Booking day in Switzerland through Viator or not?

Booking day in Switzerland through Viator or not?

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Posts: 7
Aylaclan
Aylaclan
15 posts
new member
Jul 10, 2018 - 12:16 PM

Hello from the U.S.!

Your advice on this forum is much appreciated and we thank you all for your willingness to share your knowledge with us "visitors" :) We are 4 healthy adults traveling for the first time to Switzerland for 10 days in August-6 days Interlakken 3 days Zurich. I have been reading this forum since May to plan my itinerary and though I feel I know more now than I did pre-research, I still feel like a novice; there is so much important and helpful information on here but its also overwhelming.

We will have the Swiss Travel Pass.

Can someone clarify some things please?

1. Since we are touring independent from a travel company, can we still see popular attractions without booking the excursion through Viator.com?

For example, on Viator I saw a "Black Forest and day trip from Zurich" option. I will be staying in Zurich for a bit and would like to see the forest and the Rhine Falls. Is it easy to get to these places using public transportation by ourselves? Or should we book the experience with Viator to avoid making mistakes trying to get there on our own?

2. I am trying to plan at least 2 "rural" hikes from Interlakken where we will be able to experience your beautiful country away crowds of people and take a picnic . We are able to endure a 10-12 hour day on foot.

Is Schynige Platte a good place to hike?

It sounds like Lucerne + Mt Pilatus are two trails that can be done in one day?

Does anyone recommend a hike which includes passing a lake and some foot snow?

Thank you kindly,

Susan

Arno
Arno
10750 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 10, 2018 - 1:12 PM

Hi Susan,

Glad to hear MySwissAlps is helpful for you! I understand it's nevertheless overwhelming. That's a bonus of new travel destinations :-)

1. Everything can be visited without a travel agency, and nearly everything can be visited without a guided tour. Viator is one of the options to book guided and self-guided tours. But it's a matter of preferences, not a necessity. Some people like to plan less and be guided. Others prefer to do things on their own.

The Black Forest however, is in Germany and quite a large area with public transport not as good as in Switzerland. If you want to see a glimpse of it during a day trip, a guided tour is a good option: https://www.viator.com /tours/Zurich/Black-Forest-and-Rhine-Falls-Day-Trip-from-Zurich/d577-2460FOREST. The only other option would be to rent a car for a day, but it's a longish drive and you should have a plan and know where you'll be going.

2. Schynige Platte is wonderful: www.myswissalps.com/hi king/schynigeplatte. A walk to a lake can be found here: www.myswissalps.com/hi king/bachsee. Snow in August is very unlikely apart from high altitude places like Jungfraujoch. Please find more suggestions here: www.myswissalps.com/hi king.

Last modified on Jul 10, 2018 - 1:14 PM by Arno
Aylaclan
Aylaclan
15 posts
new member
Jul 10, 2018 - 2:04 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks again Arno. Several sites suggested that 'waterproof' hiking boots are a must! So we thought we HAD to purchase a pair for our trip lest we be doomed to have an awful experience.We are planning to go to Jungfraujoch but just for one day. Do we have to have waterproof shoes in August for that experience?

Best,

Susan

Lucas
Lucas
7163 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 10, 2018 - 4:04 PM in reply to Aylaclan

Hi Susan,

It will just depend on the weather that day and how much hiking you plan to do. If you have no plans to hike much on your trip to the mountains (IE go up, look around/wander around and then go down) then water proof hiking boots are not a must.

Last modified on Jul 10, 2018 - 4:04 PM by Lucas
Aylaclan
Aylaclan
15 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2018 - 12:07 PM

Hi Lucas,

Our goal is to hike all week. I met a woman in my town who said she has hiked the Alps multiple times and that "waterproof boots" are hard to dry out if they get wet and that non-waterproof boots dry quicker if they get wet. I'm confused truthfully. I'm just trying to have proper gear to ensure a fun safe time. Suggestions?

Thanks!

Susan

Arno
Arno
10750 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 11, 2018 - 1:43 PM in reply to Aylaclan

Hi Susan,

In that case I think you should focus on hiking boots rather than "waterproof" boots. Hiking boots are solid and offer good grip on various kinds of terrain. They are "waterproof enough" to cross shallow water for a short time and to walk in the rain.

Lucas
Lucas
7163 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 11, 2018 - 2:32 PM in reply to Aylaclan

Yes, agreed. Don't focus too much on water-proofing but instead getting a good hiking boot. They typically are at least lightly "Water-proof".

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