7-day itinerary advice with base as Interlaken

7-day itinerary advice with base as Interlaken

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Tryvel
Tryvel
5 posts
new member
Mar 24, 2015 - 6:13 PM

Hello

We are a family of 2 adults (mid thirties) and our 3 year old child. We would be reaching Interlaken by train on 15th May evening and would be spending 7 nights there (check-out and take a flight from Zurich on 22nd May morning).

Need advice on how best to plan our days keeping base at Interlaken region. So looking at day-trips from Interlaken.

We were thinking of a rough plan as below:

Interlaken region including Brienz, Thun - relaxed 2 days. Include the Demonstration Cheese factory and the Maison Cailler chocolate factory at Gruyères, and the Open Air museum at Ballenberg.

Bern - 1 day, visit to castle at Spiez.

Luceren via the Golden Pass - 1 day. What all can be covered here?

Jungfraujoch - 1 day (not very sure if our child might have any problem with the height)

Schilthorn/ Murren - 1 day

Can you please advice on whether this is feasible? Is there any other must-see places that we could add or replace? Any more detailed suggestions on this itinerary would be greatly appreciated.

Also, we were thinking of getting a Swiss Travel Pass for 8 days. Any suggestions based on above itinerary?

Thanks!

Annika
Annika
4424 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 25, 2015 - 8:05 PM in reply to Tryvel

Welcome to MySwissAlps, Tryvel!

Your plans look just fine. The only thing I have slight doubts about is the day trip to Gruyères, as just a single trip Interlaken-Gruyères takes at least 2,5 hours. Travel details can be found in the timetable. It's doable though, if you really like to visit the cheese and chocolate factory. By the way, the Ballenberg museum offers a very nice chocolate demonstration too.

An 8 day Swiss Travel Pass would definitely be a convenient option, since it includes museums and offers free traveling on many of the routes you mention. Please note that it's cheaper to buy your pass online than to purchase it in Switzerland. The Swiss Travel Pass also allows you to make free boat trips over Lake Brienz, Lake Thun and Lake Lucerne. I would definitely include such a boat trip if I were you. You can perfectly combine it with your visits to Bern/Spiez (Lake Thun) or Ballenberg (Lake Brienz). As you're traveling in May, quite some cable cars will still be closed down. So Jungfraujoch and/or Schilthorn are indeed the main ones to visit in the Bernese Oberland.

As for Lucerne: apart from a boat trip over the lake, the town has a lot more to offer for a day trip. You can explore the town centre and visit the Transport Museum and/or Glacier Garden in case of bad weather. If skies are clear, you would even manage visit a mountain top (Pilatus: 50% off with your Swiss Travel Pass, or Rigi: for free with your Swiss Travel Pass). This would result in a long day from Interlaken though. Consider the Golden Pass route to travel between Interlaken and Lucerne.

Tips for hotels in Interlaken are listed here.

Does this help you to further shape your itinerary?

Last modified on Mar 25, 2015 - 8:07 PM by Annika
Tryvel
Tryvel
5 posts
new member
Mar 31, 2015 - 1:34 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika for your prompt reply.

We are taking a re-look at whether to go for Gruyères.

Also, would you suggest to do a Mount Rigi excursion as a day trip from Interlaken? It would be a long, tiring day, but if it is worth it, we might still want to do it. But would it be any different if we are anyway going to do Jungfraujoch and/or Schilthorn ?

Thanks again!

Tryvel
Tryvel
5 posts
new member
Apr 1, 2015 - 10:23 AM in reply to Tryvel

Also, have a question on the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass. I see that this Pass can be bought as an online ticket and I can just print it out at my place. But sbb.ch website states the below for difference between online and ordinary:

OnlineTickets for Switzerland are valid for just one calendar day per route.

Is it true that I can buy online ticket for Swiss Travel Pass, and is the above restriction any different from ordinary pass? I can get ordinary Swiss Travel Pass mailed to me if I purchase from http://www.swiss-pass.ch/en/swiss-pass/

So which one to go buy? Kindly let me know your recommendation.

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 1, 2015 - 1:48 PM

Hi Tryvel,

Mount Titlis is wonderful, see here, but indeed it's a long trip. Peaks closer to Interlaken are Mount Niesen and the Niederhorn (can be combined with a boat trip), for example.

It looks like you have been looking at SBB information about point to point tickets. You are looking for a Swiss Travel Pass though; you don't need tickets if you have a Swiss Travel Pass. I don't know the website you mentioned, but the SBB webshop for the Swiss Travel Pass is www.swissrailways.com. They can e-mail the pass to you. All points of sale are listed here. You live in India, so it makes sense to purchase from raileurope.co.in/swiss-pass. That's cheaper, and you can pay in your own currency. They don't e-mail the pass yet; delivery takes about 5 days. Additional discounts are available, see here.

Arno

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 6:05 PM in reply to Tryvel

<<"Also, would you suggest to do a Mount Rigi excursion as a day trip from
Interlaken? It would be a long, tiring day, but if it is worth it, we
might still want to do it. But would it be any different if we are
anyway going to do Jungfraujoch and/or Schilthorn ?">>

Mount Rigi is a different kind of mountain from most of the the other ones being discussed. It is not as tall as many at 1798 meters, and the treeline is not far below the summit. There are some quite nice views over the local lakes. We almost always stay on the Rigi ( at Rigi Kaltbad) when we are in Switzerland. Our favorite hotel is there.

That said, my own view is that it is not so striking or special to deserve a really long trip. However, the combination of a good inn with a great kitchen and a fantastic wine cellar, plus very nice views from the dining room and bedrooms to the south and west, makes it really good place to stay overnight. Combine some easy walking with the aforesaid accommodations, and you have a relaxing and well fed experience. But, not as part of a trip from Interlaken, IMO.


Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 6:15 PM in reply to Arno
<<"
Arno said:

Hi Tryvel,

Mount Titlis is wonderful, see here, but indeed it's a long trip. Peaks closer to Interlaken are Mount Niesen and the Niederhorn (can be combined with a boat trip), for example.">>

Arno-

After visiting Switzerland for 14 years, I finally went up on the Niessen a yaer or so ago.

Really impressive rail engineering and fantastic views from up top.

Another excursion in the region is to take a boat on the Brienzersee to the Giessbach Hotel stop near to, but across the lake from Brienz. The hotel has its own (short) funicular up from the lake boat stop, and the terrace is really nice , with good views, on a warm day.

From there, you can go back by boat funicular +boat, or make an easy walk of a couple of hours more or less to Bönigen, near Interlaken or to Brienz.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 3, 2015 - 6:17 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Ooops -

<<"After visiting Switzerland for 14 years,">>

I meant 34 years, but my fingers typed 14.

;-(

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 3, 2015 - 6:57 PM
34 years! Impressive! I know, in Switzerland there's something new around each corner no matter how often you come. By the way, there's an "Edit post" button above each of your own posts, so you can correct typos if you wish.
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 4, 2015 - 8:49 AM

<<"34 years! Impressive! I know, in Switzerland there's something new
around each corner no matter how often you come.">>

Actually, what I like a lot is somewhat the opposite. I can go back to the same inn with the same proprietor year after year, once I find one that I like. There are inns here and there with really good kitchens and good wine cellars, and some feel like home. Restful after a day of exercise. That is less true than it was in the 1980's and 1990's, because many inns have had a tough time, especially when the Swiss Frank became so strong, and things got more expensive for the citizens of neighboring countries. Fewer foreigners came to the towns near the borders.

Some inns seem to be surviving, however. And some of my favorites in the Emmental or on the Rigi are still there, and the proprietors and I have become acquainted.

In my favorite places it has taken me several tries over a few years with the trails and topo maps to find those hikes of varying lengths that I can walk easily and enjoy for the views or history. Also, to find which of the longer ones reward the extra effort. In that sense, there were and still are new discoveries right around the corner.

I have some favorites in the Emmental, and get good reactions from American friends, some of whom need easy trails, when we walk them. A very short easy one is from the parking lot of the Landgasthof Lüeg in Kaltacker, via the Wanderweg on the back roads and trails through Heimismatt and Gärstler down the valley to Heimiswil. There, I can catch a bus back to the starting point, where I have left my car.

Walks or hikes around the Napf are very scenic, and give views of the Alps from a distance.:

wanderland.ch/en/routes/etappe-0965.html

Another is one that I mentioned elsewhere. That is the well-known rail-trail beside the Südrampe of the old BLS train route as it descends into the Rhone Valley from Hohtenn, with my favorite part between Hohtenn and Ausserberg. I hope to walk it with my grandson in June. Almost always sunny. Includes a section alongside some of the Wasserleitungen/ bisse giving a good look at that centuries old technology for bringing water to the dry slopes of the valley.

valais.ch/en/experiences/bisses/bisse-du-milieu-and-bisse-vieux

myswitzerland.com/en-us/hohtenn-lalden-hiking-classics-on-loetschberg-mountain.html

One hotel whose closing was particularly upsetting was the Hotel Eiger, in Wengen. The rooms were not lavish, which kept the cost down I think, but Herr Fuchs had a really enjoyable restaurant, with an eclectic menu. He had a talent for finding good wines that were not too too expensive, as well. The views from the rooms were really stunning, and the location could not be easier to reach. 10 or 15 meters from the train station. Now it is an apartment building. The cafe in the lower floor was still pleasant, the last time we were there, but it was quite a few years ago. And, the kitchen no longer had that unique character that Herr Fuchs maintained..

A few pictures are attached . Most are from the Südrampe walk. Two are from the Hotel Eiger.

<<"By the way, there's an "Edit post" button above each of your own posts, so you can correct
typos if you wish.">>

Thanks. I need it. ;-)

Please login to see the attached documents
Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2015 - 12:57 PM
Thanks for the tips and pictures! The Südrampe is wonderful indeed. And impressive for the railway engineering. We have the trail on MySwissAlps too. There are so many (hidden) treasures in the Alps. Good to hear you have found a bunch of them too.
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 4, 2015 - 2:28 PM in reply to Arno

<<"Arno said: Thanks for the tips and pictures!">>

You are welcome.

Does your server have a size limit on storage, which images fill can up rather quickly? Then, you might not like to get too many of them. Should I continue to post images? If the latter, do you have file size that you prefer?

<<"The Südrampe is wonderful indeed. And impressive for the railway engineering. ">>

And, even though the trail is the best way to be close to the varied features and terrain, you can at least see a lot of it from the train. I am really glad that they kept the old line running when they put in the new basis tunnel. And, with heavy traffic down under, they were able to establish once per hour service for the Lötschberger train.

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 4, 2015 - 2:50 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

You're welcome to post pictures. I think it helps first time travelers getting a feel of places. Files that are too large will be rejected when you upload them. Also there's a limit of 10 attachments per post (I think). So no problem there. Trip reports are very welcome in the Trip Reports forum.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Apr 4, 2015 - 5:29 PM in reply to Arno

<<"Trip reports are very welcome in the Trip Reports forum.">>

I'll start to put some pictures there.

Tryvel
Tryvel
5 posts
new member
Apr 6, 2015 - 8:27 AM in reply to Arno

Thank you all for your wonderfully detailed responses.

On the Swiss Pass, just one more query - do i need to buy a Swiss Family card (free) along with 2 Swiss Travel Pass for my 3 year old child ? I was looking at this "Children under the age of 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by at least one parent holding the Swiss Family Card".

Thanks again!

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 6, 2015 - 11:35 AM

Hi Tryvel,

Children up to 5 years old travel along for free in all cases. You don't even need the Swiss Family Card.

Tryvel
Tryvel
5 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2015 - 6:24 AM

Thank you Arno for the confirmation on the Family Card.

Can you confirm if Mount Niesen and Niderhorn would be covered in the Swiss Travel pass?

Also, what would be your recommendation on Harder Kulm. Would Harder Kulm be covered in the Pass?

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 8, 2015 - 6:36 AM
All the trips are discounted by 50%. The trains/buses to the base station are free. You can download the map; it's shows all details you need.

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