Do you want to be in the mountains, near the mountains, near lakes again, or on the plains?? Would you be more comfortable in a city again, or do you want to try a small village this time?
Also, it would be helpful to know exactly how much time you have. Will it be: arrival on day 1, free on day 2, and depart on day 3? Or will it be arrive on day 1, free on day 2 & day 3, and depart on day 4?? That makes a big difference on our suggestions to you.
Hope to hear more!
Thanks for your super fast reply swandav....we are only at the planning stage so all advice would be helpful... we will probably arrive day 1, free on day 2 and day 3 and then depart for Como on day 4. We don't know a lot about Switzerland, but love architecture, people and food!!! Cheers.
Well, the tiny mountain villages are not at their best in May (snows melting and no flowers yet), and may not be the best places to enjoy architecture.
I would suggest --
Gstaad, nestled where the foothills of the Alps begin to grow into giants; the area is characterized by lush, green rollilng hills with some lower peaks nearby. I've been here in the spring, and it's wonderful -- lots of yellow wildflowers and good hiking/walking. Gstaad is a mecca for foodies, as it has a huge number of Gault-Milau restaurants because of the shifting population of rich/famous who have lived there. From Gstaad, you can see Zweisimmen, Thun, Rougemont, Gruyeres, and Montreux. In addition, Gstaad is not far from the Simmental House Trail, if you would be interested in seeing that:
Bern or Thun, both in the Berner Oberland and both not too far from the giant Jungfraujoch if you want to see that. Both also are characterized by distinctive architecture, namely the overhanging arcades that protect people in the streets below. Bern is an interesting city while Thun is a town that sits on its own lake and has a river running through it (because it sits on the water, I would favor Thun). Either Bern or Thun would probably be more convenient for transport than would be Gstaad.
You can get some basic information about these places at the Swiss tourist site
Have fun as you plan!
You have certainly given us some 'food for thought'!!! We're looking forward to our little sojourn in Switzerland!
In early May your best option is somewhere around a lake, or on the plain. By then spring in these areas is well underway. Anywhere at altitude, include low altitude like Gstaad is going to be depressing. The snow is melting, the season is over and many hotels and restaurants are closed. Around the lakes and on the plain by contrast the spring flowers are in full bloom and it can be absolutely glorious!
However -- you are coming from Annecy (on a lake) and headed for Como (on a lake) so perhaps you would rather be in a town. Your most direct route will take you:
Annecy to Geneva
Brig to Domodossola in Italy
Then Centovalli railway to Locarno
Locarno to Lugano and on to como.
Any of the towns between Geneva and Brig would be a good base. However I would suggest that you use your stopping place as a base for sightseeing in the area and not as a destination in and of itself. For this reason I would suggest Lausanne. Though Lausanne is technically on lake Léman there is not much "lakeside" feeling about the centre of Lausanne as it is quite removed from the lake itself. It has a lovely old town, excellent shopping (!) and a wide range of good hotels and restaurants.
As a base you can visit from Lausanne: Neuchâtel, the spas at Yverdon and at Lavey, Avenches with its Roman ruins, Bern the Swiss capital which is a mangnificent place to explore and is very very beautiful, and the small hilltop village of Gruyères which is best seen out of tourist season and exactly when you will be here!! Martigny with the wonderful Fondation Gianadda. Also of course Montreux and Vevey.
I would suggest stopping in Geneva en route to sightsee there for half a day or more if you can. See this for suggestions:
If Lausanne appeals to you I would be glad to write more about how to visit it best... it is on a long slope from the lake up to about 800m and is cut by the bed of an old river (now underground!) the Flon. This makes getting about somewhat complicated in that you need to know what level you are on! But there are lots of elevators and escalators to take one where one wants to go and the relatively new Métro extension really helps in this regard.
hehhehe, I've visted Gstaad in May and didn't find it at ALL depressing! Gloriously full of blooming wildlflowers. The walks in the mountains above were very, very muddy though!
Thankyou both Hambagahle and swandav, more 'food for thought'!!.... have just been checking out the 'Jungfraujoch'...maybe we'll just have to go to Switzerland for our whole holiday!! Cheers again.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.