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Help! Planning Rail Itin: What is near Interlaken?

I've run into a snafu with my train itin. All of the cities I've looked at around Interlaken (Fussen, Chamonix, Milan) are about 6-8 hours away, with no night trains. I'm trying to find a logical way to stop in Switzerland. I know the Paris train will get there in four hours, but then I'll have to backtrack. I'm trying to form a logical route going through Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Provence, Interlaken, and then Italy. Any suggestions?

Posted by
6898 posts

It's not really clear if you are staying the night or nights in Interlaken or nearby. If you are, I would suggest taking the local train from Interlaken Ost (East)into Lauterbrunnen Valley. It's a 20-minute ride. It's one of the most scenic areas of Switzerland. If you have the time, visit Murren, Gimmelwald or Wengen. These are villages that are over 5,000 feet up on the sides of the valley. No tourist cars - just visitors. One warning, however. The Lauterbrunnen Valley is approaching "shoulder season" - that period of time when most shut down between the summer season and the winter skiing season. It begins in mid-October. From Interlaken, you are 30 minutes by train to Spiez where you will most likely change trains to a faster EC or CIS train to Milan.

Posted by
4125 posts

Sometimes to find a night train you have to look farther. There's one to Venice (via Spiez), which stops in Bologna. Not very restful, maybe.

If you make Interlaken your last stop after Italy, you can see about flights home from Zurich. That might be a better fit.

Or maybe--and I hate to say this--Interlaken is not a good fit with this itinerary. Only you can say what it is worth in terms of time and convenience and euros to go there. Good luck!

Posted by
6898 posts

Adam has a good thought. If Provence is your last stop before Interlaken and then Italy, it's really out of the way. You can get a night train from Western France right into Rome, Milan or even Venice (via Milan). Interlaken is 6.0hr-7.0hr. out of Milan. If you can get to Dijon-Ville by 10:30pm, you can pick up the 221 Stendhal 11:15pm sleeper right into Venice without a train change. (Or, get off in Milan for other options).

Posted by
47 posts

I wanted to thank everyone for their help. I have, I believe, suceeded in conquering this tricky route, and I wanted to share my results with you :)(All train routes are less than 6 hours but one)

Amsterdam to Koblenz (Rhine Valley)

Koblenz to Brussels

Brussels to Paris

Paris to Interlaken via Bern

Interlaken to Milan

Milan to Rome

Rome to Florence

Florence to Cinque Terra

Cinque Terra to Avignon (that's the biggie; 8.5 hours with a 2 hour layover)

Avignon to Barcelona

Barcelona to Madrid

I thank everyone for their help, and I look forwarding to coming to the boards again to help or look for help :)

Happy Travels