10 day April itinerary - follow up questions

10 day April itinerary - follow up questions

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DD123
DD123
20 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2017 - 12:22 PM

Hi everyone,

After you were SO helpful in getting my trip in order, I'd love to get your assistance/thoughts in finalizing the itinerary for my trip to Switzerland next month.

April 12-16 – Interlaken region: arrival from Zurich via Luzern (Golden Pass). This area is actually the one giving me the most trouble since there are so many things in the region!

1. Day of arrival – Interlaken

2. 1 day (based on weather) – Jungfraujoch or Schilthorn.

a. If Jungfraujoch - I’d want to take the walking trail from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg (no. 33) – I assume it’s preferable to do it on the way back from Jungfraujoch (to get to the pick the earliest time possible)? And is the stop at Mannlichen on the way to/from Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, BTW? I couldn’t find the stops on each route for some reason so couldn't make up my mind on which of the 2 options should I take on the way to Jungfraujoch and which on the way back. On the way back maybe also stop by Wengen and Staubbachfall.

b. If Schilthorn – on the way back I’d like to stop at Mürren and at Birg for the Cliff Walk. Then head to Lauterbrunnen and Trummelbach falls, afterwards to Meiringen and Aareschlucht,and on the way back maybe go through Brienz and take a boat back to Interlaken – is that too much for 1 day? Also, same as above - which way should I take to Schilthorn and which way back? And is it better to make stops (i.e., getting off the train at the stations for a quick look/cop of coffee, etc.) on the way there or back?

3. 1 day – Harder Kulm + boat trip to Thun via Spiez.

4. 1 day – Meiringen + Grimzel (+ Trummelbach & Aareschlucht if I went to Jungfraujoch and not Schilthorn before). Also, I’ve heard about the yellow postal bus in Meiringen – any recommendations on that?

• Does that seem like a proper itinerary for 4 nights in the Interlaken region? Am I missing anything recommended / should I change something? I also heard of Oeschinensee lake and Blausee, Kandergrund - are these worth a stop as well/instead of any of the former?

April 16-19 – Montreux: arrival via Zweisimmen (Golden Pass). I understand that the Golden Pass is only for the second leg - how can I know which trains have VIP sits and at what times they run? Is there a way to search SBB's site only for trains having VIP sits?

5. Day of arrival – Montreux.

6. 1 day – Rochers-de-Naye + route of the Chocolate Train (since the Chocolate Train itself doesn’t run) – Gruyeres + Broc. Are any advance reservations in the cheese/chocolate factories, etc., required in April (since the ‘built-in’ Chocolate Train isn’t operating)?

7. 1 day – Lake Geneva + boat trip + Chateu de chillion (and maybe Fribourg).

• Does that seem like a proper itinerary for 3 nights in Montreux? Am I missing anything recommended / should I change something?

April 19-22 – Zermatt: arrival via Visp.

8. Day of arrival – Zermatt.

9. 1 day (depending on weather) – Sunnegga + Blauherd + 5 lakes walk (is it clear from signposts what that is/which way to take?).

Alternative/second day – Gornergrat and on the way back, walk by Riffelsee (same question - is the route there clear)?

Alternative/second day – Klein Matterhorn + Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

• Which of the 3 (Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn) would you do if you could take only one or two excursions (based on weather)?

• Am I missing anything recommended / should I change something?

10. April 22 - Travel to Zurich via Chur (Glacier Express).

a. My flight out (via Swiss Air) is only at night *after 10:30PM) and I’ll be arriving to Chur at 14:35 - should I travel around this town for a few hours or proceed directly to Zurich (I’ll be in Zurich at the beginning of the trip for a few days as well)?

b. I understand that it’s possible to have the luggage checked in at trail stations when flying Swiss – it that the case in Zermatt as well? Does anyone have any experience with that?

Thank you all in advance!

David

Lucas
Lucas
3076 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 14, 2017 - 8:31 AM in reply to DD123

Hi David,

I don't have personal experience in the Jungfrau region so I will leave your specific questions for other members with more knowledge. I like the itinerary however, for 2.b --> if going to Schilthorn, it seems like a bit much for one day when trying to add on Lake Brienz at the end.

As for the Golden Pass VIP seats, you can search for those here. When going on the booking process you can click the image of the train car (after entering dates and towns) and it will be obvious which train has the VIP seats at the front of the carriage. Unfortunately you have to click into each train image to see if there are VIP seats on it.

I haven't heard of the need for reservations on visiting the cheese/chocolate factories.

As for Zermatt, I would look at Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn before Sunnegga. All hiking trails I have done in Switzerland have been very well marked. We have a list of hiking options with details you can read over for Zermatt here. You can also find more details on some of these hikes here just enter Zermatt or other destinations you are searching for and it will bring up hiking options to read through.

I've been to Chur briefly but not thought it the most interesting city - personally I would head back to Zurich, however you may want to explore the city for a few hours - you can read more about the town here.

You can check in at the Zermatt rail station the night before your flight with Swiss Airlines. More details can be found here (including a link direct to SBB with further details and prices etc.).

I hope that helps! I am sure other members can chime in on areas I am not familiar with!

Cheers,
Lucas

Last modified on Mar 14, 2017 - 8:33 AM by Lucas
kim11
kim11
382 posts
top member
Mar 14, 2017 - 5:18 PM

Unfortunately the timing of your trip to the Jungfrau Region is not ideal. Some things you want to do can be accomplished, others cannot. Key points:

1. The high elevation walks such as Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg, First to Bachalpsee, etc will not be open in April. The gondola to Männlichen is closed April 2 to May 19.

2. The Harder Kulm funicular anticipates opening on April 14, weather dependent.

3. Schilthorn gondola will be open (but closes 24 April to 28 April for maintenance). I am unable to find any information about opening dates for the Thrill Walk at Birg.

4. Trümmelbach Falls usually opens in early April.

5. Your 2b option requires two full days to accomplish.

6. Brienz and Thun lake cruises usually open in early April and run through November with Lake Brienz cruises having a spotty schedule early and late in season. Best way to tell if the boats are running on the dates you wish to travel are to use www.sbb.ch and enter the "See" options for departure and arrivals. Method of transports will show up as IR ("InterRegio" = train) or BAT for ship.

DD123
DD123
20 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2017 - 8:49 AM in reply to kim11

Thank you both so much for your replies! Very helpful as always!

Re 2b - understood - we'll either brake that down into 2 days or drop the Brienz part entirely.

Lucas - re Zermat, I understand it's possible to do both Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn on the same day - is that indeed the case? If so, on which should we go first (assuming weather is fine on both)? Is there a recommended way to switch from one to the other or do we need to go back to Zermatt and up again to the other peak? Any recommended stops along the way (up/down)? And the hikes there (as well as in Sunnegga, if applicable) should generally be open in April, right?

Kim - yes, I know that timing isn't ideal, unfortunately, but tried making the best out of it nonetheless... Do you know if ANY hikes on/around Jungfraujoch/Schilthorn are expected to be open at such time (not looking for anything extreme (since my wife is pregnant) - just mild, short walks for lovely scenery? If not, I'm guessing it's just up via train/gondola for the observation decks and back down? Can you recommend the preferable route up and down each and the stops we should visit along the way (since I understand there are 2 ways to get to and back from each mountain)?

Thanks again!

Lucas
Lucas
3076 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 15, 2017 - 4:50 PM in reply to DD123

Hi DD123,

You certainly can do both in one day - a long day for sure, but that's up to you.
I don't have any personal experience at other attraction but check out our information pages for more details: Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn .

I wouldn't count on the hikes being available in April. Gornergrat should be covered in snow still, though some winter trails may be available. There is no hiking that I am aware of on Klein Matterhorn.

Regards,
Lucas

DD123
DD123
20 posts
new member
Mar 16, 2017 - 4:56 PM in reply to Lucas

Got it, thanks Lucas.

BTW, if anyone has any knowledge on the yellow postal bus in Meiringen that would be great as well! thanks!

Arno
Arno
9569 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 16, 2017 - 7:11 PM in reply to DD123

Hi DD123,

What would you like to know about the buses? There are post buses all over the country, mainly in rural areas on routes not served by trains. Does the page myswissalps.com/bus help you out?

Annika
Annika
4880 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 17, 2017 - 6:22 PM in reply to DD123

Hi DD123,

This recent trip report by Alpenrose may interest you as well.

DD123
DD123
20 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2017 - 4:33 PM in reply to Annika

Thanks, Annika & Arno, apparently it doesn't run in April, unfortunately... Next time. :)

Since this is the case,how does the following sound for a day trip: train to Lauterbrunnen [travel around] -> Trummelbach Falls-> Meiringenn [worth traveling around?] -> Aareschlucht -> train to Brienz [travel around] -> cruise to Interlaken? And if the Trummelbach Falls have already been covered as part of a day-trip to Schilthorn, what would you add instead?

Lucas
Lucas
3076 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 20, 2017 - 7:30 AM in reply to DD123

Hi DD123,

Your itinerary seems quite nice. I haven't been to Meiringen so I can't comment there. If you are going to be on the lakes around Interlaken, another option may be the St. Beatus Caves?

Lucas

Last modified on Mar 20, 2017 - 7:30 AM by Lucas
Annika
Annika
4880 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 20, 2017 - 9:29 AM in reply to DD123

Hi DD123,

That certainly looks nice, although it will be a long day. If you've seen the Trümmelbach Falls already, you may instead consider a closer look at the Reichenbach Falls near Meiringen (the funicular crossing the falls doesn't run yet in April, unfortunately). Other than that, the Ballenberg Open Air Museum (open from April 13) near Meiringen/Brienz may interest you. It's a large area though and you could easily spend half a day to a full day there.

Last modified on Mar 20, 2017 - 4:24 PM by Arno

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