Best town for base in early May - Berner Oberland

Best town for base in early May - Berner Oberland

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yawnocfonayr
yawnocfonayr
3 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2016 - 1:23 AM

Hello!

My fiancée and I will be in Switzerland for 4 days from the 10th to the 14th of May this year, and would love to situate ourselves in the Berner Oberland region - purely just to be in and around the alps. Deciding on the best place to base ourselves is providing extremely difficult as even though his topic has been mulled over many times before, it is very hard to find a consistent answer to base a decision upon..

Have managed to narrow down the choices to these (in order of preference)

- Wengen

- Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen

Wengen was our first choice simply because of its positioning higher up in the mountains (as opposed to staying on the valley floor). However we are well aware of the possibility for muddiness and less ideal weather being higher up, as well as hotel/restaurant closures in the shoulder season. We are not at all concerned with staying in an area that is quiet (or small) and also don't intent to do any intense or higher altitude hiking - just some lower/smaller hikes that will be open at that time.

I know that Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen would be 'safer' options - but really want to give Wengen a chance as from all reports it's an amazing place!

Am very well aware that ALL of this is entirely dependant on the weather, especially if the winter has been long/short.. so I thought I would ask if it is possible to gauge a decision based upon the current winter/snow fall for this year to date? Would that be reliable gauge to predict what May could be like? And whether or not Wengen would be a good choice - or just stick to a lower town like Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen.

ANY help that I could get would be very, very much appreciated! Cheers! :)

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Mar 5, 2016 - 4:53 PM in reply to yawnocfonayr

Hi Yawnocfonayr-

I think that I will save a copy of your post to use every year for myself. I face the same difficult decisions....which you have expressed very clearly and very well....every Spring when I plan my trips.

Usually, I have taken the cowards way out...if I go in May, I don't go up in the Alps. I spend my time at lower altitudes.

In fact, if you get any useful answers to your questions about a prediction, I'll read them eagerly, because I'm planning to be there at the beginning of June. That is the really "iffy" time because the seasons are just changing.

Sorry, I don't know how to get the projections for the snow situation then, and they would not be reliable at this time of year, anyway. I was just starting to check with my Swiss friends about snow pack. Earlier in the season they were complaining that the alpine resorts were not getting any snow......don't know the current status.

By the way, the cograil between Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald runs all year, and a sunny day at the higher stations can give some very nice views at any time of year.

Finally, I really prefer Wengen, in general.

So does Kim-

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

Just as an an example of the seasonality, here is the opening schedule of the Hotel Schönegg in Wengen. It is one of the nicer hotels there. Others do not have such a limited schedule.

www.hotel-schoenegg.ch/

Slowpoke

Last modified on Mar 5, 2016 - 4:59 PM by Slowpoke
yawnocfonayr
yawnocfonayr
3 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2016 - 1:23 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks for your reply slowpoke! I tried my best to word it in a particular way that didn't mimic previous queries on the same topic!

Guess will just have to wait and see if anyone else chimes in with some words of wisdom! :)

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2016 - 1:46 AM in reply to yawnocfonayr

If I get any "words of wisdom" from my Swiss friends, I'll post them.

One of them used to have a place in Wengen - immensely useful, but they sold it. ;-(

Maybe you should consider Luzern?

Slowpoke

yawnocfonayr
yawnocfonayr
3 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2016 - 2:51 AM in reply to Slowpoke

That would be excellent!

I definitely have considered Luzern, but really wanted to stay in and around the alps if we could! I have no qualms with staying in Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald as I said, if it would perhaps give a better experience at that time of year - just trying to get as much information as possible before making a decision!

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 6, 2016 - 8:25 AM

Hello,

There's 40 cm of snow in Wengen right now, more in the mountains, and they're still getting fresh snow. A lot can happen between now and mid May, so all I can say is that in general the village should be clear of snow by then, as well as all trails below. Some of the higher trails will be accessible, some not. Wengen is indeed great for the views. If that's your main priority there's nothing wrong with Wengen. A train ride down to the valley floor (Lauterbrunnen) takes less than 20 minutes, so it's not a big deal to get to other places.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2653 posts
expert
Mar 6, 2016 - 10:08 AM in reply to Annika

<<"Wengen is indeed great for the views.">>

Indeed...although it takes an unusually clear day to see this far back into the valley without haze.

Slowpoke

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