Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > 1st Visit to France, Italy & Switzerland - Need Help with few Basic issues
Notices

1st Visit to France, Italy & Switzerland - Need Help with few Basic issues

Reply

Mar 1st, 2013, 02:26 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 154
1st Visit to France, Italy & Switzerland - Need Help with few Basic issues

Good day.

We are a family of 4 Adults and 3 kids (aged 3+, 4 and 9), planning for a 5 Weeks trip to Europe during July & August 2013(July 21-August 25). After reading through forums and many trip reports we came up with below itinerary (first draft, open for suggestions). If it could help for any reasons we could move our dates by one week up or down. We are flexible with arriving/departure cities and yet to take the flight tickets.

France(14 days)
Paris - 7 Days + 1 day-Arriving
Lourdes - 2 Days(Religious Reasons)
Nice - 4 Days

Italy (10 Days)
Venice - 2 Days
Rome - 4 Days
Florence- 4 Days

Switzerland ( 11 Days)
Wengen - 3 Days
Interlaken - 4 Days
Lugano - 3 Days
Zurich - 1 day- departure

Looking for suggestions and advises from wonderful fodorites

-- Which order should we start/Fly in and end/Fly out (Paris/Rome or Paris/Zurich or something else)

-- I will open a separate thread for each country to fine tune itinerary specific to each country so that I could get the exact details such as places to visit, stay and eating out etc..

-- We are looking for apartments and hoping that I could find them on an average of 250 EUR per day

-- Should I drop Nice from this trip and use those days some where else

-- What is the better way to travel between these countries(Train/Plane)

Many Thanks
vjose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2013, 11:28 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,268
Hi vjose,

Wengen and Interlaken are very close together, so you'll lose more time by switching hotels. Is there a reason why you want to stay at both places?

You should also know that in August, Interlaken is filled with lines and lines of tour busses and their off-loaded day-tripping passengers who are in town for a few hours. The main streets of the town are too small to absorb them all, so they congregate and crowd around the shops and stores.

In contrast, Wengen is a car-free village that will remain quiet and peaceful even in the most touristed of times. Oh, there may be some crowding around the train station as the tour groups go up and down to see the Jungfraujoch, but they rarely get out to the streets of the village.

I would stay in Wengen for your time in the area.

Have fun as you plan!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:01 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 154
Hi swandav2000.

July & August are the summer break for my little ones.(Can't change it)

I was thinking to divide the time between few places.Wengen as base for Jungfraujoch region and Interlaken as base for all other day trips to Montreux,Luzern,Bern Etc.
Lugano will be used up for connecting to or from Italy/Venice.

Is it possible to do this differently, would greatly appreciate your input and suggestions.

Do you have any suggestion on the order of countries/Cities to visit, As I am thoroughly confused as where to start and End our trip.(Currently we are thinking of arriving at Paris and depart from Zurich)

Obviously this is the first thing require a decision since all bookings and flight reservations would be depending on it.

Many Thanks for your time
vjose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:21 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,268
Hi again,

Interlaken is too far away from some of the places you name, and it lacks charm too imo.

Better base to see central and western Switzerland would be either Bern or Thun (Montreux is less than 2h from either one). Bern is a charming city that sits on a river, and Thun is a lovely town that sits on its own lake and has a castle.

I think you may have trouble finding apartment to rent for less than one full week in the summertime.

I surely wouldn't stay in one place for three days just because it's enroute -- I would pick places to stay where I wanted to actually stay.

Sorry, I'm no good with arranging long itineraries such as yours --

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2013, 06:55 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
Yes, Interlaken will get crowded in August in the daytime, but you won't be there during the daytime! You'll be out and about!!

Agree with Swandav that you should stay in Bern for visits to Lucerne, and Lake Geneva area. I love Bern.
kenav is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2013, 11:18 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 154
Thanks Swandev.

Thaks Kenav.

Some fodorite(I think it was Palenq otherwise my apologies) was highly recommending Interlaken as base for day trips in some other posts. I am open for changes as nothing is written on stone rather so thankful for your suggestions. I have to admit that my itinerary is highly influenced by other posts and my ignorance being a first timer is quite visible.

I hope you all will continue to help me out with your useful suggestions.

Any suggestions on Bern Apartments would be helpful.

Cheers.
vjose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:07 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,752
How are you traveling around?

You haven't factored in the travel time needed to get from place to place. For example, Nice to Venice (however you travel) will take a good part of a day. You'll only have one full day in Venice before you spend another half day getting to Rome.

Lugano should be your first destination in Switzerland. The order you've listed involves backtracking.

You'd have a more accurate view of your time in each place if you listed each day:

Day 1. Arrive Paris
Days 2-8. Paris
Day 9. Train to Lourdes (6+ hours), or drive (8 hours)
Day 10. Lourdes
Day 11. Train to Nice (9+ hours), or drive (7 hours)
Days 12-14. Nice
Day 15. Nice to Venice
Day 16. Venice
Day 17. Train to Rome (about 4 hours)
Days 18-20. Rome
Day 21. Train to Florence (about 90 minutes)
Days 22-24. Florence
etc. etc.
Jean is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 3rd, 2013, 11:56 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 154
Hi Jean,

You are absolutely right on the itinerary. I am yet to factor in many things. My apologies.. but I will make it better

What is the best way to get in/Get out of Lourdes considering my family with 3 little ones

I was thinking to drop Nice from this trip and use up these days elsewhere such as Venice etc. Hoping to fly out from the nearest airport from Lourdes to Italy.
Appreciate suggestions on this(Which city should we fly into Venice/Rome etc).

One of my ongoing problem is to finalise on my Arrival/Departure cities as well as the order of the cities/countries which we should be visiting (Weather wise/Crowd wise or simply Logistic wise etc.)

Lugano was not in any order since I am yet to decide whether to travel To/From Italy. Need help on this.

I am hoping(Fingers crossed) that some one(Yourself included) with their great experience would chip in with some suggestions.

Many Thanks

cheers
vjose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 3rd, 2013, 12:03 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,643
I would bag Interlaken. You are already staying in the BO and can see from there.

Instead - put the time in Lucerne which gives a ton of sights, other mountains to ascend, a lake with steamers, etc, On the way stop in Brienz, a charming village in which woodcarving is very common (we have incredible Christmas tree decorations we got there). Also nearby is a living Museum of Swiss life that the kids will love.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 3rd, 2013, 12:14 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 154
nytraveler, thank you.

Swandev and Kenav was suggesting Bern instead of Interlaken. How different it would be if I am to choose Lucerne instead of Bern.
vjose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2013, 06:21 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
Whoa - I was suggesting Interlaken as your base in the Berner Oberland. Bern as a base would be for Bern itself (a lovely medieval city), Lake Geneva area, and day trip to Lucerne . I nixed Wengen as a Berner Oberland base (lovely though it is), as it takes too much time to get from there back to the airport in Zurich. You cut 1/2 hour off of travel if you stay in Interlaken - IF that's your last place in Switzerland.

Yes, Lugano should be the first place in Switzerland, again because that would be very far from the airport to get your outgoing flight back to home.
kenav is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:16 AM.