Monday, August 24, 2009

September Swiss Tour 2009 - Help!

So... we have a lot going on at the moment, visitors leaving (thanks for visiting Sarah! we enjoyed having you!), visitors coming in September, and I have to admit I am a bit behind on the planning. I am going to have to whip up the details of our September trip this week, and I was hoping you all might have some hot tips for me!

Here is the run down:

My mom, brother and aunt are coming in September for a week. They arrive on a Friday and I will be nice and allow them to rest it up and chill that Friday before I walk their butts off. I might let them see the garden - and maybe have some fresh corn and potatoes for dinner. We'll see. I don't want to be tooooo nice.

Then on Saturday it is off to Zermatt! We want to see the Matterhorn, eat some great Swiss food, and take lots of photos. I have a hotel booked, but if anyone has some tips here or a blog post I missed, please let me know! I would love to know where the best views are and what activities we should not miss during our afternoon in Zermatt.

On Sunday, we are going to do something I am super excited about and glad that the family was keen to come along - the Glacier Express! This train ride is World Heritage listed, the route goes from Zermatt to St. Moritz and is supposed to be phenomenal. As the website says, the 7.5 hour trip goes over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels and up to 2,033 meters at the highest pass! I have booked this, and as I have Swiss Passes for my family, all I had to do was reserve the seats and book lunch on the train and voila! Bring on the beauty and please be good weather!

On Sunday we will check out Zermatt and head back to Zürich on Monday, stopping with the train in Chur for lunch. I would love it is anyone had tips on where to eat or if there are other things to see in Chur. Anyone?!

Here is where the planning goes a bit fussy and I would love some advice. As we have the Swiss Passes, Switzerland is our oyster and I would like to take them on day trips around the area, with break days in Zürich. So Tuesday I might let them rest a bit, but I think we should head up to Uetliberg if the weather is nice or perhaps take the boat to Rapperswil for the day. Then Bern, Stein am Rhein/Schaffhausen, Lucerne and or Appenzell are on my list of possibilities.

What do you think? If I want to give them the Swiss Tour 2009 - do you think I have got the highlights covered, or is there anyother day trip opportunity that is not to be missed!? By the way, the family loves photography, so specifically picturesque locations that can be manouvered with a tripod would be ideal. :)

Thanks for the tips in advance!
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mrsmac said...

Grindelwald (First) to Bachalpsee- The lake view is supposed to be gorgeous. Kind of sad we didn't get a chance to go since Betti was too young :-(

SwissRant said...

Did you mean you would check out St. Moritz on Sunday? It would be a hell of a trek back to Zermatt after the Glacier Express.

If checking out St. Moritz, then I suggest getting the bus out of town to Silvaplana and or Sils. These are lovely little places on the lakes edges. The typical Engadiner houses are really interesting. St. Moritz itself is more or less a tourist trap.

In Zermatt, the best views are from the 5-Lake-Walk (5 Seen-Weg). You will find lots of info online about this. One of the Blogs (website actually) that I follow has galleries of all these places (

For some good authentic Swiss food in Zermatt, try and get a table downstairs in the Stübe at the Romantik Hotel Julien.

Day trips with the train from Zürich could include the Rheinfall, The Rigi, Pilatus, Engelberg, Bern, etc. It depends on what you want to show off. Personally I would be showing off mountains as much as possible. Unfortunately the Berner Oberland is a getting to be a long day, but if you can handle it, take a train to Grindelwald-Grund, gondola to Männlichen, walk 1hr 20 mins on most beautiful walk around (the Eiger Panorama Path) to Kleine Scheidegg, and then take the train back to Grindelwald etc.

A fantastic 'true' Swiss village to see is Guarda. It is about 2½ hours by train from Zürich, close to Scuol. There are very nice thermal baths at Scuol.

I hope you have a good week.

Jessica said...

Swiss Rant - thanks for the detailed tips! I will check these resources and ideas out and report back! This is great!

I forgot to say - although I mentioned it with the Swiss Pass - that we will see everything via train, so no car - hence I think the Grindelwald is out as it is a bit far. But good tip, MrsMac. I have to make it there for sure!

Manja said...

Hi Jess, back from Montreux and le tour du mont blanc I would recommend this city, le lac leman and its surroundings. :) hear you soon..

Towe said...

Hey! Next year I'll let you know when we buy tickets tot he crawfish party. We should go!! It's delics! towe.

Anonymous said...

Appenzell, for a taste of rural Swiss life. Stein am Rhein, because it is just gorgeous. If you go to the latter, check out Schoggibox (my favorite shop!) for hundreds of kinds of Swiss chocolates, and there is a crepe restaurant very close by on the main drag - you have to wait a bit for a large order of crepes, but they are huge and totally worth it!

Susan said...

In Zermatt, I like the Grill Stockhorn - they serve great food and have nice service. It's up from the church, across from a Pizza place.

I agree with the other poster who mentioned Guarda - it is really worth the trip. Scuol is o.k., but Guarda and Arnez are beautiful.

I love Stein am Rhein; they have a great creperie in the main pedestrian area. Schogibox is great!

Muerren is my favorite spot in the Lauterbrunen Valley. The Roesti at Hotel Edelweiss is outstanding.

Happy Trails!


M'dame Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M'dame Jo said...

I would definitely try to take my guest in a non swiss German speaking place, ticino, lake Léman if you have the time, otherwise the Murten/Neuenburg/Biel three lakes area is closer. Otherwise it can't qualify as a swiss tour ;-)

(Too many typos in my previous comment.)

Anonymous said...

The Rheinfall is great and Schaffhausen, especially the Munot, is great for taking pictures. Mount Titlis is also a good option. It's not all that far away from Zurich and offers many hiking trails, as well as a revolving cable car and a Glacier Cave...

Always check zueritipp to see if there's anything cool happening in Zurich itself, in case your relatives need a day to relax.

Audrey said...

Appenzell was one of our day trips on our vacation to Zurich last year, and it was so lovely! We took gorgeous photos, this one among them:

It looks like a church for fairies. Hehe. So, beyond the photo ops, the Appenzeller beer, the raclette at a street carnival, and the fact that I bought a dirndl from a seller on the famous main street... you can see why Appenzell has my vote for your tour!

Jessica said...

Wow! Thanks to everyone for the great tips and advice. I seem to have a lot to think about now and not much time... but that is good! Very good indeed as you have helped me to weed out the good from the bad - then again, what bad is there in Switzerland. :)

I will have a look at how much we can stuff into a week with the train and let you all know how we went after the trip! Thanks again for all the great advice!

Karine BL said...

Hi Jessica!

I would agree with the anonymous post. Rheinfall-Schaffhausen-Stein-am-Rhein. Be careful because the Schloss Laufen on the Rhienfall is closed. It means walking down to the fall where the boat is.

Enjoy the time with your guests!


Kathy said...

I really like the Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten in old town Chur. It's got a good chef and a choice of the atmospheric guildhall dining room or two terraces. They do have a Mittagskarte as well.

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf said...

Oh how unbelievably jealous am I - and my parents! Get this, they are coming in October, and months ago we made a plan to do the Glacier Express with them (Olivier and I have been dying to do that forever!) -- but it stops running like the day before they get here! :(

You have an incredible amount of AWESOME responses here - go Swisstory readers! I don't want to add even more and make your decision even harder! You have the best already.

For Appenzell, don't forget to use my addressbook:


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