15-days to explore on our own

The wife and I are in the planning stage for an early September 2015 trip thru Switzerland. Current plans either bring us into Basel via River Boat cruise or into Zurich via transatlantic flight. Once in country we want to purchase a Swiss Saver Pass for "at least 15-days", and head to Appenzell for 2 nights, then to Pontresina ( via Chur ??) for 2 nights. We would then take the Glacier EX to Zermatt for one night, before heading to the Berner Oberland (either Murren or Wengen --suggestions please). There we want to go to Jungfraujoch, Schilthorn, Gimmelwald, the valley, and Mannlichin while doing a couple of short, easy hikes (still good health at 70 & 68). Then take the Golden Pass to the Montreux area for 2 nights, followed by 1 or 2 nights in Lausanne, Luzern, and Zurich before departing for home from Zurich.

This will be our first trip to explore on our own in Europe, with one suitcase each ???. At this stage in our planning process we are wide open for any recommendations and all comments will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1203 posts

Montreux and Lausanne are right next door to each other so if you stay in one or the other you can avoid wasting time by moving hotels. So much to see in the area! Definitely visit...
Chateau Chillon
Lausanne Cathedral
The Vineyards of Lavaux (you can't miss them; they surround the entire northeast end of the lake and continue up through Valais)
Gruyere (40 minutes north of Lake Geneva; cheese and a great old medieval village!)
Other sights very specific to individual tastes...
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne
The Food Museum in Vevey
The Nestle headquarters building in Vevey
The old city of Geneva - amazing cathedral and old town.
CERN - make reservations and visit the large hadron collider.
If you like castles and fortresses, take a drive up the E62 into Valais. There are a multitude of castles in various states of ruin all along the valley, and in Sion there are twin hills in the middle of the old town topped by a ruined castle on one and an ancient church on the other - one of my favorite places in Switzerland.
My last thought here is that one night in Zermatt is a risk...if it is a cloudy day you won't see anything. Maybe schedule a little more time here in case of inclement weather?
Have a great trip!

Posted by D'Ova
Kirkland, WA
2 posts

We are doing almost that exact same route this year, only for 22 days. Our goal in Switzerland: to hike, day hikes all over the country. We are just a bit younger than you, barely. I will let you know our take via feedback late-September. (traveling 26th of Aug to 16th of Sept) We did opt to meet with a Rick Steves' travel consultant for an invaluable 30-minute consult. Figured out our calendar. Now, reading to become familiar with the cantons, Swiss culture, details that will help us dive in. Incredibly excited for this dream to happen, especially at this season of life.

Posted by Patsy
Tahoe Vista, CA., USA
62 posts

One suitcase is perfect, esp. for train travel.....layer, and you will be fine!
We always bring a small, collapsible insulated cooler for snacks/drinks, which fits on top of our rolling carryon.

We are, also, doing the Rhine cruise....early Oct.

We have 14 days to explore (by car), and decided to skip the eastern part of Schweiz to concentrate on Luzern, Murren, B.O., Lac Leman, and, possibly, Lac Neuchatel. We like 3 nights per stop, so we can really relax and enjoy.

Have a wunderbar trip!!

Patsy