Adjustment needed to 11 day Swiss summer itinerary

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Sharpl
Sharpl
9 posts
new member
Dec 6, 2018 - 2:44 PM

I am so stoked about our 10 day trip to Switzerland. It will be my husband, myself, and our 14 yr old daughter. We fly into Zurich on June 4th @ 2:45. Here is my tentative plan by studying this site as well as several others. I need to know what to add or days to increase in certain cities please. I am so thankful for anyone's advice. I plan on Swiss Travel Pass for us two and free pass for our daughter. Right now I am just trying to finalize locations and length so I can get hotels booked with points! I put things I do not want to miss, but will add activities (open to suggestions of course) We love nature, a little adventure, cheese and chocolate!!!!!

Tues. June 4th-fly into Zurich @2:45, train to Lucerne. Overnight Lucerne.

Wed. June 5th-Lucerne, Mt. Pilatus, ........

Thurs. June 6th-Lucerne, Hammetschwand lift, ....... Lucerne(total: 3 nights)

Fri. June 7th-Interlaken, Jungfrauoch......

Sat. June 8th-Interlaken, Gelmerbahn...... Interlaken (total: 2 nights)

Sun. June 9th-Travel to Montreux, Gruyeres side trip for chocolate and cheese tour.... Montreux

Mon. June 10th-Montreux, Chillon Castle...... Montreux (total: 2 nights)

Tues. June 11th-Travel to Zermatt, Gomegrat, Matterhorn.....

Wed. June 12th-??????????, afternoon train travel back to Zurich

Thurs. June 13th-9:40 a.m. flight home out of Zurich

What about 1 night in Grindewald or Wengen or Bern or is that a good day trip from one of the cities listed above? This website is awesome! I wish I could give you all Swiss chocolate for any advice you give!

Lucas
Lucas
9883 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 6, 2018 - 7:23 PM in reply to Sharpl

Hi Sharpl and welcome to MySwissAlps!

You've got a fair bit of moving around for your stay - it is ok but perhaps not ideal. Be sure to check train options between towns and mountains so you know how long trips will take you and if those base towns are best for your plans. www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

I'd consider doing Zermatt as a day trip from Montreux but you could also move there for the 1 night if you like. 2 nights would be best but you can't get to your flight in that case. You'll need to be closer to Zurich on the night of the 12. Probably Zurich itself or put Lucerne at the end of your trip as you can easily get direct trains to the airport from Lucerne.

Why not reverse the trip? Zermatt, Montreux, Interlaken, Lucerne? Visit Gelmerbahn on your way to Interlaken from Montreux (though it is a 3 hour trip on the way from Montreux, it is only 1 hour+ to Interlaken).

Wengen and Grindelwald can be visited on your way to Jungfraujoch on the 7th. Bern from Lucerne would be easiest. The timetable will give you the details.

By the way, be sure to buy your Swiss Travel Pass online here: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price It is more convenient to buy the Swiss Travel Pass online. It can be emailed to you and printed at home (saving you time at the airport train station and giving you a copy to print out again in case you lose your pass)

Crossofiron
Crossofiron
4 posts
new member
Dec 6, 2018 - 11:40 PM in reply to Sharpl

I have found it to be a must to spend at least one night and day in the Lauterbrunnen Valley!

Pickergal
Pickergal
71 posts
active member
Dec 7, 2018 - 2:38 AM

Hi Sharpl.

When we visited Switzerland, we stayed in 9 different towns during our 14 day stay. I know there are many people who would say that is too many cities but my husband and I each had a backpack (although it was a fairly large backpack) so we did not have a lot of luggage to cart around. We did not find the travel a nuisance at all; the train trips were all part of the experience! We wanted a taste of all the different regions. Just make sure that your route makes sense and that you are not needlessly backtracking. Make sure you do the toboggan ride at Pilatus. We loved spending the evening in Zermatt. It is a beautiful, quaint town. Have a wonderful time!

Sharpl
Sharpl
9 posts
new member
Dec 7, 2018 - 1:39 PM

Pickergal, thanks for the advice. I actually have the toboggan ride down on my list. That is exactly the type thing we would love I believe. Things like that that are unique and you will always remember. Any other advice?

Pickergal
Pickergal
71 posts
active member
Dec 7, 2018 - 2:16 PM in reply to Sharpl

Sharpl,

I am certainly not an expert on what to do in Switzerland unlike some of the other contributors on this forum like Lucas. I just know we really loved our trip and the things we did. You really have done a great job planning your trip; it covers the places we really enjoyed. We really loved the hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on our way to the Jungfraujoch. Perhaps you could incorporate that route into Friday, June 7th.

I don't know if you are just staying in hotels but we stayed at some b & b's and I knew beforehand that they had laundry facilities. We packed light, washed our clothes a few times while we were gone and took a lot of pictures with the same outfits on. LOL If you love the cheese dishes, have cheese fondue in Gruyeres and raclette in Zermatt. You can't go wrong!!! Oh, I thought of something else. Do you have any boat trips planned? Cruising Lake Lucerne is absolutely breathtaking! If you can, do the Golden Round Trip the day you go to Pilatus. Have a wonderful time!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 8, 2018 - 1:57 AM in reply to Pickergal

<<"We really loved the hike from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg on our way to the Jungfraujoch. Perhaps you could incorporate that route into Friday, June 7th. ">>

Usually not open before June 15,at the earliest.

It is critical to consider altitude when planning a Swiss trip, and high Alpine places usually don't become snow- free and wide open before late June or early July.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 8, 2018 - 2:03 AM by Slowpoke
Danielsan
Danielsan
72 posts
active member
Dec 9, 2018 - 1:57 AM in reply to Sharpl

Hello Sharpl,

Not sure when you are actually heading to Zermatt, but if you are only going to the Chillon Castle on Monday, you may want to continue on to Aigle, and go to the Glacier 3000 in the Diablerets mountains. From Aigle, take the R-train to the town of Les Diablerets, (the end of the line), and then a short 10-15 minute bus ride to the Glacier 3000 cable car. It is a bit of a hike to get there, but there is also a toboggan run up there as well. (You may need to check if the toboggan run is open). There are also views of the Matterhorn, the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau from there, as well as the Peak Walk, (a 100-meter long bridge suspended high up in the mountains). I tried to go up there, but unfortunately the last cable car went above my head as I arrived. The train ride from Aigle is beautiful, climbing up one side of the gorge with all the vineyards in the beginning, (and a gorgeous chateau) going through all the little villages on the way. I believe the last cable car was about 1600 hrs. But if you start early enough, you should be able to do it after the Chillon castle. It would make for a great day. If not, maybe consider heading on down to Zermatt then, depending on when you plan to do that. Spending a night there is something you won’t regret if it’s not in the plans already. The Gornergrat is absolutely beautiful, one of the highlights of my trip. I also echo Pickergal, in that if you get the chance to cruise Lake Lucerne, that is a stunning ride, just full of non-stop scenery. Hope this helps in some way. Enjoy your trip and your planning. This sight is fantastic, as you probably can see.

Danielsan

Pickergal
Pickergal
71 posts
active member
Dec 9, 2018 - 9:41 PM

Thank you , Slowpoke, for correcting me. We were there in September so that wasn't an issue. Sorry I was misleading you, Sharpl.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 9, 2018 - 9:56 PM in reply to Pickergal

That's the best time to visit the region, in my opinion.

Quite a few others agree, but not so many as in July or especially August, when everyone has a vacation, it seems.

Slowpoke

Pickergal
Pickergal
71 posts
active member
Dec 9, 2018 - 10:32 PM

Slowpoke, it was a perfect time for us. We would love to visit at different times of the year but we were so spoiled in September. Wonderful weather and short lines. It was fantastic!

Sharpl
Sharpl
9 posts
new member
Dec 12, 2018 - 5:17 PM in reply to Sharpl

UPDATE: I have updated my itinerary following recommendations from this forum. I have reversed our trip and added excursions. I plan to add additional activities but was more concerned about reserving our hotels first because I plan to use points. I am very open to additional suggestions and critique as I have no sense of direction whatsoever. Are these days and locations reasonable? I know this is a lot of moving around, but I fell in love with each of the cities planning this trip and want to stay in each. I am keeping our itinerary a surprise to my 14 yr old daughter and my husband so I don't want to botch the whole thing! I'm kind of iffy about the days at Lucerne???? Need more activities or add more days to the other locations??? This is only my 2nd trip overseas and my daughter and husband's first and the first trip I have planned completely myself.

Day 1, Mon. June 3rd-overnight flight

Day 2, Tues. June 4th-arrive Zurich @2:45 p.m., travel to Zermatt

Day 3, Wed. June 5th-Zermatt: excursion to Gornergrat, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, travel to Montreux

Day 4, Thurs. June 6th-Montreux: Glacier 3000 excursion, Chillon Castle

Day 5, Fri. June 7th-Montreux: cheese and chocolate tours (Gruyeres), Golden Pass Ride to Grindelwald

Day 6, Sat. June 8th-Grindelwald: Schilthorn, Jungfrau

Day 7, Sun June 9th-Grindelwald: First Walk, Gelmerbahn

Day 8, Mon. June 10th-Travel to Lucerne: Mt. Pilatus, Cliff Walk, Toboggan,

Day 9, Tues. June 11th-Lucerne: Golden Round Trip

Day 10-Wed. June 12th-Lucerne: Mt. Titlis, return to Zurich

Day 11-Thurs. June 13th-Zurich: Flight home @ 9:40 a.m.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 12, 2018 - 6:32 PM in reply to Sharpl

<<"I am very open to additional suggestions and critique as I have no

sense of direction whatsoever. Are these days and locations reasonable? I

know this is a lot of moving around, but I fell in love with each of

the cities planning this trip and want to stay in each.">>

Use this map:

map.search.ch/?pos=739456,180352&z=1

Zoom in to zoom level 32, and click on the star in the small menu.

That gives you "Points of Interest."

Click on "Trafic, and turn of all but trains. (Later, you can dd buses and mountain transport.)

You'll see the train stations, and at zoom level 32, the train lines pop up. Useful for understanding how things are connected.

<<"! I'm kind of iffy about the days at Lucerne????">>

Did you look at this?

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

and this:

www.myswissalps.com/ce ntralswitzerland

Do you like to walk or hike?

There are lots of really scenic walks and hikes in the area.

This thread describes one option, and shows what the southern end of the lake is like:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

Consider lunch at Hammetschwand.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-hammetschwand-lift

Since that was posted, the route by boat and funicular from Kehrsiten to Bürgenstock has re-opened.

A nice trip to get there, then a nice walk along the Felsenweg.

Since teenagers get tired of scenery, you are wise to include some city time for poking around and shopping.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 12, 2018 - 6:39 PM by Slowpoke
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Sharpl
Sharpl
9 posts
new member
Dec 12, 2018 - 7:19 PM in reply to Sharpl

Forgot to put in I have plans for Hammetschwand Elevator and would love any toboggan slides, etc. that a 14 yr old would love! And a 55 year old husband too!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 12, 2018 - 7:36 PM in reply to Sharpl

A toboggan ride requires snow. I don't think that there will be any at altitudes below 2500 meters or higher in mid-June.

At its summit, Pilatus is 2118 meters. If there is nothing at Pilatus, you'll have to go to Titlis for snow near Luzern.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 12, 2018 - 7:39 PM by Slowpoke
Sharpl
Sharpl
9 posts
new member
Dec 12, 2018 - 7:40 PM

Ha, I guess I should say alpine slide rather than toboggan then. I did see one in Grindelwald that I am eyeing. I don't know that anything can top the Hammetschwand Elevator from the looks of it though! It looks amazing. Slowpoke thanks for reminding me of it.

Also, the suspension bridge in Zermatt is on my list.

Last modified on Dec 12, 2018 - 7:47 PM by Sharpl
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 12, 2018 - 8:16 PM in reply to Sharpl

You will have a lot of very full days.

June will have lots of wild flowers in the meadows, but can be rainy and cloudy.

Keep an eye on weather at altitude via webcams and advice from local tourist offices. The one in Luzern main station is really helpful and well inzormed.

Slowpoke

Sharpl
Sharpl
9 posts
new member
Dec 13, 2018 - 2:30 AM

Mainly asking for advice right now on my location progression and length of stay in each city. Reasonable or need some tweaking before I book hotels? Need to lengthen or shorten the stay in any one city?

Lucas
Lucas
9883 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 13, 2018 - 9:10 AM in reply to Sharpl

Hi sharpl,

If you've planned out the trips using the timetable (my first post to you) from Swiss railways and are happy with travel times then that is ok.

For me though, day 7 is hard/impossible - to travel to the Gelmerbahn as well as go up First mountain from Grindelwald.

On day 8, I don't believe there is an official "Cliff Walk" on Pilatus - though of course there are hikes on the mountain top you can do. :)

Day 9: what is the Golden round trip you are talking about? I know there is a term for a trip to Pilatus called the Golden round trip but you are going to Pilatus on day 8 yes?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5259 posts
expert
Dec 13, 2018 - 10:50 AM in reply to Sharpl

<<"Mainly asking for advice right now on my location progression and length of stay in each city. Reasonable or need some tweaking before I book hotels? Need to lengthen or shorten the stay in any one city?">>

Hi Sharpl -

Lucas and I and many forum members have a good general sense of how long it takes to get from one place to another in Switzerland. To refine it, we use the timetable, as Lucas has pointed out in his first post to you. Our sense of how much time to take at any one specific tourist attraction is less reliable, because that depends so much on individual preferences.

So, you have been getting general advice...comments that it is not possible to do all the things listed on a particular day.

The next finer level of detail is much harder to develop.

<<"I am very open to additional suggestions and critique as I have no sense of direction whatsoever. Are these days and locations reasonable? I know this is a lot of moving around, but I fell in love with each ofthe cities planning this trip and want to stay in each.">>

I had the same dilemma when I planned a trip to the UK a couple of years ago. We cannot easily make judgements for you, at the next level of detail.

If you said "we want to visit art museums", we could say - Basel is great, Zürich and Luzern as well. But, we can't tell you how to trade off museums for scenic trains, to pick one simplistic example.

So, here are a couple of approaches to use. The simplest is to accept that you have planned too much to do, and that there are many nice things that can be accessed from almost any base. A first visit will always be a revelation. So, pick bases.

Then, do what you can from each base.

We always suggest Luzern, and then in the Summer, the Bernese Oberland. But, there are plenty of nice bases.

Decide if you want to cope with transferring bases frequently, using the timetable to judge how long it takes to go from one place to another, and the map that I linked to get a general sense of where these places are. That will tell you where you will stay and how long and in which order.

You have picked Zermatt, for your first full day - surely jet-lagged. It should be a light day. Then, Montreux, then Grindelwald, then Lucerne, then a last night in Zürich.

That is a good flow, of good bases, with a tough full first day. Each has enough to do and then some. Most would have one less base for that length of time, but you can do it if you want to. It is not unreasonable if you keep in mind that the travel between the bases is pleasant and scenic even without panoramic trains.

Then, looking at the map with your list of desired places written down, make choices of what activity to assign to each base. Use the map, followed by the timetable. It is iterative.

Just say- "we'll set our base and do what we can from the list on each day," knowing that you can't do it all. Assign the targets to a base city, and realize that some will not be possible. Then, use the timetable and information on this website and others to judge how much time to take to get there, do what you will enjoy, and return to your base. From your comments, I wonder if you are not using the timetable. It defines what you can reach and return from. Look at the map. Perhaps a couple of things are close to each other on the map. Check the timetable to see if they are close in time. It seems that you may not be doing that critical part. We cannot do that for all of your ideas.....you have to do it yourself.

You'll end up with a realistic list of what you can do, and what might fit or might not.

The second approach is much harder. It is what we did for our trip to the UK. It requires more detail work with the timetable and the map. It is to make your list of the things to do, and force yourself to put priorities on them. It requires someone to answer the question that we so often get here: "Is it worth it?" We can only help a little but this website s full of information to help you make the judgements about what is "worth it" for you. I think you may have made your list, but have not organized it against the timetable and your judgement of how long a place or event will take.

Then, put your bases in place. They'll change a few times. We finally had to take Edinburgh off our list, because we had to some places of family significance in Wales. We made a poster with the map of Great Britain on it, and stuck pins in it. Then, moved them.

A third approach- a new base every night - covers a lot of territory, is tiring, and usually doesn't give you a chance see much detail. Good for a survey. We did it on our first couple of trips, knowing that we would definitely be returning to Switzerland many times. I was based in New York, but had responsibilities in Geneva.

You've got good bases, but you cannot do all the things you have listed and spend any time at them, even if you can, technically, get to and from them..

Slowpoke

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