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First timer Swiss and French Alps itinerary feedback?

I am planning a 10 day trip to the alps with my mom in June, would love some feedback and suggestions on rough itinerary! Open to other regions too.
I am 26 and this will be my 1st time out of North America. Will have also just done 1 week in Crete on a group painting tour. I hope to hike, do some landscape painting, and experience new cultures. I speak a little French.
My mom is 68 and is looking for scenic views, relaxtion, and light exploring. Some days she can walk around all day and do small hikes, other days she needs 100% relaxation based on how she feels.

Day 1-3: Fly into Geneva, rent a car. Stay in either Annecy or a smaller town like Cordon and make daytrips. I figured exploring smaller places like Samoens/ Cirque-du-faire-a-cheval would be easier with a car. originally wanted to go to Chamonix but unsure if there would be time.
Day 4-6: Stay in Montreux/ Vevey, drop off car. Explore neighboring towns on the lake, and vineyards. Maybe daytrip to Gruyeres.
Day 7-10: Train to Spiez for lunch, or go straight to Lautterbrunnen to hopefully stay in Murren. Then head to Zurich to fly home.

Thank you so much! Btw my old post got removed and I'm not sure why, please let me know if there's an issue?

Posted by
19209 posts

Make sure the car you rent is a Swiss car, then there will be no added expenses when you drop it off and it will come with a Swiss highway vignette.

Posted by
2253 posts

hey hey kyra
we stayed in annecy for 6 nights and loved it. the city center with many shops, restaurants, open market, walk along the canals or the lake. (click english) old town
ate crepes, savory and sweet, (creperie ti mad 21 rue royale), fondue at hole in wall restaurant (la we had a price fixe special with wine outside tables, was so good, family owned. sees/old town of annecy
we took a private taxi tour around lake, loved col de la forclaz. gorgeous view above the lake, cows wearing cowbells making music in the pastures, hang gliders soaring right above you, one of my favorite places.
we booked apartment thru (under vacation rentals) see if you like something close to lake to walk, sit at lake or take a boat ride (46 avenue de parmelan)
fabulous cafe/bar near the lake. sat outside and had the best beef stroganoff.
make sure if you need and IDP (international driver permit) from read up on it, $25, 2 passport photos, receive same day, good for one year, for each driver. best to have, car rental may ask may not, but policeman will. just be prepared. annecy is one of my favorites places for it's beauty, snow-capped mountains, we had a balcony to sit and watch with our glass of wine. enjoy

Posted by
437 posts

Just a note about Spiez, in my opinion the best part of the town is by the lake, not necessarily near the train station, so you will have a hill to walk down and back up again. If your mom isn't really interested in hiking uphill after lunch, perhaps going on to Lauterbrunnen is your best bet, if the timing is right for that.

Edited to add: if you are going to travel via Bern, Thun then Thun would be a great lunch location. Train station is near everything and it is flat, no hills to climb. Plus it is a beautiful town. 😉

Posted by
2596 posts

I agree with Maureen that Thun would be a better option that Spiez. Unless you took the boat to and from Spiez. I did that walk up to the train station with my sister and brother-in-law 2 years ago and we did not love it. And we were in our 40s at the time.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for the feedback! The tip on Spiez being hillier than Thun is super useful! And I was considering skipping Annecy but people keep absolutely raving about it so it sounds like a must :)

Posted by
2596 posts

If you do the day trip to Gruyeres, make sure you look for the shuttle bus at the train station that will take you up to the town. Otherwise, that is quite a long walk uphill.

Sounds like June is going to be a popular month for Switzerland. I’ll be there myself.

Have a great trip!!