Logistics Swiss Engadin to Dolomiti

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Jan 2nd, 2019, 09:23 PM
  #1
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Logistics Swiss Engadin to Dolomiti

Ciao Fodoriti!

Please help with best transport from Swizerland to finish with several days hiking the Dolomites in September 2019. We are looking for the best point of entry into Italy, and will have a railpass, so we are very flexible.
We are a 60s couple who love to hike in the mountains. We will be spoiled by the marvellous Swiss trains, but once in Italy perhaps a car would be the way to go? Would also much appreciate best suggestions for return flight to Houston, TX.
Your favorite moderate hikes and best views would be fantastic!
Grazie!
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Jan 3rd, 2019, 01:03 AM
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From the Engadine you take a bus to Mals/Italy, from Upper Engadine via Zernez/Pass dal Fuorn or from Lower Engadine (Scuol) via Nauders/Austria. From Mals it is train to Merano, where you change to another train to Bolzano. From there ... no idea where exactly in the Dolomiti you plan to go.

For schedules check www.sbb.ch
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Jan 4th, 2019, 08:44 AM
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The Swiss Travel Pass is valid via Pass dal Fuorn up to Mals. If you travel via Scuol - Reschenpass, you will have to pay half fare from Martina up to Mals.
Public transport in South Tyrol (Province of Bolzano/Bozen) is excellent (like in Switzerland).
Timetables: SII Timetables | Südtirol Mobil | Mobilità Alto Adige
Travel Passes: with a Mobilcard for 28 EUR only, you can travel for free during a full week.
Mobilcard - museumobil Card | Mobilcard
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Jan 4th, 2019, 10:51 AM
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And the Mobilcard is valid on both busses and trains throughout South Tyrol.
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Jan 4th, 2019, 11:04 PM
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We did a wonderful, easy hike for a few hours in the Alpe Di Siusi in the Dolomites. It was early in the season and very few people about. There was still a little melting snow underfoot and lots of tiny wildflowers. The views of the mountains, covered in snow, were sublime. We were staying in Castelrotto and had a hire car, the owner of the guesthouse suggested the walk to us.

Kay
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Jan 5th, 2019, 08:58 PM
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Try rome2rio.com

The website rome2rio.com tells you how to get anywhere by bus, train, car, ferry, - time and cost. It covers amazingly small places. Fun to use!
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Jan 5th, 2019, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by linawood View Post
The website rome2rio.com tells you how to get anywhere by bus, train, car, ferry, - time and cost. It covers amazingly small places. Fun to use!
Yes -- accept that rome2rio isn't always accurate. It can be a great source of preliminary information, but be sure to click through all the underlying links to get to the source transportation providers' websites.

For Switzerland, sbb is accurate, comprehensive, and easy to use.
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Jan 6th, 2019, 12:58 AM
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We spent about a week in the Dolomites this September, between two bases La Villa and Ortisei. While we had a car (this was a segment of a longer driving holiday through Europe), whilst in Ortisei we did not need to drive anywhere - our hotel gave us a free transport pass with unlimited use of the very convenient buses that ferried us to other places of interest like Selva (starting point for 2 interesting hikes - Dantercepies and Ciampinoi), St Christina and Bolzano. Ortisei is super convenient as it also has a number of lifts going up from the centre of town - we bought a 3 day pass (https://www.valgardena.it/en/summer-.../gardena-card/) that included unlimited use of included lifts. Several memorable walking/hiking opportunities including Alpe de Siusi, Resciesa and the most memorable walk along the Seceda - Pieralongia - Col Raiser loop (reviewed here https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserR...lto_Adige.html).
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Jan 6th, 2019, 06:54 PM
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Ingo, Thanks for your help! We have relied so much on advice in your your posts. Also neckvervd, MelanQ, Adelaidean, Jamikins, BikerScott, kja, Isabel, mr & ms-go !!! Mark & Danielsan rule on Zermatt!

Ingo, we are wondering about St Moritz area. Must visit Sils Maria, since you speak so highly of it. We have stayed in Pontresina and loved it.

neckervd, So glad to hear from you. You are the best for transit details! The route via Mals looks great. The Mobil Card looks fantastic. Will research that asap.

KayF, Alpe di Suisi is on our compass. We've been thinking about renting a car, spending 6-7 days or so. Now wondering if the Mobili card may satisfy our desire to explore several areas.
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Jan 6th, 2019, 07:07 PM
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linawood and kja, yes you are right about using Rome2Rio and SBB. Both are very helpful. But not as helpful as Fodorites!

ANUJ, your post is a wealth of information! Please, what hotel did you choose that gave you the transport card? Your suggested hikes sound perfect for us! DH is still looking at the book of hikes, but you are so helpful in my quest to find the best bases. Sounds like we can train to Bolsano, and take it from there. Still trying to decide whether to rent a car there.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Macaroni09 View Post
linawood and kja, yes you are right about using Rome2Rio and SBB. Both are very helpful. But not as helpful as Fodorites!

ANUJ, your post is a wealth of information! Please, what hotel did you choose that gave you the transport card? Your suggested hikes sound perfect for us! DH is still looking at the book of hikes, but you are so helpful in my quest to find the best bases. Sounds like we can train to Bolsano, and take it from there. Still trying to decide whether to rent a car there.
The transport pass I mentioned is the Val Gardena Mobil card (scroll to bottom https://www.valgardena.it/en/summer-...ites/mobility/), which member hotels/B&Bs issue to guests staying with them free of charge. We stayed at Garni Planaces (Hotel Garni Planaces - Appartments and rooms in Ortisei) - wonderful place and host. If helpful, I've also reviewed the other hikes mentioned on TripAdvisor if you search against my name e.g. Alpe de Siusi https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserR...no_Alto_A.html
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Jan 7th, 2019, 02:49 AM
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" We've been thinking about renting a car, spending 6-7 days or so. Now wondering if the Mobili card may satisfy our desire to explore several areas."

Public transport is easy and very frequent. For example:
25 trains from Mals to Bolzano/Bozen
14 buses Bolzano/Bozen - Siusi - Castelrotto - Ortisei
28 rail/bus connections Bolzano/Bozen - Ponte Gardena - Ortisei
13 rail/bus connections Bolzano/Bozen - Chiusa - Ortisei
Have a look at https://www.sii.bz.it/en/siipdfOldtimetables
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Jan 7th, 2019, 10:26 AM
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Hi Macaroni09 - I am always glad if I can help

It depends on how much time you have in the St.Moritz region. I personally think that Sils Maria is probably the most charming of the villages near St. Moritz, but a visit of this village *must* be combined with an excursion to the Fex Valley (different options - walking/hiking, the cable car Furtschellas, horse-drawn carriage ...) and/or a walk around peninsula Chaste. Let me know if you have questions.
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Jan 7th, 2019, 01:00 PM
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" Must visit Sils Maria, since you speak so highly of it. We have stayed in Pontresina and loved it."

Sils Maria is so gorgeous, we had 5 nights there in 2017 and have another 5 this July




TI in Sils Maria
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Jan 7th, 2019, 05:29 PM
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"Please, what hotel did you choose that gave you the transport card?"

We stayed in a different place than ANUJ, and we were also given the Val Gardena Mobil card. I can highly recommend the Garni Walter, its terrific owners (who gave wonderful touring advice), great breakfast...

Hotel Garni Walter
Welcome - Hotel - Garni - Apartment Walter - Ortisei - Holiday in South Tyrol
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Jan 8th, 2019, 03:14 PM
  #16
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Ingo, yes please! I know I have seen your posts (& Adelaidean's) on Sils but have not found them. We are planning about 5 night in Upper Engadine, and were about to default to Pontresina again. Would much prefer to stay in Sils if we can do it without a car. Fex Valley sounds great, and everything you mentioned. Please do tell me all about it!

neckervd, Think we will want to drive some in the Dolomites.
Train Mals->Bolzano. Maybe rent a car there, then train from Bolzano to Venice to return to USA.

Jean, Hotel Garni Walter looks great!
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Jan 8th, 2019, 05:48 PM
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Hi Mararoni09 - We spent six nights in Zuoz in December and found it a very good base for exploring more of the Upper Engadine - we'd previously stayed in Samedan a few years ago, also in December.

Our apartment (Allegra) was situated just below the train station, so an easy walk to/from. Zuoz has a lovely old town.

We've visited Sils Maria, but have yet to choose it as a base as we usually visit in the winter (when bus transport is more limited), but I have no doubt that it would make a great base in September. Shall have to try it out myself some time.

Good luck with your decision.
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Jan 9th, 2019, 01:47 AM
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Macaroni, my trip report here

Switzerland (and a bit of Italy) trip report

photos of Sils Maria and nearby in my photo album ...link in report.

I nearly stayed in Pontresina, seems like a convenient location, but Sils Maria is charming, and so well located, I can’t imagine staying anywhere else now.
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Jan 9th, 2019, 01:33 PM
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My favourite hike from Sils is as follows: cable car up to Furtschellas, hike via Marmore down to Fex Valley (you reach the valley in the rear part, near Hotel Fex) and then walk on in the Fex Valley to Hotel Fex, have lunch on their terrace, maybe walk on to the end of the valley if you like. Otherwise walk back along the valley to hamlet Fex Crasta with cute little chapel (frescoes!), Hotel/restaurant Sonne and the charming Pensiun restaurant Cresta where you can have fantastic cake and coffee (blueberry cake if it is the season!) Back to Sils Maria via hamlet Platta and the little gorge, you arrive right at the small square (see Adelaidean's picture above.)

Another (shorter) excellent hike is to Maloja along the panoramic trail on the other side of the valley, starting in Sils Baselgia, passing hamlet Grevasalvas (where a Heidi movie was filmed) and ending in Maloja, where you can visit the former atelier of painter Giovanni Segantini and his grave e.g. If you feel up to it, walk back to Sils Maria along the lake on the other side of the valley.

(Btw, from Maloja starts a wonderful hike into Forno valley to Lake Cavloc)

For a slow day visit the Nietzsche museum in Sils (if you are interested), have tea/coffee in the lobby/bar of Hotel Waldhaus (old-world charm Grand Hotel), check out the botanical garden on the little hill right in the village, walk around peninsula Chaste. Of course, all the other hikes/sights in the Upper Engadine are easily reached by bus/train from Sils.
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Jan 11th, 2019, 07:41 PM
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Ingo,
Have spent a marvelous evening researching the Fex Valley and environs from the Hotel Edelweiss site. The hikes you describe sound lovely.
Now I am wondering if we should base there the whole time or add a second base, since we want to explore more thoroughly some of the hiking along the Bernina Express southwards. Thinking we’ll spend about a week total.

Reading more about transitioning towards the Dolomites as well. In 2016 we went by bus through the Mustair valley and stopped at the wonderful Klostra San Jon. We did not make it to the National Park, but that could be a nice stop en route to Mals>Merano>Bolzano.. Please share your thoughts.

Adelaidean,
You are going back for more in Sils. That’s another great recommendation!
Re: the Dolomites, DH likes your post about using the bus. He says the driver doesn’t get to see anything! I wouldn’t know. As a somewhat dubious navigator, I happily enjoy the scenery and suggest when we should stop for that perfect photo. lol. Also considering 2 bases instead of one. When you move from one valley to another, can that be easily done on the bus?

Thanks again!
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