When you think of train travel, there’s probably a good chance that you picture a packed commuter train chugging along during rush hour as everyone who works in the city is trying to get back to their suburban homes to eat dinner before 10 p.m. In short, the idea of train travel usually conjures up a certain amount of stress that accompanies it. But not all train travel is created equal. Take the trips offered by Swiss operator Vacations By Rail, for instance.
In fact, traveling by rail through Switzerland might just be one of the best vacations you ever take. Vacations By Rail offers trips that visit many of Switzerland’s best cities, all while riding on luxuries trains and eating all the chocolate your body can handle! Here are some highlights of the available trips.
Most of the trips offered by the travel company start in Zurich. If you decide to book a package, do yourself a favor and grab a Swiss Travel Pass, which will give you 8 days of travel through the country. Arrive in Zurich a few days before your trip is scheduled to begin and use the Travel Pass’s perks to get into a few museums for free. When your train trip begins, you’ll leave Zurich and soon you’ll be taking in the kind of sites that you probably thought were only possible in a Disney cartoon. Mountains, church steeples, and the small resort town of St. Moritz are just a few of the highlights you’ll experience on this leg of the trip.
As you travel, you can pick from several cities to spend a day or two, and in many cases, you can book additional day trips by rail. One recommended trip is to hop aboard the Bernina Express in Pontresina. From there, you can travel to Poschiavo, a small town that plays host to a church more than half a century old and has some incredible authentic Italian cuisine. The real treat is the train ride itself, though. You’ll cross the Solis Viaduct and climb mountain grades of up to 70 percent before stopping at Bernina Station, at more than 7,000 feet above sea level.
If you genuinely want a train experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life, book the “Excellence Class” cabin aboard the Glacier Express, which you can take from St. Moritz to Zermatt. This experience starts by literally rolling out a red carpet as you board the train. The seats in this cabin are luxurious leather, and you can expect the same level of service when it comes to cocktails and the five-course meal.
These are just a few of the amazing rail trips you can take throughout Switzerland, and there are countless more options. Check out Vacations By Rail to see the full lineup of tours, and visit Swiss Travel Pass to obtain unrivaled access to the Swiss public transportation network.