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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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10 days in Switzerland at the beginning of September

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I know that the travel dates are far off, but I'm in the mode of just booking the flight and now I want the whole thing figured out. My husband and I will fly into Zurich on Sept. 3rd (arrival time is 1pm). From reading some of the posts here, it seems like taking the train directly to Lucerne is a good idea. We live in a big city, so neither of us feel a need to stay in Zurich (I don't think we've actually stayed longer than a few hours in any major European city when we've traveled - we both prefer getting out into the actual country.). Once we get there, we have 8 full days to explore. We leave from Geneva on the 13th.

I had thought of doing a few nights in Lucerne as a base, a couple nights in Wengen (or Interlaken - it really depends on what type of accommodations we go with), a night or two in Zermatt, and then the last night in Geneva - though our flight is not until 2pm so we could stay in Montreux and leave early from there - again, staying in a larger city isn't a big deal for us.

Our biggest thing that we want to do is hike. Not any kind of crazy scaling a mountain type stuff, but we're pretty big on hiking some moderate to difficult trails here in Washington, so things of that nature. Not something we want to do everyday, as we also have no issues just walking around and taking in the views, but we do want to do our fair share of it. I guess that's where I'm having trouble with finding out which bases to use. My original plan looked like this:

3rd- Zurich to Lucerne when we land (if Zurich really is worth walking around, we may stay for a few hours and do it, but it's not a deal breaker)

4th - Lucerne

5th - Lucerne

6th - Lucerne

7th - Lucerne

8th - Lucerne/Wengen

9th - Wengen

10th - Wengen/Zermatt

11th - Zermatt

12th - Zermatt/Montreux

13th - Geneva

But I'm also torn on a day trip to Lugano. Much as I'd love to go to Italy and eat an ungodly amount of pasta, I don't want to go until we can spend ample time around the entire country.. so a nice day trip (or overnight) to a spot that's very Italian influenced would suffice. I'd imagine getting to Como would put too much strain on our days and make things feel rushed? But would Lugano be the same? If it would sound feasible, would it be best to do it after Lucerne/before Wengen/Interlaken? Or should it be scratched all together? I should mention that we'll be getting the Swiss Pass rather than renting a car.

I think the main thing is, we want to see all we can, but this is different than other trips we've taken in Europe. We've always just rented a car, started driving around and stopped when we saw things we thought were interesting. So relying on a train is a different experience. Especially with all the different scenic ones - and the Swiss Pass gives you the free ride on the Panorama train - basically that's all overwhelming to me and I feel like I need it explained to me like I'm 5 years old of what we should and shouldn't do.

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