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Where to go for 7 nights from Chamonix?

I will be in Chamonix for 5 weeks in Aug/Sept. My wife will be arriving in Geneva when I am dropping off the rest of the party from Chamonix, I was planning on spending two more nights in Chamonix with her and then spending another 7 to 8 days traveling.

I have no idea where to go from Chamonix mid September, Italy and Switzerland are options, but I would like to see Annecy and more of France too.

I would be open for any suggestions.

Posted by
16894 posts

In France, after Annecy you might choose between Lyon, Dijon/Beaune or Colmar/Strasbourg. Swiss trains loop around Lake Geneva via Lausanne and Martigny to get back to Chamonix.

Posted by
3122 posts

With 7 to 8 days, you have lots of options. Where do you need to end up? Are you flying home from Paris, or Zurich, or...? Will you be renting a car or relying on public transport?

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you Laura.

I know I will be able to get input while in Chamonix from the locals and others I meet. I am just trying to figure out what airport to be getting a flight out of. Geneva coming in is a no brainer, Geneva is still an option for leaving depending how far we decide to go out of the area. If we went the Swiss route I'd book a flight out of Zurich. If we go the Italian route I'd look at either Milan, or Rome.

If we stayed in France I'd like to see Avignon if we went south, where do you fly out of that far south?

Heading north into Dijon and even further north? I would like to see remnants of both WWII or WWI battlefields. Where to fly out of from there? Go too far and might as well hit Paris for the flight out.

I want to experience the simple local cuisines wherever we may go.

Posted by
6 posts

epltd

That is what I am trying to figure out. I haven't booked her tickets yet and I have to see if I can change my flight with KLM/AF/Delta depending where we depart from.

Once I determine where we will fly out of I will fill in the days between accordingly. But as you said.. The options are pretty open.

I am on the fence about renting a car and trying to go from one country into another, especially if trying to drop it off in one we didn't start in.

Posted by
8889 posts

I am on the fence about renting a car and trying to go from one country into another, especially if trying to drop it off in one we didn't start in.

Greg, no issue taking a car from one country to another. There is no passport control, and customs only ever do spot checks, 9/10 times you do not stop at the border.
But, there is a big issue trying to drop off a car in a different country to where you picked it up. This will either cost a lot or not be possible.
Geneva airport is on the border, so you have a choice of a Swiss car (for returning in Zürich) or a French car (for returning in France).

August/September is a bit close not to have booked your return flight.

If you want to drive on Swiss motorways/autoroutes/Autobahns you need to buy a toll "vignette" sticker which costs CHF 40. A Swiss car will already have one.

If you get as far south as Avignon, you could return from Marseille airport.

My suggestion for a 7-day tour: From Chamonix east through the Mont Blanc tunnel via Aosta (Italy) to Stresa on Lago Maggiore or somewhere on Lake Como. North over the Simplon pass to Zermatt, or somewhere smaller in the same valley. Then cut back to Geneva or Zürich for the flight home.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Chris

I was reading about renting a vehicle in Switzerland and what is needed. My big reason for staying in the Alps and wanting to rent a car.. I will have my hiking and climbing gear with me in a big rolling duffel bag and while I am bringing normal clothes for going into town and going out, I feel I would be able to wear some of the items I am bringing for climbing if we do more mountain tourist stuff. Getting a car is just going to be easier for hauling the gear around and it gives us options for getting off the beaten path if we choose to.

I will look at the route you suggested. I was able to find her and I out a flight of Zurich pretty easy and for a good price. She wants to visit Zurich to visit Ulrich Zwingli's church and grave. She is a Zwingli. I didn't know he had a grave, he was drawn and quartered. Maybe it is just a symbolic grave?

Posted by
692 posts

If you do route through Italy, and if you choose Como vs Stresa, you might consider staying in another village on the Lake. I find Como too big. Even Menaggio would be OK, with boat trips across to Varenna and Bellagio. And then on to Zermatt through Ticino. Just a warning -- the closer you get to Milan the crazier the drivers get!

Another route could be to take the pass through Martigny and then cross to the Valais. (There are some really nice hikes along this route) Cut through at Aigle or at Vevey and through to Interlaken. From there, the Jungfrau and stay in a place like Murren. Stop on the return to Zurich at Lucerne. This is a hiking/Swiss intensive itinerary. I lived over in Lausanne and of course the Swiss, in summers, hike on the weekends.

Posted by
8889 posts

Greg, If you are in to Hiking, have a look at this map: https://map.schweizmobil.ch
This is the official topographical map of Switzerland. Click on "Hiking in Switzerland" (green), then zoom in to your desired area.
It shows all hiking and mountain paths in green. There is a "print" option which generates a PDF file version at any scale, which you can print or put on your phone.