Embrace breathtaking summer adventures by train
Have you ever dreamed of admiring a sensational panorama and simply enjoying the moment? Look out the window, put yourself in discovery mode and head for the train station
1 Jul 2021

In our hectic daily lives, instants of calm and serenity are becoming increasingly rare. But all you have to do is look out the window, put yourself in discovery mode and head for the train station. Switzerland is full of extraordinary places and mountains that are easily accessible by public transport from Geneva. Did you know that Switzerland has more than 200 majestic mountains and the highest peaks in Europe? Discover 10 of them during your summer vacation.

Make the most of your trip with SBB RailAway

With its wide range of activity offers, SBB RailAway enables you to discover the highlights of Switzerland by public transport. Forget the stress of driving and searching for a place to park. Instead, you travel comfortably and safely to your leisure destination, while picture-perfect landscapes flash by your window.

While travelling by public transport, you can benefit from discounts of up to 30% on a wide range of activities and top mountain excursions on Once you know where you’re going next, make sure you get the right ticket. If you’re a frequent train traveller, you’re bound to have a GA or a Half-Fare Travelcard. If not, you can still find good deals, like the Saver Day Pass from CHF 29.- per day. And families benefit, too: children under 6 years old travel free of charge. For the kids between 6 and 16 years old, you can get the Junior Travelcard for CHF 30 for a year. This card allows them to travel with their parents for free. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information at the counter of your nearest train station or online at

Are you ready for some inspiration for your summer? Let me introduce you to my favorite mountain excursions.

Picture copyright: © Glacier 3000 – Vincent Bailly

Glacier 3000  (Vaud)

Experience an unforgettable glacial adventure at an altitude of 3,000 metres, between the cantons of Vaud and Bern and venture along the Peak Walk by Tissot, the world’s only suspension bridge connecting two mountain peaks. The experience is thrilling and offers a 360°C view of the Alps and the peaks of the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Various activities await you on the Glacier 3000, including dogsled rides, exhilarating sliding down slopes on plastics mats or the Alpine Coaster, the highest toboggan run in the world.

My personal tip

One highlight up there is the roughly hour-long glacier walk to the edge of the glacier at Quille du Diable. From there, you have a beautiful view of the Valais and can have a break at the restaurant before walking back. One day at the top will have you longing to come back.

Verticalp Emosson  (Valais)

Take part in a unique experience on the tracks above Martigny. You get the chance to embark on one of the steepest two-cabin funiculars in the world before boarding a little panorama train from which you can admire the majestic landscapes of the Mont Blanc region. Your trip to the marvel that is Emosson and its three dams finishes with the minifunic, which whisks you up to the top of the structure. Enjoy your day in an extraordinary natural setting.

My personal tip

A walk along the lake and a picnic among the flowers is a must for everyone. At an altitude of over 2,400 metres, the Emosson region features a unique site with up to 800 dinosaur footprints and 12 play stations along the trail. The site is accessible by walking from the arrival point of the minifunic, across the Emosson Dam and around the lake: a hike of about 4 hours.

Picture copyright: © Switzerland Tourism

Gornergrat  (Valais)

From Zermatt, the cogwheel train takes 33 minutes to travel from an altitude of 1,604 metres up to the Gornergrat at 3,089 metres. Enjoy your journey and admire the Matterhorn from all sides. The highest open-air railway station in Europe features two restaurants, a shop and Europe’s highest distillery, where you can buy gin from Valais. From the Gornergrat, there are absolutely breathtaking views of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and 28 other summits of 4,000 metres or more. There are plenty of walking trails available for all levels of difficulty.

My personal tip

Your train ticket between Zermatt and Gornergrat allows you to stop wherever you want on your journey, making it ideal for exploring the area before taking the train back again. A hike from the Rotenboden train stop to Riffelalp (6 km, about 1.5 hours) is highly recommended. You get the chance to admire the breathtaking panorama of the various and the magnificent reflection of the Matterhorn in the Riffelsee before plunging into the forest peaks.

Schynige Platte  (Bernese Oberland)

The train for Schynige Platte departs from Wilderswil near Interlaken. Travelling on this venerable 7-kilometre railway line for 52 minutes immerses you in history. You ride in historic train cars that move slowly and allow you to capture beautiful shots of your experience and the landscape. Enjoy a musical interlude upon arriving at the summit, with alphorn players in traditional dress. Children will love the wonderful wooden playground located near the restaurants. Schynige Platte is a paradise for everyone, with endless hiking possibilities.

My personal tip

A must-see is the cinema path, where you can take pictures of the landscape through large wooden frames. The free botanical garden is also worth a visit and will delight young and old alike. Don’t wait another moment to enjoy this quintessentially Swiss experience.

Picture copyright: © Switzerland Tourism/Christof Sonderegger

Brienzer Rothorn  (Bernese Oberland)

Embark on an extraordinary nostalgic journey to the heights of Brienz and its idyllic blue lake. A one-hour ride on the steam railway from Brienz or the cable car from Sörenberg brings you to the Brienzer Rothorn. A short walk from the restaurant is the 2,351 metre summit. The fantastic view of more than 690 summits includes the majestic Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. An ibex colony lives up there and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to spot some of them.

My personal tip

During summer, the special train “Steam Sausage Cruiser” provides a unique experience (reservation only). You travel on a cogwheel train from Brienz. During the stop at Planalp, you can eat a hot sausage, cooked by the engine driver in the steam boiler of the historical steam locomotive.

Picture copyright: © Pilatus-Bahnen AG

Pilatus  (Lucerne region)

Close to Lucerne is a mountain with 2,132 different things to do. Accessible via the gondola and the ‘Dragon Ride’ from Krienz, Pilatus can also be reached from Alpnachstad via the steepest cogwheel train in the world. The journey itself is an adventure. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a nature lover, looking for a family getaway or a romantic escape, Pilatus and its stunning view will amaze you. At the Fräkmüntegg stop before the summit, experience a thrilling adventure at the Pilatus rope park, with obstacles on different parkours routes. It will appeal to beginners and seasoned thrill-seekers alike.

My personal tip

Why not extend your adventure at the summit by spending the night there? Have a fairytale night at the Hotel Pilatus-Kulm*** Superior.

Picture copyright: © Rigi Bahnen AG

Rigi  (Lucerne region)

Enjoy an unforgettable trip on the queen of the mountains in Central Switzerland. You ascend to the summit on Europe’s oldest mountain railway in Europe, dating from 1871. The Rigi is a paradise for hikers and offers multiple hiking and walking paths. The view beyond Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug up to Zurich, the Jura chain and beyond will leave you speechless. To enhance your experience, combining your journey with the cogwheel train from Vitznau or Arth-Goldau and the aerial cable car from Weggis to Kaltbad to form a round-trip comes highly recommended.

My personal tip

During this anniversary year, various festivities will be taking place up there and historical steam locomotive #7 will run again from June to September.

Picture copyright: © Stanserhorn Bahn

CabriO Stanserhorn  (Lucerne region)

Not far from Lucerne stands the world’s first aerial cableway, which takes you up to the Stanserhorn at 1,898 metres. Go back in time by taking the historic funicular for the first part of the ride, before feeling the air on your face on the open upper deck of the CabriO. On the summit, hikers of all levels will be delighted with the hiking options, which range from a 30-minute walk around the peak to longer hiking trails. The Stanserhorn rangers will be happy to provide more information about the fauna, flora or stories about the mountain. Stop at the revolving Rondorama® restaurant to enjoy a well-deserved panoramic break.

My personal tip

If you fancy a delicious barbecue in a beautiful setting, there are various grilling spots, with all the necessary equipment provided. Marmots have taken up residence on the Stanserhorn; you can find them near the launch site for delta flyers.

Picture copyright: © RailAway SBB AG,

Monte Generoso  (Ticino)

Discover the only cogwheel train in Ticino that takes you to the top of Monte Generoso from the shores of Lake Lugano in Capolago. During the summer months, the oldest historical steam locomotive in operation in Switzerland is also running. The panorama on the summit goes from the Italian Alps to the Jungfrau, over the Ticino lakes and the Gotthard massif. Thanks to several orientation tables, you can easily identify valleys, lakes, settlements and peaks. The famous architect Mario Botta created the impressive building Fiore di Pietra (Stone Flower) with picture windows looking out on the breathtaking view. And the panoramic views aren’t all this peak has to offer: the many hiking trails and places to rest and enjoy the fresh air are also bound to delight.

My personal tip

Immerse yourself in the realm of space on the Pathway of the Planets and discover the 600-m-long solar system model built on Monte Generoso.

Picture copyright: © Funicolare Monte Brè SA

Monte Brè  (Ticino)

A walk from the centre of Lugano along the lake or a bus ride will take you to the start of the historic funicular. During the 20-minute climb, the panorama grows ever more sweeping. The breathtaking view from the top of the sunniest mountain in Switzerland allows you to see from the Gulf of Lugano all the way to Monte Rosa. The location is perfect for a picnic on one of the picnic places with barbecuing facilities or a delicious meal in one of the restaurants.

My personal tip

A downhill path through the forest (15 minutes) takes you to a panoramic platform that offers a splendid view of the lake and the historic village of Brè. You can continue along the path to visit this village, which is rich in artistic masterpieces, or return to the top of Monte Brè.

* Fanny Moreillon is Head of Communications for French-speaking Switzerland at SBB RailAway.
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