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Linking together towns in Switzerland was never going to be easy, but somehow they managed to build a railway that serves some of the finest ski regions – and it’s a line you really should ride.
On the Glacier Express
The Glacier Express is the slowest Express train in the world! Unlike others it’s more interested in delivering views of the stunning Swiss scenery than getting executives to their meetings on time.
Each day it rolls from Zermatt in Valais to St Moritz in Graubünden. For almost 8 hours passengers are treated to some of the region’s finest views and panoramas. Slowly chugging its way through the alpine region it offers views of Swiss life you’ll never get in the car: Snow-laden valleys, classic chalets and mountains you’ll never ski.
Highlights of the train journey include a spectacular crossing of the Landwasser Viaduct and the climb from the Rhine Gorge to Oberalp pass.
The view really is everything – and the train company know this, offering panoramic cabins to pull the outside right into the experience.
If you really love this type of travel – if you’ve not taken the train in Switzerland before you really should – then you can split the route, staying over in Andematt. Here you can grab some more skiing before catching the train the next time it comes through.
Skiing at both ends
At either end of the route there’s also fantastic skiing and snowboarding to be had. Zermatt is Europe’s highest ski resort, guarantees snow and reaches down into both Switzerland and Italy. As views go it’s got one of the best in Europe with the ever-present Matterhorn dominating the vista.
St Moritz also has a very fine reputation. Aside from the celebrities there are 3 distinct regions you can ski, each with its own qualities: The Corviglia pistes are perfectly prepared ahead of each season and roll on forever; the high Corvatsch Peak is far more dramatic and vertical, and there’s excellent skiing to be had on the glacier and the slopes of the Diavolleza.
Interested in riding the Glacier Express trains leave twice a day in Winter (in both directions) and up to eight times in Summer. Prices are not cheap at €149 second class, one-way but the journey is one of the best you’ll take on a train anywhere in the world and could make an impressive addition to your holiday ski package in Switzerland.