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7 day itinerary, please review

You seem very knowledgeable about making the right discussion when traveling through Switzerland. I've put together my itinerary making sure all train schedules will work. Could you please review and give input on changes you would make. We will start our trip spending 5 days in Lake Como. Time to rest after the long flight from the US.
Day 1 - Leave Varenna (9:24) to Tirano (10:50)
Board the Bernina Express at 2:00-arrive St Moritz 4:20
Stay the night in St. Moritz
Day 2 St Moritz 8:02 arrive Lucerne 12:25
Day 3 - Lucerne
Day 4 Luceren (trains leave hourly) arrive Wengen
Day 5 Wengen
Day 6 Wengen trains leave every 30 minutes to Zweisimen
Take the Golden Pass to Montreux (I figured how to select the seats for VIP
Day 7 Montreux leave for Colmar, France - arriving at noon

The other route I was thinking is from Lake Como/Zermatt/Montreux/Wengen/Lucerne, but would miss Bernina Express. Also I would love to do the Glacier. Guess we can't see and do everything in 7 days.

If I stayed with the route planned, would we be able to see Zermatt on a day trip from Montreux?

Thanks in advance for your help and please feel free to make suggestions to changes. Even if it's making a completely different route.
Thank you,
Carla

Posted by
2717 posts

Hi Carla,

I'm not an expert on Switzerland and train travel, but it seems this is basically a quick "see the country out of the train window trip" in my limited experience. On our only trip to Switzerland we stayed 2 nights St. Moritz, took the Glacier Express to Zermatt and stayed 2 nights, then trained to Wengen for 4 nights and then our last stop was Lucerne for 2 nights.

Highlight - our stay in Wengen, as we didn't want to leave.
Things we could have skipped were St. Moritz and the Glacier Express.

I say this as St. Moritz wasn't our taste at all and the Glacier Express was just way too long for us to spend on a train. It took us over 9 hours. We couldn't wait for it to finally end. Yes, a lot of the scenery was nice, but then we found that most of the scenery was nice everywhere. I'd rather have been out and about in the Berner Oberland (or somewhere else) than sitting on a train for nearly a full day.

With just 1 full day in Wengen, you're really betting on the weather cooperating for that single day you have to see the absolutely amazing scenery of the Berner Oberland.

Just some thoughts.

Paul

Posted by
16863 posts

That's a pretty full schedule. If you do the stated itinerary, I would not consider Zermatt. Its about 3 hours from Montreux each way, and what will you do if the weather is bad and you can't see the Matterhorn?
An alternate would be to skip Luzern and take the Glacier Express to Zermatt and stay at least 2 nights to give a chance at the Matterhorn. Then to Wengen via Kandersteg to get that scenic route in (otherwise you would cut underneath it with the new Loetschberg Base Tunnel). From Wengen I'd head straight to Colmar, skipping the Golden Pass. You're going to get scenery overload and a very flat bottom. I assume you will be getting a Swiss Pass of some sort, either a Flexi Pass or a continuous 8 day.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for the input. Just an FYI we are not hikers, no problem walking but not hikers. I'm not sure if that would make a difference for everyones input.
Thanks

Posted by
2717 posts

Hi Carla,

We're not hikers either. We can do walks, but not hikes. That wouldn't change my response at all.

Paul

Posted by
16883 posts

Although the Glacier Express is heavily promoted, most people here prefer the Bernina and Golden Pass routes, so I'd forget about your Plans B & C above, which include Zermatt.

It is a lot of sitting (which I'm good at). Out of 7 days, you only have about 2 full and 2 half days of actively enjoying the mountains - not necessarily hiking but taking lifts up and down the mountains, petting cows, talking to people, breathing the fresh air, walking paved trails.

Neither St. Moritz nor Montreux are Rick's favorite towns for a longer stay. Arriving in the afternoon at St. Moritz, you'd have to prioritize if you're interested in any of the small art museums there. I don't think you'd take any mountain lifts. Maybe you'll want to stretch your legs with a one-hour stroll around the lake. Near Montreux, Chateau de Chillon is a nearby side trip, but confirm timing to make it happen, if your only options are the afternoon after arrival or the next morning before departure.