Andermatt - St. Moritz - Bernina Diavolezza
One of the most well known train routes in Switzerland sightseeing-wise is the Glacier Express, running from Zermat in the west near Matterhorn to St. Moritz in the east. And again the sights come with a high price, well over 100€ for the whole trip (and again not covered with Interrail ticket). Last spring I did a day trip with a car from Italian North-Western town of Stresa to Zermat, driving on roads following the Glacier Express tracks in that part - so this time I chose to enjoy landscapes on the eastern part of the track. There’s only a rather short passage from Andermatt towards St Moritz (until Disentis) that isn’t covered with Interrail ticket, so I was able to do the trip without breaking the bank.
Andermatt was already quite high (around 1,5km) and had loads of snow, but the track took a steep rise again heading east and the views got more and more arctic by each twist of the track. From Andermatt the train was full of skiers, but they all left on the next stop so I was again left in privacy of an own train car enjoying snow-filled sceneries left and right of the train, with windows pulled down for better photo-ops. The high point of the track is Oberalppass, at 2033m where the sights are absolutely arctic: snow everywhere even in April. From there the train starts heading downwards and the amount of snow in the landscape little by little goes down to zero, still offering gorgeous Alpine views.
I highly suggest paying for the Andermatt - Disentis part if you’re traveling with Interrail pass - I don’t think it was more than 10€, but it offered perhaps the most exotic, arctic views I’ve ever seen.
What really amazes me about the Swiss landscape, is how much the landscape can vary even in short passages. From the classic Alpine hillside villages near Disentis, there’s a huge change continuing eastward towards Reichenau: suddenly the train is passing a sweeping river with staggering rock formations on the opposite side with pine trees growing in almost vertical cliffsides. Quite unlike any other scenery I’ve so far seen in Switzerland. And then as the route starts to rise again towards St. Moritz we get again more and more snow.
From Reichenau onwards I was on the Bernina Express track, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site and again one of the most famous train tracks in Switzerland. And for a reason. There’s a great variety of gorgeous landscapes, lots of height variation too and beautifully constructed bridges. And it’s all covered with the Interrail pass, so a must for all interrailers in Switzerland!