Wonders of Winter in First Class
- Rhine Gorge route to Salzburg
- Austria to Switzerland via the TransAlpin route
- Across Switzerland with the famous Glacier Express from Chur to Zermatt
- Out via Cologne, back via Strasbourg
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade your hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- First 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, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and delivery of your travel documents
Leave London St Pancras late this morning and take the Eurostar to Brussels Midi. In Standard Premier class you will be served a light brunch during your journey. In Brussels, connect onto a German ICE service to Cologne, arriving in the late afternoon.
On arrival, check in at the conveniently located Mondial am Dom MGallery (or similar), for an overnight stay. Dominated by its famous twin-spired cathedral, Cologne is a pretty Rhineland city which features up to eight different Christmas markets during the festive season.
Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel and then return to the train station for a direct service to Salzburg. The route of this journey takes you along the Rhine Valley, past hilltop castles, vineyards and well-known Rhineland villages like Boppard and Bingen.
Cross the Austrian border at Freilassing and arrive into Salzburg later in the afternoon. On arrival, check in for a 2-night stay at Der Salzburger Hof Hotel (or similar).
Spend a full day exploring the sights of Salzburg. This musical city has long been associated with W A Mozart, who was born here. More recently, Sound of Music fans have flocked here to visit the locations associated with the famous film about the Von Trapp family.
Elsewhere, you can enjoy a wander around the pretty Old Town and fairytale Hohensalzburg castle or head out to some of the city’s other grand palaces such as Hellbrunn and Schloss Leopoldskron.
After a leisurely start today, return to the station for your onward journey into Switzerland. Catch a regional train to Schwarzach St Veit and then connect onto the TransAlpin service, where you’ll be seated in a panoramic coach so you can watch the stunning Alpine scenery unfold as you wind your way towards the Swiss border.
A short Swiss domestic train journey takes you from Sargans to Chur, where you have an overnight stop at the ABC Swiss Quality Hotel (or similar).
If you haven’t done so already, there may be time for a quick wander around the centre of Switzerland’s oldest city before you board the famous Glacier Express for a spectacular journey across the country to Zermatt. Lunch is served at your seat (payable locally) as you head over bridges and viaducts, past glacial rivers and lakes and climb up to 6,670 feet above sea level.
On arrival in Zermatt, check in at the Garni Testa Grigia Hotel (or similar), where you will have a 2-night stay.
Zermatt is a ski resort in the Swiss canton of Valais, surrounded by mountain peaks, with only one train line running in and out – and no cars allowed. Watch out for the ubiquitous quiet electric buggies as you make your way around town.
TMR recommends taking a day trip on the famous Gornergrat Bahn, which carries passengers up to the second highest train station in Europe at the top of the Gornergrat mountain, 10, 135 feet above sea level. From here, you have breathtaking views of Zermatt and the distinctive peak of the Matterhorn.
Leave Zermatt today and head north, via Visp and the border city of Basel to Strasbourg. Here, check in for an overnight stay at the Maison Rouge Hotel (or similar).
After settling into your hotel, head into town for a look around. Don’t miss the pretty Petite France district with its canals and half-timbered houses or a slice of the local tarte flambée (also known as Flammkuchen), washed down with some local Alsace wine.
Enjoy a full morning at leisure in Strasbourg, with time for lunch before you need to head back to the station and catch a high-speed TGV service back to Lille or Paris.
An easily connection in either city will see you onto the Eurostar, bound for London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne MGallery by Sofitel is located right in the centre of Cologne, close to the famous cathedral and the main station. All of the modern bedrooms feature air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar and satellite TV. The hotel also boasts a restaurant overlooking the cathedral, a sauna, a steam room and a fitness room.
Just a short walk from Salzburg’s main station, the Hotel der Salzburger Hof offers easy access to the sights of the city. Modern bedrooms come with a large flat-screen TV with DVD and Blu Ray player, an iPod docking station and a Nespresso coffee machine. The famous Mirabell Palace is 10 minutes away on foot.
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 Garni Testa Grigia is located on Zermatt’s main shopping street, within easy walking distance of the station and the Gornegratbahn. The 33 stylish bedrooms feature plush carpeting and solid wooden beds. Facilities include balconies, coffee machines and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.
Situated in the pedestrian area around Place Kléber, the historic Maison Rouge features ancient stained-glass windows and rooms decorated with individual character. The rooms at Maison Rouge feature a minibar and satellite TV. Each is serviced by the hotel’s traditional lift and has an en suite bathroom with a bath or shower.
Upgrade your accommodation
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.
First opened in 1879, the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is one of Zermatt’s top luxury hotels, located right in the centre of town. Guestrooms all boast panoramic mountain views, Nespresso coffee machines, complimentary mineral water and soft drinks . There are also three restaurants to choose from as well as a spa area with swimming pool, sauna and treatment rooms.
The Sofitel Strasbourg Grand Ile is a modern, comfortable hotel located on a quiet square just a short walk from the city’s historic Cathedral and medieval centre. Tuck in to French and Mediterranean cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant or enjoy a nightcap in the 1940s style bar.