The Five Best Things about a Scenic Swiss Rail Journey

The Alps and the Glacier express on a Swiss Viaduct. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm. Collaborative post

1. The Rail Enthusiasts Ideal Trip

If there’s one thing guaranteed to bring together my husband and two teenage daughters in a joint adventure, it is trains. They’ve been making an N-gauge model railway together and the next part of the layout is supposed to include a mountain with tunnels. Like an authentic Swiss rail journey, the train will dive into the mountainside and out again over impressive bridges. My husband is quite concerned about this design task which has already taken ages to plan.

Of course this feat of engineering has already been done in real life in the Swiss Alps. Now when we are struggling with our miniature, we begin to grasp the scale of achievement of the Alpine railways. However until we take our own Swiss Rail journey in real life, we can’t soak up the atmosphere and beauty of the mountains.

Glacier express on a Swiss Viaduct. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm. 2. Let the Train Take the Strain

The railways are an excellent way to go sightseeing in Switzerland as all the big attractions are connected by rail or other public transport. To get right up into the most striking mountain scenery by car would involve driving some pretty tricky roads. Even though I love road trips, in Switzerland I’d much prefer to avoid hairpin bends and instead relax and look out of a train window. To have spellbinding beauty roll past our eyes would allow us to really savour the journey. I think that would be a delightful change of pace from our busy lives.

Cows in a meadow, Alps behind them.. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm.

3. Authentic Time Together in Switzerland

Another thing I always seek from our holidays is a chance to meet some locals. Doing that gets us an insight into the culture, such as the time we were taught to make crepes by a Breton farmer. It’s experiences like that which attract me to a Swiss Rail Journey with Inntravel holidays as they specialise in authenticity and taking the road less traveled. With a self-guided tour, we would be able to enjoy family time in our own little bubble, without thinking about tour groups and timings.

Snowy mountain and lake reflection. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm.

4. Eye-popping Highlights of a Swiss Rail Journey

There’s no getting away from the fact that some areas like the Jungfraujoch – the highest railway station in Europe – are very busy and popular. However, a seat in a panoramic carriage on the Glacier express would be all my own. Beautiful lakes are also on view from the Swiss railways. You can take a paddle steamer on Lake Geneva for a closer view. I have lots of things on my wish-list for Switzerland. My ideal day would start with a view of the Eiger and end with a beer in a cuckoo-clock style pub decorated with window boxes full of flowers.

Meadow at the base of steep alpine slopes. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm.

5. Photographing Alpine Scenes

A few years ago my in-laws took a Swiss rail journey in the summertime including several different train routes. It was a big treat for them, and of all the scenic railways in the world they most wanted to travel in the Alps. We enjoyed spending time looking through their beautiful photos. The photos in this blog are from their trip and they have kindly let me share them. As a child I saw both the Rockies and the Alps in summer. For greenery, flowers and charming cottages the Alps are winning. It’s a great choice for a rail enthusiast, or a mountain enthusiast!

A snowy alpine peak. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm.

My tips for taking photos in the Alps would be to be very careful with the bright sun. It can cause a lot of high contrast. Try different exposures to make sure bright areas don’t get washed out, especially if there is lying snow. Avoid including too much sky, although some fluffy clouds always look nice. Use a small aperture to keep everything sharp from the foreground to the background. If the clouds come down you could look for shapes emerging from the mist. Or you can take some close-ups of the flowers until the sun comes out again.

Read more of our railway themed travel

Last summer we had the treat of staying in a Caboose (American railway guard’s van) which had been converted to holiday accommodation. Also read about our cycle tour of the beautiful old railway line route of the Tarka Trail.

View of the train from inside as it takes a bend. The Swiss mountain railway. The Five Best things about a scenic Swiss Rail Journey on Falcondale Life blog. Image credit David T. The beauty of a Swiss Rail Journey taken as a self guided tour is the perfect holiday for a rail enthusiast or anyone who enjoys stunning views of the Alps. Panoramic trains with breathtaking views of the Eiger and Jungfrau can be followed with a trip on the lake in a country full of cuckoo clock charm.

In collaboration with Inntravel, images with thanks to David T.

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23 Comments

  1. “Let the train take the strain” is the best travel advice I’ve heard of late! It is seriously stunning and I love the idea of the family time in that scenery. Those Swiss cows are just dreamy. Thanks for sharing this spectacular post with #FarawayFiles, cheers from much flatter Denmark!

  2. 2nd April 2018 / 3:48 am

    There is nothing like a train ride through Switzerland – I say this having done it briefly in my 20’s but the images are still so vivid. Switzerland is simply breathtaking and I agree seeing it by train is the absolute best. Thanks for sharing with #farawayfiles

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:12 pm

      I love a trip where the sights stay with you in your mind’s eye for years afterwards. That’s great!

  3. 30th March 2018 / 7:39 pm

    This is something I have always wanted to do and will certainly keep it on the list after reading this. We went to see the Jungfrau when I was in my teens & caught sight of The Matterhorn too – I really fancy revisiting now. #FarawayFiles

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:23 pm

      They are striking views, I hope you get back there.

  4. 30th March 2018 / 4:14 pm

    I love train journeys and Switzerland is a wonderful and picturesque place for train journeys. Thank you so much for sharing this. #farawayfiles

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:25 pm

      A scenic train journey is always a treat, this one is special.

  5. 29th March 2018 / 4:10 pm

    I think a train journey through Switzerland is an ideal way to experience such a beautiful landscape. Love the sound of this. #FarawayFiles

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:25 pm

      You can get to places on the train that you can’t easily see by car.

  6. 28th March 2018 / 6:21 pm

    It all looks incredible! I travelled through when I done interrailing as a student and it was unbelievable, I wish I had a big camera at the time as it would be so nice to look back on!

  7. M Sutton
    28th March 2018 / 10:05 am

    The great thing about travelling in Switzerland is the integrated travel network. You don’t buy “a train ticket” or “a bus ticket”, or even – in most cases – “a boat ticket”. You buy a ticket to your destination (or an open day, week or month ticket), then take whichever means of transport take your fancy. There are supplements payable for some boat and post-bus services, but they’re usually small, and many of the cable cars are privately owned, but in most cases the original ticket is enough for the entire journey.

    The connections are also very carefully planned, meaning that popular journeys should not involve very long waits. For example, the train will roll into Irgendtal station and the bus for Irgendberg will already be waiting outside the station. The same will work in reverse, too.

    Just beware on any routes out of Geneva. Switzerland has a very low crime rate, but there are stories of missing luggage and pickpockets in the French speaking part of the country. Otherwise, spread out, chill out and enjoy the view out of the window!

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:27 pm

      That’s such useful information. The Swiss are known for being well organized and that does make life as a tourist much more attractive.

  8. Alyssa
    28th March 2018 / 2:01 am

    The pictures are gorgeous, sounds like a once in a lifetime adventure! I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland and the images just added to that desire!

  9. 27th March 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Oh wow those photos are incredible. And the train is such a wonderful way of enjoyed the sights as noone has to drive! I have never been to Switzerland but I would love to visit.

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:28 pm

      Can you imagine having to keep your eyes on the road and miss a chance of staring long and hard at these views? You are quite right.

  10. 27th March 2018 / 3:13 pm

    This looks lovely and like something straight out of Heidi or a Milka advert! Switzerland is another place I’d like to add to my places to visit!

    • 4th April 2018 / 1:29 pm

      Oh I loved Heidi! Wouldn’t say no to Milka either 😉

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