Tailormade tour By rail to the Bernese Oberland holiday Switzerland

7 nights/8 days

Grindelwald • Bernese Oberland

Travel by train and stay for seven nights in the charming Swiss village of Grindelwald in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. Dominating its own valley, and surrounded by hiking trails and iconic mountains, Grindelwald captures the best of the stunning panoramas this region has to offer and attracts active as well as leisurely guests.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £3,270 per person.

Luxury holiday to the Swiss Bernese Oberland by train staying in Grindelwald for seven nights

Highlights

Grindelwald • Wengen • Interlaken • Jungfrau • Lauterbrunnen • Schilthorn

Day by day

Travel from London to Grindelwald by rail on your first day; or fly into Zurich and travel the rest of the journey by train. The Eurostar leaves early in the morning for Paris, where you change to a TGV train headed to Basel. Here, change for Interlaken, and then join the cogwheel railway up the mountainside to Grindelwald. Check into your hotel.

Spend seven nights enjoying the highlights of the Bernese Oberland, making the most of your eight-day rail pass to explore the surrounding villages, lakes and mountains. Grindelwald sits in the eastern of the two valleys above Interlaken, Lake Brienz, and Lake Thun. With the Eiger directly to the south east, Grindelwald is not only enveloped in phenomenal views, but over 90km of hiking paths for all abilities. The Schwarzer Lutschine River runs to the south of the main street, which adds to the idyllic feel. To the west of the Grindelwald Valley is the Lauterbrunnen Valley, unusually square in shape, and sculptured over time by glaciers. Here, you will find waterfalls that cascade over the entrance to caves, as well as more hiking paths and the village of Wengen. Places of interest in the Bernese Oberland: • Jungfraujoch – the ‘top of Europe,’ this is the highest railway station in Europe, at 3,454m above sea level, and is accessible via a narrow cog railway • Aletsch Glacier – the longest glacier in Europe • First – hiking routes from First will take you to Schwarzhorn, Grosse Scheidegg, the Upper Glacier, Lake Bach, Faulhorn, or back to Grindelwald in under three hours each way; a longer hike of over five hours will take you to Schynige Platte • Upper Glacier – accessible on foot in an hour and a half, or by postbus, with ice grottoes naturally decorated with ice bubbles that create colourful patterns; a track and a series of wooden ladders from the grottoes allow you to walk alongside the ice • Glacier Gorge – within walking distance of Grindelwald • Cable cars in the local area facilitate access to Pfingstegg and the local mountain summits • Pfingstegg – offers the option of shorter hiking trails and access to the Lower Glacier • Yodelling Festival – held in Grindelwald in July each year • Staubbach Falls, outside Lauterbrunnen • Trummelbach Falls – best viewed from inside the mountain, where the water is illuminated; rocks have been sculpted by the huge amount of water • Schilthorn – at 2970m, the Schilthorn offers fantastic views across the mountains and valleys below, and the summit can be reached by the Stechelberg cable car; it was here that the famous scenes from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service were filmed • Piz Gloria Restaurant – a revolving restaurant set on the hiking path up to the summit of Birg; breaks up the long hike • Lake Thun and Lake Brienz – head to Thun, Brienz, or Interlaken to begin a lake cruise • St Beatus Caves – impressive rock formations and a museum lie within • Harder Kulm – a funicular railway takes you up past the panoramas on the way to the summit • Chasdorfli – this dairy near Hoheweg offers demonstrations during the summer for visiting groups Local sports suggestions: • Hiking and walking along the many hiking trails • Water sports – Interlaken, Faulensee, Darligen, and Gunten are good destinations for water sports • Tobogganing outside Interlaken The abundance of available activities, from exploring picturesque villages to scenic walks and hiking, will ensure that each of your days in the Bernese Oberland is unique and memorable. This seven night rail holiday allows you to make the most of this variety and get to know the region in-depth.

On your eighth day, board a morning train from Grindelwald back to Interlaken and Basel where you board the high-speed TGV to Paris. Meet the Eurostar here and cross the Channel, arriving in London in the early evening.

Holiday price guide From about £3,270 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for second class rail travel. First class supplement about £420 per person.

Holiday Code CHBR14

Luxury holiday to the Swiss Bernese Oberland by train staying in Grindelwald for seven nights

Holiday price guide From about £3,270 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for second class rail travel. First class supplement about £420 per person.

Holiday Code CHBR14

Our prices include ● Second-class travel on all trains, with standard class on Eurostar (first and standard premier can be booked at a supplement)
● 7 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Comfort room at the Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof, Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Swiss Francs 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in Paris
● Travel by air from UK to Switzerland

Holiday price guide From about £3,270 per person based on two people sharing a double room and including for second class rail travel. First class supplement about £420 per person.

Holiday Code CHBR14

Luxury holiday to the Swiss Bernese Oberland by train staying in Grindelwald for seven nights

Highlights of the Bernese Oberland

As a place of incredible natural beauty and the birthplace of skiing, the Bernese Oberland is a destination with a host of possibility for active and cultural activity. Essential to any visit to this region is the Jungfraujoch glacier, known as the Top of Europe, accessible via the narrow cog railway (Jungfraubahnen) up to the Jungfraujoch train station, standing at 3,454m above sea level. The Peak Walk suspension bridge, crossing between two peaks above Glacier 3000, reaches a thrilling 107m long and affords walkers magnificent views of the Matterhorn, the Mont Blanc Massif, the Eiger, the Monch, and Jungfrau. We also recommend visiting the area around Grindelwald, from which it is easiest to board a rail trip to Jungfraujoch, to see the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in Europe, and begin a hike or mountain walk through the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The adventure sports centre of Interlaken is perfect for lake swimming, boat cruises, hiking, biking, horse-riding, and water sports. One of the area's quirkier landmarks is the Big Pintenfritz, Europe's longest toboggan run, reaching 15km in length and descending a total of 1,631m.

Festivals in the Bernese Oberland

The festivals and celebrations in the Bernese Oberland tend to revolve around the prominence of winter sports, such as the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup in Adelboden and the International Lauberhorn ski races in January; yet, during the summer and autumn months, there are many more that celebrate Swiss culture and tradition. Unique in the winter months, however, is the Belle Epoque week in Kandersteg, when the Belle Epoque era is embodied in a series of sporting and social events. In July and August, the Lake Thun Festival brings the peaceful lakeside alive with musicals and productions from all over the continent. In October, the AlpKultur Festival in Lenk im Simmental pays homage to all aspects of the region's traditions for a period of two weeks, with an Alpine festival, Hornussen tournaments (a type of Swiss ball game), and a range of interactive workshops.

Gastronomy in the Bernese Oberland

Like much of Switzerland, cheese makes up a large part of the regional food production. The Diemtigtal, in the west of the Bernese Oberland, is the largest Alpine cheese-making area in Switzerland, and so is the optimum place to visit an authentic mountain dairy. Many farms will serve breakfast or lunch alongside a cheese-tasting, or allow visitors to watch the cheese as it is made. The organic dairy on the Schwarzenberg Alp in the Wiriehorn area is one such as this. The AlpKultur Festival in Lenk in Simmental offers visitors the opportunity to briefly live life as a mountain farmer: helping with milking, cheese-making, looking after the animals, visiting farmsteads, and sleeping in the Alps.

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