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Itinerary Help for Honeymoon 2020

Hello fellow travelers!

Background: Husband (35) and wife (28), belated honeymoon trip
Where: Berner Oberland, Zermatt, Lucerne; When: 10-14 days June/July 2020
Travel Style: Lots of hiking, outdoors sightseeing, maybe some backpacking/camping but also hotel/b&b stays (it is a honeymoon after all)
Can you help with these questions?

1) Flights to cities in Switzerland are starting at about $1100 with few exceptions (and they're pretty inconvenient). Does anyone have experience flying into less expensive places and then getting to Switzerland via regional flight or train? i.e. flights to Barcelona/Madrid are around $600 for the same time frames.

- also a flight into Nice costs about $725 - any affordable train routes into Switzerland from there?

2) If I ride a train or take a regional flight, should I book that in advance or just find and pay when I get there?

3) If we spend most of our time in the Berner Oberland with just a couple nights elsewhere but are frequently taking funiculars/trams to places like Murren, Schilthorn, Mannlichen, etc., is the Swiss Pass or Half Fare Card worth it?

4) Anyone have experience camping near Lauterbrunnen/Interlaken? Tips, tricks, advice?

5) Is booking accommodations directly or through big sites (booking.com, expedia) recommended? We are going to prefer places that would cost around $175 or less per night. With a mixture of camping/hotel rooms, I'm not sure how much to book in advance...

Much appreciated!

Posted by
5011 posts
  1. You don't say where you're flying from, which can make a big difference. You are looking at peak season (highest demand) and a destination (Switzterland) with relatively little competition among airlines. Results may be higher prices, but prices are impossible to predict (thank you, the airlines). Shop around and be flexible, know what you are getting (for comparisons). You pay for convenience and comfort, the airlines charge more for these things, you decide what's worth it and what's not.

  2. Booking as far in advance as you can usually gets you the best deals. Booking at the last minute usually gets you higher prices and less to pick from. This is true in most things but there are exceptions.

  3. Can't help you with that. You probably have to do some math.

  4. Not me, can't help with that.

  5. In high season, at popular destinations, and if you are picky, absolutely, yes book ahead. Or, be prepared for whatever is left. See #2 above.

Hope that helps and happy honeymoon!

Posted by
16056 posts

Sorry, but you are traveling smack in the middle of prime summer travel. Assume you are looking at Dulles or BWI. Maybe start with a couple nights in NYC, then JFK to Milan Malpensa.

And yes, if you can get to Barcelona, Easyjet has flights to Geneva and Zurich. But spur of the moment, they can be expensive. I'd book in advance a day after your arrival, and relax in Barcelona for a little jet lag recovery.

Posted by
133 posts

Camping ground in Stechelberg near the post office. Stech. is a quieter option than it's big bro Lauterbrunnen. If you catch the post bus at Lauterb. it will be crowded until you reach the Schilthorn lift carpark just before Stech. nearly everyone will get off there.
Personally I would recommend the very, very inexpensive Alpenhof Hotel instead of camping. Charming and rustic. You will have to leave your shoes in the basement, shared bathrooms with coin operated showers. Kitchen facilities. It is worth paying for Aussie Di's brekky, that will set you up for the day.
The pub in Stechelberg does nice meals.
I sent my honeymooning friends to Ober Steinberg and that was their highlight.
It is a long uphill hike (no other way). Best leave most of your gear in the Alpenhof basement. Ober Steinberg is a century old mountain hotel and a small working farm. You can enquire about watching them make cheese.
Don't expect hot water or electric lighting. Take cash, no atm, no internet. Dinner and breakfast is included. Views, yep it sure has those. Amazing hiking, yep sure has them.
We stayed 5 inexpensive nights at the legendary Walter's Hotel Mittaghorn in Gimmelwald. Unfortunately Walter passed away at 95 on New Years Eve so I believe it is closed until further notice. You could check prices at the Hostel. Back in the 80s it was 5 swiss francs per night lol. I am guessing a lot more now. Also maybe check Pension Gimmelwald.
I have never stayed in Murren but I would guess it is a bit more expensive than the 90 SF we paid at Walter's and the 60 SF at the Alpenhof.
In Zermatt we stayed at the Hotel Bahnhof near the Gornergrat rail. Pretty reasonable for expensive Zermatt. No real charm or character though. We were only really visiting to take the Gornergrat train. Something I couldn't afford in my backpacking days.
I would've liked to stay at the Trift Hotel but it looked a bit hard of a slog uphill for my w
ife with a full backpack.
A nice place for lunch near Zermatt is the hamlet of Z'mutt. It is a nice hike on either of 2 trails.
That is about all the ideas I can come up with.

Posted by
672 posts

1)Flights: Your profile says Maryland, so I'll assume you would fly out of Wash DC. You might consider flying to Paris. For 2 weeks in July on flights.google.com I'm seeing prices around $775 Round Trip. You can go from Paris to Geneva or Basel or Zurich via a bullet train for less than $100 and the earlier you book the cheaper. See www.seat61.com

It takes about 3 hrs Paris to Swiss city and roughly another 3 hrs to Lauterbrunnen from there.
Nice? Not for getting to Geneva, as it's about 7 hours and 3 trains from there. (www.sbb.ch/en prices assume a half fare card)

2) Swiss trains need not be booked in advance. They are almost never full and come usually every 30 min. The only exception is the bullet train from Paris--book and reserve seats there way in advance.

3) The half fare card is good, but I like the Berner Oberland pass (Google it). It pays for all trains and cable cars from Bern on south. It is a good value if you spend about $60 each day per person on transportation. See "tips" at the link below to see prices, but given its a honeymoon, I'd say get it so you can fully relax and take any trip you want without thinking about money each trip. There's a freedom in that which sets a good mood for a honeymoon.

4) Yes, I have camped at Lauterbrunnen. There's two campgrounds, and a previous poster mentioned one. I prefer the other: www.campingjungfrau.swiss where you can go out your door and look out on a tremendous waterfall a few hundred yards away. If you really love camping you could bring or buy a 2 person tent and the fee per day is like $20. But for a honeymoon, I would recommend renting their trailers or bungalows for about $100 a night.

5) You should book all accommodations in advance (except tent camping--they have an open field for those folks) as they fill up soon. Booking.com is good or also "hotels" on Google maps.
For hikes in the area, and tips, see www.lauterbrunnenhiking.wordpress.com

Posted by
897 posts

We flew from Barcelona to Geneva on easyJet. Was about 40 euro/pp. Ended up wishing we had flown Swiss Air as EJ was 3 hours delayed and “on time departures” did not seem to concern them. ;) This caused us to miss planned evening activities in Bern.

This is your honeymoon. You want it to be relaxing and not stressful. I recommend getting the direct flight unless the cost would cause you to not go. I am a frugal person, but I have discovered over multiple trips to Europe I much more often regret the money that I did NOT spend as opposed to the money that I did spend. Especially on items that save me hassle or time. Vacation time is expensive, and the last thing you want to do is waste your valuable time shuttling back-and-forth between cities or sitting around in airports when you could be breathing that crisp, clean air of the Swiss Alps.