2 or 3 country pass for Paris to Stresa, Stresa to Zermatt, Zermatt to Lucerne, & Lucerne to Zermatt?

We are traveling in July as follows: Paris -Stresa, Italy; Stresa-Zermatt; Zermatt-Lucerne; Lucerne-Zermatt. 4 days train travel withn 12 days.Do we need a France-Italy-Switzerland pass or will a France Switzerland be adequate?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) January 25, 2017 21:22
    Hi Pamela,

    For the requested itinerary, your best option would be to purchase the 2 country option of the Eurail Select Pass for France and Switzerland. With this option, you would take the route from Paris to Stresa that goes via Lausanne and Brig. For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    Some of the trains you'll be taking would just require reservations in addition to the pass.

    Paris to Stresa

    With the 2 country Eurail Select Pass for only France and Switzerland, you would take the route from Paris to Stresa that involves changing trains in Lausanne and Brig along the way. You would likely have to change trains again in Domodossola in between Brig and Stresa. The trip would take about 7.5 hours in duration.

    First, you would take the high-speed TGV Lyria from Paris to Lausanne. This train does require reservations in addition to the rail pass. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Paris to Lausanne by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    Generally, the TGV Lyria can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure. Since your intended travel falls outside of this time frame, you would just use an earlier date, some time within the next 90 days, to get an idea of the reservation costs and view schedules in the meantime.

    In Lausanne, you would switch to a train to Brig. The trains from Lausanne to Brig don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board.

    If you then take a direct train from Brig to Stresa, reservations would be required at a rate called the 'Passholder 2' rate. You would purchase reservations for one of these trains by following the same procedure for booking reservations on the TGV Lyria from Paris to Lausanne.

    You can ensure that you're being quoted the correct type of rate for each train by clicking the 'View' button for the costs that display for a particular train/departure. After you click 'View', a box will expand out underneath. In this box, you would refer to the option(s) listed under where it says 'Ticket Flexibility' and click 'Read More'. When you click 'Read More', the name of the fare should display as something like 'TGV Lyria Passholder 1' for a train from Paris to Lausanne and 'Trenitalia International Trains Passholder 2' for a direct train from Brig to Stresa.

    If you don't connect to the one of the direct trains from Brig to Stresa, you would end up needing to change trains once more in Domodossola. The 2 country Eurail Select Pass for France and Switzerland would not cover the trains from Brig to Domodossola and Domodossola to Stresa, so you would need to purchase regular point-to-point tickets for these trains.

    To purchase regular tickets, you would click 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage before entering the route. Generally, when purchasing regular tickets, you would have to be sure the 'No' option is checked where it asks you 'Are you traveling with a rail pass?'. Also, to purchase tickets for the option via Domodossola, you would have to do a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Brig to Domodossola and then another search for connecting trains from Domodossola to Stresa.

    Stresa to Zermatt

    A connection from Stresa to Zermatt at least 2.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Brig along the way. For the train from Stresa to Brig, you would follow the procedure to book 'Passholder 2' ('Trenitalia International Trains Passholder 2'), as described for the inbound trains from Brig to Stresa above.

    Trains from Brig to Zermatt don't accept reservations, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board. For planning, you can still view schedules for trains from Brig to Zermatt by entering the route on our homepage. Trains from Brig to Zermatt follow along the tail end of the famed Glacier Express scenic route.

    Zermatt to Lucerne

    The shortest connections from Zermatt to Lucerne take just under 3.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes en route; once in Visp and then once in Bern. Reservations are not at all necessary, or even accepted, on any of these trains, so the Eurail Select Pass is all you would need to board. The trains from Zermatt to Visp follow along the Glacier Express scenic route, as well.

    For planning purposes, you can search schedules for these trains from right on our homepage. For this trip, you would just break up your search once in Bern. Therefore, you would do one search for the part of this connection from Zermatt to Bern and then another search for connecting trains from Bern to Lucerne.

    Another option from Zermatt to Lucerne would have you also experiencing a segment of the GoldenPass scenic route for part of the way. This option would take just under 4.5 hours in duration and involves 3 train changes en route; once in Visp, once in Spiez, and then once in Interlaken. From Zermatt to Visp you would be following along the Glacier Express scenic route again, and the segment from Interlaken to Lucerne would be on the GoldenPass scenic route.

    Reservations are not necessary on any of these trains, although you might consider purchasing reservations just for the GoldenPass leg from Interlaken to Lucerne. When viewing schedules on our site, you would just break up the search once in Interlaken. Therefore, you would do one search for the part of the connection from Zermatt to Interlaken and then another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Lucerne. GoldenPass trains can only be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    Lucerne to Zermatt


    For your trip back to Zermatt, the same options would apply as your trip from Zermatt to Lucerne but in the reverse.
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