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Request for advice - staying in Saanen/Zweisimmen 6 days in late July

Request for advice - staying in Saanen/Zweisimmen 6 days in late July

Old Jun 13th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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Request for advice - staying in Saanen/Zweisimmen 6 days in late July

Dear All - I have a friend in Saanen, another friend in Zweisimmen, and I know someone in Thun. This is my first trip to Switzerland - and I'd like to spend some time in the mountains, hiking, exploring little villages, relaxing - before starting a project in Geneva (will be there until mid Fall- and work will be hectic).
I would so appreciate your advice:
I am on a budget, so I want to stay with friends instead of getting a hotel - I feel like staying with the friend in Saanen for all 6 days (rather than packing/moving), and then doing day trips, hikes to the surrounding area - do you have a preference for either Saanen or Zweisimmen or Thun as a base?
I read on a website that there is lots of construction happening in Saanen, so it isn't as lovely as it usually is. Is this true? (I hope not).
Also, I want to hike to nearby places - can I walk to Gstaad and Rougemont? Do you recommend this? Can I walk at all between places? I'm pretty fit and can hike/walk for hours, but I don't want to be so exhausted that I don't enjoy myself.
Also, please suggest day trips - I want to see Murren, Wengen, Grindelwald, Gruyere, Lauterbrunnen - but I need some relaxation so I am not trying to cram in as much as possible in a short time - would rather relax and enjoy.
I'd love to hear your suggestions on easy, laid back day trips from Saanen and Zweisimmen. I don't feel as drawn to Thun.
Thank you for your kind help!
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 06:08 PM
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I should add that I want to see villages and natural beauty - but I am not dying to do every mountain train, cable car, cograil, etc.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 06:56 PM
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Here are 2 hikes I've found - Mürren to Grütschalp http://www.myswissalps.com/hikes/sho...ng=EN&HikeID=2
and Lauterbrunnen Valley to Mürren and Gimmelwald
http://www.hikethealps.com/2011/03/l...urren-and.html
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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Hi SairaK,

Lucky you! I've spent some time in some towns in the same area (Chateau d'Oex, Saanen, Gstaad), and I love the area. Saanen is absolutely lovely. I'm heading back there (Gstaad) this July/August for 11 days during the music fest.

Yes, I think Saanen would be the best spot for you for a base -- it's small and very pretty. Zweisimmen is a larger town, but it's better located for trips to the Jungfrau region, if you feel you absolutely must go there.

There is a lot of hiking and great biking in the area. I think going to the Jungfrau area (Mürren) will be quite a long way to go; it'll take you 3h of transport in each direction from Saanen and about 2h20 from Zweisimmen.

Here are the hikes I've lined up for my trip this summer. These are just my notes, so I hope you can understand them --

1. Zweisimmen – Horneggi ( - Schönried)
2.5 hours (3.5 walking to Schönried)
Most famous is to take the cable car beside the train station to the Rinderberg and walk the scenic walk to the Horneggli. It's an easy mountain walk with a great panorama of a lot off the Bernese Oberland peaks. Don't miss to have a break at the mountain Restaurant Hornfluh or Hornberg. At the Horneggli cable car you can easy get back to the valley.

2. Gstaad – Schönried - Rellerli – Grosses Vorsass - Schönried
1.5 hours, 4.5 km, (rellerli – schönried-Gstaad, 3h, 9 km)
Saanenmöser – Grosses Vorass – Rellerli - Saanen
2h15, 5 km Medium hike, but always walking down
Cable car Schönried – Relleri (10 chf)

3. Gstaad – Saanen – Unterbort – Sulz – Rougemont short
Saanen Unterbort – Rougemont
2h, 5km Not the most known and beautiful hike following mostly a little tarmac street. (maybe bike it???)
Beautiful view from Unterbort back to the Saanenland.

4. Feutersoy – Arnensee
2h
Lac d'Arnon – Forest Nature Loop Trail
50 min, 3.5 kkm Better walk around the Arnensee. 1.5-2h. If you prefer a longer walk. Climb up to Seeberg at the end of the lake and comme back a little higher. There is a bus going to Arnensee.

5. Gstaad – Höhi Wispile – Gsteig
2.5 hours, 10 km
Visit the little grocery store and Restaurant Bären in Gsteig.

6. Chocolate and Cheese Trail
Charmey – Gruyeres
3h10, 11.3 km

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/chem...ese-trail.html

7. Sanetsch 2hrs
Go up with the Sanetsch cable car. Walk around the the lake, maybe even do a little more. Experience this high alpine world on 2050 m.a.s. Plan a stop at the Auberge de Sanetsch. They have a very special concept and even a "Day Spa".

Let me know if any of these aren't clear (they are my notes, plus the notes of someone who lives in the area), or if you'd like information on transport to each one.

Here are links to photos of the area:

Gstaad & walk to Saanen
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0EauGrJq5bMWKO

Walk to Wispile
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0EauGrJq5bMWKf

Bike ride from Gstaad to (almost) Gruyeres
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0EauGrJq5bMWJx

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 10:04 PM
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ps

The central tourist website for Saanen is actually

www.gstaad.ch

Here's the link to all their suggestions for hikes, which you can browse by classification:

http://www.gstaad.ch/en/page.cfm/Act.../Summer/Hiking

s
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Old Jun 15th, 2012, 05:04 AM
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Swandav2000, thank you so much for sharing this information - so helpful! And thanks for being so generous to share your trip photographs - beautiful. I find myself looking at them every few hours.
I really want to see Lauterbrunnen and Murren, so I may just wake up super early one day and take a train there - I am sure the train ride will be pretty as well. I realize a lot of this also depends on weather. It is just that I will be quite busy during the rest of my stay in Switzerland - so it may be hard to come back to the area - so a day trip - will be fine.
The hikes you suggest sound perfect - I see on the website that detailed maps/directions can be found only at the tourism office. Is that right?
I will look at the hikes you suggest in some more detail and write back. Thank you! And wishing you happy travels on your upcoming trip.
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Old Jun 15th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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Hi again,

I'm not sure what you mean by "detailed maps/directions can be found only at the tourism office." You can find hiking maps all over in Switzerland and in Gstaad. The tourism office is a good bet for free maps and hiking suggestions. But there is a big bookstore in Gstaad, and you can buy hiking maps and hiking books with suggestions, etc.

Online, I haven't found any good hiking sites for this area apart from its tourist site. There is this site that's national:

http://www.wanderland.ch/en/welcome.cfm

but really there's so much information that it takes some time to find anything useful.

Anyway, have fun!

s
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Old Jun 15th, 2012, 06:19 AM
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Thank you so much, Swandav! You have been a great help.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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Hi saira

I just can confirm Swandav. She knows the region quit well. Two remarks about the actual situations.

In Saanen is indeed a big construction site at one side of the village. They are building a new parking. The other half of the village is still nice and quiet.

Because you like to do day trips to Jungfrau Region and Thun I better recommend Zweisimmen. You are better centered with good, direct train connections to Bern, Interlaken (both 1h 30), Thun (1h), Saanen (30m), Gstaad (20m).

And you got great hiking possibilties from Zweisimmen, which is a true hiker paradise. You can enjoy easy theme trails or long alpine hiking. You will all find around Zweisimmen.

Enjoy your planning.

Regards
pb
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 12:58 AM
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btw, the poster above, pb-zweisimmen, is the one who gave me most of those terrific notes I posted above for hiking the area. You were a great hel, pb!!

s
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 01:00 AM
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help. Should read: You were a great help, pb!

Sorry!
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Old Jun 20th, 2012, 11:16 PM
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Dear Pb - thank you so much! You and Swandav have been a wonderful help.
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Old Jun 25th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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You're welcome.
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