Here's my planned solo Swiss trip after MUCH research. I welcome any advice. I'm the type of person who likes to travel fast seeing lots of various sites. I haven't been to Switzerland in 25 yrs when I broke my ankle hiking in Grindelwald the 2nd day that I was there. So this trip to hike the Alps has been a long time coming!
15 DAY SWISS PASS $428 (July 25% off special). I will only use 11 full days and short 1 hr. Train trip day 1 on arrival going to Rhein am Stein and day 13 going from Lucern to airport. Solo travel of 66 yr. old adventurous lady photographer on a budget. Mainly interested in photographing quaint villages & scenic views in Alps and doing gentle hiking. I’ve had extensive independent European travel and save costs by staying in hostels and eating from food bought in markets mostly. I don’t check luggage on a plane & have mastered the art of a backpack weighing about 18-20 lbs.. I have NEVER regretted packing light!
Arrive Zurich airport from California 5:30 pm then train from airport skipping Zurich city
Rhein am Stein village -arrive from Zurich via train about 9pm;
Aug 23rd & 24th (sleep 2 nights in hostel)
24th- Rhine Falls, explore Schaffhausen, Rhine am Stein picturesque villages
Pontresina- Aug 25th & 26th (sleep 2 nights in hostel)
25th- 7 am, 2 hr. train to Appenzell village, (picturesque), mountain Ebernalp train/cable from Wasseurman to see Ascher cliffside restaurant / view/ short hike
25th- leave Appenzell at 2 or 3 pm train about 4 hrs to Pontresina along the Bernina Express route (regular train) via Chur & St. Moritz.
26th- train exploring small parts of Bernina Express route getting off around Filisur and Al Grum to hike; cable car or mtn train in Pontresina, maybe travel as far as Poshiavo or Tirano or go 1 hr east of Pontresina to quaint village of Guarda.
Zermatt- Aug 27th & 28th (sleep 2 nights in hostel)
27th All day on Glacier express regular train from Pontresina near St. Moritz. Might stop and explore Andermatt briefly arriving in Zermatt in evening.
28th- Gornergrat mountain train to view Matterhorn - weather dependent -hike a bit. Explore Zermatt old town
Montreux- Aug 29th arrive late morning (sleep 1 night in hostel). If weather is poor in Zermatt, may only stay 1 night there if I can cancel hostel and head towards Montreux early or go to quaint Grimentz village or Gyrures.
29th- explore Montreux area- vineyards, boat ride, Chillon Castle?
30th, 31st, 1st- Gimmelwald (sleep 3 nights) private room / shared bath in pension air bnb
30th- Golden Pass scenic regular train from Montreux to Interlaken with possible side trips to Gryures, Spiez, or boat on Lake Thun arriving in Gimmelwald late afternoon or evening.
31st & 1st- Shilthorn mountain top weather dependent or explore Grindelwald, Lauterbraunen, Wengen. and hiking on 31st & 1st. Mannlican hike or First hike. Possibly a boat trip on Lake Brienz/museum
2nd & 3rd- Lucern (sleep 2 nights in hostel)
2nd -explore Lucern bridge area, 3rd- Mt Rigi mountain hike with boat ride on Lake Lucern or Stanshorn or Mt Titilus if weather wasn’t good in Zermatt or Gimmelwald for top of mountain views.
4th- early a.m. train direct to Zurich Airport - fly home to California
I welcome any advice.