Trip to Switzerland

Old Nov 8th, 2014, 10:58 PM
  #1  
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Trip to Switzerland

Hi,
We are planning our 4th trip to Switzerland from April 3rd to 12th April 2015. We have already covered Engelberg, Mt. Titlis, jungfrauch, Trumbelbach falls, Zermatt, Lucerne, Interlaken, murren, Zurich, schilthorn, River Rhine and the similar famous places in Switzerland in last 15 years starting from our Honeymoon. now we want to celebrate our 15th anniversary also in our favourite place on earth....

Tentatively, we have done our bookings in Muottas muragl (graubunden) and at wengen. The third destination that we wanted to choose was near the lake, we are confused whether to stay in montreaux or vevey or is there any other area near the lake, so we could cover the castles and the vineyards!!!

Can you please help me select places which I have missed on, maybe not so famous but worth visiting....The bookings above are tentative based on what I could find online, so any ideas are welcome....
Thanks in advance!!!
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Old Nov 8th, 2014, 11:13 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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I loved Graubunden, but don't know how accessible it is in April -- I trust the experts will weigh in.

Since you have already "covered" Jungfraujoch, Trummelbach, Interlaken, Murren, and Schilthorn, I'm not sure why you are going to Wengen (as lovely as it is). Of course, there are other things to see in the area, but again, I don't know what will be open or why you skipped those things on your earlier trips.

If you have time for Montreux / Vevey, and your interest are the castles and vineyards, than you can stay in either. Montreux might be a bit more convenient; Vevey a bit more charming. IMO, neither is a bad choice.

FWIW, I highly recommend the Michelin Green Guide for Switzerland.

Happy Anniversary!
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Old Nov 8th, 2014, 11:16 PM
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Hi shels,

I adore Montreux -- I attended boarding school there when I was 13 years old, and I've visited many times over the years. In fact, I'll be there again this Saturday for a 2-week stay.

Your hosts will give you a Riviera Card that will make the town buses free, and bus #201 runs from Villeneuve (other side of Chillon) through Montreux to and through Vevey. The bus runs every 10 minutes, and the stops are at just about every other corner. So -- you can easily bop back and forth between the two towns no matter where you stay.

Montreux
I love its flowered lakeside promeande, which runs from Villeneuve to and past Chillon, to and through Montreux, and through Clarens. You can just sit on a bench and watch the parade of folks from all over the world and all walks of life. Montreux's old town is up in the hills, and there's not a whole lot there -- a few restaurants, some beautiful winding streets, and a church with an amazing view over the town and the lake. The mountains look closer across the lake.

Vevey
Has a good lakeside promenade, but it's not as long nor as interesting as Montreux's. I do enjoy seeing Chaplin's statue on the promenade as well as the fork in the lake next to the Nestle building. However, Vevey has a more interesting old town, right next to the lake, filled with interesting winding street and cafes and boutiques. The mountains look farther away from Vevey, and for that reason I prefer the views from Montreux.

These days I stay in an apartment, but these two hotels are on my short-list:

Hostellerie Bon Rivage, 3-star, in La-Tour-de Peilz, a suburb of Vevey. It sits right on the lakeside. It's about a 15-minute-walk to the Vevey train station through the old town, and it's close to a bus stop. It's also close to the dock in La-Tour-de Peilz for the ferry boats.

Golf-Hotel Rene Capt, a 4-star, in Territet, a suburb of Montreux. It is right on the lakeside, and it's close to Chillon castle. It's also close to a bus stop and not far from the Territet dock for the boat.

I would recommend that you take the Golden Pass route (via Gstaad) as you travel from Wengen to Lake Geneva. If you want to visit the chocolate factory in Broc and the cheese dairy in Gruyeres, you can do that while enroute. I also hope you make some time to walk through the vineyards between Vevey and Lausanne -- beautiful.

Let us know if you'd like more information!

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 12:10 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi shels -

Your post piqued my curiosity as the Engadine is a recent discovery of ours; we particularly like Scuol. By Muottas Muragl are you referring to the Romantik Hotel Muottas Murgal accessible via funicular from Punt Muragl?

If so, looks like a great spot for an anniversary!
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 12:21 AM
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I notice that you're visiting over Easter and the week after.

We've visited the Berner Oberland several times at this time of year - things get very sleepy the day following Easter, with most hotels and restaurants closing down until late May.

The quiet is why we choose to visit then, but you might feel differently, just thought I'd throw it out there.

Thought about you today Swandav as I made a Christmas Day dinner booking at Hotel Gabriel in Scuol!
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 12:30 AM
  #6  
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Hi Kja, as we r reaching graubunden on 3rd of April, activities will still be accessible as per what I can see online and moreover the location of the romantic hotel is just amazing.....that is one place we are very sure to visit !!! Yes wengen is still what we r not sure off, we wanted to stay in the countryside as we loved our stay in Zermatt.....if u could suggest any other place in any different region, we r open for it !!!

Hi swandav2000's,
Wow.....yr descriptions r amazing!!! No I am convinced and will stay in Montreaux! Thanks for the details.

Hi Melnq8,

Yes, we r going to stay at the Romantik Hotel in muragl.....just too excited to be there!!! As mentioned that u have covered the Engadine area, can u please share the details about the places to visit.....it's always great to get ideas personally from people who have visited rather than searching over different sites☺️ Thanks.
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 12:47 AM
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shels -

Our trip to the Engadine and a repeat visit to the BO are detailed here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...r-oberland.cfm
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 12:51 AM
  #8  
kja
 
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Yes, the hotel at Muottas Muralg is situated spectacularly -- the views are awesome!

With only 9 days -- which I think is actually only 7 full days on the ground -- it seems to me that you have more than enough to do in Graubunden and the area around Montreux. I think you would be rushing things to try to fit Wengen in ... but it really depends on what YOU want to see and experience.

Definitely look at Melnq8's trip report on the Engadine. (Oh, I am SO jealous of your return there, Melnq8 -- enjoy!)
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 01:10 AM
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I'll do my best kja!
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 01:17 AM
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I wouldn't pick more than two bases for nine days. There is plenty to do in the Engadine and neighbouring valleys.

Some *must* do/see things in the area:

- train ride over Bernina pass (not necessarily on the Express train, regional trains are fine) to Poschiavo (cute Italianate town) and Tirano - should be spring and flowers in bloom there.

- cable car up to Diavolezza for gorgeous views

- a horse-drawn carriage ride, either Pontresina station to Roseg valley (the dessert buffet at Hotel Roseggletscher is legendary!) or from Sils-Maria to Fex valley (walking back via Fex-Platta and the small gorge would be best, see the small chapel with frescoes in Fex-Cresta, have lunch at the sunny terrace of Hotel Fex and blueberry or nut cake at Pensiun-Restaurant Cresta near the chapel)

- a bus ride over Maloja pass to Bregaglia valley, change in Promontogno for Soglio which nestles high up on a sunny terrace with fantastic views of the mountains vis-a-vis. Have chestnut cake there.

- see a museum or two: Engadin Museum and Segantini museum in St. Moritz, Nietzsche museum in Sils-Maria, Museum Alpin in Pontresina e.g.

- See a church or two: Sta. Maria in Pontresina (frescoes!), San Gian near Celerina, parish church and St. Peter in Samedan. Check for opening hours with Tourist offices.

- Stroll through one of the lovely, unspoilt small towns in the Upper Engadine: Zuoz e.g. (get the key for two churches at the Tourist Office).

- Try the local cheese - there is a cheese shop of the local cheesemakers in Pontresina next to the Tourist Office (in summer they are at Morteratsch, not in winter of course.)

- Excursion to Lower Engadine: Guarda, the most picturesque village there, add a walk high up to Ardez, castle Tarasp, spa in Scuol

- Excursion to Müstair valley by bus over Ofen pass/Pass dal Fuorn. See Benedictine convent Müstair, an UNESCO world heritage site.

I.
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 02:24 AM
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A agree with everything above.
I suppose you know that there will be snow in the Upper Engadine in April, whereaus the Lower Engadine, the Val Poschiavo and the Val Bregaglia will be green and partially in flowers.
All trains and buses in the area will run normally. Aus to the mountain railways and cableways:
Diavolezza cableway (higly recommended, in the middle of the Glaciers of Bernina) runs until October
chairlift Alp Languard: closed
gondola Piz Lagalb: closed
St. Moritz - Corviglia - Piz Nair: until April 12th
Corvatsch glacier cableway: until May 15th
gondola Scuol - Motta Naluns: until April 12th
Julier Pass Post Bus: until April 19th

If you like thermal mountain spas, check
Scuol (Engiadina Valley), Vals, Leukerbad, Ovronnaz, Saillon, Lavey (google for them).

Montreux, Vevey resp Glion, Caux and Mont Pelerin (if you like panoramic views over Lake Geneva) are good bases for whole Western Switzerland.


Some ideas for day trips from Montreux:

entirely walled medieval town of Murten
http://www.murtentourismus.ch/en/welcome.cfm?
Roman amphitheatre and Roman Museum of Avenches
http://www.avenches.ch/en/page.cfm/siteetmuseeromain
Roman Villa of Vallon
http://www.pro-vallon.ch/allemand/mo.../mosaiques.htm
biggest Romanesque church of Switzerland and Monastery of Payerne
Nature Park of Grande Caricaie
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/dest...er-le-lac.html
http://www.bafu.admin.ch/dokumentati...x.html?lang=de
Medieval town and spa of Yverdon
http://www.yverdonlesbainsregion.ch/...ure_Patrimoine
Roman mosaics of Orbe
http://www.yverdonlesbainsregion.ch/en/orbe_region
Monastery of Romainmotier
http://www.yverdonlesbainsregion.ch/...nmotier_region
Castle and Menhirs of Grandson
http://www.yverdonlesbainsregion.ch/en/grandson_region
Menhirs and Dolmen of Onnens
http://www.onnens.ch/textes-1/dolmen...rthoud,38.html
Gruyeres castle, cheese diary and chocolate factory:
http://www.chateau-gruyeres.ch/e/mul...spectacle.html
http://www.la-gruyere.ch/en/navpage-...FR-120085.html
http://www.lamaisondugruyere.ch/inde...=142&Itemid=56
http://www.lamaisondugruyere.ch/inde...=142&Itemid=56
Gruyeres castle, cheese diary and chocolate factory:
http://www.chateau-gruyeres.ch/e/mul...spectacle.html
http://www.la-gruyere.ch/en/navpage-...FR-120085.html
http://www.lamaisondugruyere.ch/inde...=142&Itemid=56
http://www.lamaisondugruyere.ch/inde...=142&Itemid=56
Leysin
Villars
St-Maurice
http://www.forteresse-st-maurice.ch/...ch/fhome_e.htm
http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/st-maurice.html
Martigny
http://www.martigny.com/martigny/swi...m/welcome.html
Sion

Lake Geneva steamboats will run on Sundays only, however (until April 18th)
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 03:42 AM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone for all the information........
will stay in muragl 5 days - cover upper and lower engadine, thanks neckervd and ingo - superb must do list!!! Also have to include one of the scenic tour with rhaetein railways.
will increase a day of stay and make it 5 days in montreaux - cover gruyeres, montreaux and vineyards!!!
Looks good!!! Cant wait for April.
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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You seemed to have skipped Ticino in your visits to Switzerland...it's very pretty in the spring, so maybe consider Ticino as one of your two bases?
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 12:50 PM
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Hi Shels,

We returned in late September from a couple of the areas you mentioned. As yet, we haven't been able to post a TR, but thought we'd share a few thoughts with you.

FWIW: We rode the Muottas Muragi cable train to the summit. The views of the whole area were wonderful. We had lunch in the Romantik Hotel. However,we would not choose to spend several nights there. Maybe one night?? In September, it was cold. Mid-day there were a fair amount of people milling around, but by late afternoon it was deserted. There are many areas to explore in the Engadine area; however, we wonder how it would be to have the rely on a trip on the cable train to connect with any place else. Ingo, Melnq8, and Neckervd have a lot of good suggestions for towns and places of interest. Our stay at the Hotel Steffani in St. Moritz worked for us. It's right in the center with access to many buses, and of course, the train. However, we were traveling by car, so didn't rely on these. If it were us, especially traveling by train, we'd opt to stay in an area convenient to transportation, and with a variety of restaurants. You'll, no doubt, want to travel the Bernina Pass, or take the cable car to Diavolezza. Whatever you choose to do, it's a beautiful area. Take warm clothes!

Regarding Montreux, we really liked it! The lakeside promenade is beautiful. We stayed at the Eurohotel, right on the lake. We mentioned when reserving that we were having a belated anniversary celebration, and they gave us a room with a wonderful view. There are other lovely hotels, like the Fairmont, right along the promenade. And, as others have mentioned, there are a lot of places to explore in the surrounding areas. Again, excellent suggestions by Neckervd. For us, Montreux definitely requires a return trip.

Good luck planning, Shels, and "Happy Anniversary! We'll be interested in following your plans.
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 08:22 PM
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I very much enjoyed my stay at the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic in Montreaux. Wonderful lakefront room with a gorgeous view!

http://m.suisse-majestic.ch/
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Hi again,

Not sure if this will be helpful for your planning, but here is my standard list of favorite activities and excursions from Montreux (w/reviews & photos):

Montreux old town
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Lavaux
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Walks through the Lavaux vineyards
http://www.montreuxriviera.com/en/Cu...rekking_Lavaux

Promenade Fleuri
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...reux_Vaud.html

Morges
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...rges_Vaud.html

Gruyeres
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR..._Fribourg.html

Saanen
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...wiss_Alps.html

Gstaad
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...wiss_Alps.html

I personally wouldn't stay in the Fairmont (Montreux Palace) -- it sits across a very busy street from the lake. I'm sure its windows are sound-proofed, but I just wouldn't like to see all that traffic and asphalt when looking at the lake.

The Suisse Majestic is ok, I think. It sits right across the street from the train station, so it's super convenient. It doesn't sit right on the lake but two blocks uphill from it, but the lakeside rooms have super views.

s
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 10:28 PM
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Oh, Melnq8 -- forgot to say: I'm also jealous! Have a super Christmas in Scuol!!

s
swandav2000 is online now  
Old Nov 10th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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Scenic itineraries Muottas Muragl - Montreux (as long as the Muottas Muragl hotel remains open):

Glacier Express:
Muottas Muragl dp 8.40 via Punt Muragl - Samedan - Albula - Schyn gorge - Rhine gorge - Oberalp Pass - Furka Tunnel - Goms Valley to Brig ar 15.40. Direct trains from Brig to Montreux every 30 min, 80min journey.

Palm Express (only Friday-Saturday-Sunday):
Muottas Muragl dp 11.40 - Maloja Pass - Val Bregaglia - Val Chiavenna - Lake Mezzola - Lake Como - Lake Lugano - Lugano ar 16.20, dp 17.47 via Locarno - Centovalli - Domodossola - Simplon tunnel - Brig to Montreux ar 22.24. Better idea: spend a full day at and around Lugano.

Bernina railway:
Muottas Muragl dp 8.10 - Bernina Pass - Tirano 11.00/11.06 - Varenna ar 12.36, dp by ferry 12.50 - Menaggio ar 13.05, have lunch, dp by bus 14.35 - Porlezza ar 15.03, dp by Lake Lugano boat 16.35 - Lugano ar 17.35 (or all by bus with arrival at Lugano at 15.32).
or
Muottas Muragl dp 10.10 - Bernina Pass - Tirano 13.00/13.10 - Milan 15.40/17.25 - Montreux ar 20.24
or
Muottas Muragl dp 11.10 - Bernina Pass - Tirano 13.57/14.20 - Lugano 17.30/17.47 via Locarno - Centovalli - Domodossola - Simplon tunnel - Brig to Montreux ar 22.24. Better idea: spend a full day at and around Lugano.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 07:49 AM
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- train ride over Bernina pass (not necessarily on the Express train, regional trains are fine) to Poschiavo (cute Italianate town) and Tirano - should be spring and flowers in bloom there.>

Yes indeedy - a wonderful day out - get on and off what to me is Europe's most scenic railway - wesomely scenic - get off at either Bernina Ospiz or Alp Grum and walk around the glacier-fed lake to the glacier - an easy flat walk done by many - go back to either station.

For more info on Bernina Express (and locals over same route) and Swiss trains in general I always spotlight these IMO superb sources: www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. You are traveling around the country enough to look at the Swiss Pass, which, if you've had one before, you know covers the BE in full (except for cheap reservation fee for the official BE - otherwise hop on practically any train, lake boat, postal bus, etc.

As for Vevey and Montreux the jury on Fodor's seems to tilt a little to Vevey though both are neat and great bases - take a lake boat over to Evian-les-Bains France (fully covered by Swiss Pass) to add anothercountry and see a spiffy spa town.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 09:31 AM
  #20  
 
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Jealous. That's all.
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