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Switzerland - 12 days

We are heading to Switzerland this September 2024 after staying in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

We have 12 full days before flying out of Zurich and I’m looking for suggestions for an itinerary.

We will be travelling by train and would like to stay at no more than 4 locations.

What would be the best places for a base and the most logical route.

My husband wants to paraglide.

Thank you.


Posted by
3178 posts

Have you done any research to get some ideas? Read a travel guide, studied a map, looked at trip reports here, watched Rick’s videos on Switzerland? You need to give us something to go on. People here are volunteers, not travel agents or mind readers.

This forum works best when you start with some idea of what you want to see and do, maybe a first draft of an itinerary. Then people can make suggestions to improve it and make a better trip. We can’t start with a blank slate.

I apologize if that sounds rude but it is very hard to answer a question like yours without more information.

Posted by
16706 posts

There is tandem paragliding from several points around G-P if your husband would like to start there:

Scroll down to the Tandem section to see the companies that offer flights. We have been up on Wank when they were very active—it looked very well organized. My travel partner wanted to try it then and there but they were fully booked.

In Switzerland we have seen lots of paragliders above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. They start from a launch base above the village of Mürren, so maybe put that on your itinerary.

Posted by
5007 posts

Check your travel insurance about paragliding. I was all set to go, and accidentally saw a section in my insurance that precluded "extreme sports", and paragliding was under that section. I didn't go and regretted it. Next time I go, I'm doing it! I'm already 70-ish.... what a way to go! 😉

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks everyone for your input.

Yes, I know I didn’t provide details into what we like, but I wanted to know what everyone would recommend without guidance.

We like everything for the most part. We like exploring and trying things native to the area. If you suggested anything that was too much for us then we’d consider and maybe pass.

Switzerland seems to be an amazing country and we can’t wait to explore it. My husband’s willingness to parasail sort of gives an idea what we’d be up for and we are 60+.

Thanks for the info.

I’m just trying to figure out which four places we should base from since we are flying home from Zurich.

Thanks all.


Posted by
501 posts

I think 4 places is too many for 12 days. You’ll spend a lot of time packing up/moving and less time actually enjoying the sites. Switzerland is extremely well connected by public transportation and day trips to places are sometimes easier than moving. I’d suggest 2-3 spots and if you run out of things to explore in that area (doubtful), then you can do a day trip.

For example, from a base of Luzern you can do multiple different boat and mountain excursions, explore the historic city + do day trips if you’d like to both Bern and Zurich. But to accomplish all that, you’d need at least 4-5 days in Luzern alone.

Some popular areas to look into are Luzern, the Berner Oberland Region (staying somewhere like Wengen), Montreux/Lake Geneva, Zermatt and eastern Switzerland (St Moritz, etc). You can’t cover all that in 12 days, so I’d recommend watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and posts here and narrowing down what feels most exciting to you based on your personal preferences.

Posted by
526 posts

Hello Maureen!

It is fun to see someone on here with the same name as me…I added a 🇨🇭to my name, now that I know there are two of us. 😁

Another option for paragliding is in Interlaken. This is where my (Swiss) husband learned to paraglide many years ago. You meet in Interlaken and are driven up to Beatenberg for take off and you land in a big field in the center of Interlaken. You will have views of the mountains and two lakes. There are lots of videos you can watch on YouTube to compare the different locations.

Some of my favourite locations to go to for day trips, hikes, and taking photos are:

Fav. train rides:
Interlaken - Luzern
Interlaken to Montreux via Gstaad

Posted by
152 posts

When I planned our trip to Switzerland I used RS’s suggestion of a city, a resort, and an Alpine retreat. We landed in Zurich and immediately took a train to our farthest location west and worked our way back. We started on Lake Geneva in Montreux. The Swiss pass was invaluable as we could take the boat or train to explore Lausanne, Gruyère, or even Evian-Les-Bain’s across the lake in France. Then we took a scenic train to Lauterbrunnen and then all the way up to Murren. Breathtaking! Again, the Swiss Pass got us on the gondolas to the top of the Schilthorn and to Gimmelwald. Then we took the train to Luzern. Precious town with picturesque covered pedestrian bridges. Several options for day trips from there. We went on to Italy from there, but you could head back to Zurich for a day to catch your flight home. I feel this gave us a great overall taste of Switzerland, but there are certainly other options as well. We were in each location 3-4 days and I did not feel like it was too much moving around.

Posted by
26 posts

Thanks so much all.

You've been very helpful.

I just have to bite the bullet and make my choices. 😊

Posted by
152 posts

Maureen - that’s the hardest part. What to put in, what to leave out. I’m doing that with France right now! ;)

Posted by
26 posts

Before we cross into Switzerland, we will be heading to Neuschwanstein Castle.
We will have a rental car from Vienna, Austria which will need to be returned in Austria before taking the train to Switzerland.
I’m just trying to figure this out where to drop the car and grab the train. Sounds easy but not! Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on how to execute this scenario?


Posted by
848 posts

You might want to check with the rental car company to see if there’s a city to drop off the car closer to the border, maybe Bregenz?