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Fine tuning my Swiss Itinerary

by Amit Pawan
(New Delhi, India)


We are four adults and two children (aged 9 and 11) reaching Zurich at 1.30 on 8th June from New Delhi. We go straight to Lucerne. Plan to do a panorama cruise in lake Lucerne in the evening.

On 9th we have a Mount Titlis excursion.

On 10th we wish to go to Rhine falls. Is this a half day or a full day excursion? Could we come to Zurich from Rhine fall by late afternoon and do a few hours sightseeing in Zurich.

11th morning we go to Interlaken. We have seen your comments and would take a normal train and not the golden pass. What should be the excursion from Interlaken on 11th given that we have a Jungfraouch trip on 12th.

We have an ambitious plan of taking a 5.26am train from Interlaken to Montreux on 13th so that we can catch the chocolate train at 8.57. Is this doable given that the children are very excited about it? If not then what options do we have in Montreux? We stay there for two nights. We have to take a train for Geneva on 15th morning to go to Paris. Could we do a Geneva day trip on 14th?

We have a 8 day Swiss pass and pre booked our Mount Titlis and Jungfraouch excursions.

Thanks in advance and regards,
Amit Pawan

Answer to

Fine tuning my Swiss Itinerary

Hello Amit,

If you only visit the Rhine Falls on its own and not Schaffhausen at the same day, half a day at the falls is enough and you still have time for a quick visit in Zürich. I don't like to rush it, though. You miss out on so many levels. The beautiful city of Schaffhausen is worth your time and so is the close by town of Stein am Rhein. Have a look at this page (second video).

While in Interlaken, I am sure your children would have fun visiting the Open Air Museum Ballenberg (free entrance with the Swiss Pass) - lot's of fun activities for the kids. See how to get there on this page. Scroll down to the comment section.

And this page gives you information on what to do while in the Lake Brienz Area.

Bad weather options: Jungfrau Park, Beatus Caves, Ballenberg.

Your plan for the 13st IS quite ambitions :-) But since you know it and you know your children and know that they don't mind, it might work. What is more important to you? The train trips in scenic/nostalgic trains and a guided tour with the Chocolate Train or the visit to the chocolate factory itself?

If the train rides are important you could do it in two days: Take the Golden Pass line to Montreux and spend the afternoon there. Next day take the Chocolate train to Gruyères.

If a visit in the chocolate factory weighs more, then here's an idea: Do it on your own. Travel from Interlaken to Gruyères on regular trains (change of trains in Zweisimmen and Montbovon). Visit the picturesque hilltop village Gruyères (bus from the train station) and don't forget to sample a cheese Fondue.

After that take the train to "Broc-Fabrique" (26 minutes by train and then 2 minutes' walk to the Cailler Chocolate facilities) before heading to Montreux. You would miss the Chocolate Train and the ride in one of the panoramic coaches of the Golden Pass line, but you wouldn't have to leave Interlaken so early and you would spend less time on trains.

If time permits, visit La Maison du Gruyère near the Gruyères-Pringy train station - either on your way to "Broc-Fabrique" or before heading to Montreux - and learn how the famous Gruyère cheese is made. Make sure you don't miss a cheese demonstration.

A more interesting option: Stay over night in this area and visit the "Fromagerie Alpage" in close-by Moléson-sur-Gruyères. You will see how Alpine cheese is traditionally made - over open fire, and in an original setting. They start each morning at exactly 10am. Preferably make a reservation to make sure you can attend because space is limited in the hut.

Of course you could visit Geneva on the 14th. But there's so much to see and do at the Swiss Riviera, I'd rather spend the day there.

My recommendation is always not to buy any tickets for mountain trips in advance. There's always a chance of bad weather. You could be disappointed if you take the very expensive trip up to the Jungfraujoch in bad weather. Rather, buy the tickets the day you decide to travel - easy and quick at any train station.

Wishing you a wonderful time,

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