Switzerland Question

Oct 2nd, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Switzerland Question

Hi. We're considering a 9-10 day trip to Switzerland in 2007. Looking at visiting Lake Geneva, Berner Oberland, and Luzern, but are open to suggestions for a nice itinerary for this length of time. We liked the combination of lakes and mountain scenery, which is why we picked the above.

When is the best time of year to visit these areas? Would early-mid September work ok? I know weather cannot be guaranteed of course. I did search under "Switzerland" and saw some trip reports of Fodorites just returning from Sept trips in Switzerland, so I'm guessing it's a good time? We are unable to go in the Spring due to husband's work schedule, so that's why we're looking at September.
travelbunnies is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Hi travelbunnies,

Your plan looks basically sound, and, yes, September would be great for you. I would only suggest that you start in the mountains of the Berner Oberland when it's warmest, then head to Montreux for later when it may be cooler (it's warmer along Lake Geneva).

Are you flying in & out of Zurich? If so, you can spend the last night/s in Luzern, which is only about an hour from the Zurich airport by direct train.

So, basicaly, I would go: Zurich airport-Berner Oberland-Lake Geneva-Luzern.

Train schedules at www.rail.ch.

Let us know if you have any other questions!

swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:40 PM
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We returned from Zürich on September 9th. We enjoyed some cloudy days and some absolutely stunning days. As you said no promises. I do suggest that you should look toward early to mid September rather than late September, such as the 26th or later.

The years we have been there during the 4th week of the month seemed to find clouds.

I suggest also that you consider Zermatt. I know I can get an argument started with this comment, but for me, the most awesome view in Switzerland for a non climber is from the Klein Matterhorn. We were there on a clear day and Mont Blanc was visible to the west and the Dom stood out as as highlight to the east.

And yes, I have visited the Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch, top of the Faulhorn, etc. in the Berner Oberland.

bob_brown is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 04:57 PM
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If you're going to BO, I recommend you include Thun--a charming town, far less touristy than Interlaken. Reasonable train connection between Interlaken and Luzern, though we usually rent a car to take advantage of beautiful scenery. Agree it would make more sense for you to fly into Zurich, onto Luzern and Berner Oberland, then continue to Montreaux.

We've been spending the summer in Switzerland for the last several years. From our experience, August seems wetter than September. It gets rather chilly up in the mountains in the middle of summer, though sunny weather makes so much difference.
W9London is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 06:21 PM
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We were just in Switzerland for Sept 9 to 24. We first stayed in the Berner Oberland/Grindelwald area and can highly recommend our apt. rental (basic/very clean and very welcoming accomodations w/a great view of the Eiger):


Whilst in the BO we made a daytrip to Luzern which was lovely (I could have easily stayed there for a couple of days). Then we moved on to the Ticino which was not one of our favourite areas. Then we headed to Lake Geneva where we stayed in Clarmont (a tiny village above Morges):


We were supposed to move on to a hotel in Vevey but we enjoyed the cabin so much we stayed on.

We had every kind of weather on our two-week trip from low 50s at night (BO) to mid to high 80s in the Ticino and Lac Leman. September travel in Europe means layers! We also had a lot of haze which I'm not sure if that's typical but it seemed to come and go for most of our trip.

We had a car and that worked well for us but the public transportation will get you anywhere you wish to go.

If you have more specific questions I'd be glad to help (although there's a wealth of Swiss experts here!). This was our first trip to Switzerland and we're already excited to return.

Best of luck w/your planning.

mvor is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Thank you everyone for your replies. Good to know I'm on the right track, and that September will work out well. Yes, we were thinking early in September vs. later in the month (probably like the 2nd week and into the 3rd week.)

For air, we could either fly R/T Zurich, or into Zurich and home from Geneva.

swandav2000-Thank you for the advice of going to BO first and then to Lake Leman-I wasn't thinking of the weather difference, but that makes good sense.

Bob Brown-thanks for suggesting Zermatt--I didn't think of that-definitely an option. What's the town like? It's traffic-free, correct?

W9-I've read a few postings about Thun and it seems highly recommended, so will consider that as well.

mvor-your trip sounds wonderful! Thanks for the links to accommodations. I will definitely take a closer look at them.

I'm sure as I get more involved in planning, I will no doubt have more questions and posting again, so thank you.

Switzerland sounds fantastic! It's hard to choose. Since we're taking a shorter trip in 2007 (by shorter I mean not our usual 15-16 day trip-that will be in spring 2008 to Italy), I thought Switzerland would be a great choice. Also have Ireland and Scotland on the list as well, but it's looking like Switzerland may very well win out this time around.
travelbunnies is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 09:52 AM
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I would fly into Zurich and out of Geneva. Toward the end of the trip spend time along Lac Leman at the beautiful towns like: Montreux, Vevey, Lausanne, Morges. Visit Chateau de Chillon outside Montreux. And a day trip up to the town and castle at Gruyeres. You can easily get to the airport from any of those four towns, so don't even need to spend time in the city of Geneva, unless you want to.
suze is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 12:24 PM
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Thanks Suze. That's exactly what I was thinking. Do we need a car for any of those towns, or is everything doable by train? I'd like to just use the train vs. renting a car if possible, but we could rent one for a few days if need be.
travelbunnies is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 01:20 PM
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>Do we need a car for any of those towns, or is everything doable by train?

There is no place in Switzelrand (no inhabited one at least) without a public transport connection. It is just not always a train - sometimes you will have to use a bus, or boat, or a cable car.
Many smaller mountain towns cannot be reached by car anyway.
altamiro is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2006, 01:32 PM
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I have only visited the Lac Leman area (but i've been there a bunch of times). I always go around only by train. Or bus for short distance like between Vevey and Montreux on market day!

I'm not qualified to comment on the rest of your trip, but you most definitely don't need a car once you get to this area. Not to mention the train ends right AT the Geneva airrport! Very handy.
suze is online now  
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