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Advice re travel arrangements - Switzerland, Italy & France

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May 17th, 2007, 08:07 PM
  #1
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Advice re travel arrangements - Switzerland, Italy & France

I'm desperate for some advice re the best approach to travel whilst we're in Europe. There is a plethora of information available, but I haven't been able to establish the most cost effective and time efficient approach.

Itinerary
Day 1 - Frankfurt - Wengen (Switzerland)
Day 3 - Wengen - Zermatt (Switzerland)
Day 5 - Zermatt - Geneva
Day 6 - Geneva - Venice
Day 9 - Venice - Florence
Spending two days in the countryside, and thought that I'd hire a car for these days.
Day 15 - Florence - Cinque Terra
Day 18 Cinque Terra - Rome
Day 21 - Rome - Paris
Train or plane???
Day 26 - Paris - London
Plane??

I haven't given any thought to possible day trips etc. That's the next step ...
MELSAL is offline  
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May 18th, 2007, 01:57 AM
  #2
 
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1) skip Geneva. there are more beautiful cities in Switzerland (Bern, Zürich, Lausanne...)

2) most of your trips can be done by train. You will need advance reservations ("advance" as in in "the day before" for cross-border train trips from Switzerland to Italy as well as for Eurostar trains (both Italian Eurostar and Channel Tunnel Eurostar), these are not connected in any way)

>Day 21 - Rome - Paris
Train or plane???

Plane would be the ebst. Just avoid Ryanair, you will want to fly into one of real Paris airports (Orly or CDG), not into Beauvais.

>Day 26 - Paris - London
Plane??

Definitely train. Faster, cheaper, more comfortable. Just book WELL in advance. For example now. Return tickets can be cheaper than one-way tickets here.

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May 18th, 2007, 02:00 AM
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Forgot to suggest train websites:
Germany: www.bahn.de
Switzerland: www.sbb.ch
Italy: www.trenitalia.com
Eurostar: www.eurostar.com (the one under the Channel)

The first two are the most userfriendly for finding schedules anywhere in Europe, but no prices outside of the respective country.
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May 18th, 2007, 02:11 AM
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Geographically, unless you absolutely want to go to Geneva then you will be backtracking from Zermatt to Geneva to Venice.

However, if you wanted to fly from Geneva to Venice, there is a budget airline www.flybaboo.com which offers flights on most days of the week between the two cities.

By rail, you could easily make connections in Brig onward through Milan to Venice. If your timing is right you might even prefer to take one of the Cisalpino services which would eliminate the change in Milan

www.cisalpino.com
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May 18th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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>Geographically, unless you absolutely want to go to Geneva then you will be backtracking from Zermatt to Geneva to Venice.

Not necessary. If you want to see new things you can take a train from Geneva to Chambery, then a TGV via the Mont Cenis route and Torino to Milan. But it is longer and not really scenic. The valley the train route follows is similar to the lower Rhone valley - like a 3 km deep hole. To appreciate the beauty of the Alps you need to get out of the valley floor.
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May 18th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Hi MELSAL,

You have some long train trips on Day 1 & Day 3, and you only have one full day in both Wengen & Zermatt. What that means is that you're sacrificing time on a mountain or in a mountain village for the train trip between the two.

I think you should just pick one -- either Wengen or Zermatt -- and spend at least three days there. You need time to get oriented and then to get out onto a cable car and on a long walk and on a ferry cruise and at a mountain restaurant, etc.

Good luck!

s
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May 18th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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OK, Altamiro..I apologize for making this major mistake.

Melsal, I withdraw my suggestion completely.
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May 18th, 2007, 07:13 AM
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What´s up with you, Dukey? Bad day?
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May 18th, 2007, 09:58 PM
  #9
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Thanks for the advice provided. It's incredibly helpful. I only wish that I'd found this website earlier ... but better late than never!

I had been debating about the Switzerland leg, and limiting the trip to 2 rather than 3 stops. Any suggestions as to whether Zermatt or Wengen is the better option?

Geneva worked simply because there is an Express train from Geneva to Venice.

Day 1 - 3 Wengen or Zermatt?
Day 4 - 5 Lausanne?

A friend had suggested that the train trip from Switzerland to Italy was scenic and quite spectacular. Now I'm wondering if this is the case?

Thanks again!
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May 18th, 2007, 10:35 PM
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Yes, the train trip is spectacular. but the Geneva to Venice express train stops in several other places, such as Brig, where you could meet it. so you don't need to go to Geneva at all---it is way out of your way.

Between Wengen and Zermatt, it probably works with your itinerary to stay in Wengen. But with Geneva out, you could spend 2 or 3 nights in Wengen, then go to Zermatt for 2 nights, and still catch the train to Venice on day 6.
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May 19th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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RE: Trains from Geneva to Venice

I've caught them at Vevey instead (both a day train thru Sion & a direct night train), the same ones that originate in Geneva.


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