Venice by First Class Rail
Prices from £995 per person
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Venice truly is like nowhere else on earth which is what makes a holiday here such a unique and unforgettable experience. Let yourself be totally mesmerised by the serenity and sheer beauty of this romantic city.
- 6 night / 7 day holiday by First Class rail travelling on daytime trains throughout, including 4 nights in a double room at the Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente or the Canal Grande Hotel* (both 4 star) in Venice from £1,225 per person with overnight stays in Zurich and Montreux (featured itinerary)
- Alternatively, stay in a double room at the Hotel Bucintoro, Una Hotel Venezia or the Ruzzini Palace (all 4 star) from £1,225 per person or in a double room at the Locanda Orseolo (3 star) from £1,325 per person or in a double room at the Hotel Al Ponte Antico (4 star) from £1,475 per person.
- 6 night / 7 day holiday to Venice by First Class rail and overnight 2-berth sleeper from Paris to Venice returning on daytime trains via Montreux from £995 per person.
- 6 night / 7 day holiday to Venice by First Class rail on daytime trains throughout, including 4 nights in Venice and overnight stays in Turin and Milan from £1,025 per person.
Day 1 – By rail to Switzerland
Your holiday begins this morning as you stroll into beautifully restored London St Pancras International station. Take your time to admire the 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 (formerly 1st class). 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.
You travel through the undulating Swiss countryside to attractive lakeside city of Zurich. It is a short walk (600 yards) to your overnight hotel, the comfortable, welcoming and highly-rated Hotel Continental (4 star).
Day 2 – Through Switzerland to Milan and onwards to Venice
After breakfast why not make a whistle-stop tour of Zurich? Most of the city’s sights lie within the compact area on either side of the River Limmat, between the main station (Hauptbahnhof) and Lake Zurich.
The churches and burgher houses of the Old Town are clustered here, as are the elegant shops along Bahnhofstrasse. The baroque Rathaus (Town Hall), Zurich’s most impressive churches – the Grossmünster, Fraumünster – and the city’s oldest, St Peterskirche (its clock face is the largest in Europe), all lie within a short distance of the River Limmat,
near the point where it opens onto the lake. Then make your own way back to Zurich station, for the scenic journey along the impressive Gotthard route through the Swiss Alps. The line transports you through picturesque scenery, climbing to the foot of the snow-capped Alps and through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel and a marvellous feat of engineering, which opened fully in December 2016. You soon emerge and continue across the Swiss border and through the outstanding Italian Lakes before arriving in Milan.
On arrival at Milan’s imposing art-deco station change trains and join the Eurostar City service to Venice. When you arrive at Venezia Santa Lucia station, walk out of the station and enter a different world. Your private water taxi will transfer you in the best possible style to your hotel for the next four nights, the Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente (4 star), an attractive, welcoming hotel located in a quiet area just 15 minutes from the Rialto Bridge with its friendly service, elegant and comfortable rooms.
Days 3, 4 and 5 – Venice
Step out in Venice and allow this unique and captivating city to carry where it will. Enjoy Venice at dusk and after dark when the crowds have gone home and the local Venetians take to the streets. From St. Mark’s Square to the Rialto Bridge, a gondola ride on the Grand Canal to a visit inside the stunning Doges Palace, feel yourself unwind as you wander amid the myriad of canals along blissfully traffic-free alleyways and campi (squares).
You have plenty of time to discover the city’s luminous quality which emanates from the colours of its painted palazzo, ornate stone bridges and Byzantine basilicas all reflected against the tapestry of canals and lagoons. A short boat ride will lead you to pretty islands on the lagoon, including Murano, home of glass-blowing and colourful Burano, where lace and linen abound.
Day 6 – Venice to Lake Geneva
This morning your water taxi re-unites you with the rest of the world as you leave Italy behind and board the Eurostar City service for the First Class journey to Milan.
From here join the comfortable Euro City service as it snakes its way into the Alps for the spectacular journey through the Simplon Pass and onto pretty lakeside town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. On arrival in Montreux your hotel for the night is the belle époque Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star) located right next to the station. Take a stroll alongside Lake Geneva and visit this elegant lakeside town which is home to the famous jazz festival.
Day 7 – Free-time in Montreux – Montreux to London – Homeward bound
Stretch your legs this morning 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, twixt sparkling lake and breathtaking mountains, spare a thought for the prisoners of this 13th century castle, considered to be one of the best-preserved in Europe.
You may have time for an early lunch before you make your way back to Montreux station. From here you join the Inter Regio train to Lausanne where you change trains and board the TGV to whisk you back to Paris.
Watch the rolling hills flash past or reminisce on the wonders of the past few days. Your private taxi transfer takes you to the Gare du Nord and the last leg of your journey. Here you join the Eurostar and let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the light meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras International.