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Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

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Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

Hello!

I am taking a 10 day solo backpacking trip through Europe and almost have my itinerary all planned out except for where to go in Switzerland.

I am going to Rome and then to Florence. From Florence I really really wanted to go to the Swiss Alps for 2 nights and then move onto my final destination of Paris.

I'll be in Switzerland from 26/12 to 28/12.

I was hoping to go to a small town IN the Alps where I can be one with nature and see beautiful sights. I don't want to do much of anything besides maybe some calm hiking and nature walks, I don't have much money to spend on snowboarding or day trips so I really want to find a location that is simply breathtaking where I can just sit and let the world take over.

I had high hopes on Gimmelwald, however, there is not cheap enough accommodation and the hostel is booked up. I'm going to couch surf through my other destinations, however there are no couches available in Gimmelwald. I heard of sleeping on hay but am not sure how to do that?

Maybe there is another town that is as charming and beautiful as Gimmelwald that is on the way from Florence to Paris?

I have no idea where to go that will be easy to access from Florence and easy to leave from to Paris. This is my first time in Europe and first time using the rail system.

I could really use some advice on where to go in Switzerland and also how to travel from Rome-Florence-Switzerland-Paris. Do I need a rail pass or do I just buy tickets? Where?

The less expensive the better! Thank you so much in advance.

Cheers,

Ally

Edited: 5:48 am, October 25, 2013
adelaide
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1. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

I went the other way from London Paris Zurich Chur by trains then the Bernina Express to Torino and continued to Milan Florence and on in Italy

I wasn't on a budget but you should be able to adapt the trip to your needs

that trip is straight forward and easy to do

I spent the night in Chur which was great - historic and charming

you should be able to get off the Bernina Express or the local train on the same route at a station higher than Chur to do your mountain sitting

check the train route and find a village to stop at that has suitable accommodation for you

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

Forget a rail pass in Italy and France. Buy ordinary tickets, preferably well in advance. As in Spain, the cheap tickets are available when you book as tickets go on sale.

Trains from Florence to Paris do not go through Switzerland: they go from Turin to Lyon via the Frejus Tunnel.

In addition, trains are not good at climbing hills, so you will not find main line trains going to villages in the Alps.

3. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

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Removed on: 3:47 am, October 27, 2013
Philadelphia...
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4. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

Actually, the OP is referring to Gimmelwald.

adelaide
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5. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

sorry for the spelling mistake appia670

very kind of you to be so offended

do you have an answer to the OPs question

and nick from sydney the Bernina Express has an incredible ability to climb and descend hills in the alps - if you haven't been I highly recommend it

6. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

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Removed on: 3:48 am, October 27, 2013
7. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

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Removed on: 3:48 am, October 27, 2013
Edited: 3:48 am, October 27, 2013
Imperia, Italy
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8. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

Going from Italy to Paris via Switzerland is reasonably sensible. Though the direct trains from Milan and Turin do not go through Switzerland, with one change in Switzerland the journey time takes little longer - changes are possible at Geneva, Lausanne, Basel and Zurich depending on departure time.

However the direct trains on the fast routes run on main lines, which run in valleys and tunnels not over mountains. Journeys using mountain railways such as the Bernina Express route take massively longer. The main line trains also do not serve small villages of the type wanted by the OP - the smallest you'd get on direct routes would be towns like Montreux or Spiez.

The smaller, higher and more remote the village you choose to go to, the more changes of train off the main line you will have to make - from just one change onto a direct train to places like Zermatt which though very high is very popular, to at least three changes to places like Gimmelwald, which requires a time-consuming two trains, one bus and a cable car to reach from a main line train station (which for direct trains from Milan is usually Spiez).

Edited: 10:57 am, October 25, 2013
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9. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

Thank you for your replies, meconopsisgardner & sydneynick. I will look into taking the Bernina Express, maybe an over night train? Or, if I took the Bernina Express, where would you recommend stopping to stay for a day or so?

And as for you appia670, this was posted in the Switzerland forum as the same time as this was posted in the Florence forum. The relevance for this being posted in the Florence forum is quite obvious given that I was to depart from Florence and go directly into Switzerland.

Latina, Italy
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10. Re: Where to go in Swiss Alps from Florence on the way to Paris?

<<And as for you appia670....>

I have removed my posts as they have offended you.

Had you asked about trains from Florence to Switzerland in the Florence forum and about where to go in the Swiss Alps in the Switzerland forum it might have avoided confusion.