Switzerland - View from the Inside

"Switzerland is best explored by trains which are very comfortable and really do run like clockwork"

May 2015 • Thomas Rast, Product Manager

Switzerland - View from the Inside

Switzerland is best explored by trains which are very comfortable and really do run like clockwork. If there is no train, there will be a bus, boat or cable car to carry you to your destination.

My journey started in glamorous St. Moritz, the birthplace of winter Alpine tourism in 1864, today it is a mix of high class and tradition. The well-appointed Art Boutique Hotel Monopol is conveniently located in the centre of the village. 

The highlight of all my Swiss rail journeys has to be the Glacier Express. A modern well-appointed train with panoramic windows, it winds its way from St. Moritz through tunnels and over viaducts down to Chur and along the Rhine before climbing over the Oberalppass and going through the Goms Valley to Brig and up to Zermatt. The journey takes 8 hours and there is an informative commentary one can listen to as the scenery continuously changes. A delicious 3-course lunch is freshly prepared and served on board. 

In Zermatt my base was the delightful and historic Monte Rosa Hotel in an ideal central location with stunning views towards the Matterhorn. In picturesque Zermatt there are endless leisure opportunities from a gentle alpine stroll, impressive cogwheel rail trips to breathtaking cable car rides and challenging mountain hiking. The fascinating Alpine Museum has a special exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first successful attempt to climb the Matterhorn by British alpinist Edward Whymper. 

I continued to vibrant Montreux on Lake Geneva. Montreux is home of the Chateau Chillon and there are impressive views of the lake towards the French Alps. It is also the end point of the Golden Pass line. 

Two of my favourite things are chocolate and cheese and the next part of my journey had both! The chocolate train wound its way through vineyards and meadows to Gruyere for a dairy visit, where the famous Gruyere cheese is made; this was followed by an exploration of the medieval town centre. In the afternoon our journey continued by bus to Broc for a tour of the Cailler chocolate factory, unlimited tasting included. I believe most of us did eat too many chocolates and did not require any refreshments on our return journey!" 

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