Swiss Big Five Mountain Railway Adventure

Big 2 Bahn Stanserhorn.jpg
Duration: 9 nights
Interests: Discovery tours
Type: Rail Adventures
Walking Grade: 1 & 2
from £2,199pp

Experience five of Switzerland’s most scenic rail and cable car journeys in one holiday. Travel from London St Pancras to the central Swiss canton of Nidwalden by train and stay on the stunning shores of Lake Lucerne. Climb to the summits of Pilatus, Stanserhorn, Rigi, and Titlis with ease, allowing you to focus your energy on admiring this alpine landscape where snow-capped peaks and crystal lakes steal the show.

What you’ll love

  • Staying in Hergiswil on the shores of Lake Lucerne
  • Experiencing the Hammetschwand Lift, the highest outdoor lift in Europe
  • Journeying on the Stanserhorn CabriO Cableway
  • Riding the Rigi Railway, Europe’s first mountain railway
  • Travelling on the Pilatus Railway, the steepest cog railway in the world
  • Soaking up the views on the Titlis Rotair Revolving Cable Car

What’s included

  • Return rail travel from London to Switzerland
  • Fully escorted travel from London with an HF Holidays Tour Manager
  • Half-board accommodation in Hergiswil
  • All rail and cable car journeys mentioned above
  • Local transport pass
  • Overnight hotels in Strasbourg and Basel with dinner in a local restaurant and breakfast

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Meet your HF Holidays Tour Manager and fellow travellers at London St Pancras International railway station. After check-in, baggage checks, and passport control, we’ll wait for our train.

We’ll board the Eurostar to Paris, where we’ll disembark and leave Gare du Nord to walk the short distance to the Gare de l’Est (about 800 metres). At Gare de l’Est we’ll join the high-speed TGV service and travel eastwards from Paris to Alsace and the charming city of Strasbourg.   

In Strasbourg, we’ll walk a short distance (about 350 metres) to our hotel. We’ll have time to stretch our legs and stroll around the old town, much of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

In the late morning we’ll make our way back to Strasbourg railway station where we’ll board a regional train through Alsace and across the border into Switzerland. In Basel we’ll change trains and continue into central Switzerland. There’s a final change of trains in Lucerne, arriving in Hergiswil in the late afternoon - our base for the next seven nights. We'll walk the short distance (about 450 metres) to our hotel.

We’ll travel by train from Hergiswil to Lucerne where we’ll board a boat to take us across the lake to Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock. A funicular then takes us up to Bürgenstock where we’ll walk (about 40 minutes to an hour) to the Hammetschwand Lift, the highest outdoor lift in Europe. Journey upwards (153 metres in one minute), and from the summit you’ll be able to gaze out over Lake Lucerne, the Rigi and Pilatus mountains, and the Bernese Alps. There’s time for lunch before our return journey.

Distance: 1 mile (1.7km)

We’ll travel by rail around the lake to Stans, where the first part of our Stanserhorn experience is the funicular railway dating from 1893. We’ll then hop on the world’s first cableway with an open-air upper deck from where you can take in the outstanding views. At the summit, there’s the Rondorama revolving restaurant, which makes one complete revolution every 43 minutes, soaking up 360-degree panoramic views of the Alps. Enjoy lunch before our return journey to Hergiswil.

Make the most of the hotel’s leisure facilities and lake surroundings or visit Lucerne with its famous wooden footbridge and Swiss Museum of Transport. You’ll be given a local transport pass you can use this to visit the sights in the local area.

Affectionately called the Queen of the Mountains, Rigi is Europe’s first mountain railway, which opened in 1871. After a train ride to Lucerne, we’ll take a boat and travel across Lake Lucerne to Vitznau. Here we’ll join the cogwheel railway that leaves the lake behind for a magnificent journey through the meadows to the summit of the Rigi. On a clear day you can see France and Germany. Enjoy the views and have some lunch before the return journey to Hergiswil.

We’ll travel from Hergiswil to Alpnachstad by boat for the start of our Pilatus Railway experience. In Alpnachstad we’ll board the steepest cogwheel railway in the world to reach the summit at 2,132 above sea level. Enjoy some free time to soak up the panorama of the Alpine Massif. Then we’ll travel by aerial cable car and panorama gondola to Kriens and return to Hergiswil from there, via Lucerne. 

We’ll travel by train away from the lake and into the mountains to Engelberg via Stans. In Engelberg we’ll hop on a cable car to Stand station where the world’s first revolving gondola to the summit awaits. The TITLIS Rotair sweeps you up to the summit at 3,020 metres above sea level. The TITLIS Cliff Walk at the summit is sure to get your adrenaline pumping, too.

We say farewell to Hergiwsil and Lake Lucerne and travel to Basel by train, changing in Lucerne en route. On arrival in Basel we’ll walk to our hotel, Hotel Schweizerhof, just across the road from the station. We arrive in Basel in the early afternoon so we’ll have time to wander and see the sights. The hotel provides each guest with a local BaselCard giving you complimentary travel on local public transport. This evening we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.  

After breakfast we’ll board the high-speed TGV train for Paris. At Gare de Lyon, a coach will transfer us across Paris to Gare du Nord station. Sit back and relax on the Eurostar from Paris to St Pancras International railway station.

Seehotel Pilatus, Hergiswil

This 4-star family-run hotel features a standout location on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Hergiswil, a short train journey from Lucerne. Surrounded by mountain vistas, there’s plenty to please here, including a host of wellness facilities like an indoor pool, whirlpool, Finnish sauna, sundeck, and direct access to the lake.

Hotel Schweizerhof, Basel

Located just opposite the train station, Hotel Schweizerhof is a short walk into the centre of Basel. It dates back to 1864 with four generations of the same family running it since 1896. Rooms are modern with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, TV, tea and coffee maker, and free Wi-Fi.

Best Western Plus Monopole Metropole, Strasbourg

This 4-star hotel’s location near the train station makes it an ideal base for exploring the city. Rooms are contemporary with en-suite bathrooms, plus it’s an eco-responsible hotel, certified by Green Key International. There are two lounges to relax in, one with a pool table, plus there’s free Wi-Fi throughout.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC


  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday prices

Advertised rail prices are based on trains departing from London St Pancras.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

24 May - 02 Jun 2024

9 nights


Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

11 Oct - 20 Oct 2024

9 nights


Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£2,199 pp


£2,199 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now
9 nights
Discovery tours
Rail Adventures
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

9 nights from £2,199pp
includes rail

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist