Switzerland Travel and Excursions this August

I'm hoping for some feedback on best travel routes and how to best utilize my Swiss Travel Pass. I purchased an 8 day pass for the following itinerary in August 2018: Day 1: Mount PIlates excursion from Lucerne, Day 2: Mount Titlis excurstion from Lucerne, Day 3: Travel from Lucerne to Jungfraujoch excursion, Day 4: Travel from Interlaken to Gornergrat excursion. What do I need to reserve now and what are the best routes/trains to take? Thank you!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 06, 2018 19:02
    Hi Josh,

    Mount Pilatus

    As of this year, the Swiss Travel Pass no longer covers the excursion from Lucerne to Mount Pilatus. However, the Swiss Travel Pass would qualify you to receive a 50% discount on the segments of this excursion not covered.

    The excursion up Mount Pilatus starts with a steamboat across Lake Lucerne from Lucerne to Alpnachstad. Once you get to Alpnachstad, the ascent continues by cog railway up to Mt Pilatus itself (Pilatus Kulm). After reaching Mt Pilatus (Pilatus Kulm), you would make your descent by taking a cable car to Fräkmüntegg and then a gondola from Fräkmüntegg to Kriens. To get from Kriens back to Lucerne, you would take a bus.

    The Swiss Travel Pass is valid for you to get from Lucerne to Alpnachstad (either by train or by the steamboat across Lake Lucerne) and it is also valid on the bus ride from Kriens back to Lucerne.

    To receive the discount for the other segments, you would purchase a 50% off option of the pass for 'Mount Pilatus' here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/mount-pilatus. The option specific to the Swiss Travel Pass has not yet been added to our website; however, you can still purchase the 'Eurail Pass' or 'Swiss Half Fare Card' option and either would still be valid for you to use (both still grant you a 50% discount). The 'Mount Pilatus' pass would cover you on the cog railway from Alpnachstad to Mount Pilatus itself (Pilatus Kulm), the cable car from Pilatus Kulm to Fräkmüntegg and the gondola from Fräkmüntegg to Kriens.

    Mount Titlis

    The excursion from Lucerne to Mount Titlis consists of a train from Lucerne to Engelberg, a cable car from Engelberg to Trübsee, a second cable car from Trübsee to Stand, and then the 'Titlis Rotair' gondola from Stand to Klein Titlis.

    The 'Titlis Rotair' is the world's first 360 degree revolving gondola, offering spectacular panoramic views.

    Off the Klein Titlis station, you do have access to the 'Titlis Cliff Walk', the 'Ice Flyer' chairlift, the Titlis Glacier Park, and a wondrous illuminated cave known as the 'Glacier Grotto'. The 'Titlis Cliff Walk' is a pedestrian suspension bridge (the highest suspension bridge in Europe) from where you can enjoy more incredible views. There is also a panorama restaurant.

    For the trip between Lucerne and Mount Titlis, the Swiss Travel Pass would only be valid on the train between Lucerne and Engelberg. However, it does enable you to receive a discount of about 45% on the cable cars between Engelberg and Titlis. To receive this discount, you would purchase the 'Mountain Tops: Titlis Engelberg to Mt Titlis for Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option of the pass for 'Mount Titlis' here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/mount-titlis-8165.

    This pass also includes access to the 'Titlis Cliff Walk', a ride on the 'Ice Flyer', and entrance to the 'Glacier Grotto'.

    Lucerne to Interlaken (Jungfraujoch)

    The gateway to Jungfraujoch is Interlaken. Trains from Lucerne to Interlaken follow one segment of the famed GoldenPass scenic route. On trains from Lucerne to Interlaken, reservations are possible but not necessary. Therefore, the Swiss Travel Pass is all you would need to board.

    If you want to have reservations, you would search Lucerne to Interlaken on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), check the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicate the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Swiss Travel Pass’).

    Jungfraujoch Top of Europe

    To get from Interlaken to the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, there are 2 different routes you can take; one that goes via Grindelwald and the other that goes via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen.

    The Grindelwald route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Grindelwald on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Train from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’
    -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

    The Lauterbrunnen/Wengen route would look like this:

    -Train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen on the ‘Bernese Oberland Railway’
    -Train from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg on the ‘Wengernalp Railway’ (Wengen is a stop along this rail line)
    -Train from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch on the ‘Jungfrau Railway’ (the highest railway in Europe)

    With regard to the former, the Swiss Travel Pass would cover you only as far as Grindelwald.

    With regard to the latter, the Swiss Travel Pass would cover you as far as Wengen.

    For the remaining segments (Grindelwald-Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch & Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg-Jungfraujoch), the Swiss Travel Pass would enable you to receive a discount of 25%. To receive this discount, you would purchase the 'JUNGFRAUJOCH/TOP OF EUROPE Grindelwald or Wengen to Jungfraujoch Swiss Travel Pass Holder' (Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) option of a pass called the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe'. For this pass, you would click here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/jungfraujoch-top-of-europe-8315.

    If you do not wish to expend a travel day on your Swiss Travel Pass for the segments between Interlaken and either Grindelwald or Wengen, you would purchase the 'JUNGFRAUJOCH/TOP OF EUROPE Interlaken to Jungfraujoch Swiss Travel Pass Holder' (still Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) option of the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe'.

    On the 'Jungfrau Railway' between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, reservations are highly recommended for travel between the months of May and October. The reservations are a small cost in addition to the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' and have to be made locally at the stations in either Interlaken (Interlaken Ost), Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengen.

    Expect stunning views throughout the entire trek between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch, whether you take the route via Grindelwald or the one via Lauterbrunnen/Wengen. To get the most of your Jungfraujoch experience, you might want to consider making your ascent one way and your descent the other. The ‘Jungfrau Railway’ itself runs mostly through a tunnel (the ‘Jungfrau Tunnel’), but there are two ‘sightseeing stops’ in the tunnel (‘Eigerwand’ and ‘Eismeer’) where passengers can exit their train and take in the views through windows built into the side of the mountain.

    At the Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station, you have access to the Sphinx Observation Terrace and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier). The Jungfraujoch station (Top of Europe) is the highest rail station in Europe, the Sphinx Observation Terrace is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, and the Aletsch Glacier (Great Aletsch Glacier) is the longest glacier in Europe.

    Interlaken to Zermatt (Gornergrat)

    The departure point for Gornergrat is in Zermatt. Connections from Interaken to Zermatt take 2 to 2.5 hours in duration and involve 2 train changes along the way; once in Spiez and then once in Visp.

    Reservations are not necessary on any of these trains, so the Swiss Travel Pass is all you would to board. For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature under 'Tickets & Reservations' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) to view schedules for these trains; you may just need to break up your search in either Spiez or Visp. Therefore, you can do one search for trains from Interlaken to Spiez and then another search for the part of the connection from Spiez to Zermatt.

    Trains from Visp to Zermatt follow along a stretch of the famed Glacier Express scenic route.

    Gornergrat (Zermatt)

    To reach Gornergrat, you would take the Gornergratbahn cogwheel in Zermatt, for which the Swiss Travel Pass would qualify you to receive a 50% discount. For this discount on the Gornergratbahn you would purchase the 'Mountain Tops: Gornergrat Zermatt to Gornergrat Swiss Travel Pass Holder' option (Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) of the pass for 'Mount Gornergrat' here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/mount-gornergrat.

    Also very highly recommended in Zermatt is the gondola and cable cars up to Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise. For the gondola and cable cars from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise, the Swiss Travel Pass would again enable you to receive a 50% discount. To receive this discount, you would purchase the ‘Mountain Tops: Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Zermatt to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Swiss Travel Pass Holder’ option (Low season, Mid-season, or High-season depending on when you'll be taking the trip) of the pass for ‘Matterhorn Glacier Paradise’ here: http://www.raileurope.com/pass/matterhorn-glacier-paradise-8319. This pass will cover you on the gondola from Zermatt to Furi, cable car from Furi to Trockener Steg, and then the highest cable car in Europe from Trockener Steg to Klein Matterhorn. This pass also includes entrance through the ice tunnel to the Glacier Palace and access to the viewing platform for more views of the Matterhorn and surrounding Alps.
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