15 days in Switzerland itinerary help

15 days in Switzerland itinerary help

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leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Feb 28, 2017 - 11:56 PM

We are a family of 4 travelling from Australia in mid May 2017 for 15 days, parents are active 50 year olds with 2 adventurous boys in their early 20s. We do enjoy small towns and walking to explore natural beauty. Here is an outline and just wanting feedback if we should include some more...

1. Arrive Zurich - 1 night and day to explore town

2. Train to Lugano - walk the olive trail. 1 night and day

3. Bus to Lake Como Menaggio - 3 nights to explore the region by boat and foot

4. Bus then train to Lucerne - 2 nights 3 days to do Pilatus Golden round trip, walking around town

5. Train to Interlaken/Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen - not sure where to base ourselves?? - 3 nights to do Jungfrau area, First cliff walk, zipline, Schlithorn area, Brienz

6. Train to Bern - 2 nights (not sure of highlights to explore yet)

7. Train to Zurich 1 night- fly out of here

We are flying in and out of Zurich and was hopeful of our trip looking like this. Do we buy the 15 day Swiss travel pass for the parents and Youth travel pass for the boys? Once we buy these do we need to buy tickets for specific times and days or just hop on board and sit anywhere, We understand that trains in Interlaken are are regional and we have to pay a discounted fare. Do we buy them on the day or beforehand? Also getting to and from Menaggio will be by bus and this is not included. Do we stay just at Lauterbrunnen as a base or Interlaken...we realise one is a bigger town and the other a village. We enjoy a relaxing drink and dinner at night.

Thanks for any info or suggestions. We have enjoyed reading other posts and are excited about our holiday

Lucas
Lucas
7180 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 1, 2017 - 8:41 AM in reply to leonie2

Hi Leonie2 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

It looks like a great itinerary!

The Swiss Travel Pass for you and your partner (and the discounted youth price for your children under 26) does make the most sense for you. You do not need to buy any other tickets once you have the STP (it can be bought online here and printed at home). You can just hop on any train you wish - no reservations required or needed except on certain panoramic trains.

Here is an information page on the STP validity area with a map - Interlaken is included as is the bus to Menaggio. The only trains you need to buy extra tickets for are to particular mountain top attractions. For example if you are going to Jungfraujoch, the STP gets you a 25% discount on the ticket from Grindelwald or Wengen.

Choosing to base yourself in a village like Lauterbrunnen, Wengen or Grindelwald, among others or a town like Interlaken, comes down to service and amenities in the town vs. the scenery and ease of access to the mountains from the villages. Read more about these locations on the links provided to help you choose. Note in mid May some restaurants and hotels in small villages may be closed for the off season so it may be a bit quieter than usual. Interlaken isn't quite as pretty but it is still easy to get to many attractions and there are many things to do nearby such as Lake Thun and Brienz or take the Golden Pass train to Montreux for the day.

I hope that gets you started - let me know if you have further questions!

Regards,
Lucas

Last modified on Mar 1, 2017 - 8:43 AM by Lucas
Mageo
Mageo
31 posts
active member
Mar 1, 2017 - 9:58 PM in reply to leonie2

Hello leonie2, in Sept. 2016, we included in our Swiss trip, the olive trail walk - taking a boat from Lugano (covered by the then Swiss Pass) to the lovely village of Gandria where the trail begins. We walked back to Lugano. It was a lovely sunny day with beautiful views. This year in Sept. we plan to include a walk in the vineyards of the Lavaux valley, in the Montreux area, as mentioned in some of the posts. Happy travels! Mageo.

leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 1, 2017 - 10:14 PM in reply to Mageo

Thank you so much for your reply on the Olive Trail. Is it easier to boat to Gandria and walk back or walk to Gandria and boat back? It looks like a beautiful walk.

Mageo
Mageo
31 posts
active member
Mar 1, 2017 - 11:36 PM in reply to leonie2

Our preference was to arrive at the old village of Gandria by boat and begin the olive trail from there. The trail to Castagnola takes approx. an hour (from memory), where it is possible to catch a bus back to Lugano if required. We chose to walk all the way back to Lugano finishing at the main square where we rewarded ourselves with a fresh berry sundae!

Mageo (from Aus!)

leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 7, 2017 - 5:27 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas

Thanks so much for your reply. I am constantly reading and learning so much from everyones threads. We have decided to stay in Lauterbrunnen for 3 nights. From there we hope to see the Trummelbach falls, hopefully good weather, Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn. We are also interested in the First Cliff Walk and viewing platform. Am i right in saying that we need to get to Grindelwald then cable car up to First then walk along cliff face to viewing platform? Is there a bus from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald that runs regularly throughout the day? I only saw the train that takes 55 mins between these 2 towns.

Thank you very much

Leonie

Lucas
Lucas
7180 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 7, 2017 - 7:59 AM in reply to leonie2

Hi Leonie2,

A train runs from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald every 30 minutes throughout the day and takes 36 minutes. Then walk a few minutes or bus to Grindelwald Firstbahn and take the Gondola up to First.

you can check all train and bus schedules here.

Lucas

leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 7, 2017 - 8:06 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks so much for quick reply...yes i found the correct timetable. Looking forward to our adventures!

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 8, 2017 - 1:41 AM in reply to leonie2

>> We are also interested in the First Cliff Walk and viewing platform. Am i right in saying that we need to get to Grindelwald then cable car up to First then walk along cliff face to viewing platform?

The First Cliff Walk is adjacent to the restaurant at First. There is also a viewpoint above the restaurant. Pictures attached. One photo was taken in September, the others in December, which explains the difference in the colour of the grass!

Alpenrose

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leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 8, 2017 - 5:56 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks so much for the Pictures...I can't wait. It looks so beautiful.

leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 9, 2017 - 9:41 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas, i really appreciate your time and valuable help with helping me plan our swiss adventure! We have decided to stay 4 nights in Lauterbrunnen and are now looking to stay in a small town/village around Lake Thun for 1 night before we head to Bern for 1 night. Any suggestions for an area where we could explore by foot and boat? Spiez or Faulensee??

Annika
Annika
4949 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 9, 2017 - 3:27 PM in reply to leonie2

Hi leonie2!

If you're looking for a town along Lake Thun, I'd recommend Spiez or Thun itself. Both are pretty towns with quite some facilities. Mind that the railway station of Spiez is uphill, whereas the lake and the harbour are downhill. So if you'd like to stay close to the lake, you'll have to deal with some climbing and descending between the rail station and your hotel. Faulensee is scenic too, but rather small. Note that traveling times from Bern are short, so you may also visit Lake Thun while staying there. It's all a matter of personal preference though!

leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2017 - 6:46 AM

Thank you so much for everyones help thus far. We have booked all accommodation and purchased our STP. My concern is do we need to purchase tickets now for Titlus, Pilatus, grindelwald first, Schlithorn in regard to any cable cars, cogwheel train or funiculars etc. Many posts say don't lock in a date to do a particular mountain due to the weather, be flexible. As we have 3 nights in Lucerne and 4 nights in Lauterbrunnen, can we wait and get to these places and decide on a day to day basis which activity/mountain to explore? Or do i need to purchases tickets now? Many thanks again for your advice.

Lucas
Lucas
7180 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 26, 2017 - 8:49 AM in reply to leonie2

Hi Leonie2,

Tickets on the trains don't sell out - reservations aren't needed. So buy the tickets to the mountain destinations on the day you decide to go! Don't forget some trips like Mt. Pilatus are included with your Swiss Travel Pass so no ticket is needed.

Lucas

Last modified on Mar 26, 2017 - 1:28 PM by Arno
leonie2
leonie2
8 posts
new member
Mar 26, 2017 - 9:54 AM in reply to Lucas

Thanks so much....this puts my mind at ease!

Arno
Arno
10751 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 26, 2017 - 1:31 PM

Just wanted to add that if you do prefer to buy cableway/mountain train tickets in advance, the ones purchased from www.swissrailways.com/ en are open dated. So you can still use it on any day you're there, depending on the weather. They do ask for a date when purchasing but that's just because their system requires that. You can pick your arrival day, for example.

Have fun!

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno

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