So much to do so little time to do it?

So much to do so little time to do it?

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edthenapper
edthenapper
3 posts
new member
Jul 4, 2011 - 4:22 PM
Hi, I have recently been reading posts on your forum and am now more puzzled than I was a month ago. My girlfriend and I are in Switzerland for 9 nights in September, we will stay in Lausanne the first 2 nights and in Geneva on the last night. I have decided to buy an 8 day Swiss rail pass (possibly even first class just as a treat?) but am now stuck for choice on where to go for the other 6 nights/7 days. We did originally intend to spend 3 nights in Zermatt as we have been there before for a 1 night stay in Winter 4 years ago but we did not get much chance to see anything and would like to spend more time there, but 3 nights might be too much? We would also like to do some of the main scenic rail journeys, Glacier Express, Golden Pass, Wilhelm Tel, Bernina Express etc but the list seems to get bigger making it harder to choose which ones to do. The girlfriend likes the idea of going to Chiasso, I fancy the Post Bus to St Moritz, we have both been lured into the whole of the Bernese Oberland area and would like to spend a bit of time around Interlaken and go to Jungfraujoch. We do not want to spend all our time on trains as we would like to spend some time hiking in the mountains and generally relaxing. I am now in danger of spoiling the trip by trying to cram too much into a short space of time and generaly cracking up before we even set off. I would appreciate it very much if you could give me a bit of advise on what you think would be a good itinery based on the time we have in Switzerland and our general preference for mountains, lakes and fresh air rather than cities and towns etc. All advise is much appreciated as is your valuable time.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 5, 2011 - 4:54 AM
Hi edthenapper, and welcome! I understand your confusion and yes, it's tempting to create a full itinerary to cover all of your plans. But please don't, if you want to enjoy the fresh mountain air and don't like spending all your time in trains. It's much better to pick two or three regions at the most and look for nice, scenic transfers between your resorts. That means that you have to make choices and that you won't be able to do all the things you and your girlfriend have in mind. But this is reassuring: whatever you pick, it will be beautiful (if weather is fine or course) and I'm pretty sure you won't regret any of the choices you make.

Well, an itinerary could look like this:
- 2 nights in Lausane;
- travel onto Zermatt and spend 2 nights/approximately 3 days there. That's not too much, as there are many things to explore and the views are amazing;
- travel onto the Bernese Oberland, either via the scenic Lötschberg Regio Express or with a detour covering part of the Glacier Express. You could travel to Andermatt by Glacier Express, for example, and then switch trains heading for Interlaken via Göschenen and Lucerne. This requires a full travel day, but it allows you to discover part of the country and experience a wonderful train journey;
- spend the rest of your time in or around Interlaken and visit the Jungfraujoch, make a boat trip over one of the lakes, and so on. You also may also like a day excursion to Lucerne, but the Bernese Oberland itself offers more than enough viewing points as well;
- get back to Geneva over the Golden Pass route via Zweisimmen and Gstaad.

In this case, you should skip St. Moritz and the Bernina Express. It can be fitted in in this itinerary, by making the full Glacier Express journey to St. Moritz and making the Bernina Express trip from there, but that means you'll be spending more time om (train) traveling.

This is just an example of course. There are lots of variants. Did you discover the timetable? It will show you exact traveling times, allowing you to estimate whether train journeys are too long for you.
edthenapper
edthenapper
3 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2011 - 3:38 PM
Annika, many thanks for your fast and efficient reply. Your suggestions are very sensible and probably just as I expected, I just needed convincing by someone with a bit of common sense!

Yes thank you, I have looked at the SBB timetables.

I think we will probably get the 8 day Swiss pass and use it as a convenience rather than a means to travel as much as possible. (First class? maybe a bit extravagant of me, I'll think about that one!). We will probably stay in Zermatt 2 days then travel somehow to Interlaken or somewhere else in the Bernese Oberland area. We might jump off the train for a night in Andermatt or somewhere else, depends on how we feel at the time.

I know hotel prices in Zermatt are pretty high and there is not much option if you want to stay there but is there somewhere in the Bernese Oberland area which is a bit less costly than Interlaken but still has access to the main sightseeing places? Again your advice is much appreciated as is your time.

Regards

Ged
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 7, 2011 - 6:41 AM
Hi Ged. An 8 day Swiss Pass sounds like a great idea to me. It's the best way to hop on and off trains and go wherever you like, whenever you like. Accommodation in and around Zermatt and in the Bernese Oberland may be expensive indeed, but these pages on cheap accommodation may provide some tips.

By the way, the difference between 1st and 2nd class is explained here in the FAQ. September isn't high season any longer, so 2nd class coaches on popular lines will be less crowded than in July/August. But 1st class traveling in Swiss trains definitely is a treat!
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:35 PM by Arno
edthenapper
edthenapper
3 posts
new member
Jul 8, 2011 - 5:49 PM
Hi Annika, again, thank you for your assistance.

I have booked us into the Matterhornblick in Zermatt for 2 nights, then 1 night yet to be decided and then 3 nights in an apartment in Grindenwald.

I have got 2 first class Swiss passes (even got 15% discount) which will hopefully get used enough to make it cost effective but if not I don't mind as long as we have a good time.

Just need to find some good walks now, can't see that being very difficult?

Best regards

Ged
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 9, 2011 - 7:25 AM
Hello Ged. You'll definitely have a wonderful trip, with your 1st class Swiss Pass and overnight stays in Zermatt and Grindelwald. Some hiking tips can be found here and here. Have fun preparing for your holidays!

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