Any comments on this proposed itinerary for travel with a group of friends, splitting our time approximately equally between Switzerland and France? We are thinking Sept. of 2022.
Flight into Milan and first night in Varenna, just to have a relaxing place for our jet lagged first day.
Get from Varenna to Tirano (I assume it's by regional train) and spend the day on the Bernina Express scenic rail journey, ending in Zurich but no overnight stay there. We'd take the train to Lucerne and spend 2 nights there.
3 to 5 nights in Murren, our base for exploring the Berner Oberland
2 nights in Zermatt
2 nights in Chamonix.
Rent cars. Until now the trip will have involved all public transportation.
7 nights near St. Remy, our base for exploring Provence
Flight home from Marseilles
The two nights in Zermatt may have to be cut out if we stay in Murren 5 nights, but we have the ability to do it if we stay in Murren only 3 nights.
This itinerary has a one 1-night stay and three 2-night stays, and I know this is a lot of moving around, but we've traveled with this group to Europe twice before and have done some short stays like this and everyone enjoyed the experience and didn't feel like we were wasting a lot of time in transit. Sometimes the journey is as good as the destination! We travel with carry-on sized bags only and everyone is in good physical condition. Fully guided group tours do this kind of moving around but you have the advantage of putting all the travel details in someone else's hands. My feeling is that independent travelers willing to do the research can figure out the transit details and have the trip go just as smoothly as if they were being lead around on a group tour.
Are we missing out on any must-do overnight destinations in Switzerland? Any comments on 5 nights in Murren and skip Zermatt versus 3 nights in Murren and 2 in Zermatt?