2 Day Driving Trip from Geneva - ideas?

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Feb 28th, 2008, 02:19 AM
  #1
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2 Day Driving Trip from Geneva - ideas?

Hi all,

My husband and I are planning on a long weekend in Geneva - basically because it's the cheapest flight we could find (Easyjet - Edinburgh-Geneva for £60 each!). It looks like a beautiful city, but we are really interested in renting a car for a couple of days and seeing some of the beautiful Swiss Alps. We are particularly interested in castles and gondola rides up into the mountains. Maybe a short hike somewhere?

We were thinking of flying into Geneva, spending the night and then next day wandering around the Old City and then renting a car the next morning for a 2 days trip. Would love recommendations on a good route to get us back to the Geneva airport in 2 or 3 days. Thanks!
pittpurple is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2008, 04:11 AM
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Hi pittpurple,

Is there any reason why you're not taking advantage of the excellent, fun, and convenient trains in Switzerland? Cars can be expensive and are definitely unnecessary for most trips in this country. I've visited about a dozen times, rented a car only two of the times, and regretted it both times.

You can do a leisurely and lovely little loop into the mountains and see it from a relaxing train seat.

s
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Feb 28th, 2008, 04:27 AM
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The only other trip where we rented a car was when we went to the Dolomites - it was lovely being able to take some of the windy roads throughout the mountains and pull over for great photo opps. I guess I just assumed that it would be the same in the Swiss Alps? Particularly for visiting castles...

In searching through these forums though, I have only found train trips so far so perhaps I'm wrong about this! Would it truly be possible to see as much with trains instead of a car? Is a car just a liability in this area? We don't own a car so it's really fun when we get the opportunity to drive, but if it would just create problems then we can save it for another trip!
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Feb 28th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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Hi again,

Yes, it really IS different in Switzerland -- many of the most charming towns and all of the mountaintops do not even allow cars. And trains, ferries, and cable cars do go everywhere you want to go.

One castle that you might want to see is Chillon in Montreux, just the other side of the lake from Geneva. You can get there several ways:

-- Train from Geneva to Montreux, then stroll the lakeside promenade for about 45 minutes

-- Train from Geneva to Montreux, then the city bus to Chillon.

-- Train from Geneva to Montreux, then the local train to the stop, Veytaux, then a quick walk to the castle.

-- If you are going in the spring or summer, take the train to Montreux and the ferry to the castle (ferry schedules at www.cgn.ch)

Another castle you might want to see is the one in the town of Thun, right on Lake Thun. It's right in the heart of the town, so quite easy to get to.

A third castle you may want to see is the one in Gruyeres, again right in the center of town (no cars allowed in town).

Other destinations you might want to see are Gstaad & Zweisimmen, both on the route of the scenic Golden Pass train

www.goldenpass.ch

If I were you, I would head there and stay there for your two days; it's only about a two-hour train ride from Geneva, and it's gorgeous. You can spend the time taking cable cars to the top of Eggli or Wispile, or biking along the flat valley floor to nearby towns (Saanen or Chateau d'Oex), or exploring the castle in Gruyeres. You can even make an excursion to Thun from Gstaad.

I really prefer smaller towns & villages to large cities, so I would head straight from the Geneva airport to Montreux (about an hour), spend that first day walking the promenade and seeing Chillon. The next day I would take the train up to Gstaad or Zweisimmen and spend the next few days in that area.

Good luck!

s
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Feb 28th, 2008, 05:35 AM
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hi, pp,

another nice place on the northern side of the lake is Vevey - a market town accessible by boat. the sat am market is brilliant - though a bit noisy when they are setting up and you are trying to sleep in a htoel on the market square.

I've never seen nettle tops or dandelion leaves for sale before.

regards, ann
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