22 day itinerary: improvements and rail pass help

22 day itinerary: improvements and rail pass help

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cecily113
cecily113
61 posts
active member
Apr 19, 2017 - 1:32 PM

I shall travel with my 8 years old son to Switzerland for 22 days. Here is my tentative itinerary. Would you please give me some suggestions? Thank you very much for your help!

Question:

1. Should I buy Swiss Pass Flex 15 days + Half Fare Card or do I need to buy Regional Pass Berner Oberland to cover the days in Jungfrau region?

2. Is this possible to visit Mount Rigi on Day 1?

3. Is this possible to have a two cruise trip on Day 4, I shall stop at Oberhofen and Brienz for a visit, I can take a train back to Interlaken Ost.

4. Can I store luggage at train station, not locker, I mean store service?

5. Any old style cheese making house in Gruyere? We don’t drive, so prefer the place closer to the town.

6. Any suggestions for my itinerary and hiking routes?

1. Innsbruck > Luzern > Rigi (arrive at 1425, shall store luggage at train station) (Austria Pass + Swiss Pass)

2. Luzern: Pilatus (Half Fare Card)

3. Luzern: Titlis (Swiss Pass)

4. Luzern > Interlaken West (arrive at 1103, shall store luggage at train station): Lake Thun & Lake Brienz > Grindelwald (Swiss Pass)

5. Schilthorn / Hiking: Grutschalp > Winteregg > Murren > Gimmelwald > Stechelberg > Grindelwald (Swiss Pass)

6. Jungfraujoch / Hiking: Eigergletscher station to Kleine Scheidegg (1hr) (optional) & Hiking: Kleine Scheidegg > Männlichen (1hr20m) > Wengen (Half Fare Card)

7. Grindelwald / Hiking: First > Bachalpsee > First / Toboggan at Pfingstegg (Swiss Pass)

8. Schynige Platte / Harder Kulm / Trummelbach Falls / Staubbach Fall (Swiss Pass)

9. Toboggan at Kandersteg > Blausee > Bern > Grindelwald (Swiss Pass)

10. Interlaken > Montreux (Chateau de Chillon) (Golden Pass) > Gruyères or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (Swiss Pass)

11. Gruyères or Chamonix-Mont-Blanc > Saas Fee (Swiss Pass)

12. Saas Fee > Zermatt (Swiss Pass)

13. Zermatt: Gonergrat / Hiking: Rotenboden-Riffelberg-Riffelsee (Half Fare Card)

14. Zermatt: Glacier Paradise / Hiking: Schwarzee > Zermatt (Half Fare Card)

15. Zermatt: Blauherd / Hiking: Stellisee > Grindjisee > Grünsee > Moosjisee > Leisee (Half Fare Card)

16. Zermatt > Andermatt (Glacier Express) > Bellinzona (visit the three castles) > Lugano (Swiss Pass)

17. Lugano / Gandria / Monte Bre (Half Fare Card)

18. Lugano > Tirano > Chur (Bernina Express) (Swiss Pass)

19. Chur > Maienfeld > Liechtenstein > St. Gallen (Swiss Pass)

20. St. Gallen > Appenzell > Edenalp > St. Gallen (Swiss Pass)

21. St. Gallen > Rhine Falls > Stein am Rhein > Zurich (Swiss Pass)

22. Zurich > HK (Half Fare Card)

Annika
Annika
4924 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 20, 2017 - 10:05 AM

Hi cecily113, thanks for joining MySwissAlps!

Let's have a look at your questions:

1. I think the combination of a 15 day Swiss Travel Pass Flex (note that the "Swiss Pass" is an entirely different product, not meant for tourists) plus a Swiss Half Fare Card will work for our itinerary. Looking at your plans, you have well considered when to use which pass. Just note that Pilatus is fully covered by a Swiss Travel Pass Flex, so it might be worth it to use the Swiss Travel Pass Flex on day 2 and the Swiss Half Fare Card on day 3.

Mind that such a travel scheme is highly weather dependent, and you may be forced to change your plans while you're there. If you want to profit from maximum flexibility, you may instead consider a 15 day plus an 8 day continuous Swiss Travel Pass to cover your entire stay and to be able to adapt to any shift in your itinerary.

2. Yes, if you move on to Rigi straight away and don't spend too much time the top.

3. I think two lake cruises are quite a lot for one afternoon. I'd say it's more relaxed to pick just one of the lakes and take your time for it. You can compare them using our Lake Thun and Lake Brienz pages. Note that you can incorporate the Lake Brienz cruise in your journey from Lucerne to Interlaken: travel via Meiringen and Brienz, get out and Brienz and take the boat to Interlaken Ost.

4. Yes, most larger stations offer luggage storage facilities.

5. There's the cheese factory "La Maison du Gruyère" right opposite the railway station.

6. Most of it looks good, although some of your days are rather full. The best you can do is enter your trips in the timetable and see if you're fine with traveling times. Also, mind to make some back-up plans and create a bit more flexibility in case weather isn't favorable. Personally I'd skip Saas-Fee. It's beautiful, but takes extra traveling time. Heading for Zermatt rightaway would be more relaxed I think.

Mageo
Mageo
31 posts
active member
Apr 20, 2017 - 12:36 PM in reply to cecily113

Hi cecily113,

Your question 5 regarding an old style cheese making chalet at Gruyeres. There is www.fromagerie-alpage.ch/contact. It is located on the Moleson mountain near Gruyeres, apparently accessible by public transport.

In 2014, we stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast at Gruyeres, owned by Jacques & Eliane Murith http://lafermedubourgoz.ch/en/accommodations/reservations/ They organised for us to visit their chalet in the nearby hills to watch Jacques and his son making cheese. It was a very memorable day.

Mageo

cecily113
cecily113
61 posts
active member
Apr 21, 2017 - 9:46 AM

Dear Annika and Mageo

Thank you so much for your suggestions!!

The B&B is so lovely, I have sent my request of reservation, hopefully it can be done.

I would like to clarify if I have a valid Swiss Travel Pass Flex or Half Fare Card, does it mean my 8 years old son is automatically get free of charge to travel with me on any transportation (train, boat, bus, cable car) including going up to Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, Gonergrat, Matterhorn Paradise, etc.... or do I need to buy a Family Card or Junior Card to enjoy this benefit?

We will take train from Innsbruck to Luzern, I don't have Austria Pass, please advise how to calculate the price of the train ticket? Can I transfer luggage from one stop to the next stop on same day? We can't carry two luggage to get on the cruise trip for the day from Luzern to Lake Brienz or Lake Thun.

Thank you very much for all help and advices!!

Lucas
Lucas
5502 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 21, 2017 - 2:31 PM in reply to cecily113

Hi Cecily113,

You will have to order the Swiss Family Card when you order your Swiss rail pass. The Swiss Family Card is free to order and will cover your child completely on all trips (including ones where you may have to pay for a ticket (discounted trips).

You can search schedules and get a rough idea of pricing if you have the Swiss Half Fare Card on the Swiss railways timetable.

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass (or Swiss Travel Pass Flex) you just need to buy a ticket from Innsbruck to the Swiss border town which is most likely Buchs.

What luggage transfer are you concerned about?

Lucas

cecily113
cecily113
61 posts
active member
Apr 21, 2017 - 2:55 PM

Dear Lucas

That's a great news for my son free to travel in Swiss with my Swiss Travel Pass Flex!! If I buy the Swiss Travel Pass Flex in Hong Kong, do they provide Family Card? Is this same benefit as if I bought in Switzerland? As I will be travelling from Innsbruck by train, I don't have chance to buy the Travel Pass in advance in Switzerland.

For luggage issue, I am thinking if I take the train from Luzern to Lake Brienz, to take the cruise trip. Can I send my luggage to Grindelwald or Wengen directly without carrying them along with me on the cruise?

Thank you once again for your help!

Cecily

Last modified on Apr 21, 2017 - 3:08 PM by cecily113
cecily113
cecily113
61 posts
active member
Apr 21, 2017 - 2:59 PM

More questions:

Is Swiss Half Fare Card can only be sold in Switzerland train station?

For Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, can I get off the cruise trip to visit some castles then get on the other cruise for the rest of journey?

Can I sit together with my son for playing Toboggan as I concern if he is able to handle it. He is around 130cm. We never play it before.

Thank you.

cecily113
cecily113
61 posts
active member
Apr 21, 2017 - 3:06 PM

Dear Lucas

Just want to clarify that even Jungfraujoch also free of charge for my son? and those I need to pay discounted price, he also get free of charge if I have the Family Card with my Swiss Travel Pass or Half Fare Card? As I will use Half Fare Card in Zermatt, is this the same as Swiss Travel Pass Flex that he got free of charge? Thank you very much!

Last modified on Apr 21, 2017 - 3:07 PM by cecily113
Annika
Annika
4924 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 22, 2017 - 12:46 PM

Hi cecily113,

Please find some answers below:

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:42 AM by Arno
cecily113
cecily113
61 posts
active member
Apr 24, 2017 - 2:30 PM

Dear all

Thank you for all advices, I have revised my plan as below and I still have some questions:

Day 1 to 3: I actually only stay in Luzern for 2.5 days. How to arrange if I want to visit Rigi, Titlis and Pilatus?

Day 5: After visiting Schilthorn, then I start hiking from Grutschalp to Stechelberg, is there enough time to visit and Trummelbach Falls and Staubbach Fall?

Day 6: as I know it’s better go to Jungfraujoch in the morning, if I start hiking from Kleine Scheidegg to Mannlichen, the Junfraujoch will be at my back. Please suggest how to arrange it would be better?

Day 10: Is 3.5 hours enough for Glacier 3000, including travel postbus between Col-du-Pillon?

Any suggestion for my travel plan?

1. Innsbruck > Luzern (arrive Luzern at 1425, store luggage at train station) > Mount. Rigi (Swiss Pass Flex)

2. Luzern: Mount. Titlis (Swiss Pass Flex)

3. Luzern: Pilatus (Swiss Pass Flex)

4. Luzern > Interlaken Ost: Harder Kulm > Schynige Platte > Wengen (0933-1007, 1004-1036, 32m)

5. Schilthorn / Hiking: Grutschalp > Winteregg > Murren > Gimmelwald > Stechelberg / Trummelbach Falls > Staubbach Fall / > Wengen (Swiss Pass Flex)

6. Jungfraujoch / Hiking: Kleine Scheidegg > Männlichen (1hr20m) > Wengen (Half Fare Card)

7. Grindelwald / Hiking: First > Bachalpsee > First / Toboggan at Pfingstegg > Bern (optional) > Grindelwald (Swiss Pass Flex)

8. Grindelwald > Meiringen: The Reichenbach Fall > Aare Gorge > Brienz > Lake Brienz: Brienz to Interlaken Ost (visit Grandhotel Giessbach & Giessbach Falls) > Grindelwald (Swiss Pass Flex)

9. Grindelwald > Blausee > Toboggan at Kandersteg > Oeschinensee > Lake Thun: Spiez to Thun (visit Oberfohen) > Bus to Schloss Hunegg and Schloss Schadau > Grindelwald (Swiss Pass Flex)

10. Wengen > Gstaad (Golden Pass) > Glacier 3000 > Gruyere (Swiss Pass Flex)

11. Gruyere > Montreux (visit Chateau de Chillon) > Saas Fee (Swiss Pass Flex)

12. Saas Fee: Revolving Restaurant Allalin, Eispavillion, Marmots Tour, Feeblitz Toboggan run > Zermatt (Swiss Pass Flex)

13. Zermatt: Gonergrat / Hiking: Rotenboden-Riffelberg-Riffelsee (Half Fare Card)

14. Zermatt: Glacier Paradise / Hiking: Schwarzee > Zermatt (Half Fare Card)

15. Zermatt: Blauherd / Five Lakes Trail Hiking: Stellisee > Grindjisee > Grünsee > Moosjisee > Leisee (Half Fare Card)

16. Zermatt > Andermatt (Glacier Express) > Bellinzona (Gotthard Panorama Express) > Lugano (Swiss Pass Flex)

17. Lugano / Gandria / Monte Bre (Half Fare Card)

18. Lugano > Tirano > Chur (Bernina Express) (Swiss Pass Flex)

19. Chur > Maienfeld > Liechtenstein > St. Gallen (Half Fare Card)

20. St. Gallen > Appenzell > Edenalp > St. Gallen (Swiss Pass Flex)

21. St. Gallen > Rhine Falls > Stein am Rhein > Zurich (Swiss Pass Flex)

22. Zurich > HK (Half Fare Card)

Lucas
Lucas
5502 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 24, 2017 - 4:57 PM in reply to cecily113

Hi Cecily,

Day 1 to 3: You can certainly go to all three mountains in 2.5 days. You can use the timetable to find out the train schedules and help you plan. I haven't tried to do two mountains in one day but that would be the most you could do (3 hours each way roughly between any of those 3 mountains. One the half-day Pilatus may be easiest/quickest to reach.

Day 5: Yes, that can be possible. See here about the hike.

Day 6: start the walk in the opposite direction:) Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. It isn't necessarily always better at Jungfraujoch in the morning.

Day 10: You are starting the day in Wengen? It will be 3 hours just to get to Glacier 3000 (Col-du-Pillon).

There are several days where you are very busy and I am sure you won't be able to or want to do everything. Try and prioritize what you most want to do each day so you can do that first in the morning and then if you don't get to some things by the end of the day that it would be ok for you.

Lucas

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