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Christamas in Switzerland

Abu Dhabi, United...
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Christamas in Switzerland

Hello - we plan on visiting Switzerland from Dec 22 to Jan 1. I am traveling with my wife and 3 kids (ages 7, 3 & 5months). We land in Geneva and we want to enjoy the white x-mas spirit. From researching on the internet, we understand that visiting Montreux, Zermatt and Interlaken is a must, in addition to Chomonix. Can you please help with in setting up the itinerary? Shall we make a one point hub (maybe Geneva) or spend couple of days in various cities? Shall we rent a car (easier on the kids we think) or use the public transportation (avoid weather problems)? Thanks in advance.

London
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1. Re: Christamas in Switzerland

If you want to guarantee a white Christmas, you will need to base yourself at one of the higher altitude villages. Montreux and Interlaken are both not up in the mountains, and it is unlikely that they will be snowy. Many hotels in mountain villages require a week's booking over the festive season, so you're probably wise to look at one base for a week. Since you mention Zermatt, you might want to choose this as your home from home. There are tons of things to do for a week, and you will certainly get to enjoy snow. You can sledge, snow shoe, winter walk, relax in mountain cafes, take cable cars, make snow men, throw snowballs...lots! With a week, you and/or your older children could even have skiing lessons (some villages offer private lessons to children three and over, whilst you usually have to be over 5 to join a group lesson).

If you'd like to experience some other places, you could stop off for a half day at Montreux for the Christmas market by the lake en route and set off early for Geneva on your final day. You can leave your luggage in lockers in Montreux and Geneva station.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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2. Re: Christamas in Switzerland

Thank you very much for your help. I will look into hotels/chalets in Zermat from 22 to 29 of Dec. Any recommendations there?

Martigny...
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for Switzerland
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3. Re: Christamas in Switzerland

Please see my answer to your other post regarding taking a 5 mo old child to altitudes. zermatt is 1650m high in the village. Anything you want to see and do is up from there. Not a good idea. And zermatt is the worst - well maybe not the worst! but not a good place for a base for any sightseeing as it is at the end of a long valley and it will take you an hour to get from there to the main line train at Visp before you can go anywhere...

If you want a lower place with some snow-related activities and an altitude that a baby can handle then look at the villages in the Pays d'Enhaut - Rougemont, Rossinière and Château d'Oex. None of these, however, are good bases for daily travel to other places...

Munich, Germany
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4. Re: Christamas in Switzerland

"From researching on the internet, we understand that visiting Montreux, Zermatt and Interlaken is a must, in addition to Chomonix."

A must for who.

There is no such thing as a "must see". One persons "must see" is anothers "why bother".

It is what interests you that is important.

The other thing is winter driving. Those of us who live in/near the alps and have to cope with excessive snow all winter are all used to it but what experience do you have driving in snow or alpine type areas.

We went over from Martigny to Chamonix on Friday for lunch and friend's wife was a bit worse for wear with all the turns - and that was with no snow on the roads.

It is something to think about when you organise your itnierary.

Martigny...
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5. Re: Christamas in Switzerland

Giftzwerg (and how I wish this person had another screen name!!) refers to "turns" on the Martigny to chamonix road... these are not turns as you understand them, but hairpin bends. AND the road rises from 471m here in Martigny to 1507m at the Forclaz pass, which takes roughly 15mins to drive. So factor in an ascent there of over 1000m and you can see what giftzwerg is referring to. In fact, the Forclaz is not the worst of the two passes you need to drive to get to cham! the Montets pass is a much narrower road, with an open ditch/drain on one side and at least two very narrow bridges. That one rises from le Chatelard to the top in about another 15mins and the difference in altitude is about 750m. (top of the pass is 1400 +/ m.)

when you drive up a hairpin bend that is a relatively steep ascent and are at the same time changing gears and avoiding on-coming traffic in the bend I can assure you it is a hairy experience... and when there is ice or snow on the road it is even worse. Coming down, of course, on ice or snow you tend to skid! Great fun - not!!

Make life easy for yourself! Forget Chamonix, stay in Château d'Oex and take public transport.

6. Re: Christamas in Switzerland

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