Switzerland Itinerary Advice

Nov 15th, 2016, 02:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Switzerland Itinerary Advice

My husband and I are spending 7 nights in Switzerland March 16-26, 2017, with an additional 2 nights in Colmar. We are trying to finalize our itinerary, but would love any suggestions to help with a well rounded itinerary. We are in our late twenties. We love hiking and being outdoors in general, but reading about March weather, it seems we will likely be out of luck when it comes to hiking (please let me know if you disagree).

We are trying to decide what to do with 1 day that is up in the air. We aren't sure whether to spend the extra day in Zurich (for two days in Zurich total), or spend that day traveling to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn. Are we crazy to be so close to the Matterhorn and not make the trip? Is only spending one day in Zurich not enough?

Below is our current itinerary. We haven't decided where to base yet for days 6-8, trying to decide between Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, or Grindelwald. I am leaning towards Lauterbrunnen, any thoughts? Will 3-4 nights there leave us with few options for dinners, etc? We would definitely like an option or two for a drink at night. Would it be easy to go to a nearby village for dinner one night?

Day 1- Zurich- arrive 8 AM
Day 2- Colmar
Day 3- Colmar/Strasbourg
Day 4- Lucerne
Day 5- Lucerne
Day 6- Interlaken (or surrounding area) - visit Jungfrau
Day 7- Interlaken (or surrounding area) - Skiing-any recs for beginners?
Day 8- Interlaken (or surrounding area)
*Day 9/extra day- either additional day in Zurich in beginning of trip or Zermatt day trip*

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
AlexandraCHW is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 03:50 PM
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If you can get out of bed in time to catch the 06:32 train in Zürich, you get to Zermatt at 09:51. From there you can take the 10:48 train up to the Gornergrat (google it!) to arrive at 11:17. That's where the views of the Matterhorn are stunning - on a good day.

If you choose to stay closer to Zürich for that day in question, I suggest a fabulous excursion into a typical Swiss mountain landscape and town, Appenzell (enjoy the photos and information at www.appenzell.ch/en/home.html) and then go up on the nearby Säntis - see https://saentisbahn.ch/en/
michelhuebeli is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 04:47 PM
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Zurich and Zermatt are about as different as I can imagine two options within Switzerland!

Zurich is a city with some excellent museums, glorious stained-glass in two of its churches, lots of wonderful town squares complete with fountains and oriels, etc., and -- at least at some times of year -- the chance to take a lovely boat ride along its river and into the lake.

Although I haven't visited Zermatt, I'm sure it is stunning -- but what you will see will depend, I would think, on the weather.

I was glad I stayed in Lauterbrunnen, but I was in that area in June, and that could make a difference. IME, there were easily enough options for dinners and drinks for a stay of several nights. And yes, you could get to a nearby village for dinner -- check your transportation options at the Swiss Rail website:

Are you flying in an out of Zurich? If so, consider putting all your time there at the end.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 04:55 PM
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Hi, I like Zurich and don't think you would regret an extra day there. With just one night in Zermatt, you would not have much time, and you could get bad weather on that one day/night. You will get hiking in Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, so mix up city with country/mountains. Also remember that there is Lake Zurich and the little boats that go around the lake. Sue
Sue81 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 04:57 PM
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also if you can try to have the two nights consecutive in Zurich or where every you are going. Nice to get a little rest to recoup flights/trains, etc. Sue
Sue81 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 05:35 PM
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I have been to Switzerland 5 times, however, I have never spent time in Zurich. I always leave the airport for the mountains. To me Zermatt is enchanting. Even if the Matterhorn is shrouded in clouds. I grew up in the shadow of the Disneyland Matterhorn, so the Matterhorn in Zermatt is special.

Don't stay in Interlaken. Go into the mountains...Wengen, Murren or even Lauderbrunnen. You will not be disappointed.

Also, I usually stay in Lucerne when I fly out of Zurich. It is only an hour train ride from Lucerne to the Zurich Airport.

I will be making my 6th trip to Zermatt and Wengen next year. Can't wait!
BarbAnn is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 05:36 PM
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IMHO I would put another day in Strasbourg, which is a charming city with tons to see and do, rather than Zurich, which is primarily a business city - and very expensive.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 09:17 PM
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Hi AlexandraCHW,

I don't see the attraction to leave one mountain area to sit on a train to go see another mountain area. If you'd like to take a day-trip, I would try to get some more variety in it -- see a city or a lake.

While BarbAnn loved Zermatt, and many folks do, I personally didn't care for it. I spent a skiweek there once and didn't like it; then I went back as a day-trip another time, and still didn't like it. It's just too crowded for my taste -- crowded with people and buildings (it sits at the end of a long valley, and they ran out of room to build many years ago, but they keep on throwing up chalets). It has no charm at all imo. So, that may be something to keep in mind when you are deciding what to do for your day-trip.

I also think it would be best to stay in the mountains. March is still ski season, and you'll have the mountain views and atmosphere if you stay up there. Also, it will be that much more convenient for your one ski day. I'd recommend Wengen.

Have fun as you plan!

swandav2000 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2016, 10:54 PM
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What are you doing after day 9?

Why split Zurich in two pieces just to incur additional trip to hotel, check-in, unpack, pack, check-out, trip to station cycle which can be totally eliminated by going straight to Colmar after landing in Zurich? Are you thinking you would be too tired to travel when you land in Zurich at 8am? If so, where do you think you can rest when you arrive at 8am?

Why Colmar-Luzern-Interlaken-Zurich instead of Colmar-Interlaken-Luzern-Zurich which is a shorter trip?

If you insist on visiting Zermatt, 1) it is quickest from Interlaken 2) and need more than one day at base city to give you a choice of a day worth taking a trip.

However, your stay in Interlaken may not be enough to hit a clear day to go up Jungfrau (or Schilthorn- not mentioned).

>>> We aren't sure whether to spend the extra day in Zurich... Is only spending one day in Zurich not enough?
What are you doing in Zurich?
greg is offline  
Nov 16th, 2016, 02:21 AM
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If you want to hike, you should rather go to a dry and sunny area like Valais instead of usualoly wetter Bernese Oberland where will be more snow than along the sunny slopes of Valais Rhone Valley anyway.

The 4 direct Zurich - Colmar buses are operated by Flixbus, 2 1/2 hrs journey, Fare 11 EUR/pax
Trains (with change at Basel) are more frequent (about every hr) and a bit faster, standard fare 45 EUR/pax

Ski equipment rental: about 50 EUR/pax/day
neckervd is offline  
Nov 16th, 2016, 04:17 AM
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What they haven't said about Zermatt...yet:

great hiking in the area but at that time of year, who knows?

you can literally walk from one end of the village (and that is what it is, a village) in an hour or less and what will you pass by? Other than that church with the graveyard of "fallen" climbers you will see a whole bunch of stores selling all sorts of souvenirs, expensive watches, the usual food, the Monte Cervin Palace hotel (amongst others and it is a great place to stay, too) and ski equipment outlets.

The peak is iconic even if it isn't the highest one in Switzerland and the view over the Monte Rosa Massif is spectacular if the whole thing is not shrouded in clouds.

I've done this and more than once. You are going to have plenty of alpine views up in the Berner Oberland and with your schedule I would forget the idea but to each their own.
Dukey1 is offline  

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