7 night trip during 2nd week of April - advice?

7 night trip during 2nd week of April - advice?

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Feb 17, 2016 - 12:27 AM

We are travelling with our 20-year-old daughter who has just spent the semester in Italy. She will join us in Venice on the 8th and then we'd like to take a scenic rail journey for 6 nights. What region should we focus on given the time of year we are travelling. Looking for awe-inspiring scenery and beautiful towns. Suggestions?

Arno
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Feb 17, 2016 - 7:23 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps caseylight!

What a great idea to spend a week in Switzerland together! To be honest, there are countless options. To narrow things down, it would be best to have a look at our How to plan section. It offers planning tips, sample itineraries and packages. Then get back here with a few ideas, and also tell us what you expect to do (just train traveling, or hiking, museums, boat trips, sports, cable car trips, etc.). Please also click "What to do" in the main menu for lots of tips.

Does this get you started?

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Feb 17, 2016 - 12:47 PM in reply to Arno

I was asking because I know the weather can be iffy in April. looking for the prettiest scenery for train travel with a cable car and cog rail experience as well as quaint towns to visit

Arno
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Feb 17, 2016 - 1:09 PM in reply to Removed user

Indeed it can be, but to be honest: it can be iffy throughout the year. Things can turn around quickly in the mountains; for the worst and the best.

So did you find anything you like in the sections I recommended?

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Feb 17, 2016 - 3:05 PM

What I want to know is which region offers the most picturesque train ride.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
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Feb 18, 2016 - 1:12 AM in reply to Removed user

<<"What I want to know is which region offers the most picturesque train ride.">>

Hi Caseylight-

Arno gave you the answer. Spend some time with his links to help with your decisions.

My answer is- "Several".

There is no single "most picturesqur train ride" in no small part because different peoplehave diffrent pespectives.

Here an idea to start with:

Take the Gotthard Pass route north, perhaps use the Wilhelm Tell Express. Once in Luzern., look around at the options.

Take the Luzern - Interlaken Express to Interlaken , thence to Lauterbrunnen , cograil to Wengen, cable car to Männlichen. Have lunch.

Come back down.

Maybe go up to Jungfrajuoch or Schilthorn.

From what town in Switzerland will you all depart? Helps the route planning to know that.

Finally, in April, all bets are off for what you can see. Could be wonderful, could be awful.

Attached is a panoramic picture I took in mid-April in 2014, when there were 10 days of near perfect weather in many regions of Switzerland. That was almost unheard of. Don't count on such good weather.

Slowpoke

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Feb 18, 2016 - 1:40 AM in reply to Slowpoke

We will need to start our journey in Zurich on 4/9. We were thinking of going from Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken (stay 2 nights), potentially doing the Jungfrajuoch leg (weather dependent), on to Montreaux for one night, then the question is, we have three more nights...should we go on the Glacier Express to St Moritz for one night and then where for the other night? Potentially Bernier Express? We want to end up in Lugano on the 14th for one night because that is where we will leave for Milan/Venice.

Suggestions appreciated! And what a gorgeous photo you took!!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
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Feb 18, 2016 - 2:23 AM in reply to Removed user

Sorry-

Thought you were starting in Venice, from what you said in your first post about meeting in Venice on the 8th.

<<"We will need to start our journey in Zurich on 4/9">>

How will you/she get to Zürich? The train ride form Lugano northwards is probably one of the best in the world... certainly in Switzerland.

Will someone of you be using a train northwards from Italy? Or, are you flying into Zürich? If train. go directly to Luzern, I think.

<<"And what a gorgeous photo you took!!">>

Thanks. I had good luck on the weather and the lighting, late in the afternoon. Note that trees still are blossoming, leaves are not out on many. Fields are not really green.

That is at 700 meters elevation. Weather is highly dependent on elevation. The region is the Emmental.

Up in the Alps,at 2000 + meters, they are still skiing happily in mid April....as you might guess from looking at the Alps in that image.

You might consider staying more time in fewer places, unless your objective is specifically to ride trains.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 18, 2016 - 2:25 AM by Slowpoke
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Feb 18, 2016 - 2:35 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Sorry for the confusion. We are flying from Nice to Zurich to start our rail tour - our daughter will be meeting us in Zurich coming up from Venice. Ultimately we fly back to the US out of Venice on the16th

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
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Feb 18, 2016 - 9:00 AM in reply to Removed user

<<"Sorry for the confusion. We are flying from Nice to Zurich to start our rail tour - our daughter will be meeting us in Zurich coming up from Venice. Ultimately we fly back to the US out of Venice on the16th">>

Got it.

Lets start at the last part, first.

You may use the timetable and a good Swiss map to understand these routes:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

or the direct link without the useful explanations to the same timetable if you are not in My Swiss Alps:

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

Lots of detail buried in the menus.

and,

map.search.ch/

Also with lots of useful travel info in the menus. For example, you can select "Railway" under Points of Interest on the menu, then Traffic, and all the rail stations show up. Zoom in until you get icons and click on a station icon, and an abbreviated timetable shows up.

There are three commonly used rail routes between Switzerland and Italy. As far as i know, you'll go through Milano Centrale on your way to Venice.

#1

I used to periodically take the Gotthard Pass route from the southern tip of Lake Lucern (Flüelen) to Altdorf thence to Bellinzona and beyond , usually to Locarno, but sometimes to Lugano and once or twice to Chiasso and beyond to Milano Centrale, or further to Florence. And return. To get to Flüelen, I would start at either Zürich or Luzern, both about the same distance from Flüelen. Either from Luzern or from Zürich, the routes pass through Arth-Goldau which is major junction/ crossover points for the major north-south rail axis.

If you are at Luzern and have lots of time (3-4 hours) , you can ride a lake boat from Luzern to Flüelen and then go onward to Lugano, Milano, Locarno, etc. by rail; you may use the named route "Wilhelm Tell Express" or do it your self in stages, following exactly the same route but at times of your choice.

Train from Luzern to Füelen takes about an hour.

www.myswissalps.com/wi lhelmtellexpress

The Gotthard Pass rail line is a major engineering masterpiece, with superb mountain scenery. It carries a tremendous amount of rail traffic, hence a new lower 57 km long "basis tunnel" will open later this year, to absorb the traffic. Views of the Alps and the engineering works are absorbing and make for a very scenic ride.

#2 -

From Bern or Interlaken via Spiez, then over or under ( don't go under in the boring but faster new basis tunnel) the Lötschberg Pass, into the Rhonetal ( Rhone Valley) and down to Brig.

From Brig over/the Simplon Pass (including tunnel) to Domodossola in Italy. From thence to Milano Centrale. Northbound, the route splits at Brig and takes you to Geneva via Montreux or to Spiez.

( I rode this route many times between our office in Milano and our laboratory in Geneva.)

You an also pick up the scenic narrow gauge line to Andermatt and eastward, or thence to Göschenen on the Gotthard line. That is part of the route of the Glacier Express. It is not a fast route to Italy.

The section from Spiez to Brig via Kandersteg ( us that as a "via" or "connection" in the timetable) on the train "Lötschberger" is very scenic. I have ridden it many times and hiked the "rail trail" alongside the rail line above Brig many times.

From Milano Centrale to Domodossola the rail line has some nice views of the lakes as well.

I rode this route many times between our office in Milano and our laboratory in Geneva.

A limited service and very special rail journey is the narrow gauge Centovalli line between Locarno and Domodossola. Not fast.

#3- Part or all of the Bernina Express route, specifically the part from Pontresina ( St.Moritz) to Tirano in Italy, then bus to Lugano thence southward, or train from Tirano to Milano Centrale. From St. Moritz to Milano Centrale - just under 5 hours.

That section of the Bernina route between Pontresina and Tirano is also very scenic.

Getting to St. Moritz can be quite scenic as well, but does add considerable time on the route from central Switzerland.

Those are some ideas for routes to finish the trip.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 18, 2016 - 9:09 AM by Slowpoke
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Feb 18, 2016 - 8:58 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you for all this great information!

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