desperate for advice on switzerland

Old Feb 25th, 2004, 01:34 AM
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desperate for advice on switzerland

my husband and i are going to switzerland for 10-12 days in late may or early june. i've been reading through previous swiss related topics and it all sounds so nice that i want to include every place on our itenery! i was focusing around the bernese oberland but maybe someone can suggest something else. nothing is planned yet so any suggestion is more than welcome. we are looking forward to lots of walks, peace and quiet and maybe some golf(?)on yeah, we will not have a car but i've heard the train system is well spread out.
also some advice on where to stay. we would like to stay in cosy pensions or small hotels.
all help will be greatly appreciated,
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 02:44 AM
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Where are your arrival/departure locations? If you could fly in to, say, Zurich and do an open-jaw return from Geneva, you might consider sampling a bit of the three main language areas, plus the Berner Overland. Here's one suggestion, and I'm sure you'll get others:
1. Land in Zurich, train to Luzern. Stay at a riverside hotel with Pilatus view--depending on your budget, the Des Alpes (~235 chf/nt) or Des Balance (~350chf/nt) might work

2. Go to Ticino area. We liked Locarno and stayed at the DuLac, which has lake view rooms and is on the pedstrian area (~210 chf/nt).

3. Take the Centovalli train (awesome views) from Locarno to Domodossola and from there go to the Berner Oberland area --- Muerren, Wengen or Grindelwald are in the mountains, Interlaken, Thun, in the valley/on the lake. We've never gone here yet, though will this spring. So, no recommendations to make as to where to stay.

4. Spend last days along LAc Leman--Vevey, Montreux or LAusanne, taking the one-hour train to GEneva airport for return flight home. We are going this spring and will stay in Vevey at Hotel Les Negociants

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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 03:07 AM
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Maybe, I can be of some help by splitting Switzerland up in some parts.

You have the swiss german, swiss french, swiss italian and romanche part. Each have cities and country/mountain side.
Swiss german part:
- Zurich, Luzern, Bern, Basel,...
- Bernese Oberland, Vierwaldstätter region,...
Swiss french part:
- Lausanne, Geneva, Fribourg, Murten, Montreux, Chateau de Chillon...
- The Pre-Alps with Gruyères, an old hill-town, The Wallis-canton with Brig and Sion,...
Swiss italian part:
- Lugano, Locarno and the lakes
- Verzasca valley, lots of little valleys, excellent for hiking.
Romanche part: Engadine region with Chur, paradise for hiking.

The train system is indeed well spread out. Try googling with all these names and you'll find lots of info. Sorry, but I can't give any hotels.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 04:40 AM
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You don't need a car in Switzerland - the trains are extremely efficient and easy to navigate.

Late May, early June is my favorite time to visit Switzerland, but be prepared for some closures. Many of the mountain excursions won't have opened for the season, so you might want to plan accordingly. I'd suggest you do some research to determine the 2004 opening times for excursions you might be interested in.

Having said that, it's a good time to visit as there are no crowds, but the weather can also be iffy this time of year, so you'll want to keep that in mind when you pack.

Another problem you might encounter in late May, early June is hotel closures in some villages. For instance, there is only one hotel open year round in the village of Murren. Most hotels in the mountain villages open in early to mid-June, so this is a consideration as well.

As a repeat visitor to Switzerland in the late spring/early summer, I always find plenty to do. However, a first timer might be disappointed if they go expecting everything to be open and fully operational.

Switzerland is walking nirvana. The scenery is incredible and you'll find plenty of peace and quiet in the alpine villages.

The Bernese Oberland is spectacular, as are Zermatt and Engelberg.

Can't help with golf though!

I'll post a few hotel suggestions shortly.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 05:04 AM
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Hi, nermeen. The two previous posts are great, as well as the suggestion to do an image search at Alta Vista on some of the towns. baldrick's outline makes me say, 'yes, all of those! However, I don't think that's possible in your 10 -12 days unless you like to hop from place to place. You know, two nights here, two nights there.

Soooo -- first of all, see if you can afford 12 on-the-ground nights. Then if you'd like to consider landing in Geneve and departing from Zurich, here's my suggestion: four nights on Lac Leman (in Vevey or Rivaz or Cully, depending upon your tastes size-wise) (loads of train daytrips here, including Bern, Lausanne, Chateau d'Oex, Gruyeres); then four nights on one of the lakes at the base of the Oberland (Thun, Spiez, Brienz,etc) so you can daytrip into the mountains and to Lucerne (I have to confess I love riding trains), then three nights in Ticino (Locarno or Lugano, w/daytrips to Bellinzona, Morcote, or Gandria), and finally one night in Zurich before your morning flight (I stay in Bulach and train into the city to stroll). I think that's 12 nights. (I usually stay in very tiny places in each of my suggested locations, too far from 'the action' for most others, so I won't mention them here.)

My post will be followed by many, many folks who say that you should stay up in the Oberland to experience the glory of those majestic mountains, so you might sub that idea for my four nights lakeside. I like being closer to the main rail line to expand my daytrip options. Affectionately, J.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 05:09 AM
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I couldn't find opening times for 2004, but these from 2002 will give you an idea -

Klein Matterhorn - June 1, 2002
Schynige Platte - June 8, 2002
Mannlichen cable car - June 1, 2002

Places I've stayed and recommend:

Hotel Alpenruh, Murren - Tel: +41 (0) 33 856 8800, Fax: +41 (0) 33 856 8888,, [email protected].- open year round.

Hotel Biner, Zermatt - Telephone - +41-(0) 27 - 966-5666, Fax - +41-(0) 27 - 966-5667, - open year round.

Casa Vanessa, Zermatt - (apartment)

Hotel Bellevue, Wengen - Tel: +41-(0) 33 856-6655,

Hotel Sonnendwendhof, Engelberg -

Hope this helps.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Plan a couple of train trips while in Switzerland such as The Glacier Express which travels from Zermatt to St Moritz.A centralized location is Interlaken. Interlaken to Luzern by train is wonderful its a 90 minute trip.Brucec
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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In 10-12 days you cannot see all the different regions of Switzerland. It is indeed a good idea to focus on the Bernese Oberland for a first visit. It has everything what you might expect: Huge mountains, glaciers, green pastures, wooden chalets, blue lakes ...

You may consider adding a couple of days at Lake Geneva (Montreux-Vevey) to get some Swiss-French ambience.

On the other hand I personally prefer the canton Graubünden, the Engadin valley in particular. Especially the lower Engadine around Scuol is less touristy. I admit it is somewhat out of the way ... a good choice would be the cosy pension Val Tuoi in Guarda, a quaint village.
(in German only I think)

Playing golf is possible in Vulpera, about 40 minutes from Guarda by public transportation (bus/train). Other golf courses in the Engadin are to find in Zuoz and Samedan (both direction St. Moritz, the first same distance like Vulpera, the second about an hour by train). The course in Zuoz was opened last year, the one in Samedan is the oldest in continental Europe and at highest elevation.
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 09:34 PM
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thank you, thank you, thank you!
all the suggestions are great. i know 12 days is not enough but dont have a choice. Geneva was always on my list of places to visit but i wasnt so sure about zurich. we were planning to arrive in berne and work our way to geneva. i didnt think we could have enough time to get the feel of the french. german, italian regions but now, from what u all have written i think it is possible. another thing...i have heard about so many scenic or panoramic train rides but which do u reccomend as the best.
i am so happy i posted my question, u guys have been so helpful!
nermeen is offline  
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