What are we missing in this itinerary?

What are we missing in this itinerary?

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Posts: 7. This thread is closed.
Possumcreek1
Possumcreek1
4 posts
new member
Jun 24, 2014 - 2:20 AM

We are two couples traveling in Switzerland from August 28-Sept. 12.We like to ride trains and be outdoors. Here's what we have planned so far:

8/28-Arrive in Zurich 8:30 am and train to Chur (ON)
8/29-Take the Bernina Express to Tirano and Lugano (ON)
8/30-Take the Wilhelm Tell Express to Lucerne. (ON 3 night)
8/31 & 9/1-Visit Pilatus, Titlis, and Rigi/boat ride
9/2-Train to Grindelwald or Interlaken for 7 nights.
9/2-9/8-Visit the Schilthorn; Lauterbrunnen/Grutschalp to Murren Hike; Jungfraujock; Wengen;
9/6-We will spend the day in St. Stephan to participate in the Alpabfahrt (cow parade)
9/9-Train to Zermatt (ON)
9/10-Train from Zermatt to Bern to Zurich (ON)
9/11-Tour Zurich and (ON) at airport hotel
9/12-Depart for home.

Questions: Have we allowed too much time or not enough time for our trips? Should we spend less time in the Interlaken/Grindelwald area and move to Brig? We are trying to be flexible due to uncertain weather conditions on the mountains. We have purchased a 15 day Swiss Pass. Thanks for your help.

Arno
Arno
7306 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 25, 2014 - 6:53 AM

Hi Possumcreek1,

My compliments on a job well done! This is a good itinerary that matches your interests. Your stay in Lucerne is rather short but you're still flexible as there's plenty to do there should the weather not allow mountain trips.

All I can add is this: I would prefer Grindelwald over Interlaken if you like the outdoors. And I would consider staying an extra night in Zermatt and take the first train to Zurich on the 11th. One night is really short and if the weather isn't fine you may not even see the Matterhorn. You can be in Zurich by 9 AM if you depart from Zermatt real early, and still have a full day there. See the timetable for travel details, and the various links for more town information. All Swiss Pass details are here: www.myswissalps.com/swisspass

Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 12:53 PM by Arno
Possumcreek1
Possumcreek1
4 posts
new member
Jun 26, 2014 - 1:54 AM in reply to Arno
Hi Arno:
Thanks for your reply. Based on your reply and some other areas we would like to visit this is our second revision:
Aug 28- Arrive Zurich 8:30 am, train to Chur (ON)
Aug 29 - Chur>Tirano>Lugano (ON) BERNINA EXPRESS
Aug 30 - Lugano>Lucerne (ON) WILHELM TELL EXPRESS
Aug 31 - Lucerne (ON)
Sept 1 - Lucerne (ON)
Sept 2 - Lucerne> Zermatt (ON)
Sept 3 - Zermatt (ON)
Sept 4 - Zermatt>Grindelwald (ON)
Sept 5, 6, 7 - Grindelwald (ON)
Sept 8 - Grindelwald>Lausanne (ON)
Sept 9 - Lausanne (ON)
Sept 10 - Lausanne>Bern (ON)
Sept 11 - Bern>Zurich (ON Arport))
Sept 12 - Fly Home
Questions: On Sept 10 would it make any sense to go to Zurich and spend the night at the airport instead of in Bern then we wouldn't have to pack/unpack an extra day? That would give us a day in Bern and a day in Zurich. Have we cut back too much on the Grindelwald area? We are still debating whether to go to St. Stephan or not on the 6th. We think it would be fun to participate in a local activity but don't know if we can fit in the other sights or not. Any thoughts? Also, what time do most of the cities open their tourist attractions and shops?


Arno
Arno
7306 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 26, 2014 - 9:41 AM

Hi Possumcreek1,

Well, to be honest, I liked your original plan better if you prefer the outdoors/mountains. The extra night in Zermatt is good, but Lausanne will be a city experience. If you are going to stay in the Lake Geneva region, I think you would like smaller towns such as Montreux or Vevey better.

Looking at this version, and assuming your preference of seeing the Alps and being flexible with the weather, I would stay in Grindelwald from September 5 to 11. You can easily visit Bern on a rainy day while based in Grindelwald (more flexible). A one way trip takes 90 minutes. You can even visit Bern en route to Zurich, as you can leave your luggage in lockers or the left luggage office at the station, or have it transported for you (see here). Another, more scenic, route from Grindelwald to Zurich is via the Golden Pass. You can book an airport hotel or an hotel near the rail station in Zurich. Suggestions can be found here and here.

Regarding St. Stephan: a Lake Thun boat trip or a visit to Mount Niesen or the Stockhorn can be combined with this.

I hope this makes sense. Of course it's all a matter of personal preferences.

Last modified on Jun 26, 2014 - 9:44 AM by Arno
Possumcreek1
Possumcreek1
4 posts
new member
Jun 28, 2014 - 4:12 PM in reply to Arno
Well, we are still arranging our trip but have taken some more of your advice. We are now traveling to Grindelwald on 9/4 and staying until 9/9, then take the Golden Pass to Montreux and explore the Lake Geneva area until the morning of 9/11, then train to Zurich for the day and go home on 9/12. Thanks for the added ideas near St. Stephan. We are still trying to decide on one or two nights in Montreux. We have booked most of our hotels with free cancellations-we have found many of the places nearly sold out and were afraid not to reserve. Thank you for all your help...you will hear from me again.
Possumcreek1
Possumcreek1
4 posts
new member
Jul 7, 2014 - 7:04 PM in reply to Possumcreek1

Hello again. I have a question about seat reservations. Each couple purchased a Swiss Pass-not one pass for 4 traveling together. We are wanting to make seat reservations for the Bernina Pass and Wilhelm Tell Pass trains. Can we order the seat reservations to be shipped to one address or do we have to do separate shipping? And how do we reserve four seats together at a table on the train? Thanks.

Annika
Annika
4355 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 7, 2014 - 7:25 PM

Hello Possumcreek1,

Did you indeed already pay for the passes? If not, be sure to order the seat reservations along with them, as that may save you shipping costs. Anyway, seats can be arranged for here. You need to book them all at once, else you will not be seated together. They will all be shipped to one address.

You may have seen this already, but you can currently get a discount on the reservations. Please see here.

Enjoy the rides, they're beautiful!

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