Thursday, 18 November 2010 12:00 AM
Taking train holidays in Switzerland is a great way to explore the Alps, as well as seeing much other fantastic scenery besides. With rail lines running through Unesco World Heritage areas, you will be able to see some of Switzerland's oldest and most beautiful landscapes.
By embarking on a rail journey to the country, you will be able to travel on the famous Bernina Express - a railway renowned not only for its incredible engineering, but also for providing essential links to southern Switzerland. Indeed, its importance has earned it Unesco World Heritage status.
Starting in one of the country's oldest towns, Chur, the Bernina Express travels south across some 76 miles of track. During the journey, holidaymakers will be able to see incredible sights, such as frozen waterfalls and deep ravines.
Travelling through some 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, the Bernina Express finishes its journey just after crossing the Italian border, at the village of Tirano.
Once aboard the train, passengers will be able view some of the most incredible Swiss scenes from the comfort of their seats. The train travels past glaciers, picturesque mountain streams and an alpine garden, while also journeying across viaducts and the Bernina Pass, which lies at more than 7,000 ft.
Filled with so many important sights, a trip on the Bernina Express is an essential for anyone taking rail holidays in Switzerland.
As the journey takes just four hours, travellers will have plenty of time to explore on other rail lines during their holiday. Those dreaming of lakes and mountains holidays should start their break in Brig, which is the perfect base from which to travel to Zermatt and the Bernese Oberland.
Embarking on a day out in Zermatt is ideal for those keen to see some of Switzerland's most famous mountains up close. From here the Matterhorn is easily viewable - and for an excellent view holidaymakers can take a train up to Gornergrat, situated at over 10,000 ft.
Meanwhile, some of the country's most stunning lakes are situated nearby in the Bernese Oberland. Visiting Interlaken is the perfect way to see some beautiful, serene lakes. Indeed, the area is so named because of its situation between two lakes - the Brienz and the Thun. Both affording fantastic photo opportunities, the lakes also offer boat trips for a serene holiday experience.
And while at Interlaken, visitors can ascend to the Jungfraujoch - Europe's highest rail station - sitting at over 11,000 ft.
Exploring the Western Alps by rail is a delight. The GoldenPass Line traverses beautiful scenery and takes passengers to Gstaad - a luxury resort which is something of a favourite with celebrities. Meanwhile, the Centovalli Railway is an equally great way to see this region, offering gorgeous scenes of picturesque valleys.
After seeing the sights of the Western Alps, the Glacier Express awaits. Despite the speed its name suggests, this is actually quite a slow train, which will take you past the Swiss landscapes at a leisurely pace. Travelling up the Rhone Valley, passengers will be taken across the Oberlap Pass, which rests at 6,670 ft.
The Glacier Express terminates in Chur, making it the perfect time for holidaymakers to embark on their Bernina Express adventures.
While in Chur, visitors should take the time to explore this ancient town. Filled with scenes that conjure up images of the past, Chur is filled with medieval alleyways and buildings. Those interested in architecture and history will find the town a haven and should visit its imposing 12th century cathedral.
Travelling to nearby Lucerne prior to making the journey home offers more views of the country's gorgeous lakes - and is certainly a good way to close the trip.
Those keen to see stunning mountain and lake views and to explore Switzerland will find train holidays in the country to be the perfect way to do so. Offering so many staggering views from the comfort of the train, visitors will be able to see a wide range of scenes from throughout the country, while also having the chance to explore its towns, mountains and lakes.
The perfect tranquil break, Switzerland rail holidays offer a relaxed and easy way to see the best of the country.