15 days in July: Luzern, Gotthard, Zermatt, Geneva

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3 posts
new member
Mar 3, 2018 - 4:23 PM


My wife and I are planning a visit to beautiful Switzerland the beginning of July and we were hoping for advice and advisement.

We are entering our early retirement years and are very excited about exploring the world...and realize we are very fortunate to be able to do so...

Enclosed, is our planned itinerary and we were hoping you all could provide advice especially for the mountain/train segments of the trip...and any other observations/adjustments are certainly most appreciated.

July 1: Arrival in Zurich and Train to Luzern - Excited and Tired:-)

July 2-5: Luzern 3 nights - Enjoy the City/Lake and Surrounding Area

July 5-7: Gotthard Train 2 nights? We need help with planning details for this travel segment (trains to take, places to visit and places to stay)...thank you

July 7-9 Zermatt 2 nights - We need help with planning details for this travel segment (trains to take, places to visit and places to stay)...thank you

July 9-12 Geneva/Yverdan 3 nights - Enjoy the City/Lake and Surrounding Area…Visit Friends

July 12-14 Jungfrau/Interlaken 2 nights - We need help with planning details for this travel segment (trains to take, places to visit and places to stay)...thank you

July 14-15 Zurich 1 night - Enjoy the City and Depart...Fully expecting we will not want to leave:-)

We really appreciate your time, experience, and insights as this is our first travel to Switzerland.

Best Regards,


10496 posts
top member
Mar 3, 2018 - 5:39 PM in reply to engelal1

Hi Al and welcome to MySwissAlps!

A few links and points to get you started:

  • July 2-5 in Luzern: Check out our what to do in Luzern page for suggestions.
  • July 5-7: Not sure what you mean by Gotthard train & 2 nights? Do you mean the Gotthard Panorama Express train? It travels to Lugano which is a very nice area of Switzerland. Is that what you were thinking? Where are you hoping to spend the nights of the 5th and 6th?
  • July 7-9 in Zermatt: Here is our page on what to do in Zermatt to get you started. If you are coming from Lugano would train to Domodossola from Locarno (on the Centovalli Railway) and then on to Brig where you can connect to the Glacier Express train to Zermatt (depending on the schedule).
  • July 12-14: What to do in the Jungfrau region. I would recommend staying in a town like Wengen or Mürren rather than Interlaken.

I hope that gets you started - let us know if/when you have more questions!

Last modified on Mar 3, 2018 - 5:40 PM by Lucas
3 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2018 - 7:13 PM

Thank you so much for the information Lucas...

To all, I'm going to be a little provocative (or maybe not) and leave my request very open, as we are somewhat flexible. For parameters, we will fly into Zurich on July 1st and depart Zurich on July 15th (we cannot change this). We do want to divide our time between the Mountains and the Cities, but our focus is the Alps. We love the train and would prefer this as our main mode of transportation between all destination points.

Or current thoughts:

- Upon Arrival in Zurich: Train from Zurich to Lucerne and 3 nights in Lucerne (lake and mountain day trips)

- Train from Lucerne to Zermatt and 3 nights in Zermatt (realizing somewhat of a long train ride 3.5 hours)

- Train from Zermatt to Bern and 3 nights in Bern (with local day trips to Gruyeres and Chateau Chillon)

- OR Train from Zermatt to Montreux: Visit Chillon and stay a night and visit Gruyeres for the day on the way to Bern…too aggressive?

- Train from Bern to Grindelwald and 3 nights in Grindelwald (Matterhorn and Gornergrat)

- Train from Grindelwald to Zurich for 1 night

- Departure from Zurich

For reference, we are approaching retirement but are both in decent shape:-) We are not athletes nor experienced hikers.

Are we being too aggressive with this schedule? Also, is there a much more efficient way to navigate the highlights of Switzerland in 14 days?

We would like to fully absorb the experience yet are not the type that need to experience everything by staying a half day and then rapidly moving on to the next place.

We appreciate suggestions from those that who might have been in our shoes…

Once we establish the most efficient route then we would appreciate suggestions within each stay.

Best Regards,

Al and Debbie

10496 posts
top member
Mar 14, 2018 - 7:32 AM in reply to engelal1

Hi Al and Debbie,

I like the sound of your itinerary plans. I'd be tempted to drop Bern though. At least 3 nights is too much in my books. Bern is a lovely city but I think a day trip is sufficient from Lucerne or perhaps as your last night in Switzerland instead of Zurich (it is only a 1 hour and 15minute train trip, direct, to Zurich airport). Unless your flight is very early?

I'd spend those 3 days in Montreux instead (you can easily visit Gruyeres and Chillon) well as much more options around Lake Geneva.

I'd also be tempted to do 2 nights in Zermatt and 4 nights in Grindelwald though this isn't a big deal - depends on your plans in each area.. 4 base towns over 14 nights is the ok I think but effeminately no more than that.

3 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2018 - 12:26 AM

Thank you again Lucas.

Which would you recommend...Vevey or Montreux?

Also, might you recommend any farm visits or stays during our travels?



12308 posts
expert &
Mar 15, 2018 - 7:31 AM in reply to engelal1

Hi Al,

Montreux is a bit more touristy and upscale I'd say. Other than that, both towns are quite similar as a base for that region. It depends on your plans (museums in Vevey perhaps?) if one would work out much better than the other.

For farm stays, see the link under "More on other websites" on www.myswissalps.com/ac commodation.

Last modified on Mar 15, 2018 - 7:32 AM by Arno

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