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Lost in choice of new Alpine destination + something else

Lost in choice of new Alpine destination + something else

Old May 4th, 2017, 06:32 PM
  #21  
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Some changes in our plans. Due to flight schedules and prices, we are now flying into ZRH and out of MXP instead of GVA, so Mt Blanc area will have to wait until next trip. I couldn't arrange it so I arrive first either, so plan is now:

Sat: Husband arrives from US 8:30am. I arrive from AMS 11:15am. Booking 2 nights at Holiday Inn Express ZRH--they seem to often allow people to check in early if room available, so he can take shuttle to hotel rather than waiting for me at ZRH. Afternoon take tram/bus into city. Perhaps Fraumunster for Chagall windows, stroll, and dinner.

Sun: Day trip to Appenzell region (new area for us). Depending on weather and our mood, either folk museum in Appenzell and/or Urnäsh, Ebenalp cable car and walk, cheese making demonstration. Could also go to St Gallen for the Abbey library if a rainy day.

Mon: Train to Zermatt area. Could go directly or roundabout to spend a few hours in Lucerne. (visited there 40 years ago; but tempted to pass because we are going to Lake Maggiore now). 3 nights in either Zermatt or Täsch.

Tues & Wed: Hiking and if weather cooperates, ride up Gornergrat or Matterhorn Glacier Paradise for views.

Thurs: Choice of ride to Sion area, up to Betmeralp or similar view Aletsch glacier,...train to Domodossola, then the Centovalli line down to Locarno for 1 night.

Fri: 9:30am 3 hr boat to Stresa. Afternoon for short walk, a ride for view. 2 nights in Stresa.

Sat: Isola Bella + another destination.

Sun: 6:30am Alibus to MXP and direct flight home.

QUESTIONS:

Any other suggestions for day moving from ZRH to Zermatt area?

Stay in Zermatt or Täsch? I can get a room in a small hotel in Zermatt or one in Täsch for about the same price or for less than $20 more per night I can rent a studio apartment with kitchen in Zermatt. I like the idea of being close to the lifts to start day early, but also like being out of the tourist center.

Any other suggestions for day moving from Zermatt area to Locarno?

Now I have to price my train tickets. Last time I went to Switzerland, the half-fare card was my best choice.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 12:13 AM
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I'd rather stay in Zermatt than Täsch if it's more than one night. The latter is mostly a big parking lot for all the Zermatt visitors. (Exaggerating, but there's really not much in Täsch and you'll spend a lot of time and money going to Zermatt daily.)

Lucerne sounds like a good option for breaking up the trip Zürich - Zermatt.

Why spending most of the day in the Valais before heading to Locarno? I would spend more time in Locarno, there is sooo much to see and do there!
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Old May 5th, 2017, 04:40 AM
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We could head to Locarno any time on Thurs, so could spend day there.

I'll look into it more. I saw the Sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso, Piazza Grande, old town, and Cardada listed as sights in the area.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 08:03 AM
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Yes, take the funicular up to Madonna del Sasso, continue by cable car higher up to Cardada, maybe even Cimetta. The old town has quite a few churches worth seeing, a *must* is San Vittore in Muralto, right by the train station (Romanesque church). Very nice lakeside promenade.

You could also head over to Ascona, a picturesque small town (village) with some more sights (Collegio Papio, lakeside promenade, cute old town in general, Monte Verita). Or do a lake cruise with visit of the Brissago islands.
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Old May 5th, 2017, 07:16 PM
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Stay in Zermatt. We were there in January snd loved being surrounded by the mountains and hiking in them.
Cute old town too. Walk on some of the old streets iff the main drag.
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Old May 6th, 2017, 02:17 AM
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Your plan sounds good. There is no need to book something else than accommodation. As no Swiss trains, boats, etc. must be booked in advance, you can decide about your itineraries at the last possible moment.

Zurich - Appenzell/St. Gallen:
you may include a Lake Constance or Rhine River cruise: boats from Schaffhausen to Stein am Rhein - Konstanz/Kreuzlingen - Romanshorn - Rorschach.

Zurich - Zermatt:
tons of possibilities like
direct train (change at Visp)if you wnat to sepnd almost the whole day at Zermatt,
scenic Loetschberger train from Berne to Brig for much better mountian views than along the direct itinerary (20 miles long tunnel under the most scenic areas),
whole day trip over some Alpine Passes, like Zurich dp 7.09 - train - Goeschenen - Swiss Postbus - Susten Pass - Innertkirchen - Swiss Postbus - Grimsel Pass - Oberwald ar 12.30. Trains from oberwald to Zermatt every hr (3 hrs journey).

Zermatt - Locarno:
Leave Zermatt 8.13 by train to Brig ar 9.37. Put you luggage into the lockers, walk through the medieval center of Brig and visit the Stockalper castle. Leave Brig 11.35 by Postbus over the Simplon Pass to Domodossola ar 13.17 and change there to the panoramic train to Locarno ar 15.19.

Locarno - boat - Stresa:
You can easily visit the Islands after having checked in your hotel.
IMO there is much more to do and to see around Locarno than around Stresa: mountain valleys, viewpoints, sancturaries, or even the 3 medieval castles of Bellinzona. I would rather stay 2 nights at Locarno and 1 night at Stresa.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 04:08 AM
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Great suggestions!

Yes, we just plan on booking hotels (busy time of year) and buying the Swiss half fare card, then choosing specific trains/boats depending on the weather, how energetic/tired we are, etc.

I will definitely look more closely at Locarno as a base.

Husband now a little worried about plan to take the Alibus from Stresa to airport--must be the first bus and if there is some problem, there might/not be a train to catch. So he is pushing to go to Milan the last night. He has not been to Milan, so an evening to walk around there would not be bad instead of Stresa. He was then interested in seeing the Last Supper if I thought it worthwhile (I have seen), but the tickets had been released 2 weeks before and appear to be online booked, so I will try the phone number to see if I can get through to determine if any not shown. But he won't be heartbroken if none available directly (he doesn't want to pay the reseller price).
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Old May 8th, 2017, 09:07 AM
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"Husband now a little worried about plan to take the Alibus from Stresa to airport--must be the first bus and if there is some problem, there might/not be a train to catch"

Stresa - Malpensa airport by public transport in early morning:

1. Stresa dp by train 5.21 - Gallarate ar 5.57, dp by local bus 6.31 - Malpensa Terminal 1 ar 6.53; it's easier to take a taxi from Gallarate railway station, however (about 10 min ride);

2. Alibus, timetable valid until Oct 10th

3. Stresa dp by train 6.21 - Gallarate ar 6.57 plus taxi

4. Stresa dp by train 6.39 - Gallarate ar 7.30, dp by airport train 7.46 - Malpensa T1 ar 8.11 (or taxi Gallarate - airport).
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Old May 9th, 2017, 10:12 AM
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HI, I don't have time to read all the suggestions above,but I did like Chamonix when my son spent 5 months skiing there.Pretty little village and lift up Mt. Blanc.

However, I also love Murren, near Wengen/Grindelwald, very pretty spot, accessible by Swiss Rail and a couple little mountain trams, and we woke to 12 waterfalls one morning after rain. Also very much like Zurich and rides on the little Lake Zurich boats, lots of interesting things to do, see, art, fondue, chocolates, interesting shops. I personally would choose Murren over Zermatt as it is too touristy for me. Sue
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