Best scenic driving routes from Lausanne to Lugano

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Jaquie
Jaquie
3 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2018 - 1:18 AM

In late May this year, we are driving from Paris to Lausanne and wish to visit Montreux, Bern, Luzern and then on to Lugano and the Stelvio Pass. We are keen to take scenic routes. We wish to visit Zermatt. What is best way of incorporating this? Also, years ago, I took a small train up to St Moritz. Is there somewhere comparable as in respect of scenary in the area we propose to drive through?

Removed user
Removed user
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new member
Apr 17, 2018 - 6:22 AM in reply to Jaquie

Hi Jaquie, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

I will have to leave most of your questions to others, but will address those that I can.

>> In late May this year, we are driving ... on to Lugano and the Stelvio Pass.

I wouldn't expect the Stelvio Pass to be open so early.

This road is usually open from June to September, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow ... and it’s not unknown for the road to stay closed until July if there’s been a late fall of snow.

www.dangerousroads.org /europe/italy/58-passo-dello-stelvio-italy.html

>> We wish to visit Zermatt.

Zermatt is car-free, but there is a big parking facility in Täsch, and a shuttle train to take you the rest of the way to Zermatt.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Apr 17, 2018 - 10:34 AM by Arno
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 17, 2018 - 7:48 AM in reply to Jaquie

Hi Jaquie, welcome,

To Alpenrose's point, don't expect mountain passes to be open. I often go to Lugano in May and I always have to take the regular highway. So this year I've decided to go by train as I would like to enjoy beautiful scenery which you don't get on the high way.

For road conditions and mountain pass details click here: www.myswissalps.com/ca r/trafficinfo

Peterli
Peterli
564 posts
top member
Apr 17, 2018 - 9:37 PM

I too have concerns about the Stelvio being open in late May. This website www.bormio.eu/category /about/situazione-passi/ gives the present situations for the many passes in Northern Italy, with the key words for each being APERTO (open) and CHIUSO (closed). I would bookmark this page and check it every once in a while. If I find a better site, I will post it.

1960man
1960man
593 posts
top member
Apr 17, 2018 - 10:33 PM

A few points from me:

1) The high pass roads in the direction you clearly want to go may well still be closed.

2) Zermatt is quite far south (and not accesible to tourist cars), and once you are in the Valais, your exit routes through the mountains may be limited: the Furka pass will still be closed, the alternatives are the Lötschberg tunnel car carrying shuttle which links Visp to the Bernese Oberland, or possibly the Grimsel Pass which may be open by late May.

Alternatively you could go Brig - Simplon Pass - Domodossola and then through Italian territory to reach Lugano area.

On the way you will see many pretty Swiss villages which are much nicer than the over glitzy St Moritz! Travelling by car has the advantage that you can stop at any time in any village you pass through.

Jaquie
Jaquie
3 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2018 - 11:07 PM in reply to Jaquie

Thank you for your input. Clearly, we need to re-think our plans especially in respect of travelling via the passes. As we have booked a car from Paris, train travel in Switzerland is not an option. The areas we are most keen to see are Lausanne, Zermatt, Luzcern and our priority is to enjoy the scenery (I know! driving is not the best option for this but I was outvoted!) travelling via lesser roads. Is there a round trip we could do by train in a day that you would recommend? I believe there is a train ride going from Engelberg but not sure how scenic it is. Thanks. Jaquie.

1960man
1960man
593 posts
top member
Apr 18, 2018 - 12:03 AM

Lausanne is a busy place for a car! Parking etc will not be easy.

It's not worth driving to Zermatt either as tourists cars are not allowed, so you have to go by train part of the way. This means that it is actually better to go by train all the way!

I recommend you stay at Montreux, Villeneuve or Aigle and visit towns by local train.

Aigle is a much overlooked place but has a historic castle, family hotels (eg Hotel du Nord), and mountain railways to Leysin, Champéry and Les Diablerets, all scenic rides.

Zermatt is also doable in a day from Aigle

Aigle is a short train ride along the lake to Montreux, but a car gives you the advantage of getting to hotels along the lake and in the country easily, rather then being limited to staying in main towns as rail travel tends to do.

A good circular rail trip would be AigleMontreux - Spiez - Lötschberg mountain route - Brig - Visp - Martigny - Aigle/Montreux

Engelberg railway is OK, not mega spectacular, especially since they put the upper section into a tunnel (replacing a fantastic steep incline through pleasant woodland)

Jaquie
Jaquie
3 posts
new member
Apr 18, 2018 - 10:20 PM

Thanks again. The responses have been most helpful along with other posts to decide our final itinerary. Jaquie

Peterli
Peterli
564 posts
top member
Apr 18, 2018 - 10:45 PM

Here is another site which will be helpful for those wanting to know the status of the alpine passes in Switzerland. It is called Alpenpässe.ch and it provides all kinds of historical information about each pass. Those wishing to use this website in German can click on DE in the red box at the upper right of the home screen.

For information about the roads anywhere in Switzerland, you can find this here on the Touring Club Switzerland website. There is a map on this page, and you can click between French, German, and Italian. Sorry no English.

Last modified on Apr 19, 2018 - 12:11 AM by Peterli

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