St. Moritz to Interlaken area via Glacier Express

St. Moritz to Interlaken area via Glacier Express

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bk629
bk629
7 posts
new member
Sep 20, 2015 - 11:19 AM

I am tentatively planning a trip next September with my adult daughter. I have never been to the St. Moritz area and plan to go there first and explore small towns such as Guarda and take the Bernina Express. I would like to travel from St. Moritz to Murren via the Glacier Express route and have put "via Brig" on the timetable.A message says I may need a night supplement (but same day arrival is indicated) and when I try to get details, after Chur it says "Change" and gives various Desentis options. It also mentions a Z surcharge. I understand I would need Reservations on the Glacier Express portion. Could you help me plan this?

The shortest and quickest route would be through Zurich and Bern, but I thought this would allow us to see more of Switzerland, and we would have traveled through Zurich to St. Moritz. After Murren, we plan to go to Luzern a day or two and then return to Zurich for our flight home.

I am almost 82, so I will be doing easier walks. Any suggestions for a first-timer in the Engadine would be welcome. I am interested in the scenery and the culture and the people. Thank you.

wanderer
wanderer
9 posts
new member
Sep 21, 2015 - 3:03 AM in reply to bk629

we just returned from swiss last week and st moritz is a"must visit ". 3 days there in the region is also a good idea because the weather can be rather dodgey at times. .as far as the rail journey is concerned the glaxier express is lot of hype it also it limits the timings .you have to change from "chur" anyway you travel , so don't worry about that . keep your safety margins .

congratulate you and your spirit for taking this up at your stage of life . keep it it up man ,

travel light . and plan well ,,, lot of walking will happen , if we can help you with anyother information

pl ask ..

tks

wanderer

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 21, 2015 - 1:10 PM

Hello bk629, welcome to MySwissAlps!

Great that you get to visit the Engadine. It's a lovely region indeed. Information and tips can be found at www.myswissalps.com/up perengadine. Some easy walks are listed there too.

If you don't mind a long travel day (about 9 hours of train traveling), the Glacier Express would indeed be a scenic way to travel to Mürren, and would allow you to explore more of the country than when you'd choose the route via Zurich and Bern. You can find Glacier Express timetables through the appropriate link at www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/gettingth ere, under "More on other websites". The Glacier Express trains are listed in the general timetable too. When you're searching for options between Zermatt and Mürren via Brig, you'll get to see both connections by regular trains and Glacier Express connections (named 'GEX' in the column 'Travel with'). Glacier Express connections require you to change trains no earlier than Brig, so you shouldn't have to get out in Chur. You may have been studying another connection with regular trains when encountering train changes in Chur, right?

Yes, the Glacier Express requires a seat reservation supplement. Please refer to www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/tickets for details. If you have a rail pass, the ride itself will be discounted or for free.

bk629
bk629
7 posts
new member
Sep 21, 2015 - 10:27 PM in reply to wanderer

Thank you for your response and encouragement. I may contact you later if I have a question.

bk629
bk629
7 posts
new member
Sep 21, 2015 - 11:21 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you, Annika, for your helpful information. Yes, I was looking at regional timetables. Someone had said they liked taking pictures better on the regional trains because the windows opened. It looks like with a long day and several changes between Brig and Murren, it would be worth it not to have to change trains until Brig on the Glacier Express. (I have done the trains from Zermatt to Murren with an adult grandson two years ago with advance purchase point-to-point tickets, but I worried we'd miss a connection!)

We may base in Bergun, as it looks like a more rural and small town setting, and it looks like the Glacier Express does stop for pick ups there. Do you think Bergun will be too inconvenient for trips to Guarda, Pontresina, Silvaplana, and the Bernina Express to Tirano? I think we will buy the Swiss Travel Card/Pass for 8 days, as it will be convenient to not have to buy tickets--just reservations for the Glacier and Bernina Express trains.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 22, 2015 - 6:01 AM

Hi bk629,

The day trips you have in mind are doable from Bergün. You can check the timetable Annika gave you for traveling times. Swiss Travel Pass points of sale can be found here.

bk629
bk629
7 posts
new member
Sep 22, 2015 - 12:01 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you, Arno. I had looked at the timetable, and it looked like it would work to me, but it helps to have the advice of someone who knows the area. Bergun will actually save us time on arrival (from Zurich) and departure (toward Zermatt) days.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2015 - 2:25 PM in reply to bk629

Hi bk629 -

You'll like Guarda. It is very attractive and has good views along the valley.

We have stayed there many times at the Hotel Piz Buin. Herr and Frau Rubi are excellent hosts.

pizbuin.ch/portal/lang /en-us,en%3bq=0.5

The kitchen is variable, ranging from good to very good, depending on who is doing the cooking in a particular season .

The Hotel Meisser is better known, but we have never stayed or eaten there.

You might find Scuol to be worth some time while you are at that end of the valley. A good deal bigger than Guarda (though still not a big town) it has a lot more of the region's characteristic architecture, along with more places to eat. In distinct contrast to Guarda, it is a commercial center for the region, but the old town is very attractive.

The train goes directly to Scuol. For Guarda there is a shuttle bus up the hill which meets the trains.....at least, most of them. ;-) Let me know if you like to walk or hike. I can suggest a couple with good views in the area that are not terribly strenuous.

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bk629
bk629
7 posts
new member
Sep 29, 2015 - 2:39 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you, Slowpoke, for the information about Guarda and Scuol. The Hotel Piz Buin does look very appealing. I have been wanting to see the traditional architecture of this region for many years.

I'm not sure if the pictures are from you or from Arno, but I enjoyed them.

Arno, my daughter and I do like to walk and would appreciate information about the ones with good views that you mentioned. We do thank you for your help. BK

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 29, 2015 - 5:21 AM in reply to bk629

Hi bk629,

The pictures are from Slowpoke. You can find such wonderful architecture throughout the Engadine valley.

I don't think I mentioned any walks in this thread. But if you go to the page Annika suggested (www.myswissalps.com/ upperengadine/ activities), and scroll down, you'll find detailed trail descriptions. All of them have wonderful views. The best ones are in the mountains, not on the valley floor. Just have a look there, as it also depends on how long you like to walk. The times mentioned are without breaks, so usually they take 50% longer with breaks, taking pictures, etc. Also see the hiking section of our site.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Sep 29, 2015 - 7:23 AM in reply to Arno

Arno -

Thanks for your comments.

I followed your directions and found a fair amount of information about the Upper Engadine, including the well known and excellent scenic trail from Muottas Muragl to Alp Languard. That is one of my favorites, and a meal at Muottas Muragl looking over the valley is a special benefit.

However, for the Lower Engadine, I was able to find only the Il Fuorn trail in the National Park. Perhaps I missed some?

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Sep 29, 2015 - 8:16 AM in reply to bk629

Hi BK-

<<"Arno, my daughter and I do like to walk and would appreciate informationabout the ones with good views that you mentioned. We do thank you for your help. BK ">>

I can add some suggestions for the Lower Engadine, in addition to what I was able to find according to Arno's suggestions.

First - for clarity, I mentioned a shuttle bus up to Guarda. It runs from the Guarda Station. I might have left the impression that it left from Scuol.

To visualize these hikes, the SwissTopo web site is very useful.

Here is a link to the region -map.geo.admin.ch/?X=186480.00&Y=813850.0 0&zoom=6&topic=swissto po&lang=en&bgLayer=ch. swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.swisst opo.swissimage-product&layers_opacity =0.65

Also, the home page has a tab for Products.

www.swisstopo.admin.ch /internet/swisstopo/en /home.html

The paper maps, particularly the "Wanderkarte" which show in red the "Wanderwegen," are very useful for me, since I like paper maps. Paper topos are widely available, especially in scenic hiking and skiing regions.

Another good map which shows public transport time tables if zoomed in sufficiently to show station icons is -

map.search.ch/

Here are some easy walks. You can scale them on the maps -

1.- The highest of the trails near Scuol on my list,

Start at Scuol station- take the cable car up to Motta Naluns (restaurant) , walk moderately downhill west to Prui above Ftan, take "ski" lift (I recall a chair lift.....?) from Prui to Ftan- bus from Ftan to Scuol Station.

Check the schedule on the Prui to Ftan lift/ Station name may be Ftan Pitschen.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

2.- Scuol station to Ftan by bus - walk to Ardez - walk down to Ardez station or maybe there is a bus (not too bad a walk, don't need a bus) - train from Ardez to Scuol station. Ftan has some nice architecture. Don't get caught on the narrow street when the cows are coming in to the barn for the night.

3.- Other walks in the National Park

www.myswitzerland.com/ en/the-swiss-national-park.html and www.nationalpark.ch

Many are not so easy, but the one mentioned in Arno's link )Il Fuorn to Alp Grümm) is not too difficult. Only about a 300 meter ascent, although you are well over a mile high and may pant a bit.

4- A walk to Sur En.

Sur en is an out of the way and very attractive very small village across the Inn River from ( approx.) Ardez.

You can walk in on the road from from Ardez station ( somewhat steep) or via the river crossing close to Giarsun. The latter probably requires a good look at a map, and there is no parking anywhere near Giarsun if you are driving.

5 .- A map will show that the road from Ftan to Ardez continues to Guarda, via Bos-Cha. At Ardez, the trail for the first part does not lose as much altitude that must be regained as the road does , and joins the road a few hundred meters east of Ardez

There are many more marked trails that are more strenuous. I only picked a few that are relatively easy.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 29, 2015 - 8:25 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

You're right, there's not much content about the Lower Engadine yet. A wonderful walk is from Vnà, near Scuol, to the small restaurant Zuort. A very nice valley to hike is Val Susauna, near Cinuos-chel-Brail, which is sort of on the edge of Upper and Lower Engadine. We haven't had time yet to add these hikes to the site. For wide views walking from Motta Naluns is indeed a very good option.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Sep 29, 2015 - 8:36 AM in reply to Arno

Arno - Thanks-

I did not know those walks and will take a look next time we are there.

Slowpoke

bk629
bk629
7 posts
new member
Sep 30, 2015 - 12:09 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you very much, Slowpoke. You have been very helpful. I have bookmarked the links and have written down the information about the suggested walks.

I see lots of questions and information about the Bernese Oberland on this site but not much about the Engadine. I really appreciate your taking the time to share your knowledge of the area.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Sep 30, 2015 - 12:41 AM in reply to bk629

<<"I really appreciate your taking the time to share your knowledge of the area. ">>

Glad to help. The lack of information on the forum about the Lower Engadine is a good thing. It means that there are a lot less tourists there than in the Upper Engadine. ;-)

Most of my pictures of the area are on film, which requires scanning. If I can find anything to post and have time to scan, I'll put up a few images of the area. .

Slowpoke.

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