Advice for my 18 day Switzerland trip in September

Advice for my 18 day Switzerland trip in September

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: 13. This thread is closed.
Harishparekh
Harishparekh
5 posts
new member
Apr 6, 2016 - 10:19 AM

Pl advice if my itinerary is doable and any guidance and advice are most welcome.

Me (age 60) and my wife (age 55) want to do a trip to Switzerland from 12th Sept 2016 to 2nd Oct 2016. We are fairly mobile, can walk 2 to 3 km a day. Following is my itinerary.

  • Day 1 Arrive from Paris by TGV to Geneva.Transfer from Geneva airport to Chamonix.
  • Day 2 In Chamonix. Visit Mont Blanc
  • Day 3 In Chamonix. Visit anguil de midi
  • Day 4 Leave for Gstaad by train
  • Day 5 Visit Glacier 3000
  • Day 6 Visit other attraction at Gstaad
  • Day 7 Leave for Zermatt by train
  • Day 8 Visit Matterhorn
  • Day 9 Visit Glacier paradise
  • Day 10 leave for St mortiz by glacier express
  • Day 11 At St Mortiz
  • Day 12 leave for Interlaken or Grindelwald by train
  • Day 13 Visit Jungfrau
  • Day 14 At Interlaken Visit Schilthorn
  • Day 15 Leave for Lucerne by train
  • Day 16 Visit Mount Titilis,Boat ride on lake Lucerne
  • Day 16 Visit mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus
  • Day 17 Lucerne to Zurich by train if time permits Rhinefalls at Zurich fly same day back to Bangalore.

We are vegetarians and would book those apartments that hire out for 2 to 3 nights. We will prepare breakfast and dinner at the apartment. Will carry lot of ready to eat stuff, ready to mix Masala tea and will purchase lot of fresh fruits in the local market. I have the following budget in mind.

100 euros per day for accommodation

200 euros per day for excursion and transportation

50 euro for food which is locally purchased.

Air ticket and Swiss travel pass expenses are extra.

In view of my itinerary which rail pass is most suitable for us. Is September right time to visit?

My bases will be

  1. Chamonix
  2. Gstaad
  3. Zermatt
  4. St Mortiz
  5. Interlaken or Grindelwald
  6. Lucerne

Also pl advice whether Interlaken or Grindelwald as a base

Harish parekh

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 6, 2016 - 5:04 PM

Thanks for joining us, Harish parekh!

September is a perfect time for a visit to Switzerland. It think your itinerary is doable, although it does involve quite a lot of train traveling and base town changes. You'd best check connections in the timetable (do mind the correct spelling for some of your destinations: Aiguille du Midi, St. Moritz). If you're fine with the amount of traveling, all is fine!

Some details:

  • you seem to want to combine Titlis, Pilatus, Rigi and a boat trip over Lake Lucerne all on day 16, right? Two out of four can well be done within one day, maybe three (Pilatus, Rigi and a boat trip), but certainly not all. Please consult the timetable I mentioned and the "Route" tabs on each of our attraction pages.
  • Interlaken versus Grindelwald is a very personal choice. Interlaken is larger and located more centrally, Grindelwald has the more scenic surroundings. Several forum topics have been dedicated to this issue. Browsing the forum using the search box in the upper right corner may provide you with other visitors' considerations.

As for your budget: I'd allocate a bit more to accommodation and a bit less to traveling. It may be hard to find apartments that allow such short rental periods, and in some cases you may end up in hotels. Please start here for accommodation suggestions, and post to our accommodation forum if you still can't find what you need. A 15 day Swiss Travel Pass will help you to drastically save on your travel expenses.On those 15 days all of your trips will be covered, the only exception being discounted mountain visits and the Glacier Express reservation fee. Please study this page for coverage details and this one for purchase options. Whether you should start using it on day 2 or 3 depends on your final plans for day 17 (e.g.: if you do visit the Rhine Falls, it would be better to have this covered instead of getting regular full-fare tickets).

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2016 - 12:25 AM in reply to Harishparekh

Hi Harish-

This thread may be useful for you:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-and-recommendations-for-asian-travellers

Also,its predecessor -

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/swiss-itinerary-for-december-2015

My personal interests in Switzerland would cause me to add a bit more time in the latter destinations...Jungfrau region and Luzern.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

Not sure what I'd cut back...;-(

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
Harishparekh
Harishparekh
5 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 5:07 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika for your prompt and sincere reply.Your suggestions are very useful.Actually there was an error in counting days.My trip will be for 18 days in Switzerland and not 17.I want to do Mount Pilatus and mount Rigi in one day and Lucerne lake cruise and mount Titilis on another day.The one extra day is at Lucerne.My main purpose to visit St Moritz is to travel by Glacier express.Here my journey is my primary destination and St Moritz is the secondary one.Hence only 2 nights at St Moritz.Pl suggest best excursion in St Moritz.Do you think there are too many snow covered mountains in this trip which may cause boredom and snow blindness[joking].I fully agree about choosing 15 day travel pass.Should i make it flex combo or normal 15 day flexi pass.?Would you suggest cutting down Chamonix or Gstaad to cut down on no. of bases and accommodate more days in Interlaken or Lucerne? Regards Harish parekh

Harishparekh
Harishparekh
5 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 5:41 AM in reply to Annika

Thanks Slopoke for your reply.Actually there was an error in counting days.I am spending 18 and not 17 days in Swiotzerland.O ne extra day is at Lucerne.If a choice is given to you to cut back on one of the bases to have more time in Interlaken and Lucerne then which one you will pickup?Your links were very useful. Regards

Harishparekh

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 6:27 AM in reply to Harishparekh

Hi Harish,

Cost wise it may make sense to cut out Chamonix as it's in France and a Swiss Travel Pass does not provide any discounts there. Of course visiting the Mont Blanc is special so that's up to you. Lots of good mountains in Switzerland as well. You can add the remaining days to St. Moritz, Lucerne and Interlaken.

If you can limit your traveling during the first and/or last days the 15-day Swiss Travel Pass Annika mentioned works fine. If not, I'd recommend the 15-day Swiss Travel Pass Flex Combi, so you'll have 15 days of unlimited traveling, and discounts on the few days in between that remain. You can do the math to be sure.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2016 - 6:54 AM in reply to Harishparekh

Hi Harishparekh:

<<"If a choice is given to you to cut back on one of the bases to have more

time in Interlaken and Lucerne then which one you will pickup?">>

I'd add in the Jungfrau region, as noted below.

And, that extra day in Luzern that you note will allow some local sightseeing, as noted below.

Your itinerary has allowed suitable time for travel between St. Moritz and the Jungfrau region, and generous time for travel between the Jungfrau region and Luzern.

The timetable and map will help you to understand that:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

From St. Moritz to Interlaken Ost - 5 1/2 to 6 hours,

From Interlaken Ost to Luzern - 1 hr 51 minutes

IO to Grindelwald adds about a half an hour.

After you have obtained a list of trains/connections by entering locations, date and time of day in the timetable, you can select a sigle journey by clicking on the "+" to the left.

The details of the journey and stations for changes will appear. In the footnotes, you have the option to see a map.

For an overall map of Switzerland, this one is particularly useful:

map.search.ch/

By using the menus and zooming, you can get much detailed information about the train stations, etc.

I'd add one more day in the Jungfrau region, after day 14, to allow for a better chance for good weather up high. The weather changes rapidly in the high alps, so a cloudy morning might have a sunny afternoon, or vice versa. Or, the next day may be better. There are lots of ways to keep track of near term weather once you are in the region.

I'd fit in some time to walk around Luzern on one of your days, or, perhaps, the afternoon of the day that you come from the Jungfrau region. There is a lot to see and do, good weather or bad.

Personal preference enter in my last comment. I'd take the time around Luzern instead of the Rhine falls. However, many other enjoy the falls more than I do. In the USA, we have Niagara Falls, so the Rhine Falls are not so special for me.

Luzern and Zürich are less than one hour apart by frequent trains. The falls are about an hour from Zürich:

www.myswissalps.com/rh inefalls

So, you can be flexible with your times on the last day or so.

Hope this helps,

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2651 posts
expert
Apr 7, 2016 - 7:20 AM in reply to Arno

Arno-

I'm not sure that I remember this correctly, but I recall that the Swiss Rail travel discounts in some form work for some of the French ski resorts near Geneva. I think that they want skiers in France to saty in Geneva and spend their money there, I suppose.... ;-)

What do you think

?

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 7:54 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

A Swiss Travel Pass gets you to Chamonix, only via the Martigny route (which is very nice), but that's it. No discounted cable cars, etc. You can find details here: myswissalps.com/ swisstravelpass/ validity.

Last modified on Apr 7, 2016 - 7:56 AM by Arno
Harishparekh
Harishparekh
5 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 9:04 AM

Thanks Arno and Slopoke for your detailed reply.I just have to check whether Swiss travel pass offers discounts for excursion in Chamonix.But the train from Chamonix to Gstaad will be covered under Swiss rail pass.I would prefer 15 days flexi combi pass as it would mean no more buying tickets at the railway station.I am also considering Jet boat ride in Interlaken.Will it be okay for our age?

Harishparekh

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 9:28 AM in reply to Harishparekh

Hi Harishparekh,

Excursions in Chamonix are not discounted; see my previous posts and the page I linked to. Whether the jet boat trip is suitable for you I don't know. I don't think your age is a concern, but I would guess you should not have a poor health for such a thing. I would recommend to ask that company directly, and your doctor if necessary.

Harishparekh
Harishparekh
5 posts
new member
Apr 7, 2016 - 9:39 AM

Hi Arno

I am not going to Chamonix from Geneva by train but I am taking a shared taxi coach from Geneva to Chamonix.Another alternative is to make Geneva base ,after arriving in Geneva spend 1st day in Geneva and on the next day take a day trip to Chamonix from Geneva and leave for Gstaad from Geneva on the 3rd day that will save me a day and I will have the satisfaction of seeing Mont Blanc.Pl suggest if it is alright otherwise I will leave Chamonix from my trip.

Harishparekh

Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 7, 2016 - 3:00 PM in reply to Harishparekh

Hi Harishparekh,

This is a really personal decision. Both options are fine. Personally I prefer not to shift base too much, but you may choose otherwise of course. You can consider a tour to the Mont Blanc from Geneva, e.g. www.viator.com/tours/G eneva/Chamonix-and-Mont-Blanc.

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