**8 Days** Suggestions on itinerary and half rate

**8 Days** Suggestions on itinerary and half rate

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boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2015 - 10:04 PM

Hi,

By way of introduction I am Srini from Glasgow. Came across this forum while planning my trip to Swiss and infact this helped me a lot in planning my itinerary and many thanks for the support through this forum.

booked the same itinerary that was provided in the sample itinerary which looks Ok and fits to my schedule.

Request your suggestions on

- am I rushing myself with the below itinerary for 8 day trip or likely spending more time in journey? Please suggest if I can plan it more better way

- For transport should I be going to Half rate card/Swiss pass or point to point or any other better options?

- Along with the below itinerary I am also interested in Helicopter ride and Cable ride, can you suggest where I can fit them in the itinerary.

My Itinerary is as follows

Day1 - London to Zurich - Reach Zurich by 5PM. Overnight stay in Zurich (any suggestions on what I can cover that evening?)

Day2 - Zurich to Lucerne and to Interlaken (as per sample itinerary suggestion is to taken Golden pass route- any other suggestions?) - Overnight Stay in Interlake

Day3 - Stay in Interlaken; From Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg, and then to Jungfraujoch then to Grindelwald to Interlaken Ost. (any suggestions)

Day4 - Interlaken to Montreux. If time permits cog wheel ride.(? is it worth); Overnight stay in Montreux

Day5 - Montreux to Zermatt; plan to take Gornergrat ride (suggestions please); Overnight stay in Zermatt

Day6 - Glacier express - zermatt to chur; Overnight stay in Chur

Day7-Bernina Express - Chur to Lugano (? any suggestions how to plan); Overnight stay in Lugano

Day8 - This is my last day of my trip and return to zurich from Lugano. Depending upon the time, planning to go Wilhelm Tell express or might directly go to airport.

My flight is at 3PM from zurich to London.

Many Thanks,

Srini

-

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 28, 2015 - 2:45 PM

Welcome to MySwissAlps, Srini! Good to hear that the website has helped you out so far.

I'd say that the 7 day scenic train itinerary is an excellent pick. The routes described there all take pretty much full days, and most of them don't leave much room for further activities. I wouldn't say you'd be rushing too much though. But of course you can choose to cut down on your base towns and skip some of the transfer journeys. That would result in a more relaxed travel pace, but also in less scenic train journeys. Whether you want to make such changes really depends on your personal preferences. If you decide to follow the proposed schedule, just click all links provided there. They'll get you to all information you need to plan each activity in detail, so I'm not quite sure what further suggestions you're looking for.

As for your first set of questions: you may include a helicopter or cable car ride (e.g. to Männlichen, First or Schilthorn) in the afternoon of day 2, after your arrival in Interlaken, but only do so if skies are clear. A helicopter ride should be booked well in advance and may be cancelled too if weather circumstances are not favorable. A boat ride over Lake Thun or Lake Brienz is a very nice alternative.

If you'll be making the itinerary as described, an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass (as suggested in the 'shopping list') is there is definitely the most convenient choice.

Last modified on Apr 28, 2015 - 6:01 PM by Arno
boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
Apr 28, 2015 - 5:47 PM

Thanks a lot Annika. I don't think I could have planned my itinerary well if not come across this forum.

I wouldn't want to miss any scenic train journeys for that sake but my only concern is that shifting from one place to another place everyday with all my luggage would be tiresome I believe.

Can you suggest if staying in Interlaken and covering the activities of Day2, 3, 4 and 5 rather than shifting from one city to another can be an option (considering we are having a swiss pass)? So that I don't need to carry my luggage where ever I go.

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 28, 2015 - 6:09 PM

Hi Srini,

You can do the Interlaken to Montreux section as a day trip from Interlaken, then transfer directly to Zermatt the next day (take the local train from Spiez via Kandersteg and Goppenstein to Brig to have an extra leg of scenic railway). Note that there are luggage services if you don't want to carry it yourself. I would also suggest to pack lightly. You won't need a lot of clothing for train traveling.

Last modified on Apr 28, 2015 - 6:10 PM by Arno
boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
Apr 28, 2015 - 10:18 PM

Hi Arno, Thanks a lot for the info

This question is around 8 day swiss pass. If I buy it online can I use that pass from the moment I come out of airport to hotel?

Is it worth buying online or can I buy it once I reach switzerland? Any prerequisites thats a must to carry before traveling (like winter clothing, maps .. etc)

-Srini.

boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
Apr 28, 2015 - 10:53 PM

One more question - If I am planning to buy swiss pass once I reach Switzerland can I reserve seats ahead with out buying swiss pass in panoramic trains and what if I don't get into the train where I reserved a seat, can I change?

I assume places which panoramic trains go can also be reached by normal trains? In worst case if I don't get a seat in panoramic train then I should use normal train to get to my destinations?

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 29, 2015 - 7:18 AM

Hi Srini,

All Swiss Travel Pass purchase options are listed here. Since you live in the UK you can get it through www.swisstravelsystem.co.uk. In the Delivery Information section, you can select 'Online Ticket' to print it yourself, but you can also have it shipped to your home address for free. Both options take a few days so don't order last minute. You can fill out your name, passport number, etc on the pass and then start traveling immediately from the airport.

I may have missed this but I'm not sure when you plan to travel, and that makes a difference for clothing. In general I can say that you don't need any special clothing if you travel around without hiking or other sports. A cap and sun glasses are useful. Dress in thinner layers to adapt to the weather and the altitude as explained here.

You can book seats for the panoramic train whenever you like, regardless whether you already have the pass in hand. Booking earlier (from 3 months ahead) is better. Links to details are posted in the itinerary. Don't forget to check the links under 'More on other websites' on the referred pages. There are plenty of regular trains on the same routes, so no problem there. Only the Bernina Express combination of bus and train is not easy to do with regular transport, particularly the bus section.

boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2015 - 8:03 AM

My trip starts on Jun24th and ends on Jul1st.

One of the options I see from the links is to reserve seats at the train stations instead of buying it online. If I don't reserve it now is it the case that there may not be any seats left for us on the day of our travel and we are not allowed into the train or is there any unreserved coaches on these trains?

Reservations for Golden pass, Glacier Express,Bernina express and Wilhelm Tell express are fastly filled?

Forgive my ignorance,the reason I am asking is to make sure for any reason if there is change in plan with in the Switzerland and if I make these reservations ahead, how can I get away with less loss.

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 29, 2015 - 9:20 AM

Hi Srini,

I would definitely book the Bernina Express train and bus in advance. As for the others: you can book them in Switzerland, but of course chances of booked out trains increase if you book later. These trains are very popular. It's hard to predict if that will actually be a problem for any specific train. Probably not if you don't wait until the last day, but there's no guarantee. As said, you can take the regular trains in such a case. As you may have read, the Golden Pass does not require reservations at all, except for the VIP seats.

boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
Apr 29, 2015 - 9:41 PM

Hi Arno,

I tried to make reservation for Bernina express I can only see below three timings. Out of all three, is that the second one is Bernina express?

To check trains at later point of time, it displays following message. Does it mean I need to wait while the prices are updated or there is only one Bernina express for 30th June and that starts from 08:32?

Online prices are currently unavailable for the selected route.Please call 1-866-938-RAIL (toll free for USA & Canada) to complete your booking.We apologize for any inconvenience.

I am referring to this link - shop.acprail.com/ #/ptp/point__ to_point_tickets /results/

Chur - Tirano Rhb - Jun 30, 2015

Origin Destination Departure Arrival Duration Changes Price from

Chur Tirano Rhb 06:58 12:00 04:28 1 Details

Chur Tirano Rhb 08:32 12:45 04:13 0 £30.00

Chur Tirano Rhb 08:58 13:32 04:18 1 Details

Later

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 30, 2015 - 6:36 AM

Hi Srini,

There is indeed just one direct train from Chur to Tirano at 8:32. All other connections include regular trains and require you to change trains at least once. The website you checked just lets you book the train to Tirano. You also need to book the bus from Tirano to Lugano. I checked www.rhb.ch (the local railways operating the Bernina Express) but the booking system there did not seem to work. If you run into the same issue I suggest to e-mail them with your travel date and time, and ask for the seat reservations.

boppana
boppana
7 posts
new member
May 1, 2015 - 7:03 AM

Hi Arno,

I dropped them an email yet to receive response.

Alternatively I tried to book ticket from CHUR to TIRANO through

http://uk.voyages-sncf.com/choose-your-outbound-journey - this shows me train until Tirana and cost of this reservation is 22 GBP (CHUR - TIRANO FR)

Its not showing bus journey from TIRANO to LUGANO. Seems like its showing only train journey from TIRANO to LUGANO.

I also check this site http://www.acprail.com/train-reservations - but this seems to be costly to book the reservation. Only reservation showing 108 GBP. (CHUR - TIRANO RHB)

Not sure if TIRANO RHB and TIRANO FR both are same but on the time table train timings both are same. I assume both are same.

I will await for confirmation before I reserve ticket because if I can reserve seats for 22GBP why spend 108GBP.

Thanks,
Srini

Arno
Arno
7700 posts
expert &
moderator
May 1, 2015 - 10:00 AM

Hi Srini,

The price of GBP 108 is the price for a ticket plus reservations, without a doubt. Probably for two travelers. You may have started your search with reservations only, but if you click back to a previous step, the setting may change from 'Reservations only' to 'Tickets and reservations'. Such things easily happen on booking sites without even noticing it.

I just noticed you can book both the train and the bus through uk.voyages-sncf.com/en/ pass/seat-reservation. First book seats for the 8:32 train Chur - Tirano. Then book the connection Tirano (14:20) - Lugano (17:30). This one looks like a train at first, but these times are the Bernina Express bus times, and if you click 'Fare Conditions' you can see that it actually is that bus. Each reservation is GBP 11 p.p., so you'll be spending GBP 44 for the whole trip for two people.

You should be all set now!

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