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8-9 days trip in Jungfrau, Lucerne and Zermatt

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Mishravijit
Mishravijit
6 posts
new member
Jul 28, 2020 - 7:46 PM

Hello everybody! I am planning a trip to Switzerland for 8/9 days in April/May 2021. Our group will be of 5 adults with 2 elderly members. We shall use Zurich Airport as our entry and exit points. Main points of interest are the Jungfrau area (Interlaken, Lauterbrunen, Grindelwald, Schilthorn, Murren, Wengen, Jungfraujoch etc.), Lucerne area ( Lucerne, Titlis, Pilatus, Rigi, Engelberg etc) and Zermatt. We are also interested to travel the scenic route of Glacier Express and the Golden Pass route. We are NOT interested in snow sports. The pristine natural beauty for which Switzerland is famous is our main interest. With this background, I like to submit the following questions before the esteemed members of this forum:

1. In my itinerary I have kept initial 2 nights for Lucerne region, then a night at Zermatt followed by 4 nights in Jungfrau region and finally a night at Zurich before catching a flight out of Switzerland. Is the itinerary alright or it should be tweaked a little?

2. Which places should we use as base so as to cover the points of interest comfortably?

3. I am planning to purchase 2 Swiss Rail Pass for 8 days for myself and my son who will be travelling the most. For the rest of the group Swiss Half Fare pass shall be purchased combined with point to point tickets whenever required. Is this plan cost effective?

Thanks in advance!

Avijit Mishra

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
115 posts
active member
Jul 29, 2020 - 6:52 AM

I have done 8 days trips based on your travel plan only in May 2017. I stayed in Interlaken for 7 days and 1 day in Zurich since my flight in morning was early.

I would suggest you can have 2 bases - Lucerne 3 days, Interlaken 4 days and 1 day in Zurich. In 3 days, you can cover Lucerne local sightseeing, Mt Titlis and Mt Pilatus / Rigi. In 4 days you can cover Bernese Oberland. We did a day trip to Zermatt. It was a long day but doable. Also we went on the day when weather was clear and we could see Matternhorn very clearly. The advantage of Interlaken / Lucerne are

- Many options for accommodation, transport hub, many Indian restaurant and Indian groceries. We are vegetarian so we had limited choice for food

My parents are in 70 and we all travelled together. If your elderly members have no mobility issues, travel together. Switzerland has the most amazing public transport and elder members travel comfortably. For my parents, it was a trip of life time!!!!

Mishravijit
Mishravijit
6 posts
new member
Jul 29, 2020 - 7:49 AM in reply to Shroffchetan

Many thanks Chetan ji for taking time to give a detailed reply to my questions. Since you have done the trip yourself in the same region your experience in this regard will be very helpful for me while planning the trip in detail.

Yes, in my case too my elderly parents are accompanying us. Although there's no accute mobility issue as such, certain level of comfort in travelling and day tripping are required. In that light do you think it's advisable to visit Zermatt as a day trip?

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
115 posts
active member
Jul 29, 2020 - 8:52 AM

When we visited my father was 73 years old and mother 68 years. Train travel in Switzerland is an experience in itself. Forget about famous train journey like Glacier Express. Any train journey is scenic and comfortable. I did not realize that I should have 2 bases instead of one. But we never felt tired. Also when a day was hectic we used to travel leisurely on second day

My friend stayed in Zermatt for 2 days but he could not see Matterhorn clearly due to cloud and rain. When we visited Zermatt, we were planning to visit Bern. But my landlady told me that weather will be superb at Zermatt and we changed our plan on the spot and visited Gornergrat

One of the reasons why I chose Switzerland over other places in Europe was ease of travel. But take a call at your end considering stamina and physical health of your elderly members.

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NewModerator
NewModerator
27 posts
active member &
moderator
Jul 30, 2020 - 10:27 AM in reply to Mishravijit

Hi Avijit,

Welcome to MySwissAlps!
A day trip to Zermatt is very doable while you will be staying the Jungfrau region. The RegioExpress Lötscherger is a great way of getting there, but there's a faster route through the Lötschberg base tunnel as well: https://www.myswissalps.com/lotschberger
As for the rail passes which would suit you best, you can find some help here: https://www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass. You might need to do some calculations to find out which pass is more suitable for you and your family. You will find an excel spreadsheet on the same link which will help you make the cheapest choice. You can check details for your selected rail passes here: https://www.myswissalps.com/swisstravelpass and here: https://www.myswissalps.com/swisshalffarecard

Let us know if you manage or if you require more help!

Greetings, Sara

Last modified on Jul 31, 2020 - 6:12 AM by Annika
Mishravijit
Mishravijit
6 posts
new member
Jul 31, 2020 - 6:31 AM in reply to NewModerator

Many thanks Sara, for your opinion about the day trip to Zermatt from the Jungfrau region. The webpage of the RegioExpress Lotscherger is very helpful indeed with a plethora of information and options. I am now planning to make a day trip to Zermatt either from the Jungfrau region through this scenic rail route.

Regarding the Rail passes, I shall definitely visit the webpages suggested by you and decide about my cheapest option. But prior to that I shall have to finalize my itinerary with help from the learned members of this forum.

For the time being, I have the following question:

  • Since we are planning to stay about 4/5 days in the Jungfrau region and likely to conduct extensive travelling in that region, which place should we make our base station - Interlaken, Lauterbrunen, Grindelwald or Wengen?

Regards, Avijit.

Mishravijit
Mishravijit
6 posts
new member
Jul 31, 2020 - 6:48 AM in reply to Shroffchetan

Thanks Chetan ji, for your considered opinion about travelling in Switzerland. After going through various webpages of myswissalps.com I am also having the confidence that my parents will not face much difficulty. Although they are a bit older than your parents, by the grace of Almighty, both of them are physically quite fit at this moment.

I am also taking your advice and now shall visit Zermatt only as a day trip from the Jungfrau region after getting information regarding the local weather at Zermatt. I am also considering availing the combination of both RegioExpress Lötscherger and the Glacier Express, if possible, in making this day trip.

Thanks a lot, once again, with the hope that you will come forward in answering my further questions regarding itinerary, sight seeing etc., if any. Regards,

Avijit.

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
115 posts
active member
Jul 31, 2020 - 9:40 AM

Hi

Please visit my trip report on myswissalps.com on the link below

www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/trip-report-switzerland-may-2017

Please have patience and time for reading this since it is a bit detailed and lengthy. But I guess you will have many questions answered since I wrote this trip report based on questions I had before I planned trip.

Many forum members may not agree but for me Interlaken was very convenient since it has 2 train stations, Indian grocery store (near Interlaken West station), many choices of apartments. I used Interlaken as a base for travelling many places very conveniently and efficiently. My apartment was just 600 meters from Interlaken West train station

Anna
Anna
870 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 31, 2020 - 10:20 AM in reply to Shroffchetan

Hi Schroffchetan,

Thanks for sharing! I'm sure a lot of our members will find the information you've shared valuable. And I do agree, international travellers will find Interlaken a very convenient base due to its location and facilities offering plenty of choices in terms of food, shopping and activities: www.myswissalps.com/interlaken

Regards,

Anna

Mishravijit
Mishravijit
6 posts
new member
Aug 2, 2020 - 9:02 AM in reply to Shroffchetan

Thanks a lot Chetan ji, for sharing your own experience. Read both the documents containing wealth of information. A few doubts got cleared. However, as it's a planning stage for me, new questions never fail to come up. Two of such questions are submitted here for the knowledgeable members of this Forum:

  1. Whether it's not better to select a relatively quieter and nearer to nature place for a base station, considering the fact that the unpredictable weather may play spoilsport any day and put restrictions on outdoor activities? Of course, the place should be well connected through public transportation system.
  2. Considering the unpredictable weather, which month will be better for my trip, April or May?

Thanking all in advance. Regards,

Avijit.

Shroffchetan
Shroffchetan
115 posts
active member
Aug 2, 2020 - 12:37 PM

Hi

Answer 1: Interlaken and Luzern are major towns near major attractions in those regions which are transport hubs. That is the reason I mentioned them in my trip report. You can stay in Engelberg instead of Luzern for Mount Titlis but Luzern is more convenient as a base for surrounding areas like Mt Titlis, Mt Pilatus, Mt Rigi, Luzern sightseeing, even for day trip to Lugano. Similarly, Interlaken will be more convenient than Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren or Grindelwald.

Answer 2: Unpredictable weather will be on any day of the year for mountain excursions like Mt Titlis, Jungfraujoch. You can check weather a day before. Train station or your hotel reception can guide. Even you can check yourself. I used to take advice of my landlady and it used to be accurate / perfect.

We visited in May which is a shoulder season and weather was pleasant (around 10C in cities / towns). At mountain tops, it is freezing in any period.

NewModerator
NewModerator
27 posts
active member &
moderator
Aug 2, 2020 - 1:35 PM in reply to Mishravijit

Hi Avijit,

May is generally better to travel, not only for the weather, but also as more cable cars will be operational than in April: https://www.myswissalps.com/besttimetovisit

Hope this helps!

Greetings, Sara

Mishravijit
Mishravijit
6 posts
new member
Aug 4, 2020 - 2:08 PM in reply to NewModerator

Thanks Sara, for your advice. Initially I was planning for a trip in the third or fourth week of April. But considering the suggestions from you and Shroffchetan I am going to reschedule it in the first or second week of May. The webpage mentioned by you is also helpful.

Regards, Avijit.

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