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Planning a 10 day Swiss and Austrian Tour

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We are planning a 10-11 day Swiss and austria trip early October, preferably a self driven trip.

After some research we discovered that doing a circle for dropping the car at the pick up point would be quite hectic due to the time limitation. Hence we divided the trip into two halves.

Get in at Geneva take the car across the west and drop the car at Zurich. Another leg would be to take another car from Innsbruck (preferably) and drop it off at Vienna and take the flight out.

Since we have some constraint in time and also a car would be the preferable option of transportation, we donot want to drag out luggage from station to station, we need some inputs to get it streamlined.

Our decided itinerary, Leg 1: Geneva>Lausanne>Bern>Zurich; Leg2: Innsbruck>Salzburg>Vienna.

We are open to explore the not so well known parts take some detours or change some bits.

Also is the above mentioned option feasible within the timeframe?

Thanks and Cheers
SG

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    >> Our decided itinerary, Leg 1: Geneva>Lausanne>Bern>Zurich; Leg2: Innsbruck>Salzburg>Vienna.

    We are open to explore the not so well known parts take some detours or change some bits.

    Also is the above mentioned option feasible within the timeframe? <<

    Try this:

    Arrive Geneva. Rent a car. Drive to Montreux or Vevey(instead of Lausanne) for 2 nights.Possible excursion to Chillan.

    Drive(Could take scenic route 11 via Interlaken) to Bern (or Lucerne or Grindelwald)for 2 nights.

    Take train (change in Zurich) from Bern or Lucerne to Innsbruck for 1 night.

    Rent car in Innsbruck. Drive to Salzburg for 3 nights.

    Drive to Vienna for 3 nights.

    Fly home from Vienna.

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    Many thanks @dugi_otok

    Is it worth staying one night at Zurich?

    The scenic route seems a brilliant idea, but the extra mile might be an issue considering the shortage of time. If we skip the night at Zurich maybe its worth it.

    Last year we have been to engelberg and luzern. To be honest none of those two places have been what we were looking for.

    Also is one night enough of two night should be ideal for Geneva? We would like to do the river cruise and some walk around the city.

    Inputs for Fribourg and montreux please.

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    >> Our decided itinerary, Leg 1: Geneva>Lausanne>Bern>Zurich; Leg2: Innsbruck>Salzburg>Vienna <<

    Tell me more about your itinerary. You list 7 destinations for 11 nights.That is a lot. How many nights at each destination? You must be ok with 1 and 2 night stops? What activities in each location?

    >> Is it worth staying one night at Zurich? <<
    With so few days I would skip an overnight at Zurich.I would even skip Innsbruck but it is a convenient location for you to rent a car in Austria.

    >> The scenic route seems a brilliant idea, but the extra mile might be an issue considering the shortage of time. If we skip the night at Zurich maybe its worth it. <<

    Most people think of Bernese Oberland when they think Alps and Switzerland. It is worth a drive thru if you insist on Bern(a cosmopolitan and charming city). I would base in Grindelwald in the B.O. Early October is a beautiful time of the year to be in the mountains and on the lakes.

    >> Last year we have been to engelberg and luzern. To be honest none of those two places have been what we were looking for. <<
    Luzern is popular.
    What are you looking for?

    >> Also is one night enough of two night should be ideal for Geneva? We would like to do the river cruise and some walk around the city.<<

    If I had only 4-6 nights in Switzerland I would not spend any nights in Geneva.

    >> Inputs for Fribourg and montreux please <<

    Montreux is a popular resort on Lake Geneva with pleasent surroundings which I suggest over Geneva/Lausanne for your short stay in French Switzerland. If you prefer a large international city Geneva is a better choice.

    I like Fribourg. Are you thinking of Fribourg as a replacement for Bern?

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    @dugi_otok, thanks again.

    >>Tell me more about your itinerary. You list 7 destinations for 11 nights.That is a lot. How many nights at each destination? You must be ok with 1 and 2 night stops? What activities in each location?

    The 7 destination listed is just for the road map, till now we have not figured out on the stopovers or stays. We didnot have any plans for Geneva. That's just the marker since circling around would eat some significant time. Our flight lands very early in Zurich and we plan on taking a connecting flight to Geneva to reach the far west of switzerland. A night is sufficient to get over the jet lag. 1 to 2 night stops are okay with us.

    >>With so few days I would skip an overnight at Zurich.I would even skip Innsbruck but it is a convenient location for you to rent a car in Austria.

    That

    If we keep a night for Geneva then skipping Zurich is a better option. We will catch a train for Innsbruck from Interlaken or maybe just hop in to Zurich to catch the train.

    >>Most people think of Bernese Oberland when they think Alps and Switzerland. It is worth a drive thru if you insist on Bern(a cosmopolitan and charming city). I would base in Grindelwald in the B.O. Early October is a beautiful time of the year to be in the mountains and on the lakes.

    Thats a great idea indeed but, how do we go about the route. Used viamichelin and found out that Geneva to Grindelwald via route 11. Sustenpass afaik is beautiful that that seems off the route. Bern looked good but its not a must. I would seek your opinion in this case.


    We have 5 nights in Switzerland, one night at the arrival town either Zurich or Geneva. Geneva (preferably for the jet lag).

    We would love some good alipne roads, small villages a bit of lakes.

    Considering our situation please suggest us a route map, either from Geneva or Zurich for 5Days on the 6th day a train to Austria, to Innsbruck preferably.

    Many thanks for your kind inputs.

    Thanks
    SG

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    There is the "Three passes drive" of which Sustenpass is one; the others are the Furka pass and the Grimsel pass. You can do all three in a loop.

    However, the question is how to connect them.

    If you fly into Zurich, you could pick up your car and base in Lauterbrunnen for 3 nights. (You want two days here in case the weather doesn't cooperate on one of the days.) Then on your way back to Zurich you could do, say, the Grimsel and Furka pass drives. The route would also take you along the eastern shores of Lake Lucerne.

    You could overnight in Zurich after dropping the car. Then it's a 3.5 hour train ride to Innsbruck where you can pick up the second (Austrian) car. Relax for a bit.

    You've now used up 5 nights. For the last 5 nights, I'd do Salzburg for 2 nights, and Vienna (fabulous city) for 3.

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    You will need about 6 days for somewhat decent visits of the towns you mentioned in Austria, plus 2 days or so for Swiss cities.
    That means that in the remainign 2 days, you can do nothing but drive along motorways between these places. You will have no time for side trips or scenic itineraries. Therefore you wouldn't even need a car, as train travel between the places you mentioned is excellent.

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    >> Considering our situation please suggest us a route map, either from Geneva or Zurich for 5Days on the 6th day a train to Austria, to Innsbruck preferably.<<


    FROM GENEVA

    Day 1. Arrive Zurich early morning. Take earliest flight practical to Geneva.Can you have this flight on the same ticket as your flight to Zurich? Spend the day touring Geneva. Sleep in Geneva.

    Day 2.Rent a car. Drive to Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland. There are three routes, all can be seen on via michelin. the first two are seen by entering Geneva-Grindelwald, the third by adding Fribourg as a stop. Each route has its pluses of stops and scenery.. Sleep in Grindelwald.

    Day 3. Grindelwald

    Day 4. Grindelwald

    Day 5. Grindelwald

    It is easy to fill 3 full days in the Bernese Oberland from viewing mountains, strolling towns and villages, easy mountain walks(Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg), world class and expensive excursions (Jungfrau and Schilthorn), gondola rides( Grindelwald to First), lake steamers(Thunersee steamer), cog railways(Brienzer Rothhorn), glacier (Grindelwald), waterfalls (Staubbach and Trummelbach Falls), Swiss Open Air Museum, castles, etc.

    You could do the Tour of 3 Passes(Grimsel, Furka, Susten) as a long day excursion, but I would not when there is so much to see locally. I have done this excursion, but only after several visits to the B.O.

    Day 6. Another option to Driving from Grindelwald to Zurich(3 hrs+), returning your car, and taking the train (3-1/2 hrs) to Innsbruck:

    Drive from Grindelwald to Bregenz,Austria(3-3/4 hrs)to rent a car.Return your Swiss Hertz car at the St Gallen, Switzerland airport across the border(10 miles). Drive (3 hrs) to Innsbruck for the night.

    If Innsbruck is not a must see for you, stay locally in Bregenz or Lindau, Germany (both on Lake Constance).You could even stay in St Gallen or Appenzel, Switzerland.

    Day 7. Drive to Salzburg.
    Lindau to Salzburg 4-1/4 hrs
    Innsbruck to Salzburg 2-3/4 hrs

    FROM ZURICH

    Day 1. Arrive Zurich early morning.Rent a car. Drive(1-1/2 hrs) to Bern. Sleep in Bern.

    Day 2. Drive (1-1/4 hrs) to Grindelwald. Sleep in Grindelwald. Possible stops Thun, Spiez, Interlaken

    Day 3. Grindelwald

    Day 4. Grindelwald

    Day 5. Grindelwald

    Day 6.Same as FROM GENEVA (above)

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