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Highlight Trip to Switzerland -Suggestions!

Highlight Trip to Switzerland -Suggestions!

Old May 26th, 2022, 10:30 AM
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Highlight Trip to Switzerland -Suggestions!

Thanks to great help from “myswissalps”, we are close (I hope) to putting together a short trip to Switzerland. We are 4 senior US citizens from Texas. We are headed to Switzerland the 3rd week of this September. Changing arrival and departure dates would be a near impossibility. We will all have a 6-day 1st class Swiss Travel Passes. The following itinerary assumes good weather (our full itinerary includes bad weather alternatives). We love full bodied reds. Have never had a Swiss wine. Any suggestions? Would greatly appreciate your suggestions, changes, criticism and observations.

Day 1 – AM arrive (from USA) Zurich airport and immediately catch train to Lucerne (buy a point-to-point ticket). Staying Hotel Des Alpes. Will be tired so only stroll old town and walk Chapel Bridge. Restaurants: Bolero, Bellini Locanda Ticinese or Rathaus Brauerei.

Day 2 – 9:12 paddle boat to Vitznau (are they all paddle?) and up to Mt. Rigi. Return via Arth-Goldau train! Go see Cliff Lion when back in Lucerne. Would you suggest any other mountains (e.g., Pilatus).

Day 3 - Early train to Grindelwald (8:06 or 9:06). Check in to Belvedere Swiss Quality Hotel. Go to Grindelwald First, First Cliff Walk By Tissot. Eat Café 3692, Barry’s Restaurant or Bar & Lounge. Spa/swim laps at hotel?

Day 4 - Early departure to Jungfraujoch on Eiger Express and train. Return via train to Wengen and tour Lauterbrunnen. Take bus to Trummelbach Falls. Eat in Wengen at Restaurant Baren or Lauterbrunnen Restaurant Weidstubli. Train back to Grindelwald.

Day 5 – Early train to Zermatt. Check in to Julen Hotel. Eat at L’Atelier Grand Sire, Restaurant Julen or Bergrestaurant Blatten. Stroll city. Any other suggestions?

Day 6 – Do Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Gornergrat Ridge. Anything else?

Day 7 – Early Gracier Express to Chur. Chur to Zurich Airport. Eat meal on train. OK to bring a bottle or 2 of our own wine? Check in to Hilton Airport. Take train into Zurich. Stroll old town. Eat at La Pasta.

Day 8 – 1:40pm departure to NYC. I think return COVID test will not be required by departure date. Hang around (PrimeClass Lounge).



Thanks for suggestions.
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Old May 26th, 2022, 11:29 AM
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Day 2:In automn, Lucerne dp 9.12 is a paddle steam boat on Sundays only, at other days motorboat. The Lucerne dp 11.12 paddle steam boat runs every day.
Days 3/4: check the weather forecast and decide then when you go to Jungfraujoch. This trip makes only sense if the weather is fine.
Day 4: Bergrestaurant Blatten is the most scenic of all three. But it's a short hike upwards form Schluermatta bus stop.
Day 5: I wouldn't do Kleinmatternorn (Matterhorn Paradise) and Gornergrat the same day.
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Old May 26th, 2022, 12:15 PM
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That's a pretty busy itinerary. Do I understand this correctly - two nights Lucerne, two nights Grindelwald, two nights Zermatt, one night Zurich?

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather - clouds could well make some of the mountain excursions a waste of time and as you only have one full day to work with in the BO and Zermatt...

OK to bring a bottle or 2 of our own wine? Yes.

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Old May 26th, 2022, 12:19 PM
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Good! Day 1 – AM arrive (from USA) Zurich airport and immediately catch train to Lucerne (buy a point-to-point ticket). Staying Hotel Des Alpes. Will be tired so only stroll old town and walk Chapel Bridge. Restaurants: Bolero, Bellini Locanda Ticinese or Rathaus Brauerei.

Good! Day 2 – 9:12 paddle boat to Vitznau (are they all paddle?) and up to Mt. Rigi. Return via Arth-Goldau train! Go see Cliff Lion when back in Lucerne. Would you suggest any other mountains (e.g., Pilatus). (I just e-biked up to the Rigi today and it is a fantastic mountain. We stopped in a few alphut restaurants and had quite a nice time. The views are phenonemal)

Good! Day 3 - Early train to Grindelwald (8:06 or 9:06). Check in to Belvedere Swiss Quality Hotel. Go to Grindelwald First, First Cliff Walk By Tissot. Eat Café 3692, Barry’s Restaurant or Bar & Lounge. Spa/swim laps at hotel?

Good! Day 4 - Early departure to Jungfraujoch on Eiger Express and train. Return via train to Wengen and tour Lauterbrunnen. Take bus to Trummelbach Falls. Eat in Wengen at Restaurant Baren or Lauterbrunnen Restaurant Weidstubli. Train back to Grindelwald.

Good! Day 5 – Early train to Zermatt. Check in to Julen Hotel. Eat at L’Atelier Grand Sire, Restaurant Julen or Bergrestaurant Blatten. Stroll city. Any other suggestions?

See above Day 6 – Do Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Gornergrat Ridge. Anything else?

Day 7: I personally would skip this and instead consider stopping in Berne or Vevey on your way back to Zürich or just go to Zürich and enjoy the city. You will have seen a lot of mountains between Grindelwald and Zermatt and the Glacier Express is an overkill.

Day 8 – 1:40pm departure to NYC. I think return COVID test will not be required by departure date. Hang around (PrimeClass Lounge).

Switzerland is gorgeous! Have fun!

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Old May 27th, 2022, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for suggestions. Yes, 2 nights in three locations and one night in Zurich. The suggestion about skipping the Glacier Express is very interesting. We have been to western Switzerland before. Any other non mountain towns to visit or just head to Zurich for the 1/2 day? What is the voting here?

We have never had Swiss wines before. Any bold reds we should drink (and bring back a few bottles of)?
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Old May 27th, 2022, 12:09 PM
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The grape growing regions are Valais, Vaud, Geneva, Ticino, Three Lakes region (Neuchâtel, Morat and Biel/Bienne).

Pinot Noir (called Blauburgunder) accounts for about 30% of Switzerland's wine production. We once had a spectacular bold Pinot Noir in Lenzerheide, but we never did figure out what vineyard it was from, which we bemoan to this day.

On our most recent visit, we discovered Ticino Merlot, which was excellent. They have both white and red merlots. The white is nice and dry and was a complete surprise to us.

I don't really associate Switzerland with bold reds. I don't think they have the right climate. That's more the venue of Australia.

If you find any, let me know. I love a bold red. Weve had some lovely Johnanesberg Rieslings in Switzerland too.

Last edited by Melnq8; May 27th, 2022 at 12:12 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 12:28 PM
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Mel, the Pinot Noir that you had in Lenzerheide was maybe (probably) from nearby - the Rhein valley near Chur. It is actually an excellent region for red wine! Some of the finest reds I've ever had were from there. Malans, Zizers, Fläsch, Jenins as small towns come to my mind. And Tscharner and Donatsch for wineries e.g.

A lot of canton Graubünden/Grisons wines come actually from the Poschiavo valley resp. the neighbouring Valtellina/Italy. Many of the Valtellina vineyards are owned by Swiss families for historic reasons. (Triacca e.g. - and wines have names like Stägafässli, Grumello, Sforzato).
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Old May 28th, 2022, 08:36 AM
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Ingo -

We've always found wines in Switzerland confusing as they're usually labeled by region instead of by vineyard (?)

I don't think I've ever had a Syrah or Cab Sav in Switzerland. Always thought the climate was wrong, but I've just seen both on a list of Swiss wines. How have I missed them?

I obviously need to try harder when we return to Switzerland in September/October!
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Old May 28th, 2022, 09:31 AM
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Mel, yes, often not by the vineyard labeled. However, I remember that at least in the Lake Geneva region they are named after the - more or less - location/town, like Dezaley (!), St. Saphorin etc.

Pinot Noir is the leading red grape in Switzerland, but there is a lot of Syrah e.g. in Valais.

Ahh, you are so fortunate!! Have fun in CH in fall!
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Old May 29th, 2022, 01:32 AM
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I would skip Galcier Express to Chur too.
As alternatives you might check:
Post car ride over the Simplon Pass to Domodossola and scenic train ride from there vis Centovalli to Locarno (luggage lockers in the railway station). Have lunch at Locarno or Ascona, do a scenic Lake Maggiore boat cruise or go up to view point Cardada by funicular and cableway. Leave Locarno for Zurich in the evening, either through the some 40 miles long Gotthard Base Tunnel or by TRENO GOTTARDO through 6 helical tunnels and the gorges and mountain villages of Leventina and Reuss Valley;
or
Train up to Fiesch (luggage lockers in the railway station) and gondola ride to Eggishorn, with splendid views over the whole Aletsch Glacier up to Jungfrau at one side and from Matternorn up to Mont Blanc at the other side (more or less the same peaks you saw from Matterhorn Paradise, but from a completely different place and looking therefore very different; Then via Brig - SCENIC TRAIN LOETSCHBERGER - Berne to Zurich.
or
Train to Montreux (luggagg lockers), visit Chillon castle, boat ride along Lavaux vineyards up to Lausanne, train to Zurich via Lake Neuchatel - Lake Bienne (more scenic route than via Berne);
Visit the medieval city centers of Berne and Murten, then boat ride via Lake Murten and Lake Neuchatel to Neuchatel. Evening train to Zurich.

Last edited by neckervd; May 29th, 2022 at 01:38 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2022, 01:58 AM
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Most popular Swiss wines:
WHITE:
Saint Saphorin (Lake Geneva)
Epesses (Lake Geneva)
Villeneuve (Lake Geneva)
Yvorne (Vaud)
Schafiser (Lake Bienne)
Twanner (Lake Bienne)
Vully (Lake Murten)
Merlot Bianco (Ticino)
Heida (Valais)
RED:
Pinot Noir de Salgesch (Salgesch,
Valais)
Hermitage (Valais)
Twanner vom Kapf (Lake Bienne)
Humagne (Valais)
Merlot del Ticino (Ticino)
Veltliner Staegafaessli (Graubünden)
Malanser (Graubuenden)
Hallauer (Schaffhausen)
Dole le Muzot (Sierre, Valais)
ROSE
Oeil de Perdrix (Neuchatel)
Oeil de Perdrix (Valais)
SPARKLING WINE:
Jacques Germanier (Valais)
Murailles (Vaud)
Mauler (Neuchatel)
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