7 days in Switzerland first week December

7 days in Switzerland first week December

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Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2016 - 5:55 PM

Hi,

My husband and I are planning for a trip that would be 3 days in Bern, 2 days in Zermatt and 2 days in Montreux. Im trying to organize some side trips while we are in Bern as our base.I need advise whether we will be taking the best way to save our time. The following is my initial plan:

1st day: Bern to Grueyeres (day tour) - should you have any suggestions for activities or site to visit? we planned to do chocolate & cheese factory tour and see the village.

2nd day: We are torn between Jungfrau or Schilthorn (though Im not really that ecstatic to be in Jungfrau but Id like to at least experience it. We will be taking Swiss pass travel, any suggestion what way we need to take for either Jungfrau or Schilthorn? If this will not materialize, we will just visit Lucerne then.

3rd day: Sightseeing in Old Town Bern then travel to Zermatt. Im not really sure what the best way to travel to Zermatt since we will be there in the first week of December and Ive read that most of the routes are close.

4th day: Zermatt (see the mighty matterhorn)

5th day: Do other activities (maybe paragliding) if weather permits (How will be the weather on those days)

6th day: Montreux - Can we go from Zermatt directly to Montreux? Which station do we take? How is the route then?

7the day: Sightseeing from Montreux. See Chillon Castle, see Vevey and any suggestion for pretty villages?

8th day: Travel to Geneva for sightseeing and wait for our flight in the evening.

IN between this trip is the want to see and experience Christmas markets in Switzerland. MOst of the places Ive mentioned have its Christmas Markets and we really wanted to be in the area where we will feel the spirit of Christmas. Also we wanted to escape the bustling city from where we work and to relax.

Sorry for this sort of detailed itinerary. I hope you can give advise on the above for us to save time without compromising one pace to other. BUt Im sure anywhere we go in Switzerland is worth the visit.

Looking forward to any of your comments guys:)

Cheers,

Love

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
318 posts
top member
Aug 11, 2016 - 1:37 AM in reply to Lovella1218

Hi there and welcome to the forum

In 2010 we went to Switzerland in the first week of December specifically to visit Christmas markets. Of the places on your itinerary we visited the 2 markets in Bern which were very good and the one in Montreux which was about the best we experienced. It is all the way along the street which runs parallel to the lake shore and also along the shore itself. There was a French feel to the market quite different from the others we went to and lots of variety among the stalls: the food was excellent too. They often dedicate an area to what they call a guest market and the year we were there the guest was a small Russian market which added to the variety.

We also went to Lausanne which is not far from Montreux and to Biel which is not far from Bern - there were quite a lot of demonstrations of craft at the latter which was fun.

I don't know about Zermatt as we didn't go there on that visit, sorry. We did go to Geneva but the small market we found there was disappointing so don't know if we just failed to find the main one!

Enjoy your trip.

Maggie

Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2016 - 4:18 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hi Maggie,

Thanks for your prompt reply and advise.

Yeah, Im really looking forward to both trips and Christmas Markets and hope that it will be the same or better this year.

Do you have any idea if spending 1 day to Murren and up to Schilthorn from Bern is doable? Or do we need to change our base to Interlaken (Bernese Oberland) so that it could be accessible or easy way to do a day trips to Bern and Murren. But my worry is that if the weather will be good to be in Murren on 4th December and/or Schilthorn will be in operation that time?

Can we take the Golden Pass (scenic railway) from Interlaken to Zermatt?

Hope any suggestion will keep on coming:)

Cheers!

Lovella

Arno
Arno
7721 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2016 - 6:53 AM

Hi Lovella,

The Golden Pass line does not go to Zermatt, please find details here: myswissalps.com/ goldenpass.

I think your first day is ok and nothing needs to be added to it.

How to reach Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn is explained here:

For train schedules, please see the timetable. All train routes are operational all year round. For all Swiss Travel Pass details, please look here.

Last modified on Aug 11, 2016 - 6:54 AM by Arno
Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 11, 2016 - 7:34 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thanks. How about going to Zermatt which is the most accessible/convenient starting point for us? Will it be In Bern or Interlaken? Or we could take Golden Pass from Interlaken to Montreux and then to Zermatt? Which is doable?

Really appreciate your advise.

Cheers!

Lovella

Arno
Arno
7721 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2016 - 8:19 AM in reply to Lovella1218

Hi Lovella,

From Bern you'll have to change trains once and from Interlaken twice; see the timetable I referred to. The trip will take longer via the Golden Pass line. It's all perfectly doable if you allocate the time.

Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 13, 2016 - 7:53 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

I didnt realize that Zermatt from Bern or Interlaken would be 8hrs travel. If we will be taking Golden pass from Interlaken to Montreux, then from Montreux to Zermatt as it will only take 6hrs, would that be doable? WE will be staying in Interlaken for two days Dec 4-6 and we will start the Golden Pass from INterlaken early in the morning of 6th Dec and then transfer to Zermatt right after arriving in MOntreux.

Other option is that we can go to Andermatt and from there take the Glacier pass to Zermatt.

Im not sure if which way could be easy, please let me know pros and cons for each way?

Your advise is really appreciated.

Cheers!

Lovella

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2016 - 10:24 PM in reply to Lovella1218

Hi Lovella -

I don't think that you are reading the timetable correctly.

Interlaken to Zermatt - 2 and 1/4 hours.

From Bern - 2 hrs 7 minutes.

see attached screen grab-

Working with a map and the timetable-

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

will help you better understand the routes.

This one is good.

map.search.ch/

The best Christmas markets are said to be in Basel and Montreux.

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Aug 13, 2016 - 10:30 PM in reply to Lovella1218

<<"Do you have any idea if spending 1 day to Murren and up to Schilthorn from Bern is doable? Or do we need to change our base to Interlaken (Bernese Oberland) so that it could be accessible or easy way to do a day trips to Bern and Murren. But my worry is that if the weather will be good to be in Murren on 4th December and/or Schilthorn will be in operation that time?">>

Although you can access the Jungfrau region from Bern, you'd be better off if you can stay in Interlaken or one of the villages, such as Wengen.

However, a lot of places are closed until about the 15th of December.

After you figure out what you would like to do in that area, we can advise on transport, if available.

I'll use the timetable. ;-)

Weather can be an issue, as you note, so it is wise to spend more than on day in/near the region. And , it changes rapidly.

Slowpoke

Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2016 - 7:47 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Sorry I was looking at the google map only it might not be refreshed. But thanks anyway for the better route/map site. If the Schilthron still close on 5th December, we will just spend our day in the pretty villages of Murren & Gimmelwald and /or go to Lucerne.

On the 6th December ( morning - before heading to Zermatt), do you have any suggestion on any activities or nearby places to visit? or maybe we can take Golden pass and be back at noon to board our way to Zermatt. Or if the above time is not enough for Lucerne, maybe we can finish it off on the 6th Dec then head to Zermatt.

I wanted to try one of the scenic routes, I think Golden Pass is feasible for us. But I dont know where to insert/accomodate it when we are just having 1.5 days in interlaken.

Do you have any suggestion?

Thanks a lot.

Lovella

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2016 - 8:06 AM in reply to Lovella1218

Hi Lovella-

<<"On the 6th December ( morning - before heading to Zermatt), do you have any suggestion on any activities or nearby places to visit? or maybe we can take Golden pass and be back at noon to board our way to Zermatt. Or if the above time is not enough for Lucerne, maybe we can finish it off on the 6th Dec then head to Zermatt.

I wanted to try one of the scenic routes, I think Golden Pass is feasible for us. But I dont know where to insert/accommodate it when we are just having 1.5 days in interlaken.">>

Spend some time with the timetable and map.

I think you may be trying to squeeze in too much. The best part of the Golden Pass route is the last stretch comig down into Montreux.... a bit far.

The train trip from Interlaken to Zermatt is rather scenic if you take the old upper route throug Kandersteg. Add an hour or more. I always take it, rather than the new fast tunnel that come out at Visp...the scenery inside the tunnel is not very interesting.

Slowpoke

Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2016 - 8:41 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thanks, Ill get around on the timetable and map.

Thanks so much for your help:)

Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 14, 2016 - 8:59 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

I tried to check the timetable from Interlaken to Zermatt with the route you have suggested, I just wanted to know if this is the correct route I am choosing. (This is just an example) Please see attached.

Thanks,

Lovella

Please login to see the attached documents
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Aug 14, 2016 - 2:41 PM in reply to Lovella1218

Hi Lovella -

<<"I tried to check the timetable from Interlaken to Zermatt with the route you have suggested, I just wanted to know if this is the correct route I am choosing.">>

Exactly right.

You can compare that with Bern as the start point, too.

If you want to compare that with the faster route, through the new lower tunnel, make your entry in the timetable without putting "Kandersteg" in the via box.

The new (lower) routing will be about on hour faster, and will have some kind of entry or listing for the tunnel .

You might take that on the way back if you wish to save time.

Slowpoke

Lovella1218
Lovella1218
9 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2016 - 7:03 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thank you so much for a great help/guide.

Regards,

Lovella

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