17-day trip to Switzerland

17-day trip to Switzerland

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Posts: 5. This thread is closed.
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Jul 19, 2011 - 2:19 AM
We, 7 hikers from Los Angeles, will travel to Switzerland in late August and early September (8/29 - 9/14). This is our first trip to Switzerland. Our plan if weather permits is:

Day 1 Arrive in Zurich; take train to Lucerne.
Day 2 Tour Lucerne; take train to Interlaken.
Day 3 Hike Schynige Platte; overnight at Berghotel.
Day 4 Hike to Kleine Scheidegg.
Day 5 Take Jungfraujoch excursion. (If we start from Kleine Scheidegg, will we be able to catch the less expensive 1st train to Junfraujoch? Do we have to go to Grindwald to catch the Jungfraujoch train?)
Day 6-8 Move to Grimelwald and stay for 3 nights. Day hike around the area.
Day 9 Hike to Gspaltenhornhutte.
Day 10 Hike to Blumlisalphutte.
Day 11 Hike to Kandersteg and take train to Zermatt.
Day 12 Explore Zermatt.
Day13-15 Take train to Lausanne. Will stay for 3 nights and take day trip to Bern, Geneva, etc.
Day 16 Take train to Zurich.
Day 17 Fly home.

Any suggestions to modify the schedule will be appreciated. We are not too sure whether we should get Swiss Pass or Swiss Card. Also, we welcome any advice on hiking to the two huts.
Annika
Annika
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Jul 20, 2011 - 6:15 AM
Hi tohiker, and welcome! That's a great plan for your first visit to Switzerland. If weather is fine, the train rides and hikes will allow you to explore the beauty of the Alps in a fantastic way.

It's always wise to have a back-up plan in case weather circumstances aren't good enough to make the hikes you've planned. Especially the hikes to mountain huts should only be made in good weather. I don't know if you're experienced hikers, but just to be sure: these general tips may help you prepare for your hikes. As for the specific routes you have in mind: I can recommend the Wanderland website, which allows you to search for routes on a map or by name. It provides detailed descriptions on many routes, although not all hut routes are listed here. You'll find the huts themselves though (just fill out their name in the search box) including links to pages with further information on the huts, their surroundings and nearby hiking routes.

I think a Swiss Card would be a good option. A Swiss Pass may turn out to be too expensive, as it offers free traveling on all days, and you won't be needing that for short train rides or hikes.

You can start your Jungfraujoch trip from Kleine Scheidegg and that will allow you to catch the first train in the morning. However, this cheaper 'good morning ticket' is meant for travelers without a rail pass. The discounts your Swiss Card provides, will result in a cheaper ticket than this 'good morning ticket'. So you should just use your Swiss Card for a 50% discounted ticket, whether you take the first train or not.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno
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Jul 22, 2011 - 1:10 AM
Hi Arno,

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I'll certainly check out the trails to the two huts online. I have problem making reservations for the two huts online. For some reason, it will not go through. Wonder whether anyone else has the same problem.

I'm confused about the kind of discount we can get for the Jungfraujoch trip. Is the discount for this excursion the same for Swiss Pass, Swiss Card and Half Price Card? Somewhere I read that it's only 25%.

Is there a train going directly from Kandersteg to Zermatt? The SBB connection shows that we have to go to Spiez then double back to Zermatt.

tohiker
Annika
Annika
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Jul 22, 2011 - 4:24 AM
Hi tohiker. The passes you mention offer different discounts for the Jungfraujoch trip. The Swiss Card and the Swiss Half Fare Card provide a 50% discount on the entire trip, the Swiss Pass provides a 50% discount up to Wengen/Grindelwald and a 25% discount between Wengen/Grindelwald and the Jungfraujoch. You can best check the maps under the links 'Overview of the network on which the... is valid' on the detail page of each pass

.
No, there are no direct trains from Kandersteg to Zermatt. You'll have to change trains in Brig along the way. If you're leaving directly from Kandersteg at day 12, there's no need to travel to Spiez first. That would actually be a detour. The timetable you used may indicate this route, because a quick train connection through at tunnel starts at Spiez, but doesn't stop at Kandersteg along the way. But in all, this won't be faster than taking the regional train directly in Kandersteg. Moreover, the scenic route through the mountains from Kandersteg by regional train is way more interesting than the tunnel route from Spiez. Did you use this timetable? That's the official one.

I'm not sure about the online reservation for mountain huts, but most of them can be contacted by e-mail as well. If so, you'll probably manage to make your reservations that way.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
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Jul 22, 2011 - 7:34 PM
Hi Annika,
Thanks for your help. We'll take the regional train from Kandersteg to Zermatt as you suggested.
Linda

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