Mar 25, 2013 - 4:54 PM
Hi Mat and Bek! Great that you get to visit Switzerland during your Europe tour. As for your questions:
1) A day trip to Zermatt would result in a long day, but it's definitely doable. Travel times can be found through the timetable. If time and weather allow, definitely get up to the Gornergrat for amazing views.
2) Lauterbrunnen is located more centrally. If you want to make day trips in the directions of Interlaken and the lake Thun and lake Brienz regions as well, it would be a better base than Grindelwald or Wengen. Grindelwald and Wengen are generally considered to be more scenic though.
3) There are several paragliding options from Interlaken. You can get up to Schynige Platte or Beatenberg for example. This overview of tandem flight providers may be of help.
4) Since you're coming for Paris and continuing onto Munich, it would make sense to enter via Geneva indeed. You could take the Golden Pass train from Montreux, get to in Interlaken and spend your days there. Next, take the following section of the Golden Pass train to Lucerne and end your tour in Zurich.
5) and 6) First of all: if you plan to do train traveling in other European countries too, one of the Eurail passes may be interesting for you. They don't offer quite as much discounts for Switzerland as Swiss rail passes do though. Your itinerary isn't quite finalized yet, so it's a hard to say which pass will turn out to be best. As for Swiss rail passes: the Swiss Pass is a very convenient choice, as many trips are for free: you simply can get on board of whichever train, bus or boat you like without having to buy a ticket. The Golden Pass train (except for seat reservations) is entirely covered, and so is the leg Zurich-Swiss/German border. You will need additional discounted tickets for mountain transportation in the Jungfrau Region. Please review the downloadable validity map at the Swiss Pass page for a complete overview.
A Swiss Half Fare Card may turn out to be cheaper if you restrict yourself to short, local trips. Mind that you'll have to buy discounted tickets for every trip you want to make (including the Golden Pass train). Further details can be found here. Once you have decided what you would like to do, you can start making some calculations.
In both cases, you'll need a regular train ticket from the Swiss border to Münich. You can search for tickets here, and/or order them along from the same reseller as you purchase your rail pass from.
Last modified on Jan 27, 2020 - 11:19 AM by Arno