This is my first post and my first query in general and I have high expectation
We are family of four with kids 8 and 1.5 year old and we are planning to visit Switzerland in mid-July. I have gone through almost all of myswissalps.com and just want to say that this site is really great informative source and organized neatly to help outsiders like me understand what I can do in Switzerland really well.
I am in real need of advice as I am unable to decide many things (mainly due to small kids) what would be best for us. We are interested only in nature and would like to avoid big cities, museums as far as possible unless they are really unique. We are thinking of this trip to be relaxing and slow paced as well. Based on available time we have, I thought of following itinerary but I am in definitely need of guidance and suggestions.
Day 1: Reach Zurich international airport by noon, travel to some village like Lauterbrunnen as I heard this is the best bet to live like living in a swiss country side.
Day 2: Check weather and if it is clear go to Jungfrau (top of Europe) and return back to Lauterbrunnen
Day 3: See other villages like Grindelwald and others and if any water fall we can see easily around
Day 4: Go to Montreux from Lauterbrunnen using Golden Pass line and see Chateu De Chilon. Spend some time around the lake Geneva (I think) and return back to Lauterbrunnen using the Golden Pass Line
Day 5: Go to Zermatt from Lauterbrunnen and see Matterhorn (Gornergrat) and come back to Lauterbrunnen
Day 6: Go to Lucrene from Lauterbrunnen, take a boat trip and Rigi and come back to Lauterbrunnen
Day 7: Go to Lucrene, take a boat trip and pilatus and return to Lauterbrunnen
Day 8: Go to Lucrene, boat trip to Lake Thun and see Thun castle and return to Lauterbrunnen
Day 9: From Lauterbrunnen come to Zurich, check into Zurich hotel and see the zurich city and any otherattraction we can see.
Day 10: Return to Los Angeles, USA from Zurich early morning flight.
We are planning to take 8 day Swiss pass (me and wife) and family card for my elder daughter (9th day we will get a day fare ticket to Zurich)
I have many questions in the above trip as I could not finalize any leg/day very clearly. Any help in any day of the trip would be great. Since I have to book the hotels, travel tickets by Monday to get Visa in time for my other country trip, your suggestions are really valuable towards making our trip most memorable trip of life.
Specific Questions I have (please suggest if you would like apart from these questions ):
1. I have read a lot about Glacier Express. Including that in my plan was making it difficult. Is it something I must do or if I do above (could do above), I may not need Glacier Express that much. Any suggestions on squeezing a day of Glacier express?
2. Is my base of Lauterbrunnen right choice as I am there only for a day in Jungfrau region or staying at Lucerne for letter leg and Zermatt for middle part is advisable? Is there a cheaper base for the whole trip even though say takes half an hour more for everything?
3. I heard about Chocolate train? Can I fit it in here somehow without having to really stress the day out or I should skip it or should change something from the plan.
4. I heard about mount Schilthorn? Is it must? Can it replace from any of the mountain in my plan. Already I have included Rigi, Pilatus, Jungfrau, Zermatt and sounds too much.
5. The above plan is based on the fact that weather is good all the time. Any thing I should do on a day when weather is not good?
6. Is choice of Swiss pass good as it costs more than 800$ for us..
Thank you in advance,