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Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

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Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Hi there,

My friend and I (2 ladies in our late 40s) will be staying 4 nights in Varenna in April 2014. We would like to take a day trip into Switzerland. It has been suggested that we visit Soglio for a taste of an authentic Swiss village. We'd prefer not to hire a car, and we'd also like to take the Bernina Express train if possible. I've worked out that we can get from Varenna to Tirano on the train, then take the Bernina Express to St Moritz. Now some questions:

What is the best/easiest way to get from St Moritz to Soglio? Then from Soglio back to Varenna? If Soglio is too difficult to access, can anyone suggest another nearby village to visit? Would we be better off taking the local train from Tirano to St Moritz and stopping off at a village along the way or take the Bernina Express TO St M and then local train on return to Tirano, stopping off on the way back?

From what I've read on TA, if we were to catch the Bernina Express to St Moritz and return, we could not stop off (unless we buy another ticket). It seems at that time of year, there's only 1 train per day in each direction anyway. Also, if we take the Bernina Express from Tirano to St M and return, we would only have about 2.5 hours in St M - not enough time to get to Soglio either??

I really would appreciate any locals or expert's input/suggested itineraries. Thank you so much in advance.

St. Moritz...
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1. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

You could plan to do this as a round trip. Take the Bernina line (does not necessarily have to be the "express", just any train on this route has the same phantastic views and there are hourly departures. And the "express" is not faster, it just has bigger windows and more narration and you pay the additional reservation fee - if you can live without that, take just any train convenient for your itinerary. Then on your return journey take the postal bus from St. Moritz to Chiavenna. This will take you along scenic the Upper Engadin lake plateau and down the steep and winding Maloja pass road and then through all the tiny hamlets in the remote Bregaglia valley (the road where traffic goes does not go through the villages, just the postbus does, as it stops in each of them). I think you would not have a lot of time to visit Soglio, as this would mean you have to change for another postal bus to take you up there and back. However you could easily interrupt your journey at e.g. Sils-Maria, a beautiful village in a marvellous setting. You could see the village, if you have time take a short ride on a horsedrawn carriage into the Fex Valley for e.g. lunch (how about a cheese fondue on a sunny terrace?) and back again to catch the next available bus. Or you could hike to the lake and the small peninsula for the vibe of it - a location where painters, writers and philosophs took there inspiration for decades and still do so today.

To put together your itinerary, use www.sbb.ch , put in e.g. Varenna as your starting point, Sils-Maria as your destination (or then Soglio if you prefer this), and Tirano in the "via" field. Then for your second part, put in you first destination as the starting point and Varenna as your destination and eventually Chiavenna in the "via". This should show you all the possibilities for the exact day of your excursion. I would suggest you decide on a short term basis and based upon the weather at the time. It does not make sense to do this with bad weather, you might end up in a snow storm even in April. You might however also find a bright blue sky and warm sunshine and beautiful views, so take a strong sun protection with a high factor, as the sun in April is not that harmless, also because it is reflected by the snow. Soglio may start it's activity in April, it however is more a summer place, whereas the Upper Engadin www.engadin.stmoritz.ch is still in winter acitivty in April.

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2. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Something that comes into mind: as the weather in our area is very much different from other parts, I suggest you consult www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/sommer/en/#weather - this forecast is done for the area only and is the most accurate you will find. Global sites mostly take a larger area thus are not as specific.

Edited: 04 December 2013, 09:38
Gold Coast
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3. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Hi Engadiner,

Thank you so much for your wonderful information! It sure helps to ask a local - you have been invaluable in planning our trip. The weather site will be a great help too. I think we will wait until a day or two before to decide on our exact itinerary, but it helps to have all the info and timetables beforehand.

It appears that the earliest Bernina Express or local trains we can get from Varenna via Tirano arrive in St Mortiz at 12.09, just in time for lunch. We would like to have a couple of hours to look around, then commence our return to Varenna. Can you tell me if there's a site with the timetable for the postal bus from St Moritz to Chiavenna? Where in St Moritz does it leave from?

Best wishes to you Engadiner! Merry Christmas too.

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4. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

All timetables, also the postal bus (and all other means of public transport) are on the same site I indicated to you www.sbb.ch - follow the instructions above and you will get your complete itinerary. The postal bus leaves from the train station in St. Moritz, just steps outside from the station building.

With a 12.09 arrival in St. Moritz, you could still opt to be in Sils for a later lunch. You could either skip one bus connection and do some steps around after all those train rides, e.g. from the train station, take the pedestrian bridge into the parking, cross the hall you will enter there and you will arrive to a wide and modern hall (with very interesting facilities, let yourself surprise when you use the toilets). From there, instead of going up the electric stair (there is a poster gallery with often intersting pictures), you go out the other direction and arrive to a viewing platform over the lake and into the mountains. Another funny thing there, have a look through the binoculars mounted there; in winter you will see how the landscape looks in summer, in summer how it looks in winter.

From there you hike along the lake to St. Moritz Bad - does not mean bad, it's the lower part of St. Moritz, the spa center (bath = Bad) with the healing water was the origin of tourism in the area - where you can catch the postal bus either at the end of the lake (stop called Reithalle) or further on at the post office (stop called Post Bad).

You could have lunch either along the lake at the restaurant Segelclub http://www.7500.ch/ or in St. Moritz Bad, where you find several restaurants, or you could travel on to Sils Maria for the aforementoned cheese Fondue, e.g. in the romantic Fex Valley. …stmoritz.ch/winter/… I would not go all the way in to the end of the road with the limited time you have at disposition. You would enjoy the experience to be driven through the fresh mountain air, well protected by sheep skin and wool blankets to keep you warm, even if you just go to Fex Platta or Fex Crasta. The coachman will wait 1 1/2 hour for you to take you back, enough time to have lunch there, if it is sunny, even outdoors on a terrace. There are several restaurants there.

From Sils Maria, you get the postal bus to Chiavenna, which leaves every second hour (e.g. 17:29 h arrival Chiavenna 18:51). From Chiavenna you would take the train first to Colico, where you change for the train to Varenna, a total time of appx. 1 hour. This would probably be a long day for you, but an intersting and scenic one.

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5. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Thank you very much again Engadiner.

I did look on the sbb.ch site for the bus times before asking the above question, but couldn't find them. I will have another look now.

I really do appreciate all your wonderful local information.

Best wishes to you.

St. Moritz...
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6. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Look for the bus to Chiavenna. The only connection from St. Moritz upvalley and then to Chiavenna is the bus. The last train station is St. Moritz. The sbb timetable mentions this.

Port Townsend...
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7. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Sils-Maria is wonderful -- especially with a trip into the Fex Valley.

We've stayed in Sils for a two week summer trip. One day travelled to Soglio then onto Italy before returning back to Sils. It's complicated because you have to take a special Soglio only bus that meets the regular bus. There's some waiting around. Soglio is very nice but best taken at a slow pace and it doesn't sound like you would have time for a slow pace.

Fex would give you a car free valley with cows and just an enjoyable time. Plus it would put you on the "ground" for longer instead of spending lots more time on buses.

St. Moritz...
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8. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Don't expect cows to be out on the meadows in April, they prefer hay over crushed ice and snow!

But you could have a nice tranquil setting without the cows - or you could perhaps go see them in their stables. This is still winter in Engadin St. Moritz.

Edited: 07 December 2013, 10:02
Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

Could you let us know how it went once you return.... interested to know how you ended up doing this trip. Have fun.

florida
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10. Re: Day trip Varenna to St Moritz, Soglio - via Bernina Express

How is weather in mid Sept for this type of day trip? We will be staying in Varenna and arrive via St Moritz.

Ty,

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