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Swiss Alps, Lakes & CT - How much time needed to do it right?

Swiss Alps, Lakes & CT - How much time needed to do it right?

Jan 24th, 2002, 08:33 AM
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Swiss Alps, Lakes & CT - How much time needed to do it right?

We hope to go the first two weeks of May and are looking for suggestions on how many days to spend in each location. (We like to walk and hike)

Would going to the CT be too much?

Any 3-4 star suggestions for charming, scenic places to stay?

We're trying to use mileage and are hoping the beginning of May isn't too cool in the Alps....

Thank you very much for any help you can offer. And yes I know where the search button is
Jan 24th, 2002, 09:22 AM
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HELLO NANCY, You can do justice to those 3 destinations if you have 10 days or more. Ideally, I would start in Milan and depart from Zurich--is that feasible? Key question--will you be driving? I would suggest it for the Lakes and CT, and then drop your car in Lugano and train in CH. Lots of ideas, but would need to know more to give you definitive info. I would plan on a minimum of 3 nites in each location. The hotel options will depend on train versus car---all the difference. Let me know how I can help.
Jan 24th, 2002, 12:23 PM
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To some extent, this question turns back into "how much time do YOU need for a <<vacation>>?"

Some of my trips to Europe are about being a tourist - - and on most of them there is "vacation" time also.

The three destinations you mention ought to be primarily about "vacation"ing - - il dolce far niente. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are things to see, shopping to indulge, restaurants to swoon over.

But this question is much different than "how much time for Paris or Rome?"

Best wishes,

Jan 24th, 2002, 01:22 PM
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Generally I agree that three nights tends to be pretty mimimum for any given area, but I believe that two nights really is adequate for the CT. You can do the entire hike in one day -- even giving time for stopping in each town for an hour or two (I think we did a three hour lunch in Vernazza) along the way. And if you arrive in the mid afternoon, you could actually do one leg of the total hike that day, then start there (going by the little train) to complete the rest on your full day.
I would think that most trails for hiking high up in the Swiss Alps would be closed yet or pretty impassable in early May. We once had a hard time on some of the trails in Mid June -- still a lot of snow.
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:39 PM
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I would echo the concern about the conditions in the Swiss Alps in May. I would advise going somewhere like Engelberg, which is good for hiking and might be OK in May. As for the lakes, any of them will probably be good because they are generally on the southern side of the Alps. Locarno in May COULD be very nice or a bit cool.
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:41 PM
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So, how will they be in July? Specifically Lucarno and Maggiore?
Jan 25th, 2002, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for replying Bob, Rex & Patrick,

We hope to do most of the travel by train and will have 14 - 16 nights.

Tell the truth - is May 1 - 15 too early? (That was for mileage purposes.)

We're not totally granola crunching hikers - but like a nice walk and great scenery.

For Switzerland - thinking of Lucerne, Wengen and Zermatt. How's that. Haven't figured out the CT portion.

Also, dumb ? - What is CH?

Thanks again

P.S. This is my 1st time asking for help.
Jan 25th, 2002, 04:39 PM
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Nancy, CH is Confederation Helvetica, the original name of the Swiss alliance of cantons. You will see the CH on the car plates. With that much time I would plan 4 destinations, and Luzern would be the 4th. You can do it in both directions, but I would start south to buy some time before the Alps. I would fly into Milan and start with the Lakes: Here is a rough idea:

Italy Lakes--3 nites
To Cinque Terre---3 nites
To Lugano CH--2 nites
To Berner Oberland--4 nites
To Luzern--2 nites
You can train to the Zurich airport directly in about 1:20 from Luzern.

That is a great itinerary for the best of the Alps and Lakes. Let me know if you need specifics.
Jan 25th, 2002, 08:55 PM
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Jan 26th, 2002, 05:25 AM
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Hi Nancy, the suggested itinerary just above me sounds terrific. I'd consider taking a night off the CT and spending your last night in Switzerland closer to the airport-- Zurich or Winterthur or the small towns of Bulach or Dielsdorf. Your trip sounds like a dream. J.
Feb 8th, 2002, 05:02 AM
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What is a CT? (Don't say Connecticut!!)
Feb 8th, 2002, 06:22 AM
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Hi Lynn,

CT is short for Cinque Terre. It is on the "Italian Riviera" and is made up of 5 small towns. Can't wait to go - but have no idea of where to stay.

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