planning a 10-12 day trip next summer. Fly into Milan. I want the scenic train route from Milan to Chzmonix. No buses this trip please. From Chamonix back to Cinque Terre. Any suggestions? I want the trip to be (scenic) trains and walking.
If you use the train you'll need all that vacation time just for the travel. The bus is a much easier option.
By train you'll be lucky if you make it in 8 hours. By train you'd go from Milano to Geneva (3 hrs and 43m). http://www.trenitalia.com/ Then from Geneva you'd take a couple of trains down to Chamonix (via Bellegarde then via St Gervais Les Bains Le Fayet to Chamonix). Over 3 hrs. http://www.voyages-sncf.com/ Actually from Geneva, you should take a bus. 2 hours and you are there. No changes. For the Cinque Terre plan on at least 11 hours if you want to use a train. From Chamonix take a bus either directly to Turin, then a train to Genoa and from Genoa to the Cinque Terre. Alternatively you can take a bus from Chamonix to Chambery, then a TGV to Turin. Change train in Turin and go to Genoa. From Genoa you go to the Cinque Terre. Actually, It might be faster if you go back to Milan the way you came (just reverse travel), then from Milan you go down to the Cinque Terre. You might save an hour or two.
New timetables go into effect on 9 December. Using those timetables the German Rail site shows a much faster route: Milano Centrale-Visp-Martigny-Vallorcine-Chamonix in 4hr45mn. I can't give you the best route for Chamonix-Cinque Terre because Trenitalia hasn't uploaded all of the new timetables for Regionale trains yet and the German Rail site can't show them until Trenitalia has done so.
First, do you have the opportunity to go to the CT first? That's quite a double-back from Chamonix-Mt Blanc unless you need to come back to fly out of Milan. Looking at the Swiss train website, I see train runs from Milano Centrale to Chamonix-Mt Blanc that take 4hrs45min. Three train changes along the way but just under 5hrs isn't bad. You can even buy these tickets on www.rail.ch, the official Swiss rail website as Chamonix-Mt Blanc is one of 3 cities that I know of outside of Switzerland that Switzerland treats as a close part of their train system. For getting back to the CT, I would suggest reversing your course back to Milano Centrale and then taking the 3.5hr train ride to the CT. You are looking at 8.0hrs for this journey. Here's a link to see what Tim and I see. http://gyazo.com/7dca14d8030cbfa5ca2c0a1daa9685bb If you want scenery, take the gondola ride up to Aiguille du Midi on the gondola once you get to Chamonix-Mt Blanc. On a clear day, it has to be one of the best views on the planet.
: gotta get to Martigny from Milan, then scenic mtn train from Martigny--Chamonix. Thx.
Walter , to get from Milan to Martigny , Check SBB . There is service to Brig and Visp Via Domodossola . You would change at Brig or Visp for a train to Martigny and then change there for connections direct to Chamonix . No need to go to Geneva and back down via Annemasse , or even more circuitous , via Bellegarde ! this route is very direct and would allow you to ride the scenic train from Martigny to Chatelard and then via Vallorcine to Chamonix . There is currently a bus substitution on the last leg in France but that ends next month !!
Sorry , I just realized that Tim said the same thing . Didn't mean to be redundant!!