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Help! Car or train for 1 week Bern - Annecy tour?

Help! Car or train for 1 week Bern - Annecy tour?

Old Jun 21st, 2022, 02:15 PM
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Help! Car or train for 1 week Bern - Annecy tour?

I will be visiting Gruyeres, Bern, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Grindelwald, in July.
Since car rental in Geneva is too expensive for 1 week ($ 750) I thought of going from Geneva Airport to Annecy to rent a car there ($300) and then drive to Switzerland before returning to Annecy and from there to Lyon, from where I am flying back home.

I know NOTHING about driving in Switzerland regarding tolls, routes in the region that appear as private in google maps, and others that seem for carpool only depending on date/time (and I'm going alone).

I always prefer the liberty an flexibility of driving, but is there a better option? Train/bus passes?

Any information will be greatly appreciated since I have never been there. Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 05:15 PM
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If traveling alone, I'd rather go by train.

You list 5 destinations in 7 days. Were there other stops or detours you hoped to make?? It's probably too late to ask, but could you fly into Zurich and out of Lyon? It would eliminate backtracking...
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 05:26 PM
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People have their preferences & I doubt someone who prefers trains when possible (me) can convince someone who likes to drive to take a train. You mention the freedom & flexibility of driving but I feel quite the opposite, that I enjoy the freedom of not worrying about things like where to put the car when I stop, fiddling with gas & what about my luggage in the trunk, the possibility & subsequent bother of damage, etc. So freedom to me is the freedom of not worrying about a car. There are some situations, for instance no trains where I want to go when I will drive but seldom. Most of all I love to relax & have someone else do the driving.
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 05:33 PM
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Thank you both for your response. I usually drive when I travel, in places where driving tends to be easy (somple places in the US for example).

This time I have a ticket to Geneva and flying back from Lyon. In between I planned to visit Bern, Gruyeres, Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen, before heading to Annecy where I thought of renting the car because of cheaper rental rates.

But I've never been to that region of Switzerland, so I don't know if driving there is easy or dangerous. I also noticed in google maps that close to Geneva there are dates/times in which only car pools are allowed in certain routes.

I will appreciate any information about driving in that region, and will also check train passes to see if maybe it makes things easier this time. Thank you for your advice!
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 08:55 PM
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I know NOTHING about driving in Switzerland

If you decide to do this you need to study up!! For one thing they drive FAST on the autobahn. But there are hidden speed cameras -haha. Let alone within the cities, challenging in a different way. I have a friend who lives there and she kindly drive us around (Geneva, Gruyeres, Vevey, Montreux, Lausanne) when I visited. No way would I want to be behind the wheel, especially solo. Do you speak French? I am confused about you trying to rent the car in France, after you've already toured around Switzerland?

Anyway... the trains in Switzerland are so fabulous, I'd use them. From my point of view it would definitely be "easier" and certainly more relaxing and enjoyable especially for a person traveling alone. You name all major cities, those should be simply enough by train.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 12:03 AM
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Your itinerary can perfectly be done by car as well as by train. But there are no roads from Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen into the mountains. For destinations like Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg, Muerren, Jungfraujoch, First, Schynige Platte, Schilthorn.... the train (resp cableway) is the unique solution.
As these mountain railways are expensive, it might be a good idea to check fares and validity of railpasses, either for the Jungfrau area
https://www.regionalpass-berneroberland.ch/en/ https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/prices-and-tickets/
or for whole Switzerland
https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/...s-travel-pass/

If you travel by train, you may be interested in the very scenic GOLDEN PASS itinerary
https://mob.ch/line/goldenpassline/?lang=en

Don't worry about car rental at GVA airport. As the airport lies just on the border between Switzerland and France, it's easy to take the exit to France and to rent your car there:
https://www.europcar.com.au/en-au/st...578.1655883205
https://www.hertz.fr/rentacar/locati...C3%A8ve/GVAT52

Proposed itineray by train (trains up to Chamonix at least every hr, boats much less frequent):
Geneva - Palézieux (train change) - Gruyeres
Gruyeres - Bulle (train change) - Bern
Bern Interlaken
Interlaken - Golden Pass - Montreux
Montreux - boat - Lausanne Ouchy (boat change) - Evian - train - Annemasse - Annecy
or
Montreux - Martigny (train change) - Chamonix
Chamonix - St. Gervais (train change) - Annecy

Proposed itineray by car:
Geneva - motorway - Bulle - Planchy - Le Paquier - local road - Gruyeres
Gruyeres - Bulle - Bern
Bern - Interlaken
Interlaken - Interlaken - Gstaad - Col du Pillon - Aigle
Aigle - Martigny - Chamonix - Bonneville Ouest - La Roche - Annecy
Chamonix - St. Gervais (train change) - Annecy

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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 02:40 AM
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Amazing!

Thank you for all the data. I am not planning on going into the mountains in the junfrau, I prefer visiting cities and small towns, also plan on taking some workshops at Cailler, so the car may come in handy to get there on different dates.

I was afraid of tolls, speed (as another commenter says they drive fast) and what appears in google maps as private routes and routes for carpools only in the area close to Geneva.

I will consider both itineraries you offered (especially costs). Thank you!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 04:38 AM
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You’ll need to buy a Swiss motorway vignette and affix it properly to the car. You will also need to respect regulations about no-car zones. Research time!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 07:42 AM
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A Swiss motorway sticker doesn't cost more than 43 USD. Many rental cars in French Geneva county are already equiped with.
The Cailler factory at Broc has it's own railway station. Trains from there to Bulle (with connections to all over Switzerland) run every hr.
Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, etc. can be visited in 1-2 hrs. There is not much to see, but they are excellent bases for rail trips and hikes into the higher mountains.
For scenic medieval cities with famous museums, churches, casltes, etc. you better go into the Swiss midlands.
If you leave Geneva airport by motorway (towards Lausanne and all Switzerland, Annecy - Chambery, Pont d'Ain - Lyon or Burgundy) you will find no "private routes and routes for carpools only".
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 08:48 AM
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That is very useful information. Thank you!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 09:06 AM
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To visit the mountains, a car is always better in terms of scenery as long as the driver is not nervous about mountain roads. You can stop in so many places, next to waterfalls, patches of late snow, fields of wildflowers and spend as long as you want. For some reason, trains don't do this.
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