Rail Europe: 9 delightful photo spots along the Grand Train Tour

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Fantastic views, unique natural wonders and numerous opportunities for discovery: The diversity of the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland can be experienced from many different perspectives and angles. Some spots more than others beckon passengers to step off the train and explore – with the chance to capture impressions along the route in a matchless way.

1: Landwasser Viaduct, Grisons

The breathtaking pictures of the Landwasser Viaduct travel around the world, but only few travellers have seen the historic structure on the Albula Line with their own eyes. The 136-metre-long bridge spans the wild Landwasser Valley in an elegant sweep and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2008. The construction of the three main pillars in the year 1901 was an architectural feat – and it still delights numerous visitors from all over the world.

Location Landwasser Viaduct, Grisons
Railway line Chur – Filisur
Nearest train station  Filisur
Railways that pass the Landwasser Viaduct Bernina Express, Glacier Express, RhB regional trains

2: Alp Grüm, Grisons

Surrounded by a magnificent mountainscape and pristine nature lies the small station Alp Grüm. No cars can reach the picturesque station building of ashlar masonry at an altitude of 2,091 metres – this gem can only be accessed by public transport or on foot. But the excursion to this hidden paradise is absolutely worthwhile: The charms of the beautiful Bernina massif and the eternal ice of the Palü Glacier are overwhelming. The distinctive view over the entire Val Poschiavo stretching down to Italy caps off this wonderful panoramic experience.

Location Alp Grüm, Grisons
Railway line St. Moritz – Alp Grüm – Tirano
Nearest train station Alp Grüm
Railways that pass the Alp Grüm Bernina Express, RhB regional trains

3: Lago Bianco, Grisons

The Lago Bianco (“White Lake”) at the Bernina Pass is a reservoir at an altitude of 2,234 metres and belongs to the municipalities of Pontresina and Poschiavo in the Canton of Grisons. The whitish, milky-looking water, giving the reservoir its name, results from the inflow of sand and glacier water. In very cold winters, the lake sometimes adorns itself with ravishingly beautiful black ice and offers visitors a truly unforgettable natural spectacle.

The Lago Bianco (“White Lake”) at the Bernina Pass is a reservoir at an altitude of 2,234 metres and belongs to the municipalities of Pontresina and Poschiavo in the Canton of Grisons. The whitish, milky-looking water, giving the reservoir its name, results from the inflow of sand and glacier water. In very cold winters, the lake sometimes adorns itself with ravishingly beautiful black ice and offers visitors a truly unforgettable natural spectacle.

Location Lago Bianco, Grisons
Railway line St. Moritz – Ospizio Bernina – Tirano
Nearest train station Ospizio Bernina
Railways that pass the Lago Bianco

Bernina Express, RhB regional trains

4: Rhine Gorge, Grisons

The Rhine Gorge between Reichenau and Ilanz hasn’t been dubbed “Swiss Grand Canyon” for nothing. It counts among the most spectacular landscapes in the Canton of Grisons and is unique even in the whole area of the Alps. More than 100,000 cubic metres of rock plummeted into the deep during the gigantic rockslide of Flims and laid the foundation for this imposing scenery. Having wound its way through the Alps for ages, this section of the Rhine undoubtedly is among the most impressive attractions of Switzerland.

Location Rhine Gorge, Grisons
Railway line Chur – Andermatt
Nearest train station Versam-Safien
Railways that pass the Rhine Gorge Glacier Express, RhB regional trains

 

5: Railway bridge Eglisau, Zürich

The Railway bridge of Eglisau is a single-track bridge spanning the Rhine in the village of Eglisau in the Canton of Zurich. It sits on the line from Bülach to Schaffhausen and has been ranked as a cultural asset of regional importance. It has therefore been assigned the status of a protected historical monument. This landmark of the Rhine town is among the most important railway bridges of the Swiss railway network and extends over a total distance of 457 metres.

Location Railway bridge Eglisau, Zürich
Railway line Bülach – Schaffhausen
Nearest train station Eglisau
Railways that pass the Eisenbahnbrücke Eglisau Various SBB trains

 

6: Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen

Standing high above Europe’s largest waterfall and feeling the roaring of the waters in one’s body – visitors can experience just that at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen. Over a width of some 150 metres, 700,000 litres per second thunder down the rocks and create this impressive natural spectacle. From Zurich or Schaffhausen, travellers reach the stop “Neuhausen Rheinfall”. Here, two modern lifts lead directly to the waterfall. Now, the spectacle can be experienced from up close – during a stroll along the Rhine Falls basin or even on a boat cruise.

Location Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen
Railway line

Zürich – Schaffhausen bzw. Winterthur – Schaffhausen
Nearest train station Neuhausen Rheinfall
Railways that pass the Rhein Falls

Various SBB trains

7: Sitter Viaduct, St. Gallen

The Sitter Viaduct near St. Gallen is Switzerland’s highest railway viaduct: Towering all of 99 metres above the ground, this stone-and-steel construction spans the Sitter river. The Voralpen-Express, which crosses the 365-metre-long bridge, offers guests a chance to discover Switzerland from a different side: Rolling past gentle hills, picturesque villages, and lovely orchards, the train winds its way through the softly undulating Toggenburg and takes passengers to the history-steeped city of Lucerne at the shores of Lake Lucerne in little more than two hours.

Location Sitter Viaduct, St. Gallen
Railway line St. Gallen – Wattwil
Nearest train station St. Gallen Haggen
Railways that pass the Sitter Viaduct Voralpen-Express, SOB regional trains

 

8: Lavaux, Lake Geneva

With more than 800 hectares of vine area, the sun-kissed vineyard terraces of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Lavaux are the largest contiguous wine-growing area in Switzerland and offer truly charming views. Not only wine enthusiasts get their money’s worth: Below the terraced vineyards, Lake Geneva lies glistening and snow-capped mountains adorn the horizon. The Lavaux with its scenic, cultural and culinary highlights is a region for panorama lovers and gourmets. A lovely view of the delightful vineyard terraces can also be enjoyed from the train.

Location Lavaux, Lake Geneva
Railway line Montreux – Lausanne
Nearest train station Lutry
Railways that pass Lavaux Various SBB trains

9: Lake Walensee, St. Gallen

The mild climate, the fjord-like lake, and the impressive backdrop of the Churfirsten mountain chain: The Walensee region is a world of its own. Numerous villages are located around the lake, each one special ­– and Quinten a case in point: Due to its almost Mediterranean climate, the car-free village is immensely popular. Protected from chill north winds, the choicest grapes, kiwis, figs and other tropical fruits flourish here. The village is only accessible by boat or on foot. On the train ride between Chur and Zurich, passengers enjoy a magnificent view of Lake Walensee.

Location Lake Walensee, St. Gallen
Railway line Zürich – Sargans
Nearest train station Murg
Railways that pass Lavaux Various SBB trains