Making the rail journey from northern Italy to western Switzerland is straightforward thanks to a direct service of comparatively comfortable trains, and it's also fantastically beautiful.
A wonderful showcase for the best of European rail travel!
Final Destination: Geneve
All trains also call at: Sion and Montreux (connect for MOB trains to Gstaad) and Lausanne
Connect at Sion for the bus to Crans-Montana, route 353 departs from the bus station which is adjacent to the train station in Sion.
4 x trains per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings usually open: 4 months ahead of the travel date; though this period of time can be shorter, particularly when searching for journeys more than three months ahead during October and March.
Reservations will automatically be assigned when booking tickets (but rail pass users will need to make reservations prior to boarding at a ticket office - they're not available from the Trenitalia ticket machines)
Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.
Check that you're booking for the direct trains - using the journey time to guide you.
Rail Pass Users:
If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass you will either to pay the reservation fee to travel on this train
Our guide to using using rail passes to travel from Italy has all the info you'll need, OR you can avoid paying the fee by following this alternative routing.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Italia rail||from €39|
|Save A Train||from €39|
|Rail Europe||from €39|
The Astoro trains are used for the majority of departures.
This is an enchanting journey, which tends to get overlooked, but not by ShowMeTheJourney; as it's been included in our list of Europe's Most Epic Express Train Journeys
If your reserved seat is on the right of the train (when facing the direction of travel) there are some fabulous views over Lake Maggiore after Arona.
Though this video, filmed in the opposite direction, only gives a sense of the view of the beautiful islands that can be seen by the lake shore, shortly after the train has departed from Stresa.
ShowMeTheJourney has been a tad unlucky with the weather when making this train ride.
The train then travels through a spectacular valley between Domodossola and The Simplon Tunnel - which for much of the 20th century was the world's longest railway tunnel.
Between Visp and Sion, the train threads through spectacular valleys lined with vineyards.
The views on this part of the journey are wonderful from both sides of the train - but the video shows what can be seen on the right.
And then the journey ends with a flourish, as either side of Montreux, there are some great views over Lake Geneva from the left of the train
This clip was also filmed from a travelling in the opposite direction - and technically it isn't our best attempt at capturing a train journey, but it gives a sense of what you can expect to see in fine weather!
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.