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If you went one place in Switzerland...

Switzerland fans: I have the opportunity to join my husband in Montreaux for a work trip in mid-October and could use some help in guiding my research. We'd like to spend up to a week enjoying the outdoors (avid hikers but nothing intense).
I'd fly into Geneva or Zurich, head to Montreaux to join him for the end of his work trip, then aside from our outbound city, should we just stay in Montreaux, or do you suggest checking out another town on the train line? Everything looks gorgeous, but being a sea lover (and not made of money), it's not a place that has ever been high on my list. I appreciate your guidance--if you had this opportunity, what would you do?

Posted by
5561 posts

I think you will get quite a few suggestions for the Bernese Oberland. The Lauterbrunnen Valley and the towns up on the mountainsides (Murren) are lovely places with lots of opportunities and fabulous scenery.

Posted by
1172 posts

Ohhh, I'll be following this with interest. Switzerland hasn't really been too high on my list either until recently.

Posted by
697 posts

Yep, Lauterbrunnen Valley! Go up the mountains on one side (Schilthorn, etc.) and take the train to the Top of Europe on the other side. And hiking is available on the valley floor (Trammelback Falls) and on both sides of the valley. Its a wonderful place. Enjoy!

Posted by
5 posts

Bernese Oberland / Jungfrau region for sure! Make Lauterbrunnen your base camp and go up to the beautiful towns above.

Posted by
139 posts

Since you stated the month was October: the Alps in the Berner Oberland are more high alps "above the tree line" due to inclement weather October is low season and will have scheduled Maintenace taking place. The Berner Oberland is god's country and I can see why it is so popular. RS other pick of Appenzell is more low alps "below the tree line" and may be your best choice in October. What ever you decide to do just don't stay in a big city. J

Posted by
2772 posts

Thanks all--as Joanne mentioned, I am particularly concerned about the weather. It may veer into late October--does this change anyone else's recommendations?
I'd like to minimize train time also, and now that I see I could just drive to Aosta in less than two hours, I am torn...
I'll definitely pop back in once I have a better sense of the transport and timing, but this gets me started!

Posted by
727 posts

Bernese Oberland is fantastic.

If you're willing to consider a short detour into France, you could head to Chamonix on the train. A little less than 3 hours on a very scenic train.

Posted by
235 posts

I was recently researching the Montreux area for the tail end of a long trip and then decided, there is so much to do there, I'll save it for another trip so I can take my time and enjoy what it has to offer such as; Chillon Castle, Manoir de Ban (Charlie Chaplin museum), boat ride on Lake Geneva with a stop in Évian-les-Bains (France). Day trips by train - Lausanne, Zermatt (Matterhorn), Gruyere chocolate train, Zweisimmen to Montreux (or further along the Golden Pass route).

Edited to add this link to hikes in the Montreux area. I've not done any of these so not able to recommend but they sound nice. And if any interest in Queen, there is this.

Posted by
6809 posts

Anywhere in Switzerland is on the train line. I think Luzern is a good option, since it has a mix of urban, lake scenery, and, mountains and hiking all within reach.

Posted by
138 posts

Murren I would vote for Murren area it’s just the picture of Switzerland that I think most have in their minds when they think of Switzerland.. we are head back this summer on the My way Alpine tour. Been twice before.. my second vote would be for Luzern.. we started Best of Switzerland in Luzern .. we arrived three full days early met tourmates from a previous tour so with tour and extra days we spent 5 days there and absolutely loved it. We stayed at the Hotel Des Alpes I believe ..will look it up..we had a room overlooking the Chapel Bridge.. so many places to walk to for dinner or lunch. We filled everyday easily.
I don’t think you can go wrong in Switzerland 🇨🇭

Posted by
543 posts

Oh, how I wish Schweiz was doable time wise this year what with the Swiss franc at parity ( practically) with the US$.
Val, my experience with hiking is in the east at Swiss National Park, the Engadine, Alp Grum and the the Berner Oberland. But there is great hiking around Lac Leman.
I would plan on doing some searches for hiking around Gstaad, Lake Geneva or busing 90 minutes to Chamonix from Annecy for the Mt. Blanc area. The Euro is at $1.04 today making Chamonix hiking a bargain.
In my experience October is a very iffy month weatherwise. Usually winds come up and rain begins the second week of October. Make a couple itineraries so you can easily adjust your plan based on the weather.
Have a great Trip!