About us | Contact | n%2Fa | n%2Fa
Home Get in touch Forum Trip report 8 great September days in Switzerland
MySwissAlps features ads, commercial and non-commercial links.

Trip report 8 great September days in Switzerland


Print this page
Posts: 11 
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
martywisco
martywisco
2 posts
new member
Nov 28, 2018 - 2:58 PM

My wife and I started planning this trip in January 2018. We chose mid-September as a time to miss Summer crowds yet still experience good weather...and that worked perfectly. We combined our Swiss Trip with a 2 day Iceland stopover, which I would recommend.

A little about us. My wife is in her mid 60's and I'm in my 50's. We are in generally good health. This was our fifth trip to Europe. We ride bike and work out regularly, and we're anxious for some simple hiking in the Alps. Highlights of the trip follow.

SWITZERLAND: Our flight from Reykjavik to Geneva arrived about 10:30pm on a Saturday night. We simply walked to our hotel next to the airport that first night. We slept in the next morning, before starting our Swiss adventure in earnest. We had purchased 8 day Swiss Travel Passes online before we left. I really don't know if they paid for themselves but I was very happy to have the flexibility to do what we wanted when we wanted. Anything mentioned in this report marked with an * was covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.

We stopped in downtown Geneva only long enough to pick a a mobile Wifi unit at the tourist info center. This "Travelers Wifi" unit worked very well all over the country. Shortly after noon we arrived in Lausanne by train*. The metro* in Lausanne works great to get you up and down the BIG incline the city is set on. We spent the early afternoon on the waterfront (Ouchey) including a visit to the Olympic Museum*. Then it was back to the train station for a short trip to Montreux*, followed by an even shorter bus ride to Chateau de Chillon*. What a beautiful, scenic spot and well preserved castle. We toured the castle and took pictures on the grounds until Sunset. Then it was a train ride back to Lausanne for dinner and sleep.

The next morning, it was back to Montreux for our 3 hour ride aboard a panoramic train on the Golden Pass line* to Interlaken Ost. After a short train ride* to Lauterbrunnen for lunch, we took a cable car* and another train* to finally arrive in our mountain base for the next 4 nights in Murren.

We ABSOLUTELY LOVED our time in the Berber Oberland! That first afternoon we walked down to Gimmelwald and enjoyed dinner at the Pension there. On our way to the cable car* back to Murren, we watched the local fire department live at their monthly practice session. Our second day was spent taking the funicular up to Allmendhubel and hiking back to Murren through high Alpine meadows complete with cows on the Blumental Panorama trail. That afternoon we went to the Ballenberg Folk Museum* (only a cable car*, 2 bus* and 2 train* rides from Murren!)

This was nice, but not sure it was worth the time it took to get there. Back in Murren, we ate dinner while doing laundry at the Hotel Bellevue. On our third day in the BO, we took the cable car from Murren to Birg*, then on to the 10,000 foot peak of Schilthorn*. The weather was again perfect, and we spent several hours taking hundreds of pictures that can in no way capture the grandeur we saw. Pretty much skipped all the James Bond stuff at Piz Gloria. Back in Murren that afternoon we just explored this cute little town, and ended up going to an English language church service at the tiny Reformed church before a delicious dinner at our home for the week, Hotel Blumental. Our last day included another morning hike on the Blumental Panorama trail. We then picked up a picnic lunch at the co-op, and headed across the valley (cable car*, bus*, train*) to Wengen. Then we took a cable car to Mannlichen, had lunch at the royal view, then walked to Klein Schiedegg- pretty easy walk and absolutely stunning scenery! Ok-finally something that was NOT covered by the Swiss Travel Pass ($50 for 2 people from Wengen and back.). I can't recommend spending time in the Berner Oberland enough...4 days were great but more would have been better. Our plan for a rainy day there was a day trip to Bern...but since all we saw was sunshine, that will have to wait for another trip.

Our last 2 nights would be spent in Lucerne. We did the usual tourist things: old town walk, boat ride*, lion monument. After spending so much time in the mountains around Murren, we decided against hiking on Mt. Rigi or Pilatus. We were ready to leave Lucerne when the time came. The trip home went smoothly (1 hour train to Zurich*), turned in mobile Wifi at the airport, then the long journey home.

Take home travel tips.

1) Iceland stopover on the way from North America to Europe is a great way to minimize jet lag...plus you'll see some pretty cool stuff while you're there. The number of tourists in Iceland has skyrocketed since our last visit 6 years ago. The country is busy building an infrastructure to support them.

2) The Swiss public transportation system is phenomenal. Trains, boats, buses, cable cars all timed to minimize your time waiting during transfers. They make it so easy to get around their gorgeous country. The SBB (Swiss Railway) phone app makes it very easy to plan your trips. Yes this system is expensive, but it's also incredibly efficient...Light years ahead of what I'm used to at home.

3) For our purposes, without an international phone plan or swapping SIM cards, the mobile wifi was worth the cost. The only place the connection was sketchy was deep in Mountain valleys (i.e. Lauterbrunnen valley). Battery life and transfer speed was more than adequate.

Lucas
Lucas
10495 posts
top member
Nov 29, 2018 - 8:16 AM in reply to martywisco

Hi martywisco and thanks for the trip report!

Sounds like a great trip! September is indeed one of the best months to visit Switzerland!

Hope you are able to make a return visit - so much more to see here!

BarSal
BarSal
107 posts
active member
Nov 29, 2018 - 9:32 AM

When you get above the snow line in September you may as well be on Mars - bare rocks, rocks, rocks. Bernina Pass was really disappointing.

Agree the weather is mild and the crowds have gone - nice for wandering around the lovely townships.

A young woman working at Arosa summed it up -

"young people come in January - February for the snow sports, families come in June - July for the summer, old people come in September". Both being in our 60s ... she was probably right!

jatinsmehta
jatinsmehta
114 posts
active member
Nov 30, 2018 - 4:31 AM

BarSal :

Where does August fit in your phrase ? LOL.

It got me curious as I'm travelling next August

BarSal
BarSal
107 posts
active member
Nov 30, 2018 - 5:45 AM in reply to jatinsmehta

Maybe an older family :-) She didn't elaborate to sub-categories LOL

Switzerland is beautiful ANY time of the year! If its your first trip you maybe surprised how warm it is in August. We did not use any of the warmer clothes we packed and we went first three weeks of September.

Emmy050183
Emmy050183
1 post
new member
Nov 30, 2018 - 11:16 AM in reply to BarSal

Well I'm 35 but choosing to come in September for less crowds. Guess I'm old at heart lol How warm was it in September? Wanting to get an idea of what to pack!

pkerr
pkerr
244 posts
active member
Nov 30, 2018 - 2:52 PM

Curious about the Travelers Wifi vs. a Sim card for a phone. The Travelers Wifi gives me fast internet access but what about phone service? It won't help for that will it?

We are coming at the end of Aug. Have the crowds thinned by then?

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
15709 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 30, 2018 - 3:40 PM in reply to pkerr

Hi Pkerr,

That's correct, TravelersWifi gets you a fast internet connection. Imagine your home wifi being with you wherever you go. It has nothing to do with standard phone calls. You can connect tablets, phones, laptops to the internet using the wifi signal it transmits. Your phone keeps working as usual, including phone calls. That's the way I used it last time: I hardly make any calls so I just used my SIM card for that, and internet plus Whatsapp calls all went via the TravelersWifi. Even when in our accomodation as the wifi there was slower than TravelersWifi :-)

More information is here: www.myswissalps.com/si mcard.

Last modified on Nov 30, 2018 - 3:41 PM by Arno
pkerr
pkerr
244 posts
active member
Nov 30, 2018 - 3:43 PM in reply to Arno

Thanks for the info... I'm going to have to discover Whatsapp and start calling that way.

Thanks

BarSal
BarSal
107 posts
active member
Nov 30, 2018 - 11:02 PM in reply to Emmy050183

Pack light. Pack layers. Most of my photos I am wearing jeans and T-shirts (Lugano, Lucerne and Chur). Sometimes with a scarf. A cotton jumper and a cashmere jumper (got used in the evening in Wengen).

A good pair of shoes. A pair of stretch black slacks and a wrap will take you anywhere. We took a puffer jacket which we used on Shilthorn and Jungfraujoch.

I can’t stress enough - pack as light as you can. Luggage is a pain and a distraction.

maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
701 posts
top member
Dec 1, 2018 - 12:25 AM in reply to martywisco

Thank you for sharing your trip experiences and tips with us. I agree that the STP is an excellent way to travel around with ease and the Swiss travel system is brilliant. We rarely use trains in the UK - delays, cancellations, cost (unlike Switzerland prices vary from day to day even and good deals are hard to find), not very comfortable, so not very appealing. We use local bus services as we have Senior Citizen passes but are far more reliant on our car. One of the things we look forward to on our Swiss holidays is being able to enjoy travelling by train! Anyway glad you enjoyed your stay and that you had such good weather.

Maggie

SWISS TRAVEL MUST KNOWS

All you need to know about traveling by train, bus or car in Switzerland.

More

NEED SOME TIPS ON WHERE TO SLEEP?

Hand picked Swiss hotels and other accommodations are right here.

More

Who's MySwissAlps.com?
We're passionate tourists and locals. We share tips about planning a trip to Switzerland since 2002.
More about usNewsletter signup

© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2022