Single day trip planning advice

Single day trip planning advice

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AdamG
AdamG
3 posts
new member
Aug 19, 2015 - 1:05 AM

I'm traveling through Europe in September, and have a single night stay in Switzerland. This is my first time traveling through and am working a plan to take one of the trips to a mountain top. This website already has been an incredible help providing information, thank you very much. The places I can make work are: Jungfraujoch, Pilatus, Mount Titlis, and Mittelallalin. And this will be on Saturday, Sept. 12.

1) Do any of these places get too overwhelmed with crowds on Saturdays?

2) Can I buy cable-car passes on the spot, the day of, at any location?

3) How do these generally rank in wow factor of the views/experiences at the top? :)

The ice caves sound very interesting to see, so I'm leaning towards Mount Titlis or Mitelallalin. Though what you say on your website about cloudy weather being a drag on enjoying these locations, I probably should play it by ear and choose which direction I head the morning of. Mittelallalin will be the tightest time-wise but I should still have max 3 available hours for the location from the time I arrive at the town.

Thanks!

Last modified on Aug 19, 2015 - 1:08 AM by AdamG
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Aug 19, 2015 - 5:08 PM

<<") Do any of these places get too overwhelmed with crowds on Saturdays?">>

What part of September? Weather.......

lSowpoke

Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 19, 2015 - 5:41 PM

Welcome to the forum, AdamG! Glad to hear MySwissAlps has been a useful resource so far.

Let's look into your questions:

1) It's hard to make any predictions for September 12. Generally, Saturdays and Sundays are more crowded than other days, as the Swiss themselves too enjoy excursions in their weekends. This is especially the case if weather is good, and even more so if it hasn't been in the past few weeks. However, the peak of tourist season will be over, and holidays for most of the Swiss too. So in all, I don't think you should worry about attractions being overcrowded.

2) Yes, you can buy tickets at the valley stations before boarding. The "Tickets" sections on our attraction pages (see the links at #3) provide details. Depending on your exact itinerary, a rail pass (like the Swiss Half Fare Card or Swiss Transfer Ticket Combi) may save you some money. Here's how to find out if that's the case.

3) That's a hard one to answer. It's very personal and travelers' experiences also depend on the type of weather they had while visiting, as that's a very determining factor. You can best check our pages on Jungfraujoch, Titlis, Pilatus and Mittelallalin and see what appeals to you most. Some general considerations: Jungfrau and Titlis are most popular to tourists, I'd say. Pilatus offers more of a far away view (which is beautiful), whereas the other three get you closer to the snow-capped mountain tops. I'm not sure where you'll be spending the night, but from most base towns Mittelallalin will require most traveling time. Out of all, the Jungfraujoch may be the most special experience to quite some tourists, due to the train ride through the Eiger and the breathtaking experience of overlooking the huge Aletsch glacier and being literally in between the famous Bernese Alps. But don't worry, as long as skies are clear you'll enjoy whatever mountain top you'll visit! It's wise indeed to just wait and see what weather will be like.

AdamG
AdamG
3 posts
new member
Aug 19, 2015 - 8:25 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you for your reply and information! My overall journey at this segment is Nice -> Heidelberg. I chose Locarno to stop off at and book a hotel room and I can check out the castles in Bellinzona. Then later I thought this is my opportunity to ride up to a mountain peak! I will take your advice and see how the weather goes the morning of. Even if it's bad all over, I'm sure I'll still visit one, as I may not be back for many years. And certainly the ice caves won't care if it's foggy & raining above surface =D

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Aug 19, 2015 - 8:59 PM in reply to AdamG

<<"Then later I thought this is my opportunity to ride up to a mountain peak! I ">>

Ooop! Sorry I missed your stated date earlier. I'll have to give up multitasking - eating a meal and typing at the same time. By the end of September, the higher elevations (up above 2000 meters or so ) might possibly have snow that would prevent walking on some of the trails if the weather hits a cold spell. October is when you really start to think about it, though. On the 12th of September, you can hope for weather like that in the attached images taken above Wengen near Männlichen on the 22nd of September in 2009.

You've got two tall peaks with great views in the Jungfrau region -

Jungfrau at 4160 meters +/- and Schilthorn at 2970 meters. Near by accessed from Wilderswil is Schynige Platte at about 2100 meters, and Harder Kulm(from Unterseen) overlooking Interlaken at 1300 meters

The weather often comes in layers....there might be a cloud deck at 3100 meters, with bright sunshine at 4100, etc.

The tourist offices and ticket offices usually have some kind of indication, including possibly a web cam, of what the weather is up on top. You'll have your pick of altitudes to be "at the peak." Choose your mountain!

The richness of scenery, trails, lifts, over a large area near the Jungfrau is unequaled among the choices you have mentioned.

That is my reason for thinking that Arno's recommendation is the way to go.

PS -

I suspect you know that the towns near the Jungfrau are mostly be car-free. You can take a car to Grindelwald (limited parking) and to Lauterbrunnen - large cheap parking garage. From those points onward, it is cograils and gondola lifts if you wish to go up. Sometimes, even chair lifts.

Lauterbrunnen also gives you access to the valley floor, if weather keeps you down. The waterfalls are worth a look. Attached image was taken from Wengen, and shows a bit of the valley floor south of Lauterbrunnen.

Last modified on Aug 19, 2015 - 10:24 PM by Slowpoke
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AdamG
AdamG
3 posts
new member
Aug 20, 2015 - 8:49 AM in reply to Slowpoke

I need to stop looking up information on sights to see in Switzerland... once I enter the country I will not ever want to leave...

If the weather is good, I'll head over to Jungfrah! Thank you so much for the information, it is very helpful finding someone familiar with the area to ask a few questions. Wish I had an extra day I could squeeze in here (or extra month would be perfect). I have to come back in the near future one way or another. I was just looking up what I could do for a few hours in Locarno the previous afternoon, and I get pointed to the nearby village Lavertezzo - is there no corner of Switzerland that's not drop-dead gorgeous? =D

Last modified on Aug 20, 2015 - 8:50 AM by AdamG
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2643 posts
expert
Aug 20, 2015 - 12:12 PM in reply to AdamG

<<" is there no corner of Switzerland that's not drop-dead gorgeous? =D">>

Switzerland makes you look like an expert photographer. ;-)

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