There's something about Switzerland in wintertime that makes it magical. Back home, we might despair at another snowstorm in February, but the same storm transforms a Swiss village into a quaint snow-globe scene and beckons us out for one more sled run.
When the Real Rail Adventures crew visited Switzerland during the winter months, we found a cornucopia of frosty outdoor activities to try, of course. But we also availed ourselves of the requisite complementary fireside tipples and treats to keep our souls eternally willing to plunge back out into the storm. For what is a bobsled run without a proper fondue to follow? And how do you muster the courage to jump off a snow-clad mountain for a frigid paraglide without the promise of a bit of curried lamb and kirsch at the end?
Have you dreamed of visiting the winter wonderland of Switzerland? Dream no more . . . here is the itinerary that closely matches the one our Real Rail Adventures crew followed while shooting Real Rail Adventures: Swiss Winter Magic. Once again, I caution readers that, as a film crew, we are forced by time and budget to cram quite a bit into our schedules. Use this itinerary as a planning tool, but, as they say, don't try this at home.
Haven't seen the show? Stream it on PBS Video with Passport here and Amazon Prime here. And send me your thoughts on the perfect winter pursuits in Switzerland.
Real Rail Adventures: Swiss Winter Magic - Itinerary
by Jeff Wilson
Day 1: Leave U.S. for Switzerland
Day 2: Arrive Zürich. Train to Chur. Overnight in Chur
Day 3: Explore Chur. Overnight in Chur
Day 4: Leave Chur aboard the Albula-Bernina line. Arrive in St Moritz. Explore St Moritz and overnight (highly recommend the Waldhaus Sils hotel, in nearby Sils)
Day 5: Bobsledding on Olympia Bob Run morning. Snow-kiting lesson on Lake Silvaplana afternoon. Pre-dinner horse-drawn sleigh ride. Overnight in St Moritz
Day 6: Morning horseback tour with Stella Costa farm. Daytrip on Bernina Express over snowy Lago Bianco pass. Return to St Moritz for overnight
Day 7: Morning “Yoga on Snow” lesson and skiing, St Moritz. Afternoon trip up Muottas Moragl. Lunch at Hotel Romantik at top, then sledge-ride to bottom. Return to St Moritz for overnight
Day 8: Board Glacier Express. Side trip to Goms region. Arrive Reckingen. Explore Reckingen and overnight (Hotel Joopi, preferred)
Day 9: Day trip to Oberwald. Morning skate-skiing lesson. Afternoon tour ski-museum and Roggenbröt baking. Return to Reckingen for “Cholera Pie” dinner. Overnight in Reckingen
Day 10: Re-board Glacier Express. Arrive Zermatt. Explore Zermatt and Matterhorn Museum. Overnight in Zermatt
Day 11: Ski-day in Zermatt. Lunch on mountain. Après-ski at Cervo. Overnight in Zermatt
Day 12: Morning helicopter tour with Air Zermatt. Afternoon tour of Julen farm to meet their Valais Blacknose Sheep and lambs. Dinner at Schäferstube, a Julen restaurant. Overnight in Zermatt
Day 13: Leave Zermatt via train to Gstaad via the GoldenPass line. Tour Gstaad and overnight
Day 14: Morning fat-tire snow-biking tour. Afternoon day-trip to Glacier 3000 on cable car. Select winter activities, including suspension bridge peak walk. Lunch at mountain retreat, Refuge L’espace. Return to Gstaad for overnight
Day 15: Board train to Lucerne. Boat to Vitznau and cogwheel to Rigi Kaltbad Hotel. Spa experience at Rigi Kaltbad Hotel and overnight
Day 16: Morning snowshoe tour. Fondue lunch at Restaurant BärgGnuss. Afternoon paragliding tour from Rigi Kulm to Arth Goldau. Train to Zürich. Late afternoon walk and dinner at “Top of Zürich.” Overnight in Zürich
Day 17: Morning walking tour of Zürich and Aldstadt. Coffee at Café Voltaire. Afternoon walking tour of trendy West “Züri” and dinner. Overnight in Zürich
Day 18: Leave Zürich to U.S., arrive U.S.
Sound like a plan? Let me know your thoughts below. And don't hesitate to ask for advice . . . that's completely free. If you're interested in custom itineraries and trip bookings through my on-the-ground partners or trips to Switzerland led by me, that's available, too.