Please help to plan short Switzerland holiday

Please help to plan short Switzerland holiday

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MeghaB
MeghaB
15 posts
new member
Dec 19, 2017 - 6:32 AM

Hi,

I'd appreciate if you can please help me plan our Switzerland holiday as part of our Europe trip.

We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 children (14 year old boy and 7 year old girl), visiting Switzerland from 25th March 2018 to 29th March 2018. We arrive in Zurich at 7 am from New Zealand. We would leave Switzerland for onward travel to Italy on 29th March. This will leave us 4 full days in Switzerland.

Initially we were planning to stay in one of the villages above Interlaken Ost for the entire duration. However, we're now thinking of splitting between Lucerne and Interlaken Ost.

1. We would like to do a bit of sledging in the snow mountain. And this is something that would help us which mountain to visit and where to base or stay. Just a beginner level fun would be great for the family.

2.Piz Gloria would be great.

3.A scenic boat ride.

4.If we get rainy days (or great weather), we'd love to make the train journey to the cheese and chocolate factory.

5. Rhine Falls

I don't think any of the scenic trains are available at the time of our travel.

As far as the travel pass goes, we're thinking of getting the 4 day Swiss Travel pass + family card, which would cover all transport including Schilthorn, Piz Gloria (according to changes in STP for 2018) and Mt. Rigi.

But if we do Jungfrau train then may consider Swiss half Fare Card.

Staying in Lucerne for the first (2) night(s) will give us time to relax.

Day 1 --> check into Hotel, stroll around Lucerne area lunch, rest and perhaps take a boat ride before retiring for the day.

Day 2 --> Check out of hotel, store bags at hotel and visit one of the mountains close to Lucerne or go to Rhine Falls.

Evening travel to Interlaken Ost and stay one of the villages (perhaps Wengen)

Day 3--> Schilthorn

Day 4 --> Jungfrau or day trip to cheese and chocolate factory

Day 5 --> Check out of hotel for onward travel.

Please don't judge us for the length of travel etc. I know that even 15 days wouldn't be sufficient to experience this wonderful country.

Given the time of our travel, which mountain would give us a good snow experience and some snow activity? WE haven't made any bookings yet so would really appreciate your input.

Thanks for your time and advice in advance.

Megha

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Dec 19, 2017 - 12:35 PM in reply to MeghaB

Hi MeghaB, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

It looks like you know what you want to do and see. In order to get the best out of your short stay I think it's a good idea to split between Lucerne and Interlaken. The way you have it planned now, it's doable. Not sure how much you will suffer from your jet lag.

Please have a look at this thread regarding sledging in Grindelwald: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/sledging-activities-grindlewald. Grindelwald could be an option to stay. It is a nice little village. Much nicer than Interlaken. You are thinking of Wengen which is a very good choice too.

Here you can find information about a boat trip on Lake Thun. I personally would skip the Rhine Falls and go straight to Lucerne from Zurich.

The scenic train rides are available. You can find more information here. Did you have already a specific one in mind? Would you like to do it on your way to Italy?

I think you would still be better off with the Swiss Travel Pass if you decide to visit the Jungfraujoch. If you would like to do the math to decide which pass is best, please visit this page: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass and download the Excel spreadsheet.

Last modified on Dec 19, 2017 - 12:37 PM by Chantal
MeghaB
MeghaB
15 posts
new member
Dec 21, 2017 - 8:15 PM

Hi Chantal,

Thank you very much fir taking time to answer my query, much appreciated.

I had a look at the possibilities of excursions/site-seeing that we could possibly do.

Since we have limited time, we have come up with the following plan.

We'll skip rhine falls completely as it's quite a distance from Zurich or Lucerne.

We wanted to be in Lucerne to njoy the town more than visiting tge mountains as Jungfrau was the most desirable mountain for tge family.

So, we'll stay in Wengen for all nights.

Day1 --> check into hotel, lunch.

If the day is great, then go to Shilthorn. If not then go for a boat ride and Ballenberg museum.

Day2--> if day is great go up Jungfrau and on tye way bacl stop in Kleine Schiedegg.

Day 3 --> day trip to Lucerne to enjoy the town.

Day 4--> day trip to cheese and chocolate factory.

Now all of this is like an ideal itinerary considering we get best of the weather.

We'll have to adjusy accordingly.

However does it sound reasonable?

Tganks

Megha

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 22, 2017 - 3:25 AM in reply to MeghaB

>> Day1 --> check into hotel, lunch ... If the day is great, then go to Shilthorn. If not then go for a boat ride and Ballenberg museum.

The Schilthorn cable car will be operating, but the Ballenberg Open-Air Museum is closed for the winter, and doesn't reopen until 14 Apr 2018.

As the Schilthorn is on the opposite side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley from where you are staying, you could save time by leaving your luggage in the lockers at Lauterbrunnen and going to the Schilthorn before going to Wengen and checking into your hotel. If you go to Wengen first, it will take you another hour-and-a-half travel time to get to the Schilthorn from Wengen.

That is on top of the time it will take you to get to Wengen and check in to your hotel. Your hotel will probably pick you and your luggage up from the station on arrival, but it is likely you will have to walk back to the station for your trip to the Schilthorn, and all that time will add up to less time to enjoy the Schilthorn (and Mürren) before sunset at around 19:46. Incidentally, 25 March is when daylight saving starts, and clocks go forward an hour - but that will have happened before you land in Zürich.

You can check the webcams for visibility on top of the Schilthorn and the mid-station Birg before going up. However, even if the visibility is not the best, it is a free trip with the Swiss Travel Pass in 2018 - so it might be worth a ride in the cable car, and a look around inside the building on top in any case, especially if the weather forecast suggests the clouds might clear at some stage.

schilthorn.ch/en/Infos /Live

There's also a new "Skyline Snow Experience Park" at the mid-station Birg, which has opened this winter for the first time.

schilthorn.ch/en/Info/ Birg_2677_m_._8783_ft# skyline_snow_experienc e

>> Day2--> if day is great go up Jungfrau and on tye way bacl stop in Kleine Schiedegg.

You can check the webcams to see what conditions are like before buying a ticket to go up:

www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/live/webcams/

>> Day 3 --> day trip to Lucerne to enjoy the town.

These suggestions for walking tour routes might be useful:

The "City Guide" PDF on the page below has a map with a self-guided walking tour marked. It's across two pages, so viewing the PDF in "Two Page View" makes it easier to see.

www.luzern.com/en/broc hures

Frommers also has directions for a walking tour:

www.frommers.com/desti nations/lucerne/walkin g-tours

>> Day 4--> day trip to cheese and chocolate factory.

Do you mean those in Gruyères and Broc? Travelling by the fastest route, it would take you around 3.5 hours each way, plus about half-an-hour to travel between the chocolate and cheese factories. Then on top of that is the amount of time you wish to spend at each place.

There's a late afternoon chocolate show in Interlaken:

www.schuh-interlaken.ch/en/conte nt/chocolatier-schokoladen-show

Alpenrose

Last modified on Dec 22, 2017 - 3:45 AM by Removed user
MeghaB
MeghaB
15 posts
new member
Dec 22, 2017 - 5:39 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Alpenrose,

Thank you fortaking the time to reply and giving such wonderful information, much appreciated.

We reach Wengen after our international flight so going to Schilthorn directly is not an option. We'll definitely need a hot shower to get fresh.

Since Shilthorn is included in the pass, it makes it easier to go up there at least we can enjoy the cable car ride and see the James Bond museum. The other snow park suggestion you gave is also great. I'll have a look at that. If nothing we can enjoy some snow and have a good time.

It's good to know about Ballenberg museum closure. So we can skip going back to Interlaken. We can perhaps do the boat ride in Lucerne is time permits.

>> Day 4--> day trip to cheese and chocolate factory.

Yes we wanted to visit Gruyères and Broc. And I did read that it's 3.5 hours each way. we're planning to start at 8am and hoping that since its a scenic train journey, it should be relaxing.

If this is no good and the last min family doesn't want to do it, then we can go to Interlaken, and do the suggested chocolate show you suggested. Would that be good?

Thanks,

Megha

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 22, 2017 - 5:58 AM in reply to MeghaB

>> Yes we wanted to visit Gruyères and Broc. And I did read that it's 3.5 hours each way. we're planning to start at 8am and hoping that since its a scenic train journey, it should be relaxing.

The fastest route (via Bern and Bulle) is 3.5 hours.

The more scenic route (via Montbovon on the Golden Pass) is normally 4.0-4.5 hours. However, between 19 Mar and 1 Jun 2018 there will be construction work on part of the railway line, and trains won't be running between Château-d’Oex and Montbovon. Substitute buses will be provided, which will probably increase the journey time somewhat.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Dec 22, 2017 - 6:01 AM by Removed user
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 22, 2017 - 6:19 AM in reply to MeghaB

>> We reach Wengen after our international flight so going to Schilthorn directly is not an option. We'll definitely need a hot shower to get fresh.

Ok, you're the best judge of that ;-)

To assist you with further planning for this day, the last departure from Wengen that will get you to the Schilthorn is at 15:03. That will get you to the Schilthorn at 16:27.

The last cable car from the Schilthorn down to Mürren is at 16:55.

Alpenrose

MeghaB
MeghaB
15 posts
new member
Dec 22, 2017 - 8:55 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi Alpenrose,

Thanks for the timings.

I was having a look at the timetable -- schilthorn.ch/cmsfiles /fahrplan_2018_web.pdf

So, I'm looking at the Lauterbrunnen to Schilthorn via Stechelberg.

According to the timetable, there is a bus between Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and then cable car between Stechelberg-Murren-Schilthorn. And the services run past 13:05.

Am i reading this correctly or not?

Thanks

Megha

MeghaB
MeghaB
15 posts
new member
Dec 22, 2017 - 9:16 AM in reply to MeghaB

ok my apologies...

i got it :) read the time table a bit more closely.

thanks heaps.

megha

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 23, 2017 - 12:06 AM in reply to MeghaB

>> i got it :) read the time table a bit more closely.

Yes, those "print format" timetables can be a bit tricky with all their annotations!

If you find a connection in one of those types of timetables that looks suitable, you can double check that it is running on your preferred day at your preferred time by putting those details into the Swiss Timetable.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Alpenrose

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