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Experts Help-2 weeks in the high Alps/Switzerland/Austria

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May 10th, 2009, 07:09 AM
  #1
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Experts Help-2 weeks in the high Alps/Switzerland/Austria

We will fly into Zurich, take a train to somewhere in the mountains, then rent a car. What would be your ideal itinerary? We prefer charming, small mountain towns with easy hiking, and lots of mountain scenery- Switzerland and Austria, if possible. Thanks. Joan
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May 10th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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Hi joanw,

You don't need a car at all for your time in Switzerland, and probably not for Austria either. The nicest Swiss Alpine villages do not allow cars, and none of the mountaintops do, so a rental would just sit and accumulate parking fees.

Most first-timers enjoy the villages of the Berner Oberland, specifically Wengen or Mürren. From there, you can visit all the nearby villages, the peaks of Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch, visit mountaintop restaurants, stroll down gentle (or challenging, as you wish) Alpine trails, and also head down to the flats to explore the lakes of Thun and Brienz. You can get more information on this area at

www.myjungfrau.ch

I haven't spent much time in Austria, so don't have anything to add to that.

One alternate plan would be to go to the Engadin Valley in the eastern part of the country, specifically the Upper Engadin Valley around Pontresina/St Moritz. In this area, you can visit mountain villages, see glaciers, and also walk Alpine trails. The advantage to this area is that it's closer to Austria and will make your onward travel a bit easier. You can get more information at this site:

www.engadin.stmoritz.ch

Anyway, good luck!

s
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May 10th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Hi Joan,

First, two questions:

Where are you flying home from?
What time of the year are you traveling?

Just some suggestions not knownig these answers...

I agree that a car in not needed at all in Switzerland. The Berner Oberland sounds like just what you're looking for.

I think renting a car in Austria may be cheaper than in Switzerland and if you can rent one in Germany, even better.

I'd suggest the Innsbruck area of Austria. While we don't really care for Innsbruck itself (just our opinion) the area is beautiful with many charming alpine villages nearby. Innsbruck is only about two hours from the best of the Dolomites and an hour or so from the Mittenwald/Garmisch/Zugspitze area.

www.val-gardena.com

Another option could be be the Oetztal in Austria. We spent four nights in Soelden and loved the area.

www.oetztal.com

Hope this helps.

Paul
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