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Switzerland Itinerary

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Atlanta, GA
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Switzerland Itinerary

Greetings all:

My wife and I have r/t tickets to Zurich from Atlanta and now are working out the intinerary. This will be our first trip to Switzerland and we are so exited! We will be there 14 nights (last week in May/first week in June) and want to enjoy the Swiss mountains, lakes, and small villages. I'd like to spend 3-4 nights in each place and spend the last 2 nights in Zurich to visit their art museums and be ready to catch our 10am flight back home. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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1. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Hi Crayon755,

How wonderful for you -- you'll have a great time with 14 days to explore!!

As I've said before, most first-timers to Switzerland enjoy the mountain villages of the Berner Oberland, so you should investigate them well. They are Wengen (www.wengen.ch & www.wengen.com), Muerren (www.muerren.ch), & Grindelwald (www.grindelwald.com).

With so much time to spend, you could also investigate the French or Italian sections of the country as well. One French part is around Lake Geneva, at the towns of Montreux or Vevey or the cities of Lausanne & Geneva. This area is characterized by Belle Epoque architecture & interiors, and you'll spend your time strolling and cafe-hopping! The Italian part is in the south, the Ticino, and includes the city of Lugano, the town of Locarno, and the upscale resort village of Ascona. This is close to the Italian lakes area of Europe, and the towns are on Lake Lugano and Lake Maggiore. Information at www.ticino.ch, www.maggiore.ch, www.locarno.ch & www.lugano.ch.

Another part of Switzerland you might want to investigate is Zermatt and its towering Matterhorn.

So, having said that, here are some sample itineraries:

Wengen - Montreux (via Gstaad on the Golden Pass Panorama) - Zermatt - Zurich

Wengen - Zermatt - Locarno - Zurich

If it were me, I think I would extend the number of days at each place and go Wengen - Montreux - Zurich (at least one day-trip to Luzern). There's plenty to keep you busy at each spot!

Rail schedules are at www.rail.ch.

Lots of basic information & sample itineraries at www.myswitzerland.com.

Have fun!

s

W. Palm Beach, FL
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2. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

One thing I might suggest this year is to see the lower elevation sites like the cities first and save the mountain segments until last. Many of the accomodations in the mountain villages don't open for the summer season until June plus it gives you more of a chance to see the higher attractions after the snow melts. This year the snow is melting early but the hotels etc. don't seem to be adjusting their schedules for an early start to the summer season.

Atlanta, GA
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3. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Thanks for your quick reply. I was planning on spending a few days in Zurich towards the end but it seems that we should do Zurich first if some of the mountain attractions are closed towards the end of May. I'm trying to decide whether Zermatt and the GE would be worth doing towards the end of the trip. Seems that the Matterhorn is a hit-or-miss site.

One idea would be (in nights)

nights 1-3 Zurich

nights 4-5 Lucerne

nights 6-9 BO

night 10 Zermatt

nights 11-13 Engadin area

night 14 Zurich to catch 10am flight next day

Your thoughts?

Zurich, Switzerland
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4. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

You should spend at least 2 nights in Zermatt. That way you have time to explore the mountains around the village - a train ride to Gornergrat and/or a cable car lift to Kleines Matterhorn are a must!

Instead you could skip one night in Zurich - I like my hometown, but 2 nights at the beginning and 1 night at the end of your stay are enough to see the main attractions.

Beside of this, your itinerary sounds fine!

W. Palm Beach, FL
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5. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Sounds good. But when you get back home you'll be telling your friends the highlight of your trip was three nights of BO!

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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6. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Hey mountaintopper, not necessarily!! Those three nights in the Engadin will be tough competition!! The Engadin is a pretty awesome area.

For Crayon755, I don't think you need to break up your stays for Luzern & Zurich. They are only about an hour apart by train, so you can easily stay in one and visit the other by day-trip. Or, instead of staying 3 nights Zurich & 2 nights Luzern, why not go directly to Luzern when you arrive (about an hour by direct train from the airport), stay 2 or 3 nights, then add another day to your Zurich stay at the end of your trip?

Have fun!

s

Atlanta, GA
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7. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Would the issue of accomodations/attractions not being open (per Mountaintopper) have any factor? Again, I would be happy on saving Zurich until the end and like the idea of getting out of the "city" early on but want to make sure we can do stuff once we get to the lakes/mountains. The main reason for Zurich is that my wife is an artist and would like to visit some of the wonderful Swiss art museums at some point.

So, we are at:

nights 1-3 Lucerne (beginning Sat night May 26)

nights 4-7 BO

night 8-9 Zermatt

nights 10-12 Engadin area

night 13-14 Zurich (ending Fri night June 8)

W. Palm Beach, FL
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8. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Swandav- I was (not so humerously it turns out) refering to the other meaning for BO. I should stick to the straight lines!

Crayon755,

The Cablecars in Wengen and gondolas in Mannlichen and First all will be running by the 26th so accomodations in the mountain villages would be the only thing to be sure and check on. I know I usually recommend the Hotel Schonegg in Wengen but they don't open for the summer until June 10th. Things in the cities don't seem to be as seasonal so you shouldn't have any trouble there.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
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9. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

mountaintopper, sorry! Obviously I'm thinking too literally! I should have known you would hype up the Engadin as much as the BO --

It really did just go over my head, doh!

s

Atlanta, GA
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10. Re: Switzerland Itinerary

Guys, thanks for all your help. After careful review, I've decided to go with Swanday's original recommendation. Zermatt, uncertain weather, and an 8 hr train ride on the GE will have to wait. My artist wife also would rather visit the museums in Basel rather than Zurich. So, here's our final (I hope) intinerary:

3 nights Lucerne

4 nights BO

3 nights Montreux

4 nights Basel

Any hotel recommendations would be appreciated. Since our flight leaves at 10am, should we stay in Zurich the last night?