Switzerland in 4 days - Need advice

May 22nd, 2014, 11:39 AM
  #1  
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Switzerland in 4 days - Need advice

We will be in Switzerland for four days, beginning in Basel in the afternoon where right now we are planning to catch a train to Lauterbrunnen area. We'd like to get in a couple walks/hikes with great sightseeing. By the middle of the fourth day, we are to meet friends in Zurich. I would love suggestions on best hikes, favorite places to eat, stay. Also, should we spend the first afternoon/evening in Basel and leave the next morning for Lauterbrunnen or skip Basel, go straight to Lauterbrunnen for two days, do a day or half day in Luzern and from there to Zurich? Is there a better itinerary, knowing we need to end our trip in Zurich? We aren't interested in museums on this short trip, but want to see Switzerland's best of nature and maybe some architecture.
maryebutton is offline  
May 22nd, 2014, 12:38 PM
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What kind of hikes - simple, flat easy hikes or more demanding ones?

The most popular hike in the whole Jungfrau Region IME is the famous Ridge Walk from The Mannlichen, a celeberated outlook point high above Interlaken - you can see the two lakes lovingly bookending Interlaken from there as well as a grand view of the spiny ridge of central Switzerland - walk from here on a fairly flat but gently scending trail to Kleine Schiedegg - just a few miles and easy but so so many awesome views - called the Ridge Walk because from the trail you can see at various places both the deep gorge-like Lauterbrunnen Valley but to the east the Grindelwald amphitheatre as well.

The Mannlichen can be reached from Lauterbrunnen via a mountain railway to Wengen and then a gondola from there to The Mannlichen. From Kl Schiedegg you can take the train back to Lauterbrunnen via Wengen or do a lovely few-hour walk - i did recently and it is fantastic and going down gently - four-wheel drives and bikes can navigate this wide track - with rave views over the Lauterbrunnen Valley and Murren perched on top of the cliffs on the west side.



If you do not have a Swiss Pass or Half-Fare Card or Swiss Card you may want to think about getting one in Basel's train station - would cover in full travel to Lauterbrunnen and Wengen and give 50% off most gondolas and can be used in Lucerne to take boat rides on that town's lovely fjord-like Lake Lucerne - classic boat ride gong to Fluelen, returning to Lucerne by train. With the pass just flash it at conductors - no tickets needed except of course on discounted things.

For lots on Swiss trains, passes, etc I always spotlight these IMO fine sites: www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

The Swiss Card could be a good deal for you too - maybe better than a pass or Half-Fare Card - ask for details at the train station info offices.
PalenQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2014, 12:55 PM
  #3  
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Thank you. Any opinion on seeing Basel or Lucerne if you had to pick one?
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May 22nd, 2014, 01:03 PM
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I'd pick Lucerne but only if I had to - Basel to me is a vastly underrated city but it in no way will fulfill the dreamy picture perhaps in your mind's eye of Switzerland - mountains rising in the distance like you can see from Lucerne but Lucerne to me is also one of the prettiest cities in Europe and is smaller too, making it more relaxed and easy to see in a rather short time.

A day trip by boat on Lake Lucerne to me makes a major different too - to me Lake Lucerne is the most gorgeous of many gorgeous Swiss lakes - take a boat ride on it - in Basel you can cross the Rhine on a chain ferry but it ain't the same lovely few-hour ride as on Lake Lucerne - some boats are still steam-powered I believe.

Basel is neat but Lucerne is even neater IMO and I think most will echo that preference.
PalenQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2014, 01:13 PM
  #5  
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Thanks so much for the input!
maryebutton is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 06:06 AM
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In Lauterbrunnen I would highly encourage you to do the loop up to Murren, do The Schilthorn/Piz Gloria/Gimmelwald loop back to Lauterbrunnen - to me one of the finest excursions in the whole region.

Take the aerial cable way from lauterbrunnen's train station to Grutschalp - then hop a train that trundles along the cliff's edge to Murren - with awesome views of the glacier-girdled Jungfrau massif right across the deep Lauterbrunnen gorge

From Murren hop the very long aerial cable way to The Schilthorn - and Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant and observation post out in the middle of rugged peaks - James Bond film On Her Majesty's Service was in part filmed here when Piz Gloria was being built!)

Of course poke around Murren, a spiffy Alpine resort and take the cable car now down to Gimmelwald and explore this totally unique out in the middle of nowhere place and then take an awesomely thrilling aerial cable way back down to the lauterbrunnen Valley floor at Stechelberg and hop a postal bus the few miles back to Lauterbrunnen.

The large gondola from Gimmelwald to Stechelberg is one of the most thrilling (terrifying?) ones I have ever taken as it seems to plunge down the valley floor which you can see way below - nervous Nellies should stand in the middle of the large gondola - and the whole thing is fully covered by a Swiss Pass except the Murren to Schilthorn cable is 50% off - a great great day out IME.
PalenQ is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 03:20 PM
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Don't miss at least a short stop in Gimmelwald if in the Murren area - it's a nice few-mile downhill walk on paved paths is looking for an easy walk with great views across the Lauterbrunnen Valley and of the Jungfrau Massif above it:

https://www.google.com/search?q=gimm...w=1455&bih=978
PalenQ is offline  
May 24th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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to Lauterbrunnen area. We'd like to get in a couple walks/hikes with great sightseeing.>

right from Lauterbrunnen a nice flat walk goes a few miles along a small brook to the end of the Lauterbrunnen Canyon - to Stechelberg from where the cable way to Gimmelwald departs.

Another nice easy walk on the Murren loop is to take the cable way from Lauterbrunnen up to Grutschalp and then instead of taking the train to Murren walk the few miles on a wide footpath that parallels the cliff's edge most of the way, with awesome views of over the Lauterbrunnen Canyon below and the glacier-girdled Jungfrau Massif across the way.

Midway on this very popular trail is a famous restaurant with sun terrace known for its famers' breakfast - but just a stop here and sitting on the sun terrasse with oh so awesome views is tremendous.

So those are two easy walks to incorporate into the Murren Loop - I would go up to Grutschalp first, walk to Murren - do the Schilthorn cable and back to Murren

and then another short easy way could go downhill from Murren to Gimmelwald - then thrilling cable way to the valley floor at Stechelberg and nice flat walk back to Lauterbrunnen - three neat short walks to make a grand day in the Alps.
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