Hello! We are going to be in Switzerland for 5 full days later this month. I'm looking for ideas for an itinerary. This trip came up very suddenly, so haven't had much time to plan. We will be staying with a friend in Vevey and would like to take advantage of the "free" lodging as much as possible, but are open to spending one or two nights in a hotel away from Vevey. I've been reading Rick's Switzerland book, but it's making me want to see everything! Any suggestions, taking the weather in late October into account? We are young and active, so don't mind packing a lot into each day. Thanks in advance!
A short train or boat ride from Vevey is the city of Luasanne; both the Olympics Museum, and the Art Museum Collection de l'Art Brut are excellent. Another excellent day trip would be Gruyere, with it's cheese factory, H.R. Giger Museum and the nearby Nestle-Callier chocolate factory. For a two day excursion head to the Berner Oberland as mentioned in Rick's guidebook. Take the scenic Golden Pass train from Montreux to Interlaken. As it will be off-season a lot of the hotels in the mountain villages will be closed until the ski season starts up. You may have to stay in Interlaken or Lauterbrunnen. A Swiss transit pass will be very useful. It will cover all inter and intra city transport, deep discounts for the mountain cable cars/trains, and free entry to most all museums. Click the railpasses tab above for all your options.
Go to MySwitzerland.com and click on the "Autumn" tab to find a list of festivals, including wine, cheese, and harvest fairs, as well as cultural events and cow parades. There is one in Lenk that runs through Oct. 23, for example.
Also, rather than making firm plans in advance, have a list of places that interest you (including the festivals I mentioned above). Then check the webcams and monitor the weather the day before, and make your choice then. You should not have any trouble finding last-minute lodging if you decide to overnight somewhere. . . . You can use the Swiss rail site www.rail.ch (for English) to see how long your proposed journey will take. Lenk, for example, is 2 hours 20 minutes from Vevey, on the Golden Pass route. . . . If you want to see alpine vistas and Europe's larges glacier from the top of a peak, it is a 3-hour trip (via Brig) to the top of the Eggishorn: www.eggishorn.ch or go to the Berner Oberland and reach the top of the Schilthorn in about 4 hours from Vevey.