7 nights Switzerland in August, please review plan

7 nights Switzerland in August, please review plan

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Ulysses
Ulysses
3 posts
new member
Feb 1, 2016 - 9:07 PM

Hi,We needed your help. We are planning a visit to Switzerland and Italy starting August 20th until 4th September. We would have two elderly people (66 years olds). We are eyeing the itinearary as thus:

  • Day 0 - 19th August: Planning to leaveToronto, Canada on 19th August. Would land in Zurich around 3-4 pm on 20th August
  • Day 1 - 20th August: Check in at Lucerene and spend the evening in and around Lucerene. May be a boat trip on Lake Lucerene.
  • Day 2 - 21st August: i. Take a boat trip from Lucerene on the lake Lucerene - a round trip of around 3 hours (if it wasn't possible the previous evening, unless you suggest it should be done in the morning hours). ii. Skipping Mt. Titilis, Mt. Pilaus and Mt. Rigi as mountain visits would comprise Jungfrauhjoch and Schilthorn and the Matterhorn later in the itinearary iii. Travel to Zurich, see around. Haven't yet figured out exactly what places to see in Zurich yet. Perhaps a visit to the shopping street - Bahnhofstrasse (merely as a spectator, I believed it warranted clarification as it could completely mislead you into suggesting me something very well beyond my means :) )
  • Day 3 - 22nd August: i. Take Golden pass train - 6:05 - 7:54 to Interlaken. Keep luggage in the station. ii. Visit Schilthorn. iii. Staying at Interlaken or some near by place iv. Take a boat ride on Lake Thun
  • Day 4 - 23rd August: ii. Take train Interlaken - Jungfrauhjoch - 8:35 - 10:52 (Lunch) via Grindelwald and return via Lauterbrunnen iii. Check in at the hotel. iii. come back and visit Bern.
  • Day 5 - 24th August: i. Continue on the Golden Pass: Interlaken Ost to Zweisimmen and Zweisimmen to Montreux. ii. Check in at Montreux and take boat trip on Lake Geneva and visit Lausanne
  • Day 6 - 25th August i. stay in Montreux and Visit Geneva
  • Day 7 - 26th - Visit Zermat from Montreux.
  • Day 8 - 27th - Travel to Venice.

I would be grateful if you could please kindly review the itinerary. Also, as you might have noticed that I intend to stay in 3 different towns over the short period. Please kindly advise if I should do otherwise (both from monetary aspect and effective time management). Also kindly suggest if we should make an attempt to embark on the glacier express and then change to Bernina Express from Chur and continue until Tirano and then travel to Venice (our next destination). I couldn't quite understand the timetable of of Bernina Express though.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Feb 2, 2016 - 1:20 AM in reply to Ulysses

I am no expert (just a fellow traveller), but this looks extremely well thought out and planned!

I especially like the look of days 3, 4 and 5 (although clear weather is never guaranteed for mountain top visits) having done all of these activities myself. On day 5 you may wish to consider visiting Château de Chillon on Lake Geneva during your boat trip. It is one of the stopping off points.

Have a great trip!

Ulysses
Ulysses
3 posts
new member
Feb 2, 2016 - 3:43 AM in reply to mikesc60

Thank you so much, Mike. As you mention you have been there yourself, I would really appreciate your opinion about staying - should we make a single place our base and travel around or split the stay among 3 different towns. I know there is perhaps no definite response to that, but just your opinion, please.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Feb 2, 2016 - 7:44 AM in reply to Ulysses

From reading advice of the board hosts to other travellers I think having different bases for each part of your programme is often seen as a practical approach. I am sure you will get some more helpful comments. I have only stayed in the Lauterbrunnen area, travelling via Geneva, but I have visired Lucerne and 'done' the Golden Pass route.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 2, 2016 - 4:41 PM

Hi Ulyesses and mikesc60!

Mikesc60, thanks for your valuable input.

Ulysses: for your travel plans I'd indeed recommend to stay in several base towns, just as mikesc60 advises. Travel times are long in Switzerland, and making all your trips from just one base will result in extremely long travel days. So spending the nights in Lucerne, Interlaken and Montreux definitely makes sense. As for day 7: I'm not sure if you plan to visit Zermatt as a day trip from Montreux. It's quite long: 2h40 for a single journey. So if you don't mind spending the night in yet another hotel, I'd advise to spend the night of day 7 in Zermatt or nearby Brig. That allows for an easy journey towards Venice (via Domodossola) on day 8.

You've inquired about the option to travel towards Italy using the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. You won't be able to reach Venice this way within one day. You'd first travel by Glacier Express to Chur or St. Moritz, and then board a train over the Bernina Pass to Tirano. This can be either an official Bernina Express train or a regular train covering the same route. From Tirano to Venice, it's rougly an additional 6 hours. So you'll only manage this if you plan an extra overnight stay in Chur, St. Moritz, Tirano or a nearby town.

An alternative is to travel by Glacier Express, or a regular train on the same route, towards Andermatt/Göschenen and board a train towards Lugano/Bellinzona there. This too is a very scenic route. Assuming you start in Zermatt, the total trip Zermatt-Venice using this option would take about 10 hours.

You can check the timetable for details on each journey. Hotels close to the rail stations can be found at our Lucerne, Interlaken, Montreuxand Zermatt pages.

I recommend to look into rail passes to save money. An 8 day Swiss Travel Passwould be a very convenient option for your plans.

Last modified on Feb 2, 2016 - 4:43 PM by Annika
mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Feb 2, 2016 - 11:00 PM in reply to Annika

Hi again Ulysses. I've just noticed it looks like you are planning a return trip to Berne from Interlaken on day 4 in the late afternoon/evening. Maybe someone could give further advice on this as I know nothing about Berne myself but I'm wondering if it's best not to visit after dark (summer days are shorter than in Canada), whether places you may wish to visit would still be open and, perhaps, whether it would be better to have more time for such a visit. But of course it depends on why you want to go there and how long you choose to spend on Jungfrau and/or at Lauterbrunnen before you set off for Berne.

There are alternatives to the Interlaken stage of your schedule that could be suggested to take in more of the charm of the Lauterbrunnen region but it depends on whether your main objective is to see the major cities, including Berne, that are a strong feature of your current plans.

Correction: I 've just seen Toronto is actually further south than Berne/Interlaken, so summer days would actually be a little longer, not shorter! I come from the UK and noticed a difference in summer lengths of day and didn't allow for the full range of latitudes in your vast Canada!

Last modified on Feb 2, 2016 - 11:12 PM by mikesc60
Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 3, 2016 - 5:58 AM in reply to mikesc60

That's a good point Mike. Sunset in mid August is around 8:30 PM. My rule of thumb is that, apart from restaurants, Switzerland pretty much closes down after 6 PM. Shops, museums, cable cars, etc. will mostly not be operational. There are exceptions but I'd recommended to check in advance. Larger cities will still be lively at night, and of course one can walk around and just enjoy town. Personally I would do it during day time and take a bit more time.

Ulysses
Ulysses
3 posts
new member
Feb 4, 2016 - 1:40 AM

Thank you so much, Mike, Arno and Annika. Mike, you mentioned that there could some alternatives for activities around Lauterbrunnen. Please kindly feel free to suggest. Thank you, once again.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Feb 6, 2016 - 10:22 AM in reply to Ulysses

It's all according to what you like...I'm sure there must be guides to this area on this site. Two things which could fit in well with a trip to Schilthorn are visiting Murren, a sort of idyllic completely traffic free moutain village (the cable car to Schilthorn goes from one end of the village, so I think you change there anyway on the way...it's just whether you stop off). And secondly a stroll through the Lauterbrunnen valley and/or visiting waterfall(s) on the way.

If I remember rightly you get to Schilthorn via Wengen or Stechelberg. Wengen is another traffic free mountain village which is pleasant to visit but would contrast markedly to the throb of the cities! A round trip would take in both. Stechelberg is at the further end of the valley to Lauterbrunnen and is easily reached by bus with it's usually half hourly return service. Or you can walk along the river all or part of the way and the Trummelbach Falls (inside the mountain) are on the way. There are other falls just outside Lauterbrunnen.

Longer excursions can include mountain walks or hikes in the beautiful mountain scenery and air on a nice day. Mannlichen (from where some hikes start) is a high mountain location which is peaceful and magical with the sounding of cow bells in the fresh mountain air - but that's all you will find there apart from a restaurant if open.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 6, 2016 - 4:53 PM

There are various suggestions on myswissalps.com/ jungfrauregion/ activities. Additional information about Mike's tips can be found here: myswissalps.com/ schilthorn/ gettingthere.

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Feb 6, 2016 - 5:06 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno. I see I got that slightly wrong about Wengen, on the other side of the valley above Lauterbrunnen (- also en route to Mannlichen).

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
Feb 6, 2016 - 5:36 PM in reply to Ulysses

Hi Ulysses-

<<"that there could some alternatives for activities around Lauterbrunnen. Please kindly feel free to suggest. Thank you, once again.">>

Take a look at this, which includes more than just Wengen:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Wengen is about a 15 minute ride by frequent trains from Lauterbrunnen. First train at 0625, last train at 0240.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 6, 2016 - 5:54 PM by Slowpoke

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