This Swiss alpine tour through Switzerland is the ideal crossing of Europe’s major mountain range. You will already enjoy the first part the tour. When you travel towards Kandersteg, the train will have to climb. In order to do so two loops were built. So the train changes direction twice.
There are two highlights, each with its own character. First Kandersteg, on the edge of the UNESCO World Heritage Jungfrau-Aletsch and secondly world famous Zermatt and the excursion to the Gornergrat with a fantastic panoramic view including the Matterhorn.
Whether from any of the 3 Swiss international airports (Zurich/Zürich, Basle/Basel or Geneva/Geneve) or by train from Germany, France, Austria or Italy, the package includes the train trip from Swiss international airports or the border station to Kandersteg and at the end back to the airport or border station, so no need to buy any additional train ticket. All travel within Switzerland is included! And as an extra benefit, with this package tour all further excursions by train, mountain train, cable car, boat or bus can be obtained for half the price.
Eventually after a stretch along Lake Thun you will enter the Kander valley on the Loetschberg mountain railway. As you approach Kandersteg, the train switches back and forth the valley to gain elevation before finally reaching the station. This railway, opened in 1912, is, after the Gotthard railway, the second most important trans alpine railway in Switzerland. Kandersteg profited from this railway because of its easy accessibility.
Kandersteg is a true hikers paradise because of the large hiking path network leading into several valleys. Upon arrival there is some time to explore the authentic village.
Overnight in Kandersteg
This often photographed lake at an altitude of nearly 1,600 m is well known as the perfect alpine setting. Lake Oeschinen is surrounded by the well over 3,000 m peaks of the Bluemlisalp, Fruendenhorn and Doldenhorn. Their impressive rock walls rise almost vertically from the lake. You will reach the lake after a short ride with a gondola followed by a 25 minutes walk leading to the shore.
A naturally created dam
Ancient landslides from the slopes of the Doldenhorn caused the creation of the lake. Recently smaller landslides have lead to a partial closure of the southern shore, but the remainder is accessible and safe to visit. Several hikes are possible. A loop up to the Heuberg and on to the Alp Oberbaergli offers spectacular views of the lake, however one needs to be free of vertigo. Alternatively, one can hike down to Kandersteg.
Since 2007 the lake is part of the Jungfrau Aletsch Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You may want to have an afternoon tea, just as the British tourists did in the 19th century. Or, for example, when the weather shows his “colder side”, visit the newly opened museum of cable cars.
Overnight in Kandersteg
On the way to Zermatt, first the Loetschberg tunnel (14 km) is passed. On the other side, the line gradually descends towards Brig in the Rhone valley. Here you will have to walk outside the station to board the train to Zermatt. After a little more than one hour you will reach Zermatt. Zermatt is a car free village. All transport within the village is done by electric cars or sometimes even horse carriages. This mountain village is well known because of the Matterhorn, which was climbed for the first time in 1865. The first climb, however was overshadowed by the tragedy on the descent when 4 of the 7 climbers died because one of them slipped. The Matterhorn museum shows the broken rope…
Overnight in Zermatt
(during winter season the overnight may change to the neighboring village of Taesch)
The mountain panorama and the unique view of the Matterhorn are unforgettable. With its sunny, year-round accessible viewing platform Gornergrat (3,089 m) has been one of the top excursion destinations in Switzerland since 1898. The Gornergrat Bahn was the first, fully electric cog railway in Switzerland. Today, it runs as a modern, sustainably powered train, which recovers and saves energy thanks to its regeneration process. It is also the highest open-air rack railway in Europe.
Just above the hotel, the platform reveals the grand panorama. From here you can see the greatest collection of 4,000 m peaks in Switzerland. Not only the Matterhorn is impressive, Switzerland’s highest mountain, the Dufourspitze with an altitude of 4,634 m is a giant ice covered mountain with several summits. Furthermore you can enjoy the view on Switzerland’s second largest glacial system as well.
Simply a perfect way to finish your Swiss alpine tour.
Overnight in Zermatt
(during winter season the overnight may change to the neighboring village of Taesch
It is time to say goodbye. However, even the journey back to the airport or border station follows through the beautiful Swiss landscapes. Depending your destination, a stopover in the city of Geneva, Bern or Zurich is a good choice. Because all train stations in Switzerland are conveniently located in the centre of each Swiss city, a quick tour of the city can be done easily. At every station luggage lockers are available so your luggage can safely stay at the station.
Alternatively, another tour can be added or you may want to stay a few extra days in Switzerland.
You can start or end the tour at any Swiss airport or border station.