w BEST FOR… CULTURE For clients who want as much beauty and culture as possible, there’s the Grand Tour, which Switzerland Tourism recommends is taken by both car and train, and which covers such iconic sights as the Matterhorn, the Swiss National Park, Lake Lucerne and towns including Geneva and Basel. Inntravel’s self-guided Grand Tour of

Switzerland allows clients to get under the skin of some of the most special regions, and suits those who like to explore independently and flexibly. Clients will spend three nights in


Travelsphere offers an eight- day Deluxe Swiss Railways holiday from £1,699 including half-board accommodation, flights, all

transfers and

transportation and first-class rail travel on trains including the Bernina Express, Glacier Express and the

Golden Pass. travelsphere.

Great Rail

Journeys offers its Interlaken & The Jungfrau Express at Christmas holiday from £1,575 including seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast, six dinners, and

excursions on the Jungfrau Railway and the Bernese Oberland Railway. 48 21 July 2016

TOP: Hiking towards the Eiger

LEFT: Bernina Express

the towns of Zouz, Zermatt, Wengen and Lucerne, and can tag on day trips. Options include rides on the Gornergrat Railway and a trip to Europe’s highest train station, the Jungfraujoch.

w BEST FOR… WINTER In winter, Switzerland’s soaring peaks are covered in dense white powder, making its landscapes impossibly photogenic. For those happy to combine coach and rail travel, suggest Shearings’ new White Alpine Railways route, which includes journeys on the Golden Pass Line, the Glacier Express and the cog railway to Mount Rigi. Another option is a trip on the

Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway, which journeys just below the peak of the Jungfrau Mountain, looking out across the Eiger and providing spectacular views of the valley below. In the Jungfrau region, skiers and snowboarders have 130 miles of slopes

In winter, the soaring peaks are covered in dense white powder, making landscapes impossibly photogenic

to play on, so clients can tag on a few days of skiing to the start or end of their rail trip. Inghams offers clients the opportunity of a rail transfer to their resort for a ski break after a flight into Zurich airport. Destinations include Wengen, from which clients can reach

the Jungfraujoch by train. Product manager Katherine Page says: “The Swiss rail system is efficient, simple and makes for a relaxing journey to a resort. It’s a great way to see the country and the perfect start to a ski holiday.” For an all-inclusive rail option, Rail Discoveries offers its Jungfrau Express in Winter holiday from £1,195 for eight days.

w BEST FOR… SUMMER Though its famed frosty summits and icy glaciers conjure up stereotypes of Switzerland as a divine winter playground, it’s just as beautiful in summer too: between July and August temperatures can reach 28C, and the landscape transforms to one of lush hills and verdant valleys. Those with energy to burn can tie

a rail journey onto an active break, with activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking all popular in summer. Specialist operator Vacations by Rail, which has a new Best of Switzerland by Rail trip for 2017, receives most of its bookings to Switzerland in the spring and summer. The season lends itself to a trip on the Wilhelm Tell Express, which combines rail travel with a journey by paddle steamer that will take clients on a panoramic tour of the birthplace of the Swiss nation, learning about the country’s history on the way past landmarks such as Tell’s Chapel and the Schiller memorial stone. Inghams’ Undiscovered Switzerland includes a trip on the William Tell Express from £849 for seven nights.

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