5 Days in Switzerland in December - Please help!

5 Days in Switzerland in December - Please help!

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1 post
new member
Aug 12, 2015 - 4:57 PM

Hi all,My wife and I just booked a spontaneous trip, landing in Zurich 12/26 at 10:00am, and flying out 12/31 at 1pm. We have NO experience in Switzerland, other than our love its landscape. Our tentative plan is to stay 4 nights in, or near, the mountains, and one in Zurich to experience the city. When I look, I always see cities like Zermatt, which looks amazing but we are also looking for "local" cities both for budget and experience. The tourist areas are less desirable for us!We are looking for the following:- Budget: we understand the country is expensive, but don't mind hostels, yurts, shares, etc.

- Mountains: We LOVE the mountains, but dont have to ski on our trip if it keeps us from other adventure. If we don't ski, we would love to do some long day hikes.Please help with any advice on area, transportation, activities, etc.Thanks!

4380 posts
expert &
Aug 13, 2015 - 5:36 PM

Hi brad7891, glad you joined us!

There's a whole lot of options for a 5 day stay in December. An important question is whether you prefer to be in the snow. There's no guarantee of snow in December yet, but higher up in the mountains chances are bigger, and that quickly brings you to the main tourist resorts. However, you'll find more quiet and less expensive alternatives even in top tourist regions.

Here's just an idea: after your arrival in Zurich, take a train towards the Upper Engadine. The train route is wonderful, especially the southern leg from Chur to the Engadine. The Engadine is a beautiful valley at high altitude with good chances of snow, probably all the way down to the valley floor. St. Moritz (www.myswissalps.com/st moritz) is the tourist hotspot there, but there are smaller towns like Bever, La Punt and Zuoz. Accommodation suggestions can be found here: www.myswissalps.com/st moritz/hotels. You can spend a couple of days over there, making valley hikes, scenic train journeys and visiting viewing points; please refer to www.myswissalps.com/up perengadine/activities. Then head back for Zurich, spend the last night(s) there and explore Zurich (www.myswissalps.com/zu rich) before flying out. Hotels in Zurich can be found at www.myswissalps.com/zu rich/hotels.

Alternatives are:

If you know where you want to stay and can't find affordable accommodation, please let us know your specific requirements so that we can help you out.

As for traveling: you can best use public transportation and buy a rail pass to cut down on traveling costs. Which pass is best, depends on your final itinerary. You may look into a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass) for the first couple of days, and a ZurichCARD (www.myswissalps.com/zu rich/travel) for the day(s) in Zurich. The Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstransferticket/pric e), combined with a ZurichCard, may be an option too.

Here are some more tips to save money: www.myswissalps.com/pl antrip/doityourself/sa vemoney.

Does this get you started?

2551 posts
top member
Aug 15, 2015 - 7:53 PM in reply to Annika

<<"St. Moritz (www.myswissalps.com/stmoritz) is the tourist hotspot there, but there are smaller towns like Bever, La Punt and Zuoz.">>

We really like the end of the valley nearest Austria. Not full of tourists, beautiful scenery.

We have stayed many times in in Ftan, Guarda, Zuoz, as well as a few times at the expensive other end of the valley (St. Moritz, Sils.....)

We like the walks above the valley floor from Ftan to Ardez or even to Guarda, and Guarda is a Unesco World heritage site. Worth a few hours to explore.

Are you photographers? Could make a difference.

Not sure what the weather will be like those trails in early December.. 1400 to 1600 meters elevation. May be OK for hiking.

That can be a circular route from Scuol, using the bus to get up to Ftan.

Also, the lift from near the train station in Scuol goes up to Motta Naluns (skiing, hiking) and has a nice trail leading along the ridge to the lift up from Ftan. (or, maybe Ftan-Prui.)

Check operation hours....some of the lifts may be undergoing pre-season maintenance.

At the other end of the valley, near St. Moritz, , the ride up to Muottas Muragl on the cograil, and the walk to the Skilift Languard above Pontresina , thence a ride down and walk to train station puts you on one of the best panoramic walks in the Alps as Val Rosegg and the Bernina Alps come into your field of view. That is after you see the chain of lakes to the Italian border from Muottas Muragl.

See -

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/muottasmuragl-alplanguard

Those trails are a lot higher - 2400-2800 mters,

Double check passibility.


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