March trip to Switzerland

March trip to Switzerland

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Dunlap
Dunlap
2 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2014 - 1:31 PM
My wife and I will be arriving in Milan from the U.S. on March 5 and returning home from Milan on March 11. We have hotel reservations in Milan for the first and last nights, but in between would like to visit the Swiss Alps. Can you suggest an itinerary that would give us a good overview in that short time? We would like to travel primarily by train and avoid renting a car. We are not interested in skiing and mostly want to do sightseeing, but some easy hiking or other outdoor activity would also be good. We have looked at the Bernina Express information online and that seems like something we want to include.

This may not be enough information for you to make specific recommendations but any help you can offer would be appreciated. Thank you!
Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 8, 2014 - 2:06 AM
Hello Dunlap,

Most places offer plenty to do for the 5 days you have. However, if you wish to see more of the Swiss Alps, you may want to have two base towns and do day trips from there. One option would be to stay a couple of days in the Upper Engadine area, e.g. St. Moritz. It will still be Winter there so you can visit viewing point, do some easy hiking in the valley and enjoy the snow. After that you could take the Glacier Express, get off in Brig and change to a train for Montreux or somewhere else along Lake Geneva. The climate is usually milder there and with a bit of luck it feels like Spring. St. Moritz can be reached via Tirano (the Bernina Express route).

If you prefer less traveling the Lago Maggiore region, e.g. Locarno, is another option instead of Lake Geneva.

Rail pass information is here. Hotel suggestions are here.

I hope this gets you started!
Dunlap
Dunlap
2 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2014 - 4:25 PM

Arno,

Thank you for the suggestions. After much research, on your website and elsewhere, this is the outline we have come up with for the Swiss portion of our itinerary :

Day 1: Train from Milan to Tirano, then take the Bernina Express to Chur, where we will spend the night

Day 2: Train from Chur to Lucerne, where we will spend two nights

Day 3: Sightsee from our base in Lucerne - Mt Rigi or Mt Pilatus, lake cruise, etc. (still working out details)

Day 4: Train from Lucerne to Milan

With this information, can you make any suggestions for things to definitely do on day 3 in Lucerne and possible stops to make on day 4 during our return to Milan, since we have no set time to be back Milan that day.

Also, how do you use the Swiss Pass (or will we benefit from having it) when travelling across the border, as in our trip from Lucerne to Milan?

Thanks for your help and I really like the new layout of the website!

Dunlap

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 12, 2014 - 6:43 PM in reply to Dunlap

Hi Dunlap,

Good to hear that you like the new website, thanks! Your itinerary looks great to me. My suggestion would be to look here for to do's on day 3. On day 4, you can take a boat from Lucerne to Flüelen, all the way at the other end of the lake. From there you can continue to Milan by train. Note that there are only a few boats available in the Winter timetable, so be sure to check that.

How to select the best pass is explained here. If you have a Swiss Pass, you need to have a point to point ticket from the border to Milan. Just download the Swiss Pass map to see where its validity ends exactly. You may need a seat reservation for trains going to Italy.

Feel free to submit a trip report once you've returned. It would be great to read what your trip was like.

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:55 PM by Arno
Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
May 21, 2014 - 7:01 AM in reply to Arno

Hello Dunlap,

How did you like Switzerland, and the Bernina Express? If you have time, it would be great if you could post a trip report here. You're still in time to win a hotel gift card. I hope you had a great time in the Alps!

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