Simple week in March

Simple week in March

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: 8. This thread is closed.
alpinemoles
alpinemoles
3 posts
new member
Feb 22, 2015 - 7:01 PM

Because of a work opportunity, we're taking a last minute vacation in Switzerland from March 6th-14th. I've been trying to do a lot of searching and reading here and in a Fodor's guide the last week, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. Everything looks so amazing that I want to do it all! However, I've also realized in the last few years that I really do prefer a slower travel schedule to relax, enjoy it more, and leave plenty of time for the bajillion photos we take. We also prefer having fewer hotels to avoid carrying our bags as much and dealing with repacking.

My spouse will be flying into Zurich late morning on Friday, March 6th, and I will be coming over to meet her from Basel. I was thinking of having us stay 3 nights in Zurich. The first afternoon, we could try to see a little bit of Zurich if she's not too tired. I'm very tempted by a Heidiland/Liechtenstein day trip bus tour, but is it worth it in early March? (I know you don't go to Heidi's Village in the winter, but this doesn't bother me.) I was thinking that day 3 would be for heading over to Lucerne.

Then, I was thinking of relocating to the Berner Oberland. It sounds like Interlaken is "boring", but it decreases connections for train travel. Lauterbrunnen sounds lovely, but would add 20min for most travel. I think I'm leaning towards Interlaken, but would you consider that a mistake?
While in the Oberland, we would have 4 full days to mix and match activities based on weather. One day would be for going up to Jungfrau. Other day options I was thinking about include Murren, Bern, Zermatt, Mt. Titlis, and Montreux/Geneva (if the weather ends up being extra cloudy and preventing mountain enjoyment.) Should I be planning this better or just go with the flow/weather? Is there something I'm missing that I should really consider?

I cannot figure out what to do about a rail pass given that I'm trying to be flexible for the weather. Also, if we're in the mountains a lot, it sounds like having a pass for those days doesn't help. (This part really confuses me.) I'm also not sure if I should rearrange part of our trip so that we can enjoy one or more of the panorama trains. (We once enjoyed the train ride from Rome to Sicily so much that we decided to take the exact ride back up to Naples to enjoy it a second time instead of taking a ferry back.) Do you have any thoughts on this?

Also, should we be packing mostly business casual slacks for the trip? We don't want to look like stereotypical sloppy Americans, but slacks seems odd for mountain days.

Thank you very much.

edinu10
edinu10
6 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2015 - 1:01 PM in reply to alpinemoles

Hello ALPINEMOLES,

I understand perfectly your doubts, cannot know how tyred your spouse could be after a such a flight and wich is your departure airport. However, my suggestion is to keep in mind that you have only 7 hours daylight every day.

In your place I would decide having the first night in Zurich, centrally located hotel. Half a day is sufficient to walk everywhere in old historic part of Zurich.

The next 5 nights I'll choose a good, silent hotel in Luzern. Mountains Pilatus, Titlis, Stanserhorn, Rigi are nearby, do check the winter timetables and the cablecar to Pilatus who was in construction...

Luzern is centrally Switzerland located, Interlaken is easy to be reached from there, so Jungfraujoch.

I'll take a SWISS SAVER PASS for 8 days, I don't know if still exist, and go everywhere by train, bus and boat, having also the reductions for all cable cars, funiculars, etc. Otherwise, according to another type of budget, I'll get some tours or excursions from Luzern.

Enjoy your time and let us know your decision, if you like!

alpinemoles
alpinemoles
3 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2015 - 1:31 PM in reply to edinu10

Thank you for replying, Edinu10.

We are flying out of Zurich airport, but it seems as that is easy to get to from almost everywhere, even if our last day is just packing in the morning and traveling in the afternoon (5:30pm flight). We have a total of 8 nights in Switzerland.

The 8 day Swiss Travel Pass does look like a very good idea. May I ask why you recommend Luzern over Interlaken? Luzern does look very nice, though.

edinu10
edinu10
6 posts
new member
Feb 23, 2015 - 4:52 PM in reply to alpinemoles

Hi again, ALPINEMOLES! Well, I had the opportunity to see almost Switzerland by coach, car and train. Luzern is a gem, a perfectly charming and seductive place-nothing to do with Interlaken. My fellow travelers who did not have the financial means to get over the mountains to Jungfraujoch and back so remaind in Interlaken were bored to death. Interlaken is a city of new, luxurious villas, that's all. All you can do are the trips on the two lakes. On the other hand, Luzern is an historic city whence the lake cruises are breathtaking. Just see on SWISS TRAVEL PASS map what are the scenery, panorama routes and also ask some images on your computer for these places-Luzern, Pilatus, Rigi, etc. From Luzern to Zurich Airport it takes only 1 hour, will you check out www.sbb.ch , I am sure you'll love this excellent website! You can go one day at Zermatt - 3 hours aprox, one way - and take a cable ride to Klein Matterhorn. I made a mistake, there are about 9-10 hours daylight. All in all, for me it's an endless pleasure to travel to Switzerland and I made these suggestions thinking what I would have chosen being there for the first time, in March, for 8 nights. The panoramic trains would be gorgeous, but you'll have to do baggage and move to another hotels...

Arno
Arno
7339 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 24, 2015 - 6:54 AM
alpinemoles
alpinemoles
3 posts
new member
Feb 25, 2015 - 2:57 PM in reply to Arno

I think that I'm pretty close to accepting just staying in Zurich and Lucerne.

If we were to try to still go over to Zermatt from Lucerne, is there a good roundtrip train route that you would recommend? Otherwise, 3 hours each way on the same track seems pretty painful.

Similarly, is there a good roundrip train from Lucerne to Jungraujoch? How did you do it, edinu10?

Has anyone done the Heidiland/Leichtenstein day trip?

Thank you!

Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 26, 2015 - 5:38 PM

Hi,

Zermatt is at least 3h15 by train from Lucerne. That's the quick route with most of the really nice scenery only in the last hour or so. So that's already a long day if you also want a couple of hours of sightseeing and a return trip. If you would make it a scenic round trip it takes even more time. You could get off the Intercity train in Bern or Spiez to take the local train to Brig, which is really nice, and then continue to Zermatt. But that's an additional 90 minutes.

The same thing goes for Luzern to Jungfraujoch. It's a really long (4h15) but also scenic trip via the Golden Pass line. No time for detours I would say. You could consider staying in Lucerne and Spiez instead of Lucerne and Zurich. From Spiez, on Lake Thun, both Zermatt and Jungfraujoch are doable. Then you can focus on local sites while in Lucerne (even a day trip to Zurich can be done). I don't know about Heidiland, but Liechtenstein should not be high on your list I think. With only a week to spend, there are better things to see.

edinu10
edinu10
6 posts
new member
Feb 27, 2015 - 8:46 AM in reply to Annika

Hello ALPI,

According to your way of being you are able to conceive any travel plan, of course.

A slower travel shedule does not help your wish to do it all. Switzerland is an wonderful, amazing country - that is the truth. Having that short period time , early spring, you can do a lot of trips, yet. If you decided to be independent travelers then pick-up a sort of card or pass and let's turn on the lights!!! On www.sbb.ch are shown the timetables, routes, maps, distances, times for every machinery created by the human being - trains, cable-cars, boats, buses, chair-lifts, telegondolas - it is a chance to plan the smartest trip, having THE MAP in front of you.

How did I do it? I wandered like un UFO across the country, being so happy to have the opportunity to see and live such a marvel. I am from a poor, former communist country, we had not the opportunity to get over the Iron Curtain during our youth.

I was in Liechtenstein and in so called Heidiland. My opinion about Liechtenstein is : waist of time. For Heidiland I was coming from Bernina route, get off the train at Flums, pick- up the bus to Flumserberg and stayed there 2 nights, almoust 3 days. It looks like in the pictures, I guess is wonderful in every season, you can get a lot of cable cars around and move beyond all the mountains till Unterzen - Wallensee Lake where I took the train onward. In August, having full sunny days all the time. I'd go by my own from Luzern to Heidiland , dawn to dusk, knowing the weather report for that day.

I tried to squeeze the orange till the last drop, this is a verry expensive country, to have a good accomodation how we want to is almoust double than in other West European countries, so....

My best regards!

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