Please sign in to post.

The best of Switzerland?????

What are the "must sees" of Switzerland?

We are flying into Zurich Sept. 20, and have 2 weeks to explore while making our way to Basel for a Rhine River cruise to Amsterdam. We plan to rent a car.
We love easy hiking, lakeside/mountain view accommodations-3* B&B/Gasthofs, spending 3 nights per stop, avoiding "too touristy" sights.

Danke!
Patsy

Posted by
12040 posts

"We love easy hiking, lakeside/mountain view accommodations-3* B&B/Gasthofs, spending 3 nights per stop, avoiding "too touristy" sights." I would recommend heading east from Zürich to Flumserberg. It isn't so much a distinct town as a series of high-altitude hamlets, and more like a weekend getaway for Zürich residents than a big international resort. From this vantage point, you have a great view of the mountains on the other side of the valley and the Walensee. If you take the lift all the way to near the summit, there's several kilometers of nearly flat hiking trails that wrap around the peaks, along with the usual mountain restaurants. Unlike some other high-altitude vacation spots, you can drive your car up to most of the hotels.

EDIT: Forgot the hotel recommendation. Hotel Cafrida. This is probably one of the best mountain hotels I've ever stayed in... and I've stayed in many.

Posted by
6500 posts

Patsy,I saw your note in the other older post from Andrea. Question for you. I am planning a trip for next October as well, and seems like a lot of smaller Swiss destinations (like Muerren) shut down as its shoulder season. Fairly cold too. What are you seeing?

If I had two weeks to explore, I think I would go over to the Italian lakes myself.

Posted by
2712 posts

Hi Patsy,

I would think twice about renting a car. The Swiss train system is outstanding and convenient. That and some of the most beautiful places in Switzerland are not accessible by car anyway. I think the time frame you're looking at is excellent though. We spent 11 nights in Switzerland in early/mid October and had a great time and terrific weather. That said, too touristy? It's Switzerland. Our stops included nights in St. Moritz (I wouldn't bother again), Zermatt, Luzern and Wengen in the Berner Oberland. Wenegen and the BO was out of this world gorgeous!

Paul

Posted by
39 posts

Patsy,
I spent some time in the Jungfrau region last Sept, and it was magnificent. For the ultimate not-too-touristy mountain views, I'd suggest Gimmelwald. Rick Steves recommends it, and as a result, you'll find many Americans there. (For better or worse.) I can suggest Esther's Guest House as a fine place to stay. With three nights, you get a discount. The hiking is NOT flat, unless you want to walk in the valley, which is quite nice also. Check out Trummelbach Falls. If the sky clears, the Schilthorn is a must see.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
110 posts

Danke, Everyone-
I've been very busy researching your suggestions!

Tom-Flumserberg sounds delightful. Searching it on Google Earth now & will check out the hotel recommendation. It would be our 1st stop/recovery from jetlag.
Do you prefer it over Appenzell(RS's pick)?

Stan- I don't know if hotels in Murren close shoulder season, but I've heard some do for the winter & do not reply to inquiries.....can anyone verify? When checking prices/availability for a lakeside inn in Gersau/Lucern,
http://www.seehof-gersau.ch/indexe.html, hotels.com said "not available". And the inn is not answering my inquiries.

I would like to see lakes Lugano, Maggiore & Como, but not sure we will have enough time, as
WE LIKE TO STAY 3 NIGHTS PER STOP (if warranted).

Paul- I have not researched trains, but saw (somewhere?) a 15 day 2nd class Swiss pass is $984. per person.

We have a car reserved with Avis for $378.-2 weeks/$27./day. It is much easier for us to get around via car, rather than lugging our bags on public transportation ....hubby has bad back.
Danke for the St.Moritz tip....I, too, want to skip it, but heard Pontresina is gorgeous.

Paul & Darobathan- I've been researching/viewing some Utube videos on Zermatt, Luzern, Wengen, Gimmelwald, Lakes Thun & Brienz in the Berner Oberland area, & AM SO PSYCHED!!!!! OMG gorgeous!
We visited Zermatt 37 yrs. ago & don't have great memories.....so many buildings! and the weather was drizzly....no trip up the mtn. Should we try again?

Thank you, Everyone! Appreciate your advise.
Patsy

Posted by
12040 posts

"Do you prefer it over Appenzell(RS's pick)?" Well, apples and oranges. Appenzell is an entire canton, Flumserberg is just one mountain municipality in St. Gallen canton. I like Flumserberg mainly because it's just a quiet, high altitude getaway. No tour buses, no souvenir shops (well, one...), no snooty tourists proclaiming their love of experiencing "authentic culture" (whatever that is). Just the mountains, the views, the cows, the ski lifts and a handful of restaurants and chalet hotels. Oh, and you can drive up the mountain and park at your hotel. That helps. I don't have kids (yet), but if I did, this would probably be my Alpine of resort of choice, because it's very well laid out for families.

Posted by
2712 posts

Hi Patsy,

On our trip, the Matterhorn/Zermatt were "must sees". If we we're to go again and re-visit, I'd stay longer in Wengen (Berner Oberland in general) than the 4 nights we stayed before. Our 2 nights in Luzern were good. Really like Luzern a lot. Since you'll have a car, Liechtenstein isn't too far either. Not that the scenery will be much different, bit it is there. I guess it's a bit "sentimental" to us, as our very first night in Europe was spent in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein (flew into Zurich) at the then Hotel Martha Buehler (now it's the Hotel Oberland). We arrived on a misty/cloudy afternoon and couldn'tt see much scenery. The views from here blew us away the next morning, which was crystal clear. Ditto for our stay in Wengen. Incredible.

Paul

Posted by
1020 posts

Zermatt was at the top of my list on my first trip to Switzerland many years ago. It lived up to its reputation. Can't take your car there, but go.

Posted by
3336 posts

Noticed you have rented a car...just be aware of gas prices and factor this into your budget. $10+ per gallon is common. We had a Volvo SUV this summer and it was $120 every time we filled it up. You'll do better with a smaller car but it's still shocking!

Posted by
110 posts

Paul,

"If we we're to go again and re-visit, I'd stay longer in Wengen (Berner Oberland in general) than the 4 nights we stayed before. Our 2 nights in Luzern were good. Really like Luzern a lot. "

Do you have hotel recommendations? Do you prefer Wengen over Murren?


Hi Tom-
Your recommended Hotel Cafrida in Flumserberg is not longer available. Do you have another recommendation?

Danke-
Patsy