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Help me MySwissAlps.com, you're my only hope! ;)

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Aug 5, 2011 - 5:37 PM
Hello,

I am really hoping you guys can help me & my boyfriend get our heads around the 'mountains' of information we have collectedfor our 10 day trip around Switzerland in just a weeks time. It seems we have read so many different webpages, blogs, travel books & leaflets that we have managed to completely confuse ourselves and now we have SO many questions we don't really know where to begin to be able to finalise travel details! :(

The trip itinerary is as follows:

Day 1 (13th Aug) Arrive at Geneva airport at 10.25 am. Stay overnight Geneva.
Day 2 (14th Aug) Early morning take train or boat to Lausanne then take train or boat to several stops along the coast of the Lavaux vineyard region, Grandvaux, Cully, St Saphorin & Montreux and back. Stay overnight in Lausanne.
Day 3 (15th Aug) Daytrip to either Glacier 3000 via Gstaad or take the Chocolate Train trip to Gruyeres. Stay overnight in Lausanne.
Day 4 (16th Aug) Early morning trip to see Chateau Chillon then travel to Interlaken from Montreaux (12.30pm) using panoramic Golden Pass train?? Stay overnight in Thun or Interlaken.
Day 5 (17th Aug) Morning, Boat trip to Spiez, St. Beatus caves. Afternoon Brienz. Stay overnight in Thun or Interlaken.
Day 5 (18th Aug) Very early morning, travel up to Mt Jungfrau (Top of Europe). Afternoon, relaxation time! Stay overnight in Thun or Interlaken.
Day 6 (19th Aug) Early morning, travel to Bern, local sightseeing. Stay overnight in Bern.
Day 7 (20th Aug) Early morning, take train to Lucerne, local sightseeing. Stay overnight in Lucerne.
Day 8 (21st Aug) Morning, trip to Mt.Tiltlis or Mt. Pilatus then late evening travel to Zurich. Stay overnight in Zurich.
Day 9 (22nd Aug) Local sightseeing in Zurich. Stay overnight in Zurich.
Day 10 (23rd Aug) Morning, last minute sightseeing in Zurich, afternoon depart to airport, Barcelona-bound.

Ok, so here go the questions!

GENERAL RAIL PASSES
To keep costs down we have looked at all the different rail pass options. The 2 we are considering are:
A) An 8 day Swiss Saver Pass and perhaps using the free travel pass we will get from the hotel at Geneva for the 1st day and on the 10th day we'll move around Zurich on foot so we won't be travellling too much (although we will need to buy a train ticket on this day to get to the airport but I gather that's cheap).
B) A Flexi pass and choosing our travel dates (we could exclude those days where we do panoramic routes like Montreux to get to Interlaken on the Golden Pass & the Jungfrau trip for instance) if that's more economical?
Which would you recommend of the 2?

GOLDEN PASS
1) Is the route allowed to be taken over days so that we can do the Glacier 3000 on one day, the following travel to Interlaken and then up to Jungfrau on the 3rd day or will we need to buy 3 Golden Passes, 1 per person for each day?
2) If it is only allowed for one day, can the pass at least be used to hop on, hop off the route so we can get to look around different areas or does it have to be a continuous trip from one end of the line to the other?
3) Can all of the passes (saver, flexi & for panoramic trains) be brought easily at a train station on the same day of travel (especially the Goldenpass routes/Jungfrau, Chocolate train etc) or is it adviseable to get them all beforehand online?
4) Could these same passes be bought at the airport upon arrival into Geneva or is it cheaper to buy them at a train station?
I realise we are asking a lot but we would be so grateful for your advice as we are really, really confused...!

Cheers!

Debbie & Chus
Arno
Arno
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Aug 6, 2011 - 5:33 AM
Hello Debbie & Chus,

Welcome here! It looks like you have given much thought to your itinerary. Well done! I would recommend the 8-day Swiss Saver Pass. It much easier as you don't have to purchase tickets for each trip, and it provides the flexibility to change your plans without extra costs. Your itinerary is pretty detailed, but it's best to check the daily weather forecast to see whether you need to change/swap your plans. A Swiss Pass allows you to hop on and off trains as much as you like. A Swiss Flexi Pass would be more complicated and I don't think it's cheaper, but you can calculate if you want. A Zurich Card may be interesting for day 9.

The Golden Pass is a route, not a rail pass. You don't need additional passes for scenic trains. The Swiss Saver Pass will cover your trip. You may need seat reservations however. Please read this page for details.

Some passes and promotions are only available online. Most passes can be purchased locally as well, but local and online prices are different. Online is cheaper in many cases. Please check the Swiss Pass page and fill out the upper right corner of the page to see all details about resellers available to you, prices and delivery. You need to hurry if you want to buy online, as you only have one week left. You may qualify for this additional discount.

I hope this enables you to finalize your planning.
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
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Aug 6, 2011 - 2:28 PM
Arno THANK YOU! Our main confusion was with the Golden Pass of course with that name we didn't realise it wasn't an actual pass!! As for the itinerary being super detailed... Well, I used to be an event organiser although I've needed a bit of help with this one! So, Swiss Pass it is then and we'll take note of having Plan B's in place should the weather be bad! Thank you so much :-)
rahman
rahman
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Aug 6, 2011 - 2:57 PM
Hi Debbie & Chus, you are probably websited out by now but u may find these useful. swissbackpackers.ch[hostels] Ref the swiss pass, it also covers trans. on the lakes, free admission to over 400museums, buses and streetcars in approx. 40 cities plus the postal buses and discounts on private mountain railways. Try to pick a couple of base citys for travel, great itinerary, but u may get a little train weary. Stop and give yourselves a break once in awhile. Any cities u want info on, type .in city name.ch and usually english translation available. You're going to have a great time happy travels
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Aug 10, 2011 - 12:19 PM
Hi Rahman,

Really helpful advice, thanks :-)

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