Switzerland's Glacier Express

In our every day life when things happen at torpedo speeds, moving at a glacial pace can often be annoying and simply unacceptable.

However, on one particular train journey in Switzerland, famously known as the slowest express train in the world, moving at an average of 24mph is the way to go. And passengers love it. Why? Because going any faster would defeat the purpose of the experience.

The Experience

A seven-and-a-half-hour choo-choo ride between Zermatt and St Moritz, the Glacier Express is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest train journeys. Thoroughly scenic from start to finish, views of which can be gawked at and appreciated through the wide panoramic windows and skylights, the train crosses a whopping 291 bridges, passes through 91 tunnels and ascends up to 2,033m, the highest point of the track. A large part of the Glacier Express also travels along the World Heritage Site of the Rhaetian Railway. To say this is one impressive train journey would be a complete and utter understatement.

As if the scenery itself is not a convincing enough reason to jump on board, you will also be extremely pleased (and spoiled) with the sheer comfort and class of the modern train service. The hearty meals offered also match the world-class service and setting, with second and third helpings included in the reservation. We think this is value-add that is truly a feast for the senses!

St-Moritz-Twilight-Winter

Luxury Holiday Resorts

At either end of the Glacier Express, you’ll be greeted by two of the world’s most famous winter holiday resorts, Zermatt and St Moritz.

Zermatt in the Valais region of Switzerland is the gateway to the imposing and unmistakable pyramid shaped Matterhorn. Surrounded by mountains bordering Italy, this resort is highly popular among mountaineers and snow enthusiasts alike. Largely pedestrianised and filled with beautiful traditional Swiss styled chalets, this resort’s winter scene for après ski parties is second to none!

St Moritz in the east, on the other hand, is the original home of winter tourism. Much less traditional in terms of architecture and landscape, but instead more glitz and glamour, St Moritz sits on a lake which is popular among windsurfers and paddle boarders in summer. Then come winter when the lake is frozen, the resort plays host to a number of prestigious international sporting events including the annual Winter Polo and White Turf. Its local airport often welcomes guests from the high society including the rich, famous and royals travelling via their private jets and helicopters.

Zermatt-Village

The Appeal

While journeying from the traditional fairy-tale charm of Zermatt to the sophistication and class of St Moritz on the one train journey, you will also see a series of smaller towns and villages along the way. As much as the scenery progressively changes, so do the villages in terms of size, style and backdrop. But most of all for us, witnessing the landscape transform from lush verdant meadows to majestic icy glaciers is quite the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Glacier Express is part of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland. Note that a mandatory seat reservation is required when booking with your Swiss Travel Pass.

To find out more about Zermatt, St Moritz and Switzerland in general, head to MySwitzerland.com.

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