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Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

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Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

Hi!

We're planning to vacation in Switzerland next September (2014), and plan to drive through the country intead of trains.

I wanted to know, if anyone recommends any scenic/must-do drive routes starting from Geneva. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Geneva to Zermatt (stay for 2 nights)

Zermatt to Grindelwald (stay for 3 nights)

Grindelwald to Lucerne (stay for 2 nights)

Lucerne to Zurich (stay for 2 nights)

We were also interested in visiting the south part of Switzerland, such as Lucarno etc, somewhere in my itinerary. If too tight, I was thinking of skipping either Lucerne or Zurich.. Would that be worth it? Experiencing some mountain vacations in the early part of my vacation, I thought it would be nice to be drenched in the warm sun in Locarno.

I've never been to Switzerland and always wanted to. So this is my dream come true trip.

Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!!!

Sincerely,

Chiaki Suzuki

Chur, Switzerland
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11. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

Just as a side note regarding Ticino vs Valais:

Lugano's (Ticino, 273m a.s.l.) average temperature in September 2013 was still 2.5ºC warmer than Sion (Valais, 482m): see page 4 in: …admin.ch/web/…klimabulletinseptember2013.pdf

The hours of sunshine was almost the same: 216h vs 210h. But Sion got higher day temperature peaks and at the same time lower day minimums than Lugano. When it was raining in Lugano, then it was pouring: 123mm vs 45mm. Nevertheless, there was one day less with rain in Lugano than in Sion: 9 vs 10 days (see pages 8 and 9!).

Martigny...
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12. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

I don't think you can compare averages... fact is that this summer (and most others as well) the central Valais wass warmer than the Ticino in terms of daily highs. And for that matter Chur is usually warmer as well is it not?? One usually hears that when the Föhn is blowing it is Visp and Chur that are the warmest places in the whole country!!

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13. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

Dear Hambagahle,

Hi, I am planning a trip in coming late February 2014 to Switzerland and would like to get advice from you on:

- Driving from Zurich to Grindelwald

- Driving from Grindelwald to Tasch

- Driving from Tasch to Gstaad (Cable car to igloo village)

- Driving from Gstaad to Lausanne

1. Will there still be frequent heavy snow in late feb and early march?

2. For above routes, is it possible we will pass by roads that will be closed due to bad conditions?

3. I have read through a couple of discussion/ forums mentioning about mountain passes. Is that they are charged and if so, how and when i pay? At the mountain entrance or somewhere online? Or I ask hotel to buy ahead for me?

4. Also I am a bit confused if roads are closed, is that there are tunnels as the backup for above routes? Or I can only drive pass until it is opened?

5. For above routes, any of them we can make use of train (with car can be tagged along on train)?

Sorry for my tedious questions and Appreciate if you could give me some advice! Thanks a lot!

Chur, Switzerland
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14. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

I would advice you to take the world's best and most excellent public transportation (according World Economic Forum's The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013, see table '7.02 Quality of railroad infrastructure' on page 419: weforum.org/issues/…index.html ), at any time of the year, but especially and very much advisable, if you are not used to drive in winter conditions. See also: wikitravel.org/en/…Public_transport

Further, it is 40 times (!) safer (in terms of death tolls) than to drive in Switzerland, at least 80 times safer than in China! And finally much healthier for the public and the environment.

I do not even dare to talk about driving costs for fuel, parking, renting, and very possible fines and so forth. You also need snow chains in your car (by law), winter tires, and to know how to attach snow tires in freezing cold weather conditions. see also here: http://wikitravel.org/en/Switzerland#By_car_2

> 1. Will there still be frequent heavy snow in late feb and early march?

More in Feb than March, but for sure in the mountains.

> 2. For above routes, is it possible we will pass by roads that will be closed due to bad conditions?

Yes, very possible. But often there is another route, eventually much longer though. Not so for trains, almost all of them run every day several times - at least every hour - the whole year. Finally, have a look on a map to understand where you would traverse a pass.

> 3. I have read through a couple of discussion/ forums mentioning about mountain passes. Is that they are charged ..?

You need a autobahn vignette (CHF 40) to use motorways routes (not really avoidable), nothing else.

> 4. Also I am a bit confused if roads are closed, is that there are tunnels as the backup for above routes? Or I can only drive pass until it is opened?

Again, have a look on a map: viamichelin.ch … Streets conditions: tcs.ch/de/…aktuelle-lage.php (select "Pässe" and "Tunnels" from Kategorie as well!)

> 5. For above routes, any of them we can make use of train (with car can be tagged along on train)?

http://www.bls.ch/e/autoverlad/autoverlad.php

Martigny...
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15. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

If you are renting a car here it will be equipped with snow tyres AND chains in the boot so you do not have to worry about those...except to know they are hard to put on (take gloves) and easier to take off AND can be required on any road without prior notice if there is heavy snow.

And yes - you will be here in winter so expect snow!! Even on the plain though this is rarer as the winter moves on. The high mountain passes will all be closed so you cannot take those anyway. There are some car trains that you can use instead of driving over a pass - for example from Kandersteg to Goppenstein which you could use when driving from the Oberland to Täsch.

BUT - the previous poster is correct in that it is far better to take public transport than to drive here in winter. (or at any time for that matter for tourists who are on holiday and who want to look at the views!!) However if I were going to drive the route you mention above I would change the order:

Zürich to Grindelwald (via motorway to Bern, then to Thun and around lake Thun to Interlaken. From there up to Grindelwald on the local roads.

Grindelwald to Gstaad via Spiez and Zweisimmen.

Gstaad to Täsch via the Col du Pillon, Aigle and the A9 motorway and then route cantonale to Visp, then turn up the Vispertal to Täsch.

Täsch to Lausanne - down to Visp, route cantonale to Sierre Est and the motorway A9 to Montreux and Lausanne.

None of these roads closes, normally, in a snowstorm. BUT the road to Täsch can close if there is any avalanche or landslide danger. And there is no way around this if it is closed. Either you stay where you are until it opens OR you do not go up it. The Col du Pillon can also close for the same reason but this is rarer.And there is another option for this road which is the col des Mosses, plus a third one, the long way around via Bulle and Vevey...

You would have a far simpler option if you would omit the vsiit to the igloo near Gstaad!! This would be

Zürich to Grindelwald

Grindelwald to Spiez to Kandersteg

Car train Kandersteg to Goppenstein

Normal road Goppenstein to Visp and up to Täsch

Then Tàsch to Lausanne etc.

Hope this helps ... but my advice is simply do not drive. Take the trains! However if you do drive then at least pay attention to our traffic laws which will include, from 1/1/14 the obligation to keep your headlights on at ALL times when driving. You might also read this which might help

tripadvisor.com/…50555782

London
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16. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

It is correct that the original thread was for an itinerary in summer. Jennie_123123 - you are asking about doing something similar by car in winter. This is not a good idea. Where you want to go is more quickly and safely accessible by rail.

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17. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for all your advice!

If you are coming this way (San Francisco-Bay area), please let me know!

Sincerely,

Chiaki Suzuki

18. Re: Scenic route from Geneva to Zermatt, then to Grindelwald etc

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