14 Day Swiss Itinerary Sep-2015

14 Day Swiss Itinerary Sep-2015

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ks1234
ks1234
3 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2015 - 12:45 PM
Hi,

We are a young couple from India travelling to Switzerland in Sep, 2015. We plan to travel on our own and extensively use public transport; will be buying the 15-day 2nd Class Swiss Pass. We have both (separately) travelled to Europe before but on guided tours. This is our first trip planning and travelling individually. We prefer activities and adventure over sight-seeing. Looking for inputs and suggestions for the detailed itinerary as described below. We know that we are using more bases than is usually recommended, but we are doing so in order to taken in as many scenic trains as possible. Also, as is evident below, we love mountain excursions! Would really appreciate inputs on practical feasibility of our plans and if some additional sights/activities can easily be undertaken along with the existing.

Itinerary
----------
Day 1 - Fly into Zurich in afternoon, transfer to Lucerne
* Stay in Weggis or Vitznau or Lucerne? (suggestions)
* Go up Mt. Rigi in Evening 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (possible?) OR sight-seeing in Lucerne - Chapel Bridge, Lion Monument, Old Town
Day 2 - Check Weather, if clear go to Mt. Titlis (interchangeable with Day 3)
* Full-Day at Mt. Titlis
* Para-Gliding in Engelberg
* Return to Lucerne for night
Day 3 - Check Weather, Go up Mt. Pilatus (interchangeable with Day 2)
* Half-Day on Mt. Pilatus
* Post-Lunch go to Transport Museum
* Evening Dinner Cruise on the Lake (worth it?)
Day 4 - Start Early take the Wilhem Tell Express route to Bellinzona (worth taking the official 1st Class trip?)
* Reach Bellinzona around lunch-time (possible to leave luggage at the Station?)
* Explore the 3 Castles
* Transfer to Lugano for the night
Day 5 - In and Around Lugano (suggestions?), night in Lugano
* Travel to Mt. Tamaro spend full-day (adventure + water park), evening walking in Civic Park/Lake Promenade
OR
* Mt. Bre/Mt. San Salvatore for sunrise, on to Swiss Miniatur till lunch, on to Morcote in the evening, on to Foxtown, return late at night
OR
* Mt. Bre for Sunrise, Hike to Gandria during the day, Return by Boat, Mt. San Salvatore for Dinner
OR
* Canyoning Tour Half day, Mt. San Salvatore for dinner
Day 6 - Bernina Express to St. Moritz or Davos (suggestions?)
* Take bus to Tirano, train from there on (is official trip worth it?)
* Spend quiet relaxing evening in St. Moritz or Davos
Day 7 - Glacier Express to Zermatt
* Take Official Glacier Express (worth it?)
* Spend quiet relaxing evening in Zermatt
Day 8 - Full-day in Zermatt, Night in Zermatt
* Start early to go top of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
* Return by 12:30 PM and take train up to Gornergrat
* While return take an easy hike back to Zermatt (suggestions?)
Day 10 - Sunnega Para-Gliding (if possible) and on to Montreux
* Start Early and go up to Sunnega, para-glide down
* Travel on to Montreux, stay in Vevey or Montreux (suggestions?)
* Post-lunch visit Castle Chillon
* In evening walk among the vineyards at Cully
* Dinner Cruise on Lake (worth it?)
Day 11 - Full-day Gruyeres and night in BO
* Start Early and travel to Gruyeres - Cheese Factory, Castle, HR Giger Museum, Chocolate Factory (Broc)
* Travel on the Golden Pass Line on to Interlakken
* Up the mountains stay in Lauterbrunnen or Wengen or Murren (suggestions?)
Day 12 - Check weather, Up Jungfrau or Schilthorn (suggestions?, having been up multiple mountains is the Jungfrau trip worth the expense?)
* If Jungfrau, then on return do the Hike from Mannlichen to Klein Scheindegg
* If Schilthorn, then on return visit Gimmelwald and the waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen Valley
Day 13 - Adventure in BO (Interchangeable with Day 12)
Do 2 of 3 (suggestions?)
* Canyoning
* White Water Rafting
* Para-Gliding
Day 14 - Lake Brienz, Ballenberg Museum (Interchangeable with Day 12)
* Cruise on Lake Brienz
* Spend leisurely day taking the sights at Ballenberg Museum
* Take late evening train to Zurich, spend night
Day 15 - Fly out of Zurich
* Take morning flight out
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2015 - 5:25 PM in reply to ks1234

ks1234 said: Hi,

<<"We are a young couple from India travelling to Switzerland in Sep, 2015. We plan to travel on our own and extensively use public transport; will be buying the 15-day 2nd Class Swiss Pass. We have both (separately) travelled to Europe before but on guided tours. This is our first trip planning and travelling individually. We prefer activities and adventure over sight-seeing. Looking for inputs and suggestions for the detailed itinerary as described below. We know that we are using more bases than is usually recommended, but we are doing so in order to taken in as many scenic trains as possible. Also, as is evident below, we love mountain excursions! Would really appreciate inputs on practical feasibility of our plans and if some additional sights/activities can easily be undertaken along with the existing.">>

Hi KS1234-

The forum managers (Arno and Annika) can probably help you more than I, and I am on the road at the moment. Won't be able to make detailed comments for a while.

Early September is the time to go. You picked the best possible time for having the best chance at good weather.

I have had beautiful weather on Maennlichen on September 25t or 26th, 2009, but we watched the weather forecasts and arranged our schedule accordingly. And, we were lucky. See attached.

Opinions may vary, but I'm not sure that a night at Gruyeres would be my choice. Since I have not absorbed your itinerary yet, I'm not sure how that part fits in. Gruyeres is worth a visit, and by September, the crowds of tourists should have thinned out.

More later.

Slowpoke

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ks1234
ks1234
3 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2015 - 3:50 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Would really appreciate your inputs, even if they are brief. Great to know that weather would favor us during the period.

As far as Gruyeres is concerned, we intend to do a day trip there while travelling from Vevey to Wengen/Murren. If I am correct, Montbovon is the change-over station to head to Gruyeres from the Golden Pass Line, we may keep our luggage there while we visit and then pick it back up on the onward journey.

@ Arno/Anika - Please do weigh in with inputs.

Regards,

KS

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 26, 2015 - 8:26 AM

Hi KS!

Great that you get to spend 15 days in Switzerland. You've composed an impressive and ambitious itinerary. Your question whether anything else can be added can be answered quite briefly: no, not really. Your day schedules are very full and don't leave room for further activities. You should keep in mind that traveling times can be longer than expected and that it's worth it to take your time for mountain visits and other sightseeing activities, rather than rushing from one activity to another. Did you check the timetable for traveling times? You may want to re-consider day 10 and 11 for example, as they are very full.

Another thing to consider is weather. September can be great, but there are no guarantees and many of your plans are weather dependent. Cutting down on your base towns and spending a few days in each of them would allow you to watch the weather closely and wait for clear days to do mountain visits and outdoor activities. You could still include quite some scenic trains if you travel like this, for example, spending a few nighs in all of the towns mentioned: Lucerne - St. Moritz - day trip to Tirano with the Bernina Express - Glacier Express to Zermatt - Montreux - Golden Pass to Interlaken /the Jungfrau region. But of course it's all up to you! I understand you're looking for an adventurous itinerary, seeing and doing as much as you can. If you don't mind making back-up plans in case weather isn't supportive, you can travel just like you described.

I'll answer some of your other questions:

  • day 1: I'd stay in Lucerne to minimize traveling times
  • day 4: yes, I'd do the official William Tell Express, since you indicate that you like scenic rides. The same goes for Bernina Express and Glacier Express. The panoramic coaches offer great views and in most cases it's easier than traveling by regular / local trains. The rides are for free with your Swiss Travel Pass, you only have to pay for additional seat reservations
  • day 8: you could consider Rotenboden-Riffelalp
  • day 12: the Jungfraujoch is special since you're literally in the high-alpine landscape, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glaciers. You will have to decide whether that adds anything to your prior mountain visits.

I hope this helps you to further shape your plans!

Last modified on Apr 27, 2015 - 4:37 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2015 - 5:32 PM in reply to ks1234
ks1234 said:

Hi Slowpoke,

<<"Would really appreciate your inputs, even if they are brief. Great to know that weather would favor us during the period.">>
No guarantees, as Annika has noted. I agree with her advice to concentrate on fewer base stations and work from them as the weather permits

<<"As far as Gruyeres is concerned, we intend to do a day trip there while traveling from Vevey to Wengen/Murren. If I am correct, Montbovon is the change-over station to head to Gruyeres from the Golden Pass Line, we may keep our luggage there while we visit and then pick it back up on the onward journey.">>

It has been a few years since I did that, but, without looking it up, it seems correct.

check here:

http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

There may be a complication. Seats on the Golden Pass train are reserved. I don't know how you will work that if you take a break in the middle. Of course, other trains follow the sa me route at different times, but don't have the panoramic view cars.

Somewhere on the SBB site is list of stations that have lockers or left luggage rooms (and open hours). Although there is little doubt that Montbovonis one of them, you might check to be sure.

@ Arno/Anika - Please do weigh in with inputs.

Regards,

KS

Last modified on Apr 28, 2015 - 6:32 PM by Slowpoke
ks1234
ks1234
3 posts
new member
Apr 27, 2015 - 5:22 PM

Thanks for inputs.

Any thoughts on skipping Zermatt and adding days in the Grisons (what are some excursion options here?). A lot of people are suggesting this since weather may play truant in Zermatt. Also, would help slow down our trip a little, make time to smell the grass may be.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 28, 2015 - 2:27 PM
Hi KS. Sure, that's an option. Tips for Graubünden can be found here. You could still travel part of the Glacier Express when leaving St. Moritz, as far as Brig for example. You can then continue your trip to Montreux or the Bernese Oberland.

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