10 day itinerary to explore the Bernese Alps

10 day itinerary to explore the Bernese Alps

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 9. This thread is closed.
bikkramads
bikkramads
5 posts
new member
Apr 18, 2016 - 5:49 PM

Hi,

Was looking for guidance on an itinerary to explore the Alps for a 10 day trip to Switzerland.

Was particularly interested in exploring the Bernese Oberland including Jungfrau and Grindwald

Some questions:

- We are probably going to fly into Zurich. Should we stay for 1 or 2 nights in Zurich and then head to Lucerne? Stay the night in Lucerne?

- Would you recommend the Golden pass line to Bernese Oberland?

- Where should we base ourselves from? Interlaken? Grindelwald? Gstaad? How many days should I spend in the Bernese Oberland? Spend a couple of nights each?

- Does one stay at the base and then just make day trips or stay for 1 or 2 nights across these places?

- Should I also try and add Zematt?

- Should I again fly out of Zurich?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Apr 19, 2016 - 12:05 AM in reply to bikkramads

Hi Bikkramads-

Welcome to the forum on My Swiss Alps.

Zürich is good, and probably the best airport to use for your goals.

Have you looked at a map?

map.search.ch/

Time table?

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Your questions are better answered if we know your dates of travel. The Bernese Oberland can be in Winter, while Luzern is in Spring...

Altitude matters

I'd consider a night or so in Luzern, but spend most of my time near the Jungfrau, in the Bernese Oberland, based on your statement about goals.

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 19, 2016 - 12:07 AM by Slowpoke
bikkramads
bikkramads
5 posts
new member
Apr 19, 2016 - 1:14 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi, thanks for the prompt response. My dates are June 30 - July 10 so I have 10 nights. Would this help in answering the questions?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Apr 19, 2016 - 7:05 AM in reply to bikkramads

<<"My dates are June 30 - July 10 so I have 10 nights. Would this help in answering the questions?">>

Hi Bikkramad-

Yes,

You have picked good dates. Probably will see a lot of wildflowers...June is a good month for that.

The heaviest tourist traffic is in August. You are going to be there just before it starts to pick up in July.

If you had said early June, I would have had to caution about many closed services and facilities. because the higher altitudes usually have snow blocking trails and roads. About June 15th is when "Summer" season begins.

Keep this

www.myswissalps.com/be sttimetovisit

in mind as you plan, in addition to going through the information in the link I posted above about he Bernese Oberland. That earlier link will help you choose a base or perhaps two in the B.O.

<<"Should we stay for 1 or 2 nights in Zurich and then head to Lucerne? Stay the night in Lucerne?">>

Unless you arrive very late in the evening, I'd go right to Luzern. A train twice per hour takes one hour. Based on your stated goals, you could even skip Luzern and go right to Interlaken or one of the towns south of there, but you have enough time that a day or two in Luzern will still leave lots of time for the B.O.

One train from the airport to Luzern each hour goes direct with a stop in Zürich, the other requires a change in Zürich. See the timetable I linked above. If you wish to stop over to walk around Zürich a bit, there are luggage lockers and a a more expensive left luggage office.

Luzern is close enough that you can use Zürich airport as the airport for Luzern.

The remaining questions involve subjective and personal judgements. You really have to answer them yourself, after studying the links about the B.O. as well as Zermatt, Zürich, and Luzern on the page:

www.myswissalps.com/wh eretogo

Luzern is rewarding to the first time traveler, with a great variety of things to see and do. Zürich is rich in culture and other items that are best enjoyed on a longer stay after you get to know the city, but a walk around the old town on both sides of the river is enjoyable. The Lindenhof has some pleasant and interesting views.

Do you have special interests? Are you a hiker or do you hope to do some walking on scenic trails? Museums? Luzern has all of those easily accessible.

<<"- Would you recommend the Golden pass line to Bernese Oberland?">>

If you are staying in Luzern, that is the best way top go to the B.O. Quite scenic. The other reasonable route goes through Bern. Bern should be left for a contingency plan for bad weather in the B.O. or if you have seen enough of the B. O. area.

<<"- Where should we base ourselves from? Interlaken? Grindelwald? Gstaad? How many days should I spend in the Bernese Oberland? Spend a couple of nights each?">>

There is good reason to pick just one, or at most two bases in the B.O.

For access to the "outside world" Interlaken is better, ( saves time) but it is not all that scenic or as enjoyable as Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Mürren, or Grindelwald. Each of those has different character; read the link on the B.O. posted earlier. All of those meet your goals. Look at the map and the time table.

Also -

www.swissholidayco.com /Public/Assets/User/fi les/Map-of-Jungfrauregion1.jpg

I like Wengen. Here is a little useful information from an expert:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

<- Does one stay at the base and then just make day trips or stay for 1 or 2 nights across these places?">>

See above comment.

<<"- Should I also try and add Zematt?">>

That is up to you. It is spelled Zermatt. The Jungfrau region has enough to fill all of your time, especially if you are a walker,

www.jungfrau.ch/en/som mer/tourism/destinatio ns/kleine-scheidegg/hiking-trails/

but the train ride to Zermatt is very scenic and historic, if you pick the old route via Spiez to Brig and onward to Zermatt via Kandersteg. The special train is called the Lötschberger and is definitely worth riding while you are there, even if all you do is go to Brig and return. Sit on the right going toward Brig.

If you are serious about walking, there is an interesting "Rail Trail" that parallels the train as it descends the wall of the Rhone Valley toward Brig.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail

Zermatt is smaller, but is the favorite of many people. Annika knows it well and likes it.

See the link on the "Where to Go" page linked above.

Check the timetable, and choose Kandersteg as a "via"in order to force it to the slower route and avoid the faster new boring "basis" tunnel.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 19, 2016 - 7:35 AM by Slowpoke
bikkramads
bikkramads
5 posts
new member
Apr 25, 2016 - 3:22 PM

Hi, thanks for all the great links and tips. Am thinking of the following itinerary: June 30: Lucerne, July 1-4 (3 nights): Wengen, July 4-7 (3 nights): Murren, July 7-9 (2 nights): Zermatt and July 9: Zurich

what do you think of this itinerary? Could you guide me on the trains that I should take between these destinations? Also also help on the train pass I should get (half fare card or Swiss travel pass)? Thanks

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2016 - 4:00 PM in reply to bikkramads

Hi Bikkramads -

That looks like a good itinerary, focused very much on the high Alpine regions and with enough time to have a good chance of good weather.

If that is your goal, you have done a good job. The other option would be to add one more night in Luzern, and subtract one night from the combination Wengen+Mürren. That would add a little variety. Luzern has a lot to recommend it, as I noted earlier in this thread. But, although there are lots of high mountains and a beautiful lake, it is not in the center of the Alps. Just a thought.

By the way, Wengen and Mürren are fairly close to one another. If you are interested in hiking, you might want to replace one of them with Grindelwald....there a lot of good hikes on that side of the region, too. grindelwald is a bit more commercial than the two that you have chosen. More stores, etc. in case that matters.

Slowpoke

<<"what do you think of this itinerary? Could you guide me on the trains that I should take between these destinations? Also also help on the train pass I should get (half fare card or Swiss travel pass)?">>

Please refer to the map and timetable I linked to in my first post in this thread. Also, note my comment about the "Lötschberger" train in the post immediately before yours.

<<"Also also help on the train pass I should get (half fare card or Swiss travel pass)? Thanks">>

Arno and Annika, the forum moderators are experts on train passes. I'm not. I'm sure that they will jump in.

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses

Slowpoke

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 25, 2016 - 5:15 PM in reply to bikkramads

Hi Bikkramads,

At first glance a Swiss Travel Pass makes sense. You can possibly work out a plan for an 8-day pass (limiting traveling on your first or last days). Otherwise a 15-day pass is required. It's more expensive than an 8-day pass but not nearly double the price like you might expect. The Swiss Travel Pass is by far the most convenient option as a lot is included so you'll be flexible and don't have to buy tickets for all trips. However, it's worth it to compare that option to the Swiss Half Fare Card.

It all depends on your day trips (cable cars, boats, etc.). To be sure which one is cheapest, you'll need to do the math. The below pages help you out:

How do you like the videos on the latter two pages? Are they helpful?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2016 - 5:34 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Bikkramads-

Building on what Annika has said,

I can add one thing to keep in mind.

Discounts on the cableways and cograils in the Jungfrau region should be looked at carefullynwith both types of passes.

The Swiss Travel Pass covers 100% of almost all "Public" transport in Switzerland, defined as transport connecting two population centers/cities/towns/ etc., and including many intra-city bus and tram lines, including the cog rail trip from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen.

For privately run and scenic transport and "ski" lifts, such as the cograil from Wengen onward to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch, which does not connect towns/population centers, the discount, if any, is a matter of choice by the operator. On many of those "private" lines/cableways, the half-fare pass gives a 50% discount. An example- the cableway from Wengen to Männlichen. But, not at all of them throughout Switzerland, if I recall correctly.

Just to confuse matters, the same company operates the trains I described accessing Wengen.

The government pays the rail line company to operate the stretch from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen, because it is a 'public" connection.

;-)

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 26, 2016 - 7:41 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Yes, that's correct. Details can be found in the "Where it's valid" sections of the pass pages Annika mentioned. You can download the maps with covered routes there.

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016