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Is my itinerary the Best of Switzerland?

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Apr 10th, 2015, 05:30 PM
  #1
Lev
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Is my itinerary the Best of Switzerland?

We are planning a 14 day trip to Switzerland in mid-June. We are thinking of skipping a few touristy areas that include Zermatt, Lugano and St.Moritz and concentrate on other areas with 3 home-bases:
Luzern, Interlaken and Lausanne.
Here is what we think:
Day 1: Arrive to Zurich Airport. Take a train to Luzern. Explore Luzern. 5 nights in Luzern.
Day 2: Luzern;
Day 3: Cruise Lake Luzern and Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Rigi area.
Day 4: A day trip to Murten and Bern.
Day 5: Day trip to Zurich.
Day 6: Take golden Pass to from Luzern to Interlaken. Interlaken, 3 nights in Interlaken.
Day 7 and Day 8: Berner Oberland: Grimmelwald, Murren area and Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg area with walks/hikes.
Day 9: Take a Golden Pass from Interlaken to Montreaux. Explore Montreaux and take a boat ride to Chateau de Chillon. Take a train to Lausanne. 5 nights in Lausanne.
Day 10: Lausanne.
Day 11: A day trip to Gruyeres.
Day 12: A day trip across the lake to Evian-les-Bains (France).
Day 13: A day trip to Geneva.
Day 14: from Lausanne to Geneva airport to catch a morning flight.
Any suggestions?
Would you recommend to explore Zurich on day 1 and take another day trip on day 5, for example to Vaduz, Lichtenstein?
Is it worth to go to Evian-les-Bains and spend a day there?
Would you recommend to buy Swiss Pass based on this itinerary?
Thanks. Lev.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 05:44 PM
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I would bag Zurich and definitely add the Jungfrau - or one of the other highest mountains - if you really want the best of Switz.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 08:03 PM
  #3
 
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If you really want the best of Switzerland stay up in the BO in a village like Lauterbrunnen or Wengen. It is a gorgeous area and really warrants an overnight to appreciate it.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 08:39 PM
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Add Yvoire to your Evian day trip. A beautiful medieval town!

Haven't been to Lausanne since I stayed in Momtreux and Evian on my way to
Geneva.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 09:17 PM
  #5
kja
 
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"Day 4: A day trip to Murten and Bern."

I would find it difficult to see both in one day. I spent about 1.5 days in Bern and wish I'd had more time there.

"3 nights in Interlaken"

I agree with michele_d that you might consider Lauterbrunnen or Wengen rather than Interlaken for your time in the Bernese Oberland. And you might see if you can add a day there.

"Would you recommend to explore Zurich on day 1"

I think that depends on the length of your flight and how tired you are. If you have the energy to see what you want to see before heading off, it would be a more efficient use of your time and would free up another day for the Bernese Oberland.
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Apr 10th, 2015, 10:32 PM
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Hi Lev,

I wouldn't take the ferry ride from Montreux to Chillon -- that only takes about 10 minutes and is hardly worth it. I think it's much better to walk the flowered lakeside path to Chillon, about 45 minutes. If you use the SBB's Fast Baggage service and ship your luggage from Interlaken to Lausanne, you won't have to worry about it; in that case, you could take the ferry ride from Chillon to Lausanne, about an hour and a nice ride, covering the beautiful vineyards of the Lavaux.

I would also make time to see the beautiful town of Vevey, espeically the tangled and winding street of the old town, next to the lake. You could also consider seeing/walking through the vineyards of the Lavaux.

You can very easily see Gruyeres while enroute to Montreux because it's a quick detour of the Golden Pass route. If you go to Gruyeres on another day, you'll be repeating much of the same landscape you saw on Day 9.

I guess I would recommend:

Day 9. Ship luggage using Fast Baggage. Take Golden Pass from Interlaken to Gruyeres, see Gruyeres. Continue on to Montreux, see the town. Take a ferry to Lausanne.

Day 11. Train to Chexbres, walk downhill through the vineyards to Rivaz, about 20 minutes. Take the local train from Rivaz to Vevey. Explore Vevey, have lunch in one of the restaurants in the old town. Walk the lake. Take bus #201 to Montreux and get off at the train station. Walk uphill to the old town, then back down to the lake, and continue walking to Chillon castle. See Chillon. Take a ferry boat back to Lausanne.


Have fun as you plan!

s
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Apr 11th, 2015, 04:38 AM
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I would certainly at least CONSIDER taking the rail trip from Montreux up to Rochers de Naye fopr spectacular views of the lake and surroundings which are far more interesting, IMO, than the lakeside walk but perhaps you could do both.

A lot of people say you can forget Zurich and unless you enjoy major museums and churches that is perhaps worthy advice but that depends on you.

You are staying i8n Luzern for five nights and that's fine; I would recommend the half day trip up to Engleberg and the ascent of Mt. Titlis as opposed to the Bern trip and definitely do NOT stay in Interlaken but further up for better views, a trip up to the Jungfrau, etc.

Oh, and please be aware that those "touristy" areas INCLUDE the Berner Oberland at certain times of the year. You are going to possibly see LARGE groups of tourists and in a lot of places. Tourists: just like YOU; their presence does NOT destroy any scenery.
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Apr 11th, 2015, 05:28 AM
  #8
 
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I would say spend a few more days in the Jungfrau Region - to many the absolute highlight of Switzerland - otherwise seems neat - I'd take 2 days off Lucerne perhaps - a sweet city but with little to dobesides a few neat day trips- and put them into the Jungfrua Region which has a plethora of varied things to do - in the hills and down on the lakes.

and your itinerary creams 15-consecutive-day Swiss Pass which would cover nearly every train, bus, lake boat and city trams and buses and also give free entry to 470+ Swiss museums and sights - like the Chillon Castle I think (not sure) and Gruyeres castle perhaps, etc.

Anyway for lots of great stuff on Swiss trains - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Apr 11th, 2015, 07:50 AM
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4 1/2 days at Lucerne, 2 1/2 days around Interlaken, 4 days at Lausanne? It's really up to you.

But forget a day trip from Lucerne to Berne AND Murten. The small walled medieval city of Murten, the roman amphitheatre and museum of Avenches nearby, the roman villa at Vallon, the vineyards of Mount Vully, the nature reserve of La Sauge - Cudrefin, the highly recommende boat journey from Murten via Lake Murten - Broye channel - Lake Neuchatel to Neuchatel with it's castle, it's small medieval center and it's famous celtic lake dwellers museum would take more than a day (without Berne).
The 3Lakes area could be visited easier from Lausanne than from Lucerne.

The boat ride from Lausanne to Evian takes just a bit more than half an hour. What do you plan to do a whole day in this rather boring French town?
I would rather go from Lausanne to
Bouveret Aquapark and Vapeur Park
Lavey-les-Bains spa, Bex salt mines and St. Maurice Abbey
La Berneuse (view point)
Glacier 3000 (view point)
Vallorbe Caves and Iron Museum
Yverdon menhirs, castle and small medieval center, Grandson castle, museum and menhirs, Gde Caricaie Nature reserve
Ste Croix (view point) and L'Auberson with their 19th century music box and orchestrion museums
Lac d'Emosson cablecar (3rd steepest of the Alps) - small train and lift (all in front of Mont Blanc)
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/h...sney-land.html
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Apr 11th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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Lake Lucerne offers some awesome day trips by steamers - old-fashioned dpaddle-wheeled steamers on some and fake ones on most. the William Tell Express uses old-fashioned paddle-wheel steamers i believe and includes commentary and a full meal en route to Fllelen at the fjord-like top of Lake Lucerne - from there you can take the train quickly back to Lucerne.

But stop off at a lovely lakeside town like Brunnen (name?) for lunch - there are many regular boats as well - including the one the William Tell uses - only a certain part of it is for the special fee deluxe excursion - boats go frequently.

Use them to get to Mt Rigi - from boat docks at Vitznau to Mt Rigi vis the Rigi Bahn (Swiss passes 100% valid on boats and this train line) - come down to Weggis perhaps by gondola for variety and pick up boat back to Lucerne - or go by bus from Weggis.

For Mt Pilatus take boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad and catch the thrilling mountain railway - one of the steepest in the world - to the Kulm or summit station. then return to Lucerne via aerial gondola to Krens in suburban Lucerne for a quick bus ride back to the town center.

anyway a boat ride on what to me is the loveliest of Swiss lakes is a great thing to do from Lucerne. There are special meal and music cruises at night (Swiss Pass not valid on these secial excursion boats).
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Apr 11th, 2015, 10:15 AM
  #11
Lev
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• Thank you for great suggestions. We will stay in Europe for a while before flying to Zurich therefore there will be no jetlag and we are planning to arrive to Zurich before noon. Therefore it probably makes sense to leave the luggage at the train station at the airport and explore Zurich on day 1. Then we will be able to spend day 4 in Bern and day 5 in Murten and places around Murten recommended by neckervd . Would you recommend a day trip to Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Rigi area. If you do, which one is better? I agree that staying in Lauterbrunnen or Wengen is probably better than staying in Interlaken, but Interlaken is bigger and it easier to find accommodation for a reasonable price.. Any recommendations of hotels or B&B in Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Wengen ? We will definitely follow swandav2000 advice and ship luggage using Fast Baggage on Day 9. Take Golden Pass from Interlaken to Gruyeres, see Gruyeres. Continue on to Montreux, see the town. Take a ferry to Lausanne. and do what swandav2000 suggested to do on day Day 11 before visiting Chillon castle. We will probably skip the trip to Evian-les-Bains (France) and arrange the day 12 as neckervd suggested. Would you recommend a day trip to Geneva from Lausanne? Also is it worth to go to Vaduz, Lichtenstein as a day trip from Luzern?
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Apr 11th, 2015, 10:30 AM
  #12
 
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What's your budget for a hotel in Interlaken/Wengen/Lauterbrunnen? I'd also look into Murren (our favourite). I definitely wouldn't stay in Interlaken. The beauty of the BO area is in the mountains. And if you're avoiding the 'tourist' areas of Zermatt etc, you really want to avoid Interlaken I would think.
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Apr 11th, 2015, 10:53 AM
  #13
 
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http://www.walters.ch/

for a recommendation of a sweet B&B in Interlaken check out Walters - I've stayed there several times - nice view over meadows of the high Jungfrau Massif - great unlimited breakfast - friendly owner and is quiet part of Interlaken - Matten - I love Interlaken and always stay there now but if I were a first-time traveler to the area I'd stay right up in dem mountains - in Grindelwald is my favorite - Murren is too isolated for me and Wengen too and both too quiet for my druthers.

Grindelwald is only 20 minutes or so from Interlaken-ost so for day trips out of the Jungfrau Region on the not so uncommon wet weather day (rain and mist can set in for days even in summer) it is easy to day trip to places like Bern - in about an hour and with its covered walkways throughout the town center more enjoyable in wet weather than hiking or trekking around the Jungfrau Region.
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Apr 11th, 2015, 11:44 AM
  #14
 
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As Palenque has said on numerous occasions, Interlaken is given short shrift...unfairly. We've loved staying there as a base with a very accomodating train schedule into the Alps. A lot depends on your lodgings and we discovered a favorite place on the quiet Promenade side of the beautiful River Aare..easy walk into town over a foot bridge...theHotel Goldey Swiss..get room with balcony with smashing Massif views, even at dusk.

The train station is a very pleasant 15 minute walk...to Interlaken-Ost... along-side the river on the promenade all the way. Very frequent trains to Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen for example.

(see pix below)
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Apr 11th, 2015, 12:03 PM
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some selected Swiss pix which might be of assistance to you, Lev.
Enjoy your visit...it's a winner!

https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...rOberland2009#
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Apr 11th, 2015, 01:38 PM
  #16
Lev
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tower, Great pictures! Thank you for sharing!!!
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Apr 11th, 2015, 05:00 PM
  #17
Lev
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Thank you kja, PalenQ and others for your recommendation regarding accommodation in the Berner Oberland. Since we are first-time travelers to the area we will stay in Lauterbrunnen, not Interlaken. Now I am working on accommodation in Luzern and Lausanne.
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Apr 11th, 2015, 05:15 PM
  #18
kja
 
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I really enjoyed Lauterbrunnen! In mid-June, it gets a lot of sun, is filled with wildflowers, and Staubbach Falls (and other waterfalls) should be very full with glacial run-off. Enjoy!
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Apr 12th, 2015, 07:25 AM
  #19
 
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Hr
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Apr 12th, 2015, 10:22 AM
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Many folks enjy Montreux or Vevey more than large big modern Lausanne - hotels with neat lake views - and just smaller more old-worldish towns - I'd look there - just a few miles from Lausanne. All have train stations.
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