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Swiss Post auto bus trip report and a little Italy

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Posts: 18 
huggy
huggy
17 posts
new member
May 12, 2020 - 12:37 AM

A few years ago, a gentleman whom travelled a significant amount of time in Switzerland and gave his advice freely (most quite valuable) reviewed the several Swiss Post Auto Bus routes. Having travelled to Switzerland myself several times for business and pleasure, I was quite intrigued. I was well aware of the excellent transportation system in Switzerland, having extensively used trains and rental cars. I had travelled a few of the mountain passes via bus but I wanted to explore a bit more.

Now, I like trains and I caution you that my travel plans are not for everyone. In fact my wife refused to take this journey with me, primarily as I changed hotels almost every night (does not bother me.) At last count, I used 54 trains and busses within 17 days. Yes, I saw the inside of a lot of train stations, rail cars and hotels. However, please remember that western Europe travel is my hobby and passion.

I will not spend a lot of time on my observation of cities or hotel reviews as many others have covered that much better that I ever could. This trip report will focus on the bus rides that I highly recommend to others. A caution, many of the mountain passes are closed during the winter and thus the trip cannot be made. However, I scheduled my visit during late September/early October to catch the color turning of the leaves.

Sept 22. Flew into Milan via JFK
Sept 23. Arrived Milan, trains to Bressanone, Italy via Milano Centrale and Verona, stayed Bressanone
Sept. 24 Trains/Bus to Zernez, Switzerland via Dobbiaco and Merano (Backtracked quite a bit today but scenery wonderful), Stayed Zernez
Sept. 25 Buses/Trains to Filisur via Mals, Martina cunfin, Scuol Tarasp and Susch. (Highly recommend this bus trip), stayed Filisur
Sept. 26 Trains to Zurich (Cancelled Alp Grum due to rain), stayed Filisur
Sept. 27 Train/Bus Filisur to Tiefencastel to St. Moritz, to Andermatt (Post Bus Tiefencastel to St. Moritz very scenic), stayed Andermatt
Sept. 28 Train Furka Steam Railroad (trip highlight Realp to Oberwald) Trains to St Gallen, stayed St. Gallen
Sept. 29 Trains (Ebenalp visit including cable car), stayed Stein Am Rhein
Sept. 30 Trains to Schaffhausen (Falls) stayed Solothurn
Oct. 1 Trains to La Chaux de Fonds, Murten to Fribourg, stayed Fribourg
Oct. 2 Trains to Langnau to Aareschlucht (Rhein Gorge) to Thun, stayed Thun
Oct. 3 Trains to Visp via Kandersteg, stayed Visp
Oct. 4 Busses to Arolla and return, Funicular to Montana, stayed Visp (Bus scenery wonderful)
Oct. 5. Busses to Saas Fee, Domodossola, Train to Locarno, stayed Locarno. (Bus over Simplon Pass spectacular, Centavalli Railway wonderful) stayed Locarno
Oct. 6 Busses Valle Verzasco, Train to Verdasio, Cable Car to Rasa, stayed Locarno. (Valle Verzasco beautiful, Sonogno festival wonderful)
Oct. 7 Train to Lugano, Funicular to Monta Bre, stayed Lugano
Oct. 8 Train to Zurich and return via Airolo (very scenic) stayed Lugano
Oct. 9 Train to Malpensa and home

I stayed away from travel by train via tunnels as much as possible.
The bus drivers amaze me with their ability.
Trains and busses were prompt and on time.
Connections, train to bus and vice versa were very smooth, all intersect at train stations.
I chose hotels close to rail stations as much as possible.
Scenery, especially leaf color was wonderful.
Reservations were not possible on the bus routes I chose, however, some do require reservations.
I used Fodors, MySwissAlps and Trip Advisor websites for planning.
I purchased a Swiss Travel Pass due to large number of trains and due to close connections and time involved, I did not want to buy tickets for each train.
I pre purchased rail tickets for Italy. The Swiss pass covered all other travel.
I carried a back pack for ease of travel. It passed for carrying on board the flights. (8 kg. max).
Completed my own designed Great Train Circle of Switzerland.

Last modified on May 12, 2020 - 4:35 AM by Steph
Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
May 12, 2020 - 4:37 AM in reply to huggy

Hello Huggy,

Thanks a million for sharing your bus-route through Switzerland. I must admit, I have never travelled AS extensively on the Swiss Post Bus routes and am quite impressed by your journey.

Do you by any chance have a picture or two (max. 1 MB) that you could share from this fantastic trip?! Only if possible , of course.

Take care and hope you're planning to come back to Switzerland sometime in the future.

Best,
Steph

huggy
huggy
17 posts
new member
May 12, 2020 - 12:37 PM in reply to Steph

Steph. Did not take pictures as I had been to Switzerland many times before.

Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
May 12, 2020 - 1:38 PM in reply to huggy

No worries Huggy,

I'm sure you have them in your heart and/or mind and that's what counts! :)

Cheers,
Steph

hockeyfan
hockeyfan
61 posts
active member
May 12, 2020 - 4:14 PM

Thank you for sharing. We also love the Swiss Post Buses and have traveled many of their scenic routes, but never so many in one trip. I still have the Fruka Steam Train on my to do list. Thanks, again.

huggy
huggy
17 posts
new member
May 12, 2020 - 4:21 PM in reply to hockeyfan

That was a great half day trip allowing me to end up in St. Gallen for the night. Started the day in Andermatt.

Book the ride, you will enjoy it.

Huggy

huggy
huggy
17 posts
new member
May 12, 2020 - 4:25 PM in reply to huggy

Just as an aside. the car attendants (all volunteer) are a wealth of information. Our attendant was the former head of the Swiss Air flight Attendant Union. Turned out he knew some people that I was acquainted with during my business career.

Albi
Albi
20 posts
new member
May 21, 2020 - 12:58 PM

Thank you for sharing. How did you get Valle Verzasca, car or public transportation? I always want to visit this area but dear husband does not want to drive and bus is not that frequent.

huggy
huggy
17 posts
new member
May 21, 2020 - 1:15 PM in reply to Albi

I used the public bus. The first bus filled up and they added a second bus. Still a significant number of people standing. There was a large amount of public traffic on the road, so I was happy with the bus. However, an auto would allow you freedom to stop along the way which I did not take advantage of. You might want to consider that.

Ildiko
Ildiko
1010 posts
top member &
moderator
May 21, 2020 - 7:31 PM in reply to huggy

Hi Huggy and Albi,

we've been there with our car and it wasn't a great experience for me. There was difficult to find a parking place and as the roads are narrow it was difficult to drive there (also because of the many walking people on the road). I wished we would be there with a bus :)

Ildiko

Albi
Albi
20 posts
new member
May 21, 2020 - 9:53 PM

Thank you for your reply!

Can you share your bus information, such as location, where to wait for the bus, how often do the bus run? I remember reading somewhere that there is only 1 bus per day.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
May 22, 2020 - 12:25 AM in reply to Albi

Quick answer..follow up later.

Bus schedules are here:

www.sbb.ch/en/

Valuable instructions are here:

www.myswissalps.com/timetable

There are many maps which show the location of bus stops.

I like this one:

map.search.ch/?pos=705232,133376&z=32&poi=bergbahn,haltestelle,mobility,parking,zug

Looks to me like a bus every 30 minutes.

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 22, 2020 - 12:40 AM by Slowpoke
Anna
Anna
941 posts
top member &
moderator
May 22, 2020 - 4:24 AM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi,

You can certainly travel to Valley Verzasca on the Postauto buses. Tips and info are available on its website : www.postauto.ch/en/excursion-tips/verzasca-valley

You can also download the Postauto App from the website.

Details and information about travelling in Switzerland by bus here: www.myswissalps.com/bus

Regards,

Anna

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
125 posts
active member
May 22, 2020 - 9:21 AM

Travel by bus - You gave a different perspective. Many thanks

huggy
huggy
17 posts
new member
May 22, 2020 - 12:15 PM

I used the Post Bus schedule to determine schedules for my bus rides. All, I repeat all were great, places where the trains do not travel whether it was the bus from Brig to Domodossola or the Valle Verzasca. All bus drivers were extremely helpful and courteous. I started all my trips at the bus station which is normally adjacent to the train station. In large towns, where several bus routes began, the destination was clearly marked. I had no issues.

As a note, I am retired, so I have quite a bit of freedom with my time. I would urge people to get out of their autos and take advantage of the great transportation that Switzerland has to offer, both by bus and by train. Coming from the US, where we rely on our autos, I wish we had the same type of system.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
May 23, 2020 - 8:28 AM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi-

Anna filled you in nicely with the Post Bus information.

As you travel in Switzerland, you will find the SBB timetable to be extremely useful. It has schedules for all modes of public transport...trains, buses, boats, and cableways (that are public transport).

www.myswissalps.com/timetable

I agree with Ildiko's comment about parking. We drove in, many many years ago, and ended up parking about 1 1/2 km downstream from the village, in a place we found near the bridge, as I recall.

We were able to park not too far from the famous Ponte di Salti, but the bus stops there, too.

<<"The Ponte dei Salti bridge with its double arch at Lavertezzo (bus stop

"Lavertezzo, Paese") is a great backdrop for fabulous pictures.">>

Slowpoke

Albi
Albi
20 posts
new member
May 26, 2020 - 6:52 PM

Thank you all for the great information!

This a great forum with wealth of information. I took me approximately a year to gather all the useful information such as t rain timetable, Swiss travel pass, read about the area where I want to visit. I was very happy with my 2 week itinerary starting mid June 2020 but international air fare did not work out well, so I had to change to mid July. All my travel arrangements completed back in December 2019. Given the current situation, the airline allowed full refund so I think it is best that I postpone the trip until the pandemic is under control. I am looking again for June 2021 and add few more days to my original itinerary. That said, I will have one extra day to visit the famous Ponte di Salti from Lugano. The closest train station is Tenero Contra and take bus 321. It seems like I am able to photograph my dream destination using public transportation.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7535 posts
expert
May 26, 2020 - 7:47 PM in reply to Albi

Hi Albi -

<<"It seems like I am able to photograph my dream destination using public transportation. ">>

Indeed. Not too surprising, considering the quality of the Swiss public transport network. ;-)

I hope you can get a good picture...it is very photogenic.

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 26, 2020 - 8:07 PM by Slowpoke

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