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3 nights in Switzerland

Old Sep 11th, 2017, 06:40 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
3 nights in Switzerland

Hi all - we are traveling to Europe in May, 2018, and we will be flying into Zurich on a Wednesday morning and flying out 3 days later on Saturday evening. We will be staying in Zurich on the back end of our trip for one afternoon/evening as we will spend the night there to catch our flight back to the states on the following morning. So, for the 3 days we are in Switzerland on the front end of our trip, I was hoping to find a mountain village. We arrive on a Wed morning, so I was thinking we could just immediately get on a train at the Zurich airport and head to a mountain town - not sure which one though - some thoughts are Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, Murren? We like doing outdoors activities - hiking, biking...but nothing hard core. We also love the feel of a small town/village where we can walk into a pub, grab a beer and just talk to people we meet I understand we are on a time constraint - we will arrive on a Wed morning, take the train...so that gives us Wed evening & then all day Thurs & Fri, and then Sat morning we catch a train back to Zurich for our evening flight that day. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or recommendations, as neither my husband nor I have ever been to Switzerland. Thank you in advance for your suggestions & help!
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Old Sep 11th, 2017, 07:19 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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IMO, the idea of focusing on the Bernese Oberland makes sense. Personally, I prefer Wengen to Mürren -- JMO. I would also note that IME, the weather in May can be a bit precarious, and so Lauterbrunnen -- which I loved -- might offer a safer alternative with greater flexibility. And in May, the views from Lauterbrunnen will open onto a wide, sunny valley edged by waterfalls nearly full with the spring snow melt.

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 11th, 2017, 07:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't know when in May you are arriving. But keep in mind that while most popular routes, such as Jungfrau, operate year round, other routes have between the season closures, like this https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/home.html (look at winter and summer schedule. You see a gap in May). They do maintenance around this time because it can be a ho hum time for high altitude hiking if you are visiting at the beginning of May.

The same is true even if you decide to head to other mountains, like this https://www.pilatus.ch/en/inform/timetable/

There are various opinions on when to hike:
https://www.alpenwild.com/staticpage...e-in-the-alps/
http://europeforvisitors.com/switzau...witzerland.htm

It can rain:
https://www.wunderground.com/history...lyHistory.html

Of course, 2018 can be an exception in your favor...
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Old Sep 11th, 2017, 08:08 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,902
Hi ncz99,

Yes, as much as I love Switzerland, I think it might be wise to keep a few things in mind (as Greg above noted a few). I'll just add that Swiss friends that I knew call May "mud month" because of the weather & the look of the landscape. It is too late for skiing & snowy landscapes, and too early for mountain flowers.

Because of that, many mountain hotels simply close up and give the staff time for their own vacations, and you may find that the case for hotels in Wengen. I normally favor Wengen as a base, but in May I might opt for someplace larger (Grindelwald) or lower down in the valley.

I know lots of folks like Lauterbrunnen for its transportation convenience, but I'm not one of them; in fact, after multiple weeks in Switzerland, I still cannot even make myself go beyond the train station in Lauterbrunnen. The high cliffs of the mountains overhang the town, and they give me a feeling of claustrophobia and being hemmed in and being confined. I know lots of folks don't even notice the cliffs, and others think the valley is charming anyway. But if you might be like me, I suggest you take a look at google images and see how the pictures strike you.

Some alternatives to Lautberbrunnen are Interlaken (of course), or Thun, right on the lake. Thun will give you transport convenience to a good bit of Switzerland -- including Lake Geneva, Bern, Basel, Luzern, Gstaad, Gruyeres, and many more -- in case of rainy days.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Sep 11th, 2017, 09:09 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Thank you all for opinions/recommendations! I really appreciate it! We'll definitely take weather into consideration as we'll be arriving the 2nd week in May. I appreciate all the info & links. I'll be reasearching it all. Cheers!
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