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Weekend Trips from Lausanne

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Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,665
reviews: 87
Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Hello again,

A friend and I will be working in Lausanne for a month, 9-5, Monday-Friday. We will have four weekends that we can use for travel starting the weekend of July 24/25. Where would you suggest we go? We would leave early Saturday mornings and return Sunday evenings. If we needed to, we could leave around sunset Friday evening. Hopefully we'll be able to explore places closer to Lausanne during the week, places like Montreux, Vevey, etc. My friend has mentioned wanting to see the Berner Oberland. I've been to Zermatt by chance a couple times so would prefer other destinations. We are enthusiastic travelers, older rather than younger, interested in most everything, and physically fit but we don't climb mountains or hike.

What can you suggest?

Spirit

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,580
reviews: 26
1. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Hi Spirit,

It's quite easy to get to the Oberland from Lausanne; just usse the rail site at

www.rail.ch

to plan and schedule your journeys. I would suggest that you stay in one of the car-free villages like Wengen or Mürren to avoid the packs of day-trippers that you 'll find in Interlaken and Grindelwald (and really anywhere that allows cars and busses).

Other places you may want to go to are the towns that lie along the Golden Pass route, such as Gstaad, Chateau d'Oex, and Zweisimmen, all lovely and inviting. There is a classical music festival in Gstaad in August, so you may have some trouble finding a hotel there or in the neighborhood.

You may want to spend a night at a place like Gruyeres -- which is filled with day-trippers during the day time but empties out, I've heard, in the evenings.

Since the daylight hours are so long (stays light until 21.00), you can easily leave on Friday evening and still see some of the landscape. If you do go to the Oberland, you can return to Lausanne on the Golden Pass route (via Zweisimmen and Gstaad). You can even hop off the train in Gstaad, Rougemont, or Zweisimmen and see if you'd like to return for an overnight.

Don't forget an overnight in Luzern too!

Let us know what kinds of things or places that seem interesting!

s

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,393
reviews: 126
2. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

I would suggest you spend one weekend in a car free resort in the mountains - Bettermeralp, Riederalp in the Valais or Wengen or Murren in the Oberland. Then use one weekend to visit Zurich. Zurich is a wonderful place, with oodles of things going on. Then take another weekend and visit Appenzell and St Gallen. Just about as far away as you can get from Lausanne and still be in Switzerland but so totally different the 4 or so hours you spend on the train to get there are well worth it. For your last weekend I would suggest renting a car (if you drive) and exploring the Jura region - La Chaux de Fonds, le Locle, Délémont etc. Or start by driving to St Cergue and then follow signs for the Vallée de Joux, continuing that way along the crests and valleys of the Jura. You really need a car to do this but the little villages and towns are well worth a look.

Neptune Beach, FL
posts: 2,665
reviews: 87
3. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Hi,

Focusing on pedestrian only villages is a suggestion of genius! That had not occurred to me.

I like a lot of diversity in travel and this is a challenge in Switzerland because every place to visit is a beautiful little old town built on the rim of a spectacular lake surrounded by alps that has great sunsets.

Yes, I would like to spend a weekend in Zurich.

Your suggestions give us a lot of good direction!

Spirit

From Neptune Beach, Florida where our highest elevation is 14 feet, and the highest anywhere in Florida is about 345 feet and that's a couple hundred miles from us! We're elevation-impared here. Our only elevations are landfills and elevated onramps to highways! When I go somewhere with hills (let alone mountains) I look around me dumbstruck in awe!

Edited: 11:43 am, July 09, 2010
Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,393
reviews: 126
4. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Well hopefully you will have a day like I had in Lausanne on Tuesday - the French alps across the lake were clearly visible, which they normally are, but very crisp, and you could see all the way to the Grand Combin here in the Valais (over 4000m high!)

Take a look at Bettmeralp. It is small, quiet, with great walks (bottom of the Aletsch Glacier, the longest in Europe) and you get there by taking the train to Brig, changing to the local train to Oberwald and getting off at Betten where you take the cable car up.

www.bettmeralp.ch

Los Angeles...
posts: 13
reviews: 3
5. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

I love Lucerne and it is only 2 1/2 hours away by train. There is something for everyone there. Lots of culture, museums, very friendly people, a beautiful Old Town, scenic steamship rides and cable car rides up to the top of Mt. Pilatus. There is constantly some music festival going on..It's just the best of Switzerland all rolled into one.

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,393
reviews: 126
6. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Chacun à son goût! Compared to Geneva, Zürich and especially Basel the "cultural" offerings in Luzern are somewhat limited. Few (and aside from the Verkehrsmuseum) small museums. Do they have an Opera? I don't think so...of course they have the KKL but there isn't somethign on there all the time. Personally I would skip Luzern and go to Basel!!

Phoenix, AZ
posts: 6
7. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

We are looking for a quaint B&B around Geneva. We only have 2 nights there before flying back to the US. Any suggestions where to stay and must sees. We aren't big city people.

Los Angeles...
posts: 13
reviews: 3
8. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Personally, I'm afraid I'm not up on B & B's in Geneva; I prefer business hotels. But feel free to check in the B & B section for Geneva here at Trip Advisor. For things to do, do not miss getting to the Jet d'Eau fountain in the Lake. It is absolutely incredible and you can get very close up. The sun reflects a beautiful prism of colors and being in its presence brings on a nice feeling of serenity. Be aware that it "closes down" at 7 PM. The park and promenade surrounding it are a nice walk with beautiful flower baskets, a floral clock and statues of historical figures. Also try to get to the International sector and see the UN and the Red Cross Museum. And if your trip is somewhat in the future and you are interested in science, arrange to visit CERN, the particle physics laboratory/research center where they are doing the antimatter experiments. My visit last year was, by far, one of the most interesting experiences of my life. Go to the CERN website for details on reserving a tour. Finally, take steamship rides on the Lake. Stop at some of the villages and then turn around and come back. Yvoire, France, in particular, is ancient, quaint and very, very pretty and Versoix, Switzerland is one of the chocolate capitals of the world! Check out the CGN website for info on the boat system and study the schedules.

Edited: 2:55 am, July 28, 2010
Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,580
reviews: 26
9. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

Hi AZAnnieanne,

You may want to check for a B&B at the central site for the country:

www.bnb.ch

I'm also not much of a city person so would suggest that you consider staying at a smaller town around the lake; you can still get to the airport easily by direct train in under an hour. I'd suggest the city of Nyon or the town of Morges, or anything around that part of the lake.

Have fun!

s

Martigny...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
posts: 19,393
reviews: 126
10. Re: Weekend Trips from Lausanne

No way does the Jet d'Eau shut down at 7pm - except in the winter! In summer it runs from 10am to 11pm and is lit at night. It is 140m high and can been seen from all around the lake in Geneva - and a good way down the lake for that matter! - and most beautifully from the tower of the cathedral in the Old Town.

It IS turned off when the wind gets up - anything 25km/hr or more - as if it weren't it would drench all the people walking on the quai. In winter it goes on at 3pm and is off by 7pm. (It used to be that it never went on in the winter and for us it was always a real sign of spring when we caught our first sight of it in March -- but now it works all winter unless, as I said, the wind is hgh OR the temperature is below 2C. If it worked then it would turn into a snow machine!!