12 days in May Zurich, Lugano, Wengen, Montreux

12 days in May Zurich, Lugano, Wengen, Montreux

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ncs18
ncs18
5 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2017 - 8:00 PM

hello,

thanks in advance for helping us out on the below. :)

we are a group of 5 youngsters , planning a 12 days trip Switzerland in may2017.

our so far planned itinerary is :

day 1 : land in zurich and directly take the train to lucerne. spend the rest of the day in lucerne. night @ lucerne.

day 2 : take the The Gotthard Panorama Express route : Lucerne to Flüelen by boat / Flüelen to Göschenen by train.

confusion for us here : we would like to take the glacier express as well . would you recommend we change here and go from Göschenen to andermatt and board the glacier express ?

- reach moritz / stay overnight ? or can we directly go to lugano? ( if possible / ideally we would like to reach lugano directly while we also want to be able to take glacier express + parts of Gotthard Panorama) not sure if staying overnight in moritz will be necessary ?

- how long is this train journey ?

day 3: stay in lugano

day 4 : sight seeing in lugano

day 5: head to wengen .

- is there a scenic train for this route : lugano to wengen ?

day 6 + 7 + 8: from wengen do : schilthron / jungfrau / visit neighboring villages of lauterbrunnan, grindelwald, murren / day trip to bern if time permits or weathers bad

day 9: take the golden pass and head to montreux. lavaux winery, chateau de chillion

day 10 : day trip to gstaad + glacier 3000 ( maybe rent a car ? )

day 11 : nestle cocolate factory + gruyeres cheese factory ( maybe rent a car ? )

day 12 : back home.

- while reading your forum , we have realized that the swiss 8 DAY TRAVEL PASS may work best / cheapest for our itinerary . we will be ok renting the car for the last 2-3 days of our trip in montreux .

will this be doable ? does it make sense ?>

- any help on the itinerary / alternative routes / alternative places will be helpful.

- our main confusion is with the train routes. while we want to make the best of our swiss pass, its getting confusing on where to board what train from.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3720 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2017 - 3:07 AM in reply to ncs18

Hi NCS18,

I'm no expert but your day 2 looks problematic. The Glacier Express leaves Andermatt at 11.54 so there is no way you can catch it via the Gotthard Panorama connection. You maybe able to take regional trains Luzern - Göschenen-Andermatt to get you there in time.

Don't forget also that the Gotthard Panorama only runs weekends and public holidays in May.

I doubt you will be able to connect St Moritz to Lugano on the same day. You could go next day via Bernina Express to Tirano then bus Tirano to Lugano. Also The Palm Express bus runs direct from St Moritz to Lugano.

Above is based on research I recently did for a similar trip. I came to the conclusion that the best way to fit in all the panorama trains was to go Luzern - Montreux (Golden Pass) Montreux - Brig.

Then Brig to St Moritz (Glacier Express) then St Moritz - Lugano (Bernina Express Train and Bus) then Gotthard Panorama (or regular train equivalent if not on a weekend in May) back to Luzern.

If you followed that route you could stop off at Wengen along the Luzern - Montreux leg. Depends whether you are already committed to finishing your trip on Montreux.

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 27, 2017 - 8:12 AM in reply to ncs18

Hi ncs18 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Yes, I think the train trips you are trying to do are making things unnecessarily difficult for you. Have a look at the links for the train and route descriptions that Rockoyster mentioned above.

The Glacier Express is 8 hours and the Bernina is 4 hours (full routes). These two trains and the scenery they go through is similar so I wouldn't try and do both.

Perhaps Luzern to Chur and take The Bernina Express to Lugano, overnight there as needed and when you are ready to go take the Gotthard Panorama Express (if running on the date you need) to Luzern. If the panoramic train isn't running you can take regular trains on the same exact route (explained on the GPE page linked on Rockoyster's post.

Then from Luzern head to Montreux on the Golden Pass train. I wouldn't recommend renting a car during your trip - everything is much simpler/easier to reach by train. You can buy a Swiss Travel Pass Flex for 8 days and use it on the most expensive 8 days of travel on your trip, and buy point to point tickets for the remainder. Or simply buy the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass and forget about any worries!

Lucas

ncs18
ncs18
5 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2017 - 3:26 PM

thankyou rockoyster & lucas,

for making the time to answer my queries.

i looked into what you recmmended and changed my itinerary a bit : if you could please review.

day 1: Fly into Zurich – take the train to lucerne directly
- spend the day in lucerne, overnight in lucerne

day 2: “- from lucerne, take train to andermatt & board Glacier express until st.moritz. overnight in moritz. ( probably wont get the time to see st.moritz)

day3: next day, board the bernina express , head to lugano

day 4: sight seeing in lugano .

day 5: “- leave from lugano (bellinzona) early morning, take the gotthard express to lucerne/ or the regional train. continue to interlaken on glacier express. reach lauterbrunnan

day6 : sight seeing (lauterbrunnen,murren, schilthron, gimmelwald )

day 7 : day trip to jungfrau

day 8: relax in lauterbrunnan (skydive/atv/activities)

day 9 : board the glacier express down to montreux, lavaux winery

day 10: day trip to gstaad + glacier 3000 + chateau di chillion

day 11 : choc factory + la gruyeres cheese factory

day 12: fly out

- is this all doable ?

- taking the swiss pass for 15 days is turning expensive for 5 of us actually, compared to renting the car for a day or two ( to visit la gruyere + choc factory or gstaad ? , train commutes to these places seem much longer then car)

- also we are taking the scenic trains, almost every other day : so assuming fexi pass wont work that well .. right ?

thanks so so much.

rajikadinesh
rajikadinesh
87 posts
active member
Mar 27, 2017 - 4:19 PM in reply to Lucas

hello

how about catching bernina bus from lugano to tirano, then bernina express train from tirano to st. moritz

overnight stay in st. moritz

then catch a glacier express from st moritz to zermatt

ncs18
ncs18
5 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2017 - 5:13 PM in reply to rajikadinesh

thanks rajikadinesh for replying on this post,

- we dont plan on including zermatt in our itinerary .. so point going all the way there.

thanks

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 27, 2017 - 5:46 PM in reply to ncs18

Hi ncs18,

I have just a couple comments:

Day 5 Luzern to Interlaken is not the Glacier Express :) you will just be on a standard train (although it is part of the Golden Pass route).
Day 9: This is the Golden Pass Train not Glacier Express.

- The Swiss Travel Pass Flex works just fine on "scenic" trains, so I'm not sure what your concern is there?

Regards,
Lucas

ncs18
ncs18
5 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2017 - 6:07 PM in reply to Lucas

hi lucas,

- glacier express from lucerne to montreux, was an error from my end. i meant golden pass.

- swiss flexi pass: any 8 days : chf 420

- swiss travel pass : 8 consecutive days : chf 376

- i am not sure which one would be the best for us to buy for 5 of us , based on our itinerary .

its coming to spending 44chf extra if we go for the flexi pass ( total of 220chf more for 5 of us) . not too sure yet if its worth .

any recommendation ?

thanks a ton again. :)

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 27, 2017 - 6:33 PM in reply to ncs18

How about CHF 458 for a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass and have transportation as well as museum entrance included?

Lucas

ncs18
ncs18
5 posts
new member
Mar 27, 2017 - 7:10 PM in reply to Lucas

hey Lucas

not sure why would you rather not recommend swiss travel pass?

with 15 day travel pass , we pay 500+chf for 5 of us.

we would need the pass only until we board on our golden pass to reach montreux ideally . (day 9) we would initiate the pass day 2, when we board the glacier express. - makes sense ?

we plan on taking the regional train from zurich airport - lucern, day 1

- we looked into car rentals, it does not look very expensive ( this is just if* we need to rent one while we are in montreux )

i understand and trust that you have far more experience/ knowledge in this,but so sorry just not able to understand the logic , why swiss travel pass ( 8 consecutive days ) is not our best bet.

thanks a bunch

apologies for the back & forth ,just want to make sure we make the most of this trip.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3720 posts
expert
Mar 27, 2017 - 8:46 PM in reply to ncs18

Hi NCS18,

Your revised itinerary looks good.

Just a suggestion if you want to avoid doubling up on the Andermatt - Luzern leg on your way through to Interlaken.

You could get to Interlaken from Lugano via Locarno - Domodossola - Brig (Centovalli Scenic Railway). Then Brig to Interlaken via Kandersteg - Spiez (Loetschberger Express). Downside is you miss out on the first leg of the Golden Panorama route from Luzern to Interlaken this way.

Forget this idea if you are taking the Gotthard Panorama on a weekend and want to include the boat trip from Fluelen to Luzern.

Enjoy your trip.

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 28, 2017 - 5:31 AM in reply to ncs18

Hi ncs18,

I thought the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass would be a better value for you on your trip. For chf 75 more per person you get all transport and many museum entrances etc. included during your entire trip stay in Switzerland (its an even better deal compared to the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass Flex).

If you are planning on renting a car for the 4 days of your 12 days, then certainly the 8 day is the way to go.

Both the 8 day and 15 day can work for your trip - in the end it is your decision!

PS You said you are youngsters on your first post - there is a discount on the STP if you are under 26.

Lucas

Last modified on Mar 28, 2017 - 6:00 AM by Arno

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