Spontaneous trip to Switzerland, Need Advice Oct 6, 2012
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Sep 23, 2012 2:57 AM Last Post By: neckervd
Sep 20, 2012 2:53 PM
Spontaneous trip to Switzerland, Need Advice Oct 6, 2012Hi, I'm making a spontaneous trip to Switzerland Oct 1 and will be in Interlaken area camping with a friend. I'm sure we will see and do things around there. On Oct 6, he will be leaving to go to France and since I'm there in the area I would like to stay and see more of Switzerland. I'm on a budget so I would like to stay in hostels perhaps, or inexpensive lodging. I will need to take trains/busses and will leave out of Geneva or Zurich Oct 10 - 12 (flexible). This is my first time in the area and I am female traveling solo. I'm sort of interested in just going one or two places and doing day trips from there. More interested in smaller villages, than big cities. Any suggestions on what I should do? I'm feeling a little bit dazed at all the choices and not really knowing the area. Is it possible this time of year to just figure it all out, lodging, etc. when I'm there? Thanks!
Sep 20, 2012 8:48 PM
1As you claim to be more interested in smaller villages, I'd suggest not to stay in Interlaken (really not much to see or do, and actually it is considered a city in Switzerland), but to go to any village in the mountains around. Public transportation (train or postal bus) goes everywhere several times per day, so you could actually just take a bus, see around and stop at the village whose panorama fits your tastes. There'd be just one thing: check that the village has a camping site, as it is illegal to camp in the wild (or at least in places where people can easily see you).
As for October, it is low season so you wouldn't need to book in advance, but the weather can be pretty unpredictable, especially in the mountains: it could range from bright sunshine and 20°C to heavy rain, snow and freezing temperatures (for instance it froze 2 weeks ago).
Edit: concerning the dazzling choices, it actually doesn't really matter where you go: all the mountain villages look somehow alike, and all have tremendous views. I sent you anyway a private message with a link with images.
Edited by: kanka
Sep 21, 2012 1:42 AM
As you have indicated that you wish to camp, Camping Jungfrau in Lauterbrunnen is a great campsite to base yourself for exploring the region. Lauterbrunnen is a 20 min train ride from Interlaken Ost station, and then it is a 10min walk or short bus ride to the campsite. If weather permits, you can take the train from Lauterbrunnen all the way up to Jungfraujoch or the cable car up to Schilthorn for a beautiful view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
If you are interested in rock/cliff climbing, then the new Via Ferrata Mürren – Gimmelwald may be of interest. Alternatively, you can hire mountain bikes at the campsite to explore the valley, including a visit to the Trümmelbach Falls . Airtime Paragliding are also based in Lauterbrunen should you want to see the valley from a birds perspective. Many of the mountain huts (berghütte) unfortunately close for the season from 30 September, but you should still be able to try many of the wonderful hiking paths in the region, as long as the weather permits.
To see more of Switzerland, excluding stays in big cities, then you might wish to visit the mountain village of Engelberg on your way to Zürich (trains connect to Engelberg from Luzern). Alternatively, you can take the train from Interlaken to Spiez and on to Kandersteg and Brig (in Valais). From Brig, you can connect to the famous ski resort village of Zermatt to see the Matterhorn up close. Staying in Zermatt is not cheap however and I believe the campsites close from 30 September. From Zermatt it takes 3hr45min by train to get to Geneva.
For a general overview of hostel accommodation in Switzerland see http://www.swissbackpackers.ch/ but of course others exist that are not part of the Swiss Backpackers network.
Hope the above information is of some help to you in making your decision as to where to go whilst in Switzerland.
Sep 22, 2012 8:43 AM
3If you like a rather cold place with almost no sun in October, Lauterbrunnen is a good choice. It's furthermore the starting place of the most expensive among all mountain railways of Switzerland.
There are school holidays in most areas of German speaking Swiwtzerland during the first half of October. All mountain railways, mountain restaurants, mountain hotels, Alpine Club huts etc. will be open and often crowded.
But don't worry for Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen: no Swiss family would have the idea to stay in these places.
Be aware that according to the area, mountain villages look completely different; there is no comparison possible between the houses and villages of Bernese Oberland, Emmental, Jura, Valais, Lake Geneva, Engiadina or Ticino for instance.
For many people in this forum, only the Bernese Oberland chalet is considered as a typical Swiss house, although only a very small part of all Swiss mountain people live in this kind of houses and villages.
Sep 22, 2012 9:54 AM
4Interlaken is a good base to visit surrounding villages; most places can be done in day trips leveraging the excellent public transport options. My favorite is the Rosenlaui Gorge (http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/rosenlaui-glacier-gorge-mightily-romantic.html), part of the Bernese Alps UNESCO World Heritage Site, easily reached with train and bus via Brienz / Meiringen..
Sep 23, 2012 2:57 AM
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