Across the Spine of the Alps
- Travel from Zermatt in Switzerland to Lake Bled in Slovenia
- Glacier Express in Switzerland, the World’s Slowest Express Train
- Arlberg Pass from Switzerland into Austria
- Lake Bled: picturesque Slovenian village resort
- Overnight stop on the return journey in the charming city of Heidelberg
- Add extra nights & destinations
- Choose alternative hotels
- Upgrade your journey to First Class
- Let us suggest the most scenic routes
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 12 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
There’s a train station directly at Geneva Airport so you can quickly get on your way to the ski-resort town of Zermatt, via Visp. The last part of the journey is the most spectacular as you wind up through the mountains to 1,600 metres above sea level. On arrival, in Zermatt, check in at the Hotel Pollux (or similar) for a 2-night stay, at the foot of the Matterhorn.
PLEASE NOTE: We can start your journey from any arrival airport. Just let us know where you would like to start your holiday.
Zermatt is a beautiful Swiss village which is popular throughout the year, offering world-class skiing in the winter and stunning hiking and mountain biking trails in the summer. You can also take a trip on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway, offering panoramic views of the surrounding ranges. The iconic, jagged peak of the Matterhorn overlooks Zermatt and marks the westerly point of your journey through the Alps.
At the end of a long day, enjoy a drink and a traditional Swiss meal in one of the many bars and restaurants.
The world-famous Glacier Express lets you enjoy the stunning scenery of the Swiss Alps from the considerable comfort of your seat. The panorama windows mean you won’t miss a single peak or valley as you twist and turn through the mountains, and friendly staff will serve lunch at your seat (payable locally). An informative and entertaining commentary is available in a variety of languages.
On arrival in Chur, make your way to the ABC Swiss Quality Hotel (or similar) where you will stay for 3 nights.
Chur is one of Switzerland’s oldest cities and boasts Roman-era architecture and a Mediterranean feel thanks to the restaurants and cafés, artisan shops, and museums and galleries which line the charming streets of the medieval Old Town.
On one of your two days in Chur, you will enjoy a spectacular return trip on the Bernina Express. This famous train travels across viaducts, alongside rivers and through some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in Europe, before arriving in Tirano, Italy, in time for lunch.
Depart Chur after breakfast and head to the station for your next rail journey which will take you over the Alps and into Austria. Your day will include a straightforward change at Sargans to connect with a fast and comfortable Austrian RailJet train, which travels through Liechtenstein and over the Arlberg Pass; a trading route for thousands of years.
Arriving into the picturesque town of Innsbruck, you will check into your hotel, the Grand Hotel Europa (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Spend a full day exploring the unofficial ‘capital of the Alps’. Innsbruck has a charming old town centre for visitors to explore, or you can enjoy the surrounding natural beauty using the well-marked trails which take you into the mountains.
TMR RECOMMENDS: Take a day trip to Garmisch. This wonderful rail journey takes you on a scenic journey through the Austrian Tyrol to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The train heads through some of the Alps’ most striking scenery and a tempting array of shops, restaurants and galleries await you in Germany’s premier mountain resort.
The journey from Innsbruck to Lake Bled is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Threading its way east from Innsbruck, your comfortable train will pick its way through picture-perfect villages and alongside lakes and glacial streams, connecting with an Intercity service at the junction station of Schwarzach-St Veit.
This fast train will whisk you through the Austrian Alps and the Karawanks Tunnel into Slovenia. Shortly after emerging into Slovenia, your train will pull into Lesce Bled, where you will transfer to the Park Hotel (or similar) on Lake Bled, for a 3-night stay.
Despite its diminutive size, Lake Bled is one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. In addition to its sparkling waters which attract swimmers, fishermen and boat-lovers, the lake is home to a 17th century church on a picturesque island. For energetic visitors, the nearby Triglav National Park offers fantastic hiking in hundreds of square miles of protected flora and fauna.
After a day on your feet, try fresh fish from the lake or perhaps the local custard and cream cake, Kremšnita. 1906 Restaurant in the Hotel Triglav is well worth a visit during your stay!
Make your way to Lesce Bled station and take your seat on the daily service to Heidelberg. The journey will take you through a range of breath-taking vistas, from Alpine views to the rolling hills of Bavaria as you enter Germany. On arrival in Heidelberg, check in at the Crowne Plaza (or similar) for an overnight stay.
Heidelberg is a beautiful city that stretches along the banks of the Neckar. It has a fascinating medieval Old Town and an imposing castle which is arguably best explored during the annual Castle Festival in the summer.
When you are ready, it’s time to head for the airport and your onward flight from Frankfurt. Alternatively, we can arrange rail travel to any other departure airport – or extend your holiday. Take the train along the Rhine Valley (pictured) to Cologne, or perhaps make your way to Bavaria and the Black Forest?
Typical hotels on this itinerary
This modern hotel is located just 350 metres from the railway station, making it the perfect base for a short stay in Chur. The hotel also offers a sauna and a steam room on site along with a pleasant bar lounge where 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.
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.
Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Bled, the Park Hotel provides excellent accommodation for visitors to this Slovenian idyll. All rooms have balconies as well as Wi-Fi, a safe and a minibar, and residents also have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and a jacuzzi.
Situated in the historic centre of Heidelberg, this impressive hotel is well-situated to explore all that the city has to offer. Once visitors have exhausted the city’s charms, the hotel provides a fitness centre and a swimming pool to aid relaxation, and rooms offer WiFi, a minibar and flat screen TVs to add to your comfort.
Only 200 metres from Zermatt’s train station, the Hotel Pollux is a welcoming family-run hotel in the heart of town. Residents have a choice of two restaurants and a comfortable bar in which to relax and the 35 rooms are modern and well-equipped whilst retaining rustic mountain charm.
Upgrade your accommodation
Located on the shore of Bled Lake with a panoramic view of the lake’s island and the surrounding Alps, Grand Hotel Toplice provides thermal pools and a wellness centre with saunas, massages and a solarium. Traditionally decorated air-conditioned rooms have a TV, a safe and private balcony, some with a lake view.
A member of “Leading Hotels of the World”, the Mont Cervin Palace was opened in 1851. It is situated in the heart of Zermatt, boasting a pool and 1700 m² wellness and spa area where guests can indulge in a wide range of treatments. Most of the guest rooms face south and have a balcony or a patio with views of the Matterhorn.
Situated in the heart of St Moritz as part of the Upper Engadine, this 5-star unique hotel offers stunning views over Lake St Moritz. The prestigious Kulm Hotel combines its warm unparalleled tradition with the grand luxury of the present. One of the finest hotels in Switzerland, the Kulm is an ideal retreat for your stay in St Moritz.