Switzerland in March

Apr 21st, 2013, 05:08 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Switzerland in March

I'll be visiting Switzerland in March for three weeks and plan to spend a week at St Moritz to explore the Engadin area, a week at Wengen and to split the other week between Zermatt and Luzern, having 3 or 4 nights in each. I don't ski but would like to do hiking on trails that are open at that time of year. I've never tried sledding. Is that difficult for someone who has never tried it before? .

I have visited Switzerland in August and September on previous trips and would like to see it with a snow covered landscape on this trip. While I realize it can vary from year to year how much snow is likely to still be on the ground in the Jungfrau (Wengen, Murren, Grindelwald etc), Engadin and Zermatt areas in March? I'll be doing various train trips between and in each area so hopefully in higher areas there will still be a lot of snow cover.

At this stage I'm planning to travel by train from Zurich to St Moritz, and after a week there, including traveling on the Bernina Express line I'll travel to Wengen via Andermatt so I can travel on part of the Glacier Express line. After leaving Wengen I'd like to travel to Zermatt via Zweissimmen and Montreux so I can travel on the Golden Pass line. I'd like to book VIP seats between Zweissimmen and Montreux if they are available. I've read that it is better to travel in that direction as you get great views through the front of the train as you approach Montreux with views of the lake etc.

I could possibly have 2 nights at Montreux before going to Zermatt and less time at Luzern. During our stay in Wengen last year we did a day trip to Montreux on the Golden Pass train and had half a day there before returning to Wengen and on the return trip I was in the front carriage near the VIP seats and could see the view through the front so would like to book a VIP seat next time.

Are there any reasons to pick the first, second or third weeks of March for the areas I'll be visiting? For example, is the weather, snow cover etc likely to vary much if I visit Wengen in the first, second or third weeks? At the moment I have planned the first week for St Moritz and the second week for Wengen etc. but could swap them around if necessary.

I could travel to Zermatt from St Moritz on the Glacier Express line and then go to Wengen in the third week but it would be hard to then do the Golden Pass trip in the direction approaching Montreux.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer for my itinerary.
Koz2 is offline  
Apr 21st, 2013, 08:51 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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"I'd like to book VIP seats between Zweissimmen and Montreux if they are available. I've read that it is better to travel in that direction as you get great views through the front of the train as you approach Montreux with views of the lake etc."

The difference isn't that big because the train line goes down in several curves. So you see first the upper end of the Lake with the Dents du Midi mountain, then the middle part of the lake from Vevey to Lausanne - Morges and the Jura Mountain Range, then again the upper end of the Lake ... etc. The surprising fact is rather that after having ridden a certain time through narrow mountain valleys, you suddenly get a frew view over the whole Lake of Geneva, not only from the VIP seats BTW.

So, it's up to you whether your itinerary will be
Zurich - St. Moritz - Glacier Express - Zermatt - Montreux - Golden Pass - Spiez - Wengen - Meiringen - Luzern - Zurich,
Zurich - St. Moritz - Glacier Express - Zermatt - Spiez - Golden Pass - Montreux - Bern -Spiez - Wengen - Meiringen - Luzern - Zurich,
Zurich - St. Moritz - Glacier Express - Zermatt - Spiez - Wengen - Spiez - Golden Pass - Montreux -Lausanne - Bern - Rothrist - Luzern - Zurich,
Zurich - St. Moritz - Glacier Express - Andermatt - Lucerne - Meiringen - Wengen - Spiez - Golden Pass - Montreux - Zermatt - Spiez - Bern - Rothrist - Zurich.
All solutions are possible.

Snow/weather: always completely unpredictable in the Alps
actually, there is still much snow at St. Moritz, Zermatt and even Wengen. In warmer winters, there may be no more snow in these villages, but for sure in the ski and hiking (prepared winter hiking trails) areas above them. Montreux (and surroundings) is usually free of snow in March.

Webcam Bernina: http://www.webcam.valtline.it/passoberninag.htm

BTW: I suppose you know that you need a first class ticket for VIP seats.
neckervd is offline  
Apr 21st, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The second Sunday in March is Engadin Ski marathon (cross-country) in the Engadin - crowded, but somehow also fun. Make sure you book accommodation early.

Snow on the ground is practically guaranteed in the Engadin and Zermatt. Not so in Wengen, as it is on a sunny terrace, south-facing.

Sledding is easy. Mid March is about closing time for the sledding runs. With a little luck you will still have very good conditions in the Engadin, though. Definitely try Muottas Muragl and the Preda-Bergün sledding (on the closed Albula pass road, access by train).
Ingo is offline  
Apr 21st, 2013, 09:38 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I was in Wengen last week-end and there was still plenty of snow around, but it was that tired, spring-is-finally-coming leftover snow rather than the fluffy, perky full-on winter stuff. This year was a very good snow year -- people were still skiing in April. Who knows what next year will bring?
WeisserTee is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2013, 04:14 AM
  #5  
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Thanks to everyone for your replies, which have been very helpful. I've decided to stay 7 nights at St Moritz, 7 nights at Zermatt and then 7 nights at Wengen. At that time of year it seems to be easier to find hotels or chalets when booking 7 nights. For the trip to Montreux I'll do a day trip from Wengen like we did last September rather than trying to find a chalet or hotel in Zermatt for 4 or 5 nights.
Koz2 is offline  
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