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Six nights in late October

I will be solo in Switzerland and will probably buy a Swiss Travel Pass, although if the weather is fine I will be outdoors, not in museums. Alas, I will be in CH for six days, and the Pass only covers four continuous days.

I wish to do a good bit of scenic train riding as well as walking if weather permits. My proposed plan is:

Wed Oct 23: arrive BSL 10:45am, train to Luzern ( CHF 34). Sleep Luzern. Q: do Luzern hotels provide a card similar to the BaselCard?

Thurs Oct 24: Begin STP. trains by an interesting route to Wengen. sleep Wengen
Friday Oct 25: Explore Wengen, Schilthorn if weather permits. otherwise, Lake Thun, or day trip to Bern? Sleep Wengen.
Saturday Oct 26. Train(s) to Zermatt. Explore by foot if the weather permits.
Sunday Oct 27: Day 4 of STP. Head toward Montreux, riding scenic trains, from Zermatt to Montreux and thence toward Gruyere, Brice, etc.

And then I have a problem: Sleep where on October 27? The following day I will not have the STP, and I need to be at GVA airport by 7:00pm. I would like to be conservative on how much I spend for travel that day.

Does Geneva have the equivalent of a BaselCard? If so, I might go all the way to Geneva on Oct 27 and sleep there, spending Oct 28 exploring Geneva and the lake.

Thoughts?

Posted by
1653 posts

Hi,
I'm only counting five nights, right?
In such a short trip I would skip Zermatt: it takes a while to get to, and if the day is cloudy and you can't see the Matterhorn, well, it's a nice mountain town but not nicer than Wengen or Mürren. I would also skip Luzern, because you need two full days in the Wengen area to make the most of it
So, I would do:
- Oct 23-24-25 Wengen --> buy a Saver Day Pass NOW for CHF 52, it is cheaper than a walk-up fare (which is 75), and start STP on Oct 24
- Oct 26-27: Vevey, to explore the area - all the way to Gruyere if you wish --> STP days 3-4
- Oct 28: head to Geneva, leave luggage at train station --> Buy a Superaver ticket in advance for a specific train, at a discount (less than CHF 20)

Posted by
71 posts

Thanks for the thoughtful reply and suggestions.

I do have 6 nights in CH, but the final night (28) is at a GVA airport hotel as I have a very early flight on Oct29. So only 5 nights are "in play."

On another forum, I have been trying taken to task for being in Switzerland in the last week of October, the reason being that "everything" will be closed prior to ski season. While that has some plausibility -- some of the panoramic special trains do not run, for example -- is it really inadvisible to visit Switzerland at the end of October? More chance of poor weather but that is a risk.

Posted by
1653 posts

It is probably not the best time, as it's a bit late for fall colors in the lowlands and a bit early for snow. But Switzerland can be rainy year-round, so weather is never a guarantee.
As for "everything being closed": true in "pure" ski resorts, but false in places like Wengen or Zermatt. Not everything will be open, but some things will be. Look at a hotel booking website and see for yourself what your options are.
And Vevey or Geneva will be "business as usual".

Posted by
4935 posts

Yes they have such cards for visitors in Luzern.

Do I understand you correctly, that you are making one night stays in each of these places? Given that it will take you about half a day, each day, to do the relocation, that leaves you little time in any place for exploration, let alone day trips. Thats OK if your mainly interested in train rides.

Posted by
207 posts

I agree with balso that with just a few nights, it would be better to go from Basel to Wengen rather than Lucerne. That gives you more time to enjoy the area.

Some of the lifts in the area will be closed; however, you can then take the Wengen-Männlichen Aerial Cableway until 27 October 2019.

https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/

From Mannlichen you can hike to Kleine Scheidegg or just walk part of the trail and then back.

If you plan to ride up to the Schilthorn and have a travel pass, there is no additional charge, so you could combine that with a walk from Murren to Gimmelwald (the cable cars stop in both villages) or other hikes in the Murren/Gimmelwald area.

There are also nice trails from Lauterbrunnen (a short scenic train ride from Wengen) along the river going up the valley toward Stechelberg and down toward Interlaken. It it’s too snowy or cold in the upper trails, these would be an option.

From Interlaken, you can take a bus to Beatenbucht; then a funicular to Beatenberg, and a cable car to Niederhorn. There are nice hikes from there that are lower than the high Alps hikes and that offer great views of the Alps and Lake Thun. I hiked from Niederhorn to Gemmenalphorn and back (a great half day hike) and saw an ibix.

https://www.niederhorn.ch/en/time-tables/

Here are links to sites with great information about hikes in the area:

https://lauterbrunnenhiking.wordpress.com/

http://www.gimmelwald.ch/e/activities/summer/hiking.htm#hike6

All the best,

Raymond