We will fly into Zurich in early October and plan to visit Zermatt, Matterhorn. From there we plan to take the Bernini Express from Chur to Tirano Italy. Wondering how many days we should plan for this? Are there any “musts”? (is the Glacier paradise worth it?) We are planning to use the train as transportation Would a rail pass be the most economical? Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
How do you plan to get from Zermatt to Chur? the most sensible thing would be to take the Glacier Express which leaves Zermatt for St Moritz every morning. Take it to St Moritz and spend at least a night there – more if you can because the Upper Engadin is lovely and very very different from the rest of the country. IF you plan two nights then many hotels offer a free Engadin card which will provide free and unlimited local transport and would significantly cut the cost of the Bernina Express train ticket because it gets you as far as Alp Grüm for free!
Both these trains require seat reservations. Get them 90 days out.
What probably would be the most economic way of travelling is the Half Fare card coupled with Saver Day Passes for the day you go ZRH/Zermatt, Zermatt/St Moritz. See http://www.sbb.ch/en for details. SDP goes on sale 60 days out and price rises as date of travel nears. So get it 60 days out. Lowest cost is 29frs in 2nd class with the HFC. HFC also gets you 50% off the Gornergrat train and the lifts to the Klein Matterhorn. (Klein Matterhorn is OK but not really amazing…Gornergrat on the other hand has the best mountain views in the entire country – at least I think so. You see many of the 4000m+ peaks around Zermatt, the highest mountain in Switzerland – Monte Rosa – and of course the Matterhorn.
Suggest you spend 2-3 days in Zermatt and the same around St Moritz. For the Engain – http://www.engadin.stmoritz.ch and look especially at Sils Maria which is a beautiful village to stay in.
Cheers – Johnnie Swiss 🙂