Switzerland for 4 days before Via Francigena hike

Switzerland for 4 days before Via Francigena hike

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jilly
jilly
10 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2018 - 10:51 PM

We are flying into Zurich in September, and I planned 4 nights enjoying Switzerland before arriving at Great St. Bernard Pass, where we will begin walking the Via Francigena into Rome. We travel a lot, but Switzerland seems to require a lot of planning in order not to waste time and resources. We love hiking, but since we have a 1,000 kilometer hike ahead of us, I thought we'd enjoy scenic trips with some hiking, and cities instead of a lot of physical activity (we are a couple in our 60's). I planned 3 nights in Lucerne (going directly on the train from Zurich on the evening we arrive), and then 1 night in Bern, and then we'll take transport to St. Bernard for the 5th night before starting our walk. I've gotten far enough to see that we might want to see Rigi, Titlus, and/or Pilatus in Lucerne. Thanks for your replies.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5010 posts
expert
Jul 4, 2018 - 11:54 PM in reply to jilly

Hi Andrea_4 -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

You have certainly laid out an impressive and extensive program.

I hope that you get to the South before the snows arrive.

However, I do not detect a question in your comments.

If you are curious about the named mountains, search for them by name in this website.

Also-

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

and,

www.myswissalps.com/be rn.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 12:03 AM by Slowpoke
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jilly
jilly
10 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2018 - 12:02 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Ha ha! I was interrupted before I got to my question, which is simply, do Lucerne and Bern seem like good choices before traveling on to St. Bernard? And am I correct in thinking we can take a train from Bern to Osiers, either via Visp or through Montreux, and then take a bus on to St. Bernard Pass?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5010 posts
expert
Jul 5, 2018 - 12:06 AM in reply to jilly

Hi Jilly-

Spend some time with the timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Slowpoke

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 5:37 AM in reply to jilly

Hi Jilly,

Certainly an adventure you've planned! How long are you planning to take to do the trip?

Lucerne and Bern are some of the nicer, large towns in Switzerland for sure. If you want a good mix of city and mountains they are a good option. Montreux could be another good option.

https://www.myswissalp s.com/lucerne
https://www.myswissalp s.com/bern
https://www.myswissalp s.com/montreux

If you are planning train travel each day for 3/4 days you may want to invest in a rail pass, like the Swiss Travel Pass as well: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass

jilly
jilly
10 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2018 - 5:56 PM

Thank you for the replies. We plan to fly out of Rome on October 25, so have given ourselves about 40 days to do the Francigena with a few days for r&r. We have arranged to rent bikes for a 200 k. portion that will save us a few days. This will be our 4th long distance walk (over 30 days). Thanks for the suggestion of Montreux. It has a lot to offer, but we hiked the Tour de Mont Blanc a couple years ago and explored the surrounding area then.

Does it make sense to wait to purchase the STP on arrival, based on what we can tell about weather? If we don't end up doing any of the mountain trips, we won't benefit from the pass. In any case, I think it will be a wash money wise, but could be convenient.

If purchasing tickets for Pilatus, Rigi, or Titlus, can you buy tickets for all the transport at one time, or do you need to go to a ticket booth for each leg of the journey?

Any scenic reason to choose one or the other route from Bern to St. Bernard (via Lausanne or Visp)? It looks as though both are possible.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5010 posts
expert
Jul 5, 2018 - 7:00 PM in reply to jilly

Hi Jilly -

<<"Any scenic reason to choose one or the other route from Bern to St.

Bernard (via Lausanne or Visp)? It looks as though both are possible.">>

The run from Bern through Fribourg and Lausanne, then along the lake and on to to Martigny has a lot of very pleasant Swiss scenery, with a lot of variety. I've not done the leg from Martigny onwards.

If you instead take a train called "The Lötschberger " that starts in Bern, goes to Spiez, then goes up and over the historic old trans-Alpine route over the Lötschberg Pass via Kandersteg and down to Brig ( close to Visp) you add an hour over the direct route to Visp and have a very scenic ride .

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ L%C3%B6tschberg_railwa y_line

The computer normally routes you directly to Visp from Spiez via the new "Basis Tunnel." The scenery in the tunnel lacks quality.. To go up and over, insert "Kandersteg" in the "via" box.

The line along the Rhone Valley goes through Brig and Visp, so that is pretty much the same as going directly to Visp.

You won't see much of the detail from the train, but the "rail-trail" along the downward rail line on the south facing flank of the Rhonetal ( die Südrampe) has some interesting sights:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 7:01 PM by Slowpoke
Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2018 - 7:04 PM in reply to jilly

I think you can benefit from the Swiss Travel Pass without any or many mountain trips. It really comes down to the amount of travel you plan each day (to anywhere, between towns ,within towns etc).

Have a look at the validity page here to see what is covered (some mountains are fully covered as well) : https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ validity

Last modified on Jul 5, 2018 - 7:04 PM by Lucas
jilly
jilly
10 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2018 - 9:31 PM

Thanks so much for that detailed reply, Slowpoke. Just what I need to help with a decision. Lucas, I will look thoroughly into the STP to see if it works for us.

Lucas
Lucas
8928 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 6, 2018 - 6:59 AM in reply to jilly

And yes, you can usually buy tickets for the entire trip up a mountain. From Luzern train station to Titlis or other mountain for example.

You will have to go to the ticket office at the bottom of the mountain to exchange your ticket to access the train or cable car though. They typically have turnstiles you need a ticket with bar code to access on-site.

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