Oct 3, 2019 - 9:11 PM
Many thanks to this forum and MySwissAlps for making two Switzerland vacations successful. We used this website 5 years ago for a trip to the Bernese Oberland, Zermatt and Lucerne. Two years ago, we planned another trip which had to be cancelled at the last minute because of sudden illness. So when we were ready to start planning again, MySwissAlps was there. We left home on Sept 1, flew into and out of Zurich, and spent 6 nights in Bern, 10 nights in Montreux and 4 nights in Lucerne (we don’t like to move around a lot). After our last trip we decided there was no need to spend the night in Zurich at either end of the trip as long as we were about an hour from the Zurich airport.
I did my homework ahead of time using the very helpful rail pass calculator spreadsheet and SBB website, and settled on the Half Fare Card which we purchased at the Zurich airport. On the longer trips when moving between cities with luggage, we upgraded to first class. When we returned, I added up our rail expenses and found that we spent less than planned, so we made the right decision. Having to buy point to point tickets was not difficult or time-consuming once a very helpful SBB employee showed us how to use the ticket kiosks. We got ticket counter help in Montreux when trying to combine the Montreux Riviera Card with longer trips.
Our primary interest is hiking, walking and being outdoors. We were very lucky with the weather, only a little rain at the beginning of the trip. We had wonderful hiking in all areas. We especially enjoyed Kandersteg, Engelberg/Brunni (a hike we did in fog 5 years ago), walk along Lake Lucerne from Fluelen to Sisikon, Narcissus Trail above Les Avants, and the walk in the vineyards of Lavaux along Lake Geneva.
In Montreux, we received the free Montreux Riviera Card which covered a lot of the region’s trains, from Vevey to Villeneuve, some funiculars, trams and gondolas too. Our Bern hotel gave us a bus pass which covered the Gurten Funicular. In Lucerne the free bus pass got us to the base of Pilatus. From Bern we took day trips to Basel, Fribourg/Freiburg and Kandersteg. From Montreux we traveled to Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey and Aigle. From Lucerne we traveled to Engelberg. In the bigger cities we checked in with the tourist offices to arrange local walking tours where we learned a lot about the history of the cities and Switzerland. We avoided high elevations, so did not go to the high mountain tops.
Hope to plan another trip soon!