Home bases for June holiday in Switzerland

Home bases for June holiday in Switzerland

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Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Apr 8, 2017 - 1:53 PM in reply to elbarcosr1

Hi Elbarcosr1-

I did not look at the maps and schedules in any detail, but that sounds like an excellent suggestion.

Any of the choices described -

Varenna then the Bernina Express, and onward from Chur, or,

Stresa and then either the route via the Simplon Pass ( througth Domodossola to Brig, then via the old upper route by way of Kandersteg to Spiez and Interlaken, then Wengen), or,

Stresa to Locarno and Bellinzona, then over the Gotthard Pass ( not under) to Luzern via Flüelen (with an option of the boat ride from Flüelen to Luzern,

all would be very scenic train rides.

The Gotthard route could put the Luzern base before the Wengen base, which might make sense depending on when Laurie is traveling.

Laurie would have to spend some time with the timetable, because, as you note, any route that goes via the Bernina Pass adds kilometers and time, although starting from Varenna helps with that. There are always trade offs.

I have ridden all three of those alpine pass routes, the Bernina only 4 times ( twice in each direction) but the Gotthard and Simplon routes 10's of times.

My own preference is for the old upper Gotthard route, because I really enjoy the impressive railway engineering, but such preferences are quite personal. I have taken the boats on Lake Lucerne many times, but never combined them with the trans-Gotthard rail route in one journey.

They have recently renamed the combined journey:

www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress

Slowpoke

lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
Apr 22, 2017 - 4:44 PM

Thank you all for your responses. It's taken me this long to somewhat finalize the bones of the trip. In regards to when we are traveling:

1) June 4 arrive in Milan and take the train to Stresa

Stresa till June 8

2) train to Lugano. Lugano overnight

3) train to either Tirana, St Moritz or Chur for an overnight ( would LOVE suggestions)

4) train to Wengen. Wengen from June 10-14

5) train to Lucerne. Lucerne for 2 nights

6) train to Zurich. Overnight then fly home.

I have airline and 2 hotels booked so I am feeling pretty committed to this plan. I would love any suggestions, and thank you all for helping me to get this far!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Apr 22, 2017 - 11:26 PM in reply to lauriejnee

Hi Laurie.

That looks like a very good itinerary.

Thanks for the dates. I really like this following hike, and you will too, if you have decent weather, and if the trail is open that early in June.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

Two years ago I was up there on June 15th,. The trail had just opened within a day or so of that date. Lots of snow still around. It had blocked the trail until just a day or so before. Unfortunately, we had only a slight break in the clouds, so chose not to make the hike.

The later in June that you can get to the Jungfrau region, the better.

Unfortunately, this is too far in advance to ofer a prediction on weather or trail conditions. Once you are in the region, check with tourist offices or the staff at train stations.

You asked about recommendation for section 3. Here is more detail on the option that I recommended earlier in the thread. Personally, if I were doing it, and, mind you, everyone has personal preferences, I'd go from Lugano to Flüelen in your section 3, then continue to Luzern by boat or by train. I'd probably take the lake boat from Flüelen to Luzern independently, or as part of the Gotthard Panoramic Express:

www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress

That does take more time than staying with the train as I note in the following paragraph.

Or, you could simply stay on the train and go Luzern (you might have to change at Arth Goldau...some of the trains from Italy go to Zürich, some to Luzern, and they arrange a really easy change of trains at Arth Goldau if you happen to be on the wrong one. Get off, walk across the platform, and get on).

Then, I'd move Wengen two days later. At that time of year, even a couple of days makes a difference for hiking in the Jungfrau region.

Since you plan to overnight in Zürich, you can go to Zürich from Wengen on the day before you fly out.

Just my personal take on the options.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 23, 2017 - 12:48 AM by Slowpoke
lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2017 - 3:17 PM

Slowpoke,

thank you for the simple idea of moving Wengen to the end of the trip. I am going to look for a panoramic train from Lugano to Lucerne and then go to Wengen last. That will put us there thru the 16th so hopefully we can do the KM trail.

I will eventually post my final itinerary. You would think I NEVER planned a trip before with all the questions and changes I've made!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Apr 24, 2017 - 3:42 PM in reply to lauriejnee

Hi Laurie-

If indeed you manage to get up to Männlichen on the last days of your trip, that will be a high point from a scenery perspective, and possibly from an altitude perspective as well. ;-)

<<"I am going to look for a panoramic train from Lugano to Lucerne and then go to Wengen last.">>

Look for:

www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress

which includes:

www.myswissalps.com/go tthardpanoramaexpress/ gettingthere

<<"You would think I NEVER planned a trip before with all the questions and changes I've made!">>

Switzerland has such a high concentration of "good stuff" that planning a trip to experience the maximum is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Luckily, the Swiss provide a lot of tools for self-planning. It does take a bit of work to use them, but the more you understand of, for example, the timetable, the more you can be flexible while you are there.

And, this forum has some really helpful members and moderators.

Have great trip.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 24, 2017 - 3:43 PM by Slowpoke
lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
May 2, 2017 - 1:10 PM

Now I am getting to the logistics of my trip.

June 3-8 . Stresa

June 8-9 Stresa to Lugano. Overnight in Lugano. Take train to

Bellinzona as a side trip because it is supposed to be a beautiful ride and an interesting city.

June 9 . bus from lugano to Tirano, train to Chur. Overnight in Chur

June 10 train from Chur to Lucerne.

How is that so far?

lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
May 2, 2017 - 1:14 PM

There is more to the trip but I will figure it out when I get this first part settled.

But.....we will be in Lucerne for at least 2 days and I thought we could take part of the

Gotthard Express as a day trip. That way we would travel both the Bernina Ex. and the

Gotthard Exp.

After that we will leave for Wengen for 4 days.

lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
May 2, 2017 - 1:20 PM

one more thought-

I just read that Chur might NOT be the best overnight stop in terms of a

town with Swiss "charm."

Any other suggestions?

Lucas
Lucas
8830 posts
expert &
moderator
May 2, 2017 - 2:33 PM in reply to lauriejnee

Yes you can do the Gotthard Panorama Express as a day trip to Lugano from Luzern if you like (however you'll have already spent time in Lugano yes? Perhaps go as far as Bellinzona and return from there.

Chur has some character still, as one of the oldest cities in Switzerland, but for good or bad it doesn't have a lot of touristy areas/sites - some love that!

St. Moritz is an option but you need to break up the Bernina Express train and scheduling-wise you aren't able to catch the train again from St. Moritz to Chur - you can take a regional train on the same route though.

Lucas

lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
May 5, 2017 - 3:56 PM

Today I am figuring it out and booking (or at least buying the train pass).

Stresa for 5 days.

Day 6- train from Stresa to Lugano via Milan- overnight in Lugano.

Day 7- bus from Lugano to Tirano (3 hours) . Train from Tirano to St. Moritz (2.5 hours)

overnight in St. Moritz

Day 8-St. Moritz to Chur by train (2 hr). Chur to Lucerne by train (2.5 hour)

Lucerne for 2 nights.

Wengen for 4 nights.

Zurich for 1 night and fly home.

I am planning on getting the Swiss Pass. Once I have it, I can get on all trains but need a reservation

on the "Express" trains?

Does this itinerary work?

Lucas
Lucas
8830 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2017 - 6:04 PM in reply to lauriejnee

Looks good!

Yes, you only need to make reservations on the panoramic trains noted here.

Lucas

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
May 5, 2017 - 7:17 PM in reply to lauriejnee

Hi Laurie-

You may find that you don't have enough time in or near Luzern Luzern. Do you have specific plans that fill 5 days in or near Stresa?

I think that the best part of Bellinzona is the castles. Two of them are near the train station... a few hundred meters away. The 3rd, Castello Sasso Carbaro, where we ate dinner, is up on top of a hill and is a good deal harder to get to. It is the smallest one, as well.

www.google.com/search?q=Castles+in+Bellinzon a&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#tbm=lcl&q=Castles+in +Bellinzona

The town itself is quite nice, but does not have too many other major tourist attractions.

Luzern has many times as many the tourist attractions, a nice old town, and a beautiful lake, and many more tourists.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

Slowpoke

Slowpoke

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 5, 2017 - 7:22 PM by Slowpoke
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lauriejnee
lauriejnee
20 posts
new member
May 6, 2017 - 2:20 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi to all!

Slowpoke, in response to your question about Stresa, I think I can easily fill

5 days there, and that is going to be the "relaxing" part of the trip.

I was thinking about my other options:

1) Go quickly from Stresa to Lucerne in a day, and get those extra night(s) in Lucerne.

That would mean cutting out Lugano overnight (but we can see that from Stresa), and cutting

out St. Moritz and the Bernina Express. Not sure about that.

2) 3 nights in Lucerne and then 3 nights in Wengen (instead of 4). Would I be selling myself short

on Wengen and that area?

All thoughts are appreciated, and thank you ALL for your help!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
May 6, 2017 - 2:43 PM in reply to lauriejnee

Hi Laurie-

They're all good! ;)

The relaxation is important.

I tend to forget that the travel in the latter part of your trip will not be so relaxing. I've been there so often that getting on a train or walking around those areas is very relaxing fo rme. My wife has even said something to that effect, so it's obvious. ;-)

I think either arrangement of Luzern and Wengen makes sense. One thing that might influence your decision is weather. Upon your arrival in Luzern, and on the day you plant to leave, stop at the tourist information office by track #1 and ask them about the weather, and the forecast near the Jungfrau, and for Luzern. It the weather on high at Jungfrau and even Männlichen is cloudy, and the weather in Luzern not so cloudy, maybe favor Luzern. In early June, neither town would be really crowded, so you are likely to easily find a room in Wengen on short notice. And, your innkeeper in Luzern might be accommodating if he or she had advance notice that you are leaving early. Depends on their cancellation policies, too.

I generally don't do that. I stick to my itinerary once it is set, but, it is an idea. I tend to go where planned, then take a train to somwhere else, if the wether looks better elsewhere. I lioke to stay in one place for a few days.

The weather in Luzern isa bit more predictable and warmer ( lower altitude) than near the Jungfrau, but both are changeable, sometimes very quickly, because of the influence of the mountains.

I note that there was significant snow in the mountains just a few days ago.

I just checked webcams-

Today at 1640, Männlichen has a significant snow cover ( 2300 meters +/-) and Wengen (1300 meters +/-) is wet and rainy, with no snow on the ground.

You can use those webcams to keep an eye on conditions, too.

Doesn't work for Stresa ( in Italy) but Locarno and Lugano are rainy, with some sun showing through just a bit at Locarno.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
May 6, 2017 - 7:15 PM in reply to Slowpoke

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