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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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15 day Switzerland Itinerary - all advice welcome.

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After much helpful advice from kja and others in my first post, my wife and I decided to devote the full two weeks to Switzerland. We’re looking for mild summer weather, beautiful scenery, and some casual hiking so Switzerland really seems to fit the bill. Based on my research so far, we've come up with the following rough itinerary. Within each region, we’d like to base in one hotel/B&B for 2-3 nights; it would be nice to stay in some smaller villages, but hopefully not sacrifice too much proximity to public transit for activities during the day.

Day 1: Arrive Zurich in the evening. Take train to Lucerne area for three nights. No specific plans for Lucerne yet besides the Tellskapelle.

Day 4: Train to Ticino for two nights. Is it worth taking the Wilhelm Tell Express? We’ll probably have spent some time on the lake cruises already, and I’ve read that the panorama cars can be very hot in the summer. I’m leaning towards staying in Locarno or Ascona rather than Bellinzona or Lugano.

Day 6: Bernina Express to Graubunden for two nights. This is the area where I am most lost about where to stay. It seems like there are several areas that all have a good amount of hiking and other activities.

Day 8: Train (Glacier Express?) to Zermatt (or somewhere else in Valais?) for two nights. If it looks like the weather will be uncooperative, we may try to cancel and head directly to Montreux area

Day 10: Train to Montreax/Vevey/Lausanne for two nights. We plan on a day trip to Gruyeres or Fribourg and a day sightseeing around Lake Geneva. This will be a few days before the Montreux Jazz festival.

Day 12: Train (Golden Pass?) to Berner Oberland for three nights. Is it better to stay in the Lauterbrunnen valley or in Murren/Wengen/Grindelwald? It seems more convenient for day trips to be on the valley floor, but the car-free villages sound like cute places to stay.

Day 15: Train to ZRH for afternoon flight back to U.S.

One question I have is whether it’s worth taking the named scenic trains, or just take regular trains along the same route? I read elsewhere that the windows on most panorama cars don’t open and they can become quite hot. It would also be nice to have windows that open for photos as they obviously won’t turn out through a plexiglass bubble.

Another question is whether we should cut one location and use those two days elsewhere. My first thought is to skip Graubunden, particularly since the Bernina Express is such a long trip. On the other hand, I’ve read that it’s the best scenic train ride.

Beyond that, I welcome all comments and criticisms as well as recommendations for things we should be sure to see in each region. Thanks in advance!

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