All aboard: Alpine vistas, charming towns and enchanting forests await

Travelwise

Whether it’s the mountainous landscapes or lakeside vineyards, impressive views surround every corner of Switzerland. There is no better way to explore this small but beautiful country than by train as you soak in the scenery that will take you from the city to the countryside and back again. 

Switzerland is bordered by Germany, France and Italy. Each region reflects the language, culture and cuisine of its neighbors. Visit the capital city of Bern and Geneva, homes to international peacekeeping organizations. Tour Zurich, the financial epicenter of the country as well as quaint resort towns like St. Moritz and Zermatt, located at the base of Matterhorn. 

All the country’s best natural sights — from verdant valleys to dramatic waterfalls and snow-capped mountains — are train accessible. A number of these journeys are considered the most scenic in the world. 

The Bernina Express: Crossing the Alps in the Bernina Express certainly is one of the most spectacular ways to do it. Along the way, the Bernina Express rolls over the 65-metre-high Landwasser Viaduct, the signature structure of the Rhaetian Railway and the UNESCO World Heritage site. Altogether the train passes through 55 tunnels and more than 196 bridges on its way from Chur to Tirano. Travelers are treated to marvelous sights during their journey, including the Montebello curve with a view of the Bernina massif, the Morteratsch glacier, the three lakes Lej Pitschen, Lej Nair and Lago Bianco, the Alp Grüm and the Brusio Circular Viaduct.

The Glacier Express: Known as the “Slowest Express Train in the World,” it connects the mountain resort towns of Matterhorn adjacent to Zermatt and St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps. Much of the train’s spectacular journey passes through the same World Heritage site as the Bernina Express and boasts equally impressive views, including the Matterhorn and the Matter Valley, the massive rock walls through the town of Visp and the sparkling river Rhone.

Jungfrau Railway: This historic line takes visitors to Europe’s highest railway station, 11,362 feet above sea level. The snow-capped Jungfrau Mountain is sandwiched between the huge peaks of the Monch and Eiger Mountains. Part of the railway line tunnels through these two mountains with spectacular views through windows carefully carved into the mountainside. Once you reach the top, you will see views that extend as far as the Black Forest of Germany and France on a clear day. 

Cogwheel Railway to Mount Pilatus: This rail system operates between May and November and boasts the title of the “Steepest Cogwheel Railway in the World.” Other times, the top can be reached via a spectacular aerial gondola and cableway. At the top, you will find the historic Pilatus Kulm Hotel and restaurant. A visit to Mount Pilatus is a must-see day trip while in and around the Lucerne area.

Gornergrat Cog Railway: The cogwheel railway is considered a marvel of modern engineering, climbing from 1,603 metres above sea level near the town of Zermatt to 3,089 metres at the top in just 33 minutes. From the top, visitors see one of the most spectacular panoramas in all of Switzerland — the iconic outline of the Matterhorn as well as the surrounding peaks and glaciers. You can’t get enough of the panorama at the top — mountains and glaciers as far as the eye can see.

Take a once-in-a-lifetime trip across Switzerland while dipping fresh fruit in Swiss chocolate fondue in Geneva, breathing in the Alpine air of Zermatt and relaxing in luxury at lakeside Lucerne.

Perfect for honeymoons and for family adventures in any season, Switzerland vacations are your ticket to some of the most impressive scenery in the world.

Talk with your travel advisor who will help you plan your next exciting travel adventure — it could be a train ride through Switzerland! 

About Nancy B. Alligood, CTC 20 Articles
Nancy B. Alligood, CTC is general manager/owner of Warwick Travel Service, Inc.and can be reached at 757-599-3011 or at n_alligood@warwicktravel.com.