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First Switzerland Trip...Sense?

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19 posts
new member
Jun 29, 2015 - 10:46 PM

3 adults traveling to Switzerland for 5 nights in early October and with my several days of studying the options, I'm looking for emotional support that I've figured this out correctly.

Traveling from the Lake Como region across into Switzerland by train. Does the following make sense?:

1) Two nights in Interlaken. It seems as if there are enough concerns about weather, that the flexibility of not staying in the mountains, outweighs some of the wonder of staying in one of the other cities in the Jungfrau. If the weather is good one of the days, then you take the trains up to the Jungfraujoch? I assume you really don't need a tour with it, true?

2) Two nights in Lucerne would seem to give us a different environment and city to explore, true?

3) One night in Zurich, near the airport, with perhaps enough time to tour the city. Seems to be fairly easy from airport to city center, true?

4) I join the 90% of people who can't quite figure out the rail passes, although it sounds like you can't go wrong with the half priced pass.

5) Do group hiking tours make any sense? We are in good physical shape but my sense of direction could be better.

Thanks...I know these are fairly generic questions, but I always like experienced travelers to lend support and then I go ahead and book all the hotels.

7567 posts
Jun 30, 2015 - 1:24 AM in reply to BZamost

Hi BZ amost-

Welcome to the forum.

You have been doing your home work.

Numbers 1 through3 - the answers are "True."

Lauterbrunnen could also replace Interlaken as a convenient central place, basd on times to get to various places by public transport.

By October 15, the higher trails above Wengen for example, are iffy, due to possible/probable snow. On the other hand, if the weather is clear, and it can be a that time of year, being in Wengen or Grindelwald can give you fast access to the reallly good scenery. Interlaken , in my biased opinion, is not worth much time.

Four and Five-

The forum has some help -

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses

I personally use a Half fare Card routinely, for multiple trips per year using both rental car and public transport. ( I get the three year version available only if you have a Swiss Address and which costs me about 150 CHF for each YEAR of coverage) but if you spend a lot of time on public transport in a small number of days, one of the Passes, which cover many costs completely, can be a better deal.

I don't understand all the special options...Arno and Annika are the experts.

For number 5, for a brief visit, I'd not bother. If you are inexperienced, maybe even more so. You don't want to keep up with a group. (My opinion.) You can set your own pace. And, you are not in a wilderness. There are a whole lot of trail signs, good maps are readily available at all levels of detail, and once you are there, you will see that it is not easy to get lost.

19 posts
new member
Jun 30, 2015 - 3:21 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for your prompt reply.

I assume that even for the first week in October, the Jungfrau region is still a great place to visit. I certainly have read numerous recommendations for Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald over Interlaken, and I'm still a bit conflicted.

Once I've set my itinerary more formally, then I'll use the website to calculate which rail pass makes the most sense. With 3 of us, I had considered driving, but the overwhelming consensus seems to be train travel.

Thanks again.

7567 posts
Jun 30, 2015 - 7:40 AM in reply to BZamost

<<":I assume that even for the first week in October, the Jungfrau region isstill a great place to visit. I certainly have read numerous recommendations for Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald over Interlaken, and I'm still a bit conflicted.">>

It is great place to visit at any time of the year, with some seasonal concerns (between seasons- early Winter and late Spring). It is a lot better if the weather is clear. Going up into the clouds has limited appeal if you can't see anything once you get up there.

The weather can change quickly. On June 14th, in cloudy rainy weather we took the train from Lauterbrunnen up to Wengen. For about one hour there was a break in the weather, which allowed a view almost as clear as the one attached. By the end of an hour or so, the clouds had rolled in.

Quite likely that you'll be OK in early October. The trails at 2000 meters should be open ( my opinion.) Lets also wait hear from Arno or Annika ( forum moderators) because they are more familiar with late season details.

And, there are lots of attractions near by.

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland/activiti es

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

By November, and, certainly December, however, a lot of hotels and services are shut down for maintenance, or waiting for the ski season. At that time of year I'd use the timetable and hotel web sites carefully to check open or closed status.

www.sbb.ch/en/home.htm l

When you come up from the Ticino, do your best to take the Gotthard Pass route, It is one of the world's great train rides. It does lead to Luzern.....

jerrygarrett.wordpress .com/2013/03/15/switze rlands-eight-greatest-train-rides/

Read the section about the William Tell Pass

I don't know what passenger service they will maintain on that route next year when the new tunnel opens.

16105 posts
expert &
Jun 30, 2015 - 2:29 PM

The Jungfrau region is wonderful in October. Better chances for the first half of the month. But, no guarantees of course. Be prepared to do something else than hiking and cable car rides on rainy days.

Last modified on Jun 30, 2015 - 2:29 PM by Arno


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