Wengen or Grindelwald as base for family of 6

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Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
May 23, 2018 - 6:13 PM

Hello Friends,

We are a family of 6 ( my wife and myself, 2 boys and my parents 66 and 68) are planning to spend 6 to 7 nights in Swiss Alps this June 2018. Will be arriving into Zurich on 22nd June early morning.

Our Trip so far is as below :

June 22 - Arrival to Zurich. Zurich to Zermatt by train.

June 23- Zermatt . Excursion to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise.

June 24 - Zermatt. Leave afternoon for Bernese Oberland where we need to select a base

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 - Leisure day in BO or possible excursion to visit Chocolate and Cheese Factory in Gruyere

June 29 - Rail transfer to Paris.

My questions are :

1) I am stuck between selecting either Grindelwald or Wengen for my base. Basically we want to stay somewhere Convenient for my excursions as mentioned above, and also with good views and stuff to do for my kids. I hear that the views in Wengen are magical and that Grindelwald is more touristy. I also understand while Wengen is a car free while Grindelwald has also more stuff to do. If I select Wengen, will the travel to the excursions mentioned above be longer. Also my parents prefer not to walk too much, would this be a problem if I select Wengen. Also if we are basically going to be leaving every morning to go for the excursions, would it matter where we are staying ? Could anyone provide insight on which base would be better in my case considering also I am travelling with my parents and my children.

2) Do you think a day trip to the Chocolate Factory should be done while I am staying in the BO area or I should visit it after Zermatt before BO. I could also spend a night near the Chocolate factory ? Any Suggestions.

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

Regards, Avish

Lucas
Lucas
9291 posts
expert &
moderator
May 24, 2018 - 6:11 AM in reply to Avish

Hi Avish,

  1. Wengen is a popular town but on a hillside which might not be great for walking around with your parents. Grindelwald is, I think, a bit more convenient for your planned trips (except to Lauterbrunnen and Schilthorn but it isn't too bad for that either.
  2. It would be a little simpler for you to stay in Montreux for one night perhaps and visit the cheese and chocolate factories nearby before heading to the Bernese Oberland region. It would be a long day from Grindelwald that is for sure.
  3. Use the SBB timetable to plan out all trips around Switzerland and see what can and can't work for you and your family.
Peterli
Peterli
564 posts
top member
May 24, 2018 - 6:28 PM in reply to Avish

Hello Avish,

Before I chip in with any advice or suggestions, can you tell us from where in Switzerland you will be departing to go to Paris ?

Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
May 24, 2018 - 6:45 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for your feedback. Also I am considering to do one Mountain excursion during my visit to BO, either Jungfrau or Schilthorn. Read a few reviews saying that Jungfrau is quite busy during summer. Would you suggest I do either of the two. Since I will also already be doing Matterhorn excursion while in Zermatt. And perhaps I could have some leisure time while in BO and perhaps go for a hike on the day or do some acitivities for the kids.

AS for the Chocolate Factory, I understand that Maison Cailler is the one of the most popular chocolate factory tour in Switzerland. Are there possibly any other ones you could recommend which is perhaps not so far off. Or do you think it is definitely worth the effort to visit especially for the kids. Also I could either consider to visit the Chocolate Factory once I arrive in Zurich (as my flight arrives early morning 6:30).

Please do let me know if you have any other suggestions on anything else i could include in my itinerary.

Thanks, Avish

Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
May 24, 2018 - 7:14 PM in reply to Peterli

Hi Peterli,

I am arriving into Switzerland via Zurich and upon arrival will proceed to Zermatt for 2 nights. Then Zermatt to the BO area (Wengen or Grindelwald as a base which am considering). Then I intend to depart to Paris from the BO area whichever is my base(Grindelwald or Wengen). I am not sure yet if I should or could include the Maison Cailler Chocolate tour in my itinerary.

Look forward for your suggestions.

Thanks, Avish

Peterli
Peterli
564 posts
top member
May 24, 2018 - 8:25 PM in reply to Avish

Hello Avish,

Switzerland is a small country with an excellent railway system, but it still does take some time to make some movements. For instance, it will take a good part of June 22 to get your group to Zermatt. It's a good thing that you will be able to get an early start if you choose. Your June 24 move to the Berner Oberland will take some time (I am assuming you will take the Golden Pass route) so I am concerned about when you leave Zermatt (you say the afternoon). This is why I think Lucas has a good idea with you staying in Montreux for a night before continuing on to the Berner Oberland, be it to Wengen or Grindlewald, or even Lauterbrunnen. If you were to stay in Montreux for the night of June 24 and then visited Broc (and possibly near-by Gruyères) on June 25 and then went to the Berner Oberland, you would need to switch your June 25, 26, and 27 activities to June 26, 27, and 28. I would say that your planned activities for your three days in the Berner Oberland are all quite do-able, and I hope that you are lucky with the weather. The Jungfraujoch trip is definitely the most expensive so don't waste your money going up there if the weather is bad. Being in the area for three days certainly enhances your chances for good weather. I am assuming you will be using the Swiss Train Pass. By the way, you probably already know this, but going up to the Schilthorn is free with the STP. By the way, have you looked into the Harderkulm in Interlaken ?

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
May 25, 2018 - 12:36 AM in reply to Avish

>> Also I am considering to do one Mountain excursion during my visit to BO, either Jungfrau or Schilthorn. Read a few reviews saying that Jungfrau is quite busy during summer. Would you suggest I do either of the two.

The Jungfraujoch is indeed very busy in the summer. As the Schilthorn is now free with the Swiss Travel Pass, it will be very busy as well.

They have just introduced an optional reservation system for trips to the Schilthorn, probably due to the numbers of visitors expected. You can learn more here:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/new-schilthorn-cable-car-reservation-process

Alpenrose

Lucas
Lucas
9291 posts
expert &
moderator
May 25, 2018 - 6:45 AM in reply to Avish

Hi Avish,

Both Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch will be fairly busy yes. Schilthorn is free though with a Swiss Travel Pass so that is nice. :) Have you looked into rail passes? How old are your kids?

If you don't go to Montreux and the Cailler chocolate factory near Broc you could go to the Lindt chocolate factory near Zurich.

Avish
Avish
16 posts
new member
May 26, 2018 - 12:26 PM

Hi everyone,

After some consideration, I will opt NOT to visit Maison Cailler or Lindt Chocolate outlet as it seems to be out of the way. I will indulge in a chocolate experience in either Interlaken or Zermatt. Any suggestions on this ? In exchange of the chocolate tour, I hope to have a cheese farm experience for my kids. Any suggestions on this also ?

So I think I will finalize my itinerary as below :

1) June 22 = Arrival at Zurich by flight @ 6:30am. Will take the 8:40am train from Zurich Airport to Zermatt. SBB mobile app shows that the arrival in Zermatt is at 12:14 with a change in Visp within 6 minutes. Upon arrival in Zermatt, will walk around the village and if group not too tired, may consider to visit Sunnega. Accomodation in Zermatt @ Hotel Coeur Des Alpes.

2) June 23 = Day excursion to Matterhorn ,Glacier Paradise and if time permits to the Gornegratt.

3) June 24 = Depart for BO. I checked and the Golden Line / Glacier Express schedule and the last train on the glacier express is at 9:52 (zermatt to Brig, Brig to Spiez, Spiez to Interlaken) and on reservation on the Zermatt to Brig on the GEX is unavailable anymore as I checked on the GEX website. Seats are available on the earlier trains but I would not like to push my family to leave early. Is the views on this train a lot different that the regular route ( Zermatt to Visp, Visp to Spiez, Spiez to Interlaken). I would prefer to depart at noon from Zermatt and arrive BO area for my hotel checkin at 4pm.

4) June 25 = Day excursion to First, Eiger Cliff Walk, Zipline adventure, Pfigstegg toboggan and perhaps some actitvities around that region.

5) June 26th = Possible excursion to either Jungfrau or Mt Schilthorn with some activities in that related area depending on weather and if not will shuffle the excursion to another day.

6) June 27th = Possible leisure Hike to nearby trails and also possible Cheese Farm visit in the alps.

7) June 28th = Possible Visit to Lauterbrunnen area with its many waterfalls and maybe Interlaken for some activities ( Harderklum) or nearby area.

8) June 29th = Depart from Interlaken to Paris at about 12noon ( Interlaken to Basel to Paris Gare du Lyon.)

Options of staying in BO area = Grindelwald at Parkhotel Schoenegg, or Wengen at Beausite Park Hotel. Any other recommendation. Still considering which to finalize.

Would like recommendation if perhaps I should extend a day in Zermatt or keep the above as is. Also any other recommendations or child friendly activites to add for my itinerary would be helpful.

Thanking you all and look forward on your insights, Avish

Travelholic6
Travelholic6
40 posts
active member
May 26, 2018 - 7:02 PM in reply to Avish

1. Grindelwald would be my suggestion . It has al lot of facets which appeals all traveller constiuents - treks , quaint restaurants and the adventure as first mountain etc . It provides good connectivity to Jungrauch ..and also to Schilthorn .

2. It is possible to do the Broc and Buille route (Choclate factory / Cheese) from Grindelwald . Get down to Interlaken West and bard the Golden Pass to Zweiisman . A bus takes you to Montobovan to Buille and Broc .

Lucas
Lucas
9291 posts
expert &
moderator
May 27, 2018 - 7:11 AM in reply to Avish

Hi Avish,

Wengen is very popular on this forum, as is the Beausite Hotel there - can't go wrong with either town though.

For cheese farm / tour options look here for some help:

I think your itinerary is pretty good. I don't think an extra night in Zermatt is needed but that depends on whether there is something else you want to do there.

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