5 day trip to Interlaken, Zermatt and Luzern

5 day trip to Interlaken, Zermatt and Luzern

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sumitrakshit
sumitrakshit
2 posts
new member
Sep 25, 2016 - 7:10 PM

i have gone through the posts but could not quite get answers to my doubts. We are 5 ppl (4 adults and 1 kid) travelling to Switzerland after one week of self drive trip in Austria. We start from Zurich airport on 11th Oct. We have 11th to 15th - Dep Zurich (21.55 hrs). Our plan was to do Zurich - Interlaken - Zermatt - Luzern - Zurich. Stay 2 nights in Interlaken, 1 each in Zermatt and 1 in Luzern. Questions:

1. is this necessarily the most efficient route or we should try to go to zermatt first (from Zurich) and then do interlaken and luzern

2. in interlaken we plan to do Jungfrau - thats a fullday trip as i read from the forums

3. in Zermatt off course do Matterhorn

4. should we at all try to do Luzern or just do 2 nights in zermatt and go back to Zurich

Given we dont have too many days left some quick advice from this forum will be fantastic to have. I have read several posts and i appreciate the great work the moderators are doing. thanks

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2016 - 1:50 AM in reply to sumitrakshit

Hi Sumitrakshit -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

Sounds like a nice trip. You are at the very tail end of the summer season.

Are you driving in Switzerland, or taking trains?

If you depart Zürich a 2155, you might not make it to Interlaken that night (or the next morning.) Will your lodgings be open when you get there?

See attached.

Slowpoke

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Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2016 - 6:26 AM in reply to sumitrakshit

Hi Sumitrakshit,

I'm glad you like our forum, thanks for mentioning that! There's much more to find on MySwissAlps that might be helpful for you. Please see the top menu, and I will give you some links as well:

1. Since your departure from Zurich is late you can end your tour either close or farther away from Zurich. I would prefer the order to be Zurich - Luzern - Interlaken - Zermatt - Zurich.

2. It can be a half day trip if you depart early and don't stay too long. Please see the Jungfraujoch page.

3. You can't visit the Matterhorn, but you can look at it from various viewing points. The Gornergrat is a very good option.

4. That's up to you, but you should take into account that short stays anywhere in Switzerland are somewhat risky as you can't count on the weather being good enough for peak visits. So it's worth it to have some slack. There's plenty to see everywhere, so staying too long is not an issue.

sumitrakshit
sumitrakshit
2 posts
new member
Sep 26, 2016 - 8:08 AM

Arno and Slowpoke - greatly appreciate your response (i recvd your revert in less than 24 hrs, whao ...thx a ton).

A couple of dots that didn't get connected, my bad .... actually we arrive at Zurich, after our weeklong Austria (self drive), on 10th Oct (monday) around lunch time. Have half a day to see Zurich city - what is your advice we should do ? we have taken a hotel close to the airport but that shouldnt pose any issue given i am led to belv public transport is very good in the city.

On 11th Oct, we plan to take the 8.40 am train to interlaken (we have a 4 day Swiss rail pass) that should reach us there around 11ish. We r staying in Bonigen. I know there are several options but we were contemplating to visit The Schilthorn post lunch. With cable car ride and all, do you feel half a day is fine. I guess it takes 1.5 hrs to reach the Schilthorn from Interlaken ! We dont want to rush places - but we want to make the best of our time in Switzerland too (as any first timers would :-) ... we stay the night in Interlaken.

On 12th Oct we plan to take the train to Jungfraujoch. Reading the content available on this forum, i was of the impression that the up and down from Interlaken will perhaps take a full day. Are you saying Arno that half a day is fine ? Then in that case what do we do with the rest half of the day, given our plan is to stay in Interlaken the 12th night as well.

On 13th Oct, plan to go to Zermatt. Can leave early - and take the 8 am train. Do we change at Brig or Visp. Looks like the scenic route is if we take Lotschberger train to Brig and change at Brig instead of Visp. Comments please for me to decide ? reading through the forum, we want to take the 10.24 (latest 10.48 am) cog train from Zermatt to get to Gornergrat and then walk towards Riffelsee lake, then take a train back from Rotenboden. Is the trail easy ? We have a 13 yr old girl with us - will she be able to manage, or is it very rocky . How long shuld we budget for this? Can we do the Cable car from Zermatt to Klein Matterhorn? or that is too much for one day. Will that be kind of too much of the Alps... we wanted to spend some time in the city as well. I havent seen a car free city ever .. we plan to stay the night in Zermatt (in a place called Tasch).

On 14th after breakfast want to take a train to Luzern. Is there a particular route we should take. Given we are not doing any of the scenic trains (the likes of glacier express) or perhaps the scenic routes, do advice if we can try a route that compares with some of these popular rides/ routes. Perhaps will reach there by lunch time (it is a 3.5 hrs journey from Zermatt) ...Want to do the Cruise. Or is there anything else that you will suggest. We stay in Luzern over night close to the lake.

On 15th our flight to India is at 21.55 hrs from Zurich. So we have pretty much 3/4 th of the day of 15th which is a staurday. We can either spend some time in Luzern and leave after lunch for Zurich OR head for Zurich immediately after breakfast and spend time there. I look fwd to yur advice and pointing me to some options.

One more question - does Zurich airport have lockers? we plan to dump our large suitcases there after our Austria trip and want to travel light in the 5 days in Switzerand. Doesnt make sense to tag along big luggages in trains ...

I read and reread your comment wherein you have mentioned (in earlier posts as well) that we should take into account that short stays anywhere in Switzerland are somewhat risky as one can't count on the weather being good enough for peak visits. So it's worth to have some slack. In that case do you recommend we do just Interlaken (2N) and Zermatt (2N) and don't do Luzerne at all (if the day we want to look at Matterhorn is cloudy in that case we have another day by that logic). I will highly appreciate your thoughts on this Arno. And if thats a yes what do we do that extra day in Zermatt. Also how do we go to Zurich from Zermatt. whats the fastest and the most scenic route?

A lot of questions and i am anxious to hear answers for all of these pl.

thanks yet again for the osum help that you have been providing.

rgds

sumit

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2016 - 10:31 AM in reply to sumitrakshit

Hi Sumit-

I can see that you have been studying! That is a thoughtful and well organized reply. Your trip plans look good. I have a few minor thoughts to help refine what is basically a good plan, where you discuss options for re-routing. I don't have time at the moment for all of it... more later

Here is a small start on specifics. You can find information on lockers at any station on the SBB web site.

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

Find Our Stations/ Other stations and enter Zürich Flughafen or Zürich, which will give you choices. There is a tabbed menu.

Services describes the hours of the left luggage office, and equipment tells the number, size and price for lockers. As with all things Swiss, you'll get good service and pay for it.

Also, the left luggage office at most stations is not open late.

Please check -

www.sbb.ch/content/sbb /en/desktop/bahnhof-services/am-bahnhof/standort/bahnh offinder.posid.3016.ht ml

For some reason that I do not understand, "Left Luggage Office" is not listed in general, but it is open on holidays until 2230. I'd expect that for non-holidays too, but, ask when you turn in your luggage. I have used it many times.

Perhaps Arno knows why it is not listed.

and-

www.sbb.ch/content/sbb /en/desktop/bahnhof-services/am-bahnhof/standort/bahnh offinder.posid.3016.ht ml

56 small and 42 large

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7713 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 26, 2016 - 11:20 AM in reply to sumitrakshit

Hi Sumit,

I think some of the decisions you need to make boil down to personal preferences: whether you want to try and see more and take a greater risk of bad weather spoiling your plans, whether you want to get up early for days trips, whether you want to spend a lot of time or just two hours on Jungfraujoch. The provided links explain about what to expect from attractions, and what else can be done in the various towns. One more thing to keep in mind is day light hours (about 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM when you're there) and the possibility of high altitude trails being snow covered. Gornergrat to Rotenboden is not particularly difficult, but it is high alpine terrain so it might not be accessible in October. It will probably be fine, but if not there are other options around Zermatt too. Note that Täsch is not Zermatt. It's the first village north of Zermatt. Nice, but not as nice as Zermatt, and not car free.

Last modified on Sep 26, 2016 - 11:21 AM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Sep 26, 2016 - 2:53 PM in reply to sumitrakshit

Hi Sumit-

As Arno says, you are dealing with personal preferences.

Zermatt and the Jungfrau region both offer high Alpine experiences. There is more available at lower altitudes near the Jungfrau, and a greater variety of mountains, views, and hikes than at Zermatt. However, Zermatt has some spectacular views and hikes.

The walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg ( in tha direction) is wonderful for all ages, and easy. It is possibly the best easy mountain walk in Switzerland....at least it is high on the list. It has the nickname "The Grannies' Trail" because it is easy...as long as you are used to the altitude and walk downhill toward Kleine Scheidegg.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

There is a good chance that trail will be open, though there are no guarantees in October. The cableways operate regularly until October 23rd, so you should be able to get there.

(in this thread, Kim has obligingly listed the schedules for the cableways, etc.-

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/visiting-bernese-oberland-with-young-kids)

I attached a picture or two

Luzern is different. Not just because of the lake, and lake cruises ( which are on a reduced schedule in October) but because there are two different kinds of mountains nearby - the Rigi, and Pilatus. The town itself has memorable tourist sights and experiences.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

So, based on my personal preferences, which do not focus primarily on the Alps,

I'd split my time between Luzern and the Jungfrau region, and skip Zermatt. Part of my logic is that you are trying to see a whole lot of things in a short time, and may not really get to experience them. To balance that, riding the trains is a pleasant part of the travel.

if you decide to change and go to the Jungfrau for clear weather on a day when you have scheduled another location, trains from Luzern to Kleine Scheidegg take thre hours and 15 minutes. Trains for Zermatt take about 3 hours 40 minutes.

So, it is really a matter of personal preferences, and no one route is "better" than another.

<<"Also how do we go to Zurich from Zermatt. whats the fastest and the most scenic route?">>

There is no such thing. ;-)

The time table automatically gives you the fastest route:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable read the instructions; note that default mode is fastest.

The default route is 3 hrs 11 minutes via Bern Thun Spiez, the new "Lötschberg basis tunnel" to Visp and Visp to Zermatt.

It avoids the most scenic stretch along that routing, which s to use the old route over the Lötschberg via Kandersteg, and which adds about one hpour to the journey.

If you want the most scenic fairly direct route that can be reasonably accomplished, travel fromZürich to Luzern, take the Luzern Interlaken Express via Meirngen on the Golden Pass route to Interlaken Ost, then to Spiez, then pick up the "Lötsberger" train over the Lötschberg to Brig, then Visp, the n on to Zermatt.

I did not check it, but it probably adds another hour or two.

Choices...;-)

Slowpoke

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