See the best of Switzerland-experience the gentle beauty of Lucerne and the vibrant joy of Lugano by train
In sunlight, their lakes sparkle like scattered sapphires, while at twilight, still waters reflect the mist-wreathed mountains. Yet each place has a distinct character- Lucerne is a silvery symphony of boats, swans and ancient bridges, Lugano is a jazz riff of Italianate buildings, scarlet flowers and lakeshore promenades. The train journey to this lovely corner of Switzerland runs through glorious Alpine valleys, past snowy mountains, and by lakes and rivers, while a boat carries you across Lake Lucerne amidst breathtaking scenery.READ OUR TIPS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY IN SWITZERLAND
Leave London St Pancras after a relaxed breakfast at one of the refurbished station’s excellent cafes. Take the Eurostar for Paris, to the Gare du Nord. The journey is deceptively fast- the comfortable train rockets through Kent, beneath the Channel and emerges in France in the time it takes to queue at an airport..
Check-in is smooth and simple, up to thirty minutes before departure, and there is a lounge with wifi and plug sockets, shops including WH Smith and Costa Coffee and comfortable seating in the departure lounge, with an escalator which delivers passengers directly to the platform. In just two hours and fifteen minutes, the train arrives in the Gare du Nord at the heart of Paris.
There is a buffet car on board, and an executive upgrade means food service at your table, a quieter carriage, more spacious seats and a plug socket and free wifi.
Alight at the Gare du Nord, then cross Paris by Metro or Taxi, to the Gare du Lyon. Enjoy lunch at Le Train Blue, the station’s excellent restaurant, then board the early afternoon TGV train for Lugano, changing at Zurich. Dine on board, and arrive at Lugano late evening, in time for a light meal at your hotel or in one of Lugano’s charming cafes.
The following morning stroll through the beautiful Parco Civico by the lake, visit the Renaissance cathedral, and have lunch in a trattoria, and enjoy the Itlian atmosphere of this Swiss city. In the afternoon, take a funicular train ride up Mount Ble, which overlooks the city and offers panoramic views of the lake. In the evening, eat at Osteria Penel, and take an evening stroll through the lively town.
After breakfast, take the William Tell Express to Lucerne. The train travels through the glorious Gotthard Pass- a panoramic coach with huge windows allows spectacular views of the mountains, waterfalls and valleys. Change at Bellinzona (just cross the platform), and continue onto the charming Fluehlen station.
Days 3 - 4
Check into your hotel, and take a walk by the lake, before dinner at La Scala, the Montana Hotel’s restaurant which overlooks the lake and Mount Pilatus.
The following morning check out after breakfast. Take a stroll around the lovely old town with its murals and cobbled streets, and cross the medieval Charles Bridge. In the afternoon, take the ferry across the lake and to Alpnachstad.
In the afternoon, take the boat across the lake and ascend Mount Pilatus by unique cogwheel railway or cable car, for astonishing views. Spend the night at the 4* Pilatus Kulm Hotel, and wake to the sight of mountains lit by sunrise beneath your windows.
After breakfast, and in good weather, take a walk on Mount Pilatus before returning to Lucerne by cable car- the enclosed-glass gondolas offer a panoramic view.
Leave Lucerne in the late morning. Change at Basel, and arrive in Paris in the late afternoon. There is time for an early dinner in Paris before heading for the Gare Du Nord and the Eurostar back to London, arriving at St Pancras mid-evening. Alternatively, leave Lucerne earlier, to arrive back in London St Pancras by teatime, for your onward connection home.
Book it yourself
How To Book
Road, Rail And Sea recommends the best rail journeys and destinations throughout Europe.
Booking rail travel between different cities and countries can be time- comsuming and complex. Instead, we plan the best routes, journey times, and destinations for you. we work with trusted affiliates, so you can book your whole trip simply and easily, for no extra cost.
To Book A Holiday Or Weekend Break
Make it simple - just call our chosen partners (see the blue box on the right), talk to a real, live person and let them know which Road, Rail And Sea journey you’d like to take, using the RRS reference number.
They will book your train travel, your choice of our recommended hotels and any extras such as museum passes and luggage concierge service, leaving you free to relax.
To Keep Your Trip Flexible:
How Road, Rail And Sea Booking Works
Road, Rail And Sea is not a travel agency. We source and recommend the very best routes, destinations and attractions in Europe, to create inspiring, memorable holidays and weekend breaks. All Road, Rail And Sea trips can be instantly booked via our trusted affiliates, who will organise your chosen road, rail or sea journeys for you.