Cultural & historical trip plan to Switzerland

Cultural & historical trip plan to Switzerland

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dmiclat02
dmiclat02
1 post
new member
Jul 9, 2018 - 1:23 PM

Good morning All

OUR REQUEST:

We would greatly appreciate your itinerary suggestions regarding WHERE (regions/towns/cities) and WHEN (early, mid, late month or alternative late spring or summer month) to spend a total of 7 nights in Switzerland in June 2019. Please feel free to include any specific tours, activities, vendors, hiking routes, etc...

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Immediately after Switzerland, we will be traveling to Santorini/Crete for a beach/resort family holiday.
  • Our prioritized goals for Switzerland are listed below and we are seeking to avoid "the masses" and obtain the best value for our money.
  • Please note that we will be flying direct from US into Geneve and will likely depart from either Geneve or Zurich.
  • In regards to intra-country transportation, we are open to Swiss Rail, Lake Steamer, and Private Car Rental or any combination thereof.
  • Our early research has led us to further investigation of Lac Leman Region, Bern, Interlaken/Jungfrau Region, and Luzern. We are open to alternative regions/cities to accomplish our holiday goals.

ABOUT US & OUR HOLIDAY GOALS:

  • We are a family of 4 adults - Parents both 56, daughter 24, and son 22.
  • All in good to very good overall health (musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, hearing and vision).

Our goals for the Switzerland holiday are listed below in order of priority (most important to least important):

  1. Historical & Cultural Education Walking Tours: Swiss Banking, Albert Einstein, Swiss watch industry, other major world contributions from Switzerland. We enjoy private educational tours provided by either company/industry insiders and/or university history professors with renowned subject matter expertise. We enjoy learning about the "Why?" (i.e. the driving reasons/forces) behind historically significant events - e.g. then socio-economic and political environment, individual and group motivations, and other "not so well known key facts."
  2. Hiking Quintessential Swiss Natural Landscapes: Qty 1-2 hikes in quintessential Swiss natural landscapes (e.g. panoramic views of iconic Swiss Alps, alpine meadows, valleys, lakes, waterfalls, etc..). Hikes can be of medium+ difficulty or easier with a max duration of 5 hrs.
  3. Semi-Professional DSLR Photography: Quintessential Swiss natural landscapes (see #2 above), alpine wildlife, and major Swiss national/canton landmarks (e.g. castles, bridges, etc...). We especially enjoy the colors of sunrise/sunset photography and will have the requisite camera lenses and accessories.
  4. Foodie Scene: Fondue, chocolate, traditional swiss cuisine - we like to taste and cook (behind the scenes culinary experience).
  5. Cultural Interests: A day in the life of the modern Swiss family - rural vs urban.
Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 10, 2018 - 6:18 AM in reply to dmiclat02

Hi dmiclat02 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

We don't create itineraries on MySwissAlps, but we can certainly help get you as much information as we can to help you create your own. If you'd like a contact that will create an itinerary and book it for you look here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/plantrip

I would suggest coming in mid-late June as that is when all mountain attractions and hiking trails should be open. This is especially true in the Jungfrau region (https://www.myswissalp s.com/jungfrauregion/a ctivities) with some of the more well-known Swiss scenery and hikes becoming open/available. The peak summer season doesn't really start until early July so you may miss a bit of the crowds as well.

Often, the best way to travel around Switzerland is by public transport (trains, boats and cable cars into the mountains). You can read about traveling in Switzerland here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/travel/inswitzer land

A Swiss rail pass would be the simplest option for you here. There is an 8 day Swiss Travel Pass that covers most of the country and offers discounts into mountains that aren't fully covered.

You can read about the Swiss Travel Pass and it's benefits (validity area, how to use, etc) here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/swisstravelpass

The Swiss Railways (SBB) timetable will show you all possible connections to any towns/mountains in Switzerland and will give you the most direct routes by default: https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable

For a background and facts about Switzerland we have a page here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/aboutswitzerland

For a 7 day trip, you'll probably want to limit moving more than two or three times if possible. I might suggest staying in the Jungfrau region for 2 nights. I think you'll find a town like Wengen (https://www.myswissalp s.com/wengen) to be more interesting than Interlaken (https://www.myswissalp s.com/interlaken).

Bern, Geneva and Zurich are great for city experiences and finding historical tours. Perhaps 2 nights in Geneva or Montreux and 2/3 nights in Bern (day trips to Zurich can be done fairly easily).

https://www.myswissalp s.com/geneva / https://www.myswissalp s.com/montreux
https://www.myswissalp s.com/bern / https://www.myswissalp s.com/zurich

On our activities page (https://www.myswissalp s.com/activities) we list some popular scenic trips by boat or train, natural sites and city and culinary tours.

We don't currently have cultural tours linked on our site but other members may be able to guide you on personal recommendations.

I hope that gives you some helpful tips for your travel plans. Let us know if you have more questions of course after exploring the website. I'm sure other members can help with their advice as well - especially on the cultural side of the experience.

Last modified on Jul 10, 2018 - 10:58 AM by Lucas
Snowman
Snowman
140 posts
active member
Jul 10, 2018 - 1:51 PM in reply to dmiclat02

Hi dmiclat02,

Congratulations for planning in advance!

Your goals 1-5 are very ambitious, considering that you will be in Switzerland for about 7 days, of which one or two under jetlag. Lucas is very knowledgeable and I am sure his advice in the previous message are useful to your planning process.

I live in Geneva and have a family similar to yours. I assume from your questions that this will be your first trip to Switzerland. I would gladly help you, including as a personal guide in Geneva, but I don't know at this stage if I will be there in June 2019. Plus, that would involve a previous personal contacts and MySwissAlps does not provide private messages. We can figure that in due time.

1. History/culture. In Geneva, you could look into the Reformation (why did it take place, how did it shape the city until today - banking, immigration, etc. -, what are the current challenges), and/or the international organizations (why are they here, what are they doing, what's the comparative advantage of Geneva), and/or the decline of industry and the progress of services. You see immediately that addressing the why? question would take up more than a few days. There are people who spend their entire life studying just these issues... Plus, your kids (and yourselves) might prefer a good swim at the lake beach of Les Pâquis... (www.geneva.info/bains-des-paquis/). Oh, we could also look at architecture...

2. Hiking. The Lavaux vinyards (UNESCO heritage):

map.schweizmobil.ch/?lang=en&land=wanderlan d&route=all&bgLayer=pk &layers=Wanderland&sea son=summer&resolution= 9.25&E=2545883&N=11477 41

Click on the green trail left to the "R" of "Riex" and you will get a description of the "Terrasses de Lavaux" trail. Switzerland Mobility is the most comprehensive website on hiking in Switzerland. So there are hundreds of other choices...

3. Photography. My advice is that you don't try to copy famous photographs (google Matterhorn Lake and select IMAGES....), for which the holes for your tripod are already there in the ground, but maybe occupied by another photographer. Again, the possibilities are countless. In June, sunset takes place around 10 pm. If you do the Lavaux trail mentioned before, you will face the lake and see the sun set behind the Jura range (oh, I contradict myself: google Lavaux sunset and select IMAGES!). Note that there can be period of evening storms in June (like this year).

4. Food. Local people wait for late automn to have fondue... In the summer you could find out that the best hamburgers (in the world, I mean...) are those of The Hamburger Foundation

( www.thehamburgerfounda tion.ch/en/index.html ).

5. Modern family day. Let's figure if we can arrange something. But you will find out that a Swiss "modern family" is pretty much americanized... You can have a grasp of the local life by going to the produce market (such as in Bern: www.bern.com/en/detail /produce-market), or stroll in a non-tourist urban district (in Geneva, that would be Les Eaux-Vives or Plainpalais), or a town off the beaten track (try La Chaux-de-Fonds, or Burgdorf, or Rapperswil...)

Sure you want to stay only one week?

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 11, 2018 - 4:27 AM in reply to dmiclat02

You might like to look into these:

Swiss Tavolata

www.swisstavolata.ch/i ndex.php?language=en

Many are accessible by public transport, but check accessibility and transport schedules before making a booking.

Taste my Swiss City

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-au/campaign-taste-my-swiss-city.html

Be My Guide

www.bemyguide.ch/en/i-am-a-guest/

You can read a review of this service by a forum member here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/part-1-of-16-day-trip-report-swiss-riviera

If you were in Switzerland between mid-September and early October, you could experience an Alpabzug/Alpabfahrt/désalpe (German/German/French term). This is when the cows are adorned with elaborate floral headdresses and big cow bells, and led down in a parade from their summer pastures high on the alps back to their winter quarters in the village before the winter snow sets in. There is usually a farmers' market and/or festival in the village as well.

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-au/events.html?strubrik=2312

If you are interested, you can read my account of the one in Seewis im Prättigau in October 2016 (with photos) here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/alpabzug-seewis-im-praettigau-8-october-2016

For other cultural events, you could check here for a suitable date and location to suit you:

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-au/events.html

The Swiss National Day on 1 August each year usually offers the opportunity to see interesting cultural and folkloric events all over the country.

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-au/swiss-national-day-august-1st.html

www.myswitzerland.com/ en-au/events.html?strubrik=1560

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jul 11, 2018 - 5:04 AM by Removed user

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