Old Jan 7th, 2014, 08:43 PM
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Hello Fodorites, we're taking a plunge into the unknown and spending 5 days in Switzerland this summer, flying into Geneva and then ending up in Interlaken. Any suggestions? We're thinking 2 days in Geneva, 3 in Interlaken before heading down to a rental in Lake Como. Think we will see the Jungfrau (spelling?) but beyond that have no idea what to do/see. Thanks in advance for your help.
dlejhunt is offline  
Old Jan 7th, 2014, 08:55 PM
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I'd say it largely depends on your interests. Geneva has plenty of international organizations with museums and such, but not too much else. A lake cruise is always nice, too.

Closer to the Jungfrau, one place I love is Trummelbach Falls, which are glacier waterfalls in a cave. If you're going in early summer, you're more likely to see these in action.
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 09:20 PM
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A good guide book or two should prove invaluable to you. Also, search this board for trip reports and trip planning threads -- you will find that there is a tremendous amount of information about these places. Once you have a clearer sense of your priorities, you'll be able to ask much better questions. Good luck with your planning!
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Old Jan 7th, 2014, 09:28 PM
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Hi dlejhunt,

I would recommend that you fly into Zürich and do the Jungfrau area first, then Lake Geneva, and then head south to Italy. That way, you are continuing in a southerly direction instead of zig-zagging from south to north to south again.

I also recommend the town of Vevey rather than Geneva on the lake. Vevey is a lovely small town with a few hotels right on the lake. From Vevey, you can visit many of the nearby towns and villages, the wine region of the Lavaux, and Montreux to see Chillon. I also love Montreux, but in the summertime, it is elbow-to-elbow with people, so you may want to avoid it at that time. You should also know that Montreux hosts an internationally known jazz fest ("smoke on the water" and all that) for three weeks in July, so that may affect your planning.

I would also suggest that you avoid the town of Interlaken in the summer, for the same reason -- it is really overwhelmed with day-tripping bussed-in tourists. it becomes unpleasant, in my view. I would much rather spend time there in one of the car-free villages such as Wengen or Mürren.

More information:

Have fun as you plan!

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Old Jan 8th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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Thanks all - swandav2000 your advice is particularly helpful. Unfortunately we are booked already into Geneva (going out of Milan as we head home).

I would like avoid the tourist crush if possible so will look into the areas that you mentioned.

Thanks all. I usually am an avid travel researcher but since I have NO idea of Switzerland at all I wanted to narrow down my topic before investigating, and you've helped me to do that.
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Old Jan 8th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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I think that is a great 5-day plan - and venture out of Geneva to places on the lake many find more romantic, like Vevey and Monreux - nice bases - take a lake boat cruise too - check out the Chillon Castle made famous by Lord Byron - lakeside near Montreux.

As for the Jungfrau region there is so so much to see and do there it is hard to start - the Jungfraujoch is only the tip of the iceberg so to speak

boat rides on the two lakes bookending Interlaken are superb - the Schilthorn is very different than the Jungfraujoch and IMO the loop Lauterbrunnen-Murren-Schilthorn-Gimmelwald-Stechelberg-Lauterbrunnen is the absolute finest day in all of Switzerland - research that a bit.

If going by train check out the Swiss Pass - as you are traveling quite a bit - great sites for learning about Swiss trains and passes, etc -;;

as for a Jungfrau Region base yes stay up in the hills in a cozy guesthouse in a dreamy town like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen or Wengen - all with awesome views of the glacier-girdled Jungfrau Massif - you can't go wrong. A Swiss Pass covers travel to all those places plus Murren and Gimmelwald in full.
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Old Jan 8th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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The normal train itinerary from Geneva to Como goes via Visp - Brig Stresa.
Visp is just 1 hr by train from Zermatt, where you find the biggest number of more than 4000m/13000ft high peaks, among them the Punta Dufour, with 15200ft the highest place of Swizerland.
Brig is the starting point of trains and cablecars to the longest glacier of Europe, the Aletsch Glacier (23 km/14 miles).
From Stresa, boats ply the whole Lake Maggiore (very popular with Europeans, but completely overlooked by people from overseas) with stunning villages, botanical gardens and 4 Islands, among them Isola Bella, with an old palace/castle and a big subtropical garden.

If you prefer to go to Jungfraujoch, you will have to travel from Geneva to Berne - Spiez - Interlaken - Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken - Spiez - Visp - Brig - Stresa - Milan - Como. As the standard fare (always for the Swiss leg) for this solution (via Jungfraujoch 11333ft) is 320 CHF and hence higher than that for the variant via Zermatt - Matterhorn Paradise (12557ft) which costs 244 CHF, it might be a good idea to have a look at
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Old Jan 8th, 2014, 11:58 AM
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Another route to Como, the city, from Visp would be to go to Brig and take the Glacier Express route - either local trains or the official Glacier Express to Andermatt and take the shuttle train down - way down to Goschenen, on the main Zurich to Milan Gotthard route that stops in Como - and the Brig to Andermatt/Goshcenen/Como route is more scenic IMO than the Visp -domodossola- Stresa route.

Though I like Stresa and Lake Stresa a k a Lake Maggiore a whole lot - with the three Borromean Islands just off shore being stupendous with a different delight on each one!
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