Two weeks May-June arriving Geneva leaving Zurich

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Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Feb 20, 2019 - 3:27 PM

Hi,

I and my wife are going to Switzerland for 2 weeks from last week of May to first week of June. Here is our rough itinerary/wish list and any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!! We will be flying into Geneva on a Sunday and flying out of Zurich on a Saturday two week later.

1. We are interested in travelling by train (Swiss Travel Pass)

2. Geneva area ( 1 night in Annecy, CERN, Lausanne, Vineyards, Montreux/Chillon?)

3. Bern (Einstein, moderate hiking)

4. Interlaken area (scenic villages, cable cars, moderate hiking)

5. Lucerne (Mr.Rigi and/or Pilatus?)

6. Zurich (Chocolate tasting, day trip to Liechtenstein or Appenzell or Rhine Falls area)

7. Want a balance of cable cars (cost vs too touristy vs off the beaten path)

8. Want a balance of museums/activities (horology, chocolate, cheese, etc.) - off the beaten path vs well trodden. Any suggestions?

9. Any small towns near the main cities that may be worth going based on the duration of travel/rough itinerary

Thanks,

Srini

Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
Feb 21, 2019 - 8:04 AM in reply to Srini katta

HI Srini and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Sounds like you are planning a wonderful trip! 2 weeks will definitely be enough time to see all the places you mentioned at a leisurely pace and also discover some hidden gems along the way. The Swiss Travel Pass is also a very good choice: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass

My suggestion would be to map out the itinerary in detail so you are comfortable with the time you spend in each area and also the travel time. You can use our timetable for that: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Then read more about the areas where you are spending time in to see what you want to do:

Some of the places you have mentioned are wonderful, for instance CERN, Einstein museum are particularly worth it! CERN requires some planning though so make sure you read up on securing tickets if it's a highlight of your visit.

My only additions would be: consider visiting Gruyeres and the Cailler chocolate factory when you're in the Lake Geneva region which is a nice day trip and would tick the "cheese and chocolate" box. I would also suggest Chaux de Fonds horology valley (another day trip that can be done on your way to Bern or Interlaken).

In Appenzell, my suggestion for an off-the-beaten track experience is to hike to the Äscher Cliff Hotel (hotel perched on a cliff) which is a beautiful day hike and perfect for that time of year.

Hope this helps, have a great time planning your trip!!

Maria.

Last modified on Feb 23, 2019 - 9:21 PM by Maria
Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Feb 21, 2019 - 2:02 PM in reply to Maria

Thanks Maria! This is great information. I will definitely use the travel planner and check out other items that you suggested.

I am sure I will have more questions as I plan the trip further :-)

Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Feb 21, 2019 - 7:56 PM in reply to Maria

Maria - I haven't used the trip planner yet but here is the updated plan. Replaced Appenzell with Martigny mostly for Pierre Giannada. Added Gruyere. Not sure about chocolate train as I read that it is very touristy but time permitting, we may go to Favarger Chocolate Factory in Geneva. Do you think Jura is worth going over Phillip Patek in Geneva? Between Pilatus and Rigi, do you have a recommendation? And lastly (at this time anyway), do you have any suggestions for Lavax hike/vineyards to visit?

Day 1, Sunday May 26 – Geneva arrive 11.30 AM/Jet Lag/Relax

Day 2, Monday May 27 – Annecy

Day 3, Tuesday May 28 – CERN, Lausanne or Montreux (evening)

Day 4, Wednesday May 29 – Vineyards

Day 5, Thursday May 30 – Lausanne/Montreux: Chaplin/Chillon

Day 6, Friday May 31 – Martigny

Day 7, Saturday June 1 – Gruyere/Jura/Bern

Day 8, Sunday June 2 – Bern to Interlaken (evening)

Day 9, Monday June 3 – Interlaken area

Day 10. Tuesday June 4 – Interlaken area

Day 11, Wednesday June 5 – Interlaken area, Lucerne (evening)

Day 12, Thursday June 6 – Lucerne (Pilatus/Rigi)

Day 13, Friday June 7 - Zurich

Day 14, Saturday June 8 – Zurich depart 9.30 AM

Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
Feb 22, 2019 - 7:20 PM

Hi Srini

I love your itinerary, what a wonderful mix of culture, scenery and relaxation!

The Chaplin museum is definitely worth a visit. Thanks for the tip about Pierre Giannada, had no idea! Will definitely go when I'm next in the area.

I haven't done the chocolate train myself but heard from friends it's not worth the money :) Favarger in Geneva should be worth a visit, let me know what you think of it.

The Jura is quite a vast area, where would you intend to go? I would skip it unless you plan to do a hike there or something (e.g. Creux du Van.) Gruyères and Bern are more than enough for a day (I guess on day 7 you're just arriving in Bern for the night).

The jury is out when it comes to Pilatus vs Rigi,however Pilatus is higher and rockier so I guess you get to see more steep terrain there and grassy meadows on Rigi, but both have spectacular views! It is possible to do both in a day, albeit exhausting...!

The best way to experience Lavaux is to hike through the vineyards, have lunch somewhere and take in the spectacular views! The whole hike is 3 hours 15 mins, from Lutry to St Saphorin, but you can also do sections of it then get on a train at one of the stops on the way, such as this suggestion on our site: www.myswissalps.com/hi king/lutry-epesses

I cannot see any open vineyards events on the day you plan to be there which is a shame: www.vignerons-lavaux.ch/N218/manifes tations-lavaux.html

However I'm sure you could find a 'cave' (French for wine cellar) that would offer a wine tasting + meal if you dig on the Lavaux site.

If you fancy a gourmet (albeit pricey) lunch, I would recommend the restaurant Tout un Monde in Grandvaux: toutunmonde.ch

Hope this helps finetune your trip, and once you're back home, we would love a review of how it went on our site! www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/tripreports

Maria.

Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Feb 22, 2019 - 8:18 PM in reply to Maria

Maria,

First of all, let me thank you again for these great suggestions !!!!

I will definitely do my part and provide a detailed trip report after I come back.

As far as your suggestions are concerned:

1. I mistook Jura to Chaux de Fonds. I thought the watch museum was in Jura. We will skip Chaux de Fonds if we go to Phillipe Patek museum in Geneva.

2. We can do Lavaux on Thursday if we have better luck with the Vineyards. We may do a combination of train (Lavaux Panoramic Tourist Train) and hike. Thanks for the Tout un Monde recommendation. It looks amazing, though it has limited choice for vegetarians. We may still go there for lunch.

Other:

3. I am a bit concerned about CERN tour booking. I read somewhere that the booking opens 15 days before the day of the tour and the slots are booked within 2 minutes. The booking opens at 2.30 AM in the East Coast US time :-(

4. I haven't really thought about 2-3 days in the Interlaken area. We probably will stay in Greindelwald.

5. I am a bit concerned that I may be cramming too many activities during this trip :-)

Thanks,

Srini

Maria
Maria
818 posts
top member
Feb 22, 2019 - 8:35 PM in reply to Srini katta

You're welcome! Glad I could help you. To reply to your questions:

1) Ah that makes sense. Yes it is a bit of a way out, and would only make sense if you want to see more than one museum and the whole history of horology, then it would be worth it. The Patek Philippe is a good compromise :)

2) I took my parents on the Lavaux Panoramic train and they absolutely loved it. And they tend to have a wine tasting included in the trip :)

3) Of all the things on your trip, the CERN visit will require the most planning for sure. Another way to do it would be if you know a physicist or someone who works there! If you're out of luck let me know and I can try my connections... It is really worthwhile though if you want to learn about antimatter!

4) Lots to do in that area, have a look at www.myswissalps.com/in terlaken and check the trip reports as most people who come to Switzerland visit this area.

5) I think your itinerary is doable. But if you want a day to relax, then make a list of the things you might be prepared to change or drop and make sure you're comfortable with the travel times... You can always decide to change something at short notice: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

All the best to you and your wife on this trip!

Maria.

Last modified on Feb 23, 2019 - 9:43 AM by Maria
Srini katta
Srini katta
13 posts
new member
Feb 22, 2019 - 8:58 PM

Thanks Maria. I especially appreciate your offer for CERN. It is very generous of you! I will try first and see if I can snag a slot.

Good suggestions on flexibility. The musts for me are: hiking among vineyards, visiting Einstein Museum and CERN. And of course, a cable car/mountain train or two !!!

Initially, we planned to include Northern Italy (Milan, Cinque Terre and Lake Como) and Bernina Express but realized that we will not be able to do justice to Switzerland. Hopefully, we can do that along with Ticino in a later trip.

I am tempted to go to Chaux de Fonds instead of Patek but my wife is not a huge museum buff. It may be a tough sell to include both Chaux de Fonds and Pierre Giannada :-)

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