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Christmas itinerary

Houston, Texas
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Christmas itinerary

I'm finalizing our Christmas itinerary and wanted to ask for suggestions in organizing day trips. We'll be staying a week in Grindelwald from the 24th-31st after coming from Basel and Bern. We'll be leaving for Zurich on the 31st and heading home the next day. We want to go to Gimmewald, Les Bains de Lavey, Gruyeres, the Chateau de Chillon, and possibly Lausanne. Is there a good way to organize this? We have swiss passes so I would also like to take a good boat ride, perhaps Lake Lucerne? Thank you!

Martigny...
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1. Re: Christmas itinerary

If you are planning to stay the whole week in Grindelwald - ie coming back there every evening - you are in for a lot of travel and though the forecast starting on Friday is better, things are not going to be easy.

Lausanne, Chillon and Lavey are all in the Suisse Romande. So is Gruyères but the latter is slightly easier to get to from Grindelwald. Gimmelwald of course is near Mürren and even though it is close it will take a while to get there as you have to get to Lauterbrunnen, then go up from there to Mürren and down to Gimmelwald OR take the bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg and go up from there to Gimmelwald. I would count an entire day for this trip.

I would drop Lausanne from your list. First it isn't the easiest place for a first time visitor to navigate, and second it means at least one more change of trains.

To get to Lavey you need to go from Spiez to Visp to to St Maurice (one train per hour) and from there either walk (not too practical at present with snow on the ground!) or take the bus. The whole trip, one way, will take you about 3.5 hours. So you are looking at a full day trip. To really enjoy Lavey you need at least a couple of hours. And right now, with the Christmas holidays, it will be very crowded.

I thought that perhaps Charmey, near Gruyères, would be a good subsitute but when I checked the schedules it takes just as long to get there!

For Montreux and Chillon things look slightly better. If you leave Grindelwald at 0819 and travel via Interlaken Ost and Spiez you can be in Montreux by 1213. Spend 3-4 hours in Montreux, visit Chillon, and then take a train back to Spiez leaving Montreux at 1605. With your connection from Spiez via Interlaken Ost you will be back in Grindelwald at 1909.

Sadly this does not give you enough time to go to Gruyères on the same day so if you want to go there you will have to spend another full day, repeating much of the same route you take to get to Montreux (you change at Montboven for Gruyères.

All is not lost! You can do your cruise on Lake Luzern - see this schedule:

lakelucerne.ch/fileadmin/lakelucerne/redakte…

It will take you just under 3 hours to get from Grindelwald to Luzern so again this will be a full day trip.

For all train times - www.sbb.ch/en

London
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2. Re: Christmas itinerary

For your planning pleasure, the bus stop for the thermal baths at Lavey les bains is called Lavey les Bains, et. Therm.

Should you fancy the baths at Charmey (near-ish Gruyeres), the closest bus stop is Charmey, Corbettaz.

Martigny...
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3. Re: Christmas itinerary

To further clarify - should you end up by going to Lavey anyway!

"et. Therm." mentioned by NWL above is an abbreviation for "établissement thérmal". Don't worry about this - just say to the driver "les bains de Lavey" he or she will know.

I still do not think you have enough time to get there and back!!

London
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4. Re: Christmas itinerary

It's the last stop on the bus, so it's not a problem - however, if you are planning on www.rail.ch, it's useful to know the name of the stop.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Christmas itinerary

Thanks so much! This is great. I saw that Lavey les Bains is open from 9am to 9pm; it wouldn't be possible to go there in the morning and visit Chillon or Gruyeres in the afternoon?

Martigny...
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6. Re: Christmas itinerary

And get back to grindelwald in the evening? I would say not. But look at the SBB site, figure out the journey times and then you decide, based on what you know about yourself... I would not even think about it!

London
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7. Re: Christmas itinerary

It sounds a big hyper to me. When you go to the thermal baths, you come out feeling super relaxed, slightly heavy and tired. It's then quite hard to do a bunch of other things.

8. Re: Christmas itinerary

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