Swiss Alps hiking & trains w/ 4 year old June-July

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Bklyn Becca
Bklyn Becca
2 posts
new member
Feb 7, 2019 - 2:41 AM

Hi! My partner and I are planning an end of June/early July visit for ten-ish days with an enthusiastic mountain / outdoor loving 4 year old. As first timers to the Swiss Alps, we’d appreciate any advice.

Our travel style: The cities are not our priority - we just want to spend as much time in/on the mountains as possible. We are used to extended stays remote/sleepy towns when we travel (a car free village sounds like heaven). We love the idea of exclusively traveling by train/tram. We prefer to operate off of a wish list (as opposed to a strict itinerary) - we are happy to “go with the flow”... and of course, the weather. We are experienced day hikers and avid road trippers. We will be happy to subsist on chocolate, cheese, cured meats, bread and coffee.

We’re thinking of starting in Lucerne for a few nights and then hoping for an extended stay in Wengen.

Other potential interests besides mountains/hikes: a castle, a stunning boat ride. But really, we are excited to explore the trails/summits/playgrounds/glaciers/waterfalls at high and low altitudes because this never gets old for us.

Questions:

  • We would probably prefer staffed hotels (ideally with some sort of breakfast option for the kiddo) but are open to other lodging options. Any recommendations? Ideally around 250CHF/night (or is that just not feasible)?
  • How many nights should we spend in Lucerne and Wengen (and/or are there other places we should consider)? Should we add a third “home base” and where? We’re okay with being on the move but will probably want to stay *at least* three nights in each town/city.
  • We are considering bringing our all terrain stroller to wander around town (and I have read about some stroller friendly hiking - we did this on Colorado last year). But our kiddo will be fully capable of hiking a few km a day (she easily breezed through 2.5 km with some scrambling in Joshua Tree this past winter). Is this a good idea to bring? I don’t want to carry a tired kiddo after dinner.

    I know there’s a lot of info on this site for kids hikes/playgrounds that I have yet to fully absorb, but any kid friendly can't miss recommendations would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance! And apologies if this is too general - I need to start somewhere!

Becca & Family

Last modified on Feb 7, 2019 - 3:35 PM by Maria
rockoyster
rockoyster
7111 posts
expert
Feb 7, 2019 - 3:49 AM in reply to Bklyn Becca

Hello Becca and Welcome to MySwissAlps

At least a few days is worth it. Pilatus, Titlis and Rigi are all easily reachable from there.

If you want a great boat trip the paddle steamer from Luzern to Flüelen is well worth it. It forms the first leg of the Gotthard Panorama Express, Luzern to Lugano. But you can catch a train back to Luzern from Flüelen.

An extended stay in Wengen sounds great. Check out this thread www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim.

If you want another "base" how about Zermatt?

Once you have your itinerary mapped out you'll want to read “How to choose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass), download the handy spreadsheet calculator and do the math.

Last modified on Feb 8, 2019 - 12:07 PM by Maria
Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
Feb 7, 2019 - 9:43 PM

Hi Becca,

I see you have given your itinerary already some thought and you are clear about what you want / do not want to do, which is great.

If you're prepared to travel by train, you've come to one of the most train-friendly countries on Earth! :)

Regarding your questions:

For hotels, have a look at:

Your budget is on the low side, but probably feasible if you book early. I would recommend finalising your itinerary as soon as possible so you get the best deals on accommodation :)

In regards to locations, Lucerne and Wengen are great bases, there is a lot to do in both those areas, and I doubt you would get bored in 10 days... Zermatt is also stunning and iconic so that is also a good base as previously suggested (and car free which I think is on your wish list!).

I personally prefer locations off the beaten-tourist-track such as the Engadin valley near St Moritz in canton Graubünden (with a car free area), Gruyères-Moleson (with the French-speaking area charm), Verszasca valley in Ticino, Appenzeller. I even remember spending one summer organising a conference in Lenk, which is one of the most stunning places I've been to and not on the usual trail maps... There are quite a lot of hidden gems in Switzerland if you're prepared to go a bit more remote. Below a couple of links to some these places:

If you're after castles, there are quite a few dotted around the country. If you want an impressive castle complex and you're prepared to consider Ticino, you can visit the castles in Bellinzona which are a Unesco World Heritage site: www.myswissalps.com/ca stlesbellinzona

For boat trips, there are so many lakes in Switzerland you won't be far from a boat ride! Here is a link to more scenic boat trips you can take: www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities/scenictrips/b oat

About the all-terrain stroller - I personally don't have any experience but I have seen quite a few on the trails, even in Zermatt where I thought it would be impossible. So if you have good experience with this already in Colorado I'm sure it will come in handy.

Hope this is useful information for you, and we get to see a review of your trip on our site!

Maria.

Last modified on Feb 8, 2019 - 12:07 PM by Maria
Bklyn Becca
Bklyn Becca
2 posts
new member
Feb 10, 2019 - 8:00 PM

Thank you both for the information. I think we will likely add Zermatt as our third "base" because the change in scenery sounds like enough of a contrast to explore. I am curious about some of the off-the-beaten-path ideas, but since it's our first time, I am having so much FOMO already! I guess we can't do everything... unless we want to quit our jobs and travel full time. Oh well, I'll likely post more as we start to fine tune.

Now to look at lodging (thanks in advance for the links)!

Fly in/out of Zurich

  • Lucern: 2-3 nights (jet-lag - we're coming from Brooklyn, NY)
  • Wengen: 4-5 nights
  • Zermatt: 3-4 nights

becca

Steph
Steph
1703 posts
top member &
moderator
Feb 11, 2019 - 11:56 AM in reply to Bklyn Becca

Hi Becca

Nice that your itinerary is taking shape.

To find out about possible accommodation at your chosen destinations use the links below:

Lucerne - www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne/hotels

Wengen - www.myswissalps.com/we ngen/hotels

Zermatt - www.myswissalps.com/ze rmatt/hotels

Happy planning and feel free to contact us for further input.

Best,

Steph

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