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-   -   SWTIZERLAND IN APRIL (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/swtizerland-in-april-1036559/)

PRIYA_G Feb 5th, 2015 12:44 AM

SWTIZERLAND IN APRIL
 
Hey,

We are planning of traveling to Switzerland by mid of april. we are looking forward to snow, some skiing and also beautiful greenery..a local tour operator from uae provided me the itinerary as below..since its my fist trip to switzerland please advise :)

DAY 1
ARRIVE ZURICH - ONTO LUCERNE (1 HR)
On arrival in Zurich, you will walk across to the Flughafen station (located adjacent to the airport) for your train to Lucerne. Lucerne, the epitome of Swiss beauty. Let your hair down, enjoy the food and wine as you inch your way closer to the Swiss Alps.
Overnight in Lucerne.
DAY 2
LUCERNE
(B)
Enjoy a day of sheer excitement and adventure on glacier paradise of Mt. Titlis (Mountain Excursion). Board the world first revolving gondola ‘Rotair’ and take the opportunity to ride the spectacular ‘Ice Flyer’ chairlift and see the ice grotto in the Titlis Glacier Park.
Overnight in Lucerne.
DAY 3
LUCERNE - INTERLAKEN (2 HRS)
(B)
Today, your journey takes you into the heart of the Bernese Oberland. On arrival in Interlaken, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Interlaken.
DAY 4
INTERLAKEN
(B)
Today embark on an unforgettable Alpine tour to the majestic world of the Jungfraujoch - The Top of Europe (Mountain Excursion) and Europe’s highest train station. Ascend by a cogwheel train to the top arriving into a wonder world of glaciers and an incredible world of eternal ice and snow.
Overnight in Interlaken.
DAY 5
INTERLAKEN
(B)
The day is free to explore Interlaken on your own.
Overnight in Interlaken.
DAY 6
INTERLAKEN – ZURICH (2 HRS)
(B)
Today travel at your own leisure by train to Zurich. On arrival in Zurich, the rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Zurich.
DAY 7
DEPART ZURICH
(B)
This morning proceed on your own to Zurich airport for your flight back home.

Sue_xx_yy Feb 5th, 2015 04:51 AM

Hello Priya_G.

I can only pass along what others have said: The middle of April could be a bit problematic for skiiing as some resorts offer 'spring skiing' and others, well, it is hit or miss.

The Jungfrau railway will operate throughout April but some cablecars and trains temporarily stop running.

http://www.jungfrau.ch/en/tourism/tr...-of-operation/

The general advice that I have seen is to try Zermatt for April skiing as that resort has a glacier. However, Zermatt is 2 hours each way by train from Interlaken. You may want to consider staying in Zermatt for skiing.

http://www.zermatt.ch/en/active-in-winter

Please note that early spring in the higher altitudes does not mean 'greenery' (except if you count evergreens, i.e. conifers, of course.)

PalenQ Feb 5th, 2015 05:12 AM

You may want to stay up in dem hills in Grindelwald or Wengen or Murren - Interlaken is a nice town but does not have the rave views you get from your hotel balcony in those places where you are practiclly eyeball to eyeball with sheer peaks rising thousands of feet above lush cow-dotted meadows - stay in the hills!

anyway for lots of great info on Swiss trains and those in the Jungfrau Region check out these superb sources: www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

do a boat ride on Lake Lucerne, to me the most exquisite of many lovely Swiss lakes.

nytraveler Feb 5th, 2015 05:12 AM

A couple of notes:

Weather in April is definitely iffy. There is always skiing if you go high enough (they have a ski school at the top of the Jungfrau even in midsummer) but trying to ski at that altitude if you are not used to it can be extremely difficult to coe with (some people havea lot of brathing problems at that altitude).

You can;t pick a day in advance to ascend the Jungfrau. Some days the tops is in the clouds the whole day and you will see nothing once you head up out of the valleys and head for the heights. We were in Interlaken 3 days one June before we got a day that was clear at the top - even when the valleys were sunny.

Staying in Interlaken is fine - but it is a place to stay as a bas fro traveling - there is not much to do in the town. The things you migh do in your free time are:

Stemaers on Lake Thun or Brienz (the 2 lakes Interlaken is between) - but do check before you go to be sure that the schedule is fairly frequent (boats run hardly at all in the off season).You can visit Thun which is a charming town with double decker shops and a vertical casstle that is fascinating. From Lake Brienz you can see several waterfalls, the town of Brienz (which has a colony of wodo carvers - we got a bunch of Christmas tree ornaments there - and is near the Ballenberg museum of Swiss life. This is a collection of buildings gathered from around swith which has demos of earlier life by costumed docents - but I don;t know the days/hours of opening - you would need to check the web site against your dates.

IMHO Lucerne has more to see and do (ancient town wall, capelbruck, Lion monument and a couple of museums) but is too far from Jungfrau for a day trip (since a clear morning can loud up by the time you get there).

neckervd Feb 5th, 2015 09:12 AM

Zurich and Interlaken are really not among the gems of Switzerland. Both are useful as traffic hubs for excursions to other, more apealing places.
It's up to you to compose a program for days 3 to 6, otherwise you will get bored (low season at Interlaken, many things closed).
The only cog railway that will run in April is that to Jungfraujoch; RT fare from Interlaken 222 USD/pax

nytraveler Feb 5th, 2015 10:00 AM

Oh - and the train station is underneath the Zurich airport - not next to it.

Dianedancer Feb 5th, 2015 11:14 AM

We were in Switzerland in April 2013. Stayed 3 days in Bern, a city I love. Then to Lucerne. Made our way on day trip to Engleberg and up with the cable car. Lots of snow and skiers and snowboarders everywhere. Fantastic. But it did rain in Lucerne a couple of days.

Dianedancer Feb 5th, 2015 11:16 AM

Engelberg is where you get the cable car to Mt. Titlis. Great day trip from Lucerne. For all mountain excursions - Check on your hotel's TV mountain top cameras in the AM to see which mountains are not fogged in.

PalenQ Feb 5th, 2015 01:42 PM

You can easily combine a cruise of lovely Lake Lucerne with a day out up at Engleberg/Mt Titlis - just take the boat for an hour or so to Stans or some station on the Lucerne-Engleberg Railway or may take a relaxing water return to Lucerne after trekking around Titlis.

Surfergirl Feb 5th, 2015 03:13 PM

I was about to comment that the train station is not adjacent to the Zurich airport, but underneath it. Then I saw nytraveler beat me to it.

The plan is good, but probably not for skiing, unless, as Sue mentioned, you go to Zermatt. My distant memory of skiing in Grindelwald, as suggested by PalenQ, is that by April, if there is any skiing, it is lousy. Although, this might be one of those years where it's great.

Again, best chance of skiing in April is Zermatt.

Dianedancer Feb 5th, 2015 03:26 PM

And again, saw many skiers (and ski boarders) on Mt. TItlis in April. I don't do any of this myself, but they were out in force.

swandav2000 Feb 5th, 2015 10:53 PM

Hi PRIYA_G,

I think your basic plan is fine, but I would just tweak it a little. I would head **first** to the mountains. Your arrival day is normally a wash due to jet lag and no sleep on the airplane, so I would just make that the travel day. Continue on from Zürich to Grindelwald, then you'll wake up on your first morning to the astounding views of the Alps.

Another advantage is that you can put Luzern at the end of the trip, closer to the airport when you leave. You can actually stay in Luzern the night before your flight because it's only 1h from the airport by direct train.

You'll just have to play it by ear to see if you can ski there in mid-April; it simply depends on the weather. The Alps are having a great snow year so far, but there's no way of telling if that will last.

For nytraveler -- there is no more summer skiing at Jungfraujoch; remember that the glaciers are shrinking and cannot do all that they used to. The only places that one can go "high enough" for summer skiing in Switzerland are Zermatt/Saas Fee and Titlis.

Have fun as you plan!

s

PRIYA_G Feb 7th, 2015 12:08 AM

Thanks a lot for the input guys!

i'll make necessary changes to my itinerary and get back to you incase i need any advice :)

PalenQ Feb 7th, 2015 12:02 PM

Not talking about summer skiing but in April do you mean there is no skiing at all in the Jungfrau Region?

swandav2000 Feb 7th, 2015 11:36 PM

Pal, I never said anything close to no skiing at all in the Jungfrau region. In fact, I've skied there often.

My comment was in response to nytraveler (whom I addressed), who posted that "There is always skiing if you go high enough (they have a ski school at the top of the Jungfrau even in midsummer)." My intent was to correct that misinformation.

About skiing in April, I said:

"You'll just have to play it by ear to see if you can ski there in mid-April; it simply depends on the weather. The Alps are having a great snow year so far, but there's no way of telling if that will last."

Hope that clears things up.

s

PalenQ Feb 8th, 2015 09:41 AM

Swandav - Yup it do! What is your favorite skiing part of the Jungfrau Region and how difficult is it - degree of difficulty that is.

swandav2000 Feb 8th, 2015 11:08 AM

Hi again Pal,

I'm a really terrible intermediate -- I preferred the red runs at Männlichen. There are plenty of challenging runs if that's what folks want.

Of course, my favorite village was always Wengen -- no doubt that's obvious from my posts, lol!

These days, I live in a pretty little ski town and it costs me 1,50 € to get to the slopes; I don't spend the money to travel & stay at Wengen.

s


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