local and international cuisine in the hotel’s onsite restaurant.
This charming, traditionally-Swiss chalet hotel is situated in the heart of this car-free resort.
All the rooms are compact and individual with modern fittings. The bath or shower forms an integral part of the main room, which is what gives them their very special and unique style.
Upgrade your accommodation
Experience luxury with a French twist in this 5-star hotel, ideally located near the centre of Luxembourg. Overlooking the Alzette and Petrusse Valleys, the luxurious Sofitel Luxembourg le Grand Ducal offers a unique viewpoint on the heart of the capital. On the top floor of the hotel is a high-class restaurant.
Nuremberg’s finest property is ideally positioned opposite the main railway station and within easy walking distance of the charming Old Town, St Lorenz Church and the Kaiserburg Castle.
Bedrooms are immaculately presented and make for an ideal Bavarian sojourn.
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.