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Switzerland August 30 - Sept. 8 2021

Need suggestions to finalize trip plan. So far we are planning to fly in to Geneva from Paris on Aug 30. We are flexible with how many days each place.
3 or 4 nights in Yvoire, France or near Lausanne, Switzerland. Would like to explore areas around Lake Geneva by ferry or perhaps rent car.
3 or 4 nights Grindlewald - exploring by train.
3 or 4 nights near Luzern - perhaps Vitznau.
Fly out of Zurich
Does this sound like a good plan? I prefer small quaint places vs large cities. We want to make this relaxing and not rushed.

Thank you - I appreciate suggestions as I am getting confused!

Posted by
1241 posts

Looks mostly good but I have a few suggestions.

If you want small, quaint places then dump Grindlewald in favor of nearby Wengen or Murren. The latter are car-free villages whereas Gindlewald has (in a non-pandemic year) lots of cars and giant tour buses and, hence, mobs of visitors.

Likewise, Lausanne is fairly large and not small or quaint (but still well worth it). Nearby Vevey is a quick train ride away and would fit that description better.

Be flexible. There is no guarantee that travel will return to close to normal this summer. A last-minute outbreak here or there could easily upend your plans, so I'd advise not buying/booking anything yet.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you!
I am being optimistic about August ...thinking we will have had vaccine - but who knows???
Do you think 3 nights would be enough for Murren area?

Posted by
1079 posts

3 nights in Murren would give you at least 2 full days there. That would be the minimum time I would stay there. There’s plenty to see and the mountains are spectacular. I like more time to allow flexibility.. for instance if one day is rainy or cloudy. What do you plan to do there?

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you. I'm not sure of exact plans but would like to explore nearby towns ,historic places, do some hiking. Possibly take a scenic train. Try out the local wines...LOL.
For now I was just getting locations down - then will explore activities.
Appreciate any suggestions.

Posted by
1522 posts

Hi rnwstyle,

Happy New Year! The itinerary looks promising. Since you are seeking a small town to stay near Lausanne, I would recommend either Vevey or Gruyere. Both are very near to Lausanne. Vevey is 22 min by train and Gruyere 45 min by train. Gruyere is known for it's world famous chocolate factory, La Maison du Gruyere. Here's a glimpse of Vevey:

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/destinations/vevey/

An appealing activity to do near Lausanne is wine tasting. The Lavaux Wine Terraces near the town make for an excellent day trip to tour the vineyards.

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/destinations/lavaux-vineyard-terraces/

For Lucerne, look into the town of Zug Switzerland. It's less than 20 mins away from Lucerne. It's a cozy little town by the water and you will have the opportunity to mingle with local residents.

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/destinations/zug/

In addition to Grindlewald, like the other members mentioned, Wengen and Murren make ideal base towns. You will find great hiking trails in those areas. In addition, you will have flexibility to visit either the Schilthorn and the Jungfrau from those bases.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for the great suggestions! This is my 1st experience with forum and it is great!

Posted by
649 posts

Seconding FastEddie's motion regarding either Wengen or Murren. Three nights should be good unless you want to hike 3 days in a row. Wengen was our choice back in July 2017. Have been to both Montreux and Gruyeres and would base in the former if choosing between the two (Montreux is next to Vevey). Luzern is definitively worth a visit and Zurich is underrated by Rick Steves.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you. I am checking on hotels around the lake near Geneva. I found a great one but is on the French side in Yvoire. Hôtel Restaurant Du Port. Do you think it would be difficult crossing borders? I am hoping to find an area where we can use the ferry's - Like in Lake Como area.
I also looked in to an option - flying in to Milan and staying in Ascona - Ticino in Switzerland. It is located on the shore of Lake Maggiore.
Any thoughts on that as 1st stop?

Posted by
24547 posts

regarding crossing borders - it all depends. What will be the relative position of the plague in Switzerland and France? I don't think anybody knows.

If we are back to "normal", both France and Switzerland are in the Schengen area and border questions should be no issue, no more than before.

If, on the other hand, either or both countries are having issues in August I would expect some degree of friction and perhaps closed borders like we have now.

I think we have to wait and see...

Posted by
74 posts

Hi - Like you, I hope everything with COVID will be settled by August. I'm also hoping to take a trip to Switzerland this year, probably in September after vaccinations are completed, etc.

You mentioned hiking. Check my posting history (click on my name on the left) for a detailed trip report about hiking in the Berner Oberland in 2019.

Also, I agree that Murren and Wengen are fantastic destinations and close to excellent hiking trails. However, being car-free villages at relatively high elevations has a couple of negatives as well as all of the positives noted above. For example, if you want to take a day trip or go into Interlaken for lunch or dinner, you need to get from Murren (or Wengen) to Lauterbrunnen, and then take another train to your destination. Not a major problem (and the cable cars and mountain trains are enjoyable), but it adds time every time you leave the village -- compared to staying in Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald.

My personal perspective is that all of the potential villages close to hiking in the Berner Oberland -- Wengen, Murren, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald -- are wonderful, but they are very different and have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Grindelwald doesn't get a lot of support in these RS message boards. In other posts, however, I've noted my fondness for Grindelwald, especially if you're interested in a combination of hiking, day trips, and a larger variety of restaurants (compared to the other villages).

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about day hikes or hiking in the Berner Oberland in general.

Good luck!

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you. Since we will have a rental car - I'm thinking Grindlewald may be best. I've changed reservations from Yvoire to Montreux also.
So many options!
Thanks!