Holidays to Switzerland Travel Podcast Episode 53
Podcast Episodes

Episode 53: Insights and Updates from my recent Switzerland vacation

August 24, 2022

In July 2022 I spent five fabulous weeks exploring Switzerland, from east to west and south to north, and what a trip it was!

My husband and I had a fantastic trip but it wasn’t only a holiday – there was plenty of research and trying out new experiences so that I can share them with you, too. 

I also had the opportunity to meet some of the lovely guests who have been on the podcast and try out their products and services myself.  It was wonderful to get to know these wonderful ambassadors for Switzerland and to get a first-hand appreciation of their hotels, tours, rail passes and more.

In this episode, I thought I’d share with you an overview of my itinerary and some of the many new things I learnt along the way.  Hopefully this will help you to plan your own dream trip to Switzerland.

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

Before we get started, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Switzerland Tourism, sponsors of the podcast. Take a look at their website myswitzerland.com for loads of info and inspiration for planning your Swiss vacation. There are an endless number of scenic places that will capture your heart in this beautiful country, so if you need the perfect shot, you need Switzerland.

Click the green button below to listen:

Show Notes

Listen now to learn:

  • Carolyn’s itinerary
  • The highlights of Carolyn’s trip
  • Carolyn’s thoughts on the Swiss Travel Pass
  • Her thoughts on the Regional-Pass Berner Oberland
  • The apps that were most helpful during Carolyn’s trip
  • Useful things to know when traveling in Switzerland

Useful articles about places mentioned in this episode (click the destination to read the article):

Rail passes, hotels and products mentioned in this article (click for more information):

Beautiful view from train window in Switzerland
Travelling by train was a convenient and scenic way to get around Switzerland and the Swiss Travel Pass and Regional Pass Berner Oberland make it cost-effective, too.

5 week Switzerland itinerary

Appenzellerland – 6 nights 

Transport: Car

Accommodation: Sankt Peterzell farmhouse cottage

Sightseeing/day trips:

  • Appenzeller Show Dairy at Stein, visits to Schwellbrunn and Hemberg
  • St. Gallen
  • Seealpsee hike
  • Schaffhausen and Rhine Falls
  • Walensee – cruise to Quinten

Mt. Rigi – 1 night

Transport: Car to Vitznau (left it in parking garage overnight)

Transport: Cogwheel train Vitznau/Mt. Rigi/Vitznau

Accommodation: Hotel Rigi Kaltbad

Sightseeing/activities:

  • Hike from Rigi Kulm to Rigi Kaltbad (1 hour)
  • Thermal spa

Lugano – 6 nights 

Transport: Car (returned to Como on day 2, then public transport using the Swiss Travel Pass)

Accommodation: Guesthouse Castagnola – lovely accommodation and delicious breakfast.

Sightseeing/activities/day trips:

  • Walked to Gandria for dinner first night
  • Old Town, Grotti cruise and dinner
  • Monte Bre
  • Cruise to Morcote
  • Swimming at Lugano Lido

Zermatt – 2 nights

Transport: Train (Swiss Travel Pass), including Glacier Express from Andermatt to Zermatt

Accommodation: Hotel Daniela – great hotel with very friendly staff and delicious breakfast.

Sightseeing/activities:

  • Gornergrat excursion, walked from Gornergrat via Riffelsee to Rotenboden to ‘meet the sheep’
La Neuveville Switzerland
La Neuveville on Lake Biel was one of the numerous less-touristy towns we visited.

Chexbres – 3 nights

Transport: Train (Swiss Travel Pass)

Accommodation: Baron Tavernier Hotel Restaurant & Spa

Sightseeing/activities/day trips:

  • Montreux Jazz Festival 
  • Walked to St. Saphorin (in Lavaux vineyards), train to Vevey, cruise to Lausanne,
  • Gruyères and Maison Cailler
  • Charlie Chaplin Museum

Yverdon-les-Bains – 4 nights

Transport: Train (Swiss Travel Pass)

Accommodation: Hotel & Centre Thermal d’Yverdon les Bains

*See my thoughts on the hotel here*

Sightseeing/day trips:

  • Old Town
  • Train to Murten, cruised to Neuchatel, train to Yverdon
  • Train to La Neuveville, cruised to Twann and back, train to Yverdon

Spiez – 2 nights

Transport: Train (Swiss Travel Pass)

Accommodation: Belvedere Strandhotel – a beautifully appointed 4* Superior hotel with excellent facilities and friendly, helpful staff. The restaurant, which serves delicious meals, and the Captain’s Bar both have stunning views of Spiez Castle and Lake Thun. The spa and infinity pool were fabulous and we loved the private lakeside lido. This was definitely the most luxurious hotel we stayed at on our trip and we could not fault it.

Sightseeing/activities/day trips:

  • Stroll around town and harbour, tourist train around town
  • Swimming in hotel pool and private lido
  • Mt. Niesen
Lake Lugano enjoys a Mediterranean climate.

Lauterbrunnen – 7 nights (including 1 night at Beatenberg)

Transport: Train (Regional-Pass Berner Oberland)

Accommodation: 1 bedroom apartment

You can find a similar apartment on this link.

Additional accommodation: Hotel Gloria – in a superb location overlooking Lake Thun, you can’t help but unwind the moment you walk through the doors. The genuine welcome from owners/hosts Jacky and Bernie makes you feel like you are visiting family. Add in the comfortable rooms – each with its own balcony with gorgeous views, delicious meals cooked by Bernie and the homely touches throughout the hotel and you won’t want to leave. We absolutely loved our stay at Hotel Gloria in Beatenberg.

Sightseeing/activities/day trips:

  • Schilthorn excursion including Birg, Allmendhubel, Murren and Gimmelwald
  • Visited Interlaken, bus to Beatenberg for overnight stay
  • Niederhorn excursion from Beatenberg, returned to Lauterbrunnen
  • Excursion from Wengen to Mannlichen – Grindelwald – Eigergletscher – Kleine Scheidegg – Grindelwald – Lauterbrunnen (hiked from Eigergletscher to KS)
  • Train to Meiringen, Reichenbach Falls, Aare Gorge, Trauffer Factory, Lake Brienz cruise to Interlaken
  • Excursion from Wengen to Mannlichen to Grindelwald and return, hike from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen | train back to Wengen for dinner

Zurich – 2 nights

Transport: Train (Regional-Pass covered us to Lucerne, individual ticket from Lucerne to Zurich)

Accommodation: Sorell Hotel Seefeld

Sightseeing/activities:

  • Lunch in Lucerne and quick look around Old Town and Chapel Bridge, dinner at Zeughauskeller in Zurich, stroll around Old Town
  • 5.5 hour tour with Best of Switzerland Tours – city sights, cruise and Lindt Home of Chocolate | Lake cruise in the evening 
Cows grazing at Männlichen in the Jungfrau Region.

More Holidays to Switzerland Resources

You’ll find detailed guides to most of the destinations that were visited in our itinerary on the website. There are also podcast episodes on most of these destinations, as well as episodes about the Swiss Travel Pass, Regional Pass Berner Oberland, Best of Switzerland Tours, Belvedere Strandhotel and Hotel Gloria Beatenberg.


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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism

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