We are a family of 6 adults with one 6 month old infant. We will be visiting Switzerland from 22 Sept to 3 Oct this year. I would like to share our itinerary for suggestions and some information.
Day 1 – Arrive at Zurich airport at 6.15pm, pick our rental car and 6 swiss half fare cards from the airport centre and check into a nearby hotel in Rumlang.
Day 2 - After breakfast, head towards Lucerne. First stop - the Swiss transport museum, then drive to and park the car at parkhaus P1/P2 at Luzern Bahnhof. Explore Chapel Bridge, Town Centre and head to Mt. Pilatus after Lunch. Park the car at Alpnachstad and explore Mt. Pilatus (return journey - cog wheel train). Head to Interlaken in the evening and check into the hotel.
Day 3 – Visit Jungfraujoch by train starting at Interlaken West (Our hotel is close to this station). Do the circular route (Lauterbrunnen one way and Grindelwald the other). Spend some time at Wengen enroute.
Day 4 – Explore Lauterbrunnen valley by car, including maybe the Trummelbach Falls. Rest of the day at Interlaken.
(Day 3 and 4 itinerary could be swapped depending on the weather forecast for Jungfraujoch)
Day 5 – After breakfast, head towards Broc/Gruyeres for chocolate/cheese factory tours. Check into hotel in Gstaad in the afternoon. We plan to drive leisurely via. Spiez, Jaun, Broc/Gruyeres, Chateu-d-Oex, Gstaad.
Day 6 – Day trip to Montreaux (Chillon Castle), Lake Geneva, Lavaux Vineyards and Swiss Vapeur Park.
Day 7 – Head to Tasch (Zermatt) via. the Lotschberg car train. Check into hotel and visit Matterhorn.
Day 8 – Drive to Lugano via. the Gotthard Pass. Explore Aletsch Glacier enroute. Check into hotel in Lugano.
Day 9 – Visit Miniature Swiss and explore Lugano surroundings.
Day 10 – Head to Rhine Falls via Chur. Spend about an hour at the Falls and then drive to Zurich, check into Zurich hotel and drop the rental car at the airport.
Day 11 – Explore Zurich.
Day 12 – Return flight from Zurich Airport at 11am.
Re. driving in Switzerland, I have heard comments advising against this and using public transport instead. I just feel that driving gives us more flexibility and is more convenient with an infant and a lot of luggage. Further we have done similar duration road trips recently both in South Africa and New Zealand. I have spent a lot of time researching this family vacation including special swiss driving conditions using google and google street view. So I am quite confident of doing a safe driving vacation.
In addition to getting general advice and comments about the itinerary, I would like to know:
1. At Mt. Pilatus, we will like to visit the Rope Park at Frankmuntegg. Could we use the return journey ticket from Alpnachstad to travel to the Rope Park and back from Pilatus Kulm?
2. Can we generally expect decent weather (sunny/rainless days) during the course of our vacation?
3. Any better ideas for Day 4 & Day 6?
4. Do you anticipate any parking availability problems at the roadside parking at Chillon Castle on a Wednesday (27 Sept)? Any idea what is the max. time pemitted? Any better idea?
5. Can you suggest a good wine tasting place in Lavaux/Chexbres?
6. I do realize days 7 & 8 could be tight for Matterhorn. Would you recommend Glacier Palace or Gornergrat? Which would be quicker - travel time wise?
7. For Aletsch Glacier, which would be a better place to view – Bittmerhorn or Eggishorn?
8. Any other ideas for a day (day 9) in Lugano?
Thank you in advance. I know the team at Myswissalps is doing a great service to travelers like us by their good timely advice. I look forward to a great vacation and to filing a trip report after the conclusion of our trip.