Leaving Your Trip in BRIG

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on leaving your trip.  Topics include...

  1. Where you leave your trip (see immediately below)
  2. What are the closest airports?
  3. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you travel onwards from your trip.
  4. Suggestions on how to time your ongoing travel, whether you are having us arrange it, or doing it yourself.
  5. Service information regarding train travel from your trip end location.
  6. Suggested post-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  7. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel from the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.


1. WHERE and WHEN Do You Leave Your Trip?

Your trip disbands on Sunday at 1p, upon arrival in Brig, where we leave the bikes at the railway station after a morning ride.

If you wish to arrange your own ongoing travel (in other words, you do not want to set up any ongoing travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints regarding ongoing travel are offered at the bottom of this page.  Otherwise, see our Access Packages, below.


2.  What are the CLOSEST AIRPORTS?

The closest airport is Milan’s Malpensa.  It is also the cheapest to reach.  If you spend Sunday night with us in Domodossola, Italy (see our Access Package), there is a Monday morning shuttle bus direct to the airport (see “Service Information,” below, for details). 
If you are going to Malpensa directly from Brig on Sunday afternoon, you must allow 2.5 hours to get there.  Actual journey time may be less, but a train and a bus (or two trains and a taxi) are involved, and the services rarely line up perfectly.

Geneva’s and Zurich’s airports are as close or closer in terms of travel time, and are easier to use if you are going directly from Brig to the airport (that is, not spending Sunday night in Domodossola).  Frequent trains from Brig run directly to the airport terminals in both cities, and no reservations are required:  you may use a ticket bought through us to ride any train.  However, the cost of reaching Geneva, and especially Zurich, is marginally higher.

The other Milan airports, Linate (served by interior European flights) or Bergamo (served by Ryanair) are reachable via a bus or train connection in central Milan.  Allow two hours by train to downtown Milan, plus the local bus or train to reach the airport.  Be clear on what this means:  if you have to catch a flight from Bergamo, it is going to take you 4 hours just to get to the airport! 


3.  Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 20, 2014

If you are catching an intercontinental flight, you will not typically be able to do so on the Sunday on which the trip ends, as we disband too late in the day.  You thus generally need to spend the night somewhere, for a Monday flight.  You could do this in Brig, but it is fun to go across the border into Italy for a night, and if you book a flight from Milan, it is on the way.  We thus offer train tickets to Domodossola, and a night there, as part of our “Access Package.”
(Full disclosure:  late afternoon / evening flights may work:  there is a 5p Zurich > New York, for instance, or a 7p Zurich > Hong Kong). 

But Domodossola is an interesting town, lively and animated, and home to a lovely eliptical town piazza that is one of our favorite urban spaces.  An airport shuttle bus operates direct from Domodossola to Malpensa Airport, costing circa 15€.  Trains to downtown Milan (for transfer to other Milan airports) cost about the same.  And trains back to Zurich or Geneva are available at a reasonable additional cost.  If you can afford the time and the funds, this is a nice way to end the trip.

If you are travelling to London by train, it is possible to do so on Sunday afternoon / evening, though you will arrive late.  See “Service Information,” below.  Otherwise, spend a night in Domodossola, and go on Monday morning.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  129€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is guaranteed until 15 days prior to trip start (payment received by us).  Within 15 days, availability must be confirmed, and costs may be slightly higher.  Some extra-cost options have higher prices if ordered w/in 35 days, and availability must be confirmed.

Included:

  • Train tickets from Brig, Switzerland, to Domodossola, Italy.
  • A hotel night in Domodossola, based on shared occupancy (rate guaranteed to singles willing to share). Typically, most of your past weeks’ travelling companions will also be staying over.
  • Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant in Domodossola (a 3-course meal with three choices at each course).
  • Breakfast, if you have time / get up for it.
  • The services of a Blue Marble Coordinator, who can help you reserve the Malpensa airport transfer, if desired.

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price.  For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.  Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Ongoing trains from Domodossola.  Sample prices follow.  Seat reservations are included where required (they are not required on trains to Switzerland, nor on local services to Milan).
    To Swiss cities, they are available for an additional 10€, but are not required, nor really recommended:  you will find seats on board without trouble, especially in 1st class.
    Downtown Milan (for Milan airports other than Malpensa):  21€ 2nd cl., 29€ in 1st class, via express train with a reserved seat.  15€ (2nd class only) via local train (adds 20 minutes and vinyl to the trip — open seating).
    Nice:  54€ 2nd class, 79€ 1st class.
    These are discount tickets, train-specific, and not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  More flexible tickets are available at further additional cost:  see below.
    Zurich (city or airport):  96 CHF (Swiss Francs) 2nd class. 169 CHF 1st class.  Discount rate:  -20%.
    To convert these prices to your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html
    Discount rate applies if you also buy tickets from Zurich at the start of your trip, or in 1st class if you purchase at least two other “long” railway journeys through us.  Discount tickets are “open” — you may travel via any train.  However, they are only 50% refundable, and only prior to the start of all rail travel.
    Geneva (city or airport):  74 CHF (Swiss Francs) 2nd class. 129 CHF 1st class.  Discount rate:  -20%.
    To convert these prices to your currency, look here:  http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html
    Discount rate applies if you also buy tickets from Zurich or Basel (not Geneva) to your trip start, or in 1st class if you purchase at least two other “long” railway journeys through us.  Discount tickets are “open” — you may travel via any train. However, they are only 50% refundable, and only prior to the start of all rail travel.
    Paris.  97€ 2nd class, 138€ 1st class.  Prices include seat reservations aboard the TGV.
    These are discount tickets, train-specific, and not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  More flexible tickets are available at further additional cost:  see below.
    Venice or Florence:  63€ 2nd class, 94€ 1st class.  Prices include seat reservations.
    These are discount tickets, train-specific, and not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  More flexible tickets are available at additional cost:  see below.
    Rome:  80€ 2nd cl., 120€ 1st class.  Prices include seat reservations.
    These are discount tickets, train-specific, and not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  More flexible tickets are available at additional cost:  see below.
  • Flexible tickets, modifiable prior to departure on a space-available basis, and refundable less 20% if returned to our issuing office prior to start of travel:  +25€ 2nd class to Nice, Venice or Florence. +35€ to all other destinations in 2nd class, + 35€ to all destinations in 1st class.
  • Single room in Domodossola hotel:  +31€.

Alternate Arrangements, in lieu of our usual packages (subject to availability)
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price)

  • Sunday afternoon tickets to London.  169€ if you are also purchasing tickets from London at the start of your trip, 209€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable ticket (in 1st cl., 219 € or 269€; 1st class tickets include meal service between Paris and London).
    A Paris stop-over is available at no extra charge.
  • Other trains from Brig on Sunday:  please refer to the prices from Domodossola, above.  Tickets to all points in Italy, and to Nice, cost an additional 10€.  Tickets to all points in Switzerland, to Paris, or to London, cost 10€ less.
  • Sunday overnight train to Austria, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Sicily, Rome / Naples:  129 € to Rome, 169€ to all other points, including a “Comfort Couchette.”  Sleeping car upgrades available.
    Special sleeping car upgrade prices of 45€ to private double sleeper cabin, or 99€ to a private single cabin, are generally available.
  • Sunday night hotels in Brig or Geneva are available:  see our page on booking individual hotels.


4. TIMING Your Trip

If we may influence your thinking on the topic of timing... most people take us up on our “Access Package” offer, which takes you over the border to Italy for a night.  A final evening in an oh-so-different setting, just the other side of the mountain.

If you decide to travel onwards on Sunday afternoon, stress levels dictate that you book your ongoing travel starting at 3p.   However, if you are willing to rise reasonably early, give us your bag early, and / or push through the ride, any vehicle departing Brig after 1:30p is realistic.  See the discussion on “closest airports,” above, for hints on timing your trip to each.


5. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains (or buses, in the case of Malpensa) are mentioned below.  Others are slower or have multiple connections. 
These are times from Domodossola (the place where the “Access Package” spends the night). 
For times from Brig, subtract 30 minutes if travelling to Switzerland, France other than Nice, or other points north.   Add 30 minutes going south, to Italy or Nice.

  • To Milan Malpensa airport.  Travel time 1’20”, direct Sunday morning buses at 6a, 9:30a, 1:15p... Schedules at http://www.vcoinbus.it/unico/home.html.
    Frequent trains (with equivalent travel times) are also available, but they require a shuttle bus (or 30€ taxi) connection from the rail station in Gallarate.  Rail service starts at 5a.
    Sunday afternoon service to Malpensa from Brig takes 2'30" (including the shuttle bus), and trains run at 2:45p & 3:45p in the current timetable.
  • To downtown Milan.  Travel time is 80 minutes from Domodossola, a half hour more from Brig.  Service is irregular, but the longest service gap is 2 hours.
  • To Geneva or Zurich, downtown or airport, from Domodossola.  Travel time is 3 - 3.5 hours.  Service is roughly hourly, though there are a couple of 90-minute gaps.
    A change of train is required to reach Zurich, or Geneva Airport.  Some trains serve Geneva downtown direct from Domodossola.  Monday morning service to any begins at 5a.
    Sunday travel time from Brig is 30 minutes shorter.  Service is every 30 minutes to Geneva or Geneva Airport, hourly to Zurich or Zurich Airport.
  • To Paris.
    — From Brig on Sunday:  every half hour from 2:30p to 5p, a 5.5-hour trip with one connection.
    — From Domodossola on Monday:  4a, 5a, 6a, or 7a (all with 2 connections).  9a, 10a, 1p, 2p...  with a single connection.
    Trip from Domodossola takes a shade uner 7 hours.  The 10a and 2p trains take closer to 6.
  • To Nice.  A Milan stopover is permitted without additional charge.
    — From Brig on Sunday:  2:30p, a 7.5-hour trip with two connections.
    — From Domodossola on Monday:  9a, and 3p.
    ± 7 hours, with two connctions.  An additional service runs at 6a, but taking an hour longer.
  • To Venice, Florence or Rome.
    — From Brig on Sunday:  2:45p and 3:45p departures to all three cities.
    5'15" hours to Venice or Rome, 4 to Florence, with a connection in Milan in all cases.  Reservations required.
    — From Domodossola on Monday.  Travel time is 3.5 hours to Florence or Venice, 4.5 to Rome.
    Trains run irregularly, but every 2 hours on average, via a connection in Milan.  Reservations required.
    Direct service to Venice at 10a, arrive 2:30p.  Slower, but comfortable, and no connection required in Milan.
  • To LondonTrip takes an hour longer than scheduled times, since there is a one-hour time change.
    — From Brig on Sunday:  2:15p, with two connections, arrive London at 10p.
    — From Domodossola on Monday:  best services depart at 10a, arrive 6:30p; or 2p, arrive 10:30p.


6. Suggested POST-TRIP VISITS

Both of these visits start on Monday, after the “Access Package” night in Domodossola.

We suggest our Glacier Experience, a trip on the famous “Glacier Express” narrow gauge train, which follows the spine of the Alps over the Furka pass.  A package price of 206€ / person double occupancy, or 229€ single includes:

  • Train back to Brig from Domodossola.
  • A ride in the “Glacier Express” all-1st class panoramic car to Disentis, an Alpine resort at the headwaters of the Rhine.
  • A hotel night in Disentis.
  • Breakfast the next morning if you have time / get up for it.
  • An ongoing train to Zurich or Zurich airport (3 hours, service from 5:45a).
    Ongoing travel from Disentis is available to other points at additional cost (travel to London or Paris is at the same cost as travel from Brig to London).


Or, spend a couple of nights on Lago Maggiore.  Visit the Borromean islands by island-hopping ferry, splash in the lake, tour the flower-covered villas that line her shores....  A package price of 279€ / person double occupancy, or 339€ single includes:

  • Transfer from Domodossola to Verbania.
  • Two hotel nights in Verbania.
  • Two breakfasts, two dinners.  Dinners may be taken independently or with other travellers.
  • The services of a Blue Marble Trip Genius Coordinator.
    Your Coordinator can help you reserve the Malpensa airport bus, or figure out your ongoing travel, for instance.



7. Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY After the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning post-trip individual travel.  In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them well-justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains. Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Brig is a massive railway junction.  You can go anywhere.



If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

Info for
Trip Members


Getting Ready

Access Packages
How to meet & leave your trip.


Related Travel Services
About Your Bike

____________________

Our Trips

Ready to Sign Up?

Trip Prices

Who Are We?
Our Trip Philosophy

Where Are We?
Contact Information

Home