Lucerne as base for mountain excursions and hiking

Lucerne as base for mountain excursions and hiking

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 20. This thread is closed.
sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Sep 21, 2017 - 11:59 PM

Hi everyone

I am in the planning stage of trip to Switzerland with my wife in second week of November arriving somewhere around 13-14th November from Italy via Bernina express for 8 days.

My main places of interests in Switzerland is the Alps and knowing that November is the month of maintenance I need some help with arranging my iternary as follows.

I want to keep two base for 8 days trip so 4 days at one place.

Day 1 - arrive from Italy to St. Moritz or chur via Bernina express and proceed to Lucerne.

Day 2 - Jungfrau region trip from Lucerne

Day 3 - Mt. Titlis day trip from Lucerne

Day 4 - Travel from Lucerne to Zermatt or saas fee for Matterhorn.

1. Is going to Zermatt or saas fee a good decision during mid November or shift my base to Interlaken and do Matterhorn trip from Lucerne itself?

2. We also want to go for some easy hiking paths so is it possible around Zermatt or saas fee in November or Interlaken / Lucerne will be better option?

I am aware that Mt. Titlis is closed from 6-17th November so I can cover that in second leg of my journey.

3. Also Can please somebody suggest me things to do in remaining 4 days and places which couples can spend some time relaxing with good views in or around Alps as I want to avoid cities as far as possible.

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 22, 2017 - 7:45 AM in reply to sopan89

Hi Sopan89 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

If your focus is on mountain experiences I would choose two bases between Lauterbrunnen or Wengen (instead of Interlaken) and Zermatt or Lucerne.

If you want to do Mt. Titlis you can from Lauterbrunnen or Wengen on a day trip. There are also several mountains closer that may interest you as well.

November is not a good month for hiking as you will find a lot of trails closed due to snow conditions, but some will still be going at lower elevations and/or snowshoeing may be an option as well.

For ideas of things to do around those towns click on the following links:

Lucerne
Lauterbrunnen / Wengen
Zermatt / Saas Fee

Last modified on Sep 22, 2017 - 7:46 AM by Lucas
sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Sep 22, 2017 - 8:49 AM in reply to Lucas

Hello Lucas

First of all thanks for the reply and suggestions.

I checked out wengen and it does look good for the base so I can go for wengen and zermatt.

I am still looking for things to do after my mountain excursions and some suggestions on places for couples as I will be having 2-3 days of free time

Marki
Marki
73 posts
active member
Sep 22, 2017 - 11:14 AM

You might enjoy boat ride from Interlaken to Brienz then train back to Wengen. A walk down Lauterbrunnen valley toward Stechelberg is flat and relatively low so may be open. It is beautiful. I think Wengen is a good choice of base as it is very scenic. Mark

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Sep 22, 2017 - 6:44 PM in reply to Marki

Hi Mark

Thanks for the suggestion wengen looks like a good base because of varied options available even during month of November and also paragliding is available around lauterburnnen so it's perfect for few days stay.

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 4, 2017 - 1:40 PM

Hi everyone

So thanks to my job profile my arrival in Switzerland has been shifted to 9th October 2017 from 9 days

Currently I am making bookings and I am also getting a Swiss rail pass.

I have decided to stay Lucerne 4 days, saas fee 3 days and Zurich 2 days. I am posting my iternary below please help me with my queries at the end of iternary

Day 1: Arrive Zurich in evening and take rest.

Day 2: Take a trip to Rhine falls

Day 3: Explore Zurich city, Zurich zoo and other city attractions and evening transfer to Lucerne.

Day 4: Explore the town and go for river cruise and some hiking nearby.

Day 5: Take a train from Lucerne to engelberg for Mt. Titlis trip

Day 6: Take a train from Lucerne to lauterburnnen for jungfrau trip

Day 7: Take a train to saas fee and go for some hiking and rest

Day 8: Take a train to chur and do Bernina express trip up to lugano.Take a train back from lugano to saas fee

Day 9: Trip to see Matterhorn glacier and take a train from saas fee to Zurich airport.

1. Is this iternary tiring or can be done easily?

2. Is it advisable to take train directly from saas fee to Zurich airport?

3. Please advise if I can add some places worth visit during my transfers or train from lucerne to lauterburnnen, engelberg and lugano to saas fee.

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 4, 2017 - 2:39 PM in reply to sopan89

Hi sopan89,

Be sure to use the Swiss railways timetable to plan out your trips and decide if they are too tiring for you or not.

Day 5: you have time to explore the area before or after Mt. Titlis. Perhaps another mountain visit if you want. Or The Swiss Transport Museum is quite popular. For these and other suggestions take a look here.

Day 6: Lucerne to Jungfraujoch is 4 hours by train each way - too long for me personally I think....but doable if you want to.

Day 8: Saas-Fee to Chur is about 5 hours one way, plus 4 hours on the Bernina Express train to Tirano. Then unfortunately the bus to Lugano from Tirano only departs at 14:20, so this would make it impossible to do day unless you overnight in Chur the day before.

2. You can take a train from Saas-fee to the airport certainly. Make sure it will get you to the airport in time for your flight (it is about 3.5 hours on the train).

Cheers!

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 4, 2017 - 3:53 PM

Hi Lucas

Thanks for the quick response I will have a look again as per your suggestion and finalise my bookings accordingly. Thank you

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Oct 5, 2017 - 1:44 AM in reply to sopan89

>> transfer to Lucerne ... Day 4: Explore the town and go for river cruise and some hiking nearby.

Cruises are on the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne).

>> Day 6: Take a train from Lucerne to lauterburnnen for jungfrau trip

Starting from Lauterbrunnen is one option, and you could return via Grindelwald. The other option is to go up via Grindelwald and return via Wengen/Lauterbrunnen. If you take the second option, I would recommend getting off in Wengen on the way down and going to the lookout for a beautiful view over the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

The lookout is about a 5-10-minute walk from Wengen station. Here are the directions:

From the station, head left up the main street lined with shops and hotels (Dorfstrasse), past the Hotel Silberhorn on the right, Männlichen cable car on the right, Hotel Bernerhof on the left, and uphill a bit past the Hotel Schönegg on the right and a chemist on the left. At the top of the hill, you will see a path on the left leading to the Swiss Protestant Church, where there is a lookout and seats. I have attached a map and a photo of the view.

>> Day 7: Take a train to saas fee and go for some hiking and rest

You can't get a train to Saas-Fee, only a PostBus (free with Swiss Travel Pass). You get the train to Brig or Visp and transfer to the Saas-Fee bus there.

If you would like to know what this bus trip is like, you could read my trip report under the heading Meiringen to Saas-Fee on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-late-august-to-mid-october-2016

I have also written trip reports about Saas-Fee and some mountain visits I did while there, if you are interested:

Saas-Fee

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/saas-fee-in-mid-september-2016

Mittelallalin

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/saas-fee-mittelallalin

Hannigalp

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/saas-fee-hannigalp

There is more information about Saas-Fee here:

www.myswissalps.com/sa asfee

>> 2. Is it advisable to take train directly from saas fee to Zurich airport?

When you arrive in Saas-Fee, ask at the PostBus ticket office (in the bus terminal) whether you need a reservation for the bus back to Visp on your day of departure. Reservations for the trip back to Visp used to be compulsory a few years ago, but I think they have increased the frequency of services since then, so reservations are probably no longer needed. When I was there in September last year, they said I didn't need one. However, as you have a flight to catch, I would recommend checking to be sure you can catch your preferred bus.

>> 3. Please advise if I can add some places worth visit during my transfers ... lugano to saas fee.

I have a suggestion for a scenic route (but not for stopovers, as it is a very long trip on its own). If you can find a departure time that suits you, a nice way of travelling from Lugano to Saas-Fee is on the Centovalli scenic railway and then by PostBus over the Simplon Pass.

The route is:

  • Train Lugano to Locarno (change at Giubiasco)
  • Train Locarno to Domodossola (Centovalli Express scenic route)
  • PostBus Domodossola to Brig over the Simplon Pass
  • PostBus Brig to Saas-Fee

It would take 1 to 1.5 hours longer than the default/fastest route suggested by the Swiss Timetable.

To get this scenic route in the timetable, put "From Lugano" "To Saas-Fee" "Via Simplon Dorf". Avoid any connections that involve a change from the bus to the car train at Iselle, Stazione/Iselle di Trasquera.

If you are interested, you can read a report about my trip along this route (in the opposite direction) under the heading Saas-Fee to Locarno on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-late-august-to-mid-october-2016

Alpenrose

Last modified on Oct 5, 2017 - 1:47 AM by Alpenrose666
Please login to see the attached documents
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Oct 5, 2017 - 2:13 AM in reply to sopan89

If you haven't settled on any accommodation in Saas-Fee yet, I can highly recommend the Saas-Fee Youth Hostel, which offers private rooms with ensuite in addition to traditional hostel accommodation. In the private rooms, linen, towels and soap/shower gel are supplied.

It is situated adjacent to the bus terminal and is just a short walk from the gondola stations for the Mittelallalin and Hannigalp gondolas, as well as the village centre with shops and restaurants.

There is a daily surcharge of CHF 7 for non-members.

www.youthhostel.ch/en/ hostels/saas-fee

I have attached some photos I took when I stayed there in September last year. My room had a wonderful view over the mountains and glaciers!

Alpenrose

Please login to see the attached documents
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Oct 5, 2017 - 2:16 AM in reply to sopan89

Here are some more photos of Saas-Fee Youth Hostel, mainly of my room.

Alpenrose

Please login to see the attached documents
sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 5, 2017 - 5:23 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose666

Thanks a lot for taking out time to reply to my query. I will certainly like to add suggestions given by you in my iternary. I am making bookings now so once finalised I will post the iternary here.

As for the accommodation in saas fee as we are a couple I am looking for a serviced apartment and have shortlisted a few so will finalise them today.

I did see the pictures of youth hostel and it really looks good.

Thank you again

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Oct 5, 2017 - 10:09 AM in reply to sopan89

>> As for the accommodation in saas fee as we are a couple I am looking for a serviced apartment and have shortlisted a few so will finalise them today.

Most, but not all, accommodation providers in Saas-Fee provide the free Bürgerpass/Citizens' Pass. If you are planning on using the mountain transport in Saas-Fee, the pass will save you a lot of money. So if this is important to you, find out whether your preferred accommodation provider participates in the Bürgerpass arrangement before you book.

www.saas-fee.ch/en/citizens-pass/

Alpenrose

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 5, 2017 - 2:26 PM

Hi Alpenrose666 thank you for the information I checked with the hotels but then decided to stay in Zermatt for easier travel to Matterhorn.

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 5, 2017 - 2:35 PM

Hi all

Finished with the bookings and here is the iternary.

Day 1: Arrive Zurich and stay in hotel for one night near airport visiting Zurich attractions.

Day 2: Transfer to chur and booked one night hotel in chur for return trip in bernina express. Leave with Bernina express in morning and return back by evening Bernina. Night stay in chur.

Day 3: Chur to Zermatt by glacier express and rest.

Day 4: visit to Klein matterhorn

Day 5: Transfer from Zermatt to lauterburnnen and go for lakes visits

Day 6: visit to jungfrau

Day 7: visit nearby other mountains

Day 8: Transfer to weggis and visit Mt. Rigi or Mt. Titlis

Day 9: Transfer to Zurich airport and fly back.

Swiss rail pass is already booked, hotels and flights also are booked.

Will be glad if someone can review the iternary and see if something more can be added on any of the days.

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 5, 2017 - 3:40 PM in reply to sopan89

Looks great to me!

Try and be flexible when planning on visiting mountains - if the weather looks poor it often isn't worth the time and expense of going up. Most if not all mountains have live webcams to view in the morning so you get an idea of the weather.

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 6, 2017 - 3:44 AM in reply to Lucas

Hello Lucas

Thank you for a feedback on my iternary.

As you said I have kept a spare day at each mountain resort to keep it flexible in case of weather change.

I want to know is advance reservation needed for jungfrau, Klein matterhorn and Mt. Titlis or tickets can be bought directly from the window?

If for window tickets do they accept cards or only cash if you have an idea about that.

Thanks in advance

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1231 posts
top member
Oct 6, 2017 - 4:47 AM in reply to sopan89

>> I want to know is advance reservation needed for jungfrau, Klein matterhorn and Mt. Titlis or tickets can be bought directly from the window? If for window tickets do they accept cards.

Reservations are not needed. You can buy your ticket from the ticket window before boarding, and credit cards are accepted.

Alpenrose

sopan89
sopan89
11 posts
new member
Oct 7, 2017 - 4:33 PM

Thank you guys for the help and suggestions.

I just have one more query regarding Swiss travel pass I already have the print outs with me of Swiss travel pass but is it needed to be validated before first use?

Lucas
Lucas
3460 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 8, 2017 - 7:37 AM in reply to sopan89

No you are all set.

As long as your passport # is on the pass with your name and the start date - read all about it here.

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 2002-2017