We'll be in Switzerland for about 12 days in late August. We're a couple in our early 30s and it'll be our first time in the country - I'd greatly appreciate feedback on our itinerary. We have lodging booked in all these places and am trying to finalize dates to avoid changes later.
We plan to take a rail pass (Swiss Travel pass or the half fare card) for the duration of the trip. Probably a flex travel pass since we'll be returning to Zurich for a night in mid September after travelling through France for 2 weeks.
I'm trying to identify any place where our time would be better spent elsewhere. Are 3 nights needed in Lucerne for what we have planned? We also have 3 nights each in Appenzell and Wengen and 9 nights is more than what we initially planned to spend in these places. I'm trying to find an extra day for Paris if possible so any suggestions would help.
To shed some light on other kinds of place we'll be visiting after this trip, we'll be in Paris (4-5 nights), Bayeux - Normandy(2 nights), Amboise - Loire valley (3 nights) and Nice (3 nights). Maybe a night in Carcassonne.
Day 1 - Thursday - Appenzell overnight
Arrive in Zurich and travel to Appenzell by train. Nothing planned to account for jetlag.
Day 2 - Friday - Appenzell overnight
Early morning hike to Aescher hotel. Santis cable car. Seealpsee hike if we have time.
Day 3 - Saturday - Appenzell overnight
Day trip to Stein am Rhime and Schaffhausen after an early start to the day. No visit to Rhine falls since we've been to Niagara falls. Is the plan to visit both towns in 1 day realistic? We're very interested to visit both towns but shifting base for a night does not seem like a good ides due to the time lost in checking out.
Day 5 - Sunday - Wengen overnight
Check out of Appenzell early morning and travel to Wengen. Explore surrounding areas of Lauturbrunnen, Grindelwalk, Murren
Day 6 - Monday - Wengen overnight
Trip up to Jungfraujoch if weather is good. Explore whatever we couldn’t get to the day before
Day 7 - Tuesday - Wengen overnight
Another Jungfraujoch attempt if couldn't do it the day before. Schilthorn. Schynige Platte hike.
Day 8 - Wednesday - Lucerne overnight
Check out of Wengen hotel in the morning and head to Lucerne - plan to reach by late afternoon. Drop off bags and try to head to Mt.Pilatus
Day 9 - Thursday - Lucerne overnight
Mt Rigi. Chapel bridge. Explore the lake area.
Day 10 - Friday - Lucerne overnight
Mt Titlis if we keep this day and have time. This looks really interesting but not sue if it's worth making all 3 of these trips.
Day 11 -Saturday - Montreux overnight
Get an early start from Lucerne. Travel via Golden Pass route with a couple of hours stop in Interlaken. Reach Montreux by late evening.
Day 12 - Sunday - Montreux overnight
Chillon castle. Short trip to Vevey.
Day 13 - Monday - Paris overnight
Start from Montreux and take the train to Paris (undecided if we should take a train to Annecy on the way - we'd love to visit the town but don't enough time to stay the night . Is it worth making a 2 hour stop? It's going to be a long day)
Return to Zurich after a couple of weeks - only staying one night and will try to visit the Fraumunster if we have time.
Are we missing any important sights we should definitely be seeing? We like exploring new places and enjoy good food, good scenery and architecture. We only find certain museums appealing and limit our time in most museums to a couple of hours. We'd rather be outside and would like to get in an easy/moderate hike in this trip.
Any inputs on itinerary above would be very helpful, thanks!