Lower Engadine help

Old Feb 15th, 2017, 09:24 AM
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Lower Engadine help

There will be 7 of us traveling in late June from Varenna Italy to Guarda. One of us will be my 84 year old mother. It looks like it will be along day traveling by train from Varenna to Guarda. Is it easy to get to Guarda, find the correct bus and then do day trips from there? I realize that Scoul may be a better base but we really want the charm that I keep hearing Guarda offers. Our trip begins and ends in Zurich and we will spend 5 nights in Murren before we train to Varenna for 3 nights then train to Guarda for 3 nights.I am uncertain if we should buy a swiss pass, half fare card, or berner oberland regional pass or junfrau pass. We will be having many trips up and down from Murren as we will day trip all over the bernise Oberland while we are there. Since the pass does us no good in Italy is it even worth buying the swiss pass or just pay point to point only buying a berner oberland regional pass for our time in the BO. Will it be difficult on my mother traveling by the bus system from Guarda to the surrounding lower Engadine. Does the train clearly inform you where to get off to catch the bus to Guarda. Would a car rental from Pontresina or St. Moritz make sense? Is it difficult doing day trips by bus from Guarda? We could stay a 4th night in Guarda but would have to make it to the airport in Zurich for our departure flight which leaves at 2PM on the last day.. Cutting it too close??
I truly appreciate any input you can offer to the many details I've laid out. I am the one responsible to set the itinerary, find the accommodations, transportation issues, and payment for the trip. It has become more of a burden when I haven't been to this part of world and don't know the system, or degree of difficulty. Thank you for your insight.
Jaywdickson is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2017, 04:26 PM
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Not that long a day: The 09:24 departure from Varenna gets into Guarda GR by 14:07, that’s not too bad. You have 8 minutes to make the switch in Tirano (10:52/11:00) and 10 minutes in Pontresina(12:52/13:02).

Then again, you could stay in Pontresina for lunch and a bit of a look-around, and take the 15:02 that arrives in Guarda at 16:07. Still not too bad. See www.sbb.ch/en

Use Guarda GR to avoid getting results for Guarda in Italy (GR stands for Graubünden, the name of the Canton = “State” where Guarda, these days a part of the municipality of Scuol, is located).

For day-trips by postal coach see timetables at https://www.postauto.ch/en
If you use Google maps and zoom in you see that the station in Guarda is across the street from the Postauto stop.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2017, 05:21 PM
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From the train station “in” (below) Guarda, there is a small bus / van that can take you to Guarda itself, but it doesn’t meet EVERY train, so you might want to either time your travels accordingly or expect to wait at the train stop. You do NOT want to walk from the Guarda train station to Guarda itself – or at least, I can’t imagine that your mother would want to do so! IIRC – and I’m not sure I do – there is some seating at the train stop, but not much. You can check the times of the trains and buses on the Swiss rail website; for Guarda itself, please specify “Guarda, cumün” and check the “Show all detials” option to see each and every connection with full details. (The “1 min” walk from the Guarda train station to the bus stop is, I believe, much less than 1 minute – I remember walking just a dozen yards or so and pretty much on a level surface.)

That same site shows your connection times from Guarda, cumun, to Zurich’s airport. It looks like you wouldn’t have same-day options on all days, but I’m just working with fake dates – you really need to check for yourself.

Also, note that you will need to press a button on the train to request a stop at Guarda, and to press a similar button at the Guarda train station that you use to request that the train stop for you. It’s very easy to see and do – as long as you know to look for it!

Once in Guarda, you may have to walk just a bit to your hotel. The street is not perfectly level, but the change in elevation is not great. I would not expect that part of the trip to be a major obstacle unless your mother has serious mobility limits. Again, I’m basing my comments on my memories, which could be mistaken or inconsistent with your expectations.

You will be adding time to every trip you take from Guarda for the bus to/from the station. Whether that’s a problem, I can’t say! Rather than returning to Guarda multiple times each day, you might want to plan on stops elsewhere. I believe there are a variety of options for leisurely lunches or lingering over coffee or wine in and around the area.

Personally, I can’t imagine that a car rental would suit better….

You might face a similar difficulty in Murren. To get to Murren from Lauterbrunnen (the city at the base of the valley), you need to take a cable car and then a train (or a LONG walk – certainly lovely and certainly doing at least once, but not something you would likely want to do each and every time you leave or reach the area!) and then walk a bit on generally, but not completely, level ground. Again, perfectly do-able, but it will take time and patience, and those trains and cablecars can be FULL in late June! I took the cablecar up three times, IIRC, and I had to stand in line for at least 2 or 3 cars to fill before I was able to enter on each of those occasions. I think they may have a way to allow older travelers to get on sooner, but I’m not sure they would let 7 people on to facilitate one person’s travel. I honestly don’t know.

I hope that others with greater experience and expertise will chime in!
kja is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2017, 06:12 PM
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If you go to Google Maps and input Guardia GR and zoom in heavily and switch to Street View, you see how desolate that little station is. No taxi rank, no nothing. You can see the yellow sign on a post across the wide street, that's the sign for the Postauto stop.

But you might be better off in Scuol, it's a town, well, a village anyway.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2017, 06:13 PM
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Oops - Guarda GR not Guardia.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2017, 04:09 AM
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Journey times:

Zurich airport - Muerren: 3 hrs 15 min, change at Berne, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Gruetschalp;

Best trains from Mürren to Varenna: 6 hrs
Muerren dp 12.28 - Varenna ar 18.23, change at Gruetschalp, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Spiez and Milano Centrale;

Varenna - Guarda Village: 4 hrs 53 min, either via Chiavenna or via Tirano - Pontresina; if you travel via Tirano - Stelvio - Pass dal Fuorn, it's 2 hrs more.

Guarda Village - Zurich airport (first arrival at 9.42): 3 hrs 06 min

All depends on your daytrips from Muerren and Guarda. I cannot imagine that you will not backtrack from Guarda to Bernina Diavolezza or to Corvatsch in order to enjoy the stunning glaciers and up to 4000 metres high peaks of Bernina. Or may be you go via Pass dal Fuorn - Pass d'Umbrail to Passo Stelvio and down to Trafoi - Spondinig (may be Meran) and back via Reschen Pass - Scuol.

That means that only you can compare prices of point to point tickets with those of passes
neckervd is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2017, 02:37 PM
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In your attempt to start another thread you wrote:

"We will be coming from Varenna Italy to Guarda from Tirano and I am uncertain which name to for guards to put into the SBB.ch train site. I believe it is cumin. Does this mean that we would be dropped off at the station where there is a bus which will then take us to Guarda?
Also when we leave Guarda it will be the same day that we fly home from Zurich airport leaving at 2PM. I am concerned that it is to long a train trip leaving myself little time should something go wrong. It appears that there are trains leaving for Zurich airport early enough but again am uncertain how to get from the town of Guarda to the bus which gets me to the station for the train to Zurich. Can someone please give me some guidance on how to do this and if you think I am cutting it to close leaving from Guarda the same day we fly home.
Thank you so much for your help"

The train from Varenna-Esino arrives at the station of Guarda which - in the local language - is called Guarda staziun.

The village itself is called Guarda; cumün (Engl. “community”) is the word for “village” as opposed to “station”, and you need the bus to get you up there from the station.

Go to http://www.engadin.com/ferienorte/en...arda/?S=1&R=2/ and use the “Arriving by public transport” field, by inputting Varenna-Esino as your departure point. Or go directly to www.sbb.ch/en and do the same.

There is a train leaving Varenna-Esino (the full name) every two hours.

The 09:24 arrives at Tirano FS (FS stands for Ferrovie dell Stato, the Railways of the State = Italian official railways) at 10:52.

You walk from the FS station to the Swiss station (5 minutes)

at 11:00 the train leaves in the direction of St. Moritz.

You get off in Pontresina at 12:52.

at 13:02 the train leaves in the direction of Scuol-Tarasp

After Lavin (at 14:03) you push the STOP button and get off in Guarda (staziun) at 14:07

You walk to the waiting bus across the street, it leaves at 14:09, and at 14:17 you’re up in the village = cumün

With the next train from Varenna-Esino, this is how it goes (abbreviated version now

Lv V.-E. 11:24
ar Tirano FS 12:52
lv Tirano 13:00
ar Pontresina 14:52
lv Pontresina 15:02
ar Guarda staziun 16:07
lv Guarda staziun (bus) 16:09
ar Guarda cumün 16:17
michelhuebeli is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2017, 02:45 PM
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Bottom line: "Guarda cumin" IS the village. Steps from your lodging.

michelhuebeli has done you a service.

I've already noted my reservations about your plan to stay in Guarda the night before your flight -- but you need to check the times for yourself and decide for yourselves what you consider comfortable.
kja is offline  
Old Feb 18th, 2017, 05:09 PM
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Great explanation michelhuebeli am 'saving' it for future trip.
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