The Swiss Post Bus Company, with its distinctive cheery yellow public buses, is the largest and best known in the country. "Post Bus" means buses stop in local towns with post offices—so you get to see a lot of the country with locals, who use the bus line even more than travelers do. Greg and I took the Post Bus company's "Palm Express" on a four-hour trip from St. Moritz and over the Maloja Pass to Ticono in the Italian-speaking region in southeastern Switzerland. (Its name comes from the palm trees you'll pass in Lugano.) The bus traveled from the Upper Engadin Valley through beautiful lake country and the Maloja Pass before entering Italy. Our trip passed by Lake Como (we waved to George Clooney on the way) before it wound its way back to Switzerland and dropped us in Lugano.
Because the trip enters Lombardy in northern Italy, you need to take your passport for border crossings. The company's website even offers an audio guide app through its website that can be downloaded to your smartphone before you get on. But if you're like Greg and myself, you might find that conversation with other passengers and all that stunning scenery make those four hours fly by. The company also offers bike rentals across the country and these will be available to Swiss Pass public transportation members starting in August 2015.
Ready to embark on your own Swiss adventure? Check out the itineraries that have been created by the members of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council and other specialists at AFAR Journeys.