2015 Christmas Holidays in Swiss Alps advice neede

2015 Christmas Holidays in Swiss Alps advice neede

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NYCOval
NYCOval
4 posts
new member
Sep 16, 2015 - 6:45 PM

Hi, I'm planning a trip to Swiss Alps during Christmass Holidays Dec 24 - Jan 1 from New York, USA. I used MySwissAlps.com sample itinenaries to build my own. Below is my proposed itinenary. I need experts' opinion on the following:

1) Considreing it is winter, what parts of the trip doesn't make sence or not worth doing? Is this itinenary too exhausting? Based on your advice I may revise the itinenary and consider substitutions such as 1 day of skiing in a family friendly ski resort ( my 10 years old son will be travling with us) OR visit of Bern or any other picturesque town along the route. YOur help is greatly appreciated.

Day 1: Dec 24 – Dec 25 Take a flight NYC - Zurich on Dec 24 2015 Arrive in Zurich at 10 AM CH time Dec 25 Take a train to Lucerne Dec 25 Overnight in Lucerne. Dec 25

Day 2 : Dec 26 Take a Golden Pass Train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost From Interlaken Ost take a train to Lauterbrunnen and Klein Scheidegg to Jungfaujoch.Descend back from Jungfraujoch to Kleine Scheidegg. Take train to Grindelwald. Train from Grindelwald to Interlaken OstOvernight in Interlaken

Day 3 : Dec 27 Take a Golden Pass Train from Interlaken to Montreux Possible Rochers-de-Naye by cogwheel trainOvernight in Montreux

Day 4: Dec 28 Take a Golden Pass train from Montreux to ZermattTake a cogwheel train to Gornergrat for a good view of Matterhorn and back Overnight in Montreux

Day 5: Dec 29 Take the Glacier Express from Zermatt to Chur – 6 hoursOvernight in Chur

Day 6 : Dec 30 Take Bernina Express train from Chur to Tirano Take a train from Tirano to Lugano Overnight in Lugano

Day 7 : Dec 31 Train from Lugano to Zurich. New Year in Zurich or elsewhere?

Day 8 : Jan 1 Flight back to NYC. The flight is at 1 PM

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 17, 2015 - 6:32 PM

Hi NYCOval,

Your itinerary certainly makes sense, if you like the traveling and spending time on the trains. There are a lots of wonderful routes included. As you'll change base nearly every day, you won't have the option to wait for a good weather day for mountain trips like Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat. So take into account that you need to have a backup plan.

A few suggestions:

  • Stay the night after day 4 in Zermatt. Traveling back and forth to Montreux takes too much time.
  • Stay on the Glacier Express until St. Moritz on day 5. Take the train to Tirano and back to St. Moritz on day 6. Then spend day 7 in the area too (perhaps do some skiing in the morning), and take a train to Zurich in the late afternoon. If there's still daylight you could travel via Zuoz - Klosters to prevent seeing part of the Glacier Express route again.
  • If you prefer the mountains over cities then try to spend the night in Grindelwald instead of Interlaken.

Montreux to Zermatt is not the Golden Pass, but there are certainly trains.

When you say skiing I assume you're an experienced skier.

Does this help?

NYCOval
NYCOval
4 posts
new member
Sep 17, 2015 - 10:17 PM in reply to Arno

Thank you for your advice. After hearing several opinions on trip advisor I'm inclined to choose a base for my stay and then to have options for either winter sports/ sightseeing or day trips. I was recommended to choose a region between Mountrex Or Arosa/Chur Or Grindelwald Or Zermatt. Which area is more likely to have most snow on Christmas ? Which would be a good base for staying?

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 18, 2015 - 5:14 AM

You're welcome! Indeed most people choose one or two base towns and do day trips from there. However if you like scenic train rides your plans are of course perfectly fine. Just do what you feel like.

Chur and Montreux won't have (much) snow. The other towns may have snow. No guarantees though. Arosa and Zermatt offer the best chance. Staying there means you'll stay in a rather isolated place, and you won't be able to see much of Switzerland. You will be able to explore the region though. So it's totally different from your original plan. It depends on what you prefer.

NYCOval
NYCOval
4 posts
new member
Sep 18, 2015 - 6:48 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks for your advice. I think I should stick to a region. I was thinking staying at Zermatt or Arosa. We can do some winter sports and take 1 day train trips from a base and come back. am I too naive about the 1 day trips to nearby Swiss Alps towns or not? What towns deserve visiting in either of the 2regions? I was thinking : take a panoramic train n the morning go sightseeing have lunch in a town then come back to the base. Would this work?

Arno
Arno
7718 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 19, 2015 - 1:56 PM

Hi NYCOval,

Both Zermatt and Arosa are wonderful in Winter, and fully equipped for Winter sports. Zermatt offers a bit more cable cars/trains into the mountains for non-skiers. From both towns, it takes about an hour to get out of the valley, so day trips will be pretty long but not impossible. Most people stick to the immediate surroundings when staying in towns like this. From Zermatt you could visit Grächen, a village on a plateau in the same valley: train to St. Niklaus, bus to Grächen. The timetable will reveal how much traveling time is required to reach the places you have in mind.

Last modified on Sep 19, 2015 - 2:03 PM by Arno

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