I'm trying to figure out the rail system in Switzerland so I get the best bang for my buck. After reading lots of posts I still want to clarify some things. We are going to travel in early June. We are starting in Italy and then moving into Switzerland. Our schedule looks like this.
June 7 and 8-staying in Varenna, Italy
June 9 and 10-staying in Locarno, Switzerland
June 11, 12, 13-in Zermatt
June 14, 15, 16-in Murren
June 17-travel via Lucerne for a walk-around old town, etc and then sleeping in Zurich (flying home early June 18)
Thinking about the Swiss Card, Can I use it for trip from Locarno to Zermatt then from Lucerne to Zurich. As I understand I can't use it from Murren to Zurich because going through Lucerne isn't a direct route...is that correct? Then all of the in between trips plus mountain rails will be 1/2 price..correct? Or is the half fare card or flexi pass better?
Do you purchase all of the passes from the US? Do yo know about how soon I need to get this purchased?
I've never had a rail pass of any kind. Do you just get the pass while in the US and then buy the train tickets there or do I need to book the train tickets from the US also? When we have traveled in Italy before we just got the tickets when we arrived in Italy...is that still an ok option?
Any other advise it welcome.
We would like to go up the Valle Verzasca while in Locarno. Is this easy to do by bus or should we consider a day car rental or is there scooter rental that would be a good outing (Maybe this is a bad idea...don't know since we have never been there.) I am a photographer and would like to get out along the way and take photos ( I understood that there are very picturesque villages along the way...true???) then we able to catch another bus to go farther get off again and so on. Can we do this? I don't want to spend tons of time waiting on buses or take a chance of missing the last on back to Locarno. Is that a problem? Or is there a better area to tour?