Switzerland trip planning help for June - 9 days

Switzerland trip planning help for June - 9 days

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Mainsail
Mainsail
4 posts
new member
Jan 18, 2018 - 10:18 PM

Hello, and thank you for hosting this site,

it looks like there is so much to do in CH, that it becomes more confusing the deeper you dig,

My name is Patrick. My family of 5 (parents and 3 kids ages 11, 14 and 18), will be visiting beginning of June for 9 days. Arriving and leaving to/from Geneva Airport (visiting from Chicago).

We would like to spend time in the Alps, visit the cities, do some hiking, cogwheel train ride, see the glaciers and lakes, etc

The initial thought is to set base in Geneva for a few nights. Visit Geneva one day, then from there take day trips to Chamonix and to Lyon (one day each), and maybe visit Lausanne by boat.

Must do is visit a cheese factory for our 11 y old. Thinking about Gruyere, although I see some were disappointed (is there anything better?) Do you actually get to see some of the cheese making process there? Does it require a whole day or what else can you do during that day?

Also 3-4 days in the Bern area to visit Interlaken, Zermatt (what would be the best way to do that? Is one day enough?).What routes and activities would you suggest in that area? Would like to see glaciers. We would like to visit Bern, of course, but I’m wondering if we should set base in Bern proper or in one of the surrounding towns (Thun?) we would need good access to the train, of course.

Is there any other area where we could set camp for a few days and visit from there? I don’t know if we want to go as far as Lucerne, because it would be a long ride back to Geneva, and we don’t want to spend 7-8 hours on a train.

What Swiss train pass would be recommended for our family configuration?and would that be valid for trips into France as well?

We are thinking to stay with Airbnb hosts or Homeaway - do you think there are better options.

We are in tbe early stages of planning, and thank you for your help!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3914 posts
expert
Jan 18, 2018 - 11:25 PM in reply to Mainsail

H Mainsail and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Sorry don't have spare time for longer response just at moment but for alternate to Gruyères Cheese Factory consider emmentaler-schaukaeserei.ch/en/ not too far from Bern.

Use Swiss Train Timetable (www.myswissalps.com/ti metable) to work out how long it takes to get anywhere. You can certainly get back from Lucerne to Geneva in way less than 7 - 8 hours for example and the timetable will always give you the fastest route.

You should read “How to chose the best travel pass” (www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass).

rockoyster
rockoyster
3914 posts
expert
Jan 19, 2018 - 4:28 AM in reply to Mainsail

Hi Mainsail,

You don't say what times your flights arrive/depart. That will impact on feasible itineraries.

If you spend a day in Chamonix (long excursion from Geneva) and a day in Lyon you are down to 7 days in Switzerland.

Leaving that aside your best bet would be to head over to Zermatt (www.myswissalps.com/ze rmatt and www.myswissalps.com/go rnergrat)for a couple of nights.

Then on to establish a base in the Jungfrau Region (Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Grindelwald). You can easily fill four days there. See www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion.

Returning to Geneva you could take the scenic Golden Pass Line (www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass) from Interlaken to Montreux.

Depending on what you priorities are don't discount Lucerne (www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne). Personal opinion but I think you would be better spending a couple of days there rather than Geneva and bits of France.

If it works out cost effective (you need to do the math based on your final itinerary) you could get 2 x Swiss Travel Passes, 1 x Youth Swiss Travel Pass for the 18-year old and Swiss Family Card (free with STP) to cover the younger ones.

Arno
Arno
11146 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 19, 2018 - 9:23 AM

Hi Patrick,

The cheese factory in Gruyères is small. I like it, but don't expect to spend a day there. More like 1 to 2 hours. You get to see the actual cheese making, yes. It's easily combined with a trip to the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Broc: cailler.ch/en/maison-cailler/la-chocolaterie-suisse/. A direct train connects both sites. The Swiss Travel Pass that Rockoyster mentioned gets you free entrance to both. The train is included too.

Last modified on Jan 19, 2018 - 9:23 AM by Arno
Mainsail
Mainsail
4 posts
new member
Jan 20, 2018 - 3:26 AM

Thank you.This is very helpful. I will ask more questions as my trip planning progresses.

Mainsail
Mainsail
4 posts
new member
Jan 21, 2018 - 2:23 AM

So, I think we’ll be settling on a schedule that will look something like this:

Day 1 - arrive in Geneva, visit city

2. Visit Lyon

3. Travel from Geneva to Bern. Visit city. 3 nights in Bern.

4. Daytrip to Gruyere

5. Daytrip to Lucerne/Pilatus

6. Move to Wengen/Interlaken area, spend day there

days 7-8 spend in the mountains there

9. Golden pass to Montreux

10. Montreux to Geneva Airport

I hope this will be a good mix of visiting cities and the mountains, and some scenic routes

From checking the timetable, all train trips will be about 1-2 hours, so I hope we will have enough time to do all this. What do you think?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3914 posts
expert
Jan 21, 2018 - 2:40 AM in reply to Mainsail

Hi Patrick,

I would say Lucerne is a better city to visit than Bern but I note your desire to cover Gruyères.

When visiting Pilatus the round trip including the cable car from Kriens and cog-wheel to Alpnachstad is worth doing (or the other way round). There is a Golden Round trip including boat between Alpnachstad and Lucerne or you can take the train if time is short coming from Bern.

Enjoy!

Mainsail
Mainsail
4 posts
new member
Jan 22, 2018 - 4:03 PM

Thank you, Arno & Rockoyster.

Moved my stay to Lucerne for 3 nights. The distance to Gruyeres is not terrible, and we may do Emmental for a cheesefactory instead.

My next question is: What is the best base in the Jungfrau region, as far as accessibility to trains, hiking, etc? Looking at Interlaken, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3914 posts
expert
Jan 22, 2018 - 7:47 PM in reply to Mainsail

I would choose Wengen. It’s only 15 minutes from Lauterbrunnen but car free, up above the valley and with stunning views.

For details see www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Last modified on Jan 22, 2018 - 7:48 PM by rockoyster
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5006 posts
expert
Jan 22, 2018 - 8:09 PM in reply to Mainsail

Hi Mainsail-

Check this thread....well down it you'll find some images from the Schaukäserei in Affoltern i. E. on April 16, 2015 at 1547.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/langnau-in-may/page/2

emmentaler-schaukaeserei.ch/en/

It is much more substantial than the one in Gruyeres

However,. I think cheese from Gruyeres is much better. ;-)

You access Affoltern by bus once per hour, thence to/from local train lines through the really nice Emmental scenery.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jan 22, 2018 - 8:10 PM by Slowpoke

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