Planning on 2-3 nights add on after Best of Switzerland tour). Don’t really want to do the Octoberfest crowds, especially after it being canceled for two years). (Added on 3 nights in Venice after Heart of Italy and it was wonderful.) 95% of WOW moments from this tour are the two nights spent in Murren. Wondering if it’s worth going back to the area after tour ends? It would also put us in the area when the cows are brought down the mountain (as an added perk).
Hi. I did this tour in 2016. The itinerary has changed a bit, and you have two nights in Bern which I would have welcomed over the one we had.
Here on the forum, folks have been posting questions and some have posted actual dates for the cow parades. So give a look through recent Switzerland posts. By next year, they may be more of a sure thing, by which time you would be able to google in summer the specific locales. I did that one year for the Tyrol, and I saw my cows.
Another recent post that comes to mind is Laurel's on the Kandertal: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/another-valley-to-explore-in-the-berner-oberland.
Yep, I know with only 2 nights in Mürren, I might be looking for more of this countryside. Happy Planning.
What a Delightful Dilemma you have to figure out. While I wouldn't talk you out of revisiting the Berner Oberland region, there are some day trips from Bern you could do and you wouldn't have to check out of your hotel. These are not listed on your tour and would give you some different and non-repetitive options.
Visit the Village of Gruyeres. I couldn't tell from the itinerary of the tour if you were actually going to the Village or visiting a farm in the area.
There is a little village called St. Ursanne in Switzerland right near the French border which has an interesting monastery. The village sits on a river and has a little bridge to the other side where there are picnic tables and benches. There is a COOP (grocery) in town where you can buy some food and wine and enjoy a peaceful lunch by the river.
Thun is also an overlooked town right on the lake.
Other options are Neuchatel, Biel-Bienne and Basel.
Enjoy and the one thing about Switzerland...there are not too many bad choices.
Oktoberfest is only in Munich, in Germany.
I understand the tour ends in Bern. It could make sense to stay a bit longer in the vicinity. Gruyeres is a great day trip suggestion! Also, is Murten/Morat on the tour? It is very picturesque, a good day trip from Bern too!
Then, on your way back to Zürich, you could perhaps stop in Brienz, it is very pretty and an excursion on the lake is highly recommended. Same for the cog railway up Brienzer Rothorn, but I am not sure how late in the season it runs. It would complement your time in Mürren without repeating it!
IMHO one can't spend too much time in the Lauterbrunnen valley! I've been there twice, unfortunately only on short stays. But rather than revisiting a place you already went (although the tour ends in Bern, you can see the mountains from there, so its probably not too hard to reach by bus) you might want to consider another destination.
We did the tour a couple of years ago when it only had one nite in Bern, glad it is now two. One thing the local guide mentioned is that people like to float down the river! It looked like something that would be fun to try. See https://www.thetinytravelogue.com/floating-bern/
The tour doesn't go to Zurich so you might want to add on a few days there. We tacked a few days onto the end and flew out of Paris. Strasbourg is easily reached by rail and is a charming small city. From there you can do day trips to places like Colmar, Freiburg, etc. Strasbourg is just one suggestion, with the great transit system in Europe you can go so many places!
We did this tour in 2019. The order of the itinerary has changed a bit from 2019. We did have 2 nights in Murren which we knew was probably going to be our favorite stop on the tour. It was. Before our trip, we decided that 2 days would not be enough for us in the BO. We were correct. While on the tour we visited the Schilthorn, Birg, and walked from Murren to Gimmelwald. All lovely, but it did rain that afternoon, Which made us pretty soggy by the time we got to Gimmelwald. There are so many more beautiful walks/hikes and scenery to enjoy in this area.
Our tour also ended in Bern. We took the train from Bern to Interlaken East and transferred to Lauterbrunn train, then back up to Murren where we spent 2 more nights at a different hotel and then we stayed in Lauterbrunnen for 3 nights. We could have spent all 5 nights in one location, but by switching it made getting to the different areas we wanted to visit a little easier and we got a feel for each village.
On our return to the Lauterbrunn valley area, we had better weather and were able to include many more sights and hikes. We took the Allmendhubel funicular up to the flower meadows above Murren. We walked from Grutschalp to Winteregg (then we took train to Murren), but you could hike all the way to Murren if desired. Also were able to take train to Wengen and on to Kleine Schedigg. Lots of hiking opportunities on both sides of the Lauterbrunn valley
After switching hotels to Lauterbrunnen, we took the train and cog wheel train to Schnige Platte. for more views and hiking. Another day we took the train to Grindelwald and awesome long gondola ride up the mountain to Grindelwald First. Stunning views and some nice hiking available. We rode mountain carts and scooters back down the mountain which was a blast with spectacular views. My DH and I are both over 60. Lots of cows grazing all the way down the mountain.
Another day we took the train back to Wengen and then a cable car up to Mannlichen. Later that day we went to Trummelbach Falls.
The day we left the area, we took the train from Lauterbrunnen to Lucerne, and then the short train ride to Zurich, where we flew out the next day. The scenery between Lauterbrunnen and Lucerne was beautiful with lots of pretty villages and lakes.
If you decide to return to the Berner Oberland after your tour, check into the "Berner Oberland Pass". We purchased it at the Bern train station and it covered our trains/cable cars from Bern to Murren, covered almost all of our transportation while in the BO. There were a few things that we did that were not covered, but we still got more than our money's worth out of the pass. It also covered our train from Lauterbrunnen to Lucerne. We only had to buy tickets just from Lucerne to Zurich, which were inexpensive.
We were SO glad we returned to Berner Oberland after our tour for 5 more days. We would return in a heartbeat.
I agree, We have done the Best of Switzerland tour and The GAS tour we would vote to go back to the Murren area.. stay as long as you can. We are doing the My Way Alpine tour in 2022 and want to add on the Murren area afterwards.. we just think it is the most beautiful and peaceful place we have ever been.
We loved Luceren too.. we arrived days early and filled every minute.. enjoy
I concur with going back to Berner Oberland. Murren, Wengen or Lauterbrunnen. Take your pick.
The Best of Switzerland tour has effectively one day in Murren. If the weather doesn't cooperate on that day, you're missing out on seeing one of the most beautiful places in the world at its finest.
I'd also like to see more of Zermatt.
I feel the same way. I had planned a DIY tour with 4 nts in Murren. Just got notified that our Waitlist Tour has an opening. I am struggling with the 2 nts in Murren as I'm sure it won't be enough for us. I wish it was 3 in Murren, ending with 1 in Bern. Much easier to add more onto Bern at the end, and explore Bern on our own than to travel back to Murren. Not sure what I'm going to do.
Brenda, when are you going? I booked our fights in and out of Zurich, adding 3 nights at end. Planning on returning to Murren area as going to a different country with Covid is such an unknown at this time.
But…staying flexible as who knows what September will bring. Maybe borders will be open, testing/quarantine won’t be an issue and we will choose to go elsewhere mid tour. Most hotels only need 2 day cancellation.