Combining France & Switzerland 15 days in June

Combining France & Switzerland 15 days in June

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IbnEBatuta
IbnEBatuta
4 posts
new member
Jan 6, 2017 - 7:55 PM

Hello Experts & Fellow travelers,

We are starting to plan a 15/16 day holiday starting 10th June 2017. Initial thoughts are to combine a holiday in Switzerland with Paris & Nice. In Switzerland we would like to cover Interlaken/ Jungfraujoch, Lucerne, Zermatt/Matterhorn. We expect to be a group of 8-12 with 2-4 children between 10-13yrs.

1. Given the travel start date & the expected season/ weather in Switzerland/ France around those days, is it better to start from Paris and cover Switzerland in the later half of the trip or the other way round ?

2. What's the best way to travel between France & Switzerland and what would be the best connecting points ? Are road travel options preferred for this leg ? Is it recommended to make any other stop enroute ?

3. Is there a way we can accommodate a leg on the Glacier express without too much of back and forth travel ?

I will have more questions later as I start detailing out the trip, but for now your advice w.r.t. these would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jan 7, 2017 - 9:44 AM in reply to IbnEBatuta

Hi IbnEBatuta -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

Responding to your most critical point -

When I first read your message the very first thing that I noticed was the combination of the Jungfrau Region (or Zermatt) and June. Even in mid-June the remnants of Winter are very much present at high altitudes, where some of the best trails and sightseeing are. Even later if the snow pack is heavy.

One of the best easy scenic trails usually opens in early to mid-June but may be subject to periodic closures due trail blockage by snow until very late June or July, which tends to occur as the trail passes around Tschuggen in a shaded area:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

I have added a couple of images to illustrate that trail...the first was taken in September. The second, sometime in the Fall.

In mid June there will still be lots of snow where you see meadows in those pictures. Late June is usually OK.

The weather is very much dependent on altitude, so that these concerns are much less around Luzern (or, for that matter, on the floor of the Lauterbrunnen Valley) than at or above 1500 to 2000 meters elevation.

I think you have the right idea about putting Switzerland at the end of your trip, and I recommend starting with Luzern once you are there. After all, you might want to save the best for last! ;-)

Slowpoke

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Annika
Annika
4992 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:26 AM in reply to IbnEBatuta

Hi IbnEBbatuta, let's look into your questions:

1. As Slowpoke mentioned, it would be better so start off in France and end your trip in Switzerland to maximize chances of snow-free trails (that is, if you're interested in hiking at all). There are no weather guarantees whatsoever though, and there's really no way of telling yet whether you're better off in early or late June weather wise. It's a bit of a gamble in all seasons ;-). June is at the end of low season, but quite some cable cars and mountain trains in the Jungfrau region and near Zermatt will already be operating. So you'll have plenty of chances to explore the mountains.

I'm not sure how long you plan to stay in France, but mind that three base towns (Lucerne, Interlaken or a nearby town plus Zermatt) might be a lot for the Swiss part of your holidays. If you don't mind packing/unpacking and switching hotels that's perfectly fine of course.

2. I'd recommend train traveling. Public transportation is my favorite way of exploring Switzerland, as car driving has some limitations. Please see myswissalps.com/carver sustrain to compare for yourself. A direct train trip from Paris to either Basel or Zurich (or Geneva if you'd plan to start your Swiss stay in Zermatt) is quite easy and doesn't take more time than either a flight or a car ride: myswissalps.com/traint ickets/france. Don't forget to look into rail passes once your plans are more or less finalized: myswissalps.com/train/ ticketspasses/practica l/chooserailpass.

3. If you plan to stay in Zermatt there are certainly chances to do (part of) the Glacier Express ride. The timetable provides details on each route. For example:

  • use it as a connection between Zermatt and Lucerne, using the Glacier Express up to Andermatt and the Gotthard Panorama Express between Andermatt and Lucerne;
  • make a day trip back and forth from Zermatt, traveling as far as Andermatt;
  • use it as part of your outbound journey. For example, if you want to end up in Zurich, travel as far as Chur or St. Moritz and then head onto Zurich.

Does that get you started?

IbnEBatuta
IbnEBatuta
4 posts
new member
Jan 8, 2017 - 4:45 PM

Slowpoke, Annika,

Thanks for your replies. I have two initial takeaways from them.... and then some follow up questions :-)

1. To slowpoke's suggestion, yes we will now plan to start our holiday from Paris and arrive in Switzerland around 16th June 2017 somewhere around Lucerne and then proceed elsewhere after a couple of days there.

2. We are keen to take the Glacier express. Which one is a recommended place between St. Moritz & Lugano ? We have visited Como from Milan last year, so wonder if these would be similar towns.

3. I noted Annika's point of having too many base locations. So would like your suggestion if we can have common base town from which to cover Lucerne and the Jungfrau region. And the move on to Either of the above towns from where we can connect to Zermatt and onward to Zurich for the flight out. In case we get a good flight back via Milan, we may reverse the Glacier express leg

4. For stay in Switzerland would an apartment or homestay/ bread & breakfast be better as compared to Hotels ? We are a group of 8-12 incl 3 children

5. Any experience you could share about a visit to CERN ? The CERN website seems interesting. If this one is recommended we may plan to arrive a few days earlier or shorten our trip leg in France.

Rgds,

IbnEBatuta

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jan 8, 2017 - 5:16 PM in reply to IbnEBatuta

Hi IbnEBatuta- Still answering in pieces.

To better understand Annika's comments and mine, I suggest that you refer to the timetable that she linked, as well as this map:

map.search.ch/?pos=633344,105728&z=2& poi=bergbahn,haltestel le,zug

Turn off the icons for transport stops in the menu. Zoom in to see the train lines.

However, the trip from Interlake to Zermatt is straightforward. Faster via the new "Lötschberg Basis Tunnel to Visp", and slower by about an hour or so via the much more scenic historic old route up to kandersteg, through the old shorter tunnel, and down the side wall of the Rhone Valley to Brig, then to Visp and on to Zermatt.

You might consider putting the stay in the Bernese Oberland near the end of your trip, then finish off by going to Zermatt and taking the Glacier Express from there.

Annika has outlined a few good choices, each one is a nice trip.

CERN-

Whether or not to visit CERN, or the Alps, or the cities, or museums, or lake boat rides is completely a matter of personal preferences, taking into consideration the ages and interests of your party. In the case of the Alps, also, the weather and season of the year. It is hard for us to make those judgements for you. Searching in My Swiss Alps website can lead to information about those items that can help with your decisions.

A simple example- I would like to go to CERN sometime, as well as Fort Cindey. My wife is not interested.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Fort_de_Cindey

Slowpoke

AlanPrice
AlanPrice
194 posts
active member
Jan 8, 2017 - 6:58 PM

Hi,

If you are planning to spend a week in one place, then a holiday apartment is a fantastic option to save money. With a Ferienwohnung (or FeWo for short) there won't be room service, or a maid to clean the room everyday, but you should be able rent a whole chalet for as little as 500 chf a night. Hotel rooms for 10 people would be closer to 1000. My personal opinion is, stay in a hotel if you're staying less than a few nights, and stay in a FeWo if you are staying for a week or more. Some FeWos won't take bookings of less than a week.

This interactive site should give you a better idea.

www.fewo-direkt.de/search/refin ed/Regionen:4753/minSl eeps/10/arrival:2017-06-17/departure:2017-06-24/@46.64064566574662, 7.823706167832029,46.7 738963080513,7.9933076 08261716,12z/page:1?view=l

Enjoy your trip

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