Help with planning our first trip to Switzerland

Help with planning our first trip to Switzerland

Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 14
This thread is closed. You are welcome to log in and submit a new thread.
shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 2, 2017 - 9:09 AM

Hi ,

We are a family of 3 with my son being 12 years old. We are planning to visit Switzerland in Mid May for a period of 10-12 days.

Would it be a good time to visit the Bernese Oberland region, Lucerne , Valais and South -West Switzerland? Request your help in deciding on a tentative itinerary with suggested bases. Would it be difficult to cover all the mentioned places in 10 full days?

Would it make sense to fly in and out of Zurich or take the flight back to India from an alternate destination ?

Thanks in advance .

Shilpa

Lucas
Lucas
7106 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 2, 2017 - 1:37 PM in reply to shilotam

Hi Shilotam! Welcome to MySwissAlps!

Switzerland has something to offer everyone all year-round depending on what you want to do!

10-12 days is enough time to see a lot of Switzerland but again it depends on what you are looking to do and see. For flying in and out of Switzerland I would look at Zurich, Geneva or even Milan, Italy as good airports that are easily accessible and with a lot of connections to get you were you want to go. It all depends on your final itinerary end-date as to which one to choose.

If I can suggest, you should start at our pages on trip planning, and what to do in Switzerland to help you get started. Then post back with more details and myself or another forum member can further assist you.

Cheers!
Lucas

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4705 posts
expert
Jan 4, 2017 - 2:22 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas-

May is not so great near the Jungfrau...still winter, pretty much.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 4, 2017 - 2:23 AM by Slowpoke
shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 4, 2017 - 5:58 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi,

The latest we could manage is about the 25 th of May . We have never seen or experience snow fall and my son is very keen on doing that. Would it not be possible to visit Jungfrau around that time in May.

thanks

Shilpa

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4705 posts
expert
Jan 4, 2017 - 8:25 AM in reply to shilotam

Hi Shilpa -

The Jungfraujoch is open all year and there will surely be snow there in May. The cograil runs all year, every day.

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

This map shows the cograil train line and various kinds of cableways:

map.search.ch/?poi=bergbahn,haltestel le,zug&pos=639040,1594 80&z=32&poi_id=404ac4e d58e523b95822-bus

You can turn of the transport overlays in the menu under Points of Interest.

The higher altitude trails will generally be blocked by snow, but the snow in general will not be of good quality for skiing. So, some hotels and tourist services will be closed from sometime in late March or April until mid to late June. They will open at various times, or, sometimes in weekends, some starting in May. Some hotels do not close for "low" season.

For example - the cableway from Wengen to Männlichen will be closed in early May, but open starting on May 20th. Use the timetable and check various dates. That particular service runs from Wengen Wengiboden up to Männlichen LWM station. I think your son would enjoy that...see attached images.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Usually, the very nice trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg is groomed for hiking when the snow is heavy in the Winter months, but not as the weather warms up, and then it tends to be cleared for walking starting in early to mid-June.

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

Other trails at lower altitudes will be open -- almost surely on the valley floor near Lauterbrunnen.:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

A particular hotel that I like in Wengen will only open on June 8th.

My grandson and I were up there at Männlichen on June 15 in 2015. The trail was open, but there was lots of snow still left on the ground. The trail was open or closed on different days at the beginning of the season, because the snow could slide down the hillsides and block the trail in some places. And, at that time, there were thick clouds which only opened up for very short intervals.

The clouds are the issue ...if you only go for a short stay in the late May to early June period, less so as July and August come along, the clouds may block all views for a day or so before they clear out. You will still be able to find snow. You may not see it falling. The weather can change very quickly...good in the AM and cloudy in the PM, or vice versa. Weather forecasts are not reliable more than day or so in advance in the high Alps. Plan on being in the area for more than one day to improve your chances for good visibility.

If you stay at Interlaken, you have good train connections to the rest of Switzerland as well as to the Jungfrau. Interlaken is not much of a tourist destination in its own right, but it is a good transportation hub.

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 5, 2017 - 7:08 AM

Thank you Slowpoke and Lucas for your detailed inputs. Will make a tentative plan and get back to you for further advise.

Really appreciate the time and effort you put in to helping us.

regards

Shilpa

shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 6, 2017 - 12:26 PM

Hi ,

This website is a godsend for a person like myself who had absolutely no idea about travel to Switzerland. My heartfelt thanks to all the contributors painstakingly helping us novices.

After a bit of research have formed a tentative itinerary as follows . Appreciate feedback and suggestions to make it better.

We plan on arriving in Geneva around 17-18 May.

Day 1 - arrive in Geneva and check into hotel at Vevey.

cover a little bit Montreux, Rochers de Naye and Chateau de Chillon .

Day 2 - do the Gruyeres Cheese factory , Chocolate factory and the Gruyeres Chateau

Day 3 - need help in deciding between Zermatt and Matterhorn or Gornergrat .

Would the Matterhorn Glacier paradise be a good idea at this time of the year?

Day 4 -Day 8 in the Bernese Oberland region

Leave early by the Golden pass train to Lauterbrunnen . Would Lauterbrunnen be conducive to staying in late May?

Activities planned for the area .Need advise on feasibility in late May and the best way to do the following:

Walk in the Lauterbrunnen valley

Panaromic walk from Grutschalp to Murren

Jungfraujoch .

First Bachalpsee

Cableway from Wengen to Mannlichen

Lake Brienz cruise alongwith the Ballenberg Museum.

Trummelbach and Staubbach falls

Could we skip the Cogwheel train to Schynige Platte as we are going to Jungfraujoch.

I am also very keen on taking the Glacier express. Which is the best way to do it ? We could extend our stay in this area by a day if necessary.

Day 9 - leave early for Lucerne.

Day 10 -take the flight from Zurich back home.

Thanks in advance

Shilpa

Arno
Arno
10744 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2017 - 9:47 AM

Hi Shilpa,

I'm glad you like MySwissAlps! Here's my feedback:

Day 1 - You will need arrive really early to do all that on day 1. Note that Vevey is one hour from Geneva, then you need to check into your hotel (or store your luggage in the lockers at the station), and take a train to Montreux for the excursions.

Day 3 - The Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn pages will help you decide. Both are wonderful if the sky is clear. I like Gornergrat slightly better.

Day 4-8: Lauterbrunnen will be fine. Perhaps a bit quiet as it's in between tourist seasons, but it's a wonderful place and logistically convenient for your plans. Because of the season most, but not all of your plans will be possible. Schynige Platte trains only operate from May 27. The Bachalpsee hike might not be accessible too.

In all, I think it's a good itinerary if you are prepared to be flexible (check the weather each day and plan based on that).

shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Thanks Arno.

Request clarity on the following points:

1.Would picking a base in Montreux work out better logistically compared to Vevey?

2.If the Bachalpsee hike is not accessible , does that rule out the Adventure pack at Grindelwald first?

3.My son is keen on indulging in some snow activities. Would the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise be open. I've heard that it is better than the Snow Park in Jungfraujoch. Is that so?

4.What would be best possible way to fit in a trip on the Glacier express?

regards

Shilpa

Arno
Arno
10744 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:31 AM in reply to shilotam

Hi Shilpa,

1. Yes, that would save you time. Hotels in Montreux are listed here: myswissalps.com/ montreux/ hotels.

2. Usually if the gondola up to First operates the zipline operates as well (weather provided). You can check the timetable Slowpoke mentioned for gondola schedules. You can enter "First (Grindelwald)" as your destination. Mid May should work.

3. The Glacier Paradise is open all year round except around November (see the timetable, and also the local timetable for that site which is linked from our page). Whether it's better than Jungfraujoch for snow activities I can't say. You can have a look at the Jungfraujoch page to compare. I'd recommend to go for the snow activities as soon as the weather is fine, regardless of where you are.

4. You can find the full route and shorter versions from various towns on the Glacier Express page.

Last modified on Jan 7, 2017 - 11:32 AM by Arno
shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 7, 2017 - 11:38 AM

Thanks Arno. Appreciate the quick response.

I did go through the Glacier Express page. I thought we should do it on one of our days in the Bernese Oberland rather than from Montreux or Vevey. Is that correct?

regards

Shilpa

Arno
Arno
10744 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 7, 2017 - 12:10 PM in reply to shilotam

Hi Shilpa,

Yes, I also think that would be best. It's doable from Interlaken but it will be a very long day.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4705 posts
expert
Jan 7, 2017 - 2:54 PM in reply to shilotam

Hi Shilpa-

You are wise to allow several days in theBernese Oberland. Better chance of clear weather to go up to the Jungfrau.

<<"Cableway from Wengen to Mannlichen Lake Brienz cruise alongwith the Ballenberg Museum.">>

The cableway from Wengen ( Wegiboden) starts service on May 24th.

Check the timetable for the Lake Brienz cruise. I did a quick check and there is service in late May.

Snow may prevent the hike from First to Bachalpsee while you are there. Check the timetable for Grindelwald to First cableway operation on your preferred day(s). Ask your hotel or the tourist office whether the trail is open.

If you take the Glacier Express while staying in the Bernese Oberland, you might want to consider skipping the leg from Visp to Zermatt. Pick it up at Visp or Brig. It would save time on a long journey, and the other parts are more scenic, in my opinion.

Slowpoke

shilotam
shilotam
15 posts
new member
Jan 9, 2017 - 6:04 AM

Thank you Arno and Slowpoke for your inputs. You have been most helpful.

regards

Shilpa

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They will book your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2018