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zurich to geneva in 16 days

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Mar 6th, 2013, 09:23 AM
  #1
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zurich to geneva in 16 days

We will be starting our trip from Zurich late march, and ending in geneva early april, 16 days in total. I was wondering if we can get some advice on our itinerary, especially around the Gimmewald / Interlaken area. we are 2 girls in our early thirties, from singapore, and any advice would be appreciated. (we come from a place where its hot enough to wear shorts and flipflops all year round and hence dont really know what to expect in terms of weather conditions, dressing etc)

For now, some parts of itinerary cannot be changed: kandersteg and geneva. hopefully we can work around that.

day 1: arrival in zurich (6pm), sleep zurich
day 2: half day exploring zurich then on to bern. sleep: bern
day 3: bern
day 4: bern - gimmewald (possibly make a detour to lucerne for the transport museum?)
day 5: gimmewald
day 6: gimmewald - kandersteg
day 7, 8: kandersteg
day 9: kandersteg - zermatt
day 10: zermatt
day 11: zermatt - gstaad
day 12: gstaad (day trip to montreux / vevey)
day 13: gstaad (possibly another day trip)
day 14: gstaad - geneva
day 15: geneva
day 16: geneva (morning flight out)

would gimmelwald be a good choice to stay around the interlaken area this time of the year? we were thinking of maybe doing some easy to moderate hikes around that area, but then again, only if the snow conditions permit. if not, are there any other options, perhaps at a lower altitude where we can do that and still have the great alpine views? we don't want to stay in interlaken itself.

we also enjoy museums and might want to squeeze in a day trip to the lucerne transport museum between bern - gimmewald. will that be advisable? are there any other great museums along the way?

lastly, we will probably be in zermatt over the easter weekend, will all the shops be closed during that period? and how long does the holiday last? (once i was in oslo during the same period, and it seemed like most of the city was closed for almost the whole week)
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Mar 6th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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gimmelwals is way too remote for IMO more than a one-night stay - takes a long time to get back down to Lauterbrunnen plus there is nothing there - do you mean Grindelwald? If so that would be a great base for gals your age - lots of younger hikers and still skiiers perhaps at that time - it is not an optimal time if you like to hiker - trails could be icy and or muddy but otherwise hopping mountain trains, aerial gondolas, etc can always be fun.

You may want to move out a few days in Alpine areas due to dicey weather an put them into the Geneva area which is usually much warmer, getting a warm breeze up the Rhone Valley from southern France - Montreux or Vevey are smaller takeside townas many folks rave about.

anway you are traveling enough to have the Swiss Pass as a good deal - passes pass not only on trains but lake boats (which should be running on Lake Geneva and also the two lakes bookending Interlaken and also valid on postal buses, city trams and give free entry to 400+ Swiss museums - I think only 5t0% off Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne but still a good chunk of money. If traveling every day from bases sgtrongly look a 15-consecutrive-day Swiss Saverpass ( Saverpass for two -5 names on one pass - one person can use the pass without the other anytime but overall about 20% cheaper per person.

You would not need a pass on your first or last day but on one of those days you may activate it - like when arriving in Zurich and use it to take the train into town and trams and buses or lake boats that day as well. Otherwise all your transportation outlined will be 100% covered from get go to get gone.

Again I think you would enjoy Grindelwald a lot more than remote in the middle of nowhere like Gimmelwald is - I stayed there one night once and it was a great experience but only for me for one long long night - totally isolated after early evening transport wise.

For lots of great info on Swiss trains and passes, etc I always spotlight these IMO fine sites - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - scour their sections on Switzerland for lots of great tips.
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Mar 6th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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day 12 day trip to Vevey/Montreux from Gstaad, doesn't make sense.

Vevey and Montreux are only ~1 hour outside Geneva, wait and pair them up together. Or better yet skip Geneva except for your flight out and spend the last couple days in Lausanne/Vevey/Montreux instead.
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Mar 6th, 2013, 02:02 PM
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day 4: bern - gimmewald (possibly make a detour to lucerne for the transport museum?)>

From Lucerne you could then take the scenic Brunig Pass rail route to Interlaken-Ost - rather than the mainline route via Bern and experience another of Switzerland's legendary sdcenic train routes (actually part of the Golden Pass route you will later take.

In late March it could be really cold in Gimmelwald, at a high altitude!
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Mar 7th, 2013, 12:23 PM
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we also enjoy museums and might want to squeeze in a day trip to the lucerne transport museum between bern - gimmewald. will that be advisable?>

It is the Swiss Transport Museum I believe - I have been there and there are lots of all types of public transports, including gondolas, trains, etc.

Yes feasible - put your bags in a train station locker in Lucerne - right in the heart of town - time to spend a hour or so seeing the nearby famous covered wooden bridges too! Then take a bus a few miles east of town along the lake to the museum complex - you can also take a lake boat there right from the station if the timings fit (with a pass just get on the boat - no ticket needed last time I did them).

It is also a sweet stroll along an elegant esplanade lining by swank hotels, gorgeous flowers and parks - a great strolling venue.
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