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4 nights in Berner Oberland Area

Traveling from Northern Italy with 4ad, 2c (10-16) and 2 seniors in Aug. Will have two cars, we are thinking of driving through Dolomite's -Val Gardena and continuing on to Lucern for two nights. But now we are wondering if we should do one night in Lucern, one in Interlaken and then make our way to Murren for two nights. We are hoping to get the early train to Jungfrau on our 2nd night in Murren (if the weather is good).

Does this sound like a feasible plan? Suggestions on where to stay, what to see in those three areas? Can't do long hikes, but everyone can do shorter hikes - 3-7 miles. We'll have the cars for valley destinations. We'll part the car and take the tram/gondola to Murren. Thanks in advance for input and suggestions.

Posted by
10052 posts

I would skip Lucerne and Interlaken. Spend all 4 nights in Muerren.

We went to Lucerne in June and found we much preferred the Berner Oberland and the Val Gardena. Lucerne is also hideously expensive, even for Switzerland. Interlaken is a big town outside the area of real beauty, the Lauterbrunnen Valley, so just head there. Park your cars in the big garage in Lauterbrunnen and take the gondola and train to Muerren. There are many good hikes that fit under 7 miles. You can hike back along the railway at the top of the cliff to go down to Lauterbrunnen, walk the valley to see the falls, hike Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidigg, First to Bachalpsee, and more. PIck your Jungfrau day based on weather forecasts the might before and what it looks like when you get up. Go early.

Where in Northern Italy are you starting? Perhaps someone can give you a good driving tour route to take.

Posted by
7205 posts

There ZERO reason to spend a night in Interlaken and then move 10 minutes away to Murren for a night. The alpine villages of Murren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen are the highlights of the area - NOT interlaken. Interlaken is not even in the mountains. You can easily spend all of your nights in Murren. There are lots of nice walks in/around Murren. Definitely head to Murren - it will be the highlight of your trip.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for your insights - it has been very helpful. We have nixed stopping at Interlaken it doesn't make sense as noted. We are coming from the Venice area, and yes, we do know people who will be able to suggest a nice driving path to take, at least through the dolomites, we'll ask when we arrive in Italy and see if what they say is close to what we are planning.

Posted by
16750 posts

Don't forget to get Swiss vignettes for your cars. You can by-pass Austria going by way of Merano. If you go through Austria, you will need Austrian vignettes as well.

Posted by
4 posts

I've been reading about the swiss vignette - we will be traveling with a family car from Italy to Swiss...do we still need to get this?? Thanks.

Posted by
16750 posts

Yes, buy one at a gas station as soon as you enter Switzerland. Be sure to attach it properly to the windshield so the robo-cams can pick it up.

Posted by
56 posts

i agree. skip Interlaken and spend the extra day in Murren. I wouldn't skip Lucerne though - I think a day there is well spent to see the old city, maybe a boat ride or if the weather isn't cooperating, the rail/transport museum.

and yes, you need the vignettes for your cars. easy to find and put in your car window.

Posted by
47 posts

It seems that all agree about Interlaken. Just drive past it and continue up to Lauterbrunnen. You can either stay there, or continue up to Murren. I really enjoyed staying at the Hotel Oberland. The weather is very much the key to what further outdoor activities that you pursue.

Posted by
31471 posts

ziacris,

"I've been reading about the swiss vignette - we will be traveling with a family car from Italy to Swiss...do we still need to get this?? Thanks."

Yes, you do need the Vignettes in both Switzerland and Austria (if you'll be driving there). Not having one can result in hefty fines which are normally payable on the spot. If you aren't able to pay the fine, your car may be impounded.

Also note that for driving in Italy, each driver listed on the rental form must have the compulsory International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. These are valid for one year, and easily obtained at any CAA/AAA office (two Passport-sized photos required, which may be provided by the issuing office). Failure to produce an IDP if requested can result in fines on the spot! An IDP is also a good idea for other countries, including France.

You may also want to have a look at some of the other posts here concerning the dreaded Zona Traffico Limitato areas that are becoming increasingly prevalent in many Italian towns & cities especially Florence, which is almost saturated with automated ZTL cameras. EACH PASS through one of the automated Cameras will result in a €100+ ticket, which you won't know about until several months after you return home! This website provides more information - http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/driving/traffic_cameras_speeding.htm

There's also the issue of parking tickets, high fuel costs, tolls and automated speed cameras including the devious Traffic Tutor system which measures not only instantaneous speed but also average between two points. Violate either or both parameter and expensive tickets will follow.

Happy motoring!