Chamonix Mont Blanc with Swiss Travel Pass

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658 posts
top member
Apr 25, 2015 - 3:55 PM

Hello Arno and Annika, I have been busy planning our July-August holiday and have found lots of places we haven't been to on previous trips, many of them away from the busiest tourist attractions. I have been using the sbb timetable to plan our trips which has been very useful as has this site of course. I had some trouble earlier however finding the train connections from Thun to Chamonix Mont Blanc but thankfully have now succeeded. I have received our Swiss Travel Passes and studied the synoptic map provided with them and would like to clarify that the circled no.2 on the last part of the route - no half fare reduction - applies only to the Swiss Half Fare Card and that the whole route will be covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. We are also considering travelling at least part of the Glacier Express route possibly Brig to Chur then returning via Zurich or Lucerne. We don't want to tie ourselves down to a date this early by reserving seats now. Will it be possible to make reservations just a few days in advance at rail station in Thun? Thanks as ever for this great site. Maggie.

5005 posts
expert &
Apr 25, 2015 - 5:24 PM

Welcome back Maggie! Great that you're planning your next summer stay in Switzerland. Looking for unspoilt, non-touristy locations is definitely worth it. You're right, finding connections to Chamonix-Mont Blanc can be a bit of a challenge, as the SBB depends on French data for the French leg of the ride ;-). I'm glad you managed to find the information you were looking for though.

Your interpretation of the Swiss Travel Pass coverage is correct. The ride to Chamonix is for free and the limitation that's visible on the map only applies to the Swiss Half Fare Card.

I understand that you don't want to reserve seats for the Glacier Express right now. You can try to do so a few days in advance in Thun, but there's a risk that the trains are fully booked as they're very popular in July and August. You could just give it a try. If seats are fully booked, you can alternatively travel the same route by regular trains (although that's not as scenic as with the Glacier Express, due its panoramic windows).

Have fun planning your trip, and let us know in case you have further questions!

658 posts
top member
Apr 25, 2015 - 7:03 PM in reply to Annika
Thanks Annika for your quick response. Chamonix has been on our wish list for a few years now so hopefully this year we will actually make that trip. As for the Glacier Express, as we will be in Switzerland for a whole month again, we thought we could go to the station in Thun with more than one date in mind and ask them to check for any available seats on those dates. If not, as you suggest, we can use regional trains on the same route. When people visit Switzerland for the first time, naturally they wish to see the most famous places and we do like to visit them again, but it is now a self-imposed fun challenge for us (on our 15th visit) to see how many different places we can find! I will write a trip report on our return in case anyone else would find our experiences interesting. Maggie

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