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Scenic/low stress travel Lucerne to Lake Como

Scenic/low stress travel Lucerne to Lake Como

Old Dec 29th, 2016, 04:01 AM
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Scenic/low stress travel Lucerne to Lake Como

Hi all! First time traveler to Switzerland early July 2017. I will only have a week and I'm considering 2 nights in Zurich, 2 nights in Lucerne and 2 nights in Como. Highly considering Bellagio but a little anxious about how stressful/difficult it may be to get from Bellagio to Milan airport for an 11:00 am flight. Would it be easier to stay in Como City and just ferry around the lake in my free time? Would love some recommendations that would allow me to see the Alpines/Swiss Alps with minimal transfers. I tend to get very nervous with multiple connections when there is any kind of time-crunch. Thanks so much!!
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Old Dec 29th, 2016, 04:13 AM
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I'd consider two other nights IN Switzerland and not anywhere near Lake Como (yes, it is great). I assume this Italy inclusion is because you have a flight already booked out of Milan, is that correct?

If it is, rather than taking the ferry over to Varenna and then the train to Milan and onward to whichever airport (Malpensa? Linate?) you spring for a car service transfer directly from the Bellagio hotel to the aiport.

If you have NOT booked a flight and you want alpine scenerey go to the Berner Oberland for a couple of days, NOT Lake Como.
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Old Dec 29th, 2016, 04:48 AM
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I was in Lucerne/Lake Como/Zurich in September. We flew to Zurich and immediately took the one hour train to Lucerne (trains to Lucerne leave 47 minutes past the hour at the train station at the airport). After 4 nights we used Lake Como Transfers car service to drive us door to door (2-1/4 hours) to our hotel in Tremezzo in Lake Como for 6 nights. We used them again for the drive back to Zurich (3 hours), spent 2 nights, and flew home. Were we to do it again, we'd have only spent 1 night in Zurich and added 1 to either Lucerne or Tremezzo. We loved Lucerne and really loved Lake Como. From what I understand, it's about an hour from Lake Como to Malpensa and private car service is the way to go, although it may be easier/shorter to stay on the west side of the lake rather than Bellagio. The scenery on each trip was lovely, it was not the spectacular Alpine experience, but very pretty.
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Old Dec 29th, 2016, 11:41 AM
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Go to Lugano instead of Como (trains from Lucerne at least every hr, journey time 2 hrs) and reach Malpensa airport from thre by direct bus (departures at 7am or 8am, 1 1/4 hrs journey).
http://www.ticino.ch/en/discover/des...ns/lugano.html
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Old Dec 29th, 2016, 12:44 PM
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Would love some recommendations that would allow me to see the Alpines/Swiss Alps with minimal transfers.>

You will not see the Swiss Alps in their most majestic awesome form from Lucerne or Como -but right on the way could be the fabulous Jungfrau Region -where a myriad of mountain trains, thrilling gondolas and easy to hard hiking trails take you easily anywhere. Hop the Jungfraujoch Railway to Europe's highest train station and walk to the nearby longest glacier in the Alps.

Base in a town like Grindelwald and be eyeball to eyeball with soaring glacier-girdled peaks:

https://www.google.com/search?q=jung...HZ6WBBwQsAQIGQ

Grindelwald is 20 minutes from Interlaken by train -direct trains probably from Zurich or Zurich Airport to Interlaken -I'd ditch Zurich, a huge modern city that underwhelms many - put those days into say Grindelwald -then take the scenic Golden Pass train route to Lucerne -lovely Lucerne on Lake Lucerne - Lucerne has direct trains to Como (and ones with a simple change in Arth-Goldau) via the Gotthard Tunnel (w0rld's longest now since it opened this month).

A neat way to leave Lucerne is by steamer to Fluelen - at the northeastern fjord-like tip of the lake and connect with Gotthard line trains there. A special boat-train called the William Tell Express entails the boat and panoramic observation car on the train part (all covered by a Swiss Pass which you may well find useful).

anyway for lots on Swiss trains and places check www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Dec 29th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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Another vote for Lugano instead of Lake Como. And for skipping Zurich in favor of time in the mountains.
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Old Dec 29th, 2016, 02:36 PM
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@cilburke - would be interested to know how much those car transfers cost. Last year I took the train from Zurich to Como for 10 CHF.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 03:50 AM
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Wow, @thursdaysd, that's amazing. I priced out first class train fares from Lucerne to Lugano or Como and they were over 200 euros each way for the two of us, plus a 100 euro car service to Tremezzo from the train station. There's no doubt door to door car transfers are the most expensive way to go -- it was 400 euros each way. However, my husband had a badly sprained foot, so we didn't have a lot of choice. I rationalized the cost since we used miles for our roundtrip JFK/Zurich flights.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 04:25 AM
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We were in Lucerne two summers ago, and took the William Tell Express route (recommended above by Palenq) to Lugano, and then on by train to Milan. We just took the regular boat and train rather than the William Tell Express package, and spent the night in Lugano to break the journey. I would like to have stayed longer in Lugano, taking a day trip to Bellinzona.

We were in Bellagio for a few days before going to Switzerland, but I didn't care much for that town.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 05:31 AM
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@cilburke - where did you price the tickets? The price I paid is standard for advance purchase tickets from the Swiss Rail company for regular trains - not the fancy named ones but the view is just as good. I checked last week for a friend for Zurich to Milan, still 10 CHF for advance purchase for a specific train. If you haven't already found seat61.com do read it before your next train trip.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 05:36 AM
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I didn't price first class tickets as I'm fine in second, but I just checked sbb.ch and first class Zurich to Milan is 65 CHF - 64 USD.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 07:12 AM
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Zurich - Milan by train (direct itinerary, departures at least every 2 hrs):
2nd class:
standard fare 83 CHF/OW
discounted web fare 43 CHF/OW
1st class:
standard fare 131 CHF/OW
discounted web fare 54 CHF/OW
Fares for random date January 30th

Zurich - Milan by bus (direct itinerary, journey time 4 hrs, departures about every hr):
web fares start at 19 EUR
operated by Flixbus, Eurolines, Baltour and ALSA
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 07:24 AM
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The fares vary depending on when you travel and when you book. The fare I checked earlier today, for 23 Feb at 09:09, has gone up from 10 CHF to 21 CHF in just a couple of hours. However, the second class advance purchase fare for 28 Feb at 11:09 is still 10 CHF.

I think it is true to say that the cheapest fare will still be one booked through sbb.ch.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 08:16 AM
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...you are right, indeed!
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 11:02 AM
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I don't think I'd stay anywhere on Lake Como the night before a morning flight from Malpensa, especially not if the flight is to the US, which entails extra security.
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Old Dec 30th, 2016, 12:08 PM
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then you have to stay at the airport hotels - Como I believe is no farther by say taxi then Milan itself> Look into minivan or private drivers- I took a Malpensa airport bus once from Como but believe that has been scrapped?
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