Switzerland in Early May

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Feb 5th, 2009, 03:03 AM
  #1
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Switzerland in Early May


We will be in Switzerland in the first week of May. It appears some of the accommodation will be closed during that time. Is it the low season or bad timing?

Also, would hiking trail be fine for treking during late April and early May in Bernese Oberland and Zermatt?

Thank you.
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Feb 5th, 2009, 04:47 AM
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Extremely bad timing. It's right between winter and summer season. Most hiking trails in both areas will be closed, ditto for the cable cars and hotels.

If you stick to the areas around the lakes of Thun/Spiez and just watch the mountains and glaciers from the valleys or half height you'll be fine. The Jungfrau cog-railways will be in operation, so you can even do an excursion to Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch, but be prepared that the snow is still high.
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Feb 5th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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For mountain hiking in the Alps, early May is extremely bad timing.

Early May should be wonderful along the lakes in the South - i.e. Ticino. Maybe you'll want to look into that region. The climate is milder down there, the snow will be gone earlier, and I'd expect more hiking options in, for example, Val Verzasca or Val Maggia than in the Central Alps.
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Feb 5th, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Always difficult to predict.

Last year I was in Locarno for the first week of May. It was gorgeous. We could even sunbathe. The flowers were blooming and the Italian/Swiss feeling was evident everywhere. Pure bliss.

What does that mean for the mountains? Hard to tell. This year there is lots of snow in the mountains so it might be a bit difficult to hike. But then again, we might get a warm spell and hiking might not be too bad.

If you don't mind hiking in the snow (in well beaten paths) and if the weather is friendly, the BO and Zermatt might be quite nice. Or not.

Now you can see why some accommodations are closed during this time. It's right between skiing and hiking season.

Good luck with your decision.
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Feb 5th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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If the trip is already confirmed, you might want to change your focus a bit and look at more time in the towns or cities (rather than outdoor activities only) which are beautiful too.

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Feb 5th, 2009, 09:43 PM
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Thank you very much for the advice.

Need more suggestions for first week in May in Bernese Oberland...
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Feb 6th, 2009, 02:19 AM
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Hi jeremizt -

We've enjoyed Switzerland in May, but you just never know what the weather will do. Hikes are hit and miss, due to snow and mud and the inability to reach some of them due to gondola and cablecar closures.

That said, the weather doesn't deter me much, but it might if it were my first visit.

I'm going to Zermatt, Kandersteg and Lauterbrunnen in mid April and I plan to do some hiking, and perhaps a bit of sledding if there's enough snow.

I've done my research, so I know what will be closed, and I suggest you do the same so you're not disappoitned.

May is a great time to find hotel deals in villages like Zermatt. My favorite Zermatt accommdation, Casa Vanessa, has fantastic prices in May.

Keep in mind that some restaurants close as well. You shouldn't have trouble finding accommodation and restaurants in Zermatt, but Murren, Wengen and Lauterbrunnen will have slim pickins'. The Hotel Alpenruh in Murren is open all year, and you can usually find inexpensive apartment rentals for less than a week's stay in Zermatt, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald.

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Feb 6th, 2009, 02:39 AM
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"Need more suggestions for first week in May in Bernese Oberland..."

and I need a cleaning lady.

Lots of good suggestions in past posts. Look for Gruezi posts or Bob Brown posts.

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Feb 6th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Switzerland in May is great. There will be plenty of lower hiking trails open. Enjoy few tourists (Zermatt in summer is too crowded) and the great transportation system. I personally prefer the Jungfrau region, especially Murren, above the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Best views of the Jungfrau and Eiger.
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Feb 7th, 2009, 11:25 PM
  #10
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Thanks you all for the advice.
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