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Day trips from Lausanne/Zermatt/Chamonix/Gruyeres/Diablerets

Has anyone stayed in a central location for several days and taken day trips to Lausanne/Zermatt/Chamonix/Gruyeres/Diablerets area? I've seen preferences for both Montreux and Lausanne but where we end will depend on an apartment rental location. This seems like an area where one could take a lot of day trips (within an hour or two). We will have a car. Target date in early September 2020. We prefer nature and peace over noisy city night life.

Posted by
27435 posts

I have never driven in Switzerland, but just looking at a map, I wonder whether the area around Sion might be worth considering. That's really just a stab in the dark, though.

I think long drives to reach day-trip destinations in mountainous areas are problematic. The usual recommendation is to check webcams at your target before starting out, to be sure conditions are clear enough that you will have decent views. Then you hope the situation doesn't deteriorate before you get there. Such advice doesn't usually contemplate your being 90 minutes or so away from the planned destination. And in the case of Zermatt, you have to allow for extra time to take the alpine train?/lift? up; you cannot drive all the way to Zermatt.

Posted by
100 posts

Thank you for your thoughts. We have often stayed in a location for a long period of time and taken day trips of an hour or more. We enjoy the scenery along the way. I'm hoping to hear of other folks who have taken day trips from one location in this area.

Posted by
271 posts

Cabane des Diablerets. Stay at the hut and hike around until and after dinnertime!

Posted by
4684 posts

One of the best preserved railways in Europe outside the British Isles is the Blonay-Chamby line, near Montreux if that interests you. Sorry, website is not available in English.

Posted by
100 posts

We looked for a place around Sion, as recommended. Ended up selecting an AirBnB in Martigny, which puts us within an hour's drive of all our desired day trips. Plus, we'll see fantastic scenery on our way. If anyone has suggestions for great outings and/or easy hikes, I'd love to have them!

Posted by
11494 posts

We had two outings in the area that you might like, Les Pléiades and Rochers de Naye. We were there in October 2018 and the weather was lovely with gorgeous views. Scenic train to the top, easy walking once there.

Posted by
100 posts

Thank you for those two hike tips, Laurel. I've asked a question in another post whether I should move one of my 6 nights from the Valais area to Berner Oberland, where I have schedule 5 nights. I'd love your insight if you've been to both areas. (We were just in Lincoln City after Christmas!

Posted by
11494 posts

Goodness, I would always take more time in the Lauterbrunnen Valley no matter what other destination I have in Switzerland. Never gets old and endless possibilities. The Valais will likely be less crowded. Though the Jungfrau Region is fine when you get away from the train stations, be prepared for the mobs of tourists who don’t necessarily hike... but ride the trains to Mürren, Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg, and Grindelwald.