Jun 8, 2010 - 11:57 AM
Hello to all -
I just stumbled across this website while trying to plan our holiday (which is such a better term than vacation), and have to say that there is a ton of great information on here. And those of you that respond to the questions are fantastic. I have read a bunch of threads and gathered a good amount of information, but after seeing the way you response to these questions I felt like I should post my own and get direct advice. So thank you in advance to all those who help!
My wife and I are flying into Athens and spending 8 days in Greece, then hopping on a place to Rome to spend 11 days in Italy and then leaving from around the Cinque Terre area (Levanto or La Spezia) and heading into Switzerland for the final (but most anticipated) part of our trip for 11 days. We love to hike and be outdoors and cannot wait to see the beauty Switzerland has to offer. We are bringing two backpacks with minimal clothing and our tent and will be camping throughout each country for the month we are visiting. We are planning on heading to Interlaken and then into the scenery that is the Berner Oberland right away. So some of my questions for those of you in the know or those of you who love giving great advice are:
1) Does it make sense to get the Swiss Card or Berned Oberland Pass or both? We do not have a Eurail pass for Greece or Italy and are just buying point-to-point tickets, because we won't be moving around all that much. The same goes for Switzerland. We will be taking a train from around the Cinque Terre across the border to the Interlaken area. We then plan to hike, camp, and stay around this area for the duration of our trip. We will then take a train to Zurich to fly out. So, with us only having 2 long days of train rides does the Swiss Card make sense? I know it gives other benefits, but if we are staying in the Berner Oberland for pretty much the entire time, does it make more sense to just get that pass? Or are there benefits to having both. [sidenote - we are 2 adults traveling together]
2) Since we are packing in backpacks we are not bringing a ton of clothing. Which is fine for Italy and Greece, but will we need heavier gear for Switzerland? We will be in Switzerland from July 11 - July 21. We will have the proper rain gear, but nothing heavy. Also, we are wearing a type of hiking sandal called Chaco. It is a great hiking sandal and will work well for every type of surface, but we plan on hiking a lot and trying to get to some pretty high trails. Are they still snow covered during mid-late July? If so, I am assuming there are places around the area that would rent or sell hiking boots that we could get, correct?
3) We are planning on camping throughout the trip and I have been searching on the web for good campsites around the Berner Oberland area. I have found Camping Jungfrau and Camping Eigernordwand which both look nice, but I was wondering if any of you had any other suggestions for us? Also, is it possible to hike on the trails and then just put your tent down somewhere for the night and pack up and keep hiking the next morning? Or is camping more relegated to being in a specified campsite?
4) Most of the looking I have done has been in the Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Gimmelwald, Grindlewald, and surrounding areas (that are just south/southeast of Interlaken). But with us being there for 11 days, what area some other areas around that would be good day trips? We don't really want to stray too far from the area, because it seems like there is so much to do, but are Lake Thun and Lake Brienz really nice? Is it worth making a further trip somewhere else?
I know all of these questions are not directed toward rail questions, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. So thank you for the time, and if there are any hidden gems or wonderful advice you would like to divulge I would love to hear it. Have a great one!!