Scenic train and itinerary in April

Scenic train and itinerary in April

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Posts: 8. This thread is closed.
sugarplumfairy
sugarplumfairy
27 posts
active member
Feb 4, 2013 - 12:42 AM
Hello

Need some inputs from the experts.
I am planning a trip to Switzerland in April for 9 nights and this is my second trip to Switzerland.
At the moment these are the places I have in mind. Would be using Basel as a base as a friend is living there.

Basel
Zermatt
St Gallen
Gruyere (Chocolate Factory)
Luzern and Pilatus
Black forest (Frieburg)

Also not sure if I am able to fit in a scenic train ride into the itinerary.
Thinking of going from Basel to Zermatt for 2 nights, then move from Zermatt to a stop to ride on the Bernina Express before going back to Basel. Is it feasible to do that or is there another scenic train ride I should take?
Also we are getting a Swiss pass so would presume these scenic train ride are covered except for the seat reservation fee?

Sugarplumfairy
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 6, 2013 - 2:32 PM
Hi Sugarplumfairy. Some day trips from Basel will be quite long, as it's not located centrally, but if you're fine with train journeys that's no problem of course. I think it's wise to stay overnight in Zermatt, as that's one of the longest trips on your list.

As for the Bernina Express: that's really off your route and it would take a lot of time to fit this into your schedule. You would have to get to St. Moritz or Tirano first, and that alone will take a full day. Then you'd have to spend a day to make the Bernina Express ride. Other scenic rides would make more sense. For example, you could do part of the Glacier Express to Andermatt and then continue your trip back to Basel. Scenic alternatives are the Golden Pass line via Montreux, Gstaad and Zweisimmen (this will result in a long day trip too) or the Lötschberg RegioExpress via Goppenstein, Kandersteg and Spiez. If you fill out 'via-stations' in the timetable will such trips will be displayed.

Scenic trains are covered by the Swiss Pass. You can read all about this, and download a validity map, from the Swiss Pass page. Seat reservations have to be arranged (and paid) for seperately. As for buying your Swiss Pass: since you're traveling in April, you can afford not to order yet: interesting online offers may come along by February or March. If so, they will be mentioned in our rail forum.

I'm not sure if you need a hotel in Basel, but if so, this list may help you out. So may this overview of hotels in Zermatt.

Have fun preparing for your trip!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
sugarplumfairy
sugarplumfairy
27 posts
active member
Feb 10, 2013 - 7:25 PM
HI Annika

Thanks for your advice.
Just wondering if is possible to travel from Zermatt to Chur or St Moritz on Glacier express and back to Basel within a day?
Also which part of the Glacier express is the highlight? Hope won't be missing much if we were to stop at Andermatt or Chur.
Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 12, 2013 - 8:26 AM
Hi Sugarplumfairy. That depends on what arrival times in Basel are still acceptable for you. If you want to do the entire Glacier Express from Zermatt (assuming you start there) to St. Moritz and back to Basel, you'll arrive around or after midnight. It makes more sense to either spend one night in St. Moritz, or get out at Chur and then continue to Basel. You'll miss out on a wonderful part of the route in that case, but you'll have to make such choices for a doable itinerary. And don't worry: other sections, especially Andermatt-Chur, are beautiful too. Please enter your trips in the timetable, and include via-stations, to get all details.

Here's a sample travel plan for a very, very long day starting and ending in Basel:
Basel dep. 5:59
Zermatt arr. 9:13
Zermatt dep. 9:52 (Glacier Express)
St. Moritz arr. 17:58
St. Moritz dep. 19:02
Basel arr. 00:01
sugarplumfairy
sugarplumfairy
27 posts
active member
Feb 13, 2013 - 1:59 AM
Thanks Annika for the answer.
By the way how can i make reservation for the glacier train?
Or can I do it when I am in Switzerland few days before the ride?

Grace
Arno
Arno
7322 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 13, 2013 - 2:47 AM
Hi Grace,

If you order your pass here through your local reseller you can order along the reservations from this page. Most other resellers listed at the Swiss Pass page provide that service as well. You can wait until you're in Switzerland but that increases the chance of the train being fully booked or your preferred seats not being available. Please see the seat reservation link Annika provided for all details.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
sugarplumfairy
sugarplumfairy
27 posts
active member
Feb 13, 2013 - 4:03 AM
Hello

Intend to buy the pass in Switzerland itself.
So am I able to reserve seat first prior to the purchase of the pass?
Arno
Arno
7322 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 13, 2013 - 12:42 PM
Hi Grace,

Sure you can, you don't need to posses a pass to buy seat reservations. Please see the seat reservation page for all details. Also, there's a new promotion by Rail Europe you may want to check out.

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