2017 Switzerland's Secret Railways

2017 Switzerland's Secret Railways

Switzerland has an amazing array of mountain railways. Whilst the well-trodden and famous mountain excursions are covered elsewhere in Railtrail's programme, this tour includes three fabulous journeys on mountain railways that are popular with locals but virtually unknown in the UK as they aren't included in the Swiss travel passes. We also enjoy a steam excursion with a twist on the Brienzer Rothornbahn, all from a small, family-run hotel nestled by idyllic Lake Thun.

7 Days From Only £1,399.00

 

DEPARTS

Friday 15th September 2017

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Your choice of First or Standard Class rail travel to Switzerland and return

  • Hotel beside Lake Thun with leisure facilities and fabulous views

  • Included excursion on the Niesen Funicular to the top of the "Swiss Pyramid"

  • Return journey on the Stockhorn Aerial Cableway for fantastic panoramic views

  • Day ticket for the Lake Thun boats

  • Visit the lovely lakeside resort of Spiez

  • Enjoy two rail experiences in one at the Niederhorn Railway, with incredible views from the top

  • Experience a special Brienzer Rothornbahn journey on their ‘Steam & Sausage’ excursion

  • Local Bus Pass – offering freedom of the region on your free day

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

6 nights’ bed, breakfast & evening meal, plus 1 light lunch

Local Transport Pass

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

 

DAY 1

Relax as we let the European train system transport us from the bustle of early morning London via Strasbourg to Basel, then onwards along the beautiful southern shore of Lake Thun to Faulensee, where a welcome evening meal awaits at our hotel, the Strandhotel Seeblick.

D

DAY 2

The local transport system whisks us from the lakeside and into the Kandertal valley to Mülenen. Here we make the short walk to the bottom station of the Niesen Funicular for a return journey up to the peak of the "Swiss Pyramid" to Niesen Kulm at a height of 2,336 metres above sea level. Covering a staggering 3.5 km of track, split into two sections, and gradients of up to 68%, the Niesen Railway has been transporting tourists to the top since 1910. As the rails gently raise you above the cloud line, notice the steps running alongside the track, which comprise the world's longest staircase. Each year the 'Niesenlauf' staircase race takes place for those wishing to run up 11,674 steps, whereas our journey is more relaxed, with breathtaking views of the Alps and Lakes Thun and Brienz from the top.

B, D

DAY 3

A day at leisure allows you to relax at our hotel's new leisure facilities. Alternatively, your local 'Panoramacard' ticket entitles you to use the local bus system free of charge, as well as many more discounts.

B, D

DAY 4

Our second mountain adventure begins with a local journey to Spiez, followed by a train ride through the Simmental valley to Erlenbach im Simmental. Here we walk approximately 900 metres through the village to the base station of the Stockhorn aerial cableway. A much later addition to the Swiss mountain railway collection, the Stockhornbahn's two sections were opened in 1968 and 1969 respectively. From the valley station the cableway rises to a height of 2,139 metres above sea level, from where the mountain peak can be accessed on foot, where a spectacular alpine panorama awaits.

B, D

DAY 5

Today we include a day ticket on the Lake Thun boats. Departing Faulensee, we sail across the lake to Beatenbucht to join our next mountain railway excursion. The Niederhorn Beatenberg Mountain Railway is actually two experiences in one. From the lakeside we firstly take the funicular railway, which originally opened in 1889, from Beatenbucht to the village of Beatenberg, where we join the cable car, opened in 1946) for the remainder of the journey to the Niederhorn. From the top the views are stunning, with Lake Thun below framed by the snow-capped Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Returning to the bottom station, join your tour manager on a cruise to the lovely village of Spiez or use your day ticket to cruise a little further afield.

B, D

DAY 6

Heading eastwards along the shores of Lake Brienz, our train arrives in Interlaken, from where the journey skirts the northern shores of Lake Brienz. At Brienz itself we include a return steam-hauled journey on the Brienzer Rothornbahn. You will find the distinctive red train on other tours with Railtrail and other companies, but we have chosen the special "Steam Sausage Express"! The railway steams and smokes its way up the mountain now as it did when it opened in 1892, climbing from Lake Brienz for 7.6km to Brienzer Rothorn Alp summit station at a height of 2,244m. Our special excursion halts during the ascent at Planalp, where your driver and fireman cook sausages in the locomotive's original steam kettle, served with the BRB's 'rack rail bread' and a soft drink.

B, L, D

DAY 7

We return by train across Switzerland to Paris, changing stations for our Eurostar journey to London.

B

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

HOTEL

Strandhotel Seeblick, Faulensee

Imagine sailing across a Swiss Lake to a boat station close to a beautiful Swiss hotel hugging the lakeshore, with boats bobbing in the foreground and guests enjoying the views from the retsurant terrace. The Strandhotel Seeblick is a small, family-run hotel in the peaceful village of Faulensee with just 22 bedrooms, all with balcony, telephone, tv and radio. The restaurant looks straight out onto the lake and, although the village is quiet, it does have boat, bus and rail connections. In spring 2017 the hotel will open a brand new spa facility too, with indoor and outdoor pool.

 

FARES

From London St Pancras International:

 

Standard Class rail travel

to / from Switzerland, including Standard Eurostar

£1399

First Class rail travel

to / from Switzerland, including Standard Premier Eurostar

£1699

Single Traveller Supplement

£245



6 nights' bed, breakfast & evening meal, plus 1 light lunch

Eurostar and rail travel to and from Switzerland in the class of your choice

Local Transport Ticket

All excursions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Hotel Porterage

 

GUARANTEED FARE

 

 

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
London St Pancras Int London St Pancras Int (LNE)

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