9 day summer holiday in Switzerland -planning help

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9 posts
new member
Jun 6, 2018 - 9:32 PM

To celebrate our son graduating from university (with honors!) I'm taking him for 9 days in Switzerland. He is a Swiss citizen (through his mother, who - sadly - won't be able to join us this trip, but will on the next), but he has never visited there. This will be my second visit. He and I are both multi-lingual, my German and French are incredibly weak. We are both strict vegetarians. Since this is a celebration, we do intend to splurge a bit. I want to be able to do some hiking, some exploration by boat, and some leisurely strolling and sitting with lakeside views.

So, with all that in mind, we'll be making a summertime trip lasting nine days. My thought was to travel by train for the whole trip, ideally using only the SwissPass. I thought we might use certain cities as hubs, and move out from them each morning to explore. I really want him to see some of the mountain views and pastoral scenes in the Oberland that I loved when I was there. I'm an amateur photographer, and I want to take LOTS of pictures :D.

I don't want to move around to too many cities, for fear that we'll miss opportunities for adventuring because we were so busy travelling. I was thinking:

Day 1 - Arrive Zurich early morning, train to Lucerne

Day 2 - Lucerne

Day 3 - Interlaken

Day 4 - Interlaken

Day 5 - Interlaken

Day 6 - Montreux

Day 7 - Montreux

Day 8 - Zurich

Day 9 - Zurich

Day 10 - Fly Home in the morning

Obviously I can shift this depending on when trains run (for instance, is there an afternoon/evening train from Montreux to Zurich?).

So, my first questions are broad:

- Is this, generally, a viable itinerary?

- Is there anything I should likely shorten or lengthen?

- Should I substitute another city for Montreux?

More specifically:

- What's the best use of my time in Interlaken?

- I was thinking hikes on Day 3 and 5, and then a boat trip of some kind on Day 4? My goal is to maximize scenery. I welcome all suggestions.

- Obviously the Chateau de Chillon is a must-see in Montreux. Anything else there that's a must-see?

- Any good boat trips?

- I was thinking Lucerne would be a nice place to just introduce him to the country, and I welcome some suggestions there as well. I remember enjoying the parks there a lot.

Thank you for all your help!

10496 posts
top member
Jun 7, 2018 - 6:17 AM in reply to CJoshuaV

Hi CJoshuaV and welcome to MySwissAlps!

As a first thought, when in the summer are you visiting? To answer your questions broadly see below. If you have more questions let us know!

  1. The rough itinerary looks fine. I'd suggest staying in one of the alpine villages near Interlaken, rather than Interlaken itself - much more scenic. The main towns of the Jungfrau region are noted here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/jungfrauregion & for activity suggestions during your stay there click the what to do tab.
  2. I'd only spend time in Zurich if you are looking for shopping or museum / art gallery visits. If you want to focus on mountain scenery stay longer in the other areas.
  3. No, I like Montreux. For Montreux suggestions look here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/montreux/activit ies
  4. I think Lake Thun is a good boat trip (https://www.myswissalp s.com/boatlakethun) but all are great! https://www.myswissalp s.com/activities/sceni ctrips/boat
  5. Lucerne activity suggestions are noted here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/lucerne/activiti es

There are many train trips each day between towns in Switzerland (2 or 3 per hour). You can use the Swiss railways timetable here to plan out all your trips: https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable

For tourists, you'll want to look at the Swiss Travel Pass (not SwissPass which is for residents).
https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass

9 posts
new member
Jun 7, 2018 - 9:11 PM

Thanks very much! All that is very helpful. Personally, I really like Zurich (I'm a big city person), but our primary reason for being there will be to spend time with family.

I've posted a tentative train itinerary in the Rails section, so hopefully someone there can tell me if I'm doing anything particularly stupid.

Are we just as likely to find vegetarian food in the alpine villages as we are in Interlaken itself? My chief complaint about travelling in Switzerland as a vegetarian is that I am always hungry.

10496 posts
top member
Jun 8, 2018 - 5:39 AM in reply to CJoshuaV

I like it too, but I prefer living in bigger cities (more amenities, not that I'd call Zurich big!) compared to smaller ones (which I'd rather holiday at).
Zurich just isn't usually on the top of people's lists to visit in Switzerland (at least the first trip). Having family there changes that!

I would expect you won't have too much trouble finding vegetarian options at the various restaurants in smaller villages, but there will be less selection than Interlaken.

Grocery stores like Coop and Migros could be helpful for finding vegetarian options as well. They have pretty good take-out selections.

Last modified on Jun 8, 2018 - 5:48 AM by Lucas
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new member
Jun 8, 2018 - 8:02 AM in reply to CJoshuaV

>> My chief complaint about travelling in Switzerland as a vegetarian is that I am always hungry.

See if any of these links are useful.


www.tibits.ch/en/resta urants



The Happy Cow website has a list of over 250 vegetarian restaurants and also offers a mobile app to locate them.

www.happycow.net/mobil e

The supermarket Coop has introduced a range of vegetarian ready meals called Karma.

www.coopathome.ch/en/i nspiration-%26-gifts/labels/karma/c/m _1049?lang=en


9 posts
new member
Jun 13, 2018 - 1:18 AM

Thank you all! This is very helpful.

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