Train tickets and route St. Moritz to Bolzano

Train tickets and route St. Moritz to Bolzano

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mathildetol
mathildetol
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Dec 22, 2017 - 12:44 PM

Hi!

I was wondering if there is a train from st. Moritz to Bolzano without traveling through Innsbruck. Is there a shorter way? And where can I buy ticktes? I've to leave st. Moritz at the 11th of March to Bolzano (one-way).

Thanks!

Kind regards, Mathilde

Chantal
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Dec 22, 2017 - 5:22 PM in reply to mathildetol

Hi Mathilde,

The fastest way I found takes 7 hours and goes through Innsbruck. I used the Swiss time table: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

You can buy tickets online: www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/switzerland

rockoyster
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Dec 22, 2017 - 7:16 PM in reply to mathildetol

Hi Mathilde,

The shortest way is to drive but there are bus routes. Unfortunately they take pretty much as long as the train via Innsbruck. See www.rome2rio.com/s/St-Moritz/Bolzano

Last modified on Dec 22, 2017 - 7:16 PM by rockoyster
Slowpoke
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Dec 23, 2017 - 11:32 PM in reply to mathildetol

Hi Mathilde -

A few years ago we did almost all of that route, in the reverse direction ( into Switzerland) without passing through Innsbruck. We chose to finish at Samedan (near St. Moritz), where we picked up a rental car, and then picked up luggage we had sent ahead from Zürich. It is definitely a shorter route by distance than going through the Brenner Pass.

I'll describe our route, in the direction that we took it, because it is easier for me. You can visualize the reverse with a good map. And, a map will make clear what the relations are between the cities. Once in Switzerland, this map shows train lines ( and optionally, train and other transport stops) . Actually, I was amazed to find that it displays the rail line in the Val Venosta. Zoom in and play with the menus.

map.search.ch/?pos=833872,175880&z=32

Once I describe it, you'll realize that it is not simple, but we enjoyed the ride(s).

We stayed in Meran (Italian Merano) , a short train ride from Bozen (German for Bolzano).. The Hotel Greif was wonderful.

There is a modern train from Meran to Malles Venosta. I recall we had to walk down a hill to the bus stop in "downtown" Malles. A short distance downhill (in our direction...luggage might be an issue). Had a nice lunch in Malles while waiting for the bus.

Then, picked up a Swiss bus from Malles Venosta across the border and through the Swiss National Park via the Val Mustair and the Umbrail Pass to Zernez. I recall that it was a Post bus. Picked up the train along the Inn Valley at Zernez, to get to Samedan. Could have continued the short distance to St. Moritz..

In our case, we drove away from St. Moritz to stay in Scuol or Ftan.

Not as complex as it sounds. The route is well established.

We got to the Südtirol (Alto Adige) from Zürich by train through Innsbruck, so we booked our entire trip through the ticket office of the SBB. I recall that there was one leg they could not book, most likely the leg through the Val Venosta, for which we had to book and pay in the Südtirol. Stop to see Oetzi if you have a chance.

If that is not clear, let me know, and I'll try to add more detail.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
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Dec 23, 2017 - 11:48 PM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster -

<<"The shortest way is to drive but there are bus routes.">>

How about snow and blocked passes? March is still winter at high altitudes. Are the necessary passes open?

Slowpoke

rockoyster
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Dec 24, 2017 - 2:18 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Good point. Out of my league here.

Slowpoke
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Dec 24, 2017 - 2:37 AM in reply to rockoyster

<<"Good point. Out of my league here.">>

Hmnn.

Slowpoke

mathildetol
mathildetol
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Dec 28, 2017 - 9:09 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke for the detailed information!! I figured out for the other way around and it will take me in 6,5 hours in Merano. That will be fine, a family member will pick me up from there.

Did you travelled a lot with the Swiss / Itallian public transport? Because now I took a 30 min stop over between the train and bus in Zernez; and a 90 min stopover between the bus in Malles and the train. Is that enough do you think? Or is the public transport running late a lot?

And is it wise to book it in advance?

Thanks a lot for your advise!

Mathilde

Slowpoke
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Dec 28, 2017 - 11:04 PM

Hi Mathildetol-

<<"Because now I took a 30 min stop over between the train and bus in Zernez; and a 90 min stopover between the bus in Malles and the train. Is that enough do you think?">>

It is routine for Swiss trains and connecting buses to make 4 minute connections. There has been considerable annoyance and grumbling in Switzerland recently, because the trains in and out of major cities are sometimes as much as 6 minutes late during the morning and evening rush hours!

It is a matter of national pride for the Swiss that the trains run on time. The entire system runs smoothly with short connection times because the trains do run on time. On the other hand, late trains are the norm in Italy.

So, for specifics.

A 30 minute connection in Zernez is not necessary, but there is little harm in that. It's been a while since I stayed in Zernez, but I don't think that you'll have to wait on the platform, which might be uncomfortable, because it will be cold in March. There is a small hotel at the station, which has a restauraant, so you will have a place to get a cup of coffee if you have to wait. Since the bus does travel through mountain territory, and the one you catch may come from Malles to Zernez, then turn around, it might be a few minutes late if there is a lot of snow. Just in case, you might check the bus schedule on March 11, using the timetable linked by Chantal. I don't think that there are frequent buses on that route.

Usually in Switzerland, there is train every hour, so I don't worry too much about travel connections inside Switzerland. The place I would worry somewhat ( not seriously, just mild concern) about connections is in Malles Venosta. That train route to/from Merano is very simple, so I'd not expect a late train. We walked from the train downhill to the town, to have lunch while waiting for the bus. I don't recall if we could have taken the bus.

I'd be really surprised if the bus does not take you all the way up the hill to the train station. If, by some chance it does not, I think it is about a 15-20 minute walk. The timetable, combined with the map that I linked will help you on that point.

Google maps does not have enough detail, but you can see a bit about the lay of the land by usin it, as well.

If you turn on "Traffic" under "Points of Interest" in the menus of the "Mapsearch.ch" map, you can turn on icons for the transport stops. Mouse over an icon, and you will get the station name and an abbreviated near-term schedule to/from that station stop.

I don't know the frequency of the trains along the valley to Merano. If I were making the trip, I'd make a note of that information.

<<"And is it wise to book it in advance?">>

I don't know.

In Switzerland, it is never necessary to book on public transport. However, the bus to Malles is somewhat special...it is a Swiss bus, but may have different restrictions. I think I'd try to book the bus, but I don't know how, and I don't remember if we did. I think that it could be possible to book via the SBB ticket shop. You will recall that we booked much of our trip via the SBB, because we came from Zürich through Innsbruck on our way to Bozen and Merano.

The small train in Italy was not full, but, once again, who knows?

If I were making the trip, I'd try to book from Zernez onward, but I'm very cautious when traveling in a country where I don't know the routines. My friends laugh at me for over-planning. ;-)

Slowpoke

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Dec 29, 2017 - 8:11 AM in reply to mathildetol

>> Because now I took a 30 min stop over between the train and bus in Zernez

As well as the hotel/restaurant Slowpoke mentioned, there is an indoor waiting room at Zernez station. The bus stop is right outside the station.

Reservations are not required on Bus 811 from Zernez to Mals/Malles, unless you are travelling on the bus that leaves Zernez at 9:34. So you could just hop on the first available bus without waiting if you wanted to. Of course, you would then have a longer wait at Mals/Malles if you have booked a particular train from there. If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, it is valid all the way to Mals/Malles.

>> 90 min stopover between the bus in Malles and the train.

The bus from Zernez stops right outside the railway station in Mals/Malles. There is a small café at the station, where you can get drinks and snacks. I have attached a few photos taken around the station area, including the café menu board.

Here is some more general information about the trip from St Moritz to Mals/Malles that might interest you.

The train route from St Moritz to Zernez is very scenic. Sit on the right. If you are interested, you can see some pictures of this route in my post of Feb 28, 2017 - 4:36 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/chur-to-st-moritz-via-davos

The bus from Zernez to Mals/Malles also travels through some wonderful scenery: through the Parc Naziunal Svizzer (Swiss National Park), over the Pass dal Fuorn (Ofen Pass) and through the Val Müstair (Müstair Valley), before crossing the border into Italy and continuing through some very pretty Italian countryside.

About 10 minutes or so after you pass the Hotel Parc Naziunal - Il Fuorn on the left, you get to Süsom Givè, which is at the top of the Ofen Pass, and the bus then winds its way down into the Val Müstair.

Travelling through the Val Müstair, you pass some beautiful villages with typical traditional buildings decorated with sgraffito or painted façades, including Tschierv, Fuldera, Valchava, Santa Maria Val Müstair and Müstair.

At Müstair itself, on the left at the very end of the village, you can see a beautiful monastery, Kloster Son Jon, which dates from 775, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Almost immediately after passing the Kloster, you cross the border into Italy. When I went through, there were no border checks, but there was a queue of cars coming from Italy into Switzerland, so they must have been doing checks in that direction.

The rest of the trip through Italy to Mals/Malles continues to be very scenic, with scattered villages lying in valleys surrounded by mountains.

A stand-out village is the medieval village of Glurns/Glorenza, which has its town walls still intact. It is there that the PostBus has to squeeze through a VERY narrow archway, the Tauferer Tor, and you will be holding your breath to see if it makes it! Of course it does, because these drivers are very skilled, but your heart will skip a beat! Here is a picture of one of the PostAuto buses going through the Tauferer Tor in Glurns/Glorenza en route to Malles:

tinyurl.com/ycn5rt8v

Alpenrose

Last modified on Dec 29, 2017 - 8:17 AM by Removed user
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Slowpoke
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Dec 29, 2017 - 9:58 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Alpenrose -

Thanks very much for filling in the details that I missed.

And, memory plays tricks... Our trip was substantially more than 10 years ago. I made some mistakes, luckily not fatal, in my earlier post.

In fact, while writing, I had a brief memory of unloading a bit of luggage from the train and putting it in the compartment in the lower part of the bus, but it conflicted with my memory of stopping for a meal in Malles.

Your picture of the bus at Glorenza finally got my memory in gear.

In fact, we got off the train and transferred to the waiting Postbus, right on schedule. I had read about Glorenza. So, we actually rode the bus to Glorenza, got off, had lunch and walked around, and took a later bus to Zernez. Now I remember that we had to haul our bags up some stairs at the hotel/restaurant where we ate in Glorenza. Very friendly staff; we chatted in English a bit.

Then, we waited for the Postbus and saw the passage through the arch. Took a picture or two, like the one you posted. All that stuff is on film...filed by trip, and needs to be scanned to be posted. Not likely to have the time for a while...maybe before Mathilde's trip. ;-).

Your comments on the ride and the countryside are spot on.

The region is full of old villages and retains the feeling of older times. On the Swiss side of the border, at least, the Latin base of the version of Romansch spoken in that part of the canton is in evidence everywhere, as in the village and cloister names. We stayed in the Zernez a few times, as well as Ftan, and drove through the Pass dal Fuorn, not just to hike the trail past the old oven for furnace for converting limestone to lime (il Fuorn), but to drive on and explore some of the villages. The cloister was closed when we were there one day.

The broader region has quite a few remnants of the middle ages; there is a church from the 800's near Tiefencastel, for example. The ossuary is still there, outside the church....or was when we visited.

Once you are across the border into Italy, you are in the Alto Adige, which until 1918 was a a part of Austria ( the Südtirol). The German language is till common in the region. Witness the German on the menu at Mals ( Malles).

It has quite a bit of history:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Trentino-Alto_Adige/S%C3%BCdtir ol

There is a fair amount of traffic from Italy over the Umbrail Pass, or through the tunnel north of Livigno which emerges on the road not too far from Zernez. When we stopped once in Santa Maria, we found a quite good small restaurant, benefiting from the Italian traffic as well as the Swiss.

Thanks once again for bringing back some memories.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 29, 2017 - 10:03 AM by Slowpoke
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Dec 31, 2017 - 3:39 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> The cloister was closed when we were there one day.

I was able to visit the Kloster while I was there last autumn, and will get round to writing about it some day soon I hope. It was fascinating. There is still a small community of nuns living there (in a separate area to that opened to the public). They have some interesting hand-crafted items in the gift shop, which I presume are made on the premises and help to generate an income. I bought a few items for myself as well as some souvenirs for family and friends.

>> Once you are across the border into Italy, you are in the Alto Adige, which until 1918 was a a part of Austria ( the Südtirol).

That is still a matter of contention in some quarters it seems. I have attached a photo of a sticker I saw at Mals/Malles station that says: Süd-Tirol ist nicht Italien (South Tyrol is not Italy).

>> There is a fair amount of traffic from Italy over the Umbrail Pass

There is a PostAuto bus that goes from Sta. Maria Val Müstair to Tirano via Stelvio and Bormio, all covered by the Swiss Travel Pass. I wasn't able to fit it in on my last trip, but hope to do it some time in the future.

www.postauto.ch/en/exc ursion-tips/stelvio-route

Alpenrose

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Slowpoke
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Dec 31, 2017 - 7:46 AM in reply to Removed user

<<"That is still a matter of contention in some quarters it seems. I have attached a photo of a sticker I saw at Mals/Malles station that says: Süd-Tirol ist nicht Italien (South Tyrol is not Italy)">>

For sure.

The Wiki link that I provided goes into that in some detail.

The region has a a degree of autonomy in self government and special status much greater than a typical Italian region.

There are still German language newspapers in one or another of Bozen ( Bolzano) and Meran ( Merano).

The region became a part of Italy about 100 years ago, as a consequence of WW1. If the 100 year anniversary occurs soon, we might see some related events by the people who posted that sign.

If I recall correctly, the Hapsburg emperors ruled from about 1520. They had a summer retreat in the mountains somewhere near Merano. Old memories die hard.

I'm curious if Mathilde might have any perspectives on the interaction between the German and Italian cultures that she would be comfortable sharing with us..she has family in the region. It is always nice to learn about the culture of a region that we visit...I envy you for your knowledge of even some Romansh.

Does it extend to Valader?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Vallader_dialect (Romansh)

Slowpoke

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Jan 1, 2018 - 5:37 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> I envy you for your knowledge of even some Romansh. Does it extend to Valader?

Yes, Vallader is the variety I am learning, mainly because I fell under the spell of Scuol and the Lower Engadin, and was impressed with the efforts they make to support the continued use of Vallader in everyday life.

I am using a Vallader language course (textbook, workbook and CDs) published by Lia Rumantscha, the organisation that supports and promotes Rumantsch language and culture. The Engadiner Post is also good for a bit of general reading, as they have a lot of local material, and about 80% of their Rumantsch articles (so they say) are in Vallader. At this stage, it's more my knowledge of French and Italian (which I did at school) that helps me understand the gist of stories in Rumantsch.

Apparently there are approximately 7,000 people who speak Vallader. I'm hoping to make it approximately 7,001 :-D

Ün bun on nouv! (Happy New Year!)

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jan 1, 2018 - 5:47 AM by Removed user
Slowpoke
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Jan 1, 2018 - 8:14 AM

HI Alpenrose -

<<"mainly because I fell under the spell of Scuol and the Lower Engadin">>

I began traveling to Europe on business, based at our lab and offices near Geneva, in 1980. Soon, I was spending spare time exploring Switzerland.

Our first extensive tour together was in 1989, all on public transport. After Basel, we went to Scuol and Ftan, because I had been reading about Haus Paradies. The whole experience was magical to us. At that time, the Jöhris ran Haus Paradies, and they were very friendly and approachable. We had never seen anything like the old villages with their characteristic architecture, to find such a sophisticated hotel out in the middle of a remote part of Switzerland was a new experience for us, and the view down to Tarasp at night, with the lights on the other side of the valley, as well as the view of Schloss Tarasp as we rode up to Ftan were like magic to us. We were familiar with the Gaeltachts in Ireland, so the preservation of Romansh caught our attention and impressed us. Over time, we gravitated toward the Emmental as our first most visited preferred region because of accessibility from Zürich and Luzern, the greater variety of villages and towns, the plethora of wonderful inns (now sadly diminished) as well as many easy hikes, not to mention the views of the Alps on the horizon. But, the Engiadina Bassa is still first if we are asked about regions that are special for us. We have gone back on average, every 3 years or so. I have been there alone as recently as last September.

The view of Schloss Tarasp is quite nice where the power lines cut across the field of view as you come up the road from Scuol station to Ftan. If you note a few editing artifacts, please forgive them. I was rushing a bit when I took the power lines out in Photoshop.

Slowpoke

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Jan 2, 2018 - 1:36 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> we went to Scuol and Ftan, because I had been reading about Haus Paradies.

It looks like a magnificent site for a hotel. I didn't get quite that far out of the village unfortunately, as I only spent an hour or so in Ftan late one chilly afternoon in early October (the time between buses).

The views from the bus on the way up certainly are wonderful. I didn't notice any editing artifacts in your photo of Schloss Tarasp, so you did a good job! I have a photo of the castle taken from a similar angle without any power lines in it. I think that might be because the quality of my camera lens wasn't good enough to pick them up! Or I might have been higher up or lower down the mountain when I took the photo.

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
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Jan 2, 2018 - 2:12 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Alpenrose-

<<"I didn't notice any editing artifacts in your photo of Schloss Tarasp, so you did a good job! ">>

Some only show up with magnification And, the overall "raison d'être" is not harmed by the defects, I believe.

You need some training. Your eye is not critical enough. ;-)

The marked up image may help.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 2, 2018 - 2:17 AM by Slowpoke
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Jan 2, 2018 - 4:34 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> Your eye is not critical enough. ;-) The marked up image may help.

Well, I'm viewing it on a 10 inch screen, so maybe that helps! But those edits still look pretty good, and certainly not noticeable unless you know where to look.

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
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Jan 2, 2018 - 11:21 AM in reply to Removed user

<<"Well, I'm viewing it on a 10 inch screen, so maybe that helps! But those edits still look pretty good, and certainly not noticeable unless you know where to look.">>

Thanks. I spend so much time editing in Photoshop and looking at images that I automatically look for traces of sloppy editing. And, I'm looking at a good quality 26 inch screen on my desktop. Compressing images hides a lot of faults. ;-)

Here it is without the edits. The two stubs of a side road are the worst fault in the edit. Photoshop has the ability to make a guess and fill in stuff from the surroundings during an edit. Used carefully, it is useful. Here,it made a significant error which I did not fix.

Slowpoke

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Jan 3, 2018 - 1:30 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> Here it is without the edits

Ah yes, now I see why you went to so much trouble to get rid of the power lines.

Alpenrose

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