Travelling from Valence to Milan without reservations - scenic route

  • 19 June 2022
  • 2 replies

hello all, I see that if I am to avoid any further reservation costs then I will need to travel at a slower pace and possible take a more senic route.

I had planned down to Valence to be near the express train to Milan from Chambery, however I’m not wishing to spend much more money on reservations for the 5 of us!!!!!

I had dreamt of a trip in a life time on the Brenina Express but it is become apparant that it may not be a dream for all the family so I am asking you if there is a route that could be of interest for kids that takes us from France into Itlay possibly going a little higher up to drop back down to Milan, then to the coast and back into France to take the nice to Paris train home.


It is interesting how many variations the planner can provide with such a range of stops. Ideally I’m looking to brake the scenic journey into two parts with around 3-4hrs travel max. and apptempting to avoid the expense of city centre accoadation.


Any suggests, ideas or shared past experience appreciated. 

Thank you in advance 

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

The best& easiest way is via Geneva-local TER trains run ev 1 or 2 hrs Valence-along Rhone to Lyon and from Lyon to Geneve, and in the Swiss its a raildream: all trains every where ev 30/60 mins along nice&scenic routes. Google for TER/SNCF - region Rhone Alpes. or simply use again. The app also has a function to set to NO REServ trains/connections

However, to reach Bernina and Italy will be time consuming and staying overnite in Swiss will cost the earth for most. But Swiss has 5-6 very scenic mountain view lines, Bernina is just 1 of them-IF youve never been there they may be just interchangeable for another. F.e. just east of Gnv is Lausanne-Montreux-there the ¨GoldenPass´ line runs via Zweisimmen to Spiez/INterlaken=just as nice.

Interlk is aimed at young groups and families and offers for Swiss fairly cheap hostel-type multi bedded rooms.

Or go from Gnv on any IC till BRIG-Domodossola-then change to local treNord treni to Milano.

The other way is via coastal line along Mediterranee-Marseille-Nice-Ventimiglia-San Remo-Genova. IN IT using IC-treni is only 3€/pp so thats not breaking the bank. But this is far more time-consuming.

From what Ive read however the seeming most direct route via Alps has NO local treni only for now-works or whatever. Ask @angelo if he knows more.

Finally a nice question that is not the repeat of allthesame allthetime! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

You can also try to go via Bernina. On the local trains you do not need a reservation, only for the Bernina Express (but also there at the top of the train in the first carriage you don’t need a reservation, only in the panorama carriages)