When we were young, vibrant, and brimming with adventure (okay, okay… it wasn’t that long ago), we rafted the Class IV and Class V rapids of Switzerland. We will never forget it. Yes, we were that tough. Some might say, we still are. Taking the train from Paris to Interlaken still goes down in history as one of our favorite memories. So, since we’re always keen to locate good eco-friendly train travels, we thought we’d talk Switzerland’s Glacier Express!
Apparently, there is no better time to visit Switzerland than in the spring when rolling pastures are a vibrant green, flowers are in bloom and the snow-capped Alps cut a jagged path across clear blue skies. In anticipation of Spring’s 2012 schedule, Chicago-based specialty travel company, Vacations By Rail, offers four escorted rail tours through Switzerland, each incorporating breathtaking rail journeys to its renowned cities aboard some of the country’s most revered trains.
The 14-day Springtime in the Alps tour features five scenic rail excursions—the Bernina Express, Glacier Express, Voralpen Express,GoldenPass Panoramic Express and Europe’s highest open-air cog railway, the Gornergrat Bahn, to the Gornergrat observation deck surrounded by high mountain peaks and stunning views of the imposing Matterhorn—and cruises on Lake Constance, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. This comprehensive tour through the Alps includes visits to Zurich, Appenzell to view its lovely architecture and grand Baroque church, St. Gallen for a walking tour that includes the unique Abbey Library, Mainau Gardens, Chur, the palm trees of Tirano, located on the Italian side of the Bernina Pass, Locarno on the shores of Lago Maggiore, Interlaken, the car-free town of Zermatt and the Matterhorn, the Swiss Riviera town of Montreaux, Chillon Castle, Switzerland’s capital city of Bern and the lakeside town of Lucerne with its famous covered walking bridge.
But take note: this popular rail vacation departs only once a year. In 2012, that departure date is April 18th.
Shorter Swiss rail tours of 9 to 10 days in length include Alpine Lakes and Scenic Trains, which includes four scenic rail journeys and two lake cruises with departures from May through October; Scenic Switzerland traveling roundtrip from Zurich and offering four outstanding rail journeys and departures from April through September; and, Contrasts of Switzerland featuring two scenic rail excursions with departures in April, June, July and September.
Swiss rail vacations start at $2,375 land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Full itineraries for all of Vacations By Rail’s Swiss rail tours can be found at www.vacationsbyrail.com. Or, to throw caution to the wind and just book your Swiss rail vacation, contact a travel specialist at 877-929-7245.