Family trip to Bernese Oberland, Zermatt or both?

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Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
Apr 23, 2018 - 10:35 AM

Hi Friends,

We are a family of 6 pax traveling to Switzerland this June 2018 and would like some insight. My family consists of myself, my wife, 2 boys (12 and 6) and my parents (aged 68 and 66). We are arriving Zurich on 22nd June at 6am in the morning and intend to spend 6 to 8 days in Switzerland. Our main interest is to visit the mountains and enjoy the nature. We looked into visiting Zermatt (Matterhorn) and Bernese Oberland Area or if you have any other suggestions, we could consider. After Switzerland, we need to take the train to Paris where we will be spending a couple of nights.

1) First, would you suggest if we should visit Zermatt from Zurich or if we should visit the BO area from Zurich. Also which town should be the second stop which will offer a convenient or preferable travel to Paris. Do you also think it is worth to visit 2 places or should I just concentrate on one area, and in case of one, which one should I look into. Or do you think I should select one of the two between Zermatt and BO and should we consider another spot.

2) Also for the Bernese Oberland area, which town would be recommended to have as the base. I was considering between Wengen and Grindelwald. Basically we are looking to go for excursions to Jungfrauch, Kleine Scheidegg, Eiger Cliff walk, Pfingstegg Tooggan, First and perhaps visit some waterfalls. Also would be interested to do any cheese and farm activities with the children if any available in the area or perhaps a children friendly hike if any. So basically our activity would be sightseeing, and some activities with the children. Also would not want any excursions with too much walking as my father will not be able to walk over 400mtrs at a stretch without any breaks.

3) Kindly suggest nice family friendly accomodation in both areas which is convenient to the trains, transportation and restaurants.

So this is possibly what I have in mind so far :

Zermatt : 2 nights ( One day excursion to Matterhorn and the other days just leisure and explore the town of Zermatt)

Bernese Oberland Area (4 to 5 nights). Excursions in mind as mentioned above.

Another factor to consider is that I would not like to make this trip very tiring and hectic for my parents as they would prefer to move at a relaxing pace. Perhaps they could relax one of the days in the village/town when the rest of us can do an excursion.

Look forward to hear from all of you. Best Regards, Avish

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 23, 2018 - 2:39 PM in reply to Avish

Hi Avish,

I think you can visit both Zermatt and the Bernese Oberland. It's not a bad idea to go from Zurich to Zermatt and then to the Bernese Oberland. It's slightly shorter from Wengen or Grindelwald to travel to Paris. You can use the Swiss railways table to plan your trips: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable.

Wengen and Grindelwald are both nice villages and a good choices. From there you can visit the activities that are listed on your wish list. For cheese and farm activities, please use the search box at the top of this page. You will find posts of forum members who share their experiences. Have a look at our what to do webpage as well: www.myswissalps.com/ac tivities.

On our website we have hotels listed that are not far from train stations. You might be able to find something you like: www.myswissalps.com/ho tels/railstations. If you click on the villages earlier mentioned, you will also find a tab named 'hotels'.

I hope this helps.

Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2018 - 8:36 AM

Hi Chantal,

Thank you for your helpful advise. I will visit both Zermatt and Bernese Oberland as part of my Swiss alps vacation. As suggested by you I will travel to Zermatt first and then to the BO area. I have made the following itinerary for now :

June 22 - Arrival at Zurich Airport at 6.30 am. Rail transfer to Zermatt (3:12 h). Free time at leisure. Overnight in Zermatt.

June 23 - Mountain excursion to Klein Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Overnight in Zermatt.

June 24 - Rail transfer to Wengen or Grindelwald (3 hours) where we will make base. Free time at leisure in the afternoon.

June 25 - Excursion to Mt Jungfrau with visit to Kleine Scheidegg.

June 26 - Excursion to Grindelwald First for some adventure activities like zipline experience and Eiger Cliff Walk, poss. leisure hike. Pfingstegg Tooggan.

June 27 - Poss. mountain excursion to Mt Schilthorn, excursion to Lauterbrunnen valley with it's many waterfalls.

June 28 - Poss. excursion to Berne, visit of the old town, the clock tower and the bears. Or perhaps just could Leisure around BO area. Or perhaps could omit this one day and increase a day in Zermatt. June 29 - Rail transfer to Paris.

My concerns for the above are :

1) After reading up on Grindelwald and Wengen, I have come across insight that Wengen is a car free, quiet and smaller village like town while Grindelwald is a bigger town and more busy especially during summer. I am basically looking to enjoy a mountain experience where my parents and children will enjoy. With my above itinerary, could someone provide suggestion on what they think in my case would be better between the two, Wengen or Grindelwald.

2) Do you think 2 nights is enough for Zermatt or perhaps I stay 3 nights in Zermatt and then 4 nights in BO which means that I would not go to Berne. Or any other adjustment suggested for my itinerary.

3) Do you think there will be too much walking / excursions for my parents on this trip and does the train transfer from Zurich to Zermatt and then from Wengen/Grindelwald to Paris involve too much walking or is it short distances enough for them to walk. Or should I consider driving or renting a car from Zurich ?

4) I want to include Cheese / Chocolate / Farm activity but could not find anything yet in the BO area.

Thank you and to everyone else for the assistance and am grateful to have this forum available for insights on planning on the trip.

Kind Regards,

Avish

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 24, 2018 - 11:03 AM in reply to Avish

Hi Avish,

  1. I personally think that a car free village is ideal for kids. But I don't know what you're looking for? Grindelwald has more shops and restaurants. People on the forum tend to vote for Wengne. It offers panoramic views of the Lauterbrunnen valley, and mountains like the Jungfrau, Breithorn and Schilthorn.
  2. Yes, 2 nights is enough in Zermatt.
  3. I don't think there will be too much walking. You can book hotels close to the train station. I've given you a link. The train transfers don't involve too much walking.
  4. From Zermatt you could go to Gruyères (cheese factory) and Broc (Chocolate factory). And then from Broc to BO. Or as a day trip from BO. Read more here: www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/broc-and-gruhere-from-wengen
Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2018 - 11:23 AM in reply to Chantal

Hi Chantal,

Thanks once again for your prompt response.

I will look into Wengen and Grindelwald both and will select either depending on the accommodation that works better.

Also is there more to do in Grindelwald side such as the First Flyer, Cliff walk and other activities compared to Wengen ? Or perhaps would I be able to cover all of that in one day even if I stay in Wengen and head out for Grindelwald-First ?

I shall keep Zermatt for 2 nights and will consider to visit either 1) Berne or 2) Gruyères (Cheese factory) and Broc (Chocolate factory). Which would be easier to travel to and do in your opinion ?

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 24, 2018 - 12:40 PM in reply to Avish

You will be able to cover that from Wengen. Wengen and Grindelwald are not far from each other.

Bern will be easier / shorter, but the factories are more fun. Just play around with the timetable and find out what works best for you and your family.

Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
Apr 24, 2018 - 5:50 PM in reply to Chantal

Ok great, will look into it and update. Thank you so much !

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