There are two types of holiday generally speaking – either an activity/sightseeing based holiday or a relaxation based holiday. However, I was intrigued recently to read about a third alternative known as a ‘slow holiday’ which offers holidaymakers time to relax and breathe in the experiences you enjoy on holiday. This might involve a walking, cycling or maybe a carefully planned train route where you take in the scenery, meet local people and experience a little of the local way of life. Switzerland is the perfect example of a slow holiday, read below to find out why…

Switzerland is a place where you can experience one of the most scenic places in Europe with majestic mountain scenery including the Eiger and Matterhorn, mouth dropping valleys and lakes. This is a place where the famous book author J.R.R. Tolkien took  inspiration from for Rivendell, and it’s easy to see why.  You can’t fail to be inspired by the picture postcard scenery around every corner.

Tolkien’s inspiration for Rivendell. The stunning Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland J.R.R. Tolkien travelled through Lauterbrunnen on his journey through Switzerland in 1911, which inspired Tolkien to create some of the fantastic locations in the novel: First, he and his 11 companions travelled from Interlaken to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, a U-shaped glacial valley, with breath-taking steep faces. Tolkien was so deeply impressed by Lauterbrunnen, that decades later he modeled Rivendell, meaning “deeply cloven valley”, after it. In her essay “The Lyfe and the Auncestrye” Marie Barnfield points out that even the name of the river flowing through Rivendell is a reminiscent of Lauterbrunnen (possible meaning: “lauter”-loud, and “Brunnen”-well, fountain, spring): Loudwater. #travel #jrrtolkien #lordoftherings #thehobbit

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J.R.R. Tolkien travelled through Lauterbrunnen on his journey through Switzerland in 1911, which inspired Tolkien to create some of the fantastic locations in the novel: First, he and his 11 companions travelled from Interlaken to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, a U-shaped glacial valley, with breath-taking steep faces. Tolkien was so deeply impressed by Lauterbrunnen, that decades later he modelled Rivendell, meaning “deeply cloven valley”, after it. In her essay “The Lyfe and the Auncestrye” Marie Barnfield points out that even the name of the river flowing through Rivendell is a reminiscent of Lauterbrunnen (possible meaning: “lauter”-loud, and “Brunnen”-well, fountain, spring): Loudwater.

 

As a travel blogger and photographer, I love capturing the uniqueness of a location, especially the scenery and the people. Switzerland for me is a perfect location for a slow holiday where I have time to relax and take in the spellbinding alpine scenery of mountains and lakes, meet the locals, taste local food (especially the chocolate!), listen to the wonderful sound of jangling cowbells, and of course, experience the famous Swiss travel network and journey across the roof of Europe – one of the most scenic train journeys in the World including journeys up the Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat railways.

Here are two rail journeys in Switzerland we’d personally recommend here at Travelphant:

 

1. Glacier Express

Zermatt – St. Moritz, Switzerland

The Glacier Express train is the most famous train in the world and quite possibly the most scenic. For 7.5 hours you will be taken on a journey through the Swiss Alps and its breathtaking mountain landscapes, deep gorges, picturesque valleys, 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges.

Glacier Express
Glacier Express

 

 

2. Jungfraujoch

Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen – Jungfraujoch – Across the roof of europe

Trust us when we say you’ll member the first time you experience the Jungfraujoch train journey.  Home to the highest railway station in Europe (located 3,454 meters above sea level) this railway runs almost entirely within the Jungfrau Tunnel, built into the Eiger and Mönch mountains and containing two stations in the middle of the tunnel, where you can get off the train and look out to admire the views and take some photographs. The rail journey up to the top is unforgettable as you’ll be on the largest glacier in the Alps and the Sphinx observatory at the top allows views all the way into Germany. The total trip from either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen takes about 1 ½ hours.

I’ll let Rick Steves show you the highlights of this amazing Swiss train journey in this video…

 

One company who specialise in Switzerland breaks by rail are Inntravel who have 30 years experience in the industry. They plan their holiday itineraries meticulously so you can enjoy a journey in SlowMotion through Switzerland by train, with time to get to know each area in which you stay. Inntravel provide expert advice both before and during your slow holiday and you can follow Inntravel’s detailed route and background notes.

 

 

With post was brought to you in collaboration with Inntravel

 

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