First time to Switzerland

First time to Switzerland

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Jlandy
Jlandy
2 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2015 - 6:32 PM

my 24 yr old daughter and I are traveling to Switzerland in the beginning of July landing in Zurich. We love hiking, mountains, and would like to stay in Interlaken for a couple of days along the way to do some canyoning and other things at Grimsel. It's just so confusing to plan a good itinerary for us, along with traveling from one town to the other. We plan on taking the trains all over. Can anyone suggest a good itinerary for us with must see things to see and do? We had planned on Lucerne, Bern, Interlaken, Zermatt, lake Geneva and then fly back to the states from Geneva. Then I started reading that people loved Lauterbrunnen and seeing schilthorn. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Apr 10, 2015 - 2:02 AM in reply to Jlandy
Jlandy said:

my 24 yr old daughter and I are traveling to Switzerland in the beginning of July landing in Zurich. We love hiking, mountains, and would like to stay in Interlaken for a couple of days along the way to do some canyoning and other things at Grimsel. It's just so confusing to plan a good itinerary for us, along with traveling from one town to the other. We plan on taking the trains all over. Can anyone suggest a good itinerary for us with must see things to see and do? We had planned on Lucerne, Bern, Interlaken, Zermatt, lake Geneva and then fly back to the states from Geneva. Then I started reading that people loved Lauterbrunnen and seeing schilthorn. Any help would be appreciated!

<<"Must see'>>

is in the eyes of the beholder. That sounds to me like a 15 day itinerary, if it is your first trip. Much longer if you get serious about those destinations, and give each one the time it deserves.

You did not say how long you will be there. That would help a lot in guiding you.

What are your interests...looking at things from the train? Walking? Hiking? Fine restaurants? Local culture? Different language regions...German, French, Italian, Romansch? Museums? Art? Trains?

What else?

Jlandy
Jlandy
2 posts
new member
Apr 10, 2015 - 12:03 PM
July 4-13th. We'd like to see as much as we can. Love to hike, walk, adventure stuff, be outside and take in views, not really big city. Great food but nothing fancy, small hotels with some charm.
Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 11, 2015 - 9:27 AM

Hi JLandy,

I would pick 2 or 3 base towns and do day trips from there. Theoretically you could spend your 10 days in one place and still have plenty to do and see, but I can understand you want to see a bit more of Switzerland. Do not pick Bern as a base. It's not in the mountains so does not fit 'hike/walk/adventure stuff'. You can visit Bern as a day trip from various other towns when the weather is bad for a day.

Lucerne is a somewhat larger town, to Swiss standards, but near the mountains and lots to do. Instead you can consider Meiringen in the Hasli valley. It's near the Grimsel Pass, and day trips to Interlaken/Jungfrau region and Lucerne are quite easy from there.

I suggest to start in our Planning section. You'll find practical planning tips there, as well as sample itineraries. Also check the links in this post to get a feel of these places.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Apr 11, 2015 - 4:17 PM in reply to Annika

<<" Lucerne is a somewhat larger town, to Swiss standards, but near the mountains and lots to do. Instead you can consider Meiringen in the Hasli valley. It's near the Grimsel Pass, and day trips to Interlaken/Jungfrau region and Lucerne are quite easy from there.">>

Annika-

I have often made a side journey from the Lauterbrunnen Valley for the sole purpose of eating the cooking of Herr Anderegg at the Hotel Victoria in Meiringen.

The hotel was thoroughly modernized a few years ago, and I also had one pleasant stay since then. Close to the train station. Small.

I also have enjoyed the Hospiz at the Grimsel Pass, especially because of the history.

IIRC, there are some interesting trails up there, too.

wanderland.myswitzerland.com/ en/wanderland.html

and, specifically,

wanderland.ch/en/routes-s647.html

and

wanderland.ch/en/ routes/etappe-01495.html

The latter is a difficult trail, requiring good boots and proper clothing, and has a 1200 meter climb if you do it all.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Apr 12, 2015 - 3:25 PM in reply to Annika
Annika said:

<<"Lucerne is a somewhat larger town, to Swiss standards, but near the mountains and lots to do.">>

Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstättersee in German) is a good match, I think. This link should provide a nice overview map.

images.search.yahoo.com/images/view

Its nice because it is a simple map for generally relating to the area.

The city of Lucerne itself itself is very attractive, and, in many ways , quite sophisticated.

Very close to the train station is the Rosengart Collection - world class Picasso and huge Klee collection. Just one example.

rosengart.ch/ museum_rosengart_en

Hotels tend to be expensive and full of foreign tourists in the summer, but there is certainly a wide range of places to eat and sleep.

The lake is ringed with trails, accessible by all modes of public transportation. And, it is beautiful. A ride on the lake boat from the southern end at Flüelen north to Luzern (or vice versa) is a delight, with varied scenery. Therr are a lot of towns on the rail line between Lucerne and the Gotthard Pass, and they can be considered for a base. Brunnen comes to mind, but there are others.

I like to go to Hammetschwand for lunch,by lake boat and funicular plus a nice walk. Fantastic views

wanderland.ch/en/ services/places-of-interest/sehenswuerdigkeit-0228.html

The Swiss Trail (der Weg der Schweiz) goes around the lower part of the Lake. It's a really nice walk on good trails, with a few significant ups and downs to make your heart and lungs work.

weg-der-schweiz.ch/en/page.cfm/ n48464/aktuelles/en-newsvorschlaege

There are also some more challenging trails. I'm looking at Klewenalp to Niederrickenbach, but, so far, only looking. ;-(

Canyoning is popular around the lake; it can,of course, be risky. There were some deaths in one poorly managed event a few years ago. Or, maybe it was near the Brienzersee.

There are nearby mountains, as you say. Pilatus is spectacular, Rigi is nice. Some nice walks on the Rigi.

We stay frequently at Rigi Kaltbad, and love it, but it is a little inconvenient to use for a base because the transport up to Rigi Kaltbad stops in the early evening. The pleasant walks up there are good for a couple of days, but it takes major skill with the schedules to go for a day trip to, for example, Klewenalp across the lake, and still get back up before the transport stops.

I wonder about Interlaken as a possible base in stead of Meiringen. Excessively popular with tourists, and we have never stayed there, because we always go in to Wengen or Grindelwald. But it has good access to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Wengen, etc., Schynige Platte (nice walk up there and also a serious hike past Faulhorn to First.).

Meiringen has a bit more "Swiss" feel for me, and , is closer to the Grimsel. I like it better as a place to be; for me, Interlaken is only a transfer point. That is for me. But not for many others. Not so many hordes of tourists in Meringen as in Lucerne or Interlaken in the summer, but there will still be quite a lot.

Last modified on Apr 13, 2015 - 7:13 AM by Slowpoke

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