Swiss itinerary planning help - 7 days late June

Swiss itinerary planning help - 7 days late June

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Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
May 18, 2018 - 10:15 AM

Hi MySwissAlps, Due to a last a last minute decision we are, a family of 4 with a teen (16) dude and a tween (10) dudette, are coming to the beautiful Switzerland from Singapore on 23rd June 2018. We will be staying for a week. Plan to land in Zurich and depart from Geneva after visiting the CERN. Our wish list is pretty exhaustive but would like to cover - Zurich, Matterhorn, Glacier Express, Interlaken, Mt. Pilatus, Lucerne, Geneva, Aletsch Glacier, Swiss National Park. I have no idea of Switzerland and the logistics. While burning the net I came across your wonderful website and immediately registered to post this query - Can you please advise to help me prepare an itinerary? Many thanks.

Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
May 18, 2018 - 4:52 PM in reply to Ashasvi

Hi Ashasvi and welcome to MySwissAlps!

We don't create itineraries here but we can give you advice so you create a good one for yourself.

First, have a look at the SBB (Swiss railways) timetable here. It will tell you train schedules between any town and mountain etc.

I usually try to keep my bases (towns to overnight in) to 2 if possible. As you don't want to take the time to change hotels every night (I would think).

To really enjoy your stay I'd cut something out (either the Swiss National Park or Aletsch Glacier and Interlaken (was there a reason to go there?).

St. Moritz and Zermatt make sense as hotel stops to coincide with the Glacier Express and then Lucerne for a night and then Geneva.

Hopefully that can help get your trip planning started - let us know if you have more questions!

Last modified on May 18, 2018 - 11:48 PM by Lucas
1960man
1960man
474 posts
top member
May 18, 2018 - 11:03 PM

The Swiss National Park is in the south east corner of Switzerland, and would take up too much time if you want to do the other places you have in mind

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4890 posts
expert
May 18, 2018 - 11:46 PM in reply to Ashasvi

Hi Ashasvi-

Hey Dude!

Lucas forgot to include this link:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

The Swiss National park is a wonderful place to hike in the mountains, although late June may not offer many open trails. It is best seen on foot; access by road/bus or train is limited to the periphery. Are you equipped for serious hiking? If so, we can suggest some good topo maps to work from.

1960man is correct..for several years ago. In fact, today there are several branches of the Swiss National Park. We have assumed that you are interested in the one in the Engadine...the original one.

Is that correct?

Slowpoke

Last modified on May 19, 2018 - 12:16 AM by Slowpoke
Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
May 18, 2018 - 11:48 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I did. thanks Slowpoke!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4890 posts
expert
May 19, 2018 - 12:17 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas-

No problem. I do it myself, routinely. ;-(

Slowpoke

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
May 20, 2018 - 1:59 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks Lucas. Is Zurich the best place to base our trip or please suggest otherwise. Appreciate your time. Also we would like to doSalzburg (Austria) day tour if at all possible. Pls advise.

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
May 20, 2018 - 2:00 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke.

Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
May 20, 2018 - 5:14 PM in reply to Ashasvi

Zurich as a base for the whole trip? No, I wouldn't do that. You get quite far away from Zurich on some of your planned trips. I would have two bases as I mentioned on my first post.

Once you finalize your itinerary it may be more obvious where it makes sense to overnight or we can suggest it (after 8 hours on the Glacier Express for example, ending in Zermatt you should overnight in Zermatt).

Last modified on May 20, 2018 - 6:56 PM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4890 posts
expert
May 20, 2018 - 7:54 PM in reply to Ashasvi

Hi Ashasvi -

You can check a trip to Salzburg on the timetable linked above.

Trains from Zürich to Salzburg are frequent, with one or two changes. Time required ranges from 5 hr 23 minutes to 6 hrs 19 minutes.

How much time do you plan to spend in Salzburg?

Actually, your list of Swiss activities that you hope to do is going to be difficult to fit into the time allotted.

An approach to consider is to open up this map:

map.search.ch/?pos=662912,179840&z=1

Pick out the cities that you mentioned. (I like to do it on a paper map....)

Also, using the links in My Swiss Alps that describe the scenic rail journeys, such as the Glacier Express, you can place the route on the map.

www.myswissalps.com/gl acierexpress/gettingth ere

Look under the tab for Route, and scroll down.

Then start thinking about some rational route for connecting your targets. The timetable tells you about journey times.

The nice thing about that particular map is that, if you zoom in to zoom level 32, the train lines pop up very clearly.

Under Points of Interest/Traffic, in the menus, turn on Trains(optionally, buses, trams, mountain transport).. Icons for train stations pop up. Mouse over them. You get the exact name of the station, which you can enter in the timetable for a start or destination. You don't need that for major cities, but if you want a suburban station or a stop on a cableway in the Alps, you can get a name for it. Or, a boat landing.

Also, as you do that exercise, its can lead to discussions about which places are more important.

This page can help with that:

www.myswissalps.com/wh eretogo

Slowpoke

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
May 21, 2018 - 3:15 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Dear Lucas, Slowpoke

Many thanks for all the inputs. So we have decided on the following places to see.

1. Zurich - Lindt Chocolate and cheese plus countryside.

2. Lucerne

3. Mt. Titlis

4. Mt. Pilatus

5. Jungfraujoch

6. Interlaken

7. Glacier Express.

8. Geneva- Cern

Reaching Zurich from Paris on 24th June by train and then departing from Geneva on the night of 1st July. Pls suggest the best way to fit in all of the above (if at all possible). Looking at the map and guidance on the net, I guess we can do Mt. Titlis and Pilatus from Lucerne. Jungfraujoch from Interlaken. I am wondering how to do Glacier express since if we start from Zermatt then we go back to St. Moritz. Is it possible to do the other way round i.e. start from St. Moritz or Chur and end at Zermatt then spend some time at Zermatt to climb up the Matterhorn and proceed to Geneva?

Another question is that there are tours available for all the attractions- I am looking at Viator. Do you suggest taking these tours or is it possible to follow the tour itinerary on our own through public transport if we take the swiss pass. I am conscious that this this the start of peak season and we are on a tight time schedule, so don't mind paying a bit more unless there is not much value add.

I know that there are a lot of questions and I may come across as being all over the place (which actually is not far from the truth) but I am very hopeful that with your thoughtful and timely assistance I will be able to make the best of our first family vacation in Switzerland. Many thanks in advance.

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Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
May 22, 2018 - 9:45 AM in reply to Ashasvi

Hi Ashasvi,

Yes, as you can see by your map the Glacier Express will be the tricky part to include on your trip. You could go:

Zurich --> Chur/St.Moritz --> Zermatt --> Interlaken --> Lucerne --> Geneva.

I'd go straight to Chur or St. Moritz the same day you arrive in Zurich to get the trip going right away. Everything else you note should work.

Do note you can't climb the Matterhorn. You can visit Gornergrat or Klein Matterhorn nearby for the best views of the Matterhorn.

If you buy the Swiss Travel Pass (https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ price) then I would recommend mostly doing it yourself (or you end up paying twice for the transport). In the end it depends on how comfortable you are on trains etc on your own (shouldn't be a problem usually).

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4890 posts
expert
May 22, 2018 - 3:47 PM in reply to Ashasvi

Hi Ashasvi -

I think Lucas has made the best possible suggestion to fit your diverse targets.

If I count correctly, you can have one two night stay at some place if you go directly to Chur or St. Moritz, depending on your arrival time on your first day. You'll miss Lindt ( although you'll have many chances to buy their candy) and you'll see plenty of country side along that route.

If I were doing it, I'd spend three nights on the combination of Luzern and the Jungfrau region. (Weather may adjust the proportions..cloudy weather in the Jungfrau region detracts a lot).

Between Titlis and the Jungfrau region, you'll have plenty of high mountains, so you could possibly skip Titlis, due to time needed to reach it. Or, you could skip Pilatus, but it does not save as much time.

If you choose two nights in the Jungfrau Region, I'd forget Interlaken...its main value is as a transfer point, and I 'd go straight to Lauterbrunnen, or Wengen (or a another village nearer the Jungfrau. A much more "Alpine" experience. And, putting that area toward the end of the trip makes sense...at the end of June, every day is precious toward the departure of Winter at those altitudes, and the opening of the Summer season hotels, restaurants, etc. You'll be ahead of the main crowds in July, still.

You still have put geographic outliers on your trip....St. Moritz and Geneva. So, your time in any one place will be more limited that if you skipped St. Moritz or Geneva. But, you can fit most of your wishes inthat plan.

Slowpoke

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
May 31, 2018 - 9:57 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Dear Lucas, Slowpoke. Many Many thanks for your help. Unfortunately due to some issues I had to change the date of travel. We will now be travelling mid to end July. Some have advised that the weather may be better then. Is it true? We were hoping to catch a bit of snow and kids hoped to roll in some. (Coming from Singapore snow would be an important highlight of our holiday)

I will be resuming the preparation of an itinerary shortly now that we have got the issues sorted. My first question is in terms of swiss travel pass. If we buy a 2nd class 8 day pass, will it be possible to upgrade it to first class in some sectors such as the glacier express?

Thanks and regards

Ashasvi

Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
May 31, 2018 - 12:51 PM in reply to Ashasvi

The weather should be, generally, warmer in July than June.
For snow look to Jungfraujoch and Titlis mountains.

Yes, you can upgrade your 2nd class Swiss Travel Pass for a 1st class ticket on specific trains if you like. On trains like the Glacier Express (where reservations are mandatory) you must reserve a 1st class seat; you can then get an upgrade ticket at the station prior to boarding.

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
Jun 5, 2018 - 11:08 AM

Dear friends from MySwissAlps. With the revised travel dates I have the following very rough tentative. Good part is that we have more number of days now.

Monday, 23 July, 2018 reaching Zurich 14:37 by train from Paris – Linde Factory, lake cruise from Burkliplatz, shopping & dinner

Tuesday, 24 July, 2018 Zurich - Rhine Falls then deart to Lucerne around 3 pm. Lucerne - Lucerne old town walk evening.

Wednesday, 25 July, 2018 Lucerne Mt Pilatus in the morning then in the evening Lucerne lake tour

Thursday, 26 July, 2018 Lucerne Mt Titlis then Depart to Interlaken by Gloden Pass Line

Friday, 27 July, 2018 Intrelaken – Jungfraugh in the morning then tour of Thun and Brienz in the evening.

Saturday, 28 July, 2018 Interlake – Schilthorn in the morning Depart to St. Moritz

Sunday, 29 July, 2018 Switzerland Glacier Express to Zermatt

Monday, 30 July, 2018 Switzerland Matterhorn in the morning. Depart for Geneva by train from Zermatt

Tuesday, 31 July, 2018 Switzerland Geneva lake tour to Lausanne

Wednesday, 1 August, 2018 Geneva Cern

How does this looks in terms of doability. I plan to buy a swiss travel pass flexible for 8 days. Do you recommend buying first class pass to beat the crowds? Do you suggest staying at other locations than Interlaken? Are we doing too many mountains and missing out on some other unique Swiss experiences? Haven't figured out things to do in Geneva except the lake your and CERN . Feel free to suggest improvements.

Much appreciate.

Kind regards

Ashasvi

Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 5, 2018 - 11:29 AM in reply to Ashasvi

Hi Ashasvi,

For 40chf more you can get the 15 day Swiss Travel Pass and then all your days are covered. https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass/ price

Your plan does look fine here. 1st class can work to have a bit quieter space on the train yes. I'd look atone of the towns listed here (other than Interlaken): https://www.myswissalp s.com/jungfrauregion

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
Jun 5, 2018 - 1:52 PM

Dear Lucas

Many thanks. Wengen looks good. I am concerned that we will be carrying good luggage with us. I think one suitcase each for a family of 4 and a couple of backpacks. Do you think that will be a hindrance to our hoping across small towns? Or are the cable car, cog rail and train system adequately designed for such travelers. If not that will be a factor in choosing our base stations. Thanks again in advance.

Kind regards

Ashasvi

Lucas
Lucas
8070 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 5, 2018 - 2:42 PM in reply to Ashasvi

It isn't always a lot of fun to move towns every day or 2 so I would try to keep your luggage to a minimum when packing. There won't be a problem getting luggage on to the trains though. You won't be on any cable cars with your luggage either.

Ashasvi
Ashasvi
9 posts
new member
Jun 7, 2018 - 10:14 AM

Dear Experts

I cant even begin to express the gratitude for your help in planning this trip. There is so much to do in this beautiful country that the more one researches the more mind boggling it gets. Plus there is the added pressure to make this once in a lifetime trip as perfectas possible. However I am sure that we will be back again. Coming to this trip. I have made the bookings for the first part up to Zermatt. (Day 5). Request advice as below for Day 6 and after.

Day 1: Zurich - Rhine falls in the evening after arriving Zurich at 3 pm.

Day 2: Zurich - City Tour Licdt Chocolate factory. Depart for Lucerne in the evening.

Day 3: Lucerne - Mt. Pilatus then Lucerne lake tour

Day 4: Lucerne - Mt. Titlis. DIY later in the day.

Day 5: Glacier Express form Chur - Zermatt. Arriving Zermatt by 8 PM.

Day 6: Zermatt: Peak to Peak, Glacier Paradise and Gornergrat. Do you recommend doing both. I understand that there is a cable car form one peak to the other and we could see both sides of the Matterhorn. How much time it should take to do both?

Day 6: after Peak to Peak. Take the train to Lauterbrunnen. Reach :Lauterbrunnen by 9 pm. Do you recommend we stay one more night at Zermatt and do the 5 lake walk in the morning and then leave for Lauterbrunnen after lunch. That will leave us with less time in the Jungfrau region.

Day 7: Lauterbrunnen (Assuming we left Zermatt on Day 5 and reached Lauterbrunnen the same night.) - DIY - Wengen, Murren, Thun. Suggestions welcome.

Day 8: Lauterbrunnen - Jungfraujoch. How much time we should allot for this trip. We will like to really soak this in and all the snow that we can get. Planning to take the Golden pass route to Montreux that will make us depart Lauterbrunnen at 4:30. Also assuming weather is fine, will the views be any different if we went early by 9 am?

Day 9: Montreux: Please suggest. Definitely want to do do the walk to Chillon Castle. Will like to reach Geneva by the night.

Day 10: Geneva. DIY lake and city tour. CERN. Depart back home at 9 PM from Geneva airport.

Many thanks in advance.

Kind regards

Ashasvi

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