Itinerary+Swiss Pass Flex vs Interrail-1-country?

Itinerary+Swiss Pass Flex vs Interrail-1-country?

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MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 13, 2018 - 10:15 PM

Hi,

I shall be travelling to Switzerland for the first time this May.

Day 1 : Dublin- Geneva (2.5 hrs) - Laussane (2.5 hrs) - Grindelwald

Day 2- Day 6 : Stay at Grindelwald. I plan to see Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and Murren in the Jungfrau region, and the Interlaken and Zermatt areas.

Day 6-Day 10 : day trips to Lugano, Lucerne

Day 10 night - home via Zurich

I love nature and scenic views rather than big cities, and am looking to minimize costs also.

In addition, should I buy a Swiss Pass Flex for 8 days or the Interrail 8 day pass ? If Grindelwald to Interlaken is free under the Interrail pass, I am leaning towards it especially with me travelling daily from Grindelwald for day trips. The validity map (myswissalps-doc.r.worldssl.net/doc s/default-source/rail-network-maps/interrail.pdf?sfvrsn=32) shows that Interlaken to Grindelwald is chargeable for Interrail at 50% discount, whilst it is is free for Swiss pass flex holders. Is it correct ?

Please could you advise regarding my itenerary, and the travel pass I should choose.

Thanks all for your help and advice, and a Happy New Year ! :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2018 - 2:10 AM in reply to MW2018

Hi MW2018,

I haven't looked at the relative price of the two passes but the Swiss Travel Pass will definately give you better coverage in Switzerland. Especially once you head up into the Jungfrau Region.

MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 14, 2018 - 2:13 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks for your advice :) , after looking at the differences saw that the swiss pass gives public transportation (buses) and some cable cars additionally which shd make it worth it

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2018 - 2:19 AM in reply to MW2018

Are you staying in Grindelwald for the whole time? Lugano is a long day trip from there.

MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 14, 2018 - 2:28 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi,

I'll be spending the first 5.5 days at Grindelwald and next 4.5 days at Engelberg. I plan on doing the Jungfrau region(wengen, schilthorn, Lauterbrunnen )and Zermatt centred around Grindelwald.

The day trip to Lugano would be from Engelberg, and also mt titlis.

I had really hoped to do one of the scenic train journeys I.e. glacier express gotthard panorama or Bernina express but unfortunately don't think there is any way I can return to Engelberg on the same day :(

On the last day Rhine falls before I fly back to Dublin via Zurich.

Last modified on Jan 14, 2018 - 2:33 AM by MW2018
rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2018 - 4:46 AM in reply to MW2018

Not sure what time in May you are going to be in Switzerland but be aware of some closures spelled out by Alpenrose in this thread www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/gondolarail-access-to-mountains-in-aprilmay-2018.

If you left Engelberg at around 6:00am you could reach Lugano in time to catch the once a day Gotthard Panorama Express departing Lugano 9:32. You'd need to be keen. 😎

If you go to Zermatt make sure that at least in one direction between Spiez and Zermatt you go via Kandersteg. You will then travel on the Regio-Express Lötschberger train over the traditional, more than 100 year old mountain route, giving you a wonderful view along the impressive peaks and down into the Rhone Valley.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3688 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2018 - 6:32 AM in reply to MW2018

Correction Gotthard Panorama departs Lugano 9:23! Makes it pretty tight.

But you can of course follow the same train and boat route on regular trains/boats. You could even just go as far as Bellinzona and return from there. From Lugano of Bellinzona you need to go to Flüelen via Göschenen to follow the route.

Last modified on Jan 14, 2018 - 6:41 AM by rockoyster
Lucas
Lucas
7127 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 14, 2018 - 8:08 AM in reply to MW2018

Hi MW2018,

A couple links for you on the validity maps of the Swiss Travel Pass (Flex is the same) and the Switzerland Interrail Pass.

Depending on your itinerary each day you might be better off buying the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass (non-Flex) as it is not much more than the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass Flex (40chf more). Then all 10 days of your trip is covered.

Use the Swiss Railways Timetable here to help plan out all your trips.

Cheers,

Last modified on Jan 14, 2018 - 8:10 AM by Lucas
MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 14, 2018 - 8:49 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks All for your help !

I am going from May 4th (arriving Geneva at 12 noon) and leaving from Zurich on May 13th.

@rockoyster Thanks for your tip about using the regular bus/train / boat route, and the routes :) really helps a lot !

@lukas - the links you sent are very informative, think I'll buy the consecutive day pass as you advised as it adds far more flexibility. Cheers !

Just creating my final itenerary for the trip.Summarizing, it stands as this. Let me know what you think and is it a bit too ambitious/ any places that should be substituted, removed or added. Only the stays for the night are fixed, hence can't add a stay for the night anywhere.

May 4: arrival Geneva (2 hrs - see the Jet D'Eau.)Travel to Montreaux ( Chateau D'Chillon as a stop) and then onwards to Grindelwald by regular train ( think this covers the golden panorama route )

May 5: Grindelwald hiking, seeing "First" , glacier canyon walk.

May 6: Schilthorn, also stop at Lauterbrunnen and Murren. ( Think all rides from Grindelwald to these places including cable car are free with the swiss pass)

May 7: Zermatt ?? Is this worth it after seeing Schilthorn. Have seen Kitzsteinhorn in Austria so was thinking Junfraujoch might be similar ?

Else will do hiking in Grindelwald on that day.

May 8: nothing planned

May 9 - go to Engelberg via some time spent in Interlaken/Lucerne.

May 10: was thinking of one of the scenic routes, although will have to let go of this idea as it is too tight a schedule to return back to Engelberg for the night. :(

May 11: Engelberg to Lugano. Spend the day in Lugano. / Half day in Lugano : Half day in Luzern.

May 12: nothing planned as such.

May 13: Engelberg to Zurich, see the Rhine falls (2-3 hrs), public transport to get a feel of Zurich and fly back at 9:45 pm.

Thanks again for reading my lengthy posts, really appreciate the same :)

Last modified on Jan 14, 2018 - 9:35 AM by MW2018
Arno
Arno
10747 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 14, 2018 - 9:29 AM in reply to MW2018

Hi MW18,

Just a quick note that Interlaken to Grindelwald is 25% discounted with Interrail (not 50%). It is indeed free with the Swiss Travel Pass. Lucas' links provide all the details.

MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 14, 2018 - 9:41 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno, I'll be buying the Swiss pass as I am centred around the Jungfrau region for 6 days, plus I figure I can use the public transport at Zurich, and the buses which I couldn't otherwise, plus the additional free cable cars with the Swiss pass like the Schilthorn. Was trying to save on money with the interrail but the swiss pass offers far more on looking at the links.

Please could you provide me feedback regarding my itenerary ? Am I missing out on any must sees / going to any places which could be cut out of the schedule/ too ambitious a daily schedule.

Have a Happy New Year :)

Lucas
Lucas
7127 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 14, 2018 - 9:52 AM in reply to MW2018

Hi MW2018,

May 4 is going to be a long day I think...you might want to head straight out from Geneva (depending on your arrival time).

Have a look at the Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch pages - Kitzsteinhorn is similar to both of them..I'd probably just do one mountain.

Engelberg to Lugano is 3+ hours each way so another long day for you. Use the timetable here to plan out your trips if you haven't already. Unless you're set on the RheinFall I'd give it a pass and explore Zurich- but it depends on your interests of course (maybe skip Zurich and do the Rheinfall and then head to the airport.

MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 14, 2018 - 11:08 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks , will then do Schilthorn as it is free .. I plan on going to Lugano early morning and coming back in the evening . Flight to Dublin is at 9:45 pm so I get the whole day there, will see Zurich also and get a feel of the city as you suggested, thanks so much for your advice :)

Do you suggest visiting Zermatt as I shall be visiting Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald... Or wd it essentially be similar ? If I go I'll do the route via Kandersteg. ( I won't go up the Junfraujoch though I'll get the Schilthorn for free.)

Do you suggest any other places for day visits ? I have 4 days(2 Grindelwald and 2 Engelberg)) where I have nothing planned. In addition, I have a day planned for local sightseeing in Grindelwald.

Lucas
Lucas
7127 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 14, 2018 - 4:40 PM in reply to MW2018

Zermatt is nice - but the primary objective for most people is to see the Matterhorn. If that doesn't interest you I'd skip Zermatt.

I like Thun and Lake Thun as a day trip from Grindelwald. Are you looking for hiking options or more mountains to visit?

I haven't been to Engelberg but would primarily suggest a a trip to Lucerne for the day or even Bern and of course Mt. Titlis.

Last modified on Jan 15, 2018 - 9:31 AM by Lucas
MW2018
MW2018
11 posts
new member
Jan 15, 2018 - 8:50 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas,

As per your suggestions, I shall add a day in thun and Lucerne ( saw that the swiss pass includes boat cruises).I am mainly looking to walk amidst nature and with good views .In addition, after looking at the forums, I am substituting Lugano by Locarno as people have mentioned that it retains the old charm of a town, whilst Lugano has become overdeveloped.

I am keeping 2 days (one at Grindelwald and one at Engelber g) t o unwind from travelling and relax.

I would have loved to do the Swiss national park but too tight to make it back to Engelberg on the same day. Should have put more thought into planning the places for overnight stays, something for next time though ( national park i.e. zernez and the glacier express ) :)

Lucas
Lucas
7127 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 17, 2018 - 8:08 AM in reply to MW2018

Yes, most people always find a good reason to come back!

Happy travels.

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