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Lucerne + Meiringen - best option for final 3 days?

I'm traveling with 2 active, adventurous teens on their first visit to Europe. I believe we'll have future trips to Europe, particularly a longer visit to Germany/Austria, plus some time in both Paris and Spain. Which means I'm debating between soaking up the Swiss experience vs a quick visit to other countries.

Please help!
Our flights are set via Zurich
3 days in Lucerne
8 days with Swiss locals exploring the areas near Mieringen
3 days at end of our trip - where should we go?

I'm concerned we'll have had our fill of hiking and stunning mountain views after 8 days in Mieringen. We know our time in Mieringen will be spent on low cost activities (think college kids hiking, sharing local food & culture, etc). I anticipate that we'll leave Mieringen with a better sense of Swiss life than when we arrived, but we won't have spent that time doing traditional "tourist" activities.

What would you prioritize for the final 3 days of this trip?

I've considered staying in Interlaken - excursions could include kayaking, canyoning or parasailing there.

I've considered a visit to Zermatt - lots of gorgeous views, ice caves, possible luge?

I'm open to spending some travel budget on more expensive activities if there are things that shouldn't be missed. Jungfraujoch doesn't appeal.

Or is our time better spent with a quick visit to Italy or France? Would you invest in more history/culture excursions for exposure to castles, dairies, chocolate tours while in Switzerland? I'd love some sage advice and appreciate your help.

Posted by
494 posts

You could go down to Montreux to get a feel for the French speaking portion of Switzerland - the Chateau de Chillon castle is beautiful, you can do a boat ride to the other side of the lake to visit a French village such as Yvoire, etc. Might be a nice change of pace from the mountains. Last summer we rented a chalet right on the water in a village on the lake (St-Prex) so we could go swimming and relax at the “beach” but still have the train and boat right there to explore other areas on the lake.

Also, from Meiringen you can definitely do a day trip to the Interlaken area to experience the Jungfrau Region (car free villages, canyoning, paragliding, etc) - plan to visit Grindelwald/Mannlichen/Wengen or Murren/Gimmelwald/Lauterbrunnen for a day from Meiringen.

Posted by
78 posts

From Meiringen (note sp), investigate Haslital area hikes, Aareschlucht, Reichenbach Falls,
Ballenberg Freilichtmuseum for great things to do at lower cost.