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$3,659 pp

9 Day Independent Swiss Greatest Rail Adventure

9 Day Independent Swiss Greatest Rail Adventure

On these packages you will travel from city to city on your own, exploring at your own pace. We have arranged transportation in most cases and day tours for you to see the destination. Enjoy the time and flexibility to linger longer or pick up the pace and see as much as possible. The choice is yours.

Escorted Type

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Moderate Pace

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Glacier Express Train
Independent Tour
643 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Incredible sightseeing, touring Switzerland by world-famous rail journeys, including the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, and Gotthard Panorama Express
✓ Free time to explore Switzerland at your own pace, including train tickets per the itinerary, Swiss Half Fare Card, and public transit Swiss Guest Cards, and stays in charming Swiss resort towns like Lugano and St. Moritz
✓ See Swiss highlights only reachable by rail, including crossing the Landwasser Viaduct and a self-guided excursion on the cogwheel rail to the summit of the Gornergrat - offering unparalleled views of the Matterhorn and 28 other peaks over 4000 meters (13,000 ft)
✓ 2nd Class rail tickets as per the itinerary
✓ Seat reservations on scenic Gotthard Panorama Express, Bernina Express, and Glacier Express Trains
✓ 8 nights in quality, centrally located 3-star hotels, with the option to upgrade to 4-star hotels
✓ Breakfast daily

✈ Needing international airfares to accompany your Inspiring Vacation? You will be able to access our flight portal after securing your package to add international airfares to your booking.

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.


Hotel des Alpes or Similar

Welcome to Switzerland! This independent package gives you the opportunity to explore at your own pace, while experiencing three of the most famous scenic trains in Switzerland. You’ll also be able to access free public transport in Lucerne, Lugano, and St. Moritz with Swiss Guest Cards that you will collect from your hotel. 

Arrive into Zurich and take the train from the airport to Lucerne. Located in the heart of Switzerland, this scenic city is built on the shores of Lake Lucerne and is surrounded by spectacular alpine peaks. After checking into your hotel, explore the beautiful and historic old town by foot. Make sure to walk across Chapel Bridge, one of the oldest covered wooden bridges in Europe, covered with gable paintings. 

Check in: If arriving prior to standard check-in time, which is generally 3pm local time, you are welcome to leave your luggage with hotel reception and explore your surroundings until check-in becomes available. The hotel may grant early check-in, however this is strictly subject to availability and at the hotel’s discretion.

If the 4 Star Hotel Upgrade is booked, the hotel will be Hotel Des Balances or similar.

Hotel des Alpes or Similar

Today you will have a free day to explore Lucerne and its surroundings. Experience the contrast between historic monuments and contemporary design which combine to create a unique and lively city centre. Stroll along pedestrian cobblestone streets lined with historic homes decorated with frescoes in the old town. Visit Switzerland’s first Baroque building, the Jesuit church dating to the 17th century, and visit the Lion monument, a figure of a dying lion which was hewn from the face of rock in remembrance of the heroic death of Swiss guards killed during an attack in 1792. 

Optional Tour - Mt Titlis Self-Guided Excursion with Ice Flyer

An excursion up to the peak of Mount Titlis, including the world’s first revolving aerial cable-car, is a real adventure. On this 3,000-metre peak, you will enjoy a breath-taking Alpine panorama, attractive restaurants with sun terraces, a Glacier Cave and Cliff Walk – the highest-altitude suspension footbridge in Europe. And of course eternal Alpine ice and snow once you reach the Glacier Park on the “Ice Flyer” glacier chairlift, which takes you right over the Titlis glacier to the attractions and amenities of the Glacier Play Park (open May-Sept) where you can enjoy rides with various snow toys and you will be surrounded by sparkling walls of ice in the Glacier Cave. Journey up to Titlis from Engelberg takes 30min each way.

Includes: Train tickets round trip from Lucerne, Cable Car, Ice Flyer, Glacier Cave, and Cliff Walk entrance
Info: Departs Daily except Nov 4-15 2024; Approximately 45 minutes to reach the summit from Engelberg + 50 minute train from Lucerne to Engelberg. 

Delfino Lugano or Similar

After breakfast, depart Lucerne to explore two of Switzerland's most beautiful regions: Central Switzerland and Ticino, on the Gotthard Panorama Express. Start by boarding a steamer to cross Lake Lucerne to Flüelen, as you watch picturesque villages and towering mountains glide by. The trip then continues by train through the impressive Reuss Valley with its deep ravines and cliffs.

The world-famous Gotthard line swiftly climbs from 470 to about 1100 metres above sea level to finally enter the 15-kilometre-long Gotthard tunnel – Europe’s most important North/South gateway. After 10 minutes of tunnel passage you will arrive in the Mediterranean climate of Switzerland’s Italian speaking region of Ticino. In the Leventina Valley, the Gotthard Express crosses breath-taking bridges and passes charming villages on its way to Bellinzona. Change here to continue your journey to Lugano.

If the 4 Star Hotel Upgrade is booked, the hotel will be Luganodante Hotel or similar.

Delfino Lugano or Similar

Set in a bay on the northern side of Lake Lugano, surrounded by mountains, Lugano is a traffic-free historic town with exclusive museums, beautiful mountains, Mediterranean climate and events all year round. Enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere, take the cable car to the old town, stroll along the lakeside promenade or take a trip to Monte Brè or Monte San Salvatore – the two closest mountains to Lugano, both offering outstanding panoramic views. 

Optional Tour - Monte Brè Independent Mountain Excursion

Stunning views of the Alps, Lugano and the Italian influenced region of Ticino await from Monte Brè, the sunniest mountain in Switzerland. Use your Ticino Card to reach Cassarate, then a funicular railway leads up to the 933m high peak. Restaurants at the top offer Ticinese cuisine and a sun terrace overlooking Lugano. Hiking and biking trails of varying degrees of difficulty await to be explored.

Includes: Cogwheel Rail tickets
Info: Departs daily, every 15 minutes. 15 minutes to reach the summit. 

Soldanella or Similar

Today you’ll cross the border into Italy as part of the scenic Bernina Express journey. Start by taking the Bernina Express coach to Tirano, Italy, where you will have time to explore the town and have (optional) lunch at a local restaurant before boarding the Bernina Express train to St. Moritz. The train journey over the Bernina Pass is an incredible experience and one of the most spectacular routes across the Alps. Travelling over circular viaducts, the train climbs to over 2,000m above sea level, with stunning views over snow-capped mountains and glaciers. The train includes commentary in English to enlighten your journey.

St. Moritz is more than just a holiday resort. It was also the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism and has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. Summer sees the arrival of adventurous travellers seeking to try their hand at sailing, rowing, windsurfing, and more. Romantic carriage rides around the lake, through the Staz forest or the grand town itself are also among the highlights of a stay in St. Moritz. 

If the 4 Star Hotel Upgrade is booked, the hotel will be Schweizerhof Hotel or similar.

Soldanella or Similar

St. Moritz is one of the best-known holiday resorts in the world, famous for its elegance and cosmopolitan air, with exquisite gastronomy and exclusive shopping and leisure facilities. The rich and famous flock to St. Moritz to enjoy its beauty; at 1856m above sea level, it is surrounded by stunning lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks and the only national natural park in Switzerland. Wander around the old town at your leisure and soak up the atmosphere, take a stroll around the lake or hike along one of the scenic hiking trails of the Upper Engadine. Explore the local mountains such as Diavolezza, Corvatsch, and Muottas Muragl. Mountain railways are included with the guest card during your stay in St. Moritz.

Hotel Excelsior or Similar

After breakfast, depart St. Moritz on the world-famous Glacier Express. This fascinating 7.5 hour rail journey crosses the Swiss Alps, including 291 bridges and 91 tunnels while climbing over the 2.033m high Oberalp Pass to connect the world-renowned resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt. Experience the Alps in all their breath-taking glory from the comfort of your seat in the panorama car: unspoilt mountain forests, lush Alpine pastures, rushing streams and valleys with their rich traditions stretching back hundreds of years. Onboard commentary is available in English throughout the journey as a guide to the dramatic landscape and spectacular views. You can also upgrade your journey with a 3-course meal delivered to your seat (see upgrade options).

If the 4 Star Hotel Upgrade is booked, the hotel will be Hotel Aristella or similar.

Hotel Excelsior or Similar

Dominated by the unmistakable peak of the Matterhorn, standing alone at the head of the valley, Zermatt is encircled by a ring of four-thousand metre peaks. At the foot of the Matterhorn, the old town of Zermatt has preserved its original character and traditional features. Today at your leisure, you will take the cog railway from Zermatt up to the 3089-metre-high Gornergrat. At 3883 metres in altitude, Europe’s highest vantage point able to be reached by cableway offers a fascinating panoramic vista of the Matterhorn and summits of 29 Swiss, Italian and French Alps with summits over 4,000 metres. The journey takes 30 minutes each way, and you can stay as long as you’d like. You may wish to add on another mountain peak today, and visit the Matterhorn, or relax in this charming resort town.

Optional Tour - Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Independent Excursion

A series of gondolas and cable cars take you up to the summit and the fantastic panorama - a breath-taking view of Italian, French and Swiss alpine giants. In a tunnel through the rocks and ice of the Klein Matterhorn the modern Cinema Lounge offers pure movie pleasure showing a range of film clips such as freeride skiing or flora and fauna. The Glacier Palace at the end of the tunnel is a mystical world of ice and snow almost 15m under the surface. You will learn about glaciology and the creation of glaciers, you will see impressive sculptures made of ice and if you dare you can walk through a real glacier crevasse. The air is thin, so don't try to do anything too quickly and take your time to relax in the highest restaurant in Europe.

Includes: Matterhorn transport tickets
Info: Departs daily, every 20 minutes. Approximately 45-60 minutes to reach the summit.


Depart Zermatt to head back to Zurich, or on to your next destination. 


  • 8 nights in quality, centrally located 3-star hotels 
  • 2nd Class rail tickets as per the itinerary
  • Seat reservations on scenic Gotthard Panorama Express, Bernina Express, and Glacier Express Trains
  • Swiss Half Fare Card
  • Swiss Guest Cards in Lucerne, Lugano, and St Moritz
  • Daily Breakfast

  • Lucerne– Free time to explore with this historic city, including the Lucerne Guest Card to provide free transport on local transportation 
  • Lucerne - Historic Gotthard Panorama Express steam boat and train to Lugano
  • Lugano - Ticino Ticket includes free use of local transit to explore Lugano at your own pace
  • Lugano - Bernina Express scenic train to St. Moritz
  • St Moritz - Iconic Glacier Express journey to Zermatt
  • St Moritz - Local card including transport on local buses and mountain railways
  • Glacier Express - Cross the famed Landwasser Viaduct, Rhine Gorge, and Oberalp Pass
  • Zermatt - Gornergrat cogwheel rail

4 Star Hotel upgrade ($437 per person. Single price on application.)
Select this supplement if you would like to upgrade your hotel to 4-star.

1st Class Rail
Select this supplement if you would like to upgrade your itinerary to 1st class rail on all sectors, including seat reservation on the scenic trains. Upgrade for $225 per person.  First Class has dedicated carriages offering a higher level of comfort with spacious seats and less passengers per carriage.  Some trains will have larger windows in First Class.

Glacier Express 3-Course Lunch 
As you gaze out at the stunning alpine panorama, enjoy a freshly prepared 3-course meal on board and served at your seat. Upgrade for $94 per person.

Fine Print

This product requires full payment upfront to secure your booking.

Once you have created your booking you will be directed to your invoice to choose your preferred payment method.

This is a land only package.

This package does not include international airfares. If you would like to add airfares to your booking our flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub. The flight portal will allow you to search for all available airfares to your destination. The function works like most general flight search engines allowing you to select your preferred airline, book different cabin classes (eg. Business class) and view flight durations and transit times to your destination. 

The flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub once the following criteria has been met:

  • Your booking is confirmed
  • Your departure date is within 11 months
  • You  have completed your passenger detail form

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances. 

It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, click here.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a ‘3’

3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.

The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $1,060.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

City Taxes
Switzerland requires Tourist City Taxes to be paid directly by the passenger to hotels. City taxes range from 2-7 CHF per person, per night.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Group Size
Operated on an independent basis. 

Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Independent - On these packages you will travel from city to city on your own, exploring at your own pace. We have arranged transportation in most cases and day tours for you to see the destination. Enjoy the time and flexibility to linger longer or pick up the pace and see as much as possible.

All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $549.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $409.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation

  • $549.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $409.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):

  • Mt Titlis Self-Guided Excursion with Ice Flyer (Day 2) - $140 per person
  • Monte Brè Independent Mountain Excursion (Day 4) - $42 per person
  • Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Independent Excursion (Day 8) - $123 per person

Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.

Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.

  • International airfares
  • Airport transfers
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Departure Dates for 9 Day Independent Swiss Greatest Rail Adventure

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