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April-May Too Early for Dolomites and Switzerland ??

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Jun 5th, 2013, 08:52 PM
  #1
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April-May Too Early for Dolomites and Switzerland ??

We just booked ff tickets for late April arriving in Geneva and departing mid-May from Bologna. We planned to train in Switzerland -- around the lake, through the scenic high mountains-- then possibly to Aosta then across to Dolomites. Short visit to Bologna, then home. As we look at some possible b&b's in Dolomites, we see that some are closed between ski season and June. Will all these areas likely be too snowy to enjoy the hiking and such? Should we rethink this? Any input appreciated, as we are just beginning to think through our itinerary. (p.s. we are not really skiers but are huge thermal water fans, if anyone has suggestions nearby .)
kawh is offline  
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Jun 5th, 2013, 09:00 PM
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I think you should be fine. We did Switzerland in early May. There was some snow at the higher elevations, but it was sunny & warm everywhere else.
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Jun 5th, 2013, 10:02 PM
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Too early. Can be fine around the lakes, but inbetween (winter and summer) seasons in higher elevations. Almost no hiking possible.
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Jun 5th, 2013, 10:53 PM
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Hi kawh,

I agree with Ingo above (no surprise, as always!). In fact, some Switzerland residents who post on another board call May "mud month" because of the melting snow and spring rains. It's too late for snowy landscapes and too early for flowery fields.

Many cable cars close in April/May for maintenance, and since there are so few travelers at that time, many hotels also shut to give the staff a break.

However, as Ingo notes, it's an ok time around the lakes. Around Lake Geneva, it will be chilly, but there will be flowers on the promenade, and the vineyards and nearby hills and fields will be free of snow. Thun and Spiez will probably be ok, too, and you can make a quick run up the Jungfraujoch on a good day from there. Luzern would be a great bet because you can run up nearby mountains (Rigi, Pilatus, Titlis) on a good day, and you also have lake cruises and lakeside villages to visit to keep you busy.

Gstaad, though not on a lake, is at a lower altitude than the high mountain villages and should also be ok for hiking in the valleys (between the towns).

Scuol might be a good destination as well, as there are some walks in the flatlands, many sweet nearby villages to visit, and of course the hot springs to also keep you busy.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Jun 5th, 2013, 10:55 PM
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Ingo... thanks much for the warning. any recommendations on "around the lakes" locations with nice hiking (if we are lucky with weather.)?? does that include the dolomites, or are you just speaking about switzerland?

halfapair-- sounds like you were really lucky! yikes... wonder if we need to rethink this?? hmmm...
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Jun 5th, 2013, 11:17 PM
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swan...
more great information and problem solving. yikes... had my heart set on seeing the dolomites... we'll see about that... but some great ideas for switzerland and will begin to look into them. hot springs are our fav!! thanks for that!
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Jun 6th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Unfortunately it includes the Dolomites, too. If you want to see them, stay in a town like Bozen/Bolzano e.g. which is busy all year round and do a day trip to the Dolomites. Although not in the Dolomites, Merano is a very popular destination in spring. It's not too far from the Dolomites, just a half hour longer than Bozen/Bolzano.

As swandav suggested, Lake Geneva is an idea (but the vineyards are not really green yet that time of year). Montreux and Vevey are obvious towns there.

My personal favourites would be either Lake Thun, with the dramatic scenery of the Bernese Alps in the background, or Lake Lucerne. You could stay in one of the smaller towns along Lake Thun and do day trips from there or do hikes on the sunny slopes above the lake. See www.thunersee.ch for more info.

Lucerne is just a beautiful (small) city and the villages along the lake are lovely. Picture perfect Switzerland. This lake is larger than Lake Thun, the mountains are not as dramatic, though. Stay in Lucerne, or in Weggis, Vitznau, Gersau, Brunnen, if you prefer smaller towns. Hiking should be possible half way up the mountains, with beautiful views of the lake and the still snow capped mountains.
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