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Please help to put together my first swiss + france itinerary!

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Please help to put together my first swiss + france itinerary!

Old Feb 19th, 2009, 09:44 PM
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Please help to put together my first swiss + france itinerary!

Ever since I first stumbled upon this forum in 1996, life has changed and trips to Europe (first 2,3 times a year and now annually) planned largely through input from fodorites have become the highlight of our lives...

My husband and I have mostly concentrated on Italy for most of our holidays – the Dolomites being our favorite but we did do a trip to the Engadine (combined with the Dolomites) and now were thinking of doing the Bernese Oberland given that it is such a favorite of the Fodorites.

So, we have 15 days or so and we would go in mid July. We will be driving and should be landing into Zurich (we live in Singapore).

I was thinking about 3 different bases and starting with 5 nights at Kandersteg / Wengen /Lauterbrunen valley and then driving to Montreux area and staying there for 4-5 nights and we finally need another base for the last 3-4 days. I was thinking about close to Bern since it will then be like a loop back to fly out from Zurich. I have read several posts and have found that there are lots of nice towns, villages in this area so am a bit confused.

We like mountains and scenic beauty, charming villages and pedestrian cobblestone streets and of course some exciting things for kids to do would be great. Our kids are 9 and 5.

Please help with bases, day trips and hotels. We do like to stay at special charming hotels and our budget would up to USD 300 per night.

Many thanks
Deepa
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Old Feb 20th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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ira
 
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Hi DS,

In Zurich, we very much enjoyed our stay at the http://www.st-josef.ch/.
It is about a 10 min walk from the train station.
We paid 195 Swiss Francs for a large, airy corner room - 414.
They have a good restaurant.

We will be staying at the http://www.giessbach.ch/en/the_grandhotel/about.php when we visit the Bernese Oberland.

You might wish to consider it.

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Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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This sounds good - the first stay will be very mountaineous, the second by the lake (public boat schedules at www.cgn.ch/en/home/index.php), with gorgeous mountains across the lake and also nice mountains up above Montreux - go up to the Rochers de Naye with that charming little train - see http://www.membres.lycos.fr/beuret/e.../real/mtgn.htm and http://www.swiss-riviera.com/naye/.

The third stay, near Bern, would not involve mountains per se - Bern is a very nice city with a popular historic center that is walkable, totally modern and functioning as the capital city of the Swiss Federation etc.,modern but many hundreds of years old.

The surroundings of Bern are hills and flat land, not mountains - you see the famous Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau peaks in the distance, that's all.

So in order to make it a commonsensical loop back towards Zürich, you could do this:

From Montreux drive to Bern, leave early in the morning, park your car above the central Berne train station and walk around the adjacent old part of town. At just before twelve noo be sure to find yourself standing at the clock tower called Zytglogge where the ancient clockworks and figurines present quite a spectacle. Not Disney or Hollywood, no ritz and glitz, just a charming piece of history that still works.

By mid-afternoon, drive on to a location near Lucerne and spend the last few days there. You'll have a lake with boat rides (www.lakelucerne.ch/en.html ), you'll have impressive mountain peaks that you can go up on (www.rigi.ch/en/welcome.cfm, www.pilatus.ch/default.asp?sprache=E, www.titlis.ch), you have towns in elevated areas that are great to visit or even to stay in - check them out: www.einsiedeln.diorama.ch/english.htm, www.engelberg.ch/en/index.php, www.roesslipost.ch/index2.php4, etc.

From Lucerne to the ZRH airport it takes only a little over an hour by train, driving is a bit more if you consider having to go through the Zürich metro area so give yourselves enough time.
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Old Feb 20th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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The Lama has great ideas for you Deepa. I agree to add Luzern to the mix, and the Berner Oberland has no equal. I suggest you stay in Lauterbrunnen as a centro base location. Search for posts from Bob Brown who is our resident expert in the BO. The Montreaux area is expensive.
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Old Feb 21st, 2009, 02:33 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. Any ideas about hotels in the Bern area and day trips from there?

We may not add Luzern in since we have stayed there before. May want to add Annecy since we did a day trip there from Geneva and really like it.
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Old Feb 21st, 2009, 04:49 PM
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Topping!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:13 PM
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I stay with private when in Bern so can't help with hotels.

Daytrips - tons of them.

If you didn't get to do these while situated up in the mountains of the Berner Oberland then these are easy to do while located in Bern:

www.thunersee.ch/ausfluege/stockhorn.html Stockhorn

http://www.switzerland.isyours.com/e...and/spiez.html Spiez

www.myswitzerland.com/en/infra.cfm/rkey/768 more about Spiez

www.niesen.ch Niesen

www.niederhorn.ch/ Niederhorn

www.beatushoehlen.ch/e/hoehlenwelt/index.html Beatushöhlen / caves

www.interlaken.ch/?L=3 Interlaken

www.harderkulm.ch/ Harder Kulm just up from Interlaken

www.reichenbachfall.ch/ Reichenbach waterfalls

www.brienz-rothorn-bahn.ch/?lang=en Brienzer Rothorn

http://tinyurl.com/9oz5og Reichenbach Falls (Sherlock Holmes’ demise)

While in town, check out these:

http://tinyurl.com/5okxyt Federal Parliament Building (with video and tour info)

www.berninfo.com/en/welcome.cfm Bern

http://www.berninfo.com/en/navpage-S...BET-32443.html Bear Pits

www.paulkleezentrum.ch/ww/en/pub/web_root.cfm Paul Klee Zentrum

http://www.swissworld.org/en/switzer...n_s_zytglogge/ Zytglogge

http://switzerland.isyours.com/E/gui...zytglogge.html also Zytglogge

Going towards the French-speaking areas:

www.mhl-monts.ch/ Musée de l'horlogerie - watchmaking industry museum

http://www.neuchateltourisme.ch/e/na...b=basic&fid=31 Neuchatel (land of watches)

www.avenches.ch/ota/page.php?id=138&lang=eng Avenches-Aventicum (excavations from the old Roman days)

www.murten.ch/_anglais/index.html Murten-Morat

www.juratourisme.ch/e/home/ Jura mountains

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en.cfm/...ral-83566.html Saignelégier

www.la-gruyere.ch/index2.php?langue=eng Gruyeres (on left click on Interesting Sites)

http://www.tourismesuisse.com/gruyer...e-factory.html Cailler chocolate factory visit

www.castle-gruyeres.ch/e/index.html Gruyères Castle


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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:06 AM
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Thank you Thank you Dalai Llama for taking the time to post all this wonderful information.

After seeing all the kids activities available in smaller towns like Gruyeres I may think about not basing our self in Bern but somewhere else.

The search for hotels goes on. What do you all think of Kanderstag as a base for the BO staying at the hotel Reudihus?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:51 AM
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For hotel search, you may use www.hrs.de. They usually have good rates and offer good information about the hotels.

Double-check with www.tripadvisor.com

My recommendation would be staying in Luzern for a couple of days. From Luzern, you can do an easy daytrip (by train or car) to Bern.
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