1 week trip in July Lucerne to Vevey

Mar 15th, 2019, 11:36 AM
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1 week trip in July Lucerne to Vevey

Is this itinerary realistic or we need to add additional time in any of our overnight stops?
June 30: Arrive ZRH 2pm. Train to Lucerne.
Overnight in Lucerne. While in Lucerne we want to take in the city, possibly taking a walking tour and doing a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne (Brunnen to Flüelen?).
July 1 Late afternoon train to Wengen, including Golden Pass route.
3 nights Wengen
While in Wengen:
1 day Jungfraujoch – Eiger & Top of Europe, Kleine Scheidegg
1day Slot canyon of Trummelbach Falls, Staubbach Falls, & Mt. Schilthorn
1 day to explore the area
Train to Zermatt
1 night Zermatt - Klein Matterhorn lifts and the Gornergrat train.
Train to Vevey
1 night Vevey-explore the town and see the Saturday morning Molk market or Marches Folkloriques
Train Vevey-Geneva (5:30 pm)
8:30pm flight from Geneva to Paris. Overnight at CDG. Flight home the next day.

Since we ae visiting the Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, & the Matterhorn, should we also be going to any of the mountains near Lucerne?

Is there anything of real importance that we are missing in this itinerary.

Thanks for your help.

rfreedfl is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 12:20 PM
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The mountains around Lucerne are not high Alps but they do have nice features - Pilatus - take boat to Alpnachstad then a thrillingly steep mountain train to summit and cable car down to Lucerne. Problem - often shrouded in clouds IME.

Mt Rigi - low level but rave views over spiny spine of central Switzerland - train from Vitznau dock

Engleberg and Mt Titlis - take train to engelberg then neat revolving cable car to top which is high enough like Pilatus to have perpetual snow and ice.

But these are solo sights - nothing like the Jungfrau and it many more and higher peaks.

A Swiss Travel Pass would be great for the whole itinerary. see www.sbb.ch; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.seat61.com and www.ricksteves.com.

I'd suggest cutting the day from Zermatt - a long detour of main route to Vevey from Interlaken and could always be funky weather and put those 2 days in Lake Geneva area which has a glut of neat sights.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 01:08 PM
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What's "Molk market" in Vevey? Never heard of that.

Marches Folklorique is fantastic (an add on of music and wine tasting to the normal Saturday morning weekly market vendors in the square).
suze is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 01:27 PM
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Milk market?
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 04:29 PM
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I’m not sure how you are counting your time: If you have 3 nights in Wengen, you most likely have only 2 days for the Bernese Oberland – but you are counting 3 days, so you must be planning on a late train on your 3rd day? If so, I’m not sure it makes sense to spend a night in Zermatt, as there’s no guarantee the weather will cooperate in the part of a day you plan to spend there. In fact, I'm not sure it makes sense to spend time in Zermatt unless you can give it a back-up day for potential poor weather. JMO.

“Is there anything of real importance that we are missing in this itinerary.” Of course! But perhaps not of particular importance to you? For example, I’d place greater priority on the Chateau Chillon than on Geneva, but that’s just me.
kja is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 05:43 PM
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It is always difficult to plan in advance for the weather. A “backup” day can increase your chances of more fully enjoying the mountains. But let’s face it, you can have a week of rain or a week of sun or something in between. You just never know. We took a risk last fall when we stayed in Wengen only two nights. Our backup plan was to spend more time in the villages like Murren. Or, we could have gone to Lucerne. Fortunately, we had splendid weather, and you will see in our trip report that we had a very full day going up to Schilthorn, one of our best travel days ever. 3 Countries, 8 Places, 8 Nights, Awesome!

I think even if we had to relax in Wengen listening to the cow bells, that would have been worth it. We enjoy ourselves more when we go with the flow..

We haven’t been to Zermatt, which often gets criticized as being too touristy. But our son was there skiing a couple weeks ago, and we watched his many videos and felt that it wasn’t very crowded even at a peak time of year. We thought it looked beautiful; and we enjoyed his go-pro version of the cable car lift. Enjoy and don’t over-think things.
whitehall is online now  
Mar 15th, 2019, 10:39 PM
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Hi rfreedfl,

I would also spend time in the vineyards of the Lavaux, between Vevey and Lausanne. You could take the train or boat to either Lutry or Chexbres, then wander through the vineyards. Take the train back to Vevey when done.

Vevey will be quite mad, as I understand. First of all the Montreux Jazz Fest is taking place 28 June - 13 July, and some of the crowds will likely spill over to Vevey. Then the Fête des Vignerons takes place 18 July - 11 August. This is a big deal, as it only happens once every generation (about every 20 years). The market square in Vevey is already being transformed with construction of bleachers and an arena (??) of some sort -- there are photos on the internet. I'm afraid you won't see Vevey at its best in the madness and construction of the days leading up to the Fête.

If you'd like to avoid the madness, you could stay in the vineyards above and west of Vevey in villages such as Chexbres, Chardonne, or Lutry.

Have fun as you plan!


Last edited by swandav2000; Mar 15th, 2019 at 10:43 PM.
swandav2000 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 10:49 PM
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And fwiw, I'm one who doesn't get the magic of Zermatt. I've visited twice, once for a ski week and once as an excursion from Brig. Both times, I left with the same impression, which Whitehall notes. It is overcrowded, not only with visitors but with buildings. The town sits at the end of a valley, and there just isn't much land there, yet folks continue to construct new chalets on every available square inch. I find the result unattractive and a bit of a hodge-podge. I just felt crowded and claustrophobic.

There is great hiking from Zermatt, though.

swandav2000 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2019, 06:52 AM
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Yes to swandive's take on Zermatt - only one town there and not that beautiful that town is and crowded. If you had more time maybe but the Jungfrau area much more varied and lots more to do than take hike or cable cars.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 02:42 AM
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I'm always smiling when people who absolutely want to do the most crowded trails and train rides in the Bernese Jungfrau area find the Zermatt area "too crowded".
Whatever, less than 5 per cent of the most scenic panoramic Swiss hiking trails are "crowded" in high season. I'm hiking a lot in the Swiss Alps, all the year round; on "my" trails, its more likely to meet a marmot, a deer or a chamois than a human being.
neckervd is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 03:10 AM
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neckervd -- my comments are about the town itself, not the hiking trails. Note that I said the hiking is great from Zermatt. I just found the town crowded and claustrophobic.

I also found Grindelwald overcrowded the one time I visited in summer, fwiw.

swandav2000 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 03:51 AM
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Save Zermatt for another trip.. It's duplicative of what you want to see and do around Wengen. And if it's cloudy on the one day you will be there you won't be able to see the Matterhorn. There's more to do in the Wengen area regardless.
Edward2005 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 07:23 AM
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I would not change plans to visit Zermatt. It is a very very special place and there is no other mountain village in the country with the views you get from and above Zermatt. The southern Valais alps are the highest in Switzerland - 43 or so of the 48 peaks over 4000m in Switzerland are located in the Valais. From the Gornergrat you can see about 29 of them including the Dufour peak of the Monte Rosa which IS the highest mountain in the country. Looking over at those, with glaciers below you is a truly wonderful experience. Zermatt has a "buzz" about it that other places lack and though it doesn't begin to compete with St Moritz for "glitz" - and nor would it want to because it is a really "blue jeans" sort of place - it is a very exciting place to be.

Vevey this summer is to be avoided. If you want to see the vieille ville there then get a map and walk down the rue de Lausanne and from there into the old town so you don't have to get tangled up in the construction on the place du Marché. BUT if it is possible to attend a performance at the Fête des Vignerons (18 July - 11 August) do go. It is an amazing experience. We went to the last one and loved it. I hear from friends in the chorus for this year that the music is marvellous and that it will be even better than in 99. There are performances almost daily, sometimes in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening. It is a remarkable pagent. And an even more remarkable tradition.
Hambagahle is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 10:31 AM
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If you have the chance to be part of the Fete des Vignerons I would plan a trip around that (actually I did the last time it happened in '99). Absolutely amazing. But would take extra planning to make it happen at this time, you couldn't just wander into town which most of the time would work in Vevey.
suze is offline  
Mar 18th, 2019, 10:35 AM
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Zermatt is popular to many tourists just because the Matterhorn is there but alas it is often shrouded in fog or clouds - like edward recommends or spend you whole Alpine sojourn there - I would not go to both with your limited time.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 19th, 2019, 12:09 AM
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I have spent a lot of time IN Zermatt over the last 55 years. One summer I spent an entire month up there which was wonderful. The Matterhorn, at least from what I have seen, is more often visible than not and it dominates the valley and the village. Of course it is possible to be there for several days and not see it at all - when it is snowing or raining etc. But I think I could count on the fingers of one hand (and I have 5!) the number of days I have been in Zermatt and not seen the Matterhorn. One of those was last week. But then I went there for lunch and not mountains...
Hambagahle is offline  
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