Three days in May 2016, fly in and out of Zurich

Three days in May 2016, fly in and out of Zurich

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roesher
roesher
5 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 2:59 PM

Hello and thanks for any help. Following a transatlantic cruise and a couple of days in Spain, we wanted to see some of Switzerland. The trip is in the second week of May and we only have perhaps three days. We fly in and out of Zurich. Any suggestions for the best use of our visit considering we really will only have 3 days? We would like to see some beautiful scenery and get in at least one nice hike. Also, any recommendations on accommodations would be appreciated!

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 10, 2015 - 7:05 PM

Hi roesher,

Thanks for joining the discussions here! Can you provide some additional information? What would you like to do/see apart from beautiful scenery and one hike? Do you like bigger towns or small ones? Are there other activities you're interested in, like museums, mountain top visits, shopping? Would you prefer to have one base or move around? What's your budget for accommodation, and how many people are in your group?

Last modified on Aug 10, 2015 - 7:07 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Aug 10, 2015 - 8:43 PM in reply to roesher

<<"The trip is in the second week of May and we only have perhaps three days. We fly in and out of Zurich. Any suggestions for the best use of our visit considering we really will only have 3 days? We would like to see some beautiful scenery and get in at least one nice hike.">>

So would I! By that time of year, I really want to get up in the mountains.

The problem is that the snow has not gone away at the levels of the best Alpine hikes. If you were coming 3 weeks later, you'd do a lot better.

All of Switzerland is covered by a signed trail network called die Wanderwegen. Topo maps keyed to these routes are available at all sorts of places - bookstores, convenience stores (Aperto, Kiosk, Volg) with mostly local maps. So, you can hike at low altitude in May, where the sun is.

www.wanderland.ch/en/w anderland.html

www.swisstopo.admin.ch /internet/swisstopo/en /home.html

Each of us has our favorites, and Arn0 and Annika keep a closer eye on the trails and rail passes than I do.

My favorite is Wengen for what you are doing. One of the reasons it is easy to recommend is that another forum member has written extensively about the Jungfrau region, with a focus on Wengen. You have enough time to look it over. ;-)

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

The best easy hike for a first timer, in my opinion, is described I that report and here:

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

It's easy, but unless you have a very hot late winter/spring, the trail will not be open. It is at about 2300 meters. Lower trails at maybe 2000, almost surely 1500 meters will probably be open.

That time is in between seasons, and rooms are easy to get, if the hotel happens to be open.

The best way to take that hike is to ride the gondola car lift from Wengen to Männlichen. It opens on approximately June 1. Sometimes earlier. Don't count on it. There is lots of other stuff to do in the area, and you are about 2 1/2 hours from Zürich by train.

Assuming sunny weather - not a given, by the way - there is a lot to do at lower altitude and up to the Jungfrau.

How serious are you about hiking? Technical Climbing? Scrambling?....both not so good until late June or July.

Here is a trail that is at lower altitude on the sunny south facing slope of the Alps leading down to the Rhone Valley.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/hohtenn-lalden

The description is underwhelming. The hike has a terrific variety of things to see, is almost always in the sun , overall only has a modest altitude loss, although there are a few ups and downs to keep you working. And, a beer garden halfway.

Walk from Hohtenn to Ausserberg, part of the longer hike alongside (more or less) that rail line is a nominal 3 hour hike, but always takes us 5 hours because of phot0graphy and chatting over a beer with other hikers at the beer garden

You take a particular train from Bern or Spiez (The Lötschberger) toward Brig. Plug Hohtenn into the "via" option to stay on the old route or you'll go through a long log new fast tunnel below, instead over most of the route in the mountain air. Stay in Bern or Interlaken or Spiez , ride to Hohtenn, get off, walk a few hours to Ausserberg, ride back to your starting point.

I always use this trail for early season walks.

Here are a couple of useful sites:

map.classic.search.ch/

and -

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

The time table has a lot of detail buried in it. once you've picked a patricular route, you can get a route map, among other items.

The link I have given for the SBB takes you to a page where you can enter a "via." Some other links don't have that until you are actually in the timetable.

Last modified on Aug 11, 2015 - 5:39 PM by Slowpoke
roesher
roesher
5 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 9:55 PM in reply to Arno

Arno, thank you for your prompt reply. We are recreational hikers only. With only three days I would prefer to stay in one location and take day trips. Mostly sightseeing, eating, and immersion in the culture is what we seek. I was considering interlaced as base but would love to hear other ideas. Michael

roesher
roesher
5 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2015 - 9:57 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke. I will check out your recommendations. Thanks, Michael

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Aug 10, 2015 - 11:03 PM in reply to roesher

Michael -

your reactions could guide to better results.

Let us know what you think.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 11, 2015 - 2:36 PM

The Jungfrau region is a good option. Slowpoke suggested Wengen which is a wonderful place, and most probably free of snow by that time. As you go up though, trails might be inaccessible. Lauterbrunnen on the valley floor is another option. I would not recommend Interlaken. You can go there to shop and eat, but it's not an idyllic place. You can consider Wilderswil too. A day trip to Bern is easy from these town, and hiking trails are all over the place. Lake Thun and Lake Brienz are nearby, which are certainly worth your time in May. Another option is Spiez, a nice little town on Lake Thun. It's even closer to Bern, close to Thun, and still not that far from the Jungfrau region for a day trip.

Once you've picked a town we can look into accommodation.

Last modified on Aug 11, 2015 - 4:31 PM by Annika
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Aug 11, 2015 - 5:50 PM in reply to Arno

I certainly agree with Arno - Interlaken is a famous name, but it is better as a transfer point than as a place to stay.

If you do choose that region, there are enough things to keep you busy for 10 times your available time, in the midst of really good scenery.

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

There are other regions of Switzerland that have fewer tourists and more Swiss culture, but they are not easy to include effectively in a short stay. They include the Emmental, the "Three-Lake Region" near the 3 western lakes (Neuchatel, Biel, Murten) and the eastern Engadine - Scuol, Ftan, Ardez, Guarda.. They don't have the major Swiss features like the Jungfrau; more a general unique cultural background,. They take a bit more time to find your way.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 12, 2015 - 2:48 PM by Slowpoke
roesher
roesher
5 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2015 - 1:05 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks to both slowpoke and Arno for great advice. I like the idea of Lauterbrunnen valley floor for our trip. On day one we could travel there from Zurich airport, find accommodation, take in the scenery and enjoy some fine Swiss food and drink. Day two could be the day hike on Lauterbrunnen valley floor and spend that night at same accommodation. Day three should see us traveling back towards Zurich airport to a location which has much to offer, but within an hour of the airport so that we are not travelling too far on our last morning. Any recommendations for a day three locale or accommodations at either place?

MarvinH
MarvinH
3 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2015 - 2:17 PM

Hi all,

I also plan to visit Jungfrau region for 2 days in late May 2016 or very early June 2016. My ultimate goal is to go to Jungfraujoch. In addition to that, I also plan to spend a day visiting Grindelwald, Murren and Lauterbrunnen.

My question is, do you know how big is the possibility to get a clear weather up on Jungfraujoch? And how is general weather condition if I want to sightseeing around those town and take a hiking trail from Grutschalp - Murren?

Thanks...

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Aug 12, 2015 - 3:20 PM in reply to roesher

<<"Thanks to both slowpoke and Arno for great advice. I like the idea of Lauterbrunnen valley floor for our trip. On day one we could travel there from Zurich airport, find accommodation, take in the scenery and enjoy some fine Swiss food and drink. Day two could be the day hike on Lauterbrunnen valley floor and spend that night at same accommodation. Day three should see us traveling back towards Zurich airport to a location which has much to offer, but within an hour of the airport so that we are not travelling too far on our last morning. Any recommendations for a day three locale or accommodations at either place">>

Good ideas. You won't need a day for the Lauterbrunnen Valley floor, so you can, at the spur of the moment, take a cograil or lift up to Wengen (or higher) or Mürren (or higher.) The tourist office or your hotel will have one of those nice simplistic panoramic maps that show you the lay of the land.

search.yahoo.com/yhs/s earch?p=panoramic+map+of+jun gfrau+region&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp =yhs-001

There is good reason to go up, even for a limited time, assuming that the weather is clear up there. The views over the mountains and valleys are so expansive that you'll want to come back; a foretaste is useful for the next trip. The weather comes in layers.The sky might be clear from Kleine Scheidegg and below, but with a layer of high clouds blocking the view down from the Jungfraujoch, still well above Kleine Scheidegg.

Up could be -

- cograil Lauterbrunnen to Wengen, get off and look around, especially to the north of the village near the church where there are good views along the valley; then continue with the cograil to Kleine Scheidegg, get off and look around; return to Lauterbrunnen. Or, from Kleine Scheidegg, continue with the cograil down to Grindelwald ( or Grindelwald Grund).

From Grindelwald, continue the train loop to Zweilütschinen and Lauterbrunnen. Or, take the chairlift or small cabin lift to /from Männlichen. It might be running.

Back at Stechelberg- Lifts in four stages take you up to Schilthorn. Way up. The connections are good, and you can go all the way up quickly. Or, get off at Mürren, walk to the otherend of town (good views) and catch the train that runs a short distance to Grütschalp, thence down to Lauterbrunnen.

Last modified on Aug 12, 2015 - 5:32 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Aug 12, 2015 - 3:33 PM in reply to roesher

<<"Day three should see us traveling back towards Zurich airport to a location which has much to offer, but within an hour of the airport so that we are not travelling too far on our last morning. Any recommendations for a day three locale or accommodations at either place?">>

When do you fly out of Zürich?

We can come up with intermediate loc ations ....such as Bern..but I prefer to stay in Zürich.

In the AM approx. 6 trains per hour to the airport, 9 to 20 minute trip depending on stops.

It may get you to the airport as fast a s a hotel shuttle bus from an airport hotel.

Give you a chance to get a look at Zürich. Nice city. Lots of variety for hotels and restaurants.

www.myswissalps.com/zu rich

www.myswissalps.com/ho tels

www.myswissalps.com/ho tels/airporthotels

I always stay at the Hotel Adler. I have been staying there since their computer systems was set up and even before. They treat me well It is a well run hotel; good location, good restaurant, with a good variety of cuisines.

There are other good ones in the above links - cheaper ones - and not surprisingly - more expensive ones

Last modified on Aug 12, 2015 - 5:14 PM by Slowpoke
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2015 - 5:16 PM in reply to MarvinH

Welcome to MySwissAlps, MarvinH!

I"m afraid it's really hard to predict weather circumstances during your visit. May can get you all kinds of weather, varying from beautiful, sunny and even Summer-like weather to rather cold and rainy days. Weather is an uncertain factor, but still May is one of the most beautiful months for a Switzerland visit in my opinion. Nature is fresh and green and there's more snow on mountain tops than in Summer.

For your Jungfraujoch visit, you need pretty clear skies and it's a matter of chance whether or not this is the case during your 2 day stay. You can best watch weather forecasts shortly before leaving, and take a look at the cams at valley stations showing current views from the top. That will help you to determine whether it's worth going up there. Further information is at www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfraujoch.

The trail Grütschalp-Mürren (www.myswissalps.com/hi king/gruetschalp-muerren) will probably be open, but if it's cold in Spring, snow may still block the road. The local tourist office will be able to tell you whether the trail is accessible.

If you have further questions about your specific plans, you can best post them in a new topic. Thank you!

Last modified on Aug 12, 2015 - 5:26 PM by Annika
Annika
Annika
4415 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 12, 2015 - 5:23 PM in reply to MarvinH

Hi roesher!

I don't know about your specific requirements for accommodation, but you may like Hotel Silberhorn in Lauterbrunnen. It's very close to the railway station and has excellent reviews. An alternative is Hotel Staubbach, with rooms looking out on the famous waterfalls. It's a bit outside of the village centre and requires a walk from the station, but the direct surroundings are peaceful and scenic.

Last modified on Aug 12, 2015 - 5:26 PM by Arno
roesher
roesher
5 posts
new member
Aug 12, 2015 - 9:18 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks Annika, Our flight out is at 2 pm. Should we chance leaving the Lauterbrunnen on the morning of departure?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2645 posts
expert
Aug 12, 2015 - 10:51 PM in reply to roesher

<<"Thanks Annika, Our flight out is at 2 pm. Should we chance leaving the Lauterbrunnen on the morning of departure?">>

No problem. Book to be at the airport by noon. If there are any delays, they will be minor.. a couple of minutes. After all, this is Switzerland. ;-)

You would miss a chance to see Zürich, but that is a reasonable choice..

Throughout this thread you have been concerned about travel times. I suggest that you use the timetable as linked earlier, and believe it.

That advice is based on 35 years of experience, not just faith,

Slowpoke

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