Travel help: Bernina Express and end up in Lucerne

Travel help: Bernina Express and end up in Lucerne

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sagarika19
sagarika19
4 posts
new member
Jan 1, 2016 - 5:03 PM

Hello,

We are planning a trip to Switzerland in April 2016 starting off with the Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano . Do you recommend that we continue our journey from tirano to lugano and then to Lucerne? We need to end this journey at Lucerne at any cost.

Also, is there any convenient train routes from Tirano to Lucerne.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Jan 2, 2016 - 1:05 AM in reply to sagarika19

Hi Sagarika19 -

Welcome to the Forum-

<<We are planning a trip to Switzerland in April 2016 starting off withthe Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano . Do you recommend that wecontinue our journey from tirano to lugano and then to Lucerne? We needto end this journey at Lucerne at any cost. ">>

Please help us with more details. How long will you be in Switzerland? How will you get to Chur?

When do you arrive and when must you leave? That will help understand timing for your option to go to Lugano.

By the way...the mountain roads may not be open in April.

Check the time table to see if you can take a bus from Tirano to Lugano.

Lugano to Luzern is a simple train ride.

<""Also, is there any convenient train routes from Tirano to Lucerne.">>

Yes.

The timetable will help with your planning and deal with train questions. http://www.m yswissalps.com/timetab le

That is a start. ;-)

Slowpoke

sagarika19
sagarika19
4 posts
new member
Jan 2, 2016 - 4:41 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hello,

Thank you for your reply!

We will be landing in Zurich on 16th April by 6am. From here we plan to move to Lucerne and drop our bags there and then head to Chur by train. We will spend the night at Chur and start the Bernina Express the next morning (17th April) at 8.30am.

We will do the Bernina Express on the 17th of April. Our option is to end our trip at Tirano or Lugano depending on onward connectivity to Lucerne.

We will have to end our journey in Lucerne on 17th itself.

If the bus from Tirano to Lugano is not available, we would like to travel from Tirano back to Lucerne. Please let us know how this would be possible.

Thanks,

Sagarika.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 2, 2016 - 1:43 PM

Hi Sagarika,

Thank you for sharing your plans. Yes, it's doable to do the Bernina Express to Tirano on April 17th and then get to Lucerne via Lugano. It will be a long travel day, but if you're fine with that you'll get to enjoy a very diverse and splendid scenic route, incorporating part of the Wilhelm Tell route too.

You'll arrive in Tirano about 1 pm and there's a direct bus to Lugano leaving from Tirano at 2h40 pm. You'll be in Lugano at 5h30 pm, allowing you to travel to Lucerne the same evening. Lugano-Lucerne is another 2h30 to 2h50. All connections and their details can be found in the timetable. Note that you'll have to make seat reservations for the bus between Tirano and Lugano.

The most obvious alternative route from Tirano to Lucerne would be to get back via Chur and Zurich or Thalwil, which wouldn't add much to your plans as you've already seen this route on your way south. It won't save much time compared to the option via Lugano either.

I'm not sure about your plans for Lucerne, but I suggest you explore rail pass options to save money.

sagarika19
sagarika19
4 posts
new member
Jan 2, 2016 - 2:08 PM in reply to Annika

Hello,

Thank You very much for your valuable inputs. Really appreciate the same!

Just one more thing. Is April a good time to travel and get pretty sites of Switzerland?

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 3, 2016 - 11:53 AM

In my opinion April is definitely a good month for a visit. Nature is beautiful: large areas are still covered by snow, but you'll also see the first signs of Spring in lower elevations. A disadvantage is that quite some attractions and cable cars aren't accessible yet. If you focus on scenic train rides, all-year-round highlights like Titlis and Jungfraujoch and city visits, this isn't a problem though.

Our season overview may be of help too.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Jan 3, 2016 - 1:54 PM in reply to sagarika19

Hi Sagarika -

Annika has given a very precise and accurate description of April.

If you are in the areas of lower altitudes, the fields will be plowed and, indeed, plants will be sprouting on the farms.

I have attached a panorama that I took in the Emmental (between Bern and Luzern )in mid April 2014. That year had an unusually dry and sunny April. I had only one rainy day and a couple of cloudy days during a 10 week trip. Most unusual. The weather in Spring is changeable and varies a lot over different regions of Switzerland. There are a lot of micro-climates which may differ from their neighbors 5 or 10 km away.

As you can see from the photo, the alps are still snow covered. However, the ski season is finishing, so many cable ways are not running

In the fields, the grass is still not fully green. In the sunny areas (Montreux, Weggis, The Cote Lavaux between Lausanne and Montreux), Spring always comes earlier because the sun is directly on those regions all day.

Taking walks or easy hikes is important for me in my visits to Switzerland. So, my attitudes are strongly infliuenced by the ability to find nice walks in Central Switzerland or the Emmental, free of snow. April is not always free of snow, but usually is OK for hiking in those regions. I really prefer to go in May. Spring has completely arrived in the lower elevations. I was lucky and surprised to have such good weather (as in the photograph) in April. If I want to go to the Engadine, especially the end near Austria ( Scuol, Ftan, Guarda) , where winter leaves a bit later, I prefer June... Wild flowers are everywhere; so are rain clouds, and the Summer services of the cable ways are mostly running by mid June.

In spite of the snow, you can see a lot in the Alps from the cograil train in any season. And, the villages are nice...particularly Wengen and Mürren.

Above all, remember that the weather in Switzerland, and the seasonal changes, are heavily influenced....controlled...by altitude. it is a lot colder longer into June in the Alps than it is at lower elevations such as Luzern and on the lakes. While the whole countryside is green and warm in early June near Bern or Geneva or Zürich, the highest Alpine pass highways may not yet be open until mid-June. Snow lingers.

Slowpoke

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sagarika19
sagarika19
4 posts
new member
Jan 3, 2016 - 2:02 PM

Hello Annika & Slowpoke!

Thank you for your responses, they are very helpful. This sounds perfect!

Regards,

Sagarika .

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