Apr 25, 2010 - 7:34 AM
There's little difference in the duration of both routes. The option Bern-Visp takes slightly longer, but this is a matter of a few minutes. Both journeys take about 2 hours. There is a difference in price though: as the route Fribourg-Lausanne-Sion is the shorter one, this one's cheaper with CHF 46 for a single journey in 2nd class. The route Fribourg-Bern-Visp-Sion is actually a detour and therefore it's more expensive: CHF 65. Moreover, the first option requires only one change of trains (in Lausanne) and the second requires two (in Bern and Spiez).
As for the landscape and views: if you take the more economical option, you'll travel along lake Geneva for a while, and then you'll head on to Sion through the Rhone valley. The Bern-Visp alternative leads along the shore of lake Thun and then through a tunnel into the Rhone valley.
A third alternative would be to skip the tunnel from Spiez, but use the Regio Express via Frutigen, Kandersteg and Goppenstein instead. Although this adds another hour to the journey, it's a spectacular route through the Kander valley, with short tunnels, spiral loops within the rock walls and beautiful views of the alps. From Goppenstein, you'll gradually descend to the bottom of the Rhone valley, again with nice views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
You can plan your trips and find the costs in the online timetable
Seat reservation isn't necessary for these trains. Reserving seats is only required in some panoramic trains. More information can be found here