The GoldenPass Line: Snaking from the Lake Through the Mountains

Marie-Madeleine & Giuseppe Renauld | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Snaking across the mountains, experience breathtaking views of Lake Geneva and the Alps, while sitting comfortably on a Belle Époque furbished train? Eating cheese fondue in a chalet in the Swiss Alps or shopping in the fashionable boutiques of Gstaad? Shopping in Geneva, remarkable sceneries and much more are only less than one hour away.

Arguably less known than the “Glacier Express”, the GoldenPass Line is definitely worth the experience. Since 1901, travellers have been able to make a return trip – best in a full day – from Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva, to the charming alpine town of Zweisimmen. After leaving Montreux (398m), the trains climb up to Les Avants (1,000 m) and then, twists through the valleys of the Alpine villages of Montbovon (763 m), Château-d’Oex (958 m), Saanen (985 m), Gstaad (1,050 m) and Zweisimmen (947 m). Through the 63 km hop on/off journey with several calls, you can enjoy the Alps and impressive panoramas.

© Marie-Madeleine & Giuseppe

Departure: Montreux

Montreux is a lovely place on the shores of the Lake Geneva (also called Léman). Traditional Swiss buildings and luxury hotels make Montreux the place to go on the Swiss Riviera. Internationally renowned events take place annually in Montreux, e.g. the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Montreux Christmas Market. Surrounded by the French and Swiss Alps, Montreux charmed Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) of Austria and Hungary, Igor Stravinski, Charlie Chaplin, Freddie Mercury and many more.

© Marie-Madeleine & Giuseppe

A few minutes after leaving Montreux, stunning postcard views from above Lake Geneva and the mountains will make you fall in love with this trip. You can also hop off the train to observe the fantastic panorama or explore the surrounding mountains at your own pace. Then, the bright green (in summer) or sparkling white (in winter) fields of the internal lands dive the traveler into the beautiful Alpine nature. To enjoy more nature or for winter sports, you can hop off the train again. Why not have a cheese fondue?

Later on, Gstaad is the paradise for luxury shoppers and travelers. Several high-end boutiques and luxury hotels suggest the exciting and exclusive atmosphere of this Alpine destination. Around the village, you can enjoy 200 km of ski slopes. Gstaad Palace, a Leading Hotel of the World, hovering above the village makes this alpine destination inimitable.

© Marie-Madeleine & Giuseppe

Last call: Zweisimmen

Zweisimmen is a lovely village in the midst of the Alps. For travellers willing to move further in central Switzerland, Interlaken and Bern are less than a two-hour train away.

Several daily services operate on the GoldenPass Line with ordinary, as well as the GoldenPass Panoramic and Classic trains. The ride from Montreux to Zweisimmen takes approximately two hours. To make the best of your experience, Panoramic coaches are partly transparent: The traveller can truly dive into the beautiful nature. Classic coaches have been refurbished alike the luxurious trains of the Belle Époque. You will feel like a high society traveller of 20th century! Please note that GoldenPass Classic does not operate all year round.

© Marie-Madeleine & Giuseppe

Discover other stories about Swiss trains on The Vigezzina - Centovalli Train.

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