Glacier Express – Switzerland
Traversing a frozen Narnia-esque landscape, the Glacier Express Train (completed in 1926), navigates some of Europe’s most spectacular mountain scenery, and offers a wonderful journey through a real-life Swiss snow-shaker scene.
Travelling during early spring, you experience a magical variety of landscapes, from stretching green valleys with icy rivers, to icing-sugar sprinkled forests and great icefields. Chugging along at a less-than express speed (averaging 39km), the narrow-gauge line (with 24 kms of rack-and-pinion), transports the glass-dominated rolling stock from St Moritz to Zermatt (Matterhorn to Piz Bernina).
The route passes from the Mattertal Alpine valley, down through the Valais, past Andermatt and over the 2,033m Oberalp Pass, via Chur (585m) and onto St Moritz. Across mountain-high viaducts and through countless tunnel blackouts, the ever-changing panoramic scenery of the Mattertal and Rhone Valleys unfolds alongside dramatic valley escarpments, fast flowing rivers, lakes and glacier-dominated mountain landscapes. Hill-top castles, spired churches, wooden homesteads and village scenes bring to mind stories of St Bernard dogs and Belle & Sebastian.
The eight-hour journey flashes past as you soak up the friendly welcome of the staff, in comfortable lounge chairs looking out through windows offering a panoramic view. Supported by a first-class concierge service and on-board auto support program, the journey is without doubt one of the world’s most exciting and enjoyable train rides.
It’s bookable for journeys throughout the year, meals are pre-ordered and overnight stays in St. Moritz and Zermat are included.
The Glacier Express’s breath-taking scenery offers a kaleidoscope of amazing views, sprinkled like stardust amidst your snow-shaker, in whatever direction you travel. One option is to start in the birth-of-winter-sports location of St Moritz, and travel via the famous UNESCO World Heritage Albula, with celebrated Landwasser Viaduct, and Ruinaulta Rhine Gorge (Swiss Grand Canyon), all the way to the iconic Matterhorn.
You are in for a treat.