Best route Paris - Switzerland (4 days) - Italy

Best route Paris - Switzerland (4 days) - Italy

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suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 13, 2017 - 1:24 PM

My family of 4 will be travelling to Switzerland from Paris. We are getting 4 days Swiss Pass.

Option 1:

7/9/2018 - Paris to Interlaken

11/9/2018 - Lucern to Chur, Chur to Tirano (Bernina Express), Tirano to Milan.

1. Please suggets best route from Paris to Interlaken

2. If my 1st day using Swiss Pass is on 7/9, my 4 days will expire on 10/9. Can I still enjoy Bernina Express benefits on 11/9 ie. purchase Seat Reservation.

Option 2:

6/9/2018 - Overnight train from Paris to Milan

7/9/2018 - MIlan to Tirano, Tirano to Chur (Bernina Express), Chur to Interlaken

11/9/2018 - Lucern to Venice

Please advise if this is workable and best travelling route.

Thank you!

Lucas
Lucas
5543 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 13, 2017 - 4:59 PM in reply to suhsientan

Hi suhsientan,

Option 2 would be a lot of training around Italy and Switzerland - I would not do that.

Option 1 looks ok. But I would train from Paris to Lucerne (via Basel) and not go to Interlaken. Unless there is something in Interlaken you want to see and do? After Lucerne train to Chur and take the Bernina Express to Milan.

If your Swiss Travel Pass expires on 10/9 then you can't use it for travel on 11/9. You will need to buy a ticket and a reservation (always mandatory even with a rail pass) for the Bernina Express.

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 13, 2017 - 11:03 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas.

We will be staying 2 nights in Interlaken and 2 nights in Lucerne. Is this good?

We intend to visit:

Mt. Rigi

Matterhorn

Chapel bridge

Lion monument

Mt Tiltis

Bern (if time permits)

Grindelwald and surrounding

On 11/9, I will buy ticket for Lucerne to Chur. I am concern if I can buy Reservation ticket with my Swiss Pass that expires on 10/9.

Or, could you give me an alternative.

Thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3374 posts
expert
Oct 14, 2017 - 6:06 AM in reply to suhsientan

Hi suhsientan,

You have plenty of time to finalise your plans. Be aware that the Bernina Express departs Chur for Tirano at 8:32 in the morning. There is a train from Luzern that leaves at 06:10am and gets you to Chur at 8:22am so cutting things a little fine but with Swiss punctuality should be OK. There is an earlier train leaving Luzern at 5:28am if you want to give yourself some leeway. Or you could travel to Chur the night before and overnight there. (All this assume that the 2018 timetable is pretty much the same as the 2017 timetable).

For the other places you plan to visit you really should check the SBB Timetable (the 2018 timetable won't be available until on or after 18 October) to see what is feasible. For example to visit Zermatt to see the Matterhorn is a 4 - 5 hour round trip from Interlaken. See www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Given the amount of time you have in Switzerland I would be tempted to go direct from Paris to Luzern (German spelling) and use that as your base. You won't get to see the Matterhorn but there is much to do in and around Luzern. See www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity

If the Matterhorn is a must then go Paris to Zermatt (via Basel or Geneva) and overnight there. Then on to Luzern the next day. You can go from Zermatt to Luzern via Interlaken or via the Glacier Express route to Andermatt then on to Luzern via Göschenen. The Swiss Travel Pass Areas of Validity Map is a really useful way of getting a good idea of where everything is. See www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity

You can reserve a seat on the Bernina Express (from around 90 days before travel) irrespective of whether you plan to use a Swiss Travel Pass or buy a ticket on the day. Seat reservation and travel tickets are two separate things.

Depending on how much travel you are doing in France and Italy a Eurail Pass may be worth considering even though the coverage in Switzeland is not as good as the Swiss Travel Pass. See www.myswissalps.com/eu railglobalpass

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 14, 2017 - 8:03 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks so much for all the valuable information. I will look into your suggestions.

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 14, 2017 - 8:35 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi rockoyster,

I was told not to miss Matterhorn as it is interesting that we can walk around the place as compared to Jungfrau where we only go up to take a look.

Could you offer me some suggestions based on my number of days in Switzerland. This is our first trip, probably the only trip.

Annika
Annika
4924 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 14, 2017 - 3:46 PM

Hi sushientan,

Yes, the Matterhorn is iconic and scenic, but note that you can't visit the mountain itself. There are viewing points close to it though, such as Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn. In any case you'll have to travel to Zermatt first, and that's a bit out of the way if you plan to stay in Lucerne and Interlaken. It's doable as a day trip from Interlaken (please see the timetable Rockoyster provided), but on the other hand: there are so many scenic day trips to be made in the immediate Lucerne and Interlaken surroundings that you'll have to decide whether seeing the Matterhorn is really worth a long travel day.

Interlaken and Lucerne are great options for a first (and maybe only) stay in Switzerland. Please find suggestions for activities through the links below:

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2124 posts
top member
Oct 15, 2017 - 1:39 AM in reply to suhsientan

>> I was told not to miss Matterhorn as it is interesting that we can walk around the place as compared to Jungfrau where we only go up to take a look.

You can walk around a bit on the snow on the Plateau at the Jungfraujoch. If you have suitable clothing and footwear, and the weather is good, you could also do the hike across the Aletsch Glacier to the Mönchsjochhütte, which takes about an hour each way.

I have attached a photo of people on the Plateau at the Jungfraujoch and of people walking to the Mönchsjoch hut. Both were taken in December last year, in perfect weather.

If you are interested, you can see some more photos I took that day attached to my post of Mar 1, 2017 - 10:12 PM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/itinerary-questions

Alpenrose

Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
10349 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 15, 2017 - 7:33 AM

For substantial walking you can go to the Gornergrat (see Annika's post). After enjoying the views you can walk down, even as far as back down to Zermatt. Several train stops along the way allow you to shorten that hike. Both Jungfraujoch and Klein Matterhorn are snow covered. You can walk there too but it's limited. Klein Matterhorn has the fewest options for walking.

Last modified on Oct 15, 2017 - 7:34 AM by Arno
suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 15, 2017 - 2:36 PM

Thanks for all the great advises.

I am considering to change my plan to the followings. Appreciate your suggestions and advise:

7/7 Fly Paris - Zurich, train Zurich to Lucern. Base 3 nights at Lucern. Mt. Titlis & Lucern town attractions

8/7 Mt. Rigi and please advise what else can be done together with this

9/7 Interlaken - Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, etc

10/7 Day trip to Zermatt (not sure), Zermatt - Chur. Overnight at Chur

11/7 Board Bernina Express to Tirano

How about this?

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 15, 2017 - 2:38 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

Thanks Alpenrose666. The photos are beautiful.

Lucas
Lucas
5543 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 15, 2017 - 8:26 PM in reply to suhsientan

The itinerary seems fine here.

Note Annika's link on Lucerne activities above for ideas on what to do on 8/7.

10/7 - is a long day but workable (as others mentioned) in Zermatt before heading on to Chur by regional train. Be sure to use the Swiss railways timetable to plan out your days and make the decision if the timeline works for you.

Last modified on Oct 15, 2017 - 8:32 PM by Lucas
rockoyster
rockoyster
3374 posts
expert
Oct 15, 2017 - 8:41 PM in reply to suhsientan

If on 10/7 you plan to go Luzern - Zermatt - Andermatt - Chur you are going to be sitting in trains for at least 12 hours. It’s not going to give you much if any time at Zermatt.

Might work better if on 9/7 you went Luzern - Zermatt via Interlaken etc. and overnight at Zermatt.

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 17, 2017 - 5:05 AM

Appreciate some opinion on travelling from Switzerland to Italy via scenic train. Which is a better option

1. Bernina Express

2. Gotthard Panorama Express

Our current base is in Luzern.

Thanks!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3374 posts
expert
Oct 17, 2017 - 5:23 AM in reply to suhsientan

Starting off from Luzern as a base the Gotthard Panorama Express is by far the most convenient and includes a lovely paddle steamer ride along the entire length of Lake Luzern.

I would say as far as the train part goes the Bernina Express is more scenic (in my opinion).

See www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress

If you happen to be in Zermatt (as mentioned in some of your earlier posts) you can also get to MIlan via Domodossola. A quick route but not as scenic as your other options.

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 17, 2017 - 3:31 PM

Reading through all the advises and suggestions, I have worked out the following more detailed itinerary. Do give me your valuable inputs:

7/9 Paris - Zurich -Luzern (1n Luzern)

  • Fly Paris - Zurich (07:35 - 08:50)
  • Train Zurich - Luzern (09:47 -10:49)
  • Activities at Luzern - Lake Luzern, Mt. Rigi, Dying Lion, Chapel Bridge, Jesuit ..

8/9 Luzern - Interlaken - Zermatt (1n Zermatt)

  • Golden Pass Line Luzern - Interlaken (08:06-09:55)
  • Activites at Interlaken - Schilthon, Schynige Platte, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald (if time permits)
  • Train Interlaken - Zermatt (17:08-19:14)
  • Night walk at Zermatt

9/9 Zermatt - Bern - Luzern (1m Luzern)

  • Sunnega
  • Village Tour Zermatt
  • Train Zermatt - Bern (12:37 - 14:54)
  • Bern city tour/walk
  • Train Bern - Luzern (18:30 - 20.03)

10/09 Luzern - Chur (1n Chur)

  • Activties at Luzern - Stanserhorn, Mt, Pilatus, Lucern City
  • Train Luzern - Chur (17:35-19:43)

11/09 Chur - Tirano

  • Bernina Express (08:32 - 12:45)
  • Train Tirano - Milan (13:08 - 15:40)

Looking forward ..

Lucas
Lucas
5543 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 17, 2017 - 5:26 PM in reply to suhsientan

Hi Suhsientan,

8/9: You will only have time for one mountain activity and maybe one town to visit I think.

9/9: Assuming you are out and going by 8am this should be enough time to see the main areas of the town and visit Sunnegga - quickly.

10/09: Again, You could do the city and one mountain only I think.

These comments are my personal suggestions. That is all I would try to fit in each day.

But if you have used the timetable to plan all these trips to towns and mountains and are happy with the itinerary then go for it! :)

rockoyster
rockoyster
3374 posts
expert
Oct 17, 2017 - 9:21 PM in reply to suhsientan

Hi Suhsientan,

You are refining your plans nicely. What you have come up with will work bearing in mind the limitations Lucas has highlighed. If it was me I would prefer 2 nights in Luzern and then to Zermatt via Interlaken. From Zermatt I would take the Glacier Express route using regional trains (via Andermatt to Chur). Changing hotels Luzern - Zermatt - Luzern just strikes me as a bit inefficient. Admittedly with my suggestion you will miss out on a two hour stroll around Bern but I don't think that is a big loss given your tight timeframe. It will give you more opportunities in and around Luzern.

There will always be alternatives and you need to give yourself some flexibility. A Plan B is always handy in the case of bad weather preventing you from enjoying mountain tops.

When going to Schiltorn you can go up to Mürren via Grutschalp from Lauterbrunnen and back to Lauterbrunnen via Gimmelwald and Stechelberg. A nice scenic circuit with cable cars, cog-wheel train and bus.

Whatever you decide I'm sure you will enjoy Switzerland.

suhsientan
suhsientan
15 posts
new member
Oct 18, 2017 - 2:16 AM

Thank you so much Lucas & rockoyster! Both of you have given me much guidance in my planning and am sure we will have a great time in Zwitzerland.

Here are some changes according to your advises:

7/9 Unchanged (2n Luzern)

8/9 Luzern

  • Stanserhorn or Pilatus. Which will be a better choice since I can only do one.
  • Luzern city

9/9 Luzern - Interlaken - Zermatt (1n Zermatt)

  • Golden Pass Line Luzern - Interlaken (08:06-09:55)
  • Schilthon - follow rockoyster's route
  • Train Interlaken - Zermatt (17:08-19:14)
  • Night walk in Zermatt

10/9 Zermatt - Chur (1n Chur)

  • Sunnega
  • Village Zermatt
  • Zermatt - Andermatt (11:37 -15:20)
  • Andermatt - Chur (Glacier Express 15:54 - 18:26)

11/9 Unchanged

I hope this can work !!!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3374 posts
expert
Oct 18, 2017 - 4:40 AM in reply to suhsientan

That will work and looks sensible. I would do Pilatus in favour of Stanserhorn. The round trip, cable car from Kriens to Pilatus and Cog-wheel down to Alpnachstad then ferry back to Luzern is a great trip (or you can do it the other way round as described under Golden Round Trip here www.myswissalps.com/pi latus).

If you only do Schilthorn then you may find you can get to Zermatt earlier. Check the timetable for Interlaken to Zermatt via Kandersteg. It takes you a bit longer but is a much more scenic route than through the longer tunnel on the faster more direct route via Visp.

You may be able to leave Zermatt a little later depending on how late you want to arrive in Chur. In any event you won't be travelling on the actual Glacier Express at those times. Based on this year's summer timetables the latest Glacier Express departure from Zermatt is 9:52am. You will be traveling on regular regional trains along the same route as the Glacier Express. The scenery is the same. Check the new timetables which will be released shortly.

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