An Australian going to the Swiss Alpes needs help!

An Australian going to the Swiss Alpes needs help!

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Posts: 14. This thread is closed.
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Jun 16, 2010 - 8:25 PM
Hi all,

I have been doing a fair bit of googling but I must admit that I am finding it hard to plan my trip to Switzerland Aug 1. I am coming to Europe on a uni scholarship for 7 months so I haven't felt the need to organise an itinerary but I am trying to get cracking now.

Anyway, I booked a flight to Zurich with the intention of seeing the beautiful Swiss Alpes with a friend. I want to combine scenic train rides (read that the Glacier Express is a treat) and a couple day hikes (I am not a professional hiker but I have this big need to drink in the mountains' splendour...maybe this is the start of something new in my life!). I am looking to spend about 6-7 days doing this.

Can anyone suggest a few ideas? It would be most appreciated.

Have a lovely day.

Darryl
dick1
dick1
88 posts
active member
Jun 17, 2010 - 10:05 AM
Darryl
I would suggest
Day 1 Zurich to Interlaken Area via Luzern and the Golden Pass (Luzern to Interlaken)
Day 2 Interlaken Area for hiking and trips to the Jungfrau or Schilthorn
Day 3 Interlaken Area for hiking and trips to the Jungfrau or Schilthorn
Day 4 Interlaken to Zermatt via Montreux and the Golden Pass
Day 5 Zermatt for hiking and trips to Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn
Day 6 Zermatt to St. Moritz on the Glacier Express
Day 7 St. Moritz to Zuriich

Dick
Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 17, 2010 - 12:08 PM
Hi Darryl,

The itinerary suggested by Dick can definitely be recommended. If you leave St. Moritz early on Day 7, you could spend the afternoon sightseeing in Zurich. On the other hand, you could also do a short hike near St. Moritz, as visiting Zurich can probably be done during the rest of your stay as well.

Now you need to find a rail pass for your trip. A Swiss Youth Pass might be worth to look into. Accommodation can be found here and here.

Hiking trails can be found here:
The local tourist offices always have trail suggestions at hand as well.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Jun 21, 2010 - 7:12 PM
Wow! You guys are amazing. Thank you so much...I hope this wonderful assistance is a sign of good things and good people to come! I now have an understanding of how to plan this trip.

:-)
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Jul 12, 2010 - 8:48 PM
Hi again,

I am started to get excited about my trip to Switzerland. Hooray! I am thinking of following your suggested itinerary but I have a couple more questions which I hope you can help me out with.

Transport

1. Regarding a Swiss Saver Pass, does each person have to pay CHF320.00 (8d Class 2) or do they share the one cost?
2. Having based our trip on your suggested itinerary, do you agree that it makes sense to get the Swiss Saver Pass versus paying for individual trips?

Hiking

I have looked at some of the hiking trail links you have shown, but as I have such little experience in this field, I don't really have any idea what to pick. Some questions:

1. Ideally, what we would really like to do is

- arrive in the Jungfrou region (via Interlaken) on Day 2 morning
- gain some altitude by train/funicular etc
- hike for the afternoon
- stay in an alpine/mountain hut for the night (are these expensive?)
- continue trekking Day 3 until we reach a spot where we can reconnect with transport in the afternoon

Does this make sense? Is there anything you can suggest to fit this kind of activity? Please bear in mind that we are not experienced hikers, but we are young (mid-20s), healthy and don't mind a little but of a challenge.

If this kind of option is not feasible:

1. Should we base ourselves in Interlaken and make daytrip hikes?
2. Or is it more desirable to base ourselves in small towns like Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen? We are more interested in nature than civilisation on this trip but I expect there are less cheap hostel options in these villages...

Zermatt

Any suggestions re hiking there?

-----------------

Once again, thanks in advance for your assistance. Things are starting to make a lot more sense. I really can't wait to experience Switzerland.

Kind regards,

Darryl
Olga
Olga
461 posts
top member
Jul 13, 2010 - 8:46 AM
Hello Darryl,

Yes, the Swiss Saver Pass, second class and for eight days will cost CHF 320 per person.
A quick calculation of regular costs on transportation with this itinerary shows that a Swiss Saver Pass definitely makes sense.

Staying in Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Wilderswil, Wengen, all these places have their own charms and possibilities. It's very hard to decide for someone else where to stay. Some may find Lauterbrunnen the place to be, others may find Interlaken is better because it has other possibilities. Do you see what I mean?

But here is just an idea: Spend the night in Interlaken, go to Wilderswil, take the cog railway to Schynige Platte and hike to First. This hike can also be found here – you might even consider spending the night in the Faulhorn Berghotel, they have dormitories, but I still don’t know whether that's too expensive for you. On top of that reservations have to be made as early as possible. The hike can also be done in one day (leave early), in that case you will end up down in Grindelwald after you have taken the gondola from First. The hike itself is not quite easy, but we have done it with our kids when they were 6 and 8 years old. After that you can stay in Grindelwald, if you like, or take a train to another place. The railway station is not too far from the gondola station. This hike is known as one ofthe most beautiful trails (and it is to us for sure :-))!


If you want to stay in Grindelwald, youth hostels can be found here and/or here.


Hiking in Zermatt: from Zermatt to Täsch or from Täsch to Zermatt, really beautiful valley, quite easy too! The other hiking tips have already been given to you. This one is one of our favourites as well!


Again, it's hard to answer these questions, because lots of the options are really personal. But then again, that's what you asked... ;-) I really hope I have helped a little here!


I wish you a wonderful stay in Switzerland.

Olga
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Jul 14, 2010 - 11:23 PM
Hi Olga,

Thank you once again for your wonderful assistance. This forum is fantastic.

With regards to travelling on the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz on Aug 7th, do we need to book immediately in order to get a seat and do we need a Swiss Pass in order to book?

What kind of clothing do you recommend based on the hikes you have suggested? I don't want to bring warm clothing and lug it up and down mountains if I don't need it. If it becomes unexpectedly cold, I could look to purchase something in Switzerland before embarking on a hike.

So far I am pretty much following all of the ideas suggested in this particular forum thread to plan my holiday. I have booked in at the Faulhorn Berghotel. Scenery looks amazing.

You guys rock.

Bring on Switzerland.

Darryl
Olga
Olga
461 posts
top member
Jul 15, 2010 - 2:47 AM
Hello Darryl,

So nice to hear that you are going to take the wonderful hike from Schynige Platte to First and that you succeeded in booking the Faulhorn hotel! Again, the hike can be done in one day, but if you have more time (and you will, spending a night there), you can enjoy the wonderful scenery for a longer period of time! The view changes on every bit of the track - and it stays beautiful.
About clothing: I would always advise to take clothing for warm and cold weather. A fleece is not heavy, dries quickly and will provide warmth if necessary, just an example.
The tips given on this page are very useful. Bring good shoes (you don't want to do this hike on sneakers) and rainwear! The weather in Switzerland can change very quickly. Good sun glasses are necessary too. As you see, there are no limits to my enthousiasm - this hike, well... I wish you the best weather ever so that you can take a couple of hundred pictures!
If the weather is not good, it's not a very good idea to do this hike. You may walk in clouds all the way, so check the weather forecast before you leave.

The Glacier Express: If I were you I would buy reservations as soon as you can, just to make sure. If you own a Swiss Pass buying reservations is the only thing you will have to do - your Swiss Pass is your ticket.
I really hope you will tell us how your holiday has been!
Have fun and enjoy!

Olga
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Aug 28, 2010 - 3:37 AM
Hi all,

I just wanted to thank you for all your advice. My week in Switzerland was fantastic. The highlight was climbing the Faulhorn. When we reached the top, the clouds had descended and we could not see a thing but when we awoke in the morning, the clouds had gone and it was the most amazing sight I had ever seen in my life.

Unfortunately I picked up the chicken pox somewhere and it manifested itself here in Italy. But that's all part of travelling. I am living in Italy now and hope to return to Switzerland to do some more hiking.

Thanks again for your help.
Olga
Olga
461 posts
top member
Aug 28, 2010 - 3:50 AM
Hello Darryl,

I'm very happy to read you enjoyed your stay in Switzerland so much and that climbing the Faulhorn was a highlight for you. Indeed, the view is amazing from there!

I hope your chicken pocks will disappear soon and of course we're here if you are planning another trip and you have questions!

Get well soon,

Olga
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Aug 28, 2010 - 6:27 AM
Hey Olga,

This might be a little far afield but do you know anything about the Dolomites? They are of course very close to Milano where I am based. Otherwise if not, where is the closest spot I could go to do more hiking, even if it is southern Switzerland?

:-)
Olga
Olga
461 posts
top member
Aug 28, 2010 - 10:00 AM
Hello Darryl,

I'm afraid I don't know anything about the Dolomites, but I hope someone else does! The only thing I can do is give you the hiking tips for Wallis and the hiking tips for Graubünden. I'm sorry, and I hope that someone else will come up with more useful tips. You know, as soon as questions about places or trips other than in Switzerland (with the route to Domodossola as one of the exceptions) come up, I immediately get a sort of blank ;-). I know a little bit about other countries, but those are not the countries you are looking for.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for beter answers for you!

Olga
darryl.ephraums
darryl.ephraums
7 posts
new member
Aug 28, 2010 - 11:03 AM
That's ok!!! This is such a great website and I was really impressed by the service of the Swiss people. Keep up the great work.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 29, 2010 - 1:29 PM
Hi Darry! Thanks for getting back to us. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay in Switzerland that much!

I'm sorry, but we're not specialized in the Dolomites. This website may help you out a bit though. It's the official Dolomite tourism website, and you'll find several trekking and hiking tour descriptions there.

Have fun preparing for your next trip, and I hope you'll recover quickly.

Kind regards,

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