Review 8 day itinerary Interlaken, Lucerne, Zurich

Review 8 day itinerary Interlaken, Lucerne, Zurich

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DrGirish
DrGirish
6 posts
new member
May 9, 2016 - 10:09 AM

Dear all,

We are a large group of 22 with Adults and Children ranging from 10 to 17 years . We will be landing in Zurich mid afternoon on 26th May. We have purchased 8 Days Swiss Travel Passes too. We have booked our accommodations in Interlaken 3 nights, Lucerne 3 nights and Zurich 2 nights.

  • We wish to cover Zermatt with Matterhorn along with some part of Glacier express in 1 day.
  • Day 2 for Jungfrouch.
  • Day 3 for Mount Pilatus.
  • Day 4 for Adventure activity Jetboat and 2nd half for Golden pass to Montreux and Geneva.
  • Day 5 for Engelberg and Titlis and evening lake Lucerne and around.
  • Day 6 for full day to Geneva.
  • Day 7 for Zurich city and shopping.
  • Day 8 Departure morning 8 to Zurich Airport for the flight departure at 11 am.

Please let us know if we can do the above itinerary easily or any of your valuable suggestions to make it more practical. Please advice.

Thanks and Regards.

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 10, 2016 - 1:03 PM in reply to DrGirish

Welcome to MySwissAlps, DrGirish!

I can't tell when you'll be staying in which town, and whether you've planned your trips according to what's closest. Please consult the timetable and our activity pages (especially the "How to get there" sections) to check this. Trips rather close to each town are listed here:

I'd change day 4, as the Golden Pass deserves a full day, and not just half a day. You could spend day 4 on local trips and combine the Golden Pass with your Geneva visit on day 6, although it will be a long travel day in that case.

You could visit Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn near Zermatt as a day trip from Interlaken. It would be a bit too much to combine this with part of the Glacier Express too. If you don't mind leaving (very) early it may be doable though. Please check suggestions under "Don't have time to do the full route?" here. There doesn't seem to be much room for such a trip in your current itinerary, unless you're able to plan (part of) it on day 1 from Zurich or if you spend day 4 on it.

I think your itinerary would be more relaxed if you'd be able to cut down on the longest trips, e.g. the ones to Geneva and Zermatt/the Glacier Express. But of course that's a very personal decision, and as long as you and the other members of your travel party are fine with the traveling times displayed by the timetable, any choice will do.

Last modified on May 10, 2016 - 1:04 PM by Annika
DrGirish
DrGirish
6 posts
new member
May 10, 2016 - 2:44 PM in reply to Annika

Dear Annika,Thanks for your prompt reply.

1.We will be landing on 26th @Zurich and head to Interlaken directly by train and hope to arrive by 5 pm. Stay for 3 nights,There won't be much to do on that day, advice any small activity or a walk around the town if possible thereafter.

2 . 27th May,We cover Zermatt and Matterhorn on next day that will be actually Day 1.

3.28th May, Day 2 we do full day Jungfrouch.

4. 29th May,we move to Lucerne on Day 3 dump our bags in hotel and straight away go for mount Pilatus as our Pilatus vouchers are valid till 29th May only.

5. 30th May,Day 4 for adventure activity Jetboat etc. and local trips. we can cover this from Lucerne as Interlaken is not very far to commute

6. 31st May,Day 5 for Engelberg and Titlis ,evening for Lake Lucerne.

7. 1st June,Day 6 We move to Zurich checkin and thereafter as you suggesed Full day Golden pass along with Geneva.What time we take the Golden pass to reach Geneva ,do we have to change for Geneva after Montreux?Is it possible to cover all this in a day?

8.2nd June, Day 7 for local Zurich town.

9.Day 8 ,Early morning departure back from Zurich.

Lastly I think we might have to drop Glacier express for time constraints, is it a must do?

We are doing all these Mountain trips- Jungfrouch, Titlis, Pilatus and Zermatt along with Matterhorn.Are these almost same and are they advisable to be done in our itinerary? Can we do either Jungfrouch or Titlis if there's not much difference. kindly review the above itinerary again and advice accordingly

Thanks again

Regards

Dr.Girish Budhrani.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
May 11, 2016 - 5:52 AM in reply to DrGirish

Hello Dr. Girish Budhrani,

Most of your plan will work, but the Golden Pass part does not seem logical to me: you will see the Lucerne to Interlaken leg of the Golden Pass while moving from Interlaken from Lucerne, so that's covered. It makes sense to do the other leg, Interlaken to Montreux, while based in Interlaken, not from Zurich. You can also choose to skip that part and do part of the Glacier Express instead, as described here. The jet boat is on Lake Brienz as far as I know, so that is best done from Interlaken as well, not from Lucerne, as that will add almost 4 hours of traveling to that day.

The mountains are not almost the same. Jungfraujoch and Titlis are very different experiences. Both the views and the mode of transport are different.

Hopefully this help you to finalize your planning.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
May 11, 2016 - 8:56 AM in reply to DrGirish

Hi Dr. Budhrani -

I share Arno's and Annika's opinions. Even though Geneva is famous, I'd tend to skip it in favor of more time in Central Switzerland. However, Geneva is a city with some beautiful and attractive parts, so I can understand why you might want to make the effort to see it.

Your schedule is very full of travel most days. It seems to be an attempt to visit as many places with famous names as possible. Time spent looking around Luzern itself, or perhaps walking the short, stunning walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg near the Jungfrau could be very rewarding, and a break from train rides.

By the way, the spelling is Jungfraujoch.

Interlaken is not much of a tourist destination in its own right. It is a very good connection point for trains to the rest of Switzerland. At the expense of some extra travel time, staying in Wengen, Grindelwald, maybe Mürren or even Lauterbrunnen would give you much more flavor of the Alpine region and stunning scenery.

Please consult the timetable linked earlier in this thread to understand the timing of travel if you make that choice

A map that s useful is:

map.search.ch/

Using the menus under "Points of Interest" can give a lot of detailed information

Personally, I consider time spent on a "commute" from Luzern to the Interlaken region rather time consuming. It seems that your travel plan is based on having vouchers for Pilatus. If I were making your trip myself, I'd see if I could start in Luzern and spend time there and nearby, including a lake boat ride the full length of the lake perhaps, and then move my base to Interlaken or Grindelwald or Wengen. rather than going back and forth across the admittedly scenic Brunig Pass, which is part of the Golden Pass Route.

If you do go to Zermatt from the Interlaken area, the time table will offer the fastest route through the new "Basis Tunnel". It saves about an hour, and completely misses an especially scenic ride on the old route, via Kandersteg. The new route substitutes a fairly long ride through a tunnel, which lacks interesting scenery inside ;-). The special hourly train over the old, upper route is called "The Lötschberger".

I'd recommend taking it at least one way on that trip.

Slowpoke

applecroft
applecroft
13 posts
new member
May 11, 2016 - 8:28 PM

I second the recommendation to invest your time in central Switzerland rather than making your way to Geneva. As of early Dec 2015 when I was last there, it is not possible to visit UN/old League of Nations buildings. While the fountain (Jet d'Eau) is quite remarkable, that's a very long train ride and back to see a fountain. The Reformation Wall is most interesting, if one is interested in the Protestant reformation. So, yes, Geneva is well worthy of a visit, but given your time constraints, and the fact you have youngsters with you, there are other options in and around Luzern and day trips out of Interlaken to mountains that will be the highlight of your trip. IF you are in a position to change some reservations to overnight in Lauterbrunnen, Muerren or Wengen, you will find opportunities in these less congested places that will satisfy the multi-generational nature of your group. Trip to Trummelbach falls in the Lauterbrunnen valley for example. THis is a series of waterfalls INSIDE the mountain. A trip with departure before 9 a.m. of the series of 4 cable cars to the top of Schilthorn is breath-taking and cheaper by a lot than the usual rate. Moreover, for the kids, you encourage them to see the James Bond movie with chase scene at the top of Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) either before your trip or after. Good travels for you all... but one full week of train travel with folks under the age of ten and not enough time to run around is to be undertaken with caution. Build the energy-expenditure opportunities each day.

applecroft
applecroft
13 posts
new member
May 11, 2016 - 8:37 PM

Sorry, made a mis-statement about my concern for needing to provide energy release....had meant to say under 17 rather than under 10..... Teenagers are full of beans.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
May 12, 2016 - 5:57 AM in reply to applecroft

Thanks for your tips applecroft. I share your recommendation about including Geneva during this trip. And the fountain does not even work at the moment as they're building a new platform for easy accessibility. I don't know when it will be finished.

By the way, you can edit your posts until an hour after submitting them.

DrGirish
DrGirish
6 posts
new member
May 12, 2016 - 6:35 AM

Thanks Annika, Arno,Slowpoke & Applecroft for your valuable suggestions, I do agree we should cut down on longest journeys like Golden pass and Glacier express as they are taking full days,even the some part of Glacier would take approx 8 hours, moreover traveling with children and teenagers for long hours in trains will be not be enjoyable. Please find below the truncated relaxed itinerary which seems more practical for your perusal and suggestions if any.

Regards

Dr Girish Budhrani

  1. We will be landing on 26th @Zurich and head to Interlaken directly by train and hope to arrive by 5 pm. Stay for 3 nights,There won't be much to do on that day, except any small activity or a walk around the town if possible thereafter.
  2. 27th May, We cover Zermatt and Matterhorn on this day that will be actually Day 1.
  3. 28th May, Day 2 we do full day Jungfraujoch.
  4. 29th May, we move to Lucerne on Day 3 dump our bags in hotel and straight away go for mount Pilatus as our Pilatus vouchers are valid till 29th May only.
  5. 30th May, Day 4 for adventure activity Jetboat etc. and local trips. we can cover this from Lucerne as Interlaken is not very far to commute.We wish to do some more adventure activity like paragliding or similar, please advice.
  6. 31st May, Day 5 for Engelberg and Titlis ,evening for Lake Lucerne.
  7. 1st June, Day 6 We move to Zurich checkin and thereafter go for Rhine Falls and local trips.
  8. 2nd June, Day 7 for local Zurich shopping and any other interesting local trips you suggest considering our children would love to do, as rightly pointed out, find energy expenditure trips as teens are full of beans !
  9. Day 8, Early morning departure back from Zurich.
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2016 - 7:56 AM

Hi again,

I think this itinerary looks far more relaxed. You'll actually have the time to enjoy your trips this way. Please see here for adventure sports and other activities near Interlaken. They include canyoning, rafting and paragliding for example. Tips for Zurich and its surroundings are listed at our Zurich page.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
May 13, 2016 - 9:32 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika-

What do you think about my suggestion to start at Luzern, in order to get the Pilatus trip, then move to Interlaken?

Saves one trip back and forth...Would there be disadvantages?

Slowpoke

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
May 13, 2016 - 10:20 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Sure, it's a fine alternative, but my opinion isn't that relevant. Dr Girish should be the one to decide based on all tips that have been provided.

DrGirish
DrGirish
6 posts
new member
May 13, 2016 - 11:17 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Slowpoke &Annika,

Your suggestions regarding Stay at Lucerne and then move to Interlaken is really worthwhile, but our hotel bookings are already paid for the dates mentioned and our Pilatus vouchers too have a deadline of 29th May.For this reason we would be required to go back and forth for our day trips, but as of now we can't change the hotel bookings. We will have to bear these extra train travels.

It sure would have been a right option as you suggested.

Thanks and regards

Dr Girish Budhrani

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
May 13, 2016 - 12:06 PM in reply to DrGirish

Thanks

DrGirish
DrGirish
6 posts
new member
May 19, 2016 - 1:33 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hey, I am about to finalize everything, I have one query regarding the trek you recommended from Mannlichen to Kleine Sciedegg ,

1.can we combine this with a day long trip to Jungfroujoch while coming back.

2.whether it can be done in reverse direction starting from Kleine Sciedegg to Mannlichen

3.lastly will it require extra tickets as we will be buying tickets for Jungfroujoch.

Thanks

Dr.Girish Budhrani

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2648 posts
expert
May 19, 2016 - 2:46 PM in reply to DrGirish

Hi DrGirish -

Yes, yes, and Yes.

The cableways from Männlichen will require a ticket, and depending on your travel pass, you may get at leasst some discount.

The walk can be done in the reverse direction, and many are happy with that. It is easy enough that a nickname for it is "The Grannies' Walk."

Personally - I distinctly and strongly disagree. (So does Rick Steves, for what it is worth. ;-)

Here is why -

1.- It is somewhat uphill from KS at 2061 nmeters to M. at 2229 meters. Not a big deal, but noticeable if you are not used to exercise at high altitude ( above 2000 meters.)

2. - The walk is made immensely better by the way it approaches the Eiger and the Jungfrau. In particular, the Eiger towers over you as you approach it. It is an interesting psycohlogical effect. You will want to experience it, but, if you go KS to M, you have to keep twisting your neck or turning around, and it is just not the same.

One of the attached pictures is a full resolution crop from a bigger one. It shows just how insignificant hikers are in the scale of the region.

Usually, it is recommended to go up to Jungfraujoch in the AM, becasuse clouds tend to come uin in the afternoon.

Slowpoke

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