Lucerne, Montreux & the Golden Pass by First Class rail
Price from £1,349 per person
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Journey across Switzerland and enjoy fabulous contrasting scenery from alpine meadows to stunning lakes and picture-postcard towns and villages on this wonderful 6 night two-centre holiday to the pretty lakeside towns of Lucerne and Montreux.
The pretty town of Lucerne is set on the shores of lovely Lake Lucerne with spectacular mountain scenery and the opportunity to experience wonderful lake cruises and scenic railways.
The cosmopolitan, elegant town of Montreux has an ideal setting on the shores of Lake Geneva with the stunning backdrop of the Alps. It boasts a wonderful lakeside promenade lined with palm trees and flowers. Close by are the imposing Château de Chillon and magnificent views from the tops of Rochers-de-Naye. Your included Swiss Half-Fare Card allows you to make the most of Switzerland’s majestic beauty and breath-taking scenic rail journeys throught your holiday.
Price from £1,349 per person (based on 2 people sharing).
Day 1 – By rail to Switzerland
Your holiday begins this morning at London St Pancras International, where you join the Eurostar to Paris. Take the time to admire the restored station’s magnificent glass roof and then sit back, relax and watch the countryside glide past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (1st class for leisure travellers). On arrival at the Gare du Nord your private taxi will transfer you across Paris to the Gare de Lyon as you continue your journey by TGV through France into Switzerland and onto Basel. Here you change trains for your onward journey through the undulating Swiss countryside to attractive lakeside city of Lucerne, nestled beneath the mountains on the shores of Lake Lucerne – one of Switzerland’s most picturesque lakes. In Lucerne it is a leisurely walk (about 600 yards) to your base for the next three nights, the comfortable, friendly and highly-rated Cascada Boutique Hotel (4 star).
Days 2 and 3 – Lucerne and Lake Lucerne
You have two full days to enjoy the scenery on stunning Lake Lucerne. Perhaps start with a tour through this delightful lakeside city and discover the most characteristic sight in Lucerne, the Kapellbrucke, a covered wooden bridge running diagonally across the river Reuss. Then stroll through the old town with its many old burghers’ houses and little squares with fountains.
You might also like to take a lake steamer for wonderful views of the surrounding mountain or perhaps take the Mount Pilatus cogwheel railway from Alpnachstad to the summit of the Pilatus Kulm. When you reach the top of the world’s steepest cogwheel railway there is a magnificent panoramic view of Lucerne, its sparkling lake, and the Alps beyond. Alternatively you could travel up the delightful Rigi cog railway to Rigi-Kulm with fabulous views of Mount Rigi and Lake Lucerne. After you have enjoyed lunch at the top you can descend to Lucerne by cable car and lake steamer. (NB – all journeys payable locally; 50% discount available with your Swiss Half-Fare Card).
Day 4 – Golden Pass Panoramic Express to Montreux
Today you leave Lucerne for one of the highlights of your holiday – a fabulous journey on the Golden Pass line. The first leg of the journey passes through the beautiful Bernese Oberland, passing alongside lakes and beneath towering mountain peaks and thundering waterfalls, before reaching Interlaken. From Interlaken you continue westwards via Spiez, snaking alongside sparkling Lake Thun. Then relax in the comfort of your seat* as the Golden Pass Panoramic Express climbs to more than 4,000ft above sea level, passing traditional Swiss chalets with their detailed painted façades as you travel through the delightful Simmental Valley to Zweisimmen. Enjoy the option of lunch in the restaurant car (payable locally) whilst you gaze at majestic views of the Swiss Alps as you pass through valleys dominated by cattle-farming and cheese-making, past the glamorous resorts of Château d’Oex and Gstaad. On the last leg of this spectacular journey to Montreux you can also take ‘VIP’ seats at the very front of the train, enjoying the same exceptional views as the driver. Revel in the breath-taking views of the French Alps as the train makes its spiralling descent towards Lake Geneva. On arrival in Montreux, your hotel for the next three nights is the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic, perfectly situated a few steps from the station and overlooking the lake.
* In addition to the ‘VIP’ seats, on certain dates there is also the option to take the Golden Pass Classic train, a beautiful vintage train with lovingly reserved Belle Epoque coaches and even a wine cellar coach – where you can sample the fine produce of Swiss vineyards. Please contact us for further details.
Days 5 and 6 – Exploring Montreux
You have two full days in Montreux to discover more of the town and this corner of Switzerland. You might like to stroll around Montreux and stretch your legs or board the trolley bus for the short journey to the stunning medieval Château de Chillon (payable locally). As you marvel at the spectacular setting, between the sparkling lake and breath-taking mountains, spare a thought for the prisoners of this 13th century castle, considered to be one of the best-preserved in Europe. Whilst staying in Montreux why not enjoy a lake cruise or make the most of the marvellous Swiss mountain trains and take the rack railway up Rochers-de-Naye for stupendous views and a chance to visit the ‘Marmot Paradise’? You might fancy a trip along the lake to Vevey and a visit of the brand-new Chaplin Museum (payable locally) or a day trip to the spectacular Glacier on the fabulous mountain train via Aigle to Les Diablerets.
Day 7 – Montreux to London
Today you return to Montreux station and continue your journey to Lausanne to board the TGV to whisk you to Paris. Enjoy your at-seat lunch as you watch the charming scenery flash past or reminisce on the wonders of the past few days. After arriving in the French capital, your taxi transfer takes you to the Gare du Nord to connect with the Eurostar to London. Let the train take the strain as you stretch out and relax over a light meal and drinks in your Standard Premier Class seat. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras station ahead of the final leg of your journey home.