What should I purchase for a trip from Annecy to Chamonix & Chamonix to Venice?

Would any rail passes be advisable for the above trip? Is the mont blanc express covered by a french rail pass?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) November 12, 2014 17:13
    Thank you for your question, Andrea.

    A France Rail Pass would only cover the portion of the Mont Blanc Express that's in France, which would be the train from Chamonix to Vallorcine.

    In any case, for the requested itinerary, your best option would just be to purchase regular point-to-point tickets, as opposed to any rail pass.

    A connection from Annecy to Chamonix would take at least about 2.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in St Gervais Les Bains along the way.

    A connection from Chamonix to Venice would take at least 7.5 hours in duration and involves at least 4 train changes en route; once in Vallorcine, once in Martigny, once in Brig or Sion, and then once in Milan. The segment from Chamonix to Martigny (via Vallorcine) would be known as the actual 'Mont Blanc Express'.

    You would purchase tickets and check schedules by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage.

    For the trip from Annecy to Chamonix, you would piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Annecy to St Gervais Les Bains and another search for connecting trains from St Gervais Les Bains to Chamonix.

    For the trip from Chamonix to Venice, you can either piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each individual segment or else you can break up your search once in Martigny and then once in Milan. Therefore, you would do one search for the segment of this connection from Chamonix to Martigny, another search for the segment from Martigny to Milan, and another search for connecting trains from Milan to Venice. The trains from Milan to Venice are high-speed 'Frecciabianca' trains, or else there is a EuroCity (EC) train.

    Please note, our website would only recognize Vallorcine if spelled as 'Vallorcines' when doing a schedule search.
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  • Thank you for the helpful info Jeff!
    The two trips I mentioned are part of a larger itinerary, but are the most complicated train wise. The complete itinerary is Paris to Annecy, Annecy to Chamonix, Chamonix to Venice, and Venice to Florence. Knowing the complete itinerary would you still recommend point-to-point tickets?
    Thanks so much for your help!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) November 12, 2014 20:13
    Hi Andrea,

    You would check regular point-to-point ticket costs for each of the requested routes by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage. For the trips from Annecy to Chamonix and Chamonix to Venice, you would just follow the procedure I described above. From Paris to Annecy and Venice to Florence, the trains are direct.

    To determine your overall most economical option, you would compare the cumulative total of that to the total cost of the rail pass you would purchase to cover the same itinerary, in combination with reservations for any trains that would require them in addition to the pass.

    The pass that would cover your itinerary is the Eurail Select Pass. The Eurail Select Pass is a pass that covers travel in 4 bordering countries of your choosing, so you would end up including one other country on your pass even though you wouldn't necessarily actually be traveling to it. Therefore, if you opt to purchase a rail pass, you would purchase a Eurail Select Pass to include France, Switzerland, Italy, and one other bordering country.

    You would purchase the Eurail Select Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    Of the trains comprising of your itinerary, only the trains from Paris to Annecy (high-speed 'TGV' trains), Brig to Milan or Sion to Milan (as part of your connection from Chamonix to Venice), Milan to Venice (also as part of your connection from Chamonix to Venice), and Venice to Florence would require reservations in addition to the rail pass.

    For travel with a pass, you would check reservation costs for these trains by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules') and indicating the type of rail pass you'll be traveling with when prompted.

    The other trains that comprise of your itinerary don't accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    Once you've checked the reservation costs for each of the reservable segments in your itinerary, you would add that amount to the cost of the Eurail Select Pass.

    For planning, you can just check schedules for non-reservable segment of your itinerary under 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage.

    Please note, a rail pass would just not be valid on any of the trains labeled 'Italo' that operate between Venice and Florence. Instead, with a rail pass, you would take any of the trains labeled 'Frecciargento' or 'InterCity' on this same route. If you opt to purchase regular point-to-point tickets, you would be able to take one of the Italo trains on this route.
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  • Thank you so much for all the detailed info! It is extremely helpful!!
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