First of all huge thanks to everyone on this Forum – your expertise and enthusiasm has been invaluable in helping us plan our first trip to Switzerland next week. We are a family of four with two “kids” (both Uni students) and we’re celebrating our Silver wedding anniversary so we have put together an itinerary which hopefully suits us all.
Day 1 Arrive Basel late night – stay nearby
Day 2 Explore Basel for a couple of hours pick up hire car and drive to Griefensee near Zurich. Overnight Griefensee.
Day 3 Few hours in Zurich then drive to Chur. Overnight Chur.
Day 4 Leave car in Chur and take Bernina Express to Tirano. Overnight Tirano.
Day 5. Return to Chur on regular train then drive to Lake Brienz where we’ve rented a chalet apartment for a week.
Day 6-11 based in Brienz
Day 12-14 – 3 nights in Grindelwald to explore Jungfrau
Day 15 Drive to Luzern and stay overnight
Day 16 Flight back from Basel late afternoon
I know everyone says the train is the best but with 4 adults, a car plus the Swiss Half Card works out the most convenient option for us. I bought the Passes via your link and they were emailed to me within five minutes! Thanks to your site I was able to price the various activities we’d like to fit in as I did wonder about adding the 4 day Bernese Oberland pass especially for when we’re in Grindelwald. But we would not fit all activities covered by that Pass into the 4 consecutive days and would still need to use the Half Card. And the 6 day Pass works out at more than using the Half Card paying as we go. Also we don’t want to be dashing about every day - it’s nice to just chill as a family. Brienz seems a good base as it’s more scenic than Interlaken but still possible to do Pilatus, Schynige, Oeschinensee, Trummelbach Falls, Aare Gorge etc from there. We love lakes – swimming and kayaking plus easy cycling.
From Grindelwald we hope to do the hike to Bachalpsee and explore via Wengen, Männlichen, Kleine Scheidegg, Lauterbrunnen, and Murren. I’m not sure about Jungfraujoch as we’ve worked out that even with the discount it will still be twice what our flights from the UK cost! I appreciate the upkeep involved but we may have to save that for another time. I’m also concerned it may be too touristy at the top? Schiltorn works out a little less for four adults so that can be an option.
My two queries are -
Day 2/3 – Zurich? Every time someone suggests visiting Zurich on the forum you seem to dissuade them from doing so. We need to be in Chur for the Bernina Express early on Day 4. Would you suggest overnighting somewhere else en route to Chur from Basel?
Secondly – I know this sounds daft having chosen to holiday in Switzerland but I have a terrible fear of heights. It’s severe and in the past I have totally freaked out on chairlifts that I thought would be ok. I can just about manage a gondola type lift like at Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain (btw Lucas – we love BC, honeymooned there and stayed in Victoria) but anything very small or open or that stops and swings about (the tiniest wobble feels like a huge movement to me) – I get hysterical. Once I am up a mountain I am fine. I stay away from the edge! And I think the cog wheel trains would be ok too. I have tried Googling various lifts but are there any lifts/journeys that I need to steer clear of? Or hikes that involve bridges/narrow ledges (anything that involves having to actually move myself across at height is impossible. I freeze.) I know about the viewing platforms etc and can sit those out whilst the others enjoy them. I am worried that a journey involving several lifts may mean I start off ok and then can’t complete the last leg. The others will have to continue and collect me on the way back….. Any suggestions?
Thanks so much for all your help.