Week of train travel in Switzerland in Nov/Dec

  • songbirds13
    1 posts
    18 October 2016 at 6:25:25 #810248

    I’m planning a trip with my two sons (below 16 years old) next November/December 2017 and have some questions based on this itinerary.

    Day 1. Arrival to Geneva by plane. Train travel to Montreux. Overnight at Montreux.

    Day 2. Golden Pass Train from Montreux to Interlaken. Overnight at Interlaken.

    Day 3. Day trip to Jungfraujoch. Overnight at Interlaken.

    Day 4. Train from Interlaken to Zermatt via Brig. Overnight at Zermatt.

    Day 5. Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz. Overnight at St. Moritz.

    Day 6. Bernina Express from St. Moritz to Tirano – Zurich. Overnight at Zurich

    Day 7. Zurich.

    Day 8. Flight out from Zurich.

    As you can tell we are trying to see Switzerland by taking trains! What is the best train pass to purchase? And is this itinerary doable at all? Is there any place/city that we should stay for an extra day or two.

    Thanks for all your answers.

  • Annika
    7001 posts
    18 October 2016 at 14:41:21 #856628

    Welcome to MySwissAlps, songbirds13!

    Yes, your itinerary is doable. It does include a lot of train traveling (especially on day 6) and not that much time spent on exploring the towns and regions you’re interested in. Did you check the timetable, and if so, are you fine with the hours spent on trains? Your personal preferences are what matters most: if scenic train rides are your main goals your itinerary is perfectly fine. Moreover, November and December are low season with changeable weather circumstances, and train trips are great alternatives to outdoor options one would normally pick in spring or summer. You could try to extend your stay in Interlaken and/or Zermatt to increase chances of a clear weather days there, which is especially favourable for your Jungfraujoch trip. But if you’re limited to an 8 days’ stay, this inevitably means you’ll have to drop something else.

    For this itinerary an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass is ideal. It will cover all of your trips, except for additional seat reservations for the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. Your sons will travel along for free on all trips if you get the free Swiss Family Card. Please find purchase options at myswissalps.com/swisst ravelpass/price. I recommend http://www.swissrailways.com/ en as they allow you to print your pass at home without any processing or shipping fees. The Swiss Family Card can be ordered along as a free e-ticket as well.

    1 post
    19 October 2016 at 14:20:47 #856629

    Thanks Annika for the helpful information!

    The main reason for the Zermatt – St. Moritz train is partly to enjoy the view along the Glacier express route and to start the Bernina express at St. Moritz. If I do change the itinerary and not do the Bernina Express, then I can have an additional day in Interlaken and also in Zermatt.

    I know I can still use part of the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Andermatt and then connect with Gotthard Paronama. Does this also connect to Zurich and how long will the travel be?

    I look through the time table and realised that some weeks between November and December, the Glacier Express doesn’t operate and will have to do with the local trains. Will we still enjoy the same panorama view as the glacier express?

    7001 posts
    20 October 2016 at 9:52:03 #856630

    Hi songbirds13,

    I fully understand your choice for scenic train trips. Whether or not to add extra days in Interlaken/Zermatt at the cost of the Bernina Express is really up to you. Indeed, you can save even more time by taking the Gotthard Panorama Express route if you leave the Glacier Express in Andermatt. That route (the official Express does not operate in November/December) will get you as far as Lucerne, but you can easily catch a train to Zurich once you’re there. All connections can be found in the timetable. Make sure to enter via-stations along the line you’re looking for, to avoid the timetable from presenting the quickest default routes only. You’ll miss out on a beautiful section of the Glacier Express in this case though, and St. Moritz can be absolutely beautiful in November/December. Difficult choices, I know :-).

    Yes, regular trains will give you the exact same views as the Glacier Express trains. Please see “Regular trains versus Glacier Express” at myswissalps.com/glacie rexpress

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