4 days Switzerland itinerary

Old Apr 27th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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4 days Switzerland itinerary

Hi all. My wife and I (around 40 y.o) have the chance for a short trip starting on May 27 in Zurich for 4 days. It is our first time in Switzerland (after few visits to France , Italy and UK).
Our idea is to settle in one charming place and take day trips from there during this period until leaving from Zurich on May 31 evening.
We are both nature lovers (however limited to very short 1-2 hour easy going hikes) and be happy to get the most out of these days in terms of scenery, culture, architecture and good food.
A main advice that may help us would be a recommended place to base our stay - a beautiful, comfort, charming and not too expensive hotel. In addition, any recommendations to help build our itinerary would be appreciated.
Regarding transportation- we saw the debate here between train or car rental- I believe we'll go for the car, as this is the way we are used to in our travelling.
Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Depends on the weather. If it's cloudy when you get there (and is expected to remain so), then the Lake Geneva area, Luzern, or Lugano area would be great.

But if it's sunny, then there's nothing left to discuss: Berner Oberland. You'll have mountains and scenery galore, hikes of any difficulty level, waterfalls, the works. You can easily drive to Lauterbrunnen and stay there in the valley. It has the Schilthorn on one side and the Eiger/Monch/Jungfrau on the other. It has easy connections to all the lifts and funiculars. In the valley are some great waterfalls.

Or pick from several resorts higher up on either side of the valley. Grindlewald, Wengen, Murren, and Gimmelwald would all be great choices. But be warned: Gimmelwald is rustic and has no fancy hotels.
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Old Apr 30th, 2005, 09:45 PM
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Edward2005's suggestion for the Berner Oberland is a good one, although I am not sure how long it will take to drive there from Zurich. With a car, you may drive up to Grindelwald (we did this and loved the flexibility of doing this) - Wengen and Murren require train/tram transport from Lauterbrunnen to get up to them (no cars-you park at the big car park at the station). Gorgeous nonetheless. We actually drove back down to Lauterbrunnen one day to hike the Wengen and Murren trails. As for hotels, we stayed at the Hotel Fiescherblick in Grindelwald, which was OK given our budget constraints. Not fancy but clean, with a pleasant staff. Pizza at Onkel Tom's Hutte was great and reasonably priced. Sorry for rambling a bit - hope this helps!
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:37 AM
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Would add to the above in recommending the Berneroberland and the other choice of the Luzern Area. The Berneroberland has much to offer for four days. see www.berneroberland.ch/ and other bo sites. Richard of LaGrange Park,
PS if you are hikers it offers you a very wide range of hikes from many places. Might check the Swiss Bernese Oberland by Alspach....rjv
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Old May 1st, 2005, 09:31 AM
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I would allow 3 hours driving time from Zürich to Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald.
There is a parking deck in Lauterbrunnen near the train station.

You might make it a little faster than that because most of the way is autobahn and most cars go along about 70, perhaps a little faster.

I am assuming of course that you go via Bern, Thun, Spiez, and Interlaken to the Lütschinen valleys south of Interlaken.

Of course if you are staying on the Bern side of Zürich you might drive it in 2 hours 30 minutes if all goes well.

I frankly would just find a hotel in one of the mountain villages, not Gimmelwald because it is a dot, and spend my time there.

Not sure what you want to see, but not too many snow capped peaks around Zürich.

Car versus train? A car is virtually useless in the upper reaches of the Berner Oberland because villages like Mürren and Wengen are car free and the Lauterbrunnen Valley is a cul de sac.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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Thanks all for your usefull replies - I'm sure we'll use some of them as we finalize our trip.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 01:23 PM
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We just got back from a week in the Bodensee (Lake Constance Area) and it is wonderful. Great towns to visit like Meresburg, Lindau, Stein am Rhine and a beautiful garden island in the middle to visit Meinau (sp). It is a short hop from Zurich. It was our first visit but I'm sure we will go back.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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I live in Zurich. Much of the Bernese Oberland is “between season” in May, and you may find lots of hotels and restaurants are closed until early June. Start checking now on hotels, if you find they are closed, you can expect the same for restaurants. You may find hotels open in valley towns like Grindelwald and in places like Brienz and Thun on the lakes. (I would avoid staying in Interlaken, a charm less town, IMO.) Weather will be OK, but walking/hiking will be hit or miss, we have had a very snowy winter and the snow pack has not melted in most mountain areas to allow hiking. Late May is generally OK for walking, but will be hard to assess this year. I would take trains rather than renting a car, as the fun mountain passes are closed until June, so much of the reason to have a car is gone. As noted above, many towns are car-free, so you will end up paying for parking and the car for days when you won’t be using it. Gas is almost US$6 a gallon here, and parking can be hard to find and is generally expensive.

A 3-star hotel I can recommend in Wengen is the Silberhorn, but I believe they are closed until early June. Take a look at www.silberhorn.ch. Also take a look at the Eiger Hotel in Murren, which may also be closed until June. Hoteleiger.com.

Also in Wengen is the Alepenrose (alpenrose.ch). I don’t know this hotel at all, but it gets good reviews on tripadvisor.com, and it may be open in May.

You might want to consider going to the French side of Switzerland, esp the Vevey/Lausane end of Lake Geneva. There are many excellent walking opportunities along the lake, in the vineyards above the lake, and in the near-by Jura mountain areas in late May. You can take a day trip into the Alp regions as well if the weather looks like walking there will be good.

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