First of all, I would like to THANK all the moderators who contributed to this forum. I've learn so many things from all the post and it has helped me tremendously in planning my trip to Switzerland.
My group includes 2 adults and 4 teenagers (ages 13, 13, 14, and 15). We will be in Switzerland from March 27 to April 3. We are all active and would like to do activities that make this trip memorable. First of all we bought an 8-day Swiss Travel pass for the 2 adults (Thank you for the tip regarding the $65 discount for purchases of $750 or more through RailEurope). We got 4 free Family passes for the 4 children. In addition, in Luzern there is a promotion for a 2- Tell pass for those staying 2 or more nights in a participating hotel in Luzern. We will receive a 2-day Tell pass for all 6 of us. This is our itinerary. Any comments would be appreciated:
Tues 3/27 Arrive in Zurich around 11 am. Take a train to Luzern. Drop our bags at hotel. Go for a stroll around Luzern. Look for the famous bridge and the sleeping Lion. Visit Mt. Rigi (included in Swiss Travel Pass). Sleep in Luzern.
Wed 3/28 Luzern boat trip to Burgenstock, maybe some hiking. Then boat ride to Apnachstad. Railway up Mt. Pilatus, then cable car to Krien. (Pilatus excursion covered by Tell pass). Sleep in Luzern.
Thu 3/29 Train ride to Engleberg. Then cable car up Mount Titlis. Visit Cliff Walk, and Glacier Cave. On the cable car ride down, Stop by Trubee Snow Park (Kids will enjoy Tubing, Sledding, Tobogganing). We bought waterproof pants for the kids to enjoy these activities. Visit Glacier Village. QUESTION: IS TOBOGGANING FREE WITH THE TELL PASS? Sleep in Luzern.
Fri 3/30 Morning train to Interlaken, then to Grindelwald. Drop off bags at Grindelwald hotel. Do Shilthorn excursion (covered by Swiss Travel Pass). Find places to hike down. Visit Wengen, Gimmelwald, Lauterbrunnen. Sleep in Grindelwald. *** IS THIS ENOUGH TIME FOR INTERLAKEN AREA?
Sat 3/31 Take morning Golden Pass Train towards Montreux. Will try to get a MOB train or Belle Epoque train. ***ARE RESERVATIONS NECESSARY FOR THESE TRAINS? I looked on several sites, and it said reservations were not mandatory. Upon arrival to Lake Leman area, plan to visit Castle Chillon, then rest of day will be hiking the vineyards at Vevey or St. Saphorin. Maybe take a boat ride of Lake Leman. Take evening train to Brig (about 2 hours in duration). Sleep in Brig.
Sun 4/1 EASTER. Take 06:30 am Train from Brig to Zermatt. Arrive in Zermat at 08:00. View the Matterhorn, then hop on the Glacier Express (I have already made reservations, and paid 33 CHF per person). The meals are expensive on the train, so I plan to buy food and have a picnic for all of us. Is that okay? 8.5 hours later, will arrive in St. Moritz. I cannot afford hotels in St. Moritz, so upon arrival, we will hop on 18:00 train to go back to Zurich to sleep. I know it's a long day but can't afford the hotel prices of Zermatt and St. Moritz.
Mon 4/2 Last day of the trip. I NEED SOME ADVICE. OPTION 1: Should I spend a second day in Interlaken ( Fri 3/30 and Sat 3/31) instead of going to Montreux. If I spend 3/30 and 3/31 in Interlaken areas, then on 4/2 I will take a train (3 hours) to Lausaunne, visit vinyards of Lavaux, and Castle Chillon. Take 18:00 train back to Zurich to sleep at Airport hotel. OPTION 2: If I've already visited Interlaken areas and Lake Leman areas, where should I spend my last day: Bern, Apenzell, Interlaken, Zurich??
Tues 4/3 Catch my flight home at 14:00
1. The weather looks rainy for the times that I'll be visiting Switzerland. Any advice on what I should do differently to make the trip more pleasant?
2. I plan to eat at COOP and Migros to keep cost down. Any other tricks to to save money when dining?
3. Are there any changes that you would make to this itinerary? Fortunately, all my hotels allow free cancellation until day of arrival, so I have a little room to make changes.
AGAIN, I THANK ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS FOR PROVIDING YOUR VALUABLE TIME TO HELP TRAVELERS LIKE ME. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ADVENTURE!!