Taking a Rail Holiday in Switzerland
A Holiday in Switzerland
It is often said that big things come in small packages, and Switzerland is the perfect example of this. With a population of just 8 million people, it is a landlocked country which shares borders with Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. One of the richest countries in the world, and famously “neutral”, its landscape includes mountains, lakes and forests.
For anyone interested in a scenic railway holiday, Switzerland is hard to beat. Its mountains and lakes are beautiful no matter what season the country is visited, and the towns and cities contain many historic and unique buildings. There are many rail trips through Switzerland available, and two of the best are described below.
Great Rail Holidays in Switzerland
The Glacier Express – What better way to experience some of the best scenery in the world, than by taking The Glacier Express? Journeying through the heart of Switzerland, this 8 hour trip peaks at over 2000 metres at the Oberalp Pass as it travels slowly through a beautiful landscape consisting of glaciers, forests, streams and valleys.
The Bernina Express – This scenic railway trip in Switzerland again climbs to a height of over 2000 metres at the Bernina Pass, where specially designed panoramic cars afford the opportunity to witness the spectacular Swizz countryside at its best. Travelling over viaducts, through tunnels and by glaciers and streams, the Bernina Alps in style.
There are also many other train journeys that can be taken through Switzerland, some of which are part of organised tours, and others which can be taken on the well maintained and rune rail network. Some of the other organised rail journeys also include other aspects, such as tours of historic places and side trips on paddle steamers.
Essential Travel Information for Switzerland
Language – There are three official languages spoken in Switzerland, and these are German, French and Italian. As a result of this, the Swiss are considered to be quite mutli-lingual, and it is not unusual to meet people who speak half a dozen or more languages. As a result, most people have an understanding of English as well, and so communication is unlikely to be a problem.
Currency – Although Switzerland might be classed as a geographically central country in Europe, it has remained apart from the so called European Project which is leading towards closer integration. As such, Switzerland still retains its own currency which is the Swiss Franc (CHF). Francs can be obtained before a rail holiday in Switzerland, or through ATM machines which are commonplace throughout the country.
Weather – Switzerland has a climate that could be described as temperate, although this does vary from region to region. With glaciers near the mountain tops and areas which are ideal for growing grapes, the summers can be warm and almost humid at lower levels, whilst winters can be cold and snowy up in the mountains. Many train holidays in Switzerland take advantage of this, with trips in both the summer and winter months being possible.