Bernina Express and Lake Como

May 15th, 2013, 07:43 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8
Bernina Express and Lake Como

We are planning a trip to revisit parts of Switzerland and Italy. One of the things we want to do is ride the Bernina Express. We also plan to spend a few days in the Lake Como area. We can either fly into Zurich or Milan and will depart from Rome . We are thinking of staying 2 nights in Varenna and 2 nights somewhere in Switzerland on the BE route, perhaps St. Moritz or Pontresina. It seems to make more sense to fly into Zurich and work our way down to Lake Como rather than the other way. What is the travel time between St. Moritz and Varenna on the BE? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
seunice is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 04:42 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 424
BE goes from Chur to Tirano (and in reverse direction). You'll have to change trains to go from Tirano to Milan and then to Varenna.

Below is the website to find more info about Bernina Express:
http://www.rhb.ch/
Click on EN language at the top, then click on the Bernina Express picture, you'll see a page of details about Bernina Express with a route map. Click on the "Timetable" tab to see schedule, and the "Fares" tab to see prices. From Chur to Tirano is a bit over 4 hours.

BE seats may be sold out on the day you want to travel. So you'll either have to book seats a few days ahead to make sure, or just get on a regular train that goes the same route which does not require reservation.

You may also search for "Bernina Express" on this forum to read about past Q/A that may be relevant to your trip.
Reading54 is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 05:42 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
Just to remind that Varenna is about half way between Tirano and Milan, so no need to go to Milan and backtrack. Tirano to Varenna is 1 hour 30 minutes with most direct trains, two hours if there is a change in Sondrio.
asps is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 05:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 35,539
Here's a link to the Rhaetian Railway site which will give you all the accurate Bernina Express info including timetables.

Be aware that the change in Tirano is easily made. The two different train stations (Rhaetian Rail and TrenNord) are within site of one another.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 06:26 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 424
Oops, asps is correct. Thanks for pointing out my error.
Reading54 is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 11:08 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,513
There are Bernina Express trains from Chur via Albula - Samedan - Pontresina to Tirano and there are Bernina Express trains from St. Moritz via Pontresina to Tirano.
Bernina Express trains have panoramic airconditioned coaches where seat reservation is compulsory.
There are furthermore standard trains with usual windows about every hour where no reservation is needed.
You can leave Zurich (town) every hour from 6.37 until 14.37 and find always connecting trains up to Tirano.

St. Moritz - Bernina - Tirano - Varenna takes 4 hrs 52 min (50 min layover at Tirano). Trains up to Tirano about every hour, from Tirano to Varenna every 2 hrs. Last departure from St. Moritz at 15.45.

It makes indeed more sense to fly to ZRH than to MXP. Fly to Milan only if this flight is MUCH cheaper or much more conveniant. You could then make a circle like MXP - Lake Maggiore - Bellinzona - Thusis - Albula - St. Moritz .....

You may have a look at
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/home.html
http://www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/sommer/en/
http://www.rhb.ch/Video-Glacier-eng.784.0.html?&L=4
http://www.rhb.ch/Video-Bernina-eng.782.0.html?&L=4
http://www.rhb.ch/UNESCO-Clip-eng.1061.0.html?&L=4

http://www.swisstravelsystem.ch/en/
http://fahrplan.sbb.ch/bin/query.exe/en
neckervd is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 11:25 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8
Thanks to all who replied to my inquiry. I also appreciate the websites which are proving very helpful in my planning. I think flying into Zurich from the states then staying the night in St. Moritz rather than Chur is what I am considering. We can then travel on the BE or another similar train to Tirano and Varenna in a day spending the night in Varenna. We will stay in that area for a couple of days before moving south. Cinque Terre, Ravenna and Assisi are places we would also like to visit before reaching Rome. Any thoughts on the best way to incorporate these cities? We can rent a car or of course the train is always an option.
seunice is offline  
May 16th, 2013, 11:26 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,124
I would choose Pontresina over St.Moritz, much more picturesque and charming.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 17th, 2013, 03:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,513
St. Moritz is a small town. Pontresina is samller. You may check Sils Maria too. All these places are linked by frequent bus services.

Hiking along Lake Como (or Fjord like Lake Lugano) is as good as in 5Terre (in my opinion).
But if you like to hike along the usually crowded 5Terre trail (there can hardly be done something else), you may take a train from Varenna to Montererosso: Varenna dp every 2 hrs from 10.37 until 16.37, 4 1/2 hrs ride, change at Milano Centrale.
Varenna - Ravenna (direct itinerary) would take 4 1/2 hrs too.
Monterosso - Ravenna is about 6 hrs by train (via Bologna)
Ravenna - Assisi takes about 6 hrs too (via Bologna or Falconara)
neckervd is offline  
May 17th, 2013, 03:31 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 35,539
St. Moritz is, IMO, one of the most "sterile" looking towns in Switzerland. I stayed there once before taking a Glacier Express trip and would not stay there again. I am sure some of the other places mentioned above would be nicer.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 17th, 2013, 10:09 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8
Thanks for the tips on the places to stay in this area. We will definitely check into the other options. It would be nice to stay at least a day in the area before catching the BE train into Italy. The hiking opportunities look amazing. Thanks also for the times between our places of interest. We may check into renting a car after we leave Varenna or Cinque Terre (if we decide to go there)and drop it off in Rome.
seunice is offline  
May 17th, 2013, 10:12 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,124
St. Moritz sadly was concrete,unattractive, no charm. Swiss friends told us to stay in Pontresina instead and we were very pleased with that small town.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 18th, 2013, 01:07 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,513
St. Moritz is not an idyllic mountain village, but a small town with big hotels, apartment houses and all kinds of shops. Some people like that, others don't.
Have a look at the pictures of this place:
https://www.google.ch/search?q=stmor...iw=853&bih=551
neckervd is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Bigfish7
Europe
10
Jan 23rd, 2017 12:31 PM
pachet
Europe
11
Jan 21st, 2009 11:46 AM
valtor
Europe
4
Oct 22nd, 2007 11:47 AM
emalion
Europe
5
Nov 25th, 2003 09:32 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:58 AM.