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Help swiss intinery Christmas

Hi there, I'm having trouble with the first 3 days of my trip. I'm not sure if i should stay in Grindlewald or near Laukenbannen/Wid area to see the Jungfraujoch and S. Horn or can I just make that a day trip and sleep in Zermatt??

December 2018 Swiss Alps itinenary advice is needed

Hi, I'm planning a trip to Swiss Alps during Christmas Holidays Dec 24 - Jan 1 from New York, USA. I used sample itinenaries to build my own. Below is my proposed itinenary. I need experts' opinion on the following: 1) Considreing it is winter, what parts of the trip doesn't make sense or not worth doing? Is this itinenary too exhausting? Based on your advice I may revise the itinenary and consider substitutions. I will not be skiing this trip it's more of a sightseeing, inspiration trip. I love mountains and great views. I've never been to Italy so I incorporated Lugano so I can travel to Como, Milan, and possibly Venice or Florence.

Here is the itinenary:

1) Day 1: Dec 25 – Dec 26

a) Take a flight NYC - Zurich on Dec 24 2015

b) Arrive in Zurich at 8 AM CH time Dec 25

c) Take a train to Lucerne Dec 25

d) Mt. Pilatus, cogswheels, etc. Stanserhorn. (20 minute train ride panoramic views)

E) Christmas dinner?

F) Overnight in Lucerne. Dec 25

2) Day 2 : Dec 26

a) Take a Golden Pass Train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost or Grindlewald

b) From Interlaken Ost take a train to Lauterbrunnen and Klein Scheidegg to Jungfaujoch.

c) Descend back from Jungfraujoch to Kleine Scheidegg. Take train to Grindelwald.

d) Train from Grindelwald to Interlaken Ost

e) Train to Zermatt, overnight stay?

3) Day 3 : Dec 27

a) Matterhorn
b) overnight in Zermatt?

4) Day 4 : Dec 28

a) Train to Montreux

A) Train to Lusanne ,Vevey
C) Overnight in Montreux

5) Day 5: Dec 29

A) Gruyere and Gstaad

6) Day 6 : Dec 30

a) Take train to Chillon castle, Chamonix for day

c) Overnight in Montreux

7) Day 7 : Dec 31

A) Train from Montreux to Zurich. New Year in Zurich

8) Day 8 : Jan 1

a) Flight back to NYC. The flight is at 12 PM

Posted by
33339 posts

This is really confusing to me.

You have three threads open, with very similar questions and very similar titles.

How do you keep them straight? If you had kept it all in one, then we could see the progress of the question, all in order.

You have already been told that you are packing a lot in. Extensive travel, especially in winter, will be tiring.

Because there is so much detail x 3 I haven't looked at all the possibilities, but I can say that for such a very short trip as you have, arriving on Christmas Day? and leaving on New Years Day, less will most definitely be more.

Have you looked at all the things you want to do and made sure that they are all open at the time you need them to be?

You ask if you should stay near "Laukenbannen/Wid". Now I know the place pretty well so I can guess that Laukenbannen must be a spelling of Lauterbrunnen. I gotta say I don't know what you mean by Laukenbannen/Wid though, the "/Wid" bit. Please say.

Posted by
19 posts

Sorry I hear what you're saying. So here are the things I want to see and do. I'm also traveling alone and i wont be skiing mostly I want to see the different vistas and scenery. To visit Jungfraujoch and the surrounding mountains I want to stay in the close yet most beautiful place for someone who's also traveling alone. Is that place Grindlewald or wilderswil? Can I just make those sites a day trip and sleep in Zermatt...most resorts are booked except near Saas.

I want to see Jungfraujoch, Stanserhorn, possibly Mt Titus, Matterhorn, 3k glacier, mont blanc, Gruyeres, Chillon castle. I think I can do all this depending on where Im based.

Thank you for the feedback.

Posted by
8665 posts

kelly, I think you are still seriously underestimating the time it takes to get to and from all these places, as well as how much time you need to actually "see" them. There are mountains in the way, so distances might look short on the map, but they're not. For example, just going up the mountain from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch is about 2 hours each way by train (not counting getting to Interlaken). Basing yourself in one place would not be ideal, unless you really like riding trains all day, every day.

Posted by
19 posts

Well I do love train rides but given jet lag and time to rest I'll choose Lucerne one night to rest, 2 nights in Grindlewald or Wilderswil or Lauterbrunnen, then 3 nights in Montreux, and new years eve in Zurich.

Posted by
8665 posts

kelly that looks more reasonable. I think I would shave one night off Montreux and add to Luzern, myself.

Posted by
1810 posts

Kelly, I have never been to Switzerland in the winter so I will let others speak to the weather and travel conditions. Your 7 day trip is quite ambitious. Quite honestly, too ambitious. If you think you won't be back again to Europe. I would say cram in as much as you can. Just realize you will be on trains most of the time and the amount of daylight will be less than a summer trip, so scenery won't exist from the trains. However, if you plan on coming back I would stay in Wengen for 5 days and explore the Bernese Oberland region (Grindlewald, Murren, Lauterbrunnen, etc.). The vistas and scenery in Wengen are magnificent and you can train all over the region and hiking is the best. I am puzzled by your last sentence regarding Italy. I don't see Italy on your itinerary. What did you mean regarding Italy, Lugano, Como, etc.?

Posted by
33339 posts

Don't forget that you may have snow at some or all of the mountains you want to see on some or more of the days you are there. You may have crisp blue skies and perfect visibility the whole time, but you may not. The further you have to travel to see something the more disappointed you will be if you can't.

You can check webcams online for many summits, or on your hotel TV if you have either of the summit cam channels, but by the time you have traveled 2 or 3 hours to somewhere the weather at the top may have changed.

I think in just a week you still need to pull in your horns a little. Your last post has you visiting "Jungfraujoch, Stanserhorn, possibly Mt Titus, Matterhorn, 3k glacier, mont blanc, Gruyeres, Chillon castle". That's 8 places, including 6 mountains, a town and a lakeside castle. And leaving off the arrival day and departure day you have 6 days to do that? In fact since you are dedicating New Years Eve to travel to Zürich there's even less time....

In your list, is everything after "possibly" an option or only Titlis? (you have it as Mt Titus, but I think that that is what you mean)

Are you expecting to ascend any of these mountains or just see and photograph them from the valleys? You say you don't ski, but will you want to walk?

Posted by
19 posts

Hi Stan, I would stay in lucerne an additional night but theres so much more I want to see near Montreaux area -Chillon castle, Chamonix, mont blanc, Gruyeres, Lusanne, and gstaad 3k glacier.

Also, to Threadwater, I decided to forgo Lugano. Its been a dream to go to Italy but I'm not sure it's better for my short itinerary. I could drop Montreux or Grindlewald but those are the best places to see the best vistas.

Thank you all any help is appreciated. It's not my first time to Europe but I was trying to map out where I would spend more time on my next trip for a deeper experience.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks for the weather warnings I wasnt aware it could change so quickly. I have snow boots and warm weather gear so maybe I'll do a little walking or one snow related activity.

I know it seems cramped but my thinking was some of these places are on the way if I map it right and if it's less than 2 hours from my base its worth the trip. For example if Lucerne is on The way from Zurich I can just stop in on the way to Grindlewald but i understand the time constraints (time enjoying the sites and transit times) better now. I wish I had more time.

Posted by
1810 posts

Kelly, FYI. I don't think the cogwheel train runs to Mt. Pilatus in December. Keep in mind, as was mentioned by others, many lifts, cablecars, gondolas are subject to weather conditions to higher elevations. It sounds like you are trying to do sightseeing and relaxed vista enjoyment in the same short 5-6 day trip. IMO....pick one or the other. If its sightseeing, then research things you want to see and route accordingly. I HIGHLY recommend making sure they are open on the days you will be there. If its vista and scenery, then base yourself in the Bernese Oberland region and enjoy. Whatever you choose have a great trip.