We’re sure you were waiting for it with bated breath… But the wait is over! Here is the next installment in our legendary trains series. Following on from the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Orient Express, and the Podi Menike train in Sri Lanka, we are now inviting you aboard the mythical Glacier Express.
A magical atmosphere
We won’t blame you if your first impression is that this episode is less exotic than the others. After all, this train just goes through Switzerland, which is not quite as far away as our previous destinations! But don’t be fooled, as this locomotive is just as legendary and extraordinary! It weaves its way endlessly through landscapes each more spectacular than the last in a truly magical journey across the country. The Glacier Express connects two of the leading resorts in the Swiss Alps – Saint Moritz and Zermatt – both of which offer breathtaking panoramic views. Nicknamed “the world’s slowest express train,” it takes eight hours to travel 180 miles, crossing 291 bridges, going through 91 tunnels, and ambling through the Swiss cantons of Grisons, Uri, and Valais. And that’s not all! It also reaches quite a height, culminating at more than 6,600 feet at the magnificent Oberalp Pass.
The Glacier Express is mainly used by tourists, and offers a truly unforgettable experience. Picture the scene… Comfortably sat in a panoramic carriage, you are literally immersed in the mountains. The enormous windows give the impression of being in a glass-walled bubble, and rise up to the ceiling to offer views to the right, the left, and even above! This omnipresent transparency ensures the most beautiful vistas from start to finish. The train snakes up immaculate white slopes that seem to have been magically dusted with snow. Next you will see the snow-capped mountains stretching up to the sky, alpine meadows and forests in countless greens, majestic lakes, fast-flowing torrents, and impressively high viaducts running through mind-blowing settings.
Despite recently being modernized, the Glacier Express is still a legendary train. It began its maiden voyage from Zermatt in 1930, carrying 70 passengers and arriving safe and sound 11 hours later. And did you know? It was named after the Rhone Glacier it used to travel past, which led to the creation of the major river of the same name.
A mythical journey abroad the Glacier Express
Aside from the comfort of its carriages, the Glacier Express also offers an excellent gourmet experience. For lunch, the train’s in-house chef concocts delicious, slow-cooked dishes using fresh, seasonal, local produce. Passengers can choose from culinary specialties and traditional fare from the Swiss Alps, while enjoying a regional wine paired to perfection with each meal. High-flying gastronomy served against an almost heavenly backdrop! Other well-thought-out details include a concierge on hand to look after passengers, and an audio-guide that accompanies each point of interest to make the journey into a cultural tour through the heart of nature. Topics include St. Moritz and its chic charm, the rare birds of the Rhine Gorges (nicknamed “the Swiss Grand Canyon”) formed during the last ice age, and Zermatt and its impressive peaks. In case you hadn’t noticed, we absolutely loved it!
There is still one thing left to decide. Should you go in the winter or the summer? Or perhaps both? Either way, the views are sure to be fantastic. A fairy-tale and mythical experience to be shared with friends and family, and a great way of maintaining the magic of the end-of-year celebrations!