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Base towns for combined Switzerland-Italy trip


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Kittyc3
Kittyc3
5 posts
new member
Jul 16, 2022 - 11:12 PM

Arriving in Zurich 7:30 pm spend one night, Luzern for 2 nights, Montreaux 1night, Annecy, France 2 nights,

Zermatt for 2 nights, Andermatt 1 night, Pontresina 1 night over to Italy for 8 nights

back to Lugano for 1 night and Zurich for 1 night. Leave Zurich 11:15 am.

Feel like I’m going to be tired going from hotel to hotel for one night. There are just so many beautiful sites to see. Every time I try to redo I find it overwhelming. I am getting a Swiss pass flex for travel in Switzerland for 15 days, Italy one country pass and will pay the travel fees for Annecy France. Euro pass does not some of the areas I want to see.

Any help

1960man
1960man
4133 posts
expert
Jul 17, 2022 - 12:15 AM in reply to Kittyc3

If you are strict about sticking to the circuit implied by your list of stops, then all the 1 nighters cannot be bettered.

However, you could adjust it so that you either change the style of your trip to a one or two base with excursions - as most people do (see many other threads on that...), or you can complete the same circuit with a few tweaks.

To make further comment it would be helpful to know what you intend to see/visit (eg why 1 night in Montreux (not Montreaux)?

In the meantime, you could tweak your circuit, eg

a) eliminate Andermatt as a stay - because it is possible to go Zermatt - Pontresina in 1 day

b) stay in Brig or Visp and visit Montreux and Zermatt from a single base in Brig

c) eliminate a stay in Lugano. Northern Italy (dependant on where you start) - Zurich can be done in a few hours

Arno
Arno
15578 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 17, 2022 - 11:30 AM in reply to Kittyc3

Hi Kittyc3,

That's a common problem :-). There's so much to see and do, and it's difficult to eliminate destinations you're interested in.

I think 1960man gave you good suggestions to cut down the amount of base towns. In addition, you could consider dropping the night in Andermatt and spending additional time in Zermatt (https://www.myswissalps.com/zermatt) or Pontresina (https://www.myswissalps.com/upperengadine) instead. You can get from Zermatt to Pontresina in 1 day, using the Glacier Express route (https://www.myswissalps.com/glacierexpress/gettingthere) or traveling via Zurich and Chur.

If you drop Lugano (https://www.myswissalps.com/lugano), you'll have more time in Zurich. It's a very nice city to spend a couple of days: https://www.myswissalps.com/zurich. And you might feel less rushed during the last part of your trip this way. There are indeed quick connections between Zurich and Italy: https://www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/italy. You can find them in the timetable: https://www.myswissalps.com/timetable.

Your selection of passes/tickets makes sense for your plans. Please refer to the below pages for more information:

Last modified on Jul 17, 2022 - 11:30 AM by Arno
Kittyc3
Kittyc3
5 posts
new member
Jul 17, 2022 - 5:22 PM in reply to 1960man

Thanks so much for your excellent suggestions. I know I can get to Pontresina in one day but it’s a really long day.. I think I will skip Lugano and spend more time in Zurich. Have heard mixed reviews on Zurich.

Arno
Arno
15578 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 17, 2022 - 5:56 PM in reply to Kittyc3

Hi Kittyc3,

Yes, Zermatt-Pontresina will be a long day of traveling. Of course you can add an overnight stay in Andermatt, which is a very nice town in beautiful surroundings. If you take a few hours to explore this area after arrival from Zermatt, of before heading off for Pontresina, a stop is worth it. If you don't plan to do some sightseeing, you may want to consider skipping the hotel in Andermatt and traveling straight to Pontresina, in spite of the duration of the trip. It will give you the opportunity to have one less hotel to check in and out from.

Most important is that you create an itinerary you're excited about. It's about your own travel pace and preferences :-).

Last modified on Jul 17, 2022 - 5:58 PM by Arno
Kittyc3
Kittyc3
5 posts
new member
Jul 17, 2022 - 11:32 PM in reply to 1960man

Thanks so much for your input. I’m very excited to see Switzerland again. I was in Geneva many years ago and also Annecy. Didn’t get to spend much time and I’ve always wanted to return. Now is my chance to travel under my own terms by myself. I won’t be able to do any hiking but I am still excited to see the beautiful scenery. I don’t want to miss any thing but don’t want to run myself ragged. It is getting harder for me to travel so this will probably be my last trip to Switzerland and Italy. I know I could just pay for a tour and leave it all to someone else. I don’t like to be on someone else’s schedule and some days I just don’t feel like doing much. It is lots of work planning it but can’t wait to start my trip.

1960man
1960man
4133 posts
expert
Jul 17, 2022 - 11:57 PM in reply to Kittyc3

I appreciate Zermatt - Pontresina is a long way (as it is a slow mountainous route), but your question was how can I reduce one-night stopovers. Obviously it is your choice between long travel day and fewer on night stays.

I don't think Zermatt - Pontresina in one day will 'feel' that long - as it is all in fabulous mountain areas . One option is to use regional trains and stop off at the best locations. This would allow you to spend time, for example, at Oberalp Pass which is a beautiful place.

StevefromHou
StevefromHou
128 posts
active member
Jul 18, 2022 - 2:09 PM

Kittyc3

If it was me, after landing in Zurich at 7:30 pm, I would take the train to Lucerne, it is just a little more than 1 hr, be sure to take train that doesn't require changing trains in Zurich's main station.

I like Lugano and would rather stay there than extra time Zurich.

Maybe day before flight home you can take Gotthard Panorama Express from Lugano to Lucerne and then catch the train from Lucerne to Zurich.

Have fun!

Arno
Arno
15578 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 19, 2022 - 10:17 AM in reply to StevefromHou

Thanks for sharing your helpful tips Steve! I agree that Lugano is attractive too.

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