Leaving Your Trip in COMO

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

  1. Where do 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 cycle 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 at noon on its end date (generally a Saturday), at a suburban Como railway station in the Swiss town of Chiasso.

Many travellers on this trip depart directly by train to Venice, Florence, Rome, Zurich or Salzburg for a city visit.  Indeed, we offer a Salzburg package after the August trip (included in your trip price if you are on Biking Transcontinental or Mozart & the Matterhorn), and can help set up ongoing travel to other points.

You may deliver your cycle (and claim shipped luggage, if necessary) at any time between 10a and noon, allowing for the use of the bike for a morning explore of Como, or for a ride along the lake, if this appeals.

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...


2. What are the CLOSEST AIRPORTS?

Milan Malpensa and Lugano are the closest airports, each less than 90 minutes away (see “Service Information,” below, for details).  Malpensa is an intercontinental hub, while Lugano offers only limited European service.  The next closest intercontinental airport is Zurich, about 3.5 hours by train from Como / Chiasso (including the rail shuttle from downtown Zurich to the airport).

Milan Linate and Bergamo (Bergamo is the airport Ryanair calls “Milan”) are on the far side of the city of Milan, and take substantially longer to reach than Malpensa.  Both are accessible via bus from the downtown Milan station, but you should allow 2.5 hours to reach Linate, at least 3 to get to Bergamo, not including check-in times.

Verona’s two airports are also within striking distance, but even farther away (Ryanair’s “Verona” airport is actually in Brescia, almost as close to Milan as it is to Verona).  Reaching these requires a further hour-plus train trip from downtown Milan, followed by a city bus or taxi....


3. Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of January 20, 2016

Our “Access Package” is actually just a hotel night in Como, with breakfast.  An airport shuttle train runs hourly from Como to Malpensa airport.  Tickets are purchased locally, no reservations are required (or available).
A London “Access Package” includes a train from Como to London, via Paris (stopovers available at no extra charge).
Other alternate arrangements, like ongoing train tickets to a variety of places, are also offered.

Base (Starting) Access Package Price:  59€.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:   http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Subject to availability.  Our favorite Como hotel is almost always full:  extra nights there should be booked as far in advance as possible.

Included:

  • A hotel night in Como, based on shared occupancy.  This rate is available to singles willing to share if someone else requests same.
    This price corresponds to our favorite hotel.  If not available, we will try to place you in an alternate of similar standing.  Price may be slightly different:  if the hotel change adds more than 5€, we will consult you before making the booking.  If the alternate hotel costs less than our usual, the lower price will be invoiced.
  • Continental breakfast.
  • Taxes and booking charges.

The airport shuttle train to Malpensa is not included.  It is a “show up and go” service, reservations neither required nor possible, and tickets for it cannot be purchased in advance.  Here is the information you need to use it, if Malpensa is your destination: 
- the Como station is two city blocks from our usual hotels,
- cost for the train from Como to Malpensa is circa 15€,
- travel time is 75 minutes
-
hourly service is available from 6:15a (a first train at 5a takes 15" longer to make the trip, arriving at the airport at 6:30a).


Extra Cost Options

  • Single room in Como:   +29 or 43€.
    Our usual hotel has only 1 true single room.  If it is available, it can be had for 29€ additional.   If it is not, using a double as a single adds 43€, instead.   Unless you tell us otherwise, we request the single, but accept a double used as a single if it is not available.

Further Arrangements, in lieu of, or in addition to, a night in Como
All tickets are subject to availability.  These (often substantially discounted) fares are capacity-restricted.  They are rarely available at the last minute, and regular fares may be double these, or even more.  If your selected train does not offer this fare, we will propose the closest alternate that does, and also the lowest fare available on your chosen train.

  • Tickets to London, via morning train.  159€ if you also requested tickets from London to your trip, 179€ if not. 
    Add 51€ to upgrade to 1st class for the trip as far as Paris.  If you wish to travel in 1st class on the Eurostar from Paris to London (meal service included aboard), add a further 49€.
    Via overnight train:  172€ if you also requested tickets from London to your trip, 199€ if not.
  • Tickets from Chiasso to Milan downtown on a pre-reserved express train (see Service Information, below):  13€ 2nd class, 15€ 1st class.
    Tickets on express trains are train-specific, and can not be changed once ordered.  If you prefer to keep your options open, walk-up space is always available on this route on weekends, and tickets are only slightly more expensive.  Conversely, it can easily take 30 minutes to wait through the line at the ticket window....
  • Other train tickets.  Tickets are available to all points, for travel on either the date that the trip disbands (from Chiasso), or the next day from Como, after a night there.
    Prices include required seat reservation, express train supplement, baggage charges, and taxes.
    Tickets for points outside of Switzerland are not refundable or exchangeable once ordered.  More expensive flexible tickets are available at additional cost, typically +25 - 50%.
    Sample prices:
    - Venice or Florence:  58€ 2nd class, 76€ 1st class.
    - Zurich or Zurich Airport:  75 CHF (Swiss Francs) 2nd class, 123 CHF 1st class
    A discount 1st class rate of 104 CHF is sometimes available, not refundable, but it may be used on any train.
    - Rome or Nice:  85€ 2nd class, 123€ 1st class.
    - Paris:  112€ 2nd class, 158€ 1st class.
  • Overnight trains are available to Rome, Naples, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Palermo (Sicily), Vienna, Berlin.... Price of 124€ includes reservation and a “Comfort Couchette.”
    This solution saves a night's accommodation, and a travel day if you are going a long distance.
    Sleeping car upgrades are available.  Sample upgrade prices from on overnight train:  40€ to double sleeping car cabin. 99€ to private cabin (to Rome or Naples: 20€ for double, 70€ for a private single cabin).  For a discussion of accommodation on overnight trains, and for general information on upgrades, follow this link.
  • Hotels available in Milan, Venice, Paris... follow this link for general information.


4. TIMING Your Trip

Como is pretty, but you will have spent two nights there by the time the trip ends.  If there is something else you want to do with your weekend, we suggest planning on a Saturday morning walk or pedal around town, and then travelling onwards at midday.  Venice, Rome, Florence, Nice, Milan, Luzern, the Swiss Alps... are all within easy reach.

If you are flying from Malpensa on the day after the trip ends, spending the night in Como is your best option (plenty of lake fun to be had, and a quick trip to Malpensa in the morning).  But you can go into Milan for the afternoon if you prefer.  The trip back out to Malpensa in the morning is slightly quicker than the trip from Como direct to Malpensa.


5. Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at
http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • To Milan.  Travel time is 1 hour, service is hourly. 
  • To Milan Malpensa Airport.  Travel time is 1'15", service is generally hourly from 6:15a.
    A first train at 5a takes 15" longer to make the trip, arriving at the airport at 6:30a
  • To Lugano.  Trains every half hour, 30-minute trip time.  Lugano airport is a 20€ taxi ride from the station, or 15” away by a connecting shuttle train, service every 20 minutes.
  • To Zurich.  Travel time is a bit shy of 3 hours, service is hourly.
    Add an additional 30 minutes to reach the airport.
  • To Paris.  Fast daylight trains (circa 8 hours) run at 9:30a and 1p.
    Overnight service via Milan, arriving in Paris at 9a:  of use if you would enjoy a day in Milan at the end of the trip, without the hassle of a hotel, and without losing any time to travel.
  • To Nice.  Fast services at 9a and 1p, via a connection in Milan.  Trip time is most of 7 hours.
  • To Venice, Florence or Rome.  Travel time 3 hours to Florence, 4 to Venice, 4.5 to Rome.  Trains run hourly, via Milan (reservations required).
    The schedule which most organically fits the trip's end is the train at noon, but the 11a is perfectly catchable if you don't mind a rushed breakfast.
  • To London.  Daylight:  via Basel and Paris.  Departs 9a, arrive London 9:30p.
    Overnight:  via Milan and Paris.
    The overnight service via Milan lets you spend the afternoon in Milan, if desired, before overnighting to Paris for a morning connection to London (arrive 11:30a). 


6. Suggested POST-TRIP VISITS

We suggest travelling to Venice.  Venice is incomparable.  We can set up the train for you, if desired.



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 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.  In that case, two hours surfing random web sites to save 10€ is time well-spent.  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

Chiasso (the suburban Como station where we end our ride) is on the Gottard Pass north-south rail route, from Zurich and Germany to Milan.  Frequent service is offered in both directions.  The Alpine crossing (to the north) is beautiful, if you are headed in that direction.



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.

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