Experience Switzerland by Rail

8 June 2012

The stunning Swiss countryside is undeniably beautiful - as rugged mountains shelter alpine lakes and snow-capped peaks blend seamlessly into impossibly green terrain. One of the best ways to appreciate the jaw-dropping beauty of the country is aboard a train – with the scenery in constant competition for the most stunning vistas. The Swiss have packaged several routes together to give visitors the best opportunity of admiring their magnificent country.

Here are the best rail journeys through Switzerland.

 The stunning Swiss Countryside

The Glacier Express
One of the country's greatest engineering feats is the Glacier Express, which travels 274 kilometres from Zermatt in the south, through the iconic Swiss Alps before arriving at the exclusive enclave of St Moritz. The route crosses 291 bridges and 91 tunnels, and is generally dubbed the “slowest express train in the world.” But you'll be hoping the journey never ends – with the stunning scenery that passes by your carriage window.

Bernina Express
Connecting Switzerland with Italy, the Bernina Express departs from Chur, in the west and works its way through the Alps reaching a height of 2,253 metres above Lago Bianco or the White Lake before descending into the scenic Val Poschiavo. The route then follows the banks of the Poschiavo River and interestingly crosses the circular viaduct of Brusio. The penultimate stop is the Italian border town of Campocologno, before pulling into Tirano in the north of Italy.

Wilhelm Tell Express
Combine the best of rail and boat travel with the Wilhlem Tell Express. Named after the Swiss hero, this journey starts in Lucerne, where enthusiasts travel on an historic paddle steamer across Lake Lucerne to Flüelen. The next leg is on board a train that travels through the mountains to an altitude of 1110 metres and includes the famous 15 kilometre Gotthard Tunnel. The final stop is Lugano, in the south of the country on the Italian border.

GoldenPass Line
The GoldenPass Line begins at Montreux on beautiful Lake Geneva - make sure you explore Château de Chillon while in Montreux. Travelling east, the journey includes the Simmental Valley, famed Interlaken and over the Brünig Pass to Lucerne. In Lucerne, the symbol of the city is the Lion Monument, which commemorates the Swiss Guards who gave their lives during the French Revolution.

Lyndon Barnett

Guided by curiosity and a sense of adventure, Lyndon travelled independently to 69 countries on six continents. As such, travel is Lyndon's only addiction. He enjoys with equal measure - scaling the peaks of a South American mountain at altitude, attending opera in a European Opera House or hunting for a bargain in an Asian market.