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Train ride GVA to Stresa-scenic?

wondering if train ride to Stresa (via Lausanne) is (super) scenic or if we should simplify travel. [fly into GVA-train to LAU-train to Stresa or fly to MXP and just go straight to Stresa]. We enjoy train rides if they are scenic. We traveled from Paris-Barcelona last summer (7 hours) and enjoyed it.

Posted by
16730 posts

It will be scenic along the lake, and down to Martigny and up the Rhône Valley (flanked by vineyards) as far as Brig. There you may change to a train heading south to Stresa and you will use the Simplon tunnel under the Alps. You can see the route on this map:

https://cdn-doc.myswissalps.com/docs/default-source/rail-network-maps/swisstravelpass.pdf?sfvrsn=7788603a_56

The tunnel is shown as a dashed line.

There is at least one fast train that go all the way from Geneva ( main station, not the airport) to Stresa without a change at Brig in 3 hours.

Posted by
389 posts

Planning to take train GVA-LAU and spend 1-2 nights, then IT train direct from LAU-Stresa.

Posted by
20334 posts

What is an "IT" train? Do you mean the EC train? The only direct one.

Posted by
389 posts

sorry. I think this is an Italian train (IT). But, yes, the EC at 2:18pm.

Posted by
16730 posts

If you want more alpine scenery and a longer train ride, you could take the designated scenic Golden Pass Panoramia Express (#4 on the map I provided earlier) from Montreux to Spiez, then a regional train via Kandersteg to Brig. This avoids the deep Lötschberg Basistunnel, but there still is a tunnel between Kandersteg and /Brig. From Brig to Stresa there is no avoiding the Simplon tunnel.

Posted by
20334 posts

Just as long as you know that that changes a 2 1/4 hour train trip into a 6 1/2 hour journey and adds at least 40 CHF to the ticket price.

Posted by
389 posts

thanks. think we're keeping to Lausanne-Stresa direct. Maybe coming directly now from Paris to LAU, so no GVA.

Posted by
1998 posts

If you want to "simplify travel" than taking the train from Lausanne is the easiest way. There are several direct trains a day, and the trip is quite pleasant. Note that this is a Swiss train. it only becomes an Italian train after Domodossola (the last stop before Stresa).

I would furthermore not stay in Lausanne. It is not that interesting and hard to navigate. Stay in Vevey or Montreux. Distances are short in Switzerland, and it is easier to get from GVA to Montreux than from JFK to Manhattan...