9 days in Switzerland - Many thanks for helping !!

9 days in Switzerland - Many thanks for helping !!

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shilpa
shilpa
2 posts
new member
Jul 16, 2011 - 7:12 PM
Hello Folks,

Many thanks in advance for answering my below queries. I have been following this site for a few days & am really impressed with the quality & promptness of the response.

Me and my wife, Indian nationals holding French resident cards, (both aged 30) want to cover Switzerland in a 9 day trip. We stay in Paris. We are adventurous & love natural sceneries a lot. Need advice on the following;

1. Timing - can travel in end July, Aug or Sept - when is the best time? from budget as well as natural beauty-wise.
2. Swiss pass or Eurail pass - which one makes more sense ? I checked that Swiss Pass (325 * 2 per = 650 Eur approx + 250 Eur for to-from travel Paris = 900 Eur in total) vs Eurail pass 8 days is 367 Eur * 2 = 734 Eur only. Please advise.
3. Day-wise itinerary recommended for 8 days (Jungfrau is a must).
4. Night stop locations (prefer 60-70 Euros approx per night)
5. Which scenic trains to take (and best sections) - it would be great if the itinerary in 4. is planned accordingly.
6. We are not much into museums & the like - thought like visiting cities, but prefer natural beauty..
7. My sister may also join making the party to 3 persons (still not sure) - do Swiss hotels allow 3 persons to stay in a double room with some extra charge or we should plan to book 2 rooms instead?
..Thanks once again..
Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 18, 2011 - 2:47 PM
Hi shilpa,

Welcome, and thanks for your nice comments about our forum! I'll try to answer your questions below:

1. The weather can cause nature to be anything from most beautiful to invisible. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee on the weather in any month, but from a budget point of view I would pick any time in September because it's off season. That might make a difference depending on your accommodation. Generally speaking, September can be an excellent month for hiking and sightseeing.
2. An 8-day Swiss Saver Pass would make sense. It includes more free and discounted traveling than Eurail. Please check this page for all details.
3. to 6. You can best start by making a wish list by browsing this forum and the rest of the website of course. You'll find many suggestions of viewing points, hiking trails and other day trips. Then narrow it down to no more than 2 or 3 regions, so that you have a few days to spend everywhere. The timetable helps you with the traveling times. This map is great to see where everything is located. Some other helpful links are at the left side of the page you're currently on. Suggestions on beautiful train trips can be found here. Since you travel from Paris, you could consider to enter Switzerland by TGV train from Basel and depart from Geneva (or vice versa), just for the variation. Basel - Luzern - St. Moritz - Zermatt - Geneva is one of the many, many options.
7. It depends on the hotel. Some allow an extra bed and some have rooms for 3 or 4 people. Other may require you to book two rooms. This page is a good starting point for hotels.

I hope this gets you started!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
shilpa
shilpa
2 posts
new member
Jul 20, 2011 - 12:14 PM
Hello Arno,
Thank you very much for your response.

I have myself been doing some research over the past few days on this topic & am getting back with more queries ;-)

Based on your advice, we decided to go for a 8 day Swiss Pass and we would be only 2 persons (couple), not 3 as envisaged earlier.

Thanks in advance for your help/feedback, on my planning & some additional queries:

1. I have following the weather in Swtizerland recently & observed that rain is a spoilsport these days - which makes me worried about my trip. I am planning travel between 6th Aug & 14th Aug. I understand that weather is diffcult to predict but if you could suggest a trusted website, that would be of great help. I tried searching websites but they offfer advice only for the next 2 weeks (upto 2nd aug) and not beyond.
2. Tentaive itinerary as follows, feedback/comments solicited:
6th Aug, Day 1: Paris - Zurich (Day trip to Rhine falls/Basel), Overnight Basel - chose Zurich as the trainfare from Paris works out to be cheaper than Basel
7th Aug, Day 2: Travel to Lucerne (trip to Mt. Titlis, Engelberg), overnight Lucerne
8th Aug, Day 3: Day-trip to Mt. Pilatus (is it worth it?) or elswehere - need advice), overnight Lucerne
9th Aug, Day 4: Travel to Zermatt (Glacier Express + Matterhorn (possible in a day?), overnight Zermatt, also heard that it is more for skiing, is that true?
10th Aug, Day 5: Day trip to Mt Schilthorn/Jungfrau), overnight Interlaken
11th Aug, Day 6: T' falls in Lauterbrunen, overnight Interlaken
12th Aug, Day 7: Day trip to Jungfrau/Mt Schilthorn), overnight Interlaken
13th Aug, Day 8: Half day trip to Murren, etc - need suggestions), travel to Geneva
14th Aug, Day 9: Day sight seeing in Geneva, evening travel back to Paris.

3. We love boat/cable rides - which boat rides, cable rides & scenic trains can we include (pls consider that we will buy the swiss - saver pass)
4. Can you please recommend some good hotels/places to stay (less than 100 Euros/night) or alternative towns to stay. I checked both Interlaken & Lucerne are very expensive at this time of the year.
5. Adventure rides - any thoughts?
5. Some friends suggested not to include too many mountains as it can be a very tiring experience plus all of them almost look the same. And, they cautioned not to keep a mountain trip back to back. Thus, I kept day 6 for falls in between. Your insights are more than welcome.

Looking forward to your response before starting to swipe my credit card. Sorry for asking too many questions but I noted that you guys are eally helpful & this trip is 'the' trip for me - I really want to make the best out of it.

Shilpa
Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 22, 2011 - 4:30 AM
Hi Shilpa,

An 8-day Swiss Saver Pass would indeed fit your itinerary well, assuming that you'll use it from 1 to day 8.

Yes, the Pilatus is a good day trip. There are two different routes to the top (funicular and gondola), and you can travel from Lucerne to the funicular by boat, so it's quite diverse. This is the so called Golden Round Trip. If your budget is important you can instead consider the Rigi trip as that is completely free with your Swiss Saver Pass. It can be combined with a boat trip as well (Vitznau - Lucerne). I would suggest to move your day 8 (Mürren) to day 5 or 7 when going up the Schilthorn, as you'll be in Mürren then anyway. That leaves time for a bad weather day or something else, e.g. a boat trip on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz (free with your pass). You cannot do the complete Glacier Express, but perhaps you can pick it up in Brig or Andermatt. It's going to be a long day! Just check the timetable. Zermatt is indeed a well known ski resort, but well worth a visit in summer as well. You can ski all year round at Klein Matterhorn. When traveling from Interlaken to Geneva, be sure to travel via Zweisimmen (the Soutern section of the Golden Pass).

Please check the hotel page I suggested earlier. This topic is worth reading as well.

A 2-week weather forecast is not very useful to make a detailed itinerary. In reality, the weather can be very very different, and also differs from valley to valley. In the mountains, even a 4-day weather forecast can turn out much better or much worse. The best you can do is watch the weather forecast on TV channel SF1, every night at about 7:45PM. They show a map similar to the one on the website I justed linked to. That helps to finalize plans for the next day. You should be flexible. Going up a peak is a waste of money if it's covered in clouds. In such as case, do some low altitude hiking, a museum or a boat ride and hope for clear weather the next day.

I'm sure that "the" trip will be a great one :-) Just resign yourself that the weather is unpredictable, so you may need to adapt your plans every now and then.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno

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