Please help with Switzerland itinerary

Old Mar 15th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Please help with Switzerland itinerary

I could really use some advice. We are going to a wedding in Crans in July, then going on to Stressa, Venice and Lugano. If I only stay in lugano for one night, I will have four more nights to spend in Switzerland before leaving out of Zurich. We are a family of five, two adults, three children, ages 10-12-14. I would love to make two more stops, two nights each. I originally thought I would spend most of that time in Lucerne but the hotel prices are very high. Is Lucerne the way to go,regardless of price? I would appreciate any expert advice!

Thank you!

Patricia
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Hi patricia1961,

Well, if I were you, I'd go to the Berner Oberland for three nights, maybe the village of Wengen or Grindelwald, then to Luzern for the last night before you leave.

Hotels can be expensive in Switzerland, but some cheaper alternatives can be found at www.rooms.ch, an association of budget hotels in Switzerland. You may be able to find a more affordable place at that site.

Have fun planning!

s
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 05:49 AM
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S-
Thank you for helping me again! You helped me a few months ago with some Zermatt questions. I have one more question for you. From Lugano, which of these locations would be easiest to get to by train? With luggage and kids, ease is a priority.

Thanks again!

Patricia
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Hi patricia1961,

Yes, you're right. The site www.rail.ch shows the Lugano-Luzern route takes 2h43 with 0 changes while Lugano-Wengen takes 5h39 with 3 changes. So Luzern is a good idea -- check out the rooms.ch site to see if you can find a good hotel there!

s
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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Your itinerary seems to involve a lot of backtracking from Stresa to Venice then Lugano then Zurich. Stresa and Lugano and relatively close to each other and are similar enough in geograpy, IMO, that you only need to include one of them. I would make Venice your last stop, and fly out of Venice rather than coming all the way back to Zurich. Also, Genvea is much closer to Crans, so if you can fly into Geneva and out of Venice that would be best.

Crans is a lovely place, and you might enjoy spending time in that area if you arenít already planning on staying before or after the wedding. There is some very good hiking/walking.

Crans is also quite close to the gorgeous eastern end of Lake Geneva. The lake area would be a nice change after the mountain areas of Crans, and has a different feel than the Lugano/Maggiore lake areas, as it is French and not Italian. If this were my trip, I would actually skip Stresa in favor of Lake Geneva, which I think is more beautiful. A place like Vevey, Laussane or Montreux would be lovely at that time of year. Great biking and walking either along the lake or in the beautiful Lavaux vineyards. Your kids would like the Chillon Castle. You can train or drive to these areas from Crans in about 1.5 -2 hours. From Lausanne, you can get the super fast Cisalpino train to Venice in 6 hours with no changes. Go to cisalpino.ch or rail.ch for train schedules.

The Saas Fee valley, next to Zermatt is also quite close to Crans and would be a good choice esp if you want to hike in the area. You can do a day trip to Zermatt. Zermatt itself has some great walking and of course the mountain, but I find the town very noisy and night and crowded by day with daytrippers (potentially yourself). If you go to Zermatt, I would stay at the Riffflealp hotel up on the mountain and be out of the crowds. Take a look at Riffelalp.com. There is also the 3 star Riffleberg, have not been in the rooms, but lobby and restaurants are charming in Swiss style. http://www.matterhorn-group.ch. Great Matterhorn views. Finally, there is the 2 star Klum Gornegrat. Great location at the top of the Gornegrat with stunning views. I have not seen the rooms, but the restaurants and public areas are nice. Run by the same group which operates the Riffelberg hotel.

The Bernese Oberland is of course beautiful, but there are so many areas closer to Crans that are just as beautiful, IMO, although they donít get the hype that the BO gets on this site. However, if you decide on the BO then I would suggest you either (i) take the Golden Line Pass train from Montreux to Interlaken wihch will give you great views, or (ii) drive yourself via the Grimsel Pass which is a beautiful and fun drive. (You can also include a trip up to the top of the adjacent Furka Pass if you have time, and can see the glacier which is the souce of the Rhone River. The Furka is a hoot to drive.) From Crans, the drive would take you under 3 hours. (You could get there a lot quicker via the Lotchsberg car train, but you would miss the high passes which are the point of the drive.) For info on the Golden Pass train, go to goldenpass.ch. I prefer Wengen or Murren over Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald, but any would be fine, jsut donít stay in Interlaken which is not in the mountians and does not have any real charm, IMO.

I am not a fan of Lucerne, but am prejudiced as I live in Zurich. If you have to fly out of Zurich, I would spend your last night in Zurich as there is a lot to see and do, and you can zip to the airport from the main train station in about 8 minutes. There is also an excellent zoo which the children may enjoy.

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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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To follow up what Cicerone said--if you have to fly out of Zurich, Swiss has a fairly cheap flight from Venice to Zurich, were you could then connect to your other flight.
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Old Mar 16th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Cicerone-

You suggested to "drive yourself via the Grimsel Pass which is a beautiful and fun drive. (You can also include a trip up to the top of the adjacent Furka Pass if you have time, and can see the glacier which is the souce of the Rhone River. The Furka is a hoot to drive". I'm up for gorgeous drives, but would like more information about why the Furka is a "hoot to drive". I'm not a timid driver but am I going to feel as though I'll strive straight off the mt?
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 01:08 AM
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Quite frankly, yes, you will feel like you are going to drive off the mountain. There are virtually no guard rails, and the road is just wide enough for 1 and 1/2 cars, which means a lot of pulling over onto the extremely tiny dirt shoulder when cars approach. There are dozens of switchbacks. I am not a nervous driver either, but the first time I did the Furka, my palms were sweating. After that, I began to enjoy it. I am still amazed at watching the huge Post Buses negotiate this pass, perhaps that is the best way to do it. . .
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Thank you Cicerone and everyone who has helped me! I will look into the flight to Zurich back from Venice and also the train directly to Lausanne. I really like that idea! Thanks again!

Patricia
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