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Gimmewald and Cinque Terre question

I am trying to decide If I should spend 3 nights in Gimmewald,and 3 in Cinque Terre. I am wondering if 3 nights in Gimmewald and Cinque Terre is just right or could I see a lot with spending 2 nights? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
689 posts

2 nights is only 1 day, and given that both destinations are out of the way and take some travel time to get to, you probably will really only have that one middle day. So, read your guidebook, decide what you want to do in each place, and figure out if 1 day is enough. It isn't for me, but I have a friend who was bored silly in the CT because "there wasn't anything to do." (She's not a hiker or a swimmer and so had no interest in the trails or the water). In Gimmelwald there really isn't much to do besides hike, and while I happily spent 4 days there, you might only need a day.

Posted by
32247 posts

Lindsay,

Three nights in each would be good IMO, however I suppose it depends on what you want to do. As Christy mentioned, it takes some time to get to each place, so it's probably worthwhile to stay for a few days to see them properly. I also find that both of those locations are great for "recharging the batteries" (as Rick says). I used the C.T. to recover after a week of hectic touring in Rome, and it was great!

A few thoughts on each:

Cinque Terre - I assume you'll want to hike the trails. I planned a whole day for that, as I wanted to explore each of the towns a bit before returning to my "base" in Riomaggiore. I also just enjoyed the ambience, visiting with other travelers, checking out the local restaurants, etc. I didn't do any swimming while there (I was afraid someone would call out the harpoon squad!), but might try that next time. You can also hike to villages higher up in the hills above the C.T. (details in the Guidebooks as I recall).

Gimmelwald - it wasn't hard to fill three days with activities on my last visit there. Again, it's a great place to "destress" after travels elsewhere. I spent the better part of a day going to the Schilthorn and having a nice relaxing lunch in the revolving restaurant there while the view changed hourly. There's also exploring Murren, taking the Allmend-Hubel Funicular and hiking down (very nice hike!), visiting Trummelbach Falls or take Rick's suggested bicycle trip from Murren to Lauterbrunnen. I also tried Paragliding from Murren, which was incredible (especially at my age)!!!

Check the Guidebooks as there's no shortage of things to do in each place.

Happy travels!

Posted by
118 posts

Thank you so much! I have been reading all about these places and they sound so amazing. I asked because I still have to fit Rome, Austria, Southern Germany, Prague, and maybe a night train into Poland and a night train out in 21 days, I am going for 30 days but already have the first 7 days booked for Paris and Bayeux, I'm just trying to put the finishing touches on the rest of the trip.

I wouldn't be getting to Interlaked till 5:30 at night, so Gimmewald probably around 7:00. I wouldn't get to Vernazza till 2pm, so that's why I think I really probably do 3 nights in these places.

I want to hike,in both places and swim in CT.

Thanks for your advice!

Lindsay

Posted by
6898 posts

I agree with Ken. You should be just fine. Gimmelwald is really small but close to hikes and travel around the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Just note that it's quite a train trip from Gimmelwald to the CT. It's about 9.0hrs with lots of changes (gondola, bus, train). You'll have to factor that into your 3 and 3 plan.

Posted by
118 posts

Yes, I see the earliest we could leave Interlaken is 7:30 am, and eventually get to CT at 1400. How early would you leave Gimmewald to get to Interlaken to get on the 730 train? I guess the bus and gondola might not even leave this early in the morning right?

Thanks

Posted by
63 posts

Three nights in Cinque Terra? That's a lot. One or two nights at most should do it. Last June on a day trip from Montecatini (an hour west of Florence) we trained in to Monterosso at 10AM, hiked the trail to Vernazza, had lunch, then hiked the trail to Riomaggiore where we caught the train back (6PM). We were gone from early morning until well after dark.

Posted by
7209 posts

I've been to Gimmelwald, Muerren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen many times and now matter HOW much time I spend there it's never enough. The whole area will just amaze you and you'll never want to leave.

Posted by
118 posts

Thank everyone! I am going to stay in Gimmewald for 3 nights, at the Mountain Hostel. Anyone been there and recommend it? It will be my first hostel that I will be staying at. I've read a lot of reviews and it sounds like people like staying there?

I am going to stay at Francamaria rooms or A Ca'da Nonna rooms. Anyone have experience with any of these?

Thanks

Lindsay

Posted by
2193 posts

I've visited both the Cinque Terre (Manarola) and the Swiss Alps (Murren) and believe your 3 and 3 plan to be perfect for absorbing all of the beauty each area has to offer. Both places are relaxing, even if you're on the go hiking, swimming, whatever. Should you need to consider alternatives to your planned accommodations, I can recommend La Torretta in Manarola and Chalet Fontana in Murren.

Posted by
689 posts

Manarola also has a nice hostel. I had a nice time at Mt Hostel, too (though I'm not sure now, at age 40, I'd be up for it. Definitely a younger crowd).

Posted by
6898 posts

Lindsay, you will need to be on the 6:00am gondola to get to Interlaken Ost to meet a 7:30 train. According to the Swiss train website, it's 55 minutes from Gimmelwald to Interlaken Ost. If your really adventurous, you can take the 6:30 gondola and arrive at Interlaken Ost at 7:24. You would have 6 minutes to change trains which is doable on Swiss trains. But...

Posted by
6898 posts

Yes. When you arrive at the Lauterbrunnen train station, you walk about 300 feet across the street to the bus stop. You catch the post bus (that's what it's called) to Stechelberg. If you need to buy a ticket, you can buy it on the bus (we did). At Stechelberg, the bus stop is in the gondola station. From there, you take the 5 minute gondola ride almost straight up to the gondola station in Gimmelwald.

As further information, there is another gondola line in that same Gimmelwald station that goes to Murren and from there a third gondola line that goes to the top of the Schilthorn.

Posted by
56 posts

The Mountain Hostel and Gimmelwald were featured prominently in a recent Sunday NYTimes Travel piece.

Posted by
32247 posts

Lindsay,

A few further comments on your trip to Gimmelwald.

You mentioned that your stay at the Mountain Hostel will be your first Hostel experience. I can't think of a better place to try Hostels for the first time! Try to be a bit flexible as it's "communal living". The person in the next bed might snore like a gorilla, so be sure to take Ear Plugs (or an IPod with noise cancelling Headphones).

One suggestion regarding transport. When you arrive at Interlaken Ost, go into the station and buy a ticket from there to Gimmelwald. If you have a Rail Pass that includes Switzerland, ask about a discount. The ticket will cover ALL modes of transportation, including the yellow Post Bus. The trip from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg is about 20 minutes as I recall, and it will drop you at the Cable Car Terminal. Go up the stairs and board the Car (don't be surprised if there's a pallet of lumber or whatever in the car as well).

The first leg climbs steeply and provides an awesome view of Stechelberg and the valley. You'll disembark at the first station. When you exit the cable car station, veer slightly to the left and you'll see the Mountain Hostel. It's only about a one minute walk (if that). You can also go up the paved path past Esther's B&B and then go left.

Note that if you're going to the Schilthorn, there are four legs to the trip if coming from the valley: Stechelberg-Gimmelwald, Gimmelwald-Murren, Murren-Birg and Birg-Schilthorn (you have to change cars each time).

As you'll be leaving very early, I'd suggest going to the Cable Car station in Gimmelwald the day before departure, to buy your ticket for the return journey to Interlaken Ost (again, don't forget to ask about the discount, if applicable). That way, you'll have the ticket in hand and you won't have to waste time on the morning you leave.

All this talk about Gimmelwald has prompted me to start planning another visit!

Happy travels!

Posted by
118 posts

Thank you so much! I appreciate your advice and will plan on buying the ticket a day early. I have a global eurorail pass and if I understand it right I will get a discount when I buy tickets to Gimmewald and higher. I am excited to go and leave in one week!

Thanks

Lindsay

Posted by
113 posts

If you plan to hike, I would definitely spend 3 nights in Gimmelwald; actually I might spend 1-2 of those up in Murren b/c there are more hikes easily available from there. Cinque Terre - 3 nights would be great, especially if the first night comes after your travel day. You can hike the CT in one day, but to take your time, swim, go off trail to towns, two would be perfect - which means 3 nights, and nights are so nice on the CT. Have fun!