The perfect 7-day Itinerary for a week in Central Switzerland.

Last fall (I keep telling you it’s the best time to visit) my Sister-in-law and nieces came for a visit and had the best time- here is what we did!

Except for arrival day these are in no particular order because each one can be done in one day traveling to-and from Ennetbuergen. Obviously the days you visit Lauterbrunen and Hike would be enjoyed more in Sunshine weather, so try to plan accordingly.  Also a list of alternative ideas are at the bottom.

Arrival Day (Thursday):

When arriving from a long flight most people have the inclination to sleep -(I always need a nap) be careful  no to nap to long and stay up till evening if possible – this will help you re-set your clocks. If you can just walk around the village-


 ennetburgen church

  • Check out the church – yes its okay to go inside, and even take photos, just be reverent and respectful.
  • The graveyard behind the church is lovely
  • The seeplatzli park on the lake front is a must do even if you don’t have small children its lovely to sit at the benches overlooking the lake and watch the swans.
  • Stop at the only place in town to find Gelato.
  • Take a boat trip (check for schedules) from the “ship stop” in Ennetburgen just past the Gelato place and make sure to sit on the outside balconies for fresh air.
  • Take a walk up on the top of the Burgenstock (click here for suggestions).

top of burgentock viewsmap

Day 2 (Friday):

colmar

Spend a day (or a day and a night and another day) in Alsacs- Colmar and  Riquewihr, France Click here to see 40 of the last storybook towns.

Day 3 (Saturday):

engleburg

If you don’t stay in France try checking out Engelberg…… Lots to do!

Day 4 (Sunday):

touring lucerne tour in lucerne
Tour Lucerne-

  • Visit the local LDS church for services in German and with English translation. Service begin at 9:00am.
  • Although Sunday isn’t a market day and the shops are closed- it can be a perfect day to walk around the city for a tour. I give a really good tour that takes about 2 hours. For walking tours in English or German meet at the train station but book in advance and check the schedule for seasonal availability. For market days you’ll have to visit before noon  on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Shops stay open a little later on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

Day 5 (Monday):

meggan

Interlaken area is a must do, and the most popular tourist area in Switzerland. Lucky for us it’s only about an hour by car or 1 and a half by train. I always recommend the train because the ride takes you through beautiful mountanin scenery, that is best enjoyed on a train where you are free to walk around an take photos from the windows.

trummelback copy

  • My favorite place in the Bernard Oberland has to be Lauterbrunen. This picturesque valley was the inspiration for Rivendale -Tolkins magical land of the elves in the Lord of the Rings Trillogy. It’s a great place to bring a picnic and take a walk to – Trümmelbach Falls.
  • From Lauterbrunen catch a mountain train to Murren or Wengen.

swiss flag murren

Day 6 (Tuesday):

trotti bikes

DSC_4248

Day 7 (Wednesday):

Head to the french region- its a lot to pack into one day so get an early start!

Chateau-de-Chillon-Castle-Montreux- copy

  • Visit the chocolate factory in Broc . We like to visit the Chocolate factory first then head to Montreux to tour the castle.
  • The Castle Chillion in Montreux-  it is beautifully situated directly on the lake. My favorite part was the dungeon! There are lots of lake front restaurants in Montreux but you’ll be on a bit of a tight schedule to fit all three of these attractions into one day so I recommend bringing a picnic an enjoying it by the castle.
  • Then head to Gruyere (one of the 40 storybook towns left in Europe). Click here to see what there is to do . I have been to the cheese factory- home to a little museum exhibit,  but the real pleasure is just to walking around this walled village soaking up the beautiful views. My children played on the ramparts of the city walls for over an hour, using their imaginations to travel back in time. Watch the sunset and have dinner under the stars.

gruyeres

Some alternative ideas:

  1. Alpamare– This is a really fun waterside park- go in any weather. Buy tickets online so you don’t have to wait in lines- plus it’s a little cheaper!
  2. Stein am Rhein– I haven’t been yet, but I want to go and it has come recommended often.
  3. Basel Zoo- Basel market is great too- make a day of it and hit both places, they aren’t far from each other and the trams in Basel are fun and easy to use.
  4. A day in the Italian Canton  of Ticino:
  • We love the beach in Ascona (its free).
  • Locarno is fun to walk the promenade.

 

 

 

 

 

Prominade in Locarno

_palm trees mountains and forget-me-nots

 We visited locarno Switzerland last week for a day of wonder and peace!

boats montage

prominade near marina with kinder

views of city montage

Locarno is located just to our south about an hour and a half away, just on the other side of the Gottard Pass. The Gottard can be a very problematic traffic risk, particularly this time of year when sun seekers are heading south at the slightest encouragement from weather apps. This was our excuse for packing a picnic, loading up the scooters for a day out in the sunshine.

how europeans spend weekends

how Europeans spend weekends

 Ticino is the Italian Canton in Switzerland so it feels like you have driven into another country but in reality it still benefits from Swiss organization, and Swiss standards of cleanliness, but unfortunately it adheres to swiss pricing as well! A pizza will run you at least 10-20 Euros and is intended to be eaten by one person.

playground montage

nautically themed playground complete with a trampoline and a ship.

In Locarno and along many of the lake front villages of Maggiore there is a long promenade usually lined with beautifully landscape park space, sometimes with playgrounds, swimming areas and almost always scattered with cafe’s. It is a perfect weekend escape to just let the children play while relaxing in the sunshine.

montage flowers locarno

2 cute weasles

Just to the east of Lake Maggiorre is Lake Lugano (maybe 1/2 hour distance) and again to the south and crossing the border to Italy (another 1/2 hour) is the more famous Lake Como (home to a Mr. George Clooney). If you like to visit castles Bellinzona has 3 and is situated perfectly between the two lakes (Maggiore and Lugano). Ascona is another village (smaller) worth a mention and is not far from Locarno. Their Lido (beach space) is quite nice and totally free of charge. From many of these villages you will also find places to rent small boats for an afternoon on the lake.

bike event

unicyle

check out the unicycle!

Unknowingly we arrived in town on the same day as the bike fest. Locarno blocks off the streets and people come for miles around to bicycle, roller blade and scooter their way through the streets. I want to make sure we bring the bikes next year (first weekend in April). It is a common sight to see Europeans enjoying their parkspaces on a sunny weekend; they lye in the sun reading books and snacking while the children play along side. We like to add in a couple of scoops of gelato for a perfect ending to the afternoon and as a reward for a long walk along the beautiful lake side promenade.

prominaden 3

prominade again

gilato montage