switzerland in 2 days

Old Aug 13th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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switzerland in 2 days

Well our trip to Switzerland is rapidly approaching and we still do not have an itinerary.
We are booked on a Rhine River Cruise that ends in Basel. We would like to rent a car and travel south to end up in Italy (santa margarita). We have 1 or 2 nights to spend in Switzerland but don't know where to go. We have heard Oberland is nice as well as Luzern. Would appreciate any hints. Hotels and side trips included.
Travel Dates are late Sept to Oct.
bellac is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2009, 01:57 PM
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No replies to this? Perhaps your query begs too many questions.

Let me ask you:
1. Are you driving one way to Italy and flying from there or are you returning the rental car in Switzerland?
2. What is your budget?
3. One or two nights? Is this optional?
4. What types of activities do you enjoy? Hiking? Museums? Large cities? Small towns?

The answers to these questions might give us a basis for ideas.
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Do a search on Switzerland, read some trip reports. Go to your local library and get an EyeWitness Travel book. If you're going to rent a car, get on it. Don't wait until you're in Europe.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Ok here is the info and thanks in advance for your suggestions
We hope to rent a car drive to visit relatives in Italy.
Heading back to the US from Florence or Milan.
Hiking is out as DH has bad knees. But he does like informal touring and sightseeing. Type A kind of guy. He also like to fish if that means anything. We are not theu party type just sort of old babyboomers trying to relax. Not opposed to doing a private tour or smaller group tours.
We are having some difficulty in deciding the route from basel. Do we go via bern or luzern? Would like to see the alps and do a gondola or train to see the sights. We are flexable in our days 1 or 2 days/nights. Would like to stay in better hotels preferbly with views but quiet and out of the hustle and bustle. Got Rick Stieves Switzerland but he doesn't give much advise on places to stay.
Some have suggested Interlaken area. Again our final destination is Santa Margarita in Italy so the travel route would have to get us to that area.

Last time we went to Italy we rented a car through Auto Europe, would that work again or is there a better co.

Don't want to get off to a bad start with driving problems so any suggestions on best route would help. I have used Michelen and it has helped. But experience is the best.

Any suggestions would greatly be appreciate. We are from New Jersey and do have access to NYC. Would going to the Tourist office help.

Waiting for your answers
bellac
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 08:12 AM
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I know there will be aosme diagreement but here's what I would do..either go immediately to the Berner Oberland and spend two FULL days there and then go on to Italy and i would NOT do it by car since renting in Switzerland and dropping in italy means a drop charge I suspect...

OR...get yourself to Chur eventually and take the Bernina Express from there into italy (Tirano) and go from there...you'll see plenty of spectacular scenery along the way, too

but with switzerland there are a zillion possibilities for great sightseeing including Luzern so it will be hard to go far wrong and once there you'll probably wish you had more time.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 05:43 PM
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I'm no expert, but the first thing you need to do is find out about dropping a car rental in a different country than where you started. That's expensive/complicated.
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 05:59 PM
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Why drive at all when trains are so easy and both of you can look at all the wonderful scenery?
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 02:21 AM
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My experience in Switzerland is somewhat limitied, but I feel comfortable in saying that we have similar tastes. I have been to the Berner Oberland and also to Lucerne.

IMHO, renting a car, of which I am quite fond, is nuts. Take a train to Lucerne. When we went, we stayed in Vitznau, a small town on the lake. From there we took a boat ride to get to Mt. Pilatus, altitude 7700' +/-. You'll go up by what you will refer to as a train. There are hiking paths at the top, but you need only take a short stroll. Restaurant and spectacular views. There are taller peaks in Switzerland, but coming from NJ, you'll think you're on the top of the world. You can spend 45 minutes or 6 hours at the top.

Come down on the other side of the mountain by ski gondola. When you get to the bottom, you walk downhill about 10 minutes and catch a city bus which will take you to Lucerne in 10 minutes. Walk around the old city, 3 blocks from the main bus station. You can do this for 10 minutes or 3 hours. Then catch the ferry back to Vitznau. I did this with my wife a few years ago and it was one of the best days of our trips. Great memories of that day.

Then take a train to Lugano. I haven't been there, but you should be able to cross the border into Italy and pick up a rental car there and drop it at the airport.

Bon voyage, and hello to Suze who helped me on the Washington State board.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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hi lenox8662 (i have friends in Switzerland so I tune in to these threads, but my working knowledge is only around the Lac Leman towns outside Geneva).
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