Drive in Switzerland in October

Jul 5th, 2014, 06:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 20
Drive in Switzerland in October

My friends and I plan to drive from Chamonix to Zurich on 20th October.
Can anyone please advise how would the driving conditions be during that time of the year.

As this is my friends' first time in Switzerland and we have limited time so we think to have brief stops at Montreux,Fribourg,Bern and Thun, would this be a too busy plan for a day? If yes,where should be the better attractions to stop.Would parking be difficult in those areas?

bungkee is offline  
Jul 5th, 2014, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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As this is my friends' first time in Switzerland and we have limited time so we think to have brief stops at Montreux,Fribourg,Bern and Thun, would this be a too busy plan for a day>

way to ambitious and this coming from one who most think travels too fast - Thun I've been too too many times and though nice not exceptional - why do at most two of those four and have a more relaxed time - driving into cities can take a lot of time on weekdays - they are all nice town but I think Bern stands out by far - lots to see and do there.

Another route from Chamonix goes along the course of the Martigny-Chamonix Railway - one of the most scenic rail lines in Switzerland or France - the road takes you past glacier and dramatic Alpine scenery down to the Rhone Valley at Martigny - a pleasant city for a few hours look around - then drive down the gorgeous Rhone Valley - covered with vineyards at many places to Montreux and then go straight to Bern and Zurich.

Or from Martigny head to Brig and then put your car on a shuttle train to take it through the Lotschberg Tunnel to Spiez - a nice small town overlooking Lake Thun and also having a castle of your dreams - then go to nearby Bern.

A much much more scenic route though I guess in October on some days the highest part may be blocked by snow but I doubt it - this is a main road.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 5th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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Hi bungkee,

Are you returning to Chamonix? If not, do you know that there are huge drop-off fees when you rent a car in one country and drop in another? The fees may be hidden in the "Extra charges" clause, and you need to ask your agency exactly how much they will be. They can be hundreds of Euros.

You may want to take the train instead, more fun, better for the environment.

swandav2000 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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Swandave raises a salient point - mabye take the scenic railway to Martigny, a large commercial town without a doubt many car rentals, and pick up a car in Switzerland there.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 5th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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Well .. . I see no need to get a rental in Martigny.

Just take the train from Martigny to Montreux, then hop on the splendid scenic Golden Pass train from Montreux to Luzern. At Luzern, hop over to Zürich. You will have spent a day in beautiful countryside rolling from the lake through the low Alps and ending at the big Alps before you go on to Zürich -- and all of you will have had the chance to stare at the scenery.

I recommend a stop in Gstaad for a gourmet lunch, stroll through the picturesque town to stretch your legs, and enjoy the views. Then continue on.

Have fun as you plan!

swandav2000 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2014, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Well swandav - the question was about cars - no mention of train so that's why I recommended that.

OP - why are you driving - if just to get to Zurich from Chamonix take the train as swandav says - you can still easily stop off in any of several cities.

For lots on Swiss trains check; and

What are your plans after Zurich - returning to Chamonix - if so of course rent car in Chamonix - and drive vie Geneva one way and return perhaps via Martigny.

If doing much travel in Switzerland then trains are the best way to reach the country's most visited places - the Alps, where cars must be parked in expensive lots and you have to take trains or aerial cable ways anyway.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 9th, 2014, 10:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 20
Many thanks for your kind advice.This time we will have only a free day so I want my friends to have a scenic roadtrip in Switzerland before leaving at Zurich airport. We think to drive first as we will also have our luggages with us.

As per your both valued comments,now we change our plan,we will take Charmonix- Spiez rail and relax there for a short time.Then to Lucerne via the Brünig passroad, Obwalden and Kriens ,reading that this route has many fastastic views.But looking into the train route,train will leave for Lucerne pass Berne not via this route. Can you please suggest how to go? Do we have to rent a car in Spiez?

If we stay a night in Lucerne ,will it be too rush for flight 11:00 next morning? How 's the Lucerne-Zurich morning train condition? or should we sleep in Zurich airport hotel?

Thanks again for your help.
bungkee is offline  
Jul 10th, 2014, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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It takes one hour to get from Lucerne to Zurich airport by train, many with one change in Zurich HB (main station), a few direct.
You can find train schedules on the following link.
Just put in your date of travel and scroll up or down to find a time that will get you to the airport in sufficient time.
mokka4 is offline  
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