loading spinner
Switzerland

Splendors of Switzerland By Rail

Program No. 15879RJ
Discover museums, villages, waterways and culture as you explore the Swiss Alps by rail, winding through some of Europe's most iconic and photograph-worthy landscapes.
Length
16 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
6,949
Flights start at
1,000

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
Need airfare?
Our airfare tool can help. Check it out
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 10 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
6,949
May 31 - Jun 15, 2023
Starting at
6,949
Jun 14 - Jun 29, 2023
Starting at
6,949
Aug 23 - Sep 7, 2023
Starting at
6,949
Sep 6 - Sep 21, 2023
Starting at
6,949
Sep 20 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
6,949
Oct 4 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
6,949
Apr 24 - May 9, 2024
Starting at
6,949
May 8 - May 23, 2024
Starting at
6,949
May 22 - Jun 6, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Jun 5 - Jun 20, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Aug 21 - Sep 5, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Sep 4 - Sep 19, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Sep 25 - Oct 10, 2024
Starting at
6,949
Oct 9 - Oct 24, 2024
Starting at
6,949
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 10 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
7,399
May 31 - Jun 15, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Jun 14 - Jun 29, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Aug 23 - Sep 7, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Sep 6 - Sep 21, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Sep 20 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Oct 4 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
7,399
Apr 24 - May 9, 2024
Starting at
7,489
May 8 - May 23, 2024
Starting at
7,489
May 22 - Jun 6, 2024
Starting at
7,489
Jun 5 - Jun 20, 2024
Starting at
7,489
Aug 21 - Sep 5, 2024
Starting at
7,489
Sep 4 - Sep 19, 2024
Starting at
7,489
Sep 25 - Oct 10, 2024
Starting at
7,489
Oct 9 - Oct 24, 2024
Starting at
7,489

At a Glance

Switzerland’s rail network winds through 3,000 miles of meadows and mountains, making it the densest railroad system in the world. Travel classic routes through the Swiss Alps, ride along the famed Glacier Express route and experience the picturesque Swiss-Italian narrow gauge line. Hear German spoken in central Switzerland, Italian in Locarno and Romansh in St. Moritz as you compare the history and culture of these diverse areas.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to three miles daily, sometimes on uneven, hilly terrain. Must carry your own luggage on and off trains. Elevations up to 7,690 feet.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Ascend Mount Rigi, the “Queen of the Mountains,” aboard Europe’s oldest cog railway.
  • Take a train to Zermatt and see Switzerland's most famous mountain, the Matterhorn.
  • Walk underneath the medieval arcades in Bern, the capital of Switzerland.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69
by Edward Whymper
Edward Wymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps.
The Gilded Chalet, Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland
by Padraig Rooney
In this amusing guide, a grand tour of literary Switzerland, Rooney profiles 200 years of outstanding works and their strong Swiss influences. He argues that the land of luxury hotels, fresh air and fresh milk deserves wide renown as a literary hub.
Asterix in Switzerland
by Rene de Goscinny
This entry in the Asterix series of comic books features excellent drawings of the Swiss Alpine landscape.
Hotel du Lac
by Anita Brookner
Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist seeking evasive peace and quiet at the luxurious Hotel du Lac in Switzerland. Winner of the Man Booker Prize.
Banner in the Sky
by James Ramsey Ullman
A suspenseful tale of a young boy determined to keep his father's mountaineering dream alive.
Europe, A True Book
by Sandra Newman
Part of the True Book series, this illustrated, readable volume geared toward ages 9 to 12 introduces children to the geography and diverse cultures of Europe.
Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life
by Anne Herrmann
Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Anne Hermann’s passionate celebration of what it means to be Swiss intertwines personal revelation with cultural fact.
Heidi
by Johanna Spyri
The beloved tale of a little girl who is sent to live with her curmudgeonly grandfather in a remote Alpine village. This handsome hardback edition retains the quaint prose and buoyant disposition of Johanna Spyri's 1880 original.
Eyewitness Guide Switzerland
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, thoroughly illustrated guide, featuring over 900 photographs, good maps, and plenty of information on hiking in the Swiss Alps, natural and tourist attractions and the history and arts of Switzerland.
Birds of Europe
by Lars Svensson
Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide features updated text and maps.
Culture Smart! Switzerland
by Kendall Maycock
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture.
Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart
by Diccon Bewes
Bestselling author Diccon Bewes (Swiss Watching SWZ73) follows in the footsteps of an 1863 tour group who traveled from London to Lucerne, Switzerland. In his trademark breezy, intelligent prose, Bewes traces how tourism and time have caused a sea change in Switzerland.
Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains
by Jon Krakauer
A collection of some of Krakauer's (Into Thin Air) best journalism, these stories and essays focus on the mindset and determination of world-class mountaineers, including Alpine and Himalayan climbers.
The Alps, A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
by Stephen O'Shea
In an entertaining narrative, O'Shea drives, hikes and climbs through 500 miles of the Alps while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. A thoughtful introduction to the Alps.
The Walk
by Robert Walser, Susan Bernofsky (Translator)
In this classic novella by the Swiss modernist, freshly translated, Walser writes that "it is on walks that the lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker."
The Apple and the Arrow
by Conrad Buff
Families will enjoy this spirited retelling of the famous legend of William Tell and his 12-year-old son, Walter, which won the 1952 Newbery Medal.
William Tell: One Against an Empire, A Swiss Legend
by Paul Storrie
The classic tale of a Swiss hunter facing a terrible choice, as a graphic novel for ages 9-11.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
by John McPhee
McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Swiss army, presenting an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset.
Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps
by Fergus Fleming
Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn 150 years ago.
Switzerland Adventure Map
by National Geographic Maps
A waterproof, tear-resistant map of Switzerland at a scale of 1:500,000. Includes detailed elevations and the locations of natural attractions.
A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during WWI, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver. This edition collects all of the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other essential passages
Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island
by Diccon Bewes
An international bestseller. Diccon Bewees, a neutral Brit, covers cheese, chocolate, William Tell, bureaucracy and banks, all with humor and thorough research. His cultural portrait of the one-of-a-kind nation includes tips on local customs, greetings and etiquette. Second edition.





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.