Lugano stop in Bellinzona from Gotthard Express

Lugano stop in Bellinzona from Gotthard Express

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Cheri
Cheri
13 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2018 - 1:20 AM

Is there an opportunity to visit Bellinzona from the Gotthard Panorama Express train (starting in Lugano) or do we need to take an early morning regional train to Bellinzona then visit the world heritage site (how much time is recommended) then join the GPE in Bellinzona continuing to Fluelen then taking the boat to Lucern?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3902 posts
expert
Jul 14, 2018 - 3:30 AM in reply to Cheri

Hello Cheri ans Welcome to MySwissAlps,

It is not really practical to combine the castles of Bellinzona with the GPEX.

The GPEX stops for 6 minutes at Bellinzona. It arrives Bellinzona a 9:50 and departs at 9:56 am.

You can get an early regional train Lugano to Bellinzona but be aware that the castles are not open until 10:00 generally. See brochure at www.bellinzonese-altoticino.ch/en/scopr i/patrimonio-UNESCO/castelli.html.

Arno
Arno
11133 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 14, 2018 - 10:38 AM

Hi Cheri,

It would be best to visit the castles the day before. It will take 4 hours to a full day: www.myswissalps.com/ca stlesbellinzona. Or less if you settle for only one of the castles, which is in the town center. Then spend the night in Bellinzona (or travel back to Lugano if you are there for multiple nights) and board the Gotthard Panorama Express the next morning: www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress

Last modified on Sep 6, 2018 - 2:54 PM by Arno
Cheri
Cheri
13 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2018 - 3:37 PM

I truly thank you for the helpful replies concerning Bellinzona, on your advise... we will put that lovely area on hold until our next visit! This is a whirlwind train tour my husband and I are embarking upon, to get a taste of the beauty of Switzerland . We are coming off a river cruise in Basel on August 30th and depart on September 7th 2018. Our focus this trip... to experience the iconic Swiss panoramic train travel as a highlight. Our current itinerary is Basel to Interlaken (using a direct train route to enjoy the afternoon in Interlaken, staying at a grand hotel) OR direct train Basel to Lucerne then take the Golden Pass to Interlaken, next afternoon around 3pm board the GoldenPass to Montreux (hoping to make a reservation on Belle Epoque in Zweisimmen but so far having trouble booking this) The next morning, Saturday, visit Vevey market, then early afternoon Chateau de Chillon, late afternoon take a regional train (any suggestions on route?)to Zermatt where we will stay with a view of the Matterhorn for two nights boarding the Glacier Express 9am Monday staying overnight in St. Moriz, Tuesday morning Sept. 4th catch the Bernina Express train/bus to Lugano, Wednesday morning Sept.5th board the Gotthard Panorama train/boat to Lucerne,overnight in Lucerne, Thursday evening Sept. 6th take a train Lucerne to Zurich Airport then catch a shuttle to our airport hotel as we fly out at 6am on Friday, September 7, 2018. Do you have advice concerning this itinerary? Thanks in Advance!

1960man
1960man
503 posts
top member
Jul 15, 2018 - 12:06 AM in reply to Cheri

The Bellinzona castles warrant a full day

There is only one way from Chillon to Zermatt - fast main line train Montreux to Visp and MGB railway train Visp - Zermatt. On the main line leg along the Rhone valley through the Valais canton (steep mountainsides both sides of the train), look out for the odd geological/geographical quirk that means the Rhine valley has a 90 degree bend in it at Martigny! (look out in passing for the St Bernard train with dog motifs at Martigny) . Then around Sion look for the castles stuck up on top of rock outcrops - another geological feature.

Last modified on Jul 15, 2018 - 12:08 AM by 1960man
Lucas
Lucas
8820 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2018 - 7:52 AM in reply to Cheri

Hi Cheri!

A busy but exciting trip from train enthusiasts! The panoramic trains all require reservations (except the Golden Pass - we do recommend making them from Zweisimmen to Montreux in the summer but in September you should be just fine without if you want to.

Look at the following links for reservation help if needed:

https://www.myswissalp s.com/berninaexpress/p ackages
https://www.myswissalp s.com/glacierexpress/p ackages
https://www.myswissalp s.com/gotthardpanorama express/packages

Cheri
Cheri
13 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2018 - 4:48 PM in reply to 1960man

wonderful details 1960man, Thanks!

1960man
1960man
503 posts
top member
Jul 15, 2018 - 11:12 PM in reply to Cheri

probably has something to do with the fact that I've been travelling that way for 57 years on and off. The bizarre thing is I've done it hundreds of times but still gaze out the window at the scenery on every trip!

apologies for the typo Rhine = Rhone!

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