Best plan for 3 days Switzerland mid February

Best plan for 3 days Switzerland mid February

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Posts: 19. This thread is closed.
Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 3, 2017 - 12:30 PM

Hello,

I have been researching your wonderful site for days now and have learned so much about holidaying in Switzerland but I am finding it difficult to make a decision of where to actually stay 20th to 23rd February.

My main concern is how weather could impact our dream for the enjoyment of the beautiful outdoors. My daughter (30) and myself (63) would like to enjoy a fairytale experience of sparkling snow and pretty trees, friendly people and cosy fireplaces. We fly in and out of Zurich for a birthday treat and would really appreciate any recommendations for a short stay anywhere in Switzerland that would tick these boxes.

We don't ski but we like walking and although we have a small budget we don't mind paying for a special experience such as a scenic train ride or maybe a special stay (not overly expensive tho.) somewhere cosy. Fog is my main worry I think! maybe would it be a good idea to stay in an alpine setting? I don't know !!!!! Hope you will advise me as the more I read, the more questions arise.

thank you

Annika
Annika
4813 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 3, 2017 - 3:55 PM

Hi Barbysloan, thanks for joining us! Glad our website has helped you out so far.

Yes, it's certainly difficult to choose, I understand. You just can't see and do it all during a relatively short stay. You're right about fog at lower altitudes; please see our weather and season pages. Although there are no guarantees whatsoever, a location at higher altitude may increase your chances of clear skies. Having said that, here are some resorts you may want to consider:

The links I inserted allow you to explore details and find out what appeals to you. Both regions offer pretty high chances of snow and the "picture perfect" setting you're looking for in February. Groomed winter hiking trails are available. A base town at lower altitude (e.g. Interlaken or Wilderswil in the Jungfrau region) doesn't have to be a problem. Generally such towns are located more centrally than the higher ones and allow quick and easy access to both higher mountain areas as well as a wider area with more options. The timetable will help you to study traveling times.

Once your plans are more or less finalized, I suggest you explore rail passes to help you save money. Depending on your itinerary, a 4 day Swiss Travel Pass or a Swiss Half Fare Card may be your best bet.

Does this get you started?

Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2017 - 5:32 PM

Thankyou so much for your reply. I researched the places you recommended, they all look fab but at the forefront of my mind was the worry that the weather coold spoil everything! I tried to work out the most suitable rail pass and lost my way in all the information. I finally made a quick and frantic decision and booked a hotel in Zermatt for 3 nights. I've probably made the wrong decision but at least it's made!!

Arno
Arno
9048 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 5, 2017 - 7:40 PM in reply to Barbysloan

Well, Zermatt is wonderful, so all you need now is good weather :-) Just let us know if you need more help with the rail passes. The Swiss Transfer Ticket gets you to Zermatt and back for much less than a regular ticket, so that might be an option. You can print it at home. You may want to buy a local pass for the local lifts, but you can also pick the Swiss Half Fare Card instead of the Swiss Transfer Ticket so you'd get 50% off of all your trips within Switzerland.

Last modified on Jan 5, 2017 - 7:40 PM by Arno
Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2017 - 9:35 PM

Thanks for your reply, I have a quick question. What does it mean when it says "Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi / Swiss Half Fare Card holder: ? It's " combi " that is confusing me.

thanks

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3243 posts
expert
Jan 5, 2017 - 11:14 PM in reply to Barbysloan

Hi Barbysloan -

<<"I finally made a quick and frantic decision and booked a hotel in Zermatt for 3 nights. I've probably made the wrong decision but at least it's made!!">>

I'm glad to see that you picked Zermatt. It is nice to get that decision made, since it seemed to be a problem for you. You will enjoy it for your short stay. Unless, of course, you have cloudy weather there, just as you might anywhere in Switzerland.

The advantage of the Jungfrau region is that you have better access to contingency plans such as Bern and a wider range of altitudes (thus weather) easily available. That is more important for longer stays than yours.

In contrast to the Jungfrau region, Zermatt is a bit isolated. However, a short trip down the valley at Brig could offer a nice short break if the weather is a problem in Zermatt. And, nowhere in Switzerland is really isolated, because the trains can get you to a lot of nice places easily and quickly.

Everyone has their own travel style. Thus, my approach may not be right for you.

However, even for a short stay such as yours, I'd look at a map (zoom way in for rail routes)to orient myself

map.search.ch/Zermatt?poi=bergbahn,zug&pos=6 24528,96776&z=32

and the very useful timetable. Please read the introduction page.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
9048 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 6, 2017 - 8:18 AM in reply to Barbysloan

Hi Barbysloan,

The Combi passes do not exist anymore. Where did you read that? It's old information so it should not be mentioned on our website like that.

Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 6, 2017 - 10:31 AM

Hi Arno I've been trying to find the link in my history but only been directed to closed pages except a conversation on Mar 31, 2016 - 10:03 AM. Perhaps it was on another site. I was looking for suitable activities in Zermatt and the best prices. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Barbara

Arno
Arno
9048 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 6, 2017 - 11:21 AM in reply to Barbysloan

No problem Barbara. In either case, both the Swiss Travel Pass and Swiss Half Fare Card provide a 50% discount on the Zermatt cableways and mountain trains. The Swiss Transfer Ticket does not provide discounts. Combi passes have been discontinued.

Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 6, 2017 - 12:20 PM

Ive been researching things to do from Zermatt. Gornegrat sounds good and maybe the short hike in the forest. We don't ski we are more into pretty views. Maybe a bit of tobaggoning and a ride on a gondola. Realistically what would you suggest we do based on these ideas without rushing about to fit everything in on the Tuesday and wednesday mid Feb dependent on good weather?

Thanks

Annika
Annika
4813 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2017 - 10:42 AM

Hi Barbysloan,

In that case I'd spend one day on a Gornergrat visit, combined with a winter hike and/or sledding. Both can be done between the mid-stations of Rotenboden and Riffelberg. There's another longer groomed winter hiking trail between Riffelalp and Zermatt, but that may be a bit too much if you're not looking for strenuous hikes.

The other day I'd do a different activity, e.g. exploring Zermatt itself and maybe going up to Klein Matterhorn if weather is clear. Such a travel scheme certainly isn't too rushed, but mind that it all depends on your personal preferences.

Last modified on Jan 7, 2017 - 10:43 AM by Annika
Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:16 AM

Hi Annika thanks for that. I expect on those trips we will see very rugged scenery. We are hoping to experience a winter wonderland type of scenery too such as snowy trees and quaint snowy Swiss chalets. Would these trips offer such views or would you recommend somewhere else to go on one of those days?

Annika
Annika
4813 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:30 AM in reply to Barbysloan

Hi Barbara,

The outskirts of Zermatt will certainly match those criteria. So a longer roundabout walk in and near Zermatt, or part of the winter hiking trail between Zermatt and Riffelalp, might just be what you're looking for.

Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:35 AM in reply to Annika

We are travelling from Zurich airport by train late afternoon so it will get dark before we arrive in Zermatt. What is that journey like?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3243 posts
expert
Jan 7, 2017 - 2:38 PM in reply to Barbysloan

Hi Barbysloan -

<<"We are travelling from Zurich airport by train late afternoon so it will get dark before we arrive in Zermatt. What is that journey like?">>

On February 20th, sunset will be at 1802.

Assuming that you do not mean this journey:

<<"The outskirts of Zermatt will certainly match those criteria. So a longer roundabout walk in and near Zermatt, or part of the winter hiking trail between Zermatt and Riffelalp, might just be what you're looking for.">>

You can get information about the rail journey from the timetable that I linked in my January 5th post in this thread

What time will you arrive in Zürich Airport?

If the time table does not give you the information about the journey that you want, please ask again and explain a bit more about what you are seeking.

Slowpoke

Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2017 - 7:07 PM

Thanks for reminding me about your first post. We arrive at Zurich on BA 716 at 15.50. Are you aware of the amount of time we should give ourselves from arrival to boarding the train?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3243 posts
expert
Jan 7, 2017 - 10:56 PM in reply to Barbysloan

<<"We arrive at Zurich on BA 716 at 15.50. Are you aware of the amount of

time we should give ourselves from arrival to boarding the train?">>

Zürich is a fast airport. And, the train station is about a 3 minute walk plus escalator ride after you leave the exit from the arrivals hall ( luggage carousels and customs.)

Factors to consider- probably the most important are-

1.- time to get off the plane, especially if you are in the back- could be 5 minutes or 20 minutes.

2.- transit to pass control and pass control. UK is not a Schengen country, so you will have to go through pass control. Usually fast - 5 to 10 minutes, time to get there...unclear. Depends on where your plane ends up...at the terminal or out at a satellite. Guess at 10 minutes. Could be 20.

3.- Wait for luggage - none if it is carry-on. 5-10 minutes maximum if otherwise, by the time you get to the carousels. Usually..

4.- Time to buy tickest - zero if you have a Swiss Travel Pass; 2 or 3 minutes from a machine if you use a half-fare card, which requires that you buy tickets for each journey.

That adds up to about an hour, and the slowest part is likely to be getting of the plane.

With carry-on and coming from a Schengen country, I have made it to the train platform in 20 minutes, but I was near the front of the plane and it parked very close to the arrivals hall.

With unusually good luck, you cold make the 1640 or 1643 train. Other wise, and definitely possible, the 1740 train, arriving Zermatt at 2114 with one change at Visp. A 6 minute change is no problem there.

If you miss the 1640 or 1643, there is a nice food court on the ground floor of the railroad station. The station is a couple of levels down.

I got those times from the timetable.

Slowpoke

Barbysloan
Barbysloan
9 posts
new member
Jan 8, 2017 - 7:13 AM

Wow! Fantastic information, The info on your site is second to none. Thankyou so much. Its taking me some time to figure out our trip but I'm getting my head round it now. I'm sure I will have some more questions regarding our final itinerary.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3243 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2017 - 8:26 AM in reply to Barbysloan

<<"The info on your site is second to none. Thank you so much. ">

You are quite welcome. Just for clarity, the site is managed by Arno and Annika, and, more recently, Lucas. I am just a guest, but do like to help people appreciate Switzerland. As you can see, the Swiss have put in place a substantial support system for tourism (as well as for their own citizens.) I have been visiting Switzerland since 1980, and still learn new things from this forum, and that is fun, too.

Slowpoke

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