Base locations Switzerland before going to Italy

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Kota
Kota
8 posts
new member
Jun 12, 2019 - 1:41 AM

Hello !

This is my first time posting here, but I 've greatly enjoyed reading all the content and advice!

I am very confused about the order in which we should be seeing things, so I am hoping for some suggestions. We will be using the rails I think to travel around, rather than renting a car.

Our plane arrives in Zurich in the early morning; and departs from Milan.

Unfortunately, we may be tired when we arrive - But I would love to see a bit of Lucerne if we could, even with our luggage in tow; and maybe have a restful meal.

I've been studying the maps, and it seems our trip has three sections.

Listed below are all the activities or things my group would like to see, but I know we can't do all :)

2 Nights: Bern (old city) ,Oberhofen Castle on Thun, Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Rochers de Nye Scenic Peak ,Lake Geneva boat tour, Lutry, Montreux and Castle. Interests include Watchmaking , Chocolate, Cheese, Beer, Craftsman / Workshops. It would be wonderful if a base city can be suggested for this section of our trip! Also, should this section be the first or second part of our trip?

2 Nights: Jungfraujoch ; Interlaken / Wengen / Grindelwald / Lauterbrunner

Alsetch Glacier ; Truemmlbach Falls; Aare gorge; Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge. Interests include an Alpine Village Horse and Buggy ride, and Scenic Train rides of course :) I would love to see the Matterhorn, but it didn't seem doable to me.

1 Night: Bellinzona - Castles . I think this will be the third part of our trip since it seems geographically logical .

Then into Italy for the last section : Lake Como and Leaving from Milan

Thanks so much for your help !

Kota

Arno
Arno
13977 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 12, 2019 - 5:55 AM

Hi Kota,

Welcome to MySwissAlps! For such a short visit I would not pick 3 base towns. With two nights you will only have one full day and no flexibility to shift plans if the weather is not as nice as you hoped for. Considering your interests I would suggest to have 3 nights in Montreux and 2 in Bellinzona:

Alternatively you can swap Montreux for Bern or a town in the Jungfrau region:

Personally I'd save Lucerne for a future trip, because you just can't see it all in 6 days :-)

Traveling by train is a good choice. You don't need a car for this plan, it would make things more complex I think.

www.myswissalps.com/tr ain

By the way, I am assuming that this is a summer trip.

Kota
Kota
8 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 11:57 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you so much for your reply!

I know we definitely want to stay around Interlaken / Wengen / Grindelwald / Lauterbrunner for at least 2 nights. I am researching to see where might be best between Bern and Montreaux (considering our interests) for the other section of our trip. I do very much want to go to Bellinzona to see the castles there. However, it looks like it is a long train journey getting to Bellinzona from the Jungfrau region.

Would you be able to suggest an order for these different sections of our trip? We should be in Lake Como on Night #6...

Thank you again!

Kota

Arno
Arno
13977 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 14, 2019 - 3:47 PM in reply to Kota

Hi Kota,

By far the easiest option (logistically), is staying in Lucerne and Bellinzona. These towns are connected by the Gotthard Panorama Express, and Como is easy to reach from Bellinzona. Lucerne is easy to reach from Zurich airport. Another option is the Jungfrau region and Montreux, then to Como via the Centovalli line perhaps: www.myswissalps.com/ce ntovalli.

I guess you need to work with the timetable if there are other areas that you prefer, and see if the travel time is ok for you: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

Kota
Kota
8 posts
new member
Jun 27, 2019 - 2:49 AM in reply to Arno

Hello again and thanks for your last reply !

Sorry I've been quiet, but still working on this...

My group can't agree on less than 3 places for our hotels.

So far, we came up with :

1 night in Zurich (We arrive early - so explore the Old City, maybe try to do a self guided food tour, visit a beer garden , wondering if we can fit in Pilatus somehow).

3 nights in Wengen (explore Jungfrau region - So much to see there - and hopefully day trip to Montreux). Long train ride to Bellinzona and spend one 1 night there (see castles the next day).

Then onto Como, and out from Milan.

I was experimenting with train routes today, and I had thought that Montreux was about 2 hours from Wengen, but it's actually 3 hours. Not sure how feasible it will be to visit as a day trip. We wanted to see some of these things around Montreux: the terraced vineyards, Gruyere, Rochers de Nye, and the castle there. So once again, we're feeling unsure!

The way from the Jungfrau region to Como via Centovalli is long, but I think doable... Figured we'd get ourselves to Brig and go from there. Please let me know if that is correct ?

Welcome any other input you might have!

Thanks!

Kota

Annika
Annika
6002 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 27, 2019 - 3:31 PM in reply to Kota

Hi Kota! I know, these are tough choices. You just can't see it all in a couple of days. Starting off in Zurich sounds fine, and so does spending three days in Wengen. I'm not sure about a side trip to Montreux. The region is beautiful and worth a visit for sure, but it's a long day from Wengen and the Jungfrau region itself has so much to offer. I'm afraid it's up to you to decide what to choose.

As far as your journey to Como: am I right concluding that you're trying to choose between either

  • spending a night in Bellinzona and moving on to Como after that, OR;
  • skipping Bellinzona and getting to Como via Brig and the Centovalli line?

In the latter case you can indeed travel via Brig. It's a pretty scenic journey if you use the regional Lötschberg Express trains via Kandersteg/Goppenstein, rather than the tunnel connection between Spiez/Frutigen and Visp. As Arno suggested, you could also start off in Wengen, then get to Montreux and spend a night there, and then move over to Como using the Centovalli route. This would imply that you don't get to see Bellinzona, but again: you'll have to skip some things in the end...

Kota
Kota
8 posts
new member
Jun 27, 2019 - 10:06 PM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Thanks for your reply!

I actually didn't state the part about the journey on Centovalli correctly - apologies!

I should have typed "Jungfrau region to Bellinzona via Centovalli... Figured we'd get ourselves to Brig and go from there". Would the regional Lötschberg Express trains via Kandersteg/Goppenstein be the best route? We will have one night in Bellinzona, and then we'll move onto Como the next day.

Also, with regard to Montreux, I mentioned what we think is most interesting there ( the terraced vineyards, Gruyere, Rochers de Nye) . Are there things closer to Wengen that we should definitely try to see in case we don't make the trip to Montreux?

Thanks again,

Kota

Annika
Annika
6002 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 28, 2019 - 10:32 AM

Hi Kota,

Right, I see. So you plan to travel Wengen - Brig - Centovalli line to Bellinzona - Como. Sure, that's fine. It's a pretty long journey (about 6 to 7 hours) so plan your time in Bellinzona wisely. The quicker option would be via Lucerne and the Gotthard Panorama Express route (myswissalps.com/gottha rdpanoramaexpress) (about 5 hours), which is very scenic too. You'd best play around with the timetable at https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable (enter Kandersteg, Brig and Domodossola as "via" stations for the Centovalli option) and see what fits your plans. Rest assured that any of the alternatives mentioned is scenic and you probably won't regret whatever route you pick.

I really can't decide for you whether it's worth the trip to Montreux from Wengen. It can tell that it will be hard to incorporate all items on your wish list (Rochers-de-Naye, the vineyards, Gruyères and Montreux) in just one day from Wengen. You'll do more justice to this region if you're able to come back another time and then explore it a relaxed pace. "Must sees" are different for anyone, but you can take a look at the options around Wengen using the link about the Jungfrauregion that Arno provided.

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