Itinerary for Interlaken, Geneva, Montruex

Itinerary for Interlaken, Geneva, Montruex

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norizahaa
norizahaa
7 posts
new member
Oct 26, 2015 - 3:31 PM

Hi

My family of 2 adults and 2 children (5 & 14 years old) will be arriving from Amsterdam to Basel on 13 Dec 2015.

Our itinerary as follows :

  • 12 Dec - Take night train Amsterdam to Basel
  • 13 Dec - Continue train from Basel to Berne Overnight in Berne
  • 14 Dec - Bern -> Interlaken
  • 15 Dec - Interlaken -> Geneva -> Interlaken
  • 16 Dec - Interlaken - > Jungfrau -> Interlaken
  • 17 Dec - Interlaken ->Montruex -> Interlaken
  • 18 Dec - Interlaken -> Murren -> Interlaken
  • 19 Dec - Interlaken -> Zermatt
  • 20 Dec - Zermatt -> Matterhorn -> Zermatt
  • 21 Dec - Zermatt->St Moritz (Glacier Xpress)
  • 22 Dec - St Moritz
  • 23 Dec - St Moritz -> Zurich
  • 24 Dec - Zurich
  • 25 Dec - Zurich -> Home

We need advise about our journey to Interlaken, Geneva & Montruex.

Would you recommend making Interlaken our base for our visit to Geneva & Montruex. Or, should we visit Junfrau & Murren while basing in Interlaken. Then travel from Interlaken to Montruex by Golden Pass and spend the night at Montreux.

The next day, travel from Montreux to Geneva and take the train from Geneva to Zermatt on the same day. Thereafter, continue our journey from Zermatt based on our planned itinerary.

Any suggestions is much appreciated. Thank you.

Regards

Nori

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Oct 26, 2015 - 6:07 PM in reply to norizahaa

Your itinerary might work better with some adjustments. Here is a thought to get you started, until I can add more detail.

More detailed ideas about that later, but, please consider a base in Luzern for part of the trip. Interlaken is a bit far from some of your preferred cities.

Check a map and a timetable:

map.classic.search.ch/

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 27, 2015 - 8:25 AM in reply to norizahaa

Hi Nori,

Most of your itinerary is doable. Here are a few suggestions:

  • You can visit Bern as a day trip from Interlaken, so it's not absolutely necessary to stay the night. If you do it from Interlaken you'll be more flexible weather wise.
  • The trip to Montreux takes 3 hours via the Golden Pass line. That's long for a day trip, but it can be done. Do note there's only daylight from about 8:00 AM to 4:45 PM in December.
  • I would skip Geneva. It takes again about 3 hours one way to get there. You could add a day to Zermatt, or do something else while in Interlaken.
  • If you don't mind one long travel day (at least 6 hours on trains) you could visit Montreux on your way to Zermatt. You you'd save a day.
  • Please see myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses for rail passes.
norizahaa
norizahaa
7 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2015 - 9:56 AM

Hi Arno & Slowpoke

Thank you for your responses.

I have noted your comments on Bern. Are we able to store our luggage at the train station while we go sightseeing? If that is possible, we will plan to take an evening train from Bern to Interlaken on 13 Dec.

We have bought a 15 day Family Pass starting from 13 Dec. Therefore, would appreciate any help for us to fully utilize the pass. We are leaving on 25 Dec.

If we would like to visit both Geneva & Montruex, what would be the most logical route?

Interlaken -> Montreux -> boat ride to Lausanne -> Geneva

Spend the night in Geneva.

Geneva -> Zermatt

Otherwise, if we were to skip Geneva, what can we do with the extra days in Interlaken/Zernatt. Any advise is much appreciated.

Thank you.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Oct 27, 2015 - 10:26 AM in reply to norizahaa
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Oct 27, 2015 - 9:43 PM in reply to norizahaa

<<"If we would like to visit both Geneva & Montruex, what would be the most logical route?Interlaken -> Montreux -> boat ride to Lausanne -> GenevaSpend the night in Geneva.Geneva -> Zermatt">>

You have hit upon the answer. If you wish to see the Lake Geneva Region, and Geneva in particular, Interlaken is too far away to make a good base. You can stay in Geneva or Montreux (not Montruex) or various smaller lakeside towns almost at will, if you want to avoid the cities. I think if I were doing it, I'd take the train from Interlaken to Geneva - preferably by the Golden Pass route (passing through Zweisimmen ) then stay at Geneva, then make my way to Zermatt via Montreux. I'd consider the option of staying also in Montreux, lake boats, and other Montreux area attractions.

As Arno noted, if you don't want to see Geneva, then get to Montreux, perhaps spend time on the lake, and then head to Zermatt..

In your first proposed schedule you have days in the Bernese Oberland (near Interlaken) mixed in with different excursions to Lake Geneva. That is a lot of back and forth on the train, and could be repetitive. I'd suggest that you do all of the BO days together ( assuming decent weather up top) then head to Lake Geneva. I like Bern a lot, but I'd tend to make it an option if the Jungfrau Region is too cloudy, rather than stopping on the way through. However, you can indeed make a nice part-day visit to Bern as you go to Interlaken.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Oct 27, 2015 - 9:45 PM by Slowpoke
norizahaa
norizahaa
7 posts
new member
Oct 28, 2015 - 8:26 AM

Hi Slowpoke

Thank you for the detailed suggestions.

We have amended our plan to skip spending the night in Bern. We will instead do the following :

13 Dec - Basel -> Interlaken

14 Dec to 16 Dec -> Jungfrau, Bern, Murren (Bernese Oberland)

17 Dec - Interlaken -> Geneva by Golden Pass route -> Montreux

18 Dec - Montreux

19 Dec - Montreux -> Zermatt

On 17 Dec, we plan to store our luggage at Geneva train lockers before our sightseeing in the morning. We will collect our luggage in the evening (about 4pm) to take the train from Geneva to Montreux.. Do you foresee any issues with this?

Thank you.

Regards

Nori

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 28, 2015 - 6:41 PM in reply to norizahaa

Hi Nori,

The Golden Pass line ends in Montreux (details are here). So it makes sense to drop the luggage in your hotel before continuing to Geneva. Or, if the hotel is not close to the station, store it at the station.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Oct 28, 2015 - 7:54 PM in reply to norizahaa

Hi Nori -

As Arno points out, the Golden Pass Route technically ends at Montreux. However, you would then change trains and go on to Geneva, about an hour to 1 hr 20 minutes further, with several trains per hour.

Interlaken to Montreux via Bern ( the fastest route) tales roughly 3 hours. That is what the computer will choose, unless you force it to take the scenic GoldenPass route via Zweisimmen. If you go by the fast route leaving IO at 0800, you get to Geneva at 1048 by going through through Bern. You will you will skipping Montreux on that leg. Then, you can go to Montreux later.

If you take the Golden Pass route, you will get 4 to 5 hours - (roughly ) to Geneva. The earliest train from Interlaken Ost to Geneva via the Golden Pass route through Zweisimmen and then through Montreux leaves Interlaken Ost at 0521, arrives Montreux at 0913; change trains and continue to Geneva at 0923, arrive Geneva at 1030. That does not leave much tiime for sightseeing in the morning, but you will have time to stow your bags and get started.

The next train via that route leaves IO at 0700, as far as I can see, and gets you to Montreux at 1013. Then the 1023 to Geneva gets you there at 1130. If you catch a later train, such as the 0908 Golden Pass Train at IO on the Golden Pass route, you will not get to Geneva in the morning.

If I were doing it, I'd consider staying in Geneva one night and Montreux the second night. However, since Montreux is only an hour to 1 hr 20 minutes from Geneva, it might indeed be easier to stay two nights in the same hotel in Montreux. Your sightseeing in Geneva would probably be only a few hours in the afternoon......

Slowpoke.

PS- You can leave your luggage at all major stations, either in lockers or at the left luggage office, as I showed you for Bern. Details are on the SBB website, following that example.. Be careful about closing hours for the offices at any station, but especially at smaller stations which close earlier.

Last modified on Oct 28, 2015 - 7:57 PM by Slowpoke
norizahaa
norizahaa
7 posts
new member
Oct 30, 2015 - 2:56 AM

Thank you so much Slowpoke & Arno.

Hi Slowpoke

Totally appreciate you listing the detailed train schedule from IO to Montreux to Geneva. I have a better idea now and am able to make a decision on the route we would like to take.

We have decided as follows :

17 Dec - Interlaken -> Zweisimmen -> Montreux via the Golden Pass Route

Drop our luggage at hotel in Montreux (near to train station).

Continue by train from Montreux -> Geneva. We may only have 3-4 hours in Geneva before it gets dark.

18 Dec - Montreux

Please assist with the following questions :

1. We have bought a 15 day Swiss Family Pass. What do we need to do to board the train from Interlaken to Montreux by the Golden Pass route. Do we need to make prior booking for tickets or seat reservation?

2. Do you foresee any issues with our plan on 17 Dec?

3. Would there be more things to see and do in Geneva or Montreux.

appreciate any suggestions. Many thanks.

Regards

Nori

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Oct 30, 2015 - 6:53 AM in reply to norizahaa

<<"things to see and do in Geneva or Montreux.">>

This may help:

www.myswissalps.com/mo ntreux

www.myswissalps.com/ge neva

Can you tell me why you want to go to Geneva? Are there specific things that you want to see or do?

If you drop your luggage at the hotel, you will possibly lengthen the trip to Geneva, even if the hotel is near the train station. It could be difficult to get to the hotel, register, hand in your luggage and get back to the train platform before the earliest connecting train leaves for Geneva.

However, since there are several trains per hour from Montreux to Geneva, the delay will not be substantial. Personally, if I were doing it, I would use the lockers at the station or the Left Luggage office.

Lockers require Swiss coins.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/railway-stations/bahnhof-finden.posid.1300.html

For lockers, look under "Equipment"

Check the hours here:

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/am-bahnhof/railway-stations/bahnhof-finden.posid.1300.html

Look under Services

Information on Golden Pass trains:

www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass

Reservations are only required for certain special sections of the Golden Pass trains. Some trains on the route used by the Golden Pass trains are "regular" not Golden Pass trains. All trains have good sized windows; Golden Pass trains have larger and panoramic windows.

Arno and Annika are the experts on the rail passes and scenic trains. If you do not find what you need in the link, please start a new thread on the subject with your question in the subject line.

Also, if you search this web site for Golden Pass, you will find other posts with related questions and answers, in addition to the link.

Slowpoke.

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 30, 2015 - 1:38 PM in reply to norizahaa

Hi Nori,

I assume you have a 15-day Swiss Travel Pass. You don't need to do anything to board the train. Just hop on and show your pass when requested. For further details, please see the Tickets section on the Golden Pass page Slowpoke gave you.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2659 posts
expert
Oct 30, 2015 - 2:02 PM in reply to Arno

Arno -

Do they have to "activate" the pass, or sign it?

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7728 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 30, 2015 - 2:17 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

That depends on where it's purchased. Different retailers use different activation/validation procedures. A few more details can be found here: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ howtouse.

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