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Getting from Cinque Terre to Destinations in Switzerland

We would like to end our trip to Italy at the Cinque Terre (Monterosso?) and visit destinations in Switzerland. Places of interest are Zermatt, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Lucern and Zurich. It seems like a long way to travel from Cinque Terre to Zermatt by train. Am I missing a good stop in between that would provide a little bit of a bridge to our destination? Suggestions for this plan?

Posted by
9449 posts

How many nights do you have for this whole trip? We have done it from Lauterbrunnen to Camogli hin Liguria north of the Cinque Terre) but we had a lot of time so we could stop in Stresa between Switzerland and Liguria for a few nights.Is Zurich on the list as your departure city? I think you need at least two weeks to cover the Cinque Terre, Stresa, Zermatt, Lauterbrunnen, and Luzern.

Posted by
4 posts

We have 14 days including two travel days and plan on getting to our destinations by train. Your thoughts on this plan are gratefully received!

Day 1 - Flying from Minneapolis to Rome
Day 2 - Vatican, Museums, and St. Peter’s
Day 3 - Coliseum and main attractions
Day 4 Train to Florance
Day 5 Day trip to Pisa and local Chianti Wineries
Day 6 Leave Florance for Cinque Terre
Spending the night in Monterosso
Day 7 Leave for Zermatt
Day 8 Day in Zermatt
Day 9 Leave for Lauterbrunnen
Day 10 Day in Lauterbrunnen
Day 11 Leave for Lucerne
Day 12 Day in Lucerne
Day 13 Leave for Zurich
Day 14 Fly out of Zurich to Minneapolis

Posted by
1653 posts

Hi,
I find the plan a bit tight, I would leave out Zermatt (takes a lot of travel time) for sure and Cinque Terre perhaps for the same reason + crowds.
The extra time should be spend in Lauterbrunnen (3 nights better than 2) and Florence (3 nights otherwise you don't have time for Florence), plus if you skip 5 Terre you can add a night in Rome.
Florence to Lauterbrunnen is long but very feasible in a day, with 3 changes of train in Milan, Spiez and Interlaken (best case scenario).

Edited to add that if your flight leaves out of ZRH after 10 AM there's no need to spend the night in Zurich. Get from Luzern to the airport, 1.15 hour by train, very reliable.

Posted by
31035 posts

sp,

The plan that you've outlined is far too ambitious (IMO) and is going to be a grueling blur of trains, checking in & out of hotels, waiting in stations, etc. It won't allow much time to actually see the places you're visiting. It appears that you have several one and two night stops and it's important to account for travel times between destinations.

It wasn't clear from your description whether you're leaving for Europe prior to "Day 1" on your list. In many cases flights arrive in Europe the day after they depart their home airport, so you'll lose a day when travelling to Europe. On the return trip you'll arrive home on the same day you departed Europe.

A few thoughts......

  • Day 6 - the trip from Florence to Monterosso will take 2.5 - 3 hours. That will leave only your arrival day to explore Monterosso or the other four towns.
  • Day 7 - the trip from Monterosso to Zermatt will take 8 - 10 hours, depending on which trains you use.

My overall opinion is that you're trying to fit too many places in to the very limited time frame you have. You might consider skipping a few of the places on your present list in order to have a more relaxed trip.

Posted by
9449 posts

Balso is wise. Skip the Cinque Terre and Zermatt. What if you go all the way to Zermatt for one day and it’s cloudy or rainy? Mountain weather is fickle so more nights in one beautiful place gives a better chance at finding those vistas you want. Your plan to stay in Florence but spend your one full day going to Pisa and Chianti makes no sense to me. it is far easier to travel from Florence to Lauterbrunnen than to make that detour to Monterosso and Zermatt. You certainly don’t have time to stop at Stresa and break up the trip,

Posted by
1201 posts

Consider staying in Luzern your last night instead of Zurich. Luzern has a direct rail line to the Zurich airport (it takes 70 minutes and departs every half-hour), so it is very feasible to do. This would give you an extra night in Luzern or elsewhere in your itinerary instead of wasting it in Zurich.

Posted by
4 posts

I will be skipping Zermatt and I’m now intrigued by staying in Murren and reproducing RS bike trip from Murren to Lauterbrunnen and back up with the lift. Is it as easy and fun as it looks in the video? Good call?

Also, what is the word regarding travel this summer in Italy with the Coronavirus situation?

Thanks again!