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Switzerland and the Glacier Express
9 days - by air

Price from £1,319.00 per person*
Departs 24th Jun 2017

FIXED CHARTER PRICE* flying from Manchester Airport

Please see Includes tab for flight times

Dangling from their ropes and carabiners, ice on their goggles and crampons, breath freezing in the thin air, those daredevil mountaineers know how to see the Alpine summits up close, high in the snow–dusted crags thousands of feet above the tiny towns.

Or, you could enjoy it all from the comfort of a modern train. Not a normal train, of course. Normal trains like to stay away from slopes. But not these amazing Glacier and Bernina Express trains. They'll take you on a rollercoaster ride up and down mountains, over tall viaducts bridging huge chasms, through serpentine tunnels and corkscrew loops that cross and recross themselves, rising and falling on inclines so steep that the trains use rack–and–pinion locking wheels to stay on the rails.

We ride the Glacier Express from Tiefencastel, over the 7,000ft Oberalp to Andermatt, and the Bernina route from Pontresina to Poschiavo. In between, there's lots of free time to explore the area by cable car, plus a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne and a visit to chic St Moritz.

Introducing the Alps, in person, by Glacier Express, with flights, transfers, 3 star hotel (4 star upgrade available) with 4 course dinner & breakfast, and free use of all Klosters cable cars and rail lines to Davos & Filisur.

It beats hanging from a cliff edge by your fingernails any day.

This tour is organised and operated by Omega Holidays plc ABTA V4782 ATOL 6081

  • Return flight on the exclusive Omega charter from your chosen airport to Friedrichshafen
  • Return transfer from the airport to the hotel
  • Eight nights stay at the 3 star Sport Hotel, Klosters (4 star upgrade available) with breakfast and dinner
  • Excursion on the Glacier Express from Tiefencastel to Andermatt, with a visit to Lucerne and a boat cruise on the lake
  • Excursion on the Bernina Express line from Pontresina to Poschiavo, with a visit to St Moritz
  • A complimentary Davos Klosters Card giving resort discounts and free use of Klosters cable cars and public transport
  • One piece of hold luggage (20kg weight allowance)
  • Services of an English–speaking representative
  • All airport taxes and security charges and the Government charge on air travel (APD)
  • VAT at 20%

* Based on two people sharing a room at the Sport Hotel, Klosters. Dedicated single rooms and upgrades are available at a supplement(see list).

Hotel Sport room upgrades:

  • Dedicated single room at a supplement of £168pp
  • Single use of double room at a supplement of £232pp for the holiday

Upgrade to 4 star Hotel Silvretta for £100pp for the break

Silvretta room upgrades:

  • Superior room with balcony or terrace at a supplement of £132pp
  • Single use of double room at a supplement of £323pp for the holiday

Flights ↔ Friedrichshafen
AirportDate Outbound Return
Manchester24 Jun18:50 / 21:35 (easyJet via Basel)18:35 / 19:20
These flight times are correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change without notice

Saturday Meet up at your chosen airport for your flight to Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, where on arrival we transfer to the Hotel Sport in Klosters, in the Grisons area of eastern Switzerland, arriving in time for dinner (or you can upgrade to the 4 star Silvretta Park Hotel).

Sunday Breakfast and then you have a free day at leisure to explore the area of Klosters and Davos. You can use your Summer card which gives free use of ALL the cable cars of Klosters/Davos and the rail line from Klosters to Davos and Filisur.

Monday Another day at leisure to enjoy the area

Tuesday Glacier Express + Lake Lucerne

A big day today as we travel to Tiefencastel to board the world–famous Glacier Express. The train makes its way along the broad valley before it starts to climb through snowy pastures and woodland. It passes a white Benedictine abbey at Disentis and then there are two stretches, well above the tree line, where rack and pinion engage before the track winds past the mountain lake of Oberalpsee to the Oberalp Pass, the highest point of the route at 6,670 feet, afterwards descending 2,000 ft through two enormous rack–equipped loops to Andermatt.

With all this climbing and descending, the entire Express journey to Zermatt takes over 10 hours, so we will leave the train at Andermatt and take the coach through the pass that leads north to Vitznau on Lake Lucerne. From here we'll enjoy a 60 minute boat cruise across the sparkling waters of the lake to Lucerne, where there will be time to explore the city. Afterwards we rejoin the coach at Lucerne and make the journey back to the hotel in time for dinner.

Wednesday A free day today. Don't forget those cable cars, which can take you up Jakobshorn, Madrisa, Rinerhorn, Parsenn and the famous Schatzalp, Thomas Mann's 'Magic Mountain' and site of a botanical garden.

Thursday St. Moritz + Bernina Express

Today we take a full day excursion on the Bernina Express, Switzerland's other famous mountain railway. We join the train at Pontresina (5820 ft) in the Val Bernina. It ascends the valley to the Bernina Pass, going through Morteratsch station (6220 ft), where you can see the glacier and the highest peak of the Eastern Alps, the Piz Bernina (13,284 ft). The Bernina Express reaches the summit at the Ospizio Bernina station at 7391 ft and then descends through Alp Grüm, and past the lake and glacier of Piz Palü. The train twists and turns through hairpin bends to Cavaglia in the Val Poschiavo, then finally reaches the Swiss–Italian town of Poschiavo.

There will be time for lunch here before we set off by coach for St Moritz. Chic, elegant, exclusive, cosmopolitan, at 5,624 ft a holiday resort with altitude. There'll be free time to explore or shop before we rejoin the coach to return to the hotel for dinner.

Friday The first of two free days to relax or go for walks. Or you could visit Liechtenstein, whose capital Vaduz is only around 45 minutes away. It's a strange little country, double–landlocked, with virtually no crime, no military, one TV station, two newspapers, the highest GDP in the world and more registered companies than people due to its tax–haven laws. Vaduz has a pedestrianised Old Town, a castle, lots of museums and restaurants, and a castle. Liechtenstein has an open border with Switzerland and they use Swiss francs, so you won't need to take a passport or change any money. Why go? Well, who do you know who's been there?

Saturday One last free day for souvenir hunting.

Sunday Breakfast and then the morning is at leisure until it's time transfer to Friedrichshafen airport for your late afternoon flight home

Rack and Pinion

The Swiss got the idea of a mountain railway from a British inventor, back in the nineteenth century. Normally a train will slide and slip on steep gradients. But with a cog and ratchet system, and some strong brakes, it is possible to shunt a train up gradients that would defeat a goat.

The first cog railways relied on steam power, but normal boilers have to be level or they spill over, so tilted engines with tilted boilers had to be built in special tilted manufacturing workshops with tilted flooring. The whole assembly looked like a Heath Robinson cartoon. Not surprisingly, the cog engines were the first to be electrified.

Things to do in Davos

The cable-cars on the Jakobshorn (2590 m), Parsenn including the Weissfluhjoch (2844 m), Rinerhorn (2490 m) and Schatzalp/Strela give you access to a total of 700 km of marked hiking footpaths. You could hire a bike or a horse-drawn carriage and go up the side valleys of Sertig, Dischma or Flüela. Davos has a lake with a swimming area and a sailing and surfing centre. For the bold and fearless there are opportunities for hang-gliding and paragliding. Less white-knuckle and more high-brow is the Kirchner Museum - the world's largest collection of works by the German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938). Flower lovers will love the Alpinum Schatzalp, an Alpine botanical garden with about 800 different species of plant from all over the world, while CAMRA fans will appreciate the highest brewery in Europe, Monstein, with guided tours, brewers ABC of tips, and tasting.

Here are some example hotels or similar ones that we use for this break, actual availability may change with the travel date you choose.

Some hotels have an additional supplement per person, as shown below. Supplements are stated for the break (not per night)

The Hotel Sport, Klosters
Located in the centre of Klosters, with indoor pool and sauna, outdoor Jacuzzi, gym, 2 tennis courts and mini golf.
Silvretta Parkhotel, Klosters
Smart chalet-style hotel in the centre of Klosters, with pool, bowling alley and billiards...

Additional supplement from £100.00 per person.

Quote: PIN

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