One of the most fascinating railway lines in the world is in Switzerland: the Glacier Express. Although there are faster ways to cross Switzerland, none is guaranteed to be as beautiful as this one. The train runs on a 291-kilometre route between St. Moritz and Zermatt and takes around eight hours to complete. This is definitely not record-breaking with an average speed of 40 kilometres per hour, but that doesn't matter on the world's slowest express train. Here, travellers enjoy the incomparable panorama on the route and experience Switzerland from a special perspective. On the route, the carriages of the Glacier Express pass through three cantons, seven valleys and roll over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels. The train belongs to the narrow-gauge railways and, thanks to its one-metre gauge, can negotiate very tight curves and repeatedly change direction in helical tunnels, as well as curve over serpentines to snow-covered peaks. This allows travellers a relaxed, quiet ride and time to enjoy the surrounding natural wonders.
A fantastic nature film plays throughout outside the panoramic windows of the Glacier Express, with spectacular views that make travellers simply happy. Along the way, the red and white train passes deep blue mountain lakes and winds its way through alpine high valleys. The express also crosses passes and gorges, offering new, magnificent images with every kilometre of track. In general, the journey with the Glacier Express is an eventful day trip lasting eight hours. If you have a little more time, you can take the opportunity to cover the route in stages with overnight stays and thus explore the beautiful places extensively.
Before beginning your journey through Switzerland, it is worth stopping in St. Moritz. In winter it is a well-known hotspot for horse racing, polo and cricket tournaments, and in summer it is a paradise for rowers, sailors, fishermen and stand-up paddlers on Lake St. Moritz. In Samedan, just five kilometres away, a ride on the Muottas Muragl funicular is worthwhile. From the top, guests have a fantastic view of the mountain panorama.
High on the mountain in Samedan is the Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, which can only be reached by the hotel's own cable car of the same name. Located at the beautiful vantage point in Engadin St. Moritz, guests can expect a fantastic view at 2,456 metres above sea level and culinary delights in the panorama restaurant.
Chur is the recommended first stop. Switzerland's oldest town looks back on a settlement history of over 5,000 years. The Bishop's Court with its 800-year-old cathedral towers over the well-preserved, car-free old town. It is one of the most important cultural monuments in Switzerland. From Chur, it is worth making a detour to Tschiertschen, only 7 kilometres away. There, the old village centre with traditional wooden houses impresses its visitors.
Only 20 kilometres west of Chur, a unique landscape awaits visitors in Flims: the Rhine Gorge impresses as the "Swiss Grand Canyon" with gorges up to 400 metres deep and around 13 kilometres long. Hiking trails along the Rhine lead past rugged cliffs, forests and wide meadows. Sports enthusiasts enjoy thrilling rafting tours as well as bike excursions and can capture the breathtaking view with a camera from the viewing platforms.
The Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof has been awaiting guests in Flims for over 120 years and invites you to stay and relax in the magnificent Flims mountains. The hotel's own wellness area allows relaxation for body and soul after an eventful day in the fresh air. In winter, Flims is also an ideal starting point for skiing and snowboarding.
The Glacier Express reaches its terminus in the mountain village of Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn. There, holidaymakers will find a whole 400 kilometres of hiking trails and explore the 3089-metre-high Gornergrat by cogwheel railway, from where they can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding world of peaks - a perfect end to your journey with the Glacier Express.
Tip: In addition to exquisite cuisine in the Romantik Hotels along the route, the on-board gastronomy also offers delicacies from the region, freshly prepared as well as served. Guests can indulge in a 5-course menu in the Excellence Class. You can find more information HERE.
Image © by Glacier Express