My 8 day trip Zermatt, Lugano, Pontresina, Murren

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ChrisSass
ChrisSass
23 posts
new member
Sep 19, 2017 - 11:02 AM

Flew in on Easyjet to Geneva £109 Return with 1 Rucksack in hold, turn left down to train station and we had 8 Day Swiss Pass, got on train to Visp first thing that a U.K Resident will notice is nice clean rolling stock , and not a sound coming up through the rails sleepers or wheels , so smooth and silent.

Changed at Visp to Zermatt and got in at 1814 and because it was a clear evening got straight on to the Gornergrat rail 1830 train which is cheaper 28CHF Return . Great journey up came back down and the train curved past our Hotel Capricorn for the evening 67CHF with breakfast .

Day 2 was to Brig - Domodossola - Locarno - Lugano . Had a Coffee in Brig in Cafe on the exit ramp and got on train to be told it was delayed slightly as it was waiting for The Simplon Tunnel to Clear, left about 10 mins late , as the train emerges to drop into Domodossola there is a big wow from every body on the train, stunning views all round . The Centovalli was held back to get us all on in time, then off it climbs up the hill switching and switching then up and down the Valle Vigezzo to Locarno changed to Giubiasco then got an IC to Lugano. Turned left and got a Funicular which drops you to to a square near the Lake front and found our Hotel Nassa Garni 130 CHF with breakfast you can get a Ticino card at Hotel and this lets you get round the area for free but its already covered on the 8 Day Pass. Tried to get up the Santa Maggiore peak near by but last funicular up left at 1800 and the ferries had finished by then , we could have gone on a Grotto Ferry tour but it would have meant a 2230 Finish so we retired to bed.

Day 3 we left Lugano on IC868 to Bellinzona at 1011 and got the 1045 Bus 171 to Thusis which was reserved on the Swiss Bus Autopost web page which is very simple to do and when you get on bus driver has your name. It went up the Passo di S. Bernadino 2065 metres but did not go over the old road but went through a fairly new tunnel and the on to Splugen but did not go down the famous winding switch back mountain!. We stopped in Thusis for a bite at a lovely Cafe Gyger on main street , it was market day on Wednesday and was bustling. It is only a short uphill walk of 5 minutes to get to centre.Then joined The Glacier route to Samedan and changed to Pontresina "Just a little tip for every body, at no stage did we book on any of the Special reserved trains and we had train carriages to ourself's and were able to open windows to take photos and move side to side to take in the views and take photo's . On all these routes other trains move along the same way at regular intervals apart from The Centovalli which we just rolled up to" . Dropped bag at Hotel Steinbock in Pontresina, little tip this town is steep so arrange for Hotel to come and pick you up which they will usually do for free.It was a lovely Wednesday afternoon so we trotted down to station and got the next Tirano bound train up to Ospizio Bernina to hike down to Alp Grum , on the way up it passes the Morteratsch Glacier on the right and same again we had carriage to ourselves as it was a normal service so we were side to side taking photo's to our hearts content till we alighted at Ospizio Bernina and walked south on the eastern flank of Lago Blanco to the descend a lovely hill and forest to come out at a Cafe right above the Alp Grum Station, way down in the Valley below we could see the train station in Poschiavo which is a further 2.45 hours away downhill so we descended steeply to Alp Grum and got the next train back down to Pontresina.

Day 4 involved lots of changes as we wanted to experience as much as possible so we set off with short hop to Samedan then down The Glacier to take in The Albula Preda Tiefencastel back down to Thusis and were meant to get off at Reichenau Tamins but the carriage doors would not open as they were faulty so had to go on to Chur which wasted an hour . We went to a Cafe in Chur for the usual Coffe Sandwich and Cake . So off we went to Disentis / Muster then on over the Oberalp pass to Andermatt as before carriages to ourselves opening windows taking photo's all the way up , then it is a sharp descent to Andermatt junction where there are really impressive gorges waterfalls and raging water right next to the train as we descended to Goschenen then past the Wassen loop which gives great views of the Church in Wassen . changed at Erstfeld to Brunnen and got a local bus along the lake to our hotel in Vitznau See und Seminar 100CHF with Breakfast , again it was such a clear afternoon we dumped bags off and went on local bus To Vitznau Ferry terminal to get Mt Rigi Train which is opposite. Went to The top and had great views all around but did not linger as it was very chilly on the tops, came back down to hotel.

Day 5 the hotel gave us free lift down to Ferry point for 0910 Ferry to Beckenreid which is on opposite side off lake where we got a local bus to Stans where i had a treat as it went past the famous Pilatus Aircraft factory. At Stans we got on train to Hergiswil then train to Alpnachstad where we got cog rail up to Pilatus Kulm then changes to Cable to Frankmuntegg to Kriens , local bus back to Luzern, then on to Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen then Funicular up to Grutschalp to connect to train to Murren which was to be our base for next 3 days. All the previous connections run smoothly as that is how the Swiss Travel System works. When we got to Murren found our Hotel Jungfrau 300CHF for 3 night with breakfast and again dumped bags and got local funicular up the Allmendhubel 4.40 CHF Single and walked back down through beautiful meadows and farms to our Village, not mentioned earlier as we pulled away from Grutschalp we had clear views of Jungfraujoch Monch and the Slab of Straight rock that is The Eiger.

Next morning we caught cable to Gimmelwald then to Stechelberg and walk down Lauterbrunnen valley North with the river by our side, in Lauterbrunnen we did lovely train journey up to Wengen village and paid to got on cable one way to Grund which is just outside Grindelwald, this came in at 28CHF one way and we kept getting off on route at Mannlichen and lower down to take photo's of The Eiger and the surrounding area , at Grund we local bussed to Grindelwald and went for coffee , then train back down to Wilderswil to connect on the train to Schynige Platte, great little train journey up a lovely mountain overlooking Brienzersee and Thunersee. At the top it was Snowing and sleeting in mid Sept so we beat a hasty retreat down where we saw the local Cows walking back in on there own to get milked.Went in to Interlaken for a bite and got the last 2030 funicular up to Murren , if you miss this you can still get up via Stechelberg and Gimmelwald up to about 2330 .

Day 7 was to take in the Golden route. So we dropped down to Interlaken Ost and went to Spiez along the Thunersee and connected up to Zweisimmen making sure we were on normal trains this went past some stunning village's like Gstaad, Chateau d'Oex, Montbovon and then descends into Montreux we had a break for the usual and connected to Vevey Palezieux Chatel St Denis on to a stunning little town called Bulle, we tried connecting on back by bus to The Golden but we were too late to get right through the Jaunpass and could only get as far as Jaun , so we got the train from Bulle to Gruyeres on back to Montbovon connecting back on to The Golden back to Spiez then back , because we were late we had to bus and cable back from Lauterbrunnen up to Stechelberg and Gimmelwald up to Murren , it was spooky ascending through the low cloud in the dark on the cable.

The final day we fast trained it back via Spiez - Bern - Lausanne so we could experience the afternoon boat from Lausanne back to Geneve leaves at 1405 and got in to Geneve at 1750 , Lac Leman was like a mill pond and hardly any people on the boat, about 20 people!, we went for bite in Geneve then fast train to Airport for the delayed Easyjet return. We probably saved about 400 by buying the 8 Day Pass . Holiday came in at about £1000 and was probably a bit full on for most people's itinerary , if i went again i would do exactly the same. The scenery was unbelievable and we took hundreds of photos, i may at some stage put some up but it would take age's!!

The only downside is the ridiculous cost of food in Swiss restaurants which we did not do and cost of going up Jungfraujoch which we did not do. We would have done Schilthorn but it was not clear enough for us to hike down so we passed, hope the enclosed itinerary is off some us to other adventurers.

From Chris

Arno
Arno
11353 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 19, 2017 - 5:46 PM

Hi Chris,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to write down all of your Swiss adventures. I think you are right in saying that your travel pace is higher than average. You did see a lot in little time! If you can post some images here that would be great. The current limit is 10 per post, and each can be 1 Mb max.

ChrisSass
ChrisSass
23 posts
new member
Sep 19, 2017 - 6:27 PM in reply to Arno

Ill pass on the photos as they are all high Res and it would be so time consuming to figure how to reduce to be able to upload.

The saving on buying a Swiss 8 Day was 337CHF

With a Swiss Half Fare Card the above total would have been 744CHF

Our total was 406.90

Big Thanks to all the contributers to this amazing Info Portal.

We could not have done the above trip without all your help

Hope my little story inspires just one of you to do the above

as you will not be disappointed.

From Chris

Mvmomcat
Mvmomcat
43 posts
active member
Sep 21, 2017 - 4:27 AM

Wow, you did a lot in just over a week! Loved reading about your adventures. We stayed in Bulle and thought it was a very lovely town too.

ChrisSass
ChrisSass
23 posts
new member
Sep 21, 2017 - 8:10 AM in reply to Mvmomcat

Wish we had more time for Bulle and Gruyeres area

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