Please help with planning 15 day itinerary in June

Please help with planning 15 day itinerary in June

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SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 10, 2015 - 10:56 AM

We are planning a family vacation (2 + 6 yrs old daughter) for 15 days in June 2016. Based on this forum discussions and other sites we have sketched a rough itinerary below. Please provide comments/suggestions to add/delete/modify locations, durations (of stay) and other tips in general. Also any recommendations for accommodation at each place will be helpful.

The main intention of the trip is nature! We love natural beautiful landscapes, mountains, cozy lodges/hotels. Not much interest in cities.

Day 1: Land in Zurich (most likely in the morning) -- visit Rhine Falls

Day 2: Golden Pass Train to Lucerne (morning) -- visit Mt Pilatus (Lucerne --> Alpanchstad --> Pilatus --> Cable Car/Bus --> Lucerne)

Day 3: Lucerne: Visit Mt Rigi (Lucerne —> ArthGoldau —> Rigi (cogwheel) —> Vitznau (walk or train) —> Lucerne(boat))

Day 4: Lucerne: Visit Mt Titlis (best route?)

Day 5: Lucerne: Backup for bad weather or local sightseeing

Day 6: Golden Pass Train to Interlaken (Morning) -- Visit Mt Skilthorn (Interlaken —>Lauterbrunnen —> Stechelberg (Bus) —> Schilthron (Cable Car) —>Murren (Cable Car) —> Gruschalp (Walk) —> Lauterbrunnen (Cable Car)—> Interlaken)

Day 7: Interlaken: Visit Mt Junfrau (Interlaken —>Laterbrunnen —> Kleine Scheidegg —> Jungfraujoch —> Kleine Schedegg —> Grindelwald (EigherNorth Face) —> Interlaken)

Day 8: Interlaken: Backup for bad weather or local sightseeing

Day 9: Travel to Brig (Which train?) (morning) -- Small Hike Bettmeralp to Fierscheralp (Brig —> Betten—> Bettmeralp (Cable Car) —> Gondola —> Hike to Fierscheralp (1hour) —> Fiesch (Cable Car) —>Brig)

Day 10: Brig: Visit Zermatt/Matterhorn (Brig —> Zermatt—> Gornergrat (Cogwheel) —> Zermatt —> Brig)

Day 11:Montreux (any special places to see?)

Day 12: Montreux: Boat ride to Geneva/Lausanne

Day 13: Travel back to Zurich (Should we stop in Bern?)

Day 14: Zurich/Bern

Day 15: Fly out

Apart from some specific questions embedded above, we have some more doubts.

1. We have excluded St Moritz and Lugano area. Should we replace Montreux with that?

2. Are there any better suggestions for Day 11 onwards?

3. Did we miss any "must see" attraction in the list above?

I know there is lot of time for June, but need to finalize soon as we are trying to use our miles for airline booking. Earlier we can finalize the number of days/dates the better.

SummitClym
SummitClym
16 posts
new member
Dec 10, 2015 - 11:09 PM

Congratulations on a very well conceived itinerary. A couple of thoughts: Day 4 you can travel to Titlis the conventional way via train to Engelberg then gondola to Titlis. A good weather alternate would be train-bus-gondola to Melchsee-Frutt then a hike to Tannalp to Engstlenalp to Engstlensee where you will board another gondola to Jochpass and on to Titlis. The hike is quite flat but about 2-3 miles long (not sure). I suggest it is be doable for a 6 year old only because I have hiked it with 80+ year old women and they did fine plus on a clear day the scenery is fantastic!! Another alternate would be train-post bus from Lucerne directly to Engstlenalp then the short hike to the gondola at Engstlensee or even hike on up to Jochpass and on to Titlis. This would be a shorter but more uphill route.

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 11, 2015 - 7:23 AM

Welcome to MySwissAlps SR1000 and SummitClym!

Here's some feedback in addition to the excellent tips from SummitClym:

  • Walking all the way down from Mount Rigi to Vitznau (nearly 1400 m lower) is a bit much on the knees, but there are several in between train stations where you can end your walk and take the train.
  • About train schedules, please see the timetable to find all of them. Mind the correct spelling of locations in order to find accurate information.
  • I think your plans make sense. Of course you can skip Montreux and visit St. Moritz or Lugano instead, but all these places are wonderful so it's really up to you to decide what you like most. Please see the links.
  • All rail pass information can be found here: myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses.
  • As for accommodation: once your itinerary is final, please post in the accommodation forum if you need suggestions, and include some information as explained here.
Last modified on Dec 11, 2015 - 7:24 AM by Annika
SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 11, 2015 - 7:32 AM

Thank you SummitClym. We will certainly look into the hike option. Thanks Annika for the tips and confirmation of the plan.

After my initial post we have done some more reading and discovered few more things:

Day 8: Backup for weather -- if this is free, we found one more activity to do. Let me know if this is doable(lot of walking) for 6 year old. Interlaken --> Wilderswil-->Zweilütschinen (walk) -->Lauterbrunnen (walk) --> Stechelberg(walk) --> Interlaken (bus/train) -- can cover some with train (similar to Rigi).

Day 9: Hike from Bettmeralp to Fierscheralp. On this site I also found a longer hike from Bettmerhorn to Fierscheralp (along the glacier). Is that doable with 6 year old?

Day 10: Made a slight change to stay in Zermatt instead of returning back to Brig. This will require us to carry the luggage along (will travel light). Is there an option to hold the luggage at station or will the hotel keep it until we return/check-in?

Day 11: Added visit to Matterhorn.Reduced one of the days (Day 13/14 above) at Zurich/Bern. Good choice? Zermatt —> Gondola Station --> Furi --> Trockener Steg --> Klein Matterhorn —> Schwarzee--> Zermatt

Day 12: Montreux-- Is there a direct train from Zermatt to Montreux? If yes which one? Prefer to leave early morning from Zermatt.

We have 2 options for Day 12:1. Local Sight Seeing -- Castle of Chillon and Roches-de-Nayeor2. Gruyeres (Castle, Cheese Factory and Broc (Chocolate Factory) -- doable after early morning train from Zermatt? Any suggestions? We think 6 year old would like Cheese Factory and Chcolate Factory visit :)

Day 13: Geneva Lake (possibly day trip to Geneva or Losanne)

Day 14: Return to Zurich -- We will look for an option to fly out of Geneva. That will give us one more day in Montreux, but we will miss some local attractions in Zurich.

Day 15: Fly out!

SummitClym
SummitClym
16 posts
new member
Dec 11, 2015 - 8:10 AM

Day 8: that's a very long walk and all uphill. Consider: train from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen, tram & train to Murren, walk to Stechelberg, tram to the Lauterbrunnen valley floor, walk path along river back to Lauterbrunnen then train back to Interlaken. Or go to Ballenberg outdoor museum if bad weather. There are lots of activities, farm animals etc to interest children.

Last modified on Dec 11, 2015 - 8:33 AM by SummitClym
SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 11, 2015 - 8:18 AM in reply to SummitClym

Thanks for the suggestion. Will implement.

SummitClym
SummitClym
16 posts
new member
Dec 11, 2015 - 8:31 AM

Meant to add. A visit to Trummelbach Falls is also a great rainy day activity. It's along the walk from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen mid-L auterbrunnen Valley. Also smart to overnight in Zermatt Rather than day trip from Brig. The r/t train ride from Brig to Zermatt is more time consuming than it appears.

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 11, 2015 - 9:02 AM in reply to SR1000

Bettmerhorn to Fiescheralp is doable with a 6 year old, according to Swiss standards. It depends on your hiking experience. It's not an easy stroll, but not particularly difficult either. But it could classify as a strenuous hike if you're inexperienced. The trail should be clear of snow in June, but that's not 100% guaranteed, so in that case you'd better pick another trail.

As for direct trains from Zermatt to Montreux: no, they're not available. Please check the timetable Annika mentioned. All such information is available there.

Zermatt is wonderful, but you do need good weather. You could choose to stay in Brig and travel there when the weather suits your plans. That eliminates luggage issues too, but there are lockers and/or left luggage offices at all larger stations like Brig and Zermatt for example.

Last modified on Dec 11, 2015 - 9:04 AM by Arno
SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 11, 2015 - 9:15 AM in reply to Arno

Is there an option to come down from Bettmerhorn to Bettmeralp and then walk to Fiescheralp? I think this is one of path suggested in your 14-day sample itinerary.

SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 11, 2015 - 9:35 AM in reply to SummitClym

Since Murren is already covered on another day, how about if we take a train from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg, take tram to the valley floor and then walk along the river back to the station? That should cover the Trummelbach Falls, right?

SummitClym
SummitClym
16 posts
new member
Dec 12, 2015 - 12:50 AM in reply to SR1000

I need to clarify/revise my comments of 8:10am post. The walk would be from Murren to Gimmelwald quite short but affords beautiful views of the valley below. Then take the gondola from Gimmelwald to the valley floor at Stechelberg. There really isn't much to see in Stechelberg - nice place to pass through but not a destination. Also, the bus is the only public transport from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg along the valley floor. The only train is above the valley floor between Grutschalp - Winteregg - Murren (which you may take earlier to Schilthornhahn). Gimmelwald is the carless hilltop village of Heidi fame.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 12, 2015 - 8:55 AM in reply to SR1000

<<"We are planning a family vacation (2 + 6 yrs old daughter) for 15 days in June 2016. Based on this forum discussions and other sites we have sketched a rough itinerary below. Please provide comments/suggestions toadd/delete/modify locations, durations (of stay) and other tips in general.">>

In the Jungfrau region, you may wish to consider the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg.

The trail may open as early as June 1, (or late May if the snow fall has been light) but is almost sure to be open by late June.

It is accessible by cableways from Grindelwald or from Wengen. Wengen to Männlichen uses a very large cable car. These also usually open by June 1, but late June is almost certain.

The timetable is helpful, but tourist offices or train stations in the region give up to date weather and trail conditions. June tends to have more Spring-like weather as the month progresses at these high altitudes, with lots of variety, and plenty of cloudy days. At the beginning of June, there is still a lot of snow at high altitudes.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

This describes the walk -

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

It is only about 4 km long, easy, and slightly downhill in the much preferred direction starting from Männlichen.

I did it with an 8 year old with no problems. Some call it the "Grannies' Walk" because it is so easy.

Wonderfully, specially scenic. Great views of the Eiger rising above you as you progress.

More about the area -

This will give you too much information, but might cause you to spend a bit more time in the area:

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

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 12, 2015 - 8:56 AM in reply to SummitClym

Thank you. How about this activity:

Interlaken—> Lauterbrunnen —> Stechelberg Schilthornbahn (Bus) —> Gimmelwald(Gondola) —> Murren Schilthornbahn (Walk) --> Schilthron (CableCar) --> Murren Schilthornbahn(Cable Car)--> Murren BLM (walk)--> Winteregg (Cable Car)--> Gruschalp(Walk?) --> Lauterbrunnen (Train) —> Interlaken

It's a bit longer, but can spend an entire day. Is the Winteregg to Gruschalp worth walking? Is there a trail for that? Google Map shows 2km.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 12, 2015 - 9:09 AM in reply to SR1000

That is a very scenic day -- the Schilthorn part in particular.

You can adjust the walk distances along the bus route on the valley floor or between Mürren and Grütschalp.

<<"Is the Winteregg to Gruschalp worth walking? Is there a trail for that? Google Map shows 2km.">>

It is nice walk, but much better in the other direction (modestly uphill) because of what you see ahead of and above you. Otherwise, you get a sore neck from constantly turning around to look.

it does not begin to compare with Männlichen to Kleine Scheideggfor awe inspiring views. You are too far below the upper trails andhigher sites.

This is absolutely the best map of Switzerland for technical details -

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=swisstopo&lang=e n&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo .pixelkarte-farbe&X=161400.00&Y=63 3650.00&zoom=5

This map is useful because of the information available about transportation if you zoom in and mouse over a staiton icon. It is also good on restaurants, accommodation, etc.

map.classic.search.ch/

Slowpoke

SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 12, 2015 - 12:35 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you Slowpoke for the excellent tips, maps and suggestion on the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail. I have added this to the itinerary. Will go through the document too.

Please let me know if there are any other such trails in the areas we are visiting. Also if you get time, can you please check what we have planned and suggest changes, if any (e.g. direction of travel, best time of the day to go, etc.).

We will start mostly on June 18th so hopefully all trails/roads are open by then.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 12, 2015 - 5:15 PM in reply to SR1000

<<"Thank you Slowpoke for the excellent tips, maps and suggestionon the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg trail.">>

You are welcome.

<"" Will go through the document too.">>

Kim is a serious hiker, so if you see something interesting, cross check it with this forum, and a map .

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

Climbing at high altitude can be tiring and cause you to be short of breath if you are not used to it. I'm am often not ready for that when I first arrive in Switzerland, so I always look at a map for altitude changes. For me, it is noticeable at 1500 meters or above. Above 2000 meters I climb slowly, pausing to catch my breath sometimes. Coming down many hundreds of meters can be hard on your knees, too.

<<"Please let me know ifthere are any other such trails in the areas we are visiting.">>

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

<<"Also ifyou get time, can you please check what we have planned and suggestchanges, if any (e.g. direction of travel, best time of the day to go,etc.).">>

I'll take a look, but it won't be immediateOn your schilthorn day, one option would be to go up to Männlichen early, take the walk to Kleine Scheidegg, ride down to Lauterbrunnen on the cograil train, go from ther to Schilthorn via either of the two approaches (via Stechelberg or Grütschalp). Then, after you come down as far as Mürren, decide if you want to stop at Gimmelwald, ride or possibly walk partway along the road from Stechelberg to Lauterbrunnen or, alternately, take the "train" to Grütschalp and the cableway down to Lauterbrunnen. Use of Mapsearch.CH, as linked before, at the proper zoom magnification, will show you all of the bus stops between Stechelberg and Lauterbrunnen.

There are several places along the way to get lunch.

That will give you lots of spectacular high alpine views and a nice walk, and save the quite pleasant and interesting, but less spectacular choices for the end of the day. Once you see the lay of the land, you'll have a feel for what you want to do of the choices available.

"<<We will start mostly on June 18th so hopefully all trails/roads are open by then.">>

Should be good.

Keep in touch via this forum as your trip gets close, especially in May.. Arno, Annika and others have a better knowledge of the weather and trail conditions conditions, and can suggest tourist offices to e-mail. The one in Wengen would be a good start.

Slowpoke

SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 15, 2015 - 8:15 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Just one more question about travel. When traveling between the towns/villages, is it better to go early morning and then spend the whole day roaming around (hopefully most major stations have luggage lockers) or go one day early in the evening (assuming the daylight is available till 9pm in June)?

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 16, 2015 - 5:30 AM in reply to SR1000

Larger stations indeed have lockers or a luggage office (see here). You'd best check the weather forecast before your trip: usually the morning skies are clear and so offer good views, but it can be wonderful in the evenings as well. If it's very early or late, it will be light but sun light in the valleys will be blocked by the mountains. Note that trains run until pretty late, but cable cars do not. Most close down around 6 PM.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 16, 2015 - 7:59 AM in reply to SR1000

HI SR1000

If you follow the SBB link on the page that Arno provided, you can get to a menu that lets you enter the name of any station on the railroad.

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

After entering the name of the station, you will get a tabbed menu with a tab for for Services and one for Equipment. "Services" tells you about the Left Luggage office open hours, among other items. "Equipment" tell you about lockers.

Whether you go in the morning or the evening to your next destination is a matter of personal choice. Observing the precautions about availablity that Arno mentioned about hours of train service and hours of cableway services, you should check the timetable if you have any doubt whether a service will be available.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Some people do not like to travel after their evening meal.

Personally, I prefer to travel to my destination for my evening meal. In the summer, with nice weather, I can always take a stroll after dinner if I wish to. Then, I can get an early start at my next day's exploration. Remember that breakfast is almost always included in your room cost, if that makes a difference. (The only places where I have found that breakfast is not included is many of the large hotels in the larger cities).

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 16, 2015 - 8:10 AM by Slowpoke
SR1000
SR1000
47 posts
active member
Dec 16, 2015 - 8:45 AM in reply to Slowpoke

"Personally, I prefer to travel to my destination for my evening meal. In the summer, with nice weather, I can always take a stroll after dinner if I wish to. Then, I can get an early start at my next day's exploration. Remember that breakfast is almost always included in your room cost, if that makes a difference. (The only places where I have found that breakfast is not included is many of the large hotels in the larger cities)."

>> That's what we were thinking. Get to the place on previous night and then get early start in the morning for full day trips. It's mainly for 3 locations: Lucerne, Interlaken and Brig.

Thank you Arno and Slowspoke again. Your input has been very valuable in making decisions.

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