Days
10
Price from
$4,885CAD

All aboard for a picturesque journey taking in Milan, Lucerne and Zurich

Embrace the romance of the railway on this splendid alpine tour through Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Begin in Milan and enjoy picturesque lakeside towns before rolling on to Zermatt for alpine adventure and incredible views. Ride the steepest cog railway to Mount Pilatus and take in the German city of Munich as you enjoy regional food, historical sights and the relaxing environment of alpine communities. A relaxing and incredibly picturesque journey, you’re sure to be invigorated by the crisp mountain air on this unique European rail tour.


Start
Milan, Italy
Finish
Munich, Germany
Countries
Germany, Italy, Switzerland
Style
Peregrine
Code
PERJ
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
9 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • There's nothing quite like train travel in Europe. This trip covers as much history as it does gorgeous Alpine scenery

  • It's big on relaxation, but not without adventure. Riding the world's steepest cog railway at Mt Pilatus will be a tale for the grandchildren

  • The Glacier Express from Zermatt to Lucerne rates among the greatest, slowest, most romantic train trips in the world

  • There's plenty of time to eat, drink and be merry in Munich, the alpine town of delicious regional cuisine, festive beer culture and royal Bavarian heritage

  • At the beautifully located Neuschwanstein Castle, you'll enjoy a guided tour of its fairytale-like interior – a grandiose 19th-century throwback to the Middle Ages

Is this trip right for you?

  • The trains are comfortable and well-equipped with amenities. Most are second-class, which includes reservation and luggage storage. However, you will have to carry your own luggage on and off trains, as well as to and from hotels on occasion, so it's important not to exceed luggage weight recommendations.

  • There are some short boat trips involved, so you'll need to be comfortable with being out on the water. One of these is a peaceful amble around Lake Maggiore (Day 2); the second is a brief ride across Lake Lucerne (Day 5), en route to the Golden Circle route at Mt Pilatus.

  • The Mt Pilatus railway journey is spectacular but steep. Those sensitive to heights should prepare for some views of sheer drops.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Arrive in Milan at any time and settle into your centrally located hotel. Meet your trip leader and your fellow companions at the welcome meeting. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in one of the traditional restaurants near the hotel. After dinner, the rest of the evening is free for you to explore the town, or to rest up in preparation for tomorrow's early start.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ramada Plaza Milan or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Discover Milan, Italy's second largest city, an interesting mix of glamour and industry. Take an orientation walk and see the main sights, including the Duomo (the Gothic cathedral in the centre of town). Later, board the train to Stresa for the first leg of your journey (approximately 1 hour). This small town is situated on the banks of beautiful Lake Maggiore. The three tiny Borromean Islands here, known for their terraced gardens and aristocratic villas, are well worth visiting. Perhaps reach one of them on an afternoon ferry stroll across Lake Maggiore. You'll catch your first views of the Alps in the background.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Milan Speranza au Lac or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ferry trip on Lake Maggiore
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will take another train journey, reaching further in to the Alps. Arrive at the famous mountain resort of Zermatt. On the way, yet more scenic views of the Alps reveal themselves. Continue to Zermatt, a place famed for its mountaineering and excellent skiiing. The views of the Swiss Alps are excellent from here. At over 1,600 metres above sea level, with the mighty Matterhorn looming above, you might feel you have reached the heart of the Alps. Enjoy a free afternoon strolling around town.
Accommodation
  • The Schlosshotel Zermatt or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After a hearty breakfast at the foot of Matterhorn, it's time for a scenic train ride across the alps. The Glacier Express Train will take you from Zermatt through Andermatt to Chur (approximately 6 hours). This is a fascinating journey through scores of tunnels and bridges and over the Oberalp Pass (2,033 m). The train is a narrow-gauge train, known to be one of the slowest in the country. Sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery, which is only made better by the panoramic sightseeing windows on board. There will be lunch on the train – perhaps enjoy it with a glass of crisp Swiss white wine. On arrival to Chur, you will change trains and then continue to Lucerne, where the remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Drei Koenige Luzern or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning is a leisurely one, as you take another epic train to the top of Mount Pilatus via the famous Golden Circle route. Firstly you will take a short boat ride on Lake Lucerne, then board the world’s steepest cog railway to the top of the mountain. On some sections of the trip you may be exposed to the sheer drops and high bridges. Those prone to vertigo might want to refrain from looking down. Luckily the scenery is as gorgeous as it is dramatic. Once at the top, you will have the chance to try yet another culinary delight of Switzerland. Enjoy panoramic views of the Alps before taking the aerial cableway and gondolas down to Kriens, from where you will take a short drive back to Lucerne. An orientation walk in Lucerne on arrival will give you some ideas for where to dine this evening. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Drei Koenige Luzern or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mt Pilatus Golden Circle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early this morning for another train trip. This time you will stop over in Zurich. An orientation walk around town will introduce you to some of its main sites. There will be plenty of time for you to have lunch in one of Zurich's great eateries (ask your leader for a recommendation). Carry on to Munich in the afternoon, arriving in the early evening to check into your hotel. The night is free for you to explore the Bavarian capital or simply relax.
Accommodation
  • Leonardo Hotel Munich City Olympiapark or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, embark on an orientation walk around Munich. You'll learn a thing or two about the city's interesting medieval history. While here, you might enjoy visiting the Marianplatz, the Neues Rathaus (the New Town Hall), or perhaps the medieval city gates that still remain standing. Another must see is the Englischer Garten, one of the biggest urban parks in the world. In the afternoon, perhaps discover Munich’s culinary wonders, strolling around the streets and sampling some of the best foods. As this city is well known for world famous Oktoberfest, why not try one or two of the famous Bavarian lagers?
Accommodation
  • Leonardo Hotel Munich City Olympiapark or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Early this morning, take a short train trip to Schloss Neuschwanstein, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace situated on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau. This spectacular castle was built by the King Ludwig II, who was known to be very shy. It was built so he could hide from the public. In 1886, only seven weeks after the death of Ludwig II, the palace was opened to the public, and it continues to receive vast numbers of visitors each year. Learn about its history and soak up the atmosphere of the place. You'll spend most of the day here. There's the chance to enjoy a lunch in castle’s restaurant. If you fancy feeling like a King or a Queen, perhaps try the horse and carriage ride around the palace. You should arrive back in Munich well in time for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Leonardo Hotel Munich City Olympiapark or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Castle Neuschwanstein guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Horse drawn carriage - Castle Neuschwanstein (return) - EUR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in Munich today. Perhaps see some of the sights you haven't got around to yet. A cycling tour is a great way to see the city from a different angle. Sports fans can take a tour of the historic stadium, Olympiapark. Alternatively, head to Alte Pinakothek, a museum which houses a world-class collection of Old European Masters. As it's your last night of the trip, you'll enjoy dinner with your travel companions to bid them farewell (your leader will advise of the exact time and location).
Accommodation
  • Leonardo Hotel Munich City Olympiapark or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. There are no further activities planned and you are free to depart at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Taxi, Train, Boat, Ferry

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (8 nights), Feature Stay (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Ferry trip on Lake Maggiore
  • Mt Pilatus Golden Circle
  • Castle Neuschwanstein guided tour

Reviews

Our Alpine Railway Journey trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 9 reviews in the last year.

Alpine Railway Journey, September 2016

Fiona Anderson

Alpine Railway Journey, August 2016

Catharine Ward

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.