Best base town in Bernese Oberland for two nights?

Best base town in Bernese Oberland for two nights?

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Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2017 - 11:11 PM

Hey there! So glad I found this website, already helped me a lot adjusting some parts of my itinerary for my next trip, 20-26 February, first time in Switzerland!

I'll fly to Geneve on the Feb 20 and by train I'll get to La Tour de Peilz meeting an old friend. I'll be staying there for two nights, getting some rest and visit the area of Vevey and Montreux (Chalet de Chillon).

Then, on wednesday I was thinking getting on the Golden Pass to Interlaken. And then it's where things gets a bit complicated. You see, on Friday I'll hop on the train to Luzern and then Bern. Which means I will have 3 days/2 nights to explore the area. Balancing time and budget, I think I will pass Jungfraujoch this time but from the top of my head I would like to visit Grindelwald, Kleine Schnegg, First Cliff walk and Wengen - Mannlichen maybe. but also Lauterbrunnen, Murren and Gimmenwald. Also Brienz. I think it would be exhausting having two basetowns so I should choose wisely where can I rest and let my things (backpacking) safe while I'm sightseeing. I read about Lauterbrunnen being a wise choice, but also Grindelwald. I'm still weighting the idea of going to Schilthorn. But I really do n0t want to be hurrying and worrying all the time. If I'd have more time, I'd stay one in Grindenwald (although they said to me it's a bit "noisy") and one near Murren or Gimmelwald. The problem is that I still dont know how long it takes me from one place to the other, so i dont know how many of this places, without rushing, can i plan to see. Any suggestions? I'm all ears.

I convinced myself to get a 4day swiss travel pass - activating it on wednesday. I know for Schilthorn it only gives 50%, and for reserving places on the panoramic (which I'll only take the Golden) - is there any other details I should be aware of? I think I will acquire it online and print it here in Portugal - one less thingto worry about.

I do know I'm missing Zurich, Lausanne Basel Zermatt etc, but it will be for a not-so-distant future perhaps.

Sorry for the long text. Main goal of this trip is to enjoy the landscape, walking and getting to know Switzerland while I'm resting and regaining energies for the return. Thanks a lot if you got to read till this point! Happy traveling everyone!

Inês

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3735 posts
expert
Jan 22, 2017 - 2:33 AM in reply to Inessousa

Hi Inês

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

Glad to read that you have a base to start from.

If you are jet-lagged, that will be very useful. Since you are coming from Portugal, that probably will not be a problem. The Portugese community in Switzerland has long history.

I've not worked through every detail of your thoughts, but expect a lot of snow and cold in the Jungfrau region. The Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg walk will almost surely be groomed for hiking, but don't be surprised if it happens to be closed because of a snow slide near Tschuggen. or, clouds that obscure everything.

Walking is going to work better at low altitudes...less snow.

"The problem is that I still dont know how long it takes me from one

place to the other, so i don't know how many of this places, without

rushing, can i plan to see. Any suggestions? I'm all ears."

These links will be useful:

map.search.ch/?pos=642400,167200&z=8

Zoom in.

and, especially, for travel times:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Use it with the map.

Hard to propose a base until we understand whether you expect to deal with snow, go skiing, or want to visit the less snowy countryside.

This may be interesting:

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

Many choose Luzern for the first visit, but you seem focused on the Bernese Oberland:

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

Slowpoke

Lucas
Lucas
3339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 22, 2017 - 9:53 AM in reply to Inessousa

Hi Ines and welcome to MySwissAlps!

We're glad you're finding this website useful!

As Slowpoke mentioned it is a little hard to comment on where to go as we don't know what you want to see and do.

For most of the areas you seem interested in visiting I would base myself in Interlaken, Grindelwald or Wengen. Take a look at their information pages for more details on what you can see and do in the area.

With what you have planned during your relatively short stay I wouldn't worry about missing some areas (you can't do it all!). If mountains and hiking is what you are after you have chosen some of the best areas!

For more details on how to buy the Swiss Travel Pass click here

Regards,
Lucas

Last modified on Jan 22, 2017 - 6:08 PM by Arno
Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2017 - 12:57 PM

First of all, thank you so much for getting back at me - yesterday I was working all day, and I had no chance to answer back. It's my first time planning a trip like this, on an unknown terrain/weatherwise by myself. I have no problem traveling on my own - had my share on europe cities all around, but it's time to move out of my confort zone :)

I'm prepared for the cold and snow (at least mentally I am!) - and I've been checking the map link you shared (and those timetables help a lot), I'm guessing not all hiking paths are open due to the snow, although I wouldn't adventure alone in the middle of forest terrain (not yet I guess).

This time I won't go for snowboarding (sigh) I would like to just walk around and enjoy the views, taking pictures (one of my passions) and getting a feeling of what mountain life would be, even for a short period. I'm not really used to snow or walking on it (in my country it's really rare) but I've been in czech republic for one year and I survived so...let's do this! I am now very inclined to make my base in Wengen (although I'm not finding that much hostels - I'll stay in a hotel then). From Wengen to Lauterbrunnen it would be 20min by train if I want to go to the other side of the slope (Murren Gimmelwald and Schilthorn) and being at Wengen, I'm closer to getting at First and Mannlichen (through Grindelwald Kleine Scheidegg). So the day I arrive to Interlaken, I plan to getting there early, I can walk around a bit and then go up, check in in Wengen and then go up to Grindelwald take the cable car to Kleine Scheidegg and First (is the First Cliff walk Tissot open at this date?) then go to Mannlichen and come down (I just don't know which part is possible to walk down due to snow or steepness - im used to run and walk a lot, but still).

On the other day, waking up fresh and rested I'd go to Lauterbrunnen Murren Gimmelwald and Schilthorn, what do you think? I'd like to see the Bachalp lake and Brienz, I don't know if or where do I input those ones on the itinerary :p

On the third day I'd pack and go to Bern through Luzern, spend some hours there and maybe go to Mt Pilatus (even with the backpack i know) and at the end of the day I'd arrive in Bern, meeting my friend, which will alow me to rest and being guided on saturday through the city.

So for now, it looks something like this:

Day 1: Arrival at Geneve Airport at 9am. Going by train to La Tour de Peilz through Geneve and Lausanne (hopping down in each one to walk around 2 hours each).

Day 2: Wake up early and go to Rochers de Naye, come down and go to Montreux and Challet du Chillon. Walk till La Tour and visit Vevey. My friend told me it's possible to try snowshoeing close to her place - if possible, I'm gonna do that :)

Day 3. Early bird goes by Golden Pass to Interlaken and walk by the lakes. Check in in Wengen. Goes to Grindelwald, Kleine Scheidegg and First. Mannlichen and then back down. (Hardi Kulm?)

Day 4: Other side of the slope, Lauterbrunnen Murren Gimmelwald Schilthorn. Brienz? Back to Wengen

Day 5: Check out and go to Luzerne, sightseeing and go to Mt Pilatus. Go to Bern and meet my friend at the end of the day

Day 6:Sightseeing in Bern (i'm trusting vitor for this day to show me around)

Day 7: Hop on a bus to Lyon and spend the night there

Day 8:Getting my flight back home.

Am I wasting too much time at some place or am I rushing aorund too many places that I'll stress out? I prefer to do things peacefully so if I have to filter, for my sanity cause, I will..

Also, if it's rainy/cloudy can you suggest alternatives at low altitudes? I'm not planning hard hikes (1-2.5 hours (straight,by day I can walk 4-5hours depending on the terrain/weather) is okay if the path is not super isolated or steep).

As I'll have the Swiss Travel Pass, I'm hoping it covers almost all the trips up and down, from tuesday to saturday

Thank you guys for being so helpful!

Last modified on Jan 23, 2017 - 1:36 PM by Inessousa
Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2017 - 1:01 PM

Ahah and jetlag won't be a problem, it is not that much of a difference. The altitude might make an impact, but I'll adjust. :)

Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 24, 2017 - 12:58 PM

Also (sorry for so many questions) is there any inconvenience at buying the swiss travel pass as soon as i get to geneve or is more advisable to take care of that online? thanks!

Lucas
Lucas
3339 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 24, 2017 - 4:12 PM in reply to Inessousa

Hi Ines,

You can certainly buy it at rail stations in Switzerland. It is just much more convenient usually to buy online and ship it to yourself or often just email and print at home. This saves you the time and hassle of going to the train station office and lining up - you just head straight for the train you want right away.

Click here for how to buy the Swiss Travel Pass online if you choose.

Lucas

Last modified on Jan 24, 2017 - 4:12 PM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3735 posts
expert
Jan 24, 2017 - 4:15 PM in reply to Inessousa

Days 3 and 4 are quite full, but once you are there you can be flexible. You almost surely won't do all of the things that you list.

Use the timetable to sort out travel schedules, and the map to sort out direction/order of travel, as i linked them above.

If you actually plan the day using the timetable and maps, you can figure out how much you can do. The cableways trend not to run very late in the day. Keep your eyes open for "last train down."

By the way, I'm sure that you know that sunset will be at about 1830.

dateandtime.info/citys unrisesunset.php?id=2660253&month=2&yea r=2017

Slowpoke

darrell
darrell
38 posts
active member
Jan 24, 2017 - 10:22 PM

How about a web site called Rome2Rio ? For good fast results for travel times /maps/ via(with approx cost) train/bus/taxi/boat/car/walk/ air/ lifts with maps air times for beginning trip research . able to rule things in or out of your plans! Just rechecked site as I used it to check for fast info as we just spent 2 weeks in mid June using Lauterbrunnen as base--arriving in Zurich using all forms of transportation and once in Lucerne using our Regional Bernese Oberland Pass which includes a huge area with 50 % discount up to the Schilthorn (pay for this at Murren station if you want to go-- first car up is the cheapest) sadly the regional pass is only sold 4 or more days.

I looked up approx time (all times for trains and lifts) Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen 22 min (Oh yes frequency of this transport is offered and much more) lauterbrunnen blm lift and train to Murren BLM 20min min every 20 min Walk 5 mins or so Murren Schilthorn Cable Car to Pia Gloria 17 min 1 way

Murren cable car Gimmelwald 5 min

Gimmelwald cable car to Stechelberg 5 min

Lauterbrunnen BLM from Stechelburg is via Bus that takes 13 min- Then on to Wengen 14 min q10 minI guess you get the jist of this site --sorry for my problems with typing!!

I love My Swiss Alps and read it every day!!!! Darrell

Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 27, 2017 - 1:10 AM

Thank you! I finally managed to sit down for a couple of hours to write down and plan - your links are being super helpful and im trying to filter down to main goals for the day and adapt according to weather/effort. I actually changed my base to Lauterbrunnen and switched the order of day 3 and 4.

On day 3 I will leave montreux around 6am and arrive in Lauterbrunnen around 9h30-10am. Checking in and relax I'll go up via Grutschalp to Murren (getting out and visit) a and Schilthorn. Come down via Stechelberg. Walk around and relax and rest

Day 4 will be going to Wengen and visit and then up to Mannlichen - and Royal Walk. Breathe :) Then coming down through Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald. I read somewhere and I think Slowpoke stated above that hike route is closed - is it permanent or just due to weather conditions? Do you think till the last week of February something will change?

Planned as well from Grindelwald going to First. Hopefully First cliff walk is open - there's nothing on their site that suggest the contrary.

On Friday I'll check out and go to Luzern. What is the best way to go there? I tried to put it on the site that helped me through all this timetables and planning but couldn't. From what I understood, it would better to head to Luzern or Krienz and then Pilatus. I will only head to Bern at the end of the day.

I'll buy the Swiss Travel Pass online and print it at home - and take some copies - maybe print it in some more resistent paper. Again there is no words for this amazing website and you guys (and girls). Even the planning for this is being an adventure :) Can't wait!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3735 posts
expert
Jan 27, 2017 - 1:18 AM in reply to Inessousa

<<"I read somewhere and I think Slowpoke stated above that hike route is closed - is it permanent or just due to weather conditions? Do you think till the last week of February something will change?">>

I was incorrect , because of confusion about dates.

In February, the Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg walk is likely to be open. The trail will be groomed for hiking. Later in the year, as snow conditions deteriorate, it will not be open, pending near complete snow melt in early to mid-June.

Slowpoke

Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 27, 2017 - 1:24 AM

Okay, so that are great news, I will definitely do that walking if it's open!

Arno
Arno
9614 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 27, 2017 - 9:28 AM in reply to Inessousa

Hi Inês,

How to reach Mount Pilatus is explained here. As you will be traveling in February there is indeed only one route up and down, which is the cableway via Kriens.

The Swiss Travel Pass can indeed be printed at home. All options are listed here. Be sure to order about a week before your trip as it takes 1 to 3 business days to receive the pass through e-mail. I'd recommend www.swissrailways.com/ en but as you can see there are other options as well. You need to print it on regular printing paper to avoid issues scanning the code, but you can print copies and also keep a digital copy wherever you like. Only the printed version is valid for traveling though.

Have fun!

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
Jan 28, 2017 - 5:27 AM in reply to Inessousa

>> itinerary for my next trip, 20-26 February ... Planned as well from Grindelwald going to First. Hopefully First cliff walk is open - there's nothing on their site that suggest the contrary.

Yes, it's open in February. There is conflicting information on the English and German Jungfrau Region pages, but both indicate it will be open in February. The German page refers to dates in 2017, so I assume this is the most up-to-date information.

English page

www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/grindelwaldfirst/fi rst-cliff-walk-by-tissot/

This says it is open from the beginning of December till the end of March.

German page

www.jungfrau.ch/de-ch/grindelwaldfirst/fi rst-cliff-walk-by-tissot/

This says it is open until 17. April 2017

I did this walk in December 2016, and it was great fun. For anyone who is wondering, it is a very easy walk (assuming you don't have a problem with heights). It takes 5-10 minutes and there are no stairs. There is a slight incline at the beginning, but the rest of the walk is level. You can return the same way.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jan 28, 2017 - 5:27 AM by Alpenrose666
Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2017 - 11:53 PM

Thanks Slowpoke, Arno and AlpenRose666 :) (And Lucas and darrell)

I was wondering, being winter, which easy hikes/walks beside the Royal walk and the Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg, it would be interesting to do? Honestly, these past days reading so much about everything kind of overwhelmed me with information..so maybe you can give me some tips.

And if the weather doesn't help I should stay around Lauterbrunnen, Murren and Wengen and low altitudes right? Lakes at low altitudes are frozen? (sorry by the ignorance..it doesnt snow at all in portugal...besides one mountain which closes when it finally snows...go figure)

Arno
Arno
9614 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 30, 2017 - 1:49 PM in reply to Inessousa

Hi Inês,

The two lakes around Interlaken are too big to be frozen. Another nice walk would be Grütschalp to Mürren. The local tourist office will have more suggestions, taking the weather and trail conditions into account.

darrell
darrell
38 posts
active member
Jan 31, 2017 - 12:07 AM in reply to Inessousa

Murren has a nice TI(tourist office) and can advise you as to which trails they would recommend and it's conditions--Good signage in Murren to find the places you would like explore! My family voted and decided the walk from Grutschalp to Murren may be too flat and views to the valley are obstructed--spend a little time walking around and exploring this sweet village if possible. As you walk from Murren Train Station for a minute or 2 look for TI sign --TI will be to the right up a slight hill on the right! We had been planning to hike down from Birg to Murren but a snow storm in early June not a big one was enough for the TI to advise against it.Disappointed but so many more choices! Just remember to check the last trips of the day that the various forms of Transportation have!

Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Jan 31, 2017 - 12:27 PM

thanks for the input - i guess planning just goes till some point, the decision will always be upon weather and tourist info advise. Do you know if lauterbrunnen has a TI as well?

darrell
darrell
38 posts
active member
Jan 31, 2017 - 6:14 PM in reply to Inessousa

Yes it certainly does check out the hours --limited hours during summer anyway on weekends---TI up the hill from train station on right--never seemed to be open when we were around to use it--Wengen also has a TI--most places do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will be amazed how easy it is to get around and how friendly with information everyone is!!!

Inessousa
Inessousa
12 posts
new member
Feb 15, 2017 - 5:59 PM

Hello there again :) After two weeks of searching, maps and routes, and forums etc I almost have the final draft for my trip that starts next Monday (where did the time go). I already have my Swiss Travel Pass - only need to print it now.

I'm just gonna put it out here, I know some days are pretty full but I have the advantage of traveling alone which makes change of plans much more easier, due to weather or being just tired.

I'm gonna arrive in Geneve's airport around 9h40am on Monday and as far as I read, it will take me 6min to get to the city center by train, so I will stay the rest of the morning in Geneve, walking around. After lunch I will head to Vevey and walk around the lakeside all the way to La Tour de Peilz, getting to know these two places - in the evening I will finally meet my friend.

On Tuesday I will get to Montreux and Rochers de Naye early in the morning, and spend the morning there. After lunch I will come down and visit Chalet du Chillon and get back to La Tour in the evening.

Day 3 I will leave La Tour de Peilz and head to Interlaken which will take me around 3hours (probably less, but let's keep it wide). If I can I will walk around Interlaken a bit and go to Lauterbrunnen where I can check in in Valley's Hostel. I intend to get there around 13h as im not sure if would it be suitable to go up to Schilthorn that late (up via grutschalp and down via Stechelberg) - I guess it will depend on the weather mostly. If not I will get to know Murren and that side. As you warned me I'm focused on getting down sunset time (still working on discovering the last call for getting back)

Day 4 it will be for going to Wengen and up to Mannlichen and Royal walk. I talked with a friend and he said it's okay (if i start early) to do that and then come down to grindenwald and go to First.

Day 5 I will check out the hostel and leave to Luzern. I want to visit one of the mountains around (Pilatus Rigi or Titlis), preferably the latest as its included on the swiss travel pass - but I guess, again, the weather will dictate my choice - as I don't have mountains like these here I am not going to be tired of those views, guaranteed. I know Titlis will take me more time than the others though - the only time limit I have is I have to be in Bern around 8pm.

Day 6, saturday, I will be with another friend of mine in Bern, till Sunday afternoon - I'll get on a bus to Lyon and from there flight back to Portugal on Monday.

The day I am more reticent it is day 5. I want to walk around Luzern a little bit but I would like to see one of the mountains I told you above - but is it feasible?

I also intend to talk with the hostel team to advise me as it would be safe or wise to execute my plans the next day - I hope they are friendly :p

I'm finger crossing for reasonable good weather, I know it will be cold and a lot of snow - but hopefully one or two days could be clear, if not, hopefully I can walk around the lakes at lower altitudes.

Again, thank you for everything :)

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