“Wine is bottled poetry,” wrote the 19th century Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson who (although completing his “Treasure Island” while staying in Switzerland) never saw the shores of Lake Geneva. Had he done so he would have discovered that wine is poetry while still growing as grapes on the vine, even before the bottling process. Between Nyon and Morges the lakeside vineyards of La Côte take pride of place, followed from Lausanne to Montreux by the largest winegrowing region in Switzerland – the Lavaux. Many a traveller is tempted to take a leisurely tasting tour through the vineyards and medieval towns with their welcoming wine cellars. The train continues via Lausanne (home of the Olympic Museum), Montreux (famous for its annual International jazz festival), Martigny (gateway to the Great St. Bernard Pass) and Brig (with its splendid 17th century Stockalper Palace). The route then passes through the Simplon Tunnel linking Switzerland with Italy. From Domodossola the narrow gauge Centovalli Line brings passengers back across the Swiss border, passing chestnut woods, deep ravines and the Merlot del Ticino vineyards along its winding way.
RouteTravel duration Geneva-Locarno (incl. change of trains): 5.20 h
Geneva-Brig (travel time 2.29 h)
Geneva-Domodossola (travel time 0.28 min)
Domodossola-Locarno (travel time 1.54 h)
- Palais des Nations – European headquarters of the United Nations
- Jet d’Eau – 140-metre-high water fountain in Lake Geneva and famous city landmark
- International Red Cross & Red Crescent
Lausanne and region
- Olympic Museum – history of the Olympics from ancient times to the modern day
- Lake Geneva cruise – for almost 200 years ships have been sailing on Lake Geneva
Martigny and region
- St. Bernard Dog Museum – the history of the St. Bernard Pass, including its legendary dogs
- Mont-Blanc Express – by narrow gauge cogwheel railway to Chamonix (France)
Locarno and region
- Cardada – from this scenic summit you can see the highest (Monte Rosa massif) and the lowest point (Maggia Delta) of Switzerland
- Verzasca Valley – where the jade-green waters of the Verzasca flow peacefully over pristine, polished rocks
Dining & WiningNo catering facilities (between Geneva-Brig), dining car (between Brig-Domodossola) and Minibar (between Domodossola-Locarno)
TimetableDeparts Geneva 06.04 (arrives Brig 08.32) and every two hours until 14.03 (arrives Brig 16.32)
Departs Brig 08.44 (arrives Domodossola 09.12) and every two hours until 16.44 (arrives Domodossola 17.12)
Departs Domodossola 09.25 (arrives Locarno 11.19) and every two hours until 17.25 (arrives Locarno 19.19)
All connections on www.sbb.ch
ReservationNo seat reservations – free choice of seats
Did you know?
- The Simplon Rail Tunnel between Brig (Switzerland) and Iselle (Italy) is nearly 20 kilometres long. It comprises two singletrack shafts, which were opened in 1906 and 1923 respectively.
- The Centovalli Express line between Domodossola (Italy) and Locarno passes through the tiny village of Intragna, where the 65-metre church spire is the highest in southern Switzerland.