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Austria to Switzerland

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Jan 14th, 2014, 07:58 AM
  #1
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Austria to Switzerland

My husband and I will be spending a week in St. Johann im Pongau, Austria the first of September. We plan to leave there on a Saturday and travel to Switzerland to fly home from Zurich the following Wednesday. I would really like to ride the Bernina Express Train. My question is should we spend those 4 nights in Chur, or maybe one night there then travel on to Luzern? We don't fly out of Zurich until midday so can catch a train the morning of departure to Zurich. We are more interested in seeing the countryside than the city of Zurich. Thanks for any advice you can give me. This is our first trip to Europe.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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The Bernina Express line is close to Ponte di Legno and far away from Salzburg.
You told us in a previous post that you will stay a whole week at Ponte di Legno. So do the Bernina Express thing from there, it's much easier than from a place which is about 300 miles away.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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With such short time I think you may want to forego the Bernina Express since it is so remote from Zurich and head to the fabulous Jungfrau Region in and around Interlaken and stay in one of the dreamy mountain villages like Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen or Wengen - to me and many the Jungfrau Region is the absolute highlight of Switzerland and trains in that area are also awesomely scenic - plus this area is very close to Zurich by train.

This is epitome of the dreamy Switzerland perhaps etched in your minds' eyes - glacier-girdled peaks abruptly soaring thousands of feet above lush cow-dotted meadows - toy-like mountain trains and thrilling aerial gondolas going everywhere - hiking trails for all levels of energy - no special gear required.

If going by train look into the Swiss Pass - a 4-consecutive-day pass perhaps and end up in Zurich on the fifth day - would cover trains in full to all those Jungfrau towns and also be valid on lake boats on Lake Lucerne and the two lakes bookending Interlaken - great days out on either - also good on city trams, buses and the iconic Swiss postal buses.

If you want to take one of Switzerland's legendary scenic trains you can take the Golden Pass train from Interlaken to Lucerne, up and over the Brunig Pass - having to use cogs to brake the train going down steep slows and to climb steep inclines.

For lots of great info on Swiss trains, lake boats, etc check out the IMO fantastic sites - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.swisstravelsystem.com.

You could even spend the last day in Lucerne and then head right from there to the airport - a very short train ride.

From Austria head to Zurich - you could even leave your heavy luggage in the train station luggage storage and then head onto the Interlaken area for 3-4 days.

Here are some images of the awesome Jungfrau Region - which all in all will give you much more varied things than the Bernina Express rail route and is much quicker to get to given your short time frame.

https://www.google.com/search?q=jung...=1600&bih=1074
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Jan 14th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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If doing Bernina do not stay in Chur for 4 days - but stay in the St Moritz area - an Alpine wonderland - Chur is a nice town but just another town - too far from Bernina to make a nice relaxed day trip.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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You could do the Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano, then board the Bernina Express Bus from Tirano to Lugano (all included in a Swiss Pass). The Ticino is a wonderful area to spend some time. From Lugano you could continue by taking the William Tell Express to Lucerne (a combination of train and boat) from where you have easy access to Zurich Airport.

http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/day-trips/erlebnisreisen.angebotdetail.tagesausfluege-erlebnisreisen-weitere_erlebnisreisen-wilhelmtellexpress.html.marketingurl_$$$tellexpres s.html
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Jan 15th, 2014, 10:28 AM
  #6
 
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....the normal access from Salzburg to Bernina Express would go via Innsbruck - Landeck - Nauders - Scuol - Guarda - Pontresina, however
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Jan 15th, 2014, 01:38 PM
  #7
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People on Fodor's are such a great help. Thank you neckervd for the advice to do the Bernina Express from Ponte di Legno and thank you PalenQ for all the great information. It looks like about a 9 1/2 hr train ride from St. Johann im Pongau to Wengen but the region looks breathtaking. Has anyone stayed at the Hotel Edelweiss in Wengen. Seems to have decent rates and good reviews.
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