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Swiss Alps in Bernese Oberland and Beyond: the ways to tackle the

Swiss Alps in Bernese Oberland and Beyond: the ways to tackle the

Feb 7th, 2019, 07:09 AM
  #1  
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Swiss Alps in Bernese Oberland and Beyond: the ways to tackle the

As suggested by the member of Fodors forum, this new thread is started, as a continuation of the old tread " How Much Time Needed for Towns in Bernese Oberland Region of Switzerland" originated in 2015.

Last edited by jane86; Feb 7th, 2019 at 07:12 AM.
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Feb 7th, 2019, 05:08 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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Thank you for staring your own thread! Based on your add-on to an old thread:
How Much Time Needed for Towns in Bernese Oberland Region of Switzerland
this itinerary is the iterary you are considering:

June 8 arriving Zurich, tour Zurich, afternoon to Luzern
June 9 Luzern old town, relax
June 10 Mt Rigi plus lake luzern
June 11 Brienz, lake brienz boat, steam railway to Briener Rothom
June 12 From Luzern to Montreuz Is there a scenic route?
June 13 Montreux chateau d Chillon
June 14 Montreuz to Annecy Is there a scenic route
June 15 Annecy day trip to Chamonix - for Aiguille du midi cableway
June 16 Annecy to Zermatt
June 17 Zermatt Matterhorn if weather allows
June 18 Zermatt to Grindelward Is there a scenic route
June 19 Grindelward
June 20 Grindleward
June 21 Grindelward
in Grindelward if weather permits to Schilthorn, Mennlichen cableways, etc and various short trails
June 22 Gridelward to Zurich

I think you’ll have a great trip! A few comments:

You might defer your visit to Brienz until your time in the Bernese Oberland, as it provides a great option for any day when the weather is not cooperative.

For the Bernese Oberland, I’m not a great fan of Grindelwald, far preferring Wengen. Actually, I also prefer Lauterbrunnen and Mürren to Grindelwald. JMO.

If you haven’t already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report:
My delightful sampling of Switzerland’s gems, with many thanks
kja is offline  
Feb 7th, 2019, 07:22 PM
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I don't like Grindelwald; I love Wengen.

I would also rather stay in Mürren than Grindelwald, although Mürren is a PITA to get to.

Thin
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Feb 7th, 2019, 07:23 PM
  #4  
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Thank you for your reply and suggestions on the new thread @kja, I will consider Wengen vs Grindleward, don't know much about either. Which is more convenient for getting around?
Somehow, this thread can not be seen in Switzerland section, the old thread got more reviews.

Thank you
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Feb 7th, 2019, 07:30 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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I just asked the moderators to add a tag for Switzerland. In the future, you can do that by clicking the orange triangle.

For locations in the Bernese Oberland, Lauterbrunnen is the easiest and Mürren the least convenient. But the views from Wengen are sublime, and IMO, far better than the views from anything else. And it isn't much less convenient than Lauterbrunnen -- it's only 11 minutes away by frequent train departing from the same station that one uses to reach Lauterbrunnen.
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Feb 7th, 2019, 11:16 PM
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Jane86 - Best to get the spelling of place names right if you are going to use www.sbb.ch/en to look up timetables:
Grindelwald (not "ward")
Montreux (not Montreuz)

To answer the questions in No 2 above:

Scenic route Luzern to Montreux is the Goldenpass line. Most scenic part of which is Luzern to Interlaken Ost. Sit on the right side facing the engine for the best views and when the train reverses out of Meiringen stay put! You are still on the "view" side.

Montreux to Annecy - there is no real scenic route if travelling with public transport (which is difficult anyway and involves a switch from train to a bus at Geneva). If driving - yes there are two scenic possibilities: 1) around the Léman via Evian, Thonon and then Annemasse to Annecy and 2) via Martigny, Col de la Forclaz, Col des Montets, Chamonix valley (breathtaking views of the Mt Blanc) and down to the French autoroutes at le Fayet.

Zermatt to Grindelwald - scenic route: train to Brig and then train to Spiez VIA Kandersteg. This is the old Lötschberg route and extremely lovely. Sit on the LH side facing the engine for best views. You see the entire range of the southern Valais alps before entering the tunnel at Goppenstein. the run down the Kandertal is also lovely... This route takes about an hour longer than the direct one via Visp to Spiez which runs through the new Lötschberg basis tunnel.
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Feb 8th, 2019, 09:05 AM
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Your new itinerary is not more scenic and has not more days in the Alps than the first one (even much less than my second proposal in post 21 of the previous thread).
But it's perfectly doable.
I suggest to put the itinerary in a somewhat logical order, however:

June 8th: arrival at ZRH, direct train to Lucerne, Lake Lucerne cruise
June 9th medieval city and museums of Lucerne
June 10th: Rigi, Pilatus, Stanserhorn or whatever you like
June 11th: Lucerne - Schuepfheim - Soerenberg - Brienzer Rothorn - Brienz - Aar Gorge - Bruenig - Lucerne
June 12th: Lucerne - Brienz (stop over, visit Ballenberg) - Lake Brienz boat - Interlaken - Grindelwald
June 13-15th: Grindelwald

June 16th: Grindelwald dp 8.19 - Interlaken - Zweisimmen - GOLDEN PASS PANORAMIC EXPRESS - Montreux ar 12.13, hotel check in, lunch, trolleybus or commuter train to Chillon castle, visit, dp 17.05 by historic paddle steamboat along the Lavaux vineyards up to Lausanne ar 18.33. Have dinner in the historic city center of Lausanne and go back to Montreux by train (4 trains every hr, 20 min journey).

June 17th: Train to Lausanne, Lausanne port dp 9.25 accross Lake Geneva to Evian (France) ar 10.00, dp by bus SNCF 10.50 to Annemasse ar 11.55, dp by train 12.33 - Annecy ar 13.29. Visit, sleeep at Annecy (or much easier, but less scenic: train to Geneva plus bus to Annecy).

June 18th: Annecy dp by train 7.32 - St.Gervais 8.56/9.05 - Chamonix ar 9.48. Hotel check in, then gondola ride to Aiguille du Midi - Pointe Hellbronner - Entreves (Italy) and back by bus (last departure actually 17.35, timetable may change until June) through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Chamonix.

June 19th: Chamonix dp 8.54 by MONT BLANC EXPRESS to Martigny ar 10.36. Luggage into the lockers. Visit of the Roman theatre and other Roman stuff, the car museum and the Fondation Gianadda. Proceed then to Zermatt, may be with stop overs at Sion or Brig (Stockalper castle open until 4pm).

June 20-22nd: Zermatt. dp by train 16.37 - Zurich airport ar 20.14, change at Visp
neckervd is offline  
Feb 8th, 2019, 10:26 AM
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Wengen is neat but very quiet - it's car-less - than Grindelwald - folks who like a livelier town take Grindelwald - also has IMO best views of any place as you have an amphitheater of awesome glacier-girdled peaks. Grindelwald also has more restaurants and more night life as there are a lot of apres-ski or apres-hikers in town.Two very different towns that some will love and some will not.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 8th, 2019, 02:41 PM
  #9  
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Swiss Alps and Beyond...

Thank you all for your suggestions and help @kja,@thin @Hambagahle @ neckevd @PlalenQ
Thank you @Hambagahle for the detailed information, @ neckevd for your proposed detailed itinerary which is excellent with all the exact routes and times, very helpful.

Before finalizing our itinerary, I have some questions to consult you for further suggestions:
In my previous itinerary, I put Oberland area (Grindelward or Wengen) at the end of the trip (June 18-21), I understand this may not be advantageous in planning the best route, but my concern is that if the later month of June has better chance of good weather or cable car opening (actually only 6 days later from June 12)?

I think the suggestion to put the trip of Brienz into Oberland's base is a good idea, so we have a little flexibility in adjusting days/times according to the weather, is it feasible? So we should cut one day short in Lucerne and add it to Oberland?

I am mostly confused about the trails, cableway (cable car opening time in June), train ride up and down etc. In the 3-4 days, if weather permits, we would like to try in the following sequence:
day 1:
Schilthorn going up: Interlaken (train) to Lauterbrunner, Lauterbunner (cablecar) to Grutschap, Grutschap (train) to Murren, Murren (cablecar) to Brig, Brig (cablecar) to Shilthorn
day 2:
To Junfraujoch via Kleine Scheidegg, then circular trip over Kleine Scheidegg down to Wengen, from Wengen to Lauterbrurren, then back up to Grindleward
Day 3:
Mt First -cliff walk
Mannlichen to Kleine Sheidegg: Wengen (cable car) to Mannlichen, hike down to Grindelward

In June 22, is it possible to take glacier express from Zermatt to Zurich? Is it worth it?

Thank you again, for your help!



jane86 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2019, 03:24 PM
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day 1:
Schilthorn going up: Interlaken (train) to Lauterbrunner, Lauterbunner (cablecar) to Grutschap, Grutschap (train) to Murren, Murren (cablecar) to Brig, Brig (cablecar) to Shilthorn>

And be sure to cable Schilthorn to Gimmelwald via Murren and take a really thrilling aerial cable car that seems to plunge down to the Lauerbrunnen Valley at Stechelberg and walk or take the postal bus to Trummelbach Falls and Lauterbrunnen.- rather than returning to Lauterbrunnen via Grutschalp. Get off in Gimmelwald and stroll around this unique farming hamlet - the local hotel is famous for traditional Swiss farmers food.

In June 22, is it possible to take glacier express from Zermatt to Zurich? Is it worth it?> No it is not possible - does not go to Zurich or anywhere near it and the scenic trains you will have been on in Wengen area are IMO more scenic than most of the Glacier Express - in no way fits your itinerary - forget it IMO.
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Feb 8th, 2019, 11:14 PM
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Roman theatre is in Aosta not Martigny. Here in Martigny we have the amphitheatre or arena. Still worth a visit! Stockalper Palace in Brig - best to take a tour if you can. Depending on the day you are in Brig there is also the Museum of the Swiss Guards at the Vatican.
Hambagahle is offline  
Feb 8th, 2019, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
day 1:
In June 22, is it possible to take glacier express from Zermatt to Zurich? Is it worth it?> No it is not possible - does not go to Zurich or anywhere near it and the scenic trains you will have been on in Wengen area are IMO more scenic than most of the Glacier Express - in no way fits your itinerary - forget it IMO.
Nonsense! It is very possible. If you are in Zermatt start there and travel on the Glacier Express to Chur. Then connect in Chur to Zürich HB station (1hr20mns Chur/Zürich). If you are not in Zermatt catch the GEX in Brig and take it to Chur from there. You will see the best sector for views on the entire trip between Andermatt and Chur. Oberalp pass which is wild and desolate, then the lovely Surselva valley and finally the gorges of the RHine. A lovely trip and my favourite way to get from the Valais to Zürich if I am not in a rush... Just reserve your GEX seat Zermatt/Chur or Brig/Chur...
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Feb 9th, 2019, 07:35 AM
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All lifts and buses in the Grindelwald area will run during the whole month of June, except the Maennlichen gondola which will be closed for works from March 31st until December 14th.
In the area where you plan to walk the snow begins to melt in April and will be have completely disappeared in the second half of June. A few days earlier or later don't make much diffference.
As Hambagahle told you: it's possible to go by Glacier Express from Zermatt to Chur and then by Incercity train to Zurich. But that will cost you a whole day from your Zermatt stay (Zermatt dp in the morning instead of evening).
neckervd is offline  
Feb 9th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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TO HAMBAGAHLE
At the website of Martigny Tourisme I read:

"Amphithéatre Romain Rue du Levant 34, 1920 Martigny
Les traces de ce monument antique sont les seules à être demeurées toujours visibles au cours des siècles. Fouillé dès la fin du XIXe siècle, ce n'est qu'en 1978, après son acquisition par la confédération suisse, que sa restauration complète fut entreprise. Ses structures et ses dimensions sont relativement modestes (75.50 x 63.70 m), mais elle témoignent néanmoins de l'important essor de la ville romaine d'Octodure, Forum Claudii Vallensium. Actuellement, cette enceinte permet d'accueillir différents spectacles (concerts, combats de vaches, etc.) avec une capacité de plus de 5000 spectateurs. Aujourd'hui, il est toujours utilisé pour le combat de reines de la Foire du Valais en automne, ou le cinéma "Open Air" de Martigny en été"
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Feb 9th, 2019, 11:23 AM
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Nonsense! It is very possible>

Yes but they are only going to be in Berner Oberland area not Zermatt - they are asking if possible Interlaken - Zurich can take GE!
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Feb 9th, 2019, 12:48 PM
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"In the area where you plan to walk the snow begins to melt in April and will be have completely disappeared in the second half of June. A few days earlier or later don't make much diffference."

Thank you for you reply and suggestions

If the snow will be disappeared in the second half of June, if the same happens this year, would that make a difference if we move Grindelwald/Wengen to the last four days (June 19,20,21,22)? There should be increased change of good weather and trails?

Is there a good way to arrange the route from Zurich - Lucerne -Brienz - Montreux- Lausanne- Montreux - Annecy -Chamonix -Martigny to Zermatt - Grindelwald to Zurich? Or or from Lucerne - Brienz- Zermatt- Chamonix/Annecy - Montreux/Lausaane - Grindelward - Zurich?

Thank you
jane86 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2019, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Nonsense! It is very possible>

Yes but they are only going to be in Berner Oberland area not Zermatt - they are asking if possible Interlaken - Zurich can take GE!
And the answer is the same - of course they can. All they have to do is to get to Brig (best via the faster train via Visp and not the slower one via Kandersteg) which will take about 2 hours. Then catch the GEX at Brig and take it to Chur. They still see the best of the entire route on this sector and it is well worth doing. Longer (of course) than going direct to Zürich but SO much more fun!
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Feb 10th, 2019, 09:21 AM
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Yes that portion could do but I'd say instead of running around just take the Golden Pass scenic train, a special train like GEX, Interlaken - Lucerne and see scenery also awesome. And the did ask about GEX from Interlaken and Zermatt - I don't think a day on trains would be that much fun and again hey will have taken more scenic trains already around Wengen area.

Best of the entire route on that segment for GEX when I've taken it was Zermatt to Furkha area and Albula Pass. I thought the Brig-Chur part ws nice but not as awesome as those other portions. I think OP wants to do GEX because it is so famous - oh well very subjective.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 11:28 AM
  #19  
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Hello,
Thank you everyone and thank you @Hambagahle @PalenQ for your replies and input, which are valuable suggestions.

As we may put Grindelward as last destination (the base might be Grindelward), we may consider changing the route a little from the one in post # 7.

The only changes will be as follows:

1, Change from Interlaken to Grindelward on June 12 TO: June 11 Interlaken to Montreax (golden pass panoramic from Zweismmen to Montreux), then following the same route : June 12 Lausanne to Annecy, June 13 to Chamonix (no planning for renting car and driving so use regular train); June 14 Chamonix (mount blanc express) to Martigny to Brig (overnight), June 15 Brig to Zermatt June 16 Zermatt June 17 Zermatt, June 18 Zermatt (?)

2, Change from Zermatt to Zurich TO: Zermatt to Grindelward (Zermatt - Brig - Spiez - Interlaken - Grindleward), June 19 -21 Grindelward

3, Back to Zurich from June 22 Grindelward (instead of Zermat) TO: Interlaken to Lucern to Zurich

Please advice if this route is feasible, any suggestions and comments are welcome!

Thank you again
jane86 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 12:45 PM
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changes were hard dto follow for moi. Are you going to Zermatt? Why not just type out you new complete itinerary then note changes?
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