Lakes and mountains
Suggested period 15 days
Stops Lausanne, Annecy, Chamonix, Zermatt, Lucerne, St Anton, Zell am See, Innsbruck, Bern
Shortcut Head immediately to Zermatt to make it an eleven-day journey
Best Interrail bypasses 15 days inside months (£337 adolescents/£439 adult/£395 senior/underneath 12s unfastened) or the tighter ten days inside two months (£274/£357/£321/free). Plus educate reservations
The sight of a gleaming railway snaking over an Alpine pass or hugging a lake has long stimulated travelers, and both are well served by way of rail routes. This itinerary weaves from France via Switzerland to Austria, with wonderful views to glue you to the train home windows. At Lausanne, make certain to take an early morning dip at Plage de Pully, looking at the sun rise over the Alps as you swim. Heading onwards, skirt Lake Geneva to the lovely metropolis of Annecy, and take the chance to paddle a canoe to La Cuillère à Omble, an eating place on the lake’s southern end, serving neighborhood freshwater fish.
Eastwards, at Chamonix, take the cable automobile to the pinnacle of the Aiguille du Midi for lunch on the self-carrier cafeteria of Le 3842 Restaurant, named for its lofty altitude. The journey onwards to Zermatt takes in dazzling surroundings because the train hugs the mountainside. The stylish Swiss motel has superb hiking terrain, left out with the aid of the Matterhorn. At Lucerne, discover the cobbled alleys of the Kornmarkt and dine at the intimate, candlelit Grottino 1313 restaurant.
From there, plunge onwards via the Arlberg valley to St Anton, domestic to some exhilarating bike routes, and then you can take a deserved dip on the Arlberg Well spa. Continue east to lakeside Zell am See, where activities include paddleboarding, wakeboarding, and waterskiing. Three times per week, the loose Magic Lake Show lighting fixtures up the water.
The path home stops at Innsbruck, with its space-age funicular and gondola to the pinnacle of the Nordkette, at 2,256 meters, with a jaw-losing view. Explore the historical antique metropolis and the Imperial Palace, with its opulence of the Habsburg dynasty. Next, travel to Bern, whose antique metropolis changed into a Unesco international heritage site in 1983. The town is likewise domestic to the Einstein Museum. Thun makes for a scenic 20-minute facet journey. Fast TGV and Eurostar trains will then velocity you home.
Journey instances for all five itineraries can range depending on the date and time of departure. These suggestions are for faster connections, even though not necessarily the fastest viable, and usually leaving within the morning on weekdays. We have prioritized trains that: require no reservation, are regarded to be very relaxed (consisting of RailJet), or have correct on-board services (including the ICE).
London to Lausanne (Eurostar + TGV, 7 hrs 10 mins, stay one night time); Lausanne to Annecy (regional + TER + TER, 3 hrs, live two nights); Annecy to Chamonix (TER + TER + TER, three hrs, 10 minutes, stay one night time); Chamonix to Zermatt (TER + local + InterRegio, three hrs 57 minutes, live two nights); Zermatt to Lucerne (nearby + InterCity, three hrs 25 mins, live one night); Lucerne to St Anton, (InterRegio + RailJet, three hrs 29 mins, live nights); St Anton to Zell am See (EuroCity, 3 hrs 15 mins, stay two nights); Zell am See to Innsbruck (Eurocity, 2 hrs, stay two nights); Innsbruck to Bern (RailJet + InterCity, 4 hrs 43 mins, live one night); Bern to London (TGV + Eurostar, 8 hrs 22 mins).
South to the Med
Suggested length 14 days
Stops Toulouse, Barcelona, Sète, Nice, Genoa, Rome, Stresa, Zurich, Cologne
Shortcut Head instantly to Nice to make it a ten-day experience
Best Interrail skips, Same as for the Lakes and Mountains itinerary.
Rail pilgrimages to the Côte d’Azur started many years ago when prosperous Brits would consider undertaking south on the Train Bleu. This itinerary widens the direction, spanning Barcelona and on thru scenic French and Italian Riviera coastline to Rome, after which domestic via Switzerland. On your first evening in Toulouse, respect the grand structure of the Place du Capitole earlier than drinking in the nightlife in the Carmes neighborhood, starting at Chez Vincente bodega.
From right here, there’s a preference of routes to Barcelona: a fast teach through Perpignan or Narbonne, or the longer buttons greater scenic nearby educate thru Latour-de-Carol with a trade at the Spanish border (no reservations needed or to be had, 3 connecting trains each day). Between Latour-de-Carol and Toulouse, take a seat on the left to get the great views. Once inside the Catalan capital, test out the Museu d’Història de Barcelona. Sète is a bustling port town crisscrossed using canals, close to eight miles of unsung seashores. Give your legs a workout in Nice to climb up Colline du Château, beyond waterfalls to a landscape over the city.