We Have Four Remaining Days - Best Use of Time and Rail Options
My husband and I will be arriving from the U.S. in late May, 2013 for a return to Switzerland after an absence of twenty years. We fly into Zürich and will depart out of Munich on June 10 where we will meet up for 3 days with our son and his wife who live in the U.K.
We plan to do all of our travel by train. Upon arrival we will head straight to Lucerne for two nights to recover from jet lag, see the sights and take a boat ride. From Lucerne, we have 3 nights planned in Mürren. We are both active and look forward to walking and hiking in the high mountains.
We leave Mürren on a Tuesday morning and do not plan to be in Munich until Friday late afternoon. We have looked at several options as to how to best use this window of time. Currently we are considering a full day by train on Tuesday from Mürren to Salzburg, spending three nights in Salzburg (or one on the way in Innsbruck) before catching a short train ride to Munich on Friday afternoon. We understand this ride by rail is quite beautiful into Austria.
We have also considered heading from Mürren on Tuesday morning through Zürich on to Stein am Rhein for an overnight, then on into Germany. By rail, touring options to castles and villages in this region gets a little more complicated hence our thought to wait on Bavaria and see Salzburg.
However, we are open to consider other Swiss locales that are not-too-be-missed (note: we sometimes find one or two one night stays in a row a bit hectic and limiting).
Any suggestions with regard to how to fine tune this four day window in our itinerary and what rail pass would be best would be much appreciated!
Mürren to Munich - 4 Remaining Travel Days
You've made a wonderful plan for your holiday in Switzerland. And while Salzburg is no doubt a fascinating destination, Northern Switzerland would be an equally beautiful area to visit.
Since you already mentioned Stein am Rhein, I'd recommend to look into the Lake Constance region between Schaffhausen and Romanshorn.
Stein am Rhein is a romantic medieval town right on the lower end of Lake Constance. I'd suggest you travel from Mürren to Stein am Rhein, deposit your luggage at your hotel and go to town for sightseeing.
Next day take in Rhine Falls and Schaffhausen, the latter an absolute gem of a town in Northern Switzerland and return to Stein am Rhein for another overnight.
Here a medley of photos of Schaffhausen, Stein am Rhein and Rhine Falls:
Since you are quite active you could bike from Stein am Rhein to Romanshorn through lovely farmland, vineyards and quaint villages along Rhine and Lake Constance (Switzerland's "fruit basket"). You can rent a bike (normal bike or e-bike) one way for the day at the train station in Stein am Rhein and return it in Romanshorn. Unfortunately, their website is only in German and French. If you have trouble filling out the forms, contact them by email or call to make a reservation.
Overnight in Romanshorn. Next day continue to Munich via a ferry ride (about 40 minutes) to Friedrichshafen and continue by train to Munich. Or by train from Romanshorn via Bregenz to Munich.
Alternatively, take a trip on a boat from Stein am Rhein to Konstanz and on to the close by Flower Island of Mainau.
Although Graf and Gräfin Bernadotte (the owners of the Island) speak German in this film, it still shows just how beautiful this Island is. Insel Mainau has been maintained as a garden island for the last 150 years.