Hi we just returned on Sept. 30 from our trip to France and Switzerland. We arrived in Zurich on 9/14. The airport was very clean and the rental car people were helpful. We rented a Volvo SUV with Automatic with Talking GPS. This was very helpful since it tells you exactly where to turn and helped me survive road construction that was in Zurich. The first day was a two hour drive to Riquewiher in France. A small 300 person protected Village in the Alsac Lorraine region about 10 miles from Colmar. We stayed at a modern Best WEstern that had a large beautiful pool and the room had great air conditioning. The weather was cool but could be very hot at times. This region has hundreds of wine degustion or wine tasting places. We went Eugeshim to enjoy the Rick sTevels pictured old time houses. Then we also went to a Nature Parc with live otters and STorks. Then there is a national Resistance museum which tells the story of the Alsace Lorraine region going back and forth between Germany and France.
We spent there days there which is enough . We drove the 4 hours to Zermatt. Luckily we did not take the Grimsal pass that day which was closed due to snow. Later in the week , we did take it and it was great driving. There were a lot of Porsches and MGs roaring through the pass with their loud engines. I just love the Automatic Volvo car because it deals well with the almost vertical switchback roads through the passes and most of Switzerland. Stick driving is fun but tiring and can easily burn out a clutch with all the downshifting required. Get an automatic bigger car, it is worth it. And get talking GPS it will save you during road construction and complicated roundabouts.
We spent 4 days in Zermatt. We stayed at the Hotel Julen which has a very large swimming pool and 5 or 6 aromatherium spa rooms included in the price of this hotel. The pool was very warm and had a waterfall and water geyser. Very wonderful for us old folks who hate cold pools. We took the cable cars up to the Ski area and the train to Gornergrat. There was snow on top but not in the town or on the lower elevations. A hint remember when you are done with your cable car pass, turn it back in to the tourist office and they give you 10 SFRs enough for a beer.
We drove to Gletsch where we had stayed on our honeymoon in 1976. The hotel was under renovation but the drive and the scenery is worth it. The driving is not for the faint of hear because of many vertical u turn switchbacks.; The views at the top are Awesome. then we were in Wengen for 7 days at the hotel Alpenrose. A three star hotel with a great view of the Lauterbrunnen valley. They also provide on demand taxi service to the trian , cable car, adn the to the doctor.. We have stayed there many years and found it always wonderful and family oriented. They also have a hotel black coated retrieve named Finn that loves to visit. We had 6 days of cable car passes. We did the Kleine Scheidegg train . There is a new restaurant called wih Nordwand which as a enormous view deck and very good Gulash soup. We did a new cable car which descends from the Eigerletscher station to Grindelwald. It was only 15 minutes but gives you a close up view of the rugged stone cliffs. In Grindelwald we did First and loved walking the suspended cliff steel hanging scary walkway. Then we did Murren and loved the views. Our only time of rude customer service was at the midway Restaurant at Winterregg. I spoke to a waitress and wanted to think about the order. She came back later and said the cost of the meal had doubled because it was after 4:00. She could have told me the first time. This is the only time in my many years of traveling in Switzerland that I felt really disrespected by a server. If you want a reasonable meal at Winteregg restaurant , order early in the day and right away other wise the cost of a Swinebratten meal doubles from about 21 to 43.
Then we also did Mannlichen and the views are stunning. We always stay in Wengen because it is car free and has many opportunities for cable car hiking or hiking from high level train stations with trains every 30 minutes. .
We then unfortunately had to spend one night in a hotel So0mmerau Ticino which is basically a airport hotel located 30 minutes from the airport. The room was clean and the parking garage was underground. The reception person said the area could be dicey for leaving a car outside. There is an Aldi next door and the train station so it can be convenient. There was a lot of road construction in front of the hotel so it made it hard to find the way to the airport. Thankfully we had talking GPS which saved us from being totally lost and confused. My advice if you are driving, stay closer or stay in Dielsdorf or Regensburg at the cute hotels they have there or stay very close to the airport. #0 minutes became over an hour because of detours and rush hour traffic. Or better drop your car off the night before and take a train or hotel car to the airport.
Zurich airport in the morning was clean and not busy. The Security was quick and there were no minor hassles like we get in America over leaving a penny in a pocket. they took one quick look at my negative test for Covid and the rest was easy. Swiss airlines was very good. I recommend seats 50 and 51. Theyare at the back of the plane but are only two seats instead of the three seat configuration so you get a lot of extra legroom . It was quiet. food was good, and free alcohol like wine is now allowed and given freely unlike American airlines which charge you for alcohol and are quite stingy with the food .
In summary if you love hiking stay at Wengen, love wine go to the Alsace Lorraine and stay not in Colmar but at Riquir or any other smaller village , and if you love summer skiing go to Zermatt but it is not worth the extra money or time. Wengen has it all hiking, views, glaciers, boat trips, caves, waterfalls, and car free . It is only about 2 hours from Zurich. We did not have a late flight but would have loved to stay in Wengen on the last nights. In other years, we stayed in Chamonix which rivals Wengen for hiking but is not car free. It is only 40 minutes from the Geneva airport.