The Glacier Express Rail and Hike

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.5 Read 2 reviews
  • Ride the Glacier Express, one of Europe's most beautiful train journeys
  • Enjoy classic walks in the shadow of the Matterhorn and Piz Bernina
  • Experience the glamorous and iconic alpine town of Zermatt
  • Stay in peaceful Pontresina in the lush Engadine Valley
  • Feast on Swiss mountain food such as raclette and fondue
Cross the Swiss Alps on the famous Glacier Express, a direct train from St Moritz to Zermatt; considered one of the most stunning rail journeys of the world. Get closer to the typical wooden chalets and sounds of Alpine cow bells on foot with a selection of walks from both Zermatt and Pontresina. Start with 3 nights in Pontresina, a peaceful village nestled in the authentically Swiss Engadine Valley. Choose walks through tranquil forests, alpine meadows and lakes. Take the Glacier Express to stylish Zermatt for four nights and choose from a selection of walks in the shadow of the Matterhorn. By night enjoy the exclusive town and its array of restaurants and bars.
Perfect for those looking to experience two classic, yet distinct, Swiss walking destinations on a twin centre walking holiday. Travel from the foot of Piz Bernina to the lower slopes of the Matterhorn with an epic 8 hour panoramic train journey through the Alps . Rated easy-moderate, there are a selection of walks to choose from, ranging in difficulty and length. Stay in comfortable 3* hotels in both Pontresina and Zermatt.

Tour Type:

Discovery | Think of it as a ‘local’s guide’ to the best of the region. It includes a combination of activity and transportation to give you the freedom to explore and cover more ground at your own pace. We do all the research and organisation for you. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy!


Rail and Hike | Perfectly planned itineraries discovering the best of a destination both by train and on foot.

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Accessible by Rail, Alpine Walking

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is graded ‘easy—moderate’ overall, as the walks are around 4-15km, and quite varied. Most walks are on the easy-moderate end of the scale however there are some walks like the Hoernliweg which are difficult. The beauty of this trip is that you can make it as easy or as difficult as you wish and a grade is assigned to each walk. Please be aware that earlier/later in the season there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills; walking poles are recommended. 


All trails are very well way-marked, and together with access to our GPS-following app and maps, you will have no problem finding your way on our suggested walks.


Stay 7 nights in 3* standard hotels. The accommodation we normally use is detailed below however it is subject to availability and therefore alternatives of an equal standard may be offered.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you but there is a supplement payable.

  • 7 Nights in 3* hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Train ticket and reservation from St Moritz to Zermatt (second class)
  • 1 Lunch (on the Glacier Express)
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • A list of suggested walks with maps, GPX tracks and access to our navigation smartphone app
  • The Engadine Valley travel pass which gives free access on most local bus services and cable cars/funiculars
  • 24-hour emergency telephone assistance
  • Flights to and from Switzerland
  • Travel to/from Pontresina/Zermatt
  • Cable car/funiculars/public transport in the Mattertal
  • Travel Insurance Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
  • Extra nights in Zermatt/Pontresina

When To Go

This trip is available to start any day of the week, from the end of June to the middle of September. The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and mid-September when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is generally fair. Please be aware that earlier in the season there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills.

Getting to the Start

Fly into Zurich or Bern then continue by train, with a couple of changes, to Pontresina (3.5 or 4.5 hours) Train timetables and details of public transportation in Switzerland are available via the excellent travel planner at

Getting from the End

From Zermatt train station you can get to any major European destination easily. Trains to Zurich airport take about 3.5 hours, to Bern it is 2.5 hours and to Geneva 4 hours. For more information check

Travel During the Trip

Public transport in Switzerland is seamless and runs like Swiss clockwork. Most of the walks on this tour in the Mattertal and the Engadine require a mountain train/funicular/cable car/bus  journey to the start or from the end of the walk back to your hotel for the night

Engadine Valley Travel Pass

At your hotel in Pontresina you will be given an area pass for public transport and mountain railways (issued at check-in and collected at check-out) including use of all chairlifts/cable cars/funiculars in the Engadine Valley. NB: Area pass excludes the ‘Bernina Express’ panoramic train, but includes the public train which runs on the same Bernina

Unfortunately no similar scheme exists in Zermatt and all use of cable cars/funiculars etc. is payable locally.  Here is an approximate guide to costs if you complete the walks as outlined in this brochure.

Day 5: Zermatt– Sunnegga 24CHF return

Day 6: Zermatt—Schwarzsee 50CHF return, Furi—Zermatt 17CHF single

Day 7: Zermatt– Gornergrat 47CHF single,  Sunnegga—Zermatt, 16CHFsingle

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items,for example, proper rain gear (jackets and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking shoes or boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

How fit do I need to be?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?
Do you move the bags from place to place or do we?


Day 1 Arrive Pontresina Day 2 Bernina Bahn and Circular Walk to Alp Grum 4.5 miles / 7 km Day 3 Walk the Valley Roseg or the Klimaweg 8 miles / 13.5 km Day 4 Glacier Express to Zermatt Day 5 The Five Lakes Walk 6.5 miles / 10 km Day 6 The Hoernliweg, Matterhorn Trail or walk to Zmutt 9 miles / 15 km Day 7 The Naturweg (Nature Trail) 4 miles / 6.5 km Day 8 Onward Travel

You May Also Like

  • Classic Routes
    Type Classic Routes
    14 Days 13 Nights

    0 Reviews
    Ultimate Swiss Alps
    Discover the best of the Alps on this two week Grand Tour of Alpine Switzerland.
    • Experience the very best of Alpine Switzerland
    • Ride the Glacier Express, an iconic train journey
    • Hike in the shadow of the picturesque Matterhorn
    From $4,935.00
  • Discovery
    Type Discovery
    10 Days 9 Nights
    Oslo to Bergen: Rail & Hike
    Travel one of the world’s most scenic railways, hopping off to enjoy fantastic walks along the way
    • Journey from Olso to Bergen by train
    • Walk in the mountains and fjordlands of Norway
    • Explore Finse, Flåm and the Hardangerfjord
    From $3,235.00
  • Discovery
    Type Discovery
    5 Days 4 Nights
    Edinburgh to Inverness: Rail & Hike
    Connect two bucket-list Scottish destinations with a scenic rail journey through Perthshire.
    • Enjoy a variety of walks in the Scottish Highlands
    • Explore Perthshire's forests and castles
    • Overnight in Edinburgh's historic heart
    From $885.00

Blog Articles

The Macs Way

  • Tried & Tested Adventures Tried & Tested Adventures
  • Freedom Freedom
  • Book with Confidence Book with Confidence
  • Expertise Expertise
  • Positive Impact Positive Impact
Built with our expert knowledge, to suit you.
  • Knowledgeable and helpful specialist trip planners
  • Wide variety of tours to suit all interests and experience levels
  • Start on any date that suits you
  • Choose your ideal trip length and difficulty
  • Range of accommodation comfort levels
  • Choice of trip styles
Authentic adventure travel experiences on your own terms
  • Choose your own travel companions
  • Walk, cycle and explore at your own pace
  • Make your own decisions
  • Choose your own path
  • Indulge your passions
Feel secure in making the right choice for your precious adventure time
  • 18,000+ unbiased trip & service reviews
  • Feefo Platinum Award 2023
  • 25,000+ travelers trust us each year
  • As featured in the Guardian, Times, Nat Geo Traveler
  • Founder owned & operated since 2003
  • 100+ passionate team members across the US, UK & Europe
You can be confident that every detail of your journey has been expertly planned
  • Carefully planned adventures
  • Quality, hand-picked accommodations
  • Seamless and reliable arrangements
  • Comprehensive trip information & insider tips
  • Detailed maps, route notes and mobile GPS app
  • Helpful 24/7 support should you need it
Travel the right way and make a positive impact
  • Travel responsibly
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Support locally owned businesses
  • Engage with local communities
  • Minimize your impact
  • Maximize the benefit of your travel
  • Challenge yourself & grow
$ - USD - US Dollar
Country/Region name: