Is our 10-day Switzerland itinerary too ambitious?

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fster734
fster734
2 posts
new member
Feb 17, 2018 - 5:22 AM

Hi All,

My wife and I are traveling to Switzerland in August (8/24 - 9/3) - flying into Zurich.

So many places to go, so many sights to see, we want to do it all but without leaving too many "base" cities to deter check ins/out. Our two bases are Lucerne and Lauterbrunnen. We will be obtaining the Swiss Rail pass for 8 days.

Please review our preliminary itinerary and let me know your thoughts, are we missing anything, are some not necessary, recommendations?

Day 1 - Land in Zurich, travel to Lucerne

Day 1-3 -

  • Lucerne/Lake Lucerne
  • Bern (Half-day trip)
  • (maybe day trip to Lake Geneva?)

Day 4 - Travel to Lauterbrunnen. Spend evening there

Day 5-8 - Staying in Lauterbrunnen. Depending on weather - we plan on seeing:

  • Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe)
  • Lauterbrunnen
  • Grindelwald
  • Interlaken
  • (Maybe a day trip to Zermatt to see Matterhorn?)

Day 9 - Travel to Zurich (spend evening there).

Day 10 - Fly out of Zurich

We really want to see Lake Geneva and Zermatt/Matterhorn, but we know with our two base cities these are both long day trips. Are these worth making time? Is one a must do?

Thanks again - Cheers!

Lucas
Lucas
9613 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 17, 2018 - 12:06 PM in reply to fster734

Hi fster734 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

There is a lot to see around Lucerne without the need to go to Bern and Lake Geneva I think. We have an activity page for Lucerne here. Bern is a nice city and perhaps worth a day trip but I'm not sure of the need for Lake Geneva after exploring Lake Lucerne.

Here are some suggestions of activities around Lauterbrunnen so you can see what you can do there as well.

Yes, certainly trips to Lake Geneva and Zermatt are long ones from either base town. If those two places are the most important for you I'd suggest moving your base towns to Montreux and Zermatt instead. Is that an option?

I think the best idea is to choose the most important sights/activities you want to see and base yourself somewhere convenient to them.

Perhaps Lauterbrunnen and Montreux? From Montreux you can visit Zermatt and Bern and of course you are on Lake Geneva.

Use the Swiss railways timetable here to plan out all train, bus, cable car and boat trips you want to make in Switzerland. That way you can see how long the trips are etc.

fster734
fster734
2 posts
new member
Feb 18, 2018 - 12:23 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Thank you for the response! Thanks for the suggestions.

If Lake Lucerne is comparable to Lake Geneva, that should suffice for us, Im sure we will be back. Additionally, I hadn't thought of Montreux as a base, but its closer proximity is making me reconsider.

As for the Matterhorn, that is more for me, I would love to see it, however we dont have much else we are aspiring to do in Zermatt.

Lauterbrunnen is definitely the main base we want to maintain. I guess its between Monteaux and Lucerne as the second. It seems either we select we will probably either neglect Lucerne or Lake Geneva unfortunately. More reason to come back I suppose!

Thank you again for the input.

Peterli
Peterli
630 posts
top member
Feb 18, 2018 - 2:38 AM

I just have to make a comment or two here. The only things that Lakes Lucerne and Geneva have in common is that they both have mountains along some of their shores, and are both filled with water. Their shapes and surrounding areas are so different in physiography, climate, economic activity, and culture. Don't get me wrong, I love them both, have stayed in Lucerne and Montreux, and have traveled on both on wonderful lake boats. You should see them both, it's as simple as that, and I am encouraged to read that you are looking for reasons to come back.

Last modified on Feb 18, 2018 - 2:50 AM by Peterli
Lucas
Lucas
9613 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 18, 2018 - 8:58 AM in reply to Peterli

Oh come now Peterli, You've seen one lake in the world you've seen them all really. ;)

Certainly both lakes are very nice and so is the the culture and sights of Montreux and Geneva - worth more than a day trip from Lucerne for sure! Another trip here is clearly needed. :)

Last modified on Feb 18, 2018 - 9:00 AM by Lucas
Lucas
Lucas
9613 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 18, 2018 - 9:04 AM in reply to fster734

Yes there is a lot to see in Switzerland and never enough time!

Lucerne and Montreux are both great bases and offer a lot to see near them.

However it seemed you didn't plan on doing much near Lucerne (Bern and Lake Geneva trips) rather than the attractions near Lucerne - hence my suggestion to not stay there. You can easily get your fill of mountain trips when you stay in Lauterbrunnen (also what Lucerne is known for) so for a change of scenery and culture look at Montreux. :)

Peterli
Peterli
630 posts
top member
Feb 19, 2018 - 4:24 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas.

<< Oh come now Peterli, You've seen one lake in the world you've seen them all really. ;) >>

Yeah, you are right. Seen one, seen them all. Of course that also applies to the Swiss mountains, eh ? 😉

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