Suggestion for 9 days itinerary from Thun

Suggestion for 9 days itinerary from Thun

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InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2017 - 6:28 AM

Hello Everyone,

We're planning to visit Switzerland for 9 days on the last week of September this year. This is what we've managed to plan so far -

1. Land in Geneva. Reach Thun same day. Thun is our base stay for the entire duration

2. 3 days for Lauterbrunnen region to cover Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald, Pfingstegg, Jungfrau, Schilthorn.

4. One day each for Bern and Montreux.

5. One day cycling in Thun

6. One more day for either a short hike if it is feasible or visit Lucerne/Zurich.

Every day we will return back to Thun.

We'll take a Swiss Travel Pass Flex 8 days.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Also some questions about this -

1. Are trains frequent enough from Thun to visit Lauterbrunnen if we start early in the morning?

2. Is a short hike near Zermatt feasible instead of Zurich/Lucerne? If yes, can you please suggest a 3 - 4 hour hike ( anywhere near Lauterbrunnen, if not Zermatt)

3. Although we're not planning Titlis, would it be better to visit Titlis instead of Jungfrau? Both have snow during last week of September?

Thank you!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Jan 21, 2017 - 9:50 AM in reply to InTransit

Hi InTransit-

Welcome to My Swiss Alps -

Sounds like a great trip.

One of the regulars here ion the forum uses Thun as a base for her visits to Switzerland

At he moment, I'll rspond only to your questions about train travel by suggesting that you learn to use the timetable:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

I have had beautiful weather in the Jungfrau region in late September.

See attached.

Slowpoke

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InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2017 - 11:30 AM

Hi Slowpoke,

Thank you for the reply. I will check the link for the time table.

The picture is really nice. Hopefully we'll get such clear weather as well!

InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2017 - 11:32 AM

A follow up clarification - is 3 days not sufficient or more than enough for the places that I wish to visit in the Lauterbrunnen region?

Thanks.

Annika
Annika
4949 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 21, 2017 - 3:25 PM in reply to InTransit

Hi InTransit, thanks for joining MySwissAlps!

Here are some thoughts on your itinerary. First of all, the 8 day Swiss Travel Pass Flex seems to make sense, especially if you need to head back to Geneva from Thun on your 9th travel day. This 8 day Flex pass is CHF 44 more expensive than the regular 8 day Swiss Travel Pass used on consecutive days, but you wouldn't be able to use it on day 9, and a full fare ticket Geneva-Thun costs about CHF 66. So I assume you plan to use your Swiss Travel Pass Flex for your outbound trip on day 9 as well, leaving out one travel day when cycling in Thun? That would be a good idea.

As for your other questions:

1. Yes, absolutely. Please consult the timetable Slowpoke mentioned for information on this journey and any other transfer you're considering.

2. It could be done. Note that a single journey Thun-Zermatt takes about 1h50 at least, so it will be a pretty long day. Here are some ideas for hikes near Zermatt (scroll down for the list of hikes). Options for the Jungfrau region are listed here.

3. Late September isn't the best time of the year for snow guarantee. Snow at lower peaks has melted by then, and unless fall sets in early, there won't be any fresh snow yet. However, chances of snow up at Jungfraujoch are still high all year round. It's higher than Titlis, so you'd better visit Jungfraujoch. This is also easier from Thun.

4. Yes, 3 days provide quite some opportunities for exploring the Jungfau region. One can easily spend weeks there without getting bored though, but you'll be able to get some good impressions, especially if weather is favorable.

I hope this helps!

Last modified on Jan 21, 2017 - 4:29 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Jan 21, 2017 - 3:47 PM in reply to InTransit

<<"2. 3 days for Lauterbrunnen region to cover Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald, Pfingstegg, Jungfrau, Schilthorn. ">>

<<"A follow up clarification - is 3 days not sufficient or more than enough

for the places that I wish to visit in the Lauterbrunnen region?">>

<<" Hopefully we'll get such clear weather as well!">>

Your own words are a partial answer. If clouds and fog cover the mountains, you won't be able to cover anything. ;-(

By allowing at least 3 days in the region, you have a better chance, because the weather can change fast, and frequently. It comes in layers, too. Foggy below, clear above or vice versa. Contingency plans are desirable. From Thun you can go to Brienz, Bern or Luzern, or Brig or Zermatt or Montreux for example. September is probably the best month for good weather in the Jungfrau region. Actually, for all of Switzerland, as well. I have booked my flights for a couple of weeks in early September, expecting to spend time in the Alps.

It is very difficult to answer a question with the word "cover" in it. Using the word "visit" is not much better.

What do you hope to do when you "cover" or visit something?

Would you hike?

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

That hike is the one I was on when I took the picture you noted.

In this section, there are several hikes near the Jungfrau:

www.myswissalps.com/hi king

On any of those hikes, if you are a serious photographer, you will pause to look and take pictures frequently... so they may take a bit longer than is suggested.

If cover means - "get off the train/cableway, etc., put two feet on the ground, and catch the next transport onward," you can do it all in less than two days. By squeezing it together as much as possible, you might make it in 1 and 1/2 days. Depends on how early you want to get up and on the way. Some of the mountain transport does not run late in the day; check the timetable to work out your schedule.

If the principle purpose of "cover" is to ride the transport and look out the window, the timetable will guide you and you won't need much else.

In fact, even if you have something else in mind, the timetable is your first resort to answer questions about "enough time."

If you use a map to locate the towns:

map.search.ch/?pos=641296,161392&z=16

and zoom in to find the transport, and turn on "Traffic" under "Points of Interest" you can figure out routes that match your interests.

The links for the region and towns within it can give some help:

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

www.myswissalps.com/wh eretogo/towns

You can spend weeks enjoyably in the Jungfrau Region.

This link will give you a little reading to help you think about:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 21, 2017 - 4:37 PM by Slowpoke
InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2017 - 5:05 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Yes we plan to use the Flex Pass for the 9th day to return to Geneva. We want to keep 1 or 2 days to be relatively relaxed so we're hoping Thun and Bern will be that. Jungfraujoch it is then based on your suggeston.

Thank you for your suggestion !

InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2017 - 5:16 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

We definitely don't want to do only - "get off the train/cableway, etc., put two feet on the ground, and catch the next transport onward". Will check the timetable and see how we can plan this.

I will certainly check those hiking links - we've hiked before so we are okay to do the Maennlichen-Kleinescheidegg or any other hike with a longer duration. Will check the links and decide which one we can manage.

Thank you for your help and the resources you've linked !

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Jan 22, 2017 - 9:56 AM in reply to InTransit

<<"I will certainly check those hiking links ">>

Don't forget to check Kim's report for hikes.

Last modified on Jan 22, 2017 - 9:56 AM by Slowpoke
InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2017 - 3:09 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

I checked the detailed document by Kim and it is extremely helpful.

These are the ones which we want to try and fit in.

Thank you !

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Jan 22, 2017 - 4:18 PM in reply to InTransit

All good ones. Make sure to walk from Männlichen towards Kleine Scheidegg. Walking toward the Eiger as it grows and towers over you is quite an experience. I've attached a couple of images that give a sense of how small people are in that landscape. One is a crop from the other.

The walk on the floor of the valley covers the territory in this image, attached.

Slowpoke

Please login to see the attached documents
maggiehorswell
maggiehorswell
577 posts
top member
Jan 22, 2017 - 5:22 PM

Hello InTransit

I am the contributor Slowpoke was referring to who has spent many holidays based in Thun. It is an excellent base because of good train links.

I am attaching some documents with detailed timings for a few excursions I would recommend. They are all trips we have done from Thun which we have really enjoyed. I have given you alternative routes to Brienzer Rothorn - we prefer to go up via cableway and return by steam train to Brienz because when we stay it is high season and the route up from Brienz tends to be very busy at the ticket office - bit of a rugby scrum to be honest - though in September it may be quieter!

If you want to go Zermatt please be sure to check weather forecast before you go - we had a standing joke for a couple of years that when I was looking at weather each evening for following day - "it's raining in Zermatt"! When there, I recommend the Gornergrat train (50% off with pass) - great view of the Matterhorn and some possibilities to walk part of way down - ask at Zermatt tourist office for details of walks in the area.

For trip to Rigi, I suggest train to Luzern via Bern - quickest route - and returning by slower route on Luzern-Interlaken express for scenic views. Sit on right on leaving Luzern. Whole trip covered by pass.

I agree that the best direction for the walk to Kleine Scheidegg is to face the Eiger as you go - depending on weather and how long the walk takes you, you have the option then to go all the way up to Jungfraujoch from K.S. before you follow the route down via Grindelwald as suggested.

I have included a further suggestion which is less well-known - a trip to Engstligenalp - at the top there is a beautiful, serene circular trail surrounded by mountains - listen out for marmots whistling! There are a couple of restaurants near the top of the cableway.

I have used the timetable to research the times and platform changes etc. - it is an excellent source to plan in advance for stress- free travelling so do learn to use it.

Ideas for gloomy days when peaks are not the best option - the castles in Thun itself and in Oberhofen, boat trips on Thunersee and/or Brienzersee, a day trip to Bern - lots to explore there, a trip to Ballenberg Open-air Museum.

The tourist office in Thun railway station is excellent - usually has an English speaker on duty. They can give you information about hiring bicycles - one idea I had for that would be to take the bicycles on a bus up to Heiligenschwendi and ride down - some lovely views on that route which we have walked.

If you want more ideas - especially for some less well-known trips scroll through the trip reports section on this forum for reports for my previous holidays - there are quite a few dating back a few years now. Then if you need more details on any of the excursions we have done you can get back to me!

I am sure you will have a great time based in Thun - it is a lovely place to stay.

Enjoy your planning!

Maggie

Last modified on Jan 22, 2017 - 5:23 PM by maggiehorswell
Please login to see the attached documents
InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2017 - 3:41 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Slowpoke,

Fantastic pictures, especially of the Lauterbrunnen valley !

InTransit
InTransit
15 posts
new member
Jan 23, 2017 - 3:52 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Maggie,

Thank you so much for all the details !

Engstligenalp certainly looks beautiful as well as the cycling idea to Heiligenschwendi. Leaning more towards Engstligenalp than Zermatt !

I had 1 question regarding Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg - "This connection is possible on the following days: 1. Jul until 17. Sep 2017 daily". Our travel will be in the end of September or 1st week of October so this won't be available then?

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4735 posts
expert
Jan 23, 2017 - 9:01 AM in reply to InTransit

Hi Intransit:

Good to see that you are learning to use the timetable. Please check the attached screen grab for October 5th, in which I have expanded details for one journey.

The cableway ( this kind with a large cabin is called "eine Luftseilbahn" in German, so you will see "LSB" in the timetable occasionally) is running on October 5th and runs until at least October 22. Sometime around then service will might cut back to weekends only or no service at all, (no service on Monday October 23rd, for example) then shut down for a while for maintenance and start up again for the ski season in the Winter. For example, some kind of service begins on November 18th. That October 22 date is likely to hold for all the lifts and the train to Schynige Platte...they all tnd to have the same dates for closing and opening.

Please check your exact dates for travel in the timetable.

The notice that you see often appears when there is a change in schedule frequency or a change in the exact time at which the trips run. If the service is not running on a particular day, you get a full page notice saying so.

If you try November 9th, you will get a notice which starts out with -

<<"Dear customer,

Sorry! No connections have been found that correspond to your request. It is possible that the requested service does not operate from or to the places you stated on the requested date of travel (e.g. because some services do not stop at certain places on weekends).

You can check this by viewing the the arrivals/departures tables for Wengen and Männlichen LWM .">>

By the way, as you go from September to October, the chances of snow blocking high trails increases. Early October should be OK, probably even mid-to late october, but the weather can be unpredictable in the high Alps. Try to get those hikes in as early as possible. Snow can block a trail, even if the lift is running.. This past December, there was snow at Männlichen on the 18th, and the trail, though snow covered, was groomed for walking. ( boots with good soles, hiking staff to help avoid slipping or a misstep). The trail had not been cleared on the 16th or 17th. Once the ski season ends, the LSB does not run regularly until sometime in late May or early June, and the trail is not cleared until sometime in early June, depending on the winter snow pack, particularly, on conditions as the trail passes Tschuggen.

Slowpoke

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