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8 day train trip in July

My husband and I will be in Donneloye for five days after which we will have eight days to travel by train all around Switzerland. We plan to get the Swiss travel pass. Are there any route suggestions and what cities is a must to see.

Posted by
16883 posts

Some of our favorite stops are described at http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/switzerland, but Rick's Switzerland book has more detail and more destinations. The famous Glacier Express route across the south of Switzerland is heavily promoted, from Zermatt to St. Moritz. However, many of us prefer the scenery from the Golden Pass route, from Monteux via Zwesimmen to Interlaken and Luzern, with stops in those regions.

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, don't visit any cities. Switzerland has nice cities, but that is not what Switzerland is famous for, it is famous for mountains, and the small towns and villages in those mountains. That is where you should be heading.

In 8 days you have time for 3 places, my suggestions are to choose from the following (Click here for a map of the Swiss Rail network):
1) Somewhere in the valleys past Interlaken (Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren, etc.). People on this site recommed Mürren, but it is not the only one.
2) Zermatt
3) Luzern (this is a town, but a good base)
4) A trip down south to Lugano. You've got your pass so it won't cost. Lugano is on the south side of the Alps, on a lake, with palm trees.
5) Somewhere in Graubünden (far south-east). This too is a long diversion, but you go there for the views from the train. Best (and furthest from the rest of Switzerland) is the Bernina pass route. The only rail route across the Alps which goes "over the top" without a tunnel.

And travel at least one of these two scenic routes:
a) Glacier Express route (Chur to Brig or vv).
b) Brünig pass route (Interlaken - Luzern)

Donneloye, Vaud is very obscure, I had to look it up. Why did you choose it?

Posted by
31471 posts

jo,

One other location you might consider is Appenzell, in the north eastern part of Switzerland. It's a beautiful town and somewhat unique, and the scenery in that area is fantastic (of course, that's true of many parts of Switzerland).

Posted by
2 posts

Chris
Thank you so much for your suggestions
The small towns and villages is exactly what we would like. Is it too early to book hotels in the smaller places now?
I'm sure July will be a busy month.
We are attending a convention in Donneloye.
Thanks again to all of you for your replies. It is so wonderful that you take the time to help.

Posted by
13097 posts

I wrote a long response last evening but apparently neglected to hit "send." My suggestion was pretty much the same as Chris, although I included a loop linking the various places. So I will add that:

From Donneloye, head straight to Zermatt. The first leg of this journey will be a bus, and the total travel time is just over 4 hours. I would spend two nights there and visit the Gornergrat and other high spots above the town.

Then ride the Glacier Express to St. Moritz. Again, spend two nights. Use the intervening day to take the Bernina Express to Tirano, have lunch, and return on a regional train.

Next go to Luzern for one night. Ride the golden pass route over the Brünig Pass to Interlaken Ost. Transfer there to the local train to Lauterbrunnen and spend 1-2 nights there or in Mürren above.

Return to Interlaken and continue on the Golden Pass to Montreux ( change trains at Zweisimmen).