Zurich - 3 days in August - best Alps trip options

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TPAPPAN
TPAPPAN
5 posts
new member
Mar 13, 2018 - 1:12 PM

I'm staying in Zurich for 4 nights in August and would like to know the best day trips to see the Alps without a tour company.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 13, 2018 - 5:04 PM in reply to TPAPPAN

Hi TRAPPAN, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

Check out Mt. Titlis, Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi close to Lucerne. The Jungfraujoch might be of your interest as well. It will be a very long day from Zurich, but it is doable.

Are you traveling by train? You can use the Swiss timetable to plan your trips. Have you thought about a rail pass yet? We have information on our website here.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Peterli
Peterli
635 posts
top member
Mar 14, 2018 - 7:48 AM

Hallo,

First things first; are you staying for 4 nights in Zurich because you have a place to stay there ? If so, knowing how expensive accommodations can be in Switzerland, I can understand why you are thinking of making day trips from there. If not, would you be willing to consider staying elsewhere, perhaps in one or two places, in order to be closer to the mountains that you wish to see ? Either way, I can suggest a very doable day trip from Zurich that is seldom mentioned on this site, and that is a trip to the Säntis, which is the highest mountain in Eastern Switzerland. Take a look at the following two sites: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ S%C3%A4ntis and saentisbahn.ch/en/ (make sure you click on "Cable Car" on the top menu). And if you want to see what the live view is up there, here is a 360 degree Roundshot camera: saentis.roundshot.com/ . The view is simply fantastic. Right now it is just a little after 9:00 AM there and it's very sunny with a lovely blue sky. I don't know where you are, but in case you are far away, check the time difference when you want to see the daytime view from the Säntis. Attached is a screen save I made just a few minutes ago (c/o Roundshot), showing the view to the SSW.

Last modified on Mar 14, 2018 - 8:26 AM by Peterli
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TPAPPAN
TPAPPAN
5 posts
new member
Mar 15, 2018 - 11:27 PM

I truly thank you all for your responses. Gives me more to go on. I am staying in Zurich because that's where the plane is landing; but, I am open to saying elsewhere just to see my father's homeland and the Alps. I will take into consideration all of the input I've received. I thank you all. Terry Pappan ( Heule)

1960man
1960man
651 posts
top member
Mar 16, 2018 - 1:22 AM

Rather than going to all the cliched 'mountain tops' which are crowded with all the other tourists (especially the Jungfraujoch - which has now become almost like a theme park and has lost the magic it used to have)

If you just want to see the Alps, and feel the local atmosphere, I recommend you do stay in Zurich and travel round from there. After all, you can see the Alps from the apron of Zurich airport which proves they are not that far away!

In my honest opinion too many visitors to Switzerland ignore the 'lowland' areas but they are just as characterisitically Swiss as the mountains.

Some round trip suggestions that will allow you to see the scenery

Zurich - Erstfeld - Göschenen - Andermatt - Brig - Zürich

Zurich - Erstfeld - Göschenen - Andermatt - Oberalp Pass - Chur - Zürich

Zürich - Luzern - Interlaken - Bern - Zürich

Zürich - Chur - Thusis - Filisur - Davos - Klosters - Landquart - Zürich

for a quintissential Swiss 'lowland' experience try the bucolic hills and green fields of the Emmental (of cheese fame), ie Zürich - Luzern - Langnau in Emmental - Bern - Zürich

Most importantly, remember that with the Swiss transport 'taktfahrplan' regular interval timetable you can normally get off a train and catch the train at the same time past the hour in the same direction 1 or 2 hours later and the itinerary will be the same.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Mar 16, 2018 - 2:09 AM in reply to 1960man

Love your work, 1960man! 😎

Peterli
Peterli
635 posts
top member
Mar 16, 2018 - 2:57 AM in reply to TPAPPAN

Hi Terry,

<< but, I am open to saying elsewhere just to see my father's homeland and the Alps. >>

Do you know what city or village your father is from ? Are you planning or hoping to go where your father grew up ? If the answer is "yes" and we know where, perhaps somebody could propose this as part of one of your day trips.

I must say there is a certain resonance in what 1960man is saying about all the mountaintops that are constantly referred to by people on this website. This is why I often suggest places that are more off the tourist-beaten track. Earlier in this thread I mentioned the Säntis in the Appenzell area, and I often try to sneak in a pitch for places in the French-speaking part of the country. It's too bad that more people didn't have the time to experience the Swiss-German, Swiss-French, the Swiss-Italian and indeed the Rumantsch parts of the country. They would get a better sense of the variety of Switzerland, both physically and culturally.

Last modified on Mar 16, 2018 - 3:02 AM by Peterli
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Lucas
Lucas
9622 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 16, 2018 - 7:54 AM

Good points on getting off the beaten tourist path from time to time!

The Jungfraujoch, Pilatus, Titlis etc have excellent marketing departments. :)
Often a traveler only knows those mountains without knowing much else about the country (nothing wrong there - they are cool mountains!)

I'd like to find time to get to Säntis myself in the coming weeks. I'm also heading to Ticino over Easter which I'm looking forward to! Taking the Centovalli Express to get to Locarno from Domodossola and then the Gotthard Express route (regional train though) on the way back to Zurich.

With limited time in Switzerland, I think it is often best to visit one or two mountains in different areas to get a good taste.

Last modified on Mar 16, 2018 - 7:57 AM by Lucas
rockoyster
rockoyster
4027 posts
expert
Mar 16, 2018 - 8:37 AM in reply to Lucas

" I'm also heading to Ticino over Easter which I'm looking forward to! Taking the Centovalli Express to get to Locarno from Domodossola and then the Gotthard Express route (regional train though) on the way back to Zurich."

Looking forward to that trip report Lucas. Interesting to see what you make of Ticino in April.

Lucas
Lucas
9622 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 16, 2018 - 1:30 PM in reply to rockoyster

Me too! It is often about 5 degrees warmer there than Zurich - so I'm just hoping for sunshine!

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